On it’s Big Blog, Skype today announced the release of the new Skype 5.0 for Mac (beta), updating Mac users to the same version of the software Windows users have had for the last month. However, unlike the Windows version, there is no Facebook integration in the Mac version.
The new software has a revamped look and seeks to provides a more Mac-like experience – which for us Mac users is nearly as important as whether the thing works or not. Seriously. However the lack of Facebook integration, while not an issue for some, will be a major talking point for others. Maybe Skype will include it in the full version of 5.0 for Mac.
In the 5.0 Mac version, you will no longer have to flick between two or three windows while using Skype with everything combined into a single window, which again may not suit some users. The Mac address book has also been integrated, making it possible for you to call, IM or SMS your contacts when they are online or offline.
Group video calling - which allows you to make video calls with more than two people at a time – will also be included in the update. However all users will have to have the upgraded software if they are using Macs - or Skype for Windows 5.0 if they are using PCs (then again I don’t know many Mac users who like talking to PC users anyway, even if it is over the internet.) On the technical side of things, this new version will only work on Mac OS version 10.5.8(Leopard) or newer.
To celebrate this launch Skype is even offering users a chance to win a $1,500 Apple Store gift certificate. All it requires users to do is to tweet about their favourite feature in Skype 5.0 for Mac (beta). Some would call that free advertising but I’m sure that idea never even crossed the mind of the people over at Skype. More information can be found here.