Skype just announced a new version of its Mac software which brings changes based on user feedback, including the return of the resizable contact list and improvements to video calls and screen sharing features. The news follows yesterday’s announcement from the company which said that Windows users on Skype’s free service would now see advertisements in the software. However, no mention of the same was made in detailing today’s new feature set for Mac.
That’s not to say that the ads won’t come to Mac. After all, Skype is now owned by Microsoft – it was probably just easier for them to start the ad integrations on Windows first. But it’s unlikely that they would worsen (yes, that’s what the ads do) the user experience on their own platform, while keeping Mac ad-free.
But until now, a reprieve.
As always, here in blogger land, we take careful notice of Skype’s updates for Mac because a) the majority of us use Macs and b) we’re heavy Skype users. So today’s update of Skype for Mac deserves a quick run-through of what’s changed.
According to the Skype blog, a feature users have asked for – the slim contact list – is making a return with the update to Skype 5.8 for Mac. You’ll now once again be able to resize and reposition your contact lists however you like. (Pictured)
Video calling has also been improved between the Mac client and mobile devices. When someone on Skype for iPhone, Skype for iPad or Skype for Android rotates their screen, that change will now reflect in the Mac software. (Windows Phone was already supported).
Screen sharing, which lets you share your desktop or show your photos to a friend, has been tweaked, too, but only for paying subscribers. It will now display your live video alongside your shared photos, so you can share content and watch a friend’s reaction at the same time. This will work in both one-to-one screen sharing sessions and group sessions, says Skype.
The new version of Skype is now OS X Mountain Lion ready as well, and is backward-compatible to Leopard. The company notes that other features, including the ability to open chats in separate windows, are still in the works.
Skype for Mac 5.8 is available for download here.