Mac OS X only: Mac users get both an upgrade to the group chat video calling features already in Windows and more Mac-like looks and Address Book integration in the latest Skype beta, along with easier contact search and call controls.
The group video calling is, as we previously posted, neat when it works, but not often fully up to speed—in large part due to the variety of connections and hardware found across any group of contacts. Beyond group chat, though, Skype for Mac has consolidated its controls into a single window, but also added a “Call Control Bar” that sits on top of any web browser or document viewer you’ve got open. With that bar, you can mute, hang up, or bring your contact in for screen sharing, which is a pretty nice feature. With Address Book integration, too, it’s easy to search out your contacts on Skype and auto-complete their name for a quick call.
See some of Skype for Mac Beta’s features in action in Skype’s official video for the launch:
Skype 5 Beta is a free download for Mac OS X systems only.