Thursday, November 4, 2010

Skype 5 Beta for Mac

I read this morning that a new beta of skype was out for mac, that would include features already included in the windows version (which is out of beta at the moment) like video conferencing with multiple people. So I was curious and installed the skype beta (you have to sign in to download the .dmg file for some reason, odd). I was surprised to see a window layout not unlike that of windows skype, and I immediately detested it. Granted, it's easier to access some functions (I won't double click accidentally and call someone), since there are buttons for chatting, calling, etc. but everything was just expanded and took a horrific amount of space (ok ok I'm exaggerating here) but compared to the stable version of skype it really is a huge change.

I remember in the windows version, even with these new changes they gave you the option of changing the panels back to the old layout, which is not present in the skype beta. I immediately gave some feedback, and I hope that such options will be given to us just like on windows. The loading time is quite fast, though I haven't tested out the video and calling functionality of the new skype beta. The chats also followed the expanded theme, and every line just had a lot of space in between, which in my opinion is a waste of space. I don't own a 27" or a 30" monitor, and can't afford to enlarge my windows that extent. There's also a set minimum window size, so I couldn't change the window size to how it was like in the previous version (somewhat hard to describe it here).

These are just a number of initial impressions, I will give more input after I have tried it out for an extended amount of time.

Edit: I would include a screen shot, but I couldn't hide my contacts effectively and I didn't want to bother photoshopping all the names out. There is no way (from what I see) of hiding offline contacts, a step back from the previous version. Again, I hope that as the skype beta matures we will gain more options.

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