Skype for Mac gets new features

Skype for Mac just received a major update. Now offering new Wi-Fi capabilities, screen sharing, and better video and sound quality, this version is a must download for Skype users.


Skype, the solid chat, VoIP, and videocam software has been around for awhile now on the Mac and we have already sung its praises for its free computer-to-computer long distance. Call clarity has always been quite good and if you have one of many available USB handsets, you know it's just like talking on a regular phone. For a little extra money through the company's pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription services, you can call cell and land lines and the prices are fairly affordable. But today, Skype for Mac got some new features that definitely make it worth updating your client.

Skype 2.8 for Mac now offers a pay-as-you-go public Wi-Fi service, screen sharing, and even better-quality video and sound. The Wi-Fi service lets you use your Skype Credit to connect to public Wi-Fi. Simply add money to your Skype account, which is used for calling landlines as well, and you're ready to go. The screen-sharing feature lets you show your friend, coworker, or family member what's on your screen--great for when you're helping someone with a computer problem or sharing a design layout with a coworker, for example. The video and sound quality were already pretty good, but the update made both sound and video clarity noticeably better.

Use the Share button at the top of the chat window to show your full screen or just a portion with another user. (Credit: CNET)

Skype has always been one of our favorites for VoIP and video chat, but as has always been the case, Skype offers no emergency numbers so you should not use it as a replacement for your regular phone. Still, with all the features already available and the new additions, we think Skype is definitely worth a look for those new to the program and a must-download for current Skype users.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.