Home Software Skype for Mac plays catch-up: first look at 5.0 beta

Skype 5.0 for Windows arrived last month, but Mac users are still on version 2.8. Good news: Skype 5.0 for Mac is now in beta. Bad news: you may not like some of the changes.

A key feature of the Skype 5.0 for Mac beta is support for group video calls. In previous versions video calls were limited to two participants, but Skype 5.0 for Windows introduced multi-way video hookups. This feature requires all participants to be using version 5 - and sufficient bandwidth. Skype recommends 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up.

A new call control bar floats above any other windows while calls are in progress, so it isn't necessary to bring the Skype application to the front to mute or end calls.

Phone numbers from the Mac OS X Address Book are optionally accessible within Skype 5.0.

Other new features include searching across multiple chats, and the ability to quickly rejoin a call after an Internet drop-out.

The application's user interface has been redesigned to use a single and comparatively bulky window. The default text size is much larger than in that used in Skype 2.8, and size adjustments only apply to message text, not to contact and conversation names.

And there's more to be unhappy about - see page 2.

If you had a carefully sorted list of contacts and conversations in the old version, you may not be impressed by the way Skype 5.0 arranges the list on a 'most recently used' basis.

Most annoyingly, the change to a single-window design means you can't see all your contacts' statuses while reading a chat or conversation, only those with whom you've recently communicated.

The official release of Skype 5.0 for Mac is expected "soon", according to a company spokesperson.

You can download Skype 5.0 for Mac beta here.



Site24x7 Seminars

Deliver Better User Experience in Today's Era of Digital Transformation

Some IT problems are better solved from the cloud

Join us as we discuss how DevOps in combination with AIOps can assure a seamless user experience, and assist you in monitoring all your individual IT components—including your websites, services, network infrastructure, and private or public clouds—from a single, cloud-based dashboard.

Sydney 7th May 2019

Melbourne 09 May 2019

Don’t miss out! Register Today!



Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips


Stephen Withers

joomla visitors

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.


Popular News




Guest Opinion


Sponsored News