A new version of Skype is now available for Mac OS X featuring a brand new user interface, the new Group Video Calling feature, an improved experience during network-compromised calls, and offline instant messaging, the makers of the software have confirmed.“We are happy to announce a brand new version of Skype for our Mac users,” Raul Liive blogs for Skype. “The new version of Skype brings a new user experience and many new features,” Raul is proud to say.
According to the Skype staffer, the most important new features are:
- New user interface;
- Group Video Calling;
- Improved experience during network-compromised calls;
- Offline Instant Messaging.
A detailed overview about the new features is also offered, with Liive putting the redesigned interface at the top of the list.
“The overhauled experience keeps you in contact with all people close to you, whether in business or privately. Skype 5.0 for Mac unifies all your phone, SMS, video, and chat communication, one-to-one or with multiple people,” he writes.
However, the second feature down the list - Group Video Calling - is perhaps the most flashy of the lot.
According to Raul, the function enables groups of up to 10 participants to meet each other over video, making it perfect for “separated families to talk with each other or to host a business meetings from various offices,” the description goes.
He goes to mention that Skype users looking to benefit from this feature will need to have “a modern computer with a fast internet connection.”
Also, for a 10-way group video call, all the participants will need about 5 megabits symmetrical bandwidth and a computer powered by Intel core i5 or i7 processor, for best quality (VGA quality), Raul explains.
“You can make a call with slightly lower quality with less powerful machines. The system requirements are lower for fewer participants,” he notes.
Weighing in on Offline Instant Messaging, the blogger reveals that Skype Mac users are now able to send and receive messages from their buddies when they're offline.
“The message will be delivered straight after the receiving party logs into Skype, no matter if the sender is online or not,” Raul elaborates.
The Skype staffer notes that this feature works only for contacts where both sides are on a Skype version that supports Offline IM. Both the Windows and Mac v. 5.0 releases are supported.
Visit the Skype blog here for more information on the new Beta release, or go directly to the download link we’ve prepared for you just below.
Download Skype for Mac OS X (Free)
A demonstration video of the new features in Skype 5.0 for Mac can be found below.