With the new version, Skype for Mac users can not only do group video calls (which was already available in the beta product) but also share their screens during such calls.
Screen sharing is already available for free on a one-to-one Skype call, but the ability to share documents, photos, presentations and whatnot with multiple people in one session takes the product to a different level in my opinion, particularly for small businesses.
One caveat: to take advantage of group video calling and screen sharing, one or more call participants must have a Skype Premium subscription.
Such subscriptions cost between $4.49 and $8.99 per month. You can also get a day pass for $4.99 if you only use the product occasionally.
When you use the new product, you’ll notice the call control bar now features video when you multi-task during a video call, enabling you to still see the person you’re talking to as well as being able to hang up or mute the conversation even when you’re in a different program.
Finally, Skype has made it easier to find your most active conversations under ‘Recents’ in the sidebar, and added a history section where users can see those that are less active.
Skype last week updated its Android application to support video calls over 3G and WiFi as well, and we’ve heard that Facebook will be rolling out a new, in-browser video chat product, powered by Skype, shortly.