When Skype updated its user interface a while ago, many Skype users were less than thrilled. The new UI looks somewhat muddled and isn’t that thrilling to use. Now, Microsoft has released a new version of Skype for Mac. While Mac users won’t get everything that PC users have (that’s just the way that these two competitors play hard ball), the new Skype for Mac does have a fun feature or two. Sadly, the overall interface has stayed the same.
Skype Update for Mac: What’s New?
The coolest feature (as tech blog The Verge has pointed out) is the Dynamic Mode feature. When turned on, people who like to chat in large groups (or work on group projects or just have large and intrusive families) can do so with ease. When the person who’s talking is rambling on, that person will be situated at the top of the screen (with all other callers below). I know this feature doesn’t sound like much, but it actually makes talking to more than one person at a time easier.
The other feature of note is that users can now delete history (why wasn’t this a feature before?). Yet again, the bad interface still remains, so don’t expect the way your Skype screen looks to disappear anytime soon (I know, I feel your pain). Since Microsoft doesn’t like to play well with Apple, there are some features that only PC users can take advantage of. These features include 1080p video calls, push-to-talk, and other handy shortcuts and image enhancers.
Should You Update?
If you have a Mac, is it worth updating to the new Skype? Well, you won’t get rid of the spacy and tacky interface, but you will be able to take advantage of better group calling and you can erase any conversations you don’t want other people to see. If these things don’t interest you, you might not be inclined to update – but there’s one more thing I didn’t mention above. Microsoft can now fix any app problems automatically, which isn’t a possibility with earlier Skype versions. So, if you want to keep your Skype free from any problems, updating might be a good plan.
Why won’t Skype work on the interface? This question has been asked numerous times and left unanswered even more times. Profile photos through the new interface are strangely distorted and it’s sometimes difficult not to laugh at someone’s image. On the plus side (for all of you who like the latest interface), not having to deal with a bunch of open windows is a good thing. Still, I think that Skype could step it up a bit as far as design goes, but I digress. The point here is that Skype 5.6 for Mac is now out and operational. Upgrading is up to you (I know, some of you are still using the older version of Skype), but the fact that Microsoft will be able to fix bugs without bother you about it is enough incentive for me.