CNET Editors' review
If you're looking to make free voice or video calls worldwide, Skype is a great start. Its clean and user-friendly interface makes interaction effortless, so you are ready to go as soon as you launch the app.
During our testing, we were impressed by the video and voice quality of Skype, which uses VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to enable communication worldwide without paying a cent. One of its best features is the chat and mood messages: if you are in the middle of something, you can inform your contacts about it or just type a text message instead of having a voice call. This is a nice feature on its own, but it's also handy if you don't have a microphone.
But this isn't the only feature you'll love: we also enjoyed Skype's ability to handle conference calling, group video calling, and screen sharing. In other words, if you have a reliable Internet connection, Skype can easily replace your phone and lower your communication bills.
To make calls, all you have to do is create a contact list of friends, family, and colleagues, but they must also have Skype, as only Skype-to-Skype calls are free. However, a great addition to the app is its ability to call landlines or mobile phones, but you'll need to purchase Skype credits to take advantage of this feature.
Its chatlike user interface makes Skype very easy to use, yet the key to optimum performance is a reliable Internet connection. As soon as you launch the app and start using it, you will surely place Skype among your favorite apps, just like we did after our test. Skype's useful features and intuitive user interface make the app appropriate for users of all levels.
Skype is a little piece of software that lets you make free calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world. And even though the calls are free, they are really excellent quality. If you and your friends, family or business contacts are using webcams, you can also make free video calls. You can even call landlines and mobile phones at really cheap per minute rates.
What's new in this version:
- More Compact Contacts Monitor
- Improved Screen Sharing (Premium)
- OS X Mountain Lion Ready
- Resizable Contact List Columns
- Improved SMS Usability
- Improved automatic reorientation of mobile video calls
- Keyboard shortcut for Volume Control
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All versions:3.1 stars
out of 320 votes
Current version:3.0 stars
out of 2 votes
My rating:Write review
Results 1-2 of 2
"Great for Video calls and cheap handy phone alternative"
Version: Skype 188.8.131.525
Free Skype to Skype video calls is great and the phone rates are very good.
Needs an alternative tiny Skype window so it can stay on the desktop unobtrusively
"Still too Intrusive Behavior; remaining with v184.108.40.2063"
Version: Skype 220.127.116.115
Finally Skype is willing to be less obtrusive as the Contacts Monitor window can be made small and, more important, it no longer demands to remain in the foreground. (While I have no need for any of the bells & whistles that the Skype 5 series provides over the Skype v18.104.22.1683--and, therefore I had remained with that earlier version because of the intrusive nature of the Skype 5 Contacts Monitor window.)
1. I haven't found a way to sort the display in the Contacts Monitor window by status when its contents are "Skype". I can change the contents to "Online" to see just them, but I want the "Skype" contents to as they are in v2.8.0863.
2. Even though I had Skype only showing the Contacts Monitor window when it went to the background, when one clicks Skype's Dock icon to bring the focus back to Skype, it insists on opening the main Skype window, rather than just returning to having just the Contacts Monitor window displayed with Skype as the active application. (If I use Command-Tab and select Skype, I am returned to Skype with just the Contacts Monitor window open, but that requires extra steps.)
Big improvement in being less intrusive as the Contacts Monitor window can be made small and it will go to the background, but sticking with v22.214.171.1243 as other aspects of that window and its behavior in Skype 5 remain, for me, a step backwards--and I have no need for the other enhancements over Skype 2 that Skype 5 provides.
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