I guess everybody knows that a new version of Skype was released some time ago, which had the great new opportunity of group video calling. As a small business, we really need this feature, to contact with clients, or with each other. Video conferencing with more than two people can be really good, the visual side of the conversation makes things easier, as we can show drafts and layouts to each other.
So I updated my Skype. I really use it a lot, so it is a necessary feature on all my platforms, but I use it most often on my Macbook. And I chose that because it is (or it was) the best experience for me. Using Spaces on my Macbook is essential for me. I divided my screen up, to have three spaces, so I have three separate screens, which I can switch between with a press of a button. I use the first screen as a communication screen for Skype. The second, middle one is an “Internet” screen, here I use Google Chrome most of the time, write e-mails, blog posts, etc. And the third one is for work, if I’m on the road, and if I’m at home it is the leisure screen.
Now why am I telling this? On a small screen like a 13″ Macbook, you really need to be practical with your space, you just don’t have enough space for everything. And putting every window on top of each other is just chaotic. So while I was video conferencing with somebody I often put them on full screen. And here comes the three things I really loved about Skype on my Mac:
1.) While on full screen, you could switch between Spaces, so I could easily jump to the middle screen, see that I received for example an e-mail I’ve been talking about, and then jump back.
Now with the new Skype 5, if I jump to an other screen, the full screen mode automatically switches back to window mode.
2.) The contact list was separate from everything. It was a slim little line, with the names I needed, and took up only a portion of the screen. Perfect.
In the new version this is not so easy. It’s connected to the video screen, so you can’t get rid of it, even when you just don’t need it. I know that there are option to get an ugly half transparent contact menu separated from the rest, but it’s not easy, and the video area remains huge!
3.) The chat window was just perfect. Simply switching between people, chatting whomever I wanted in just one slim window. And also, if I put the video on full screen, I could still chat with anybody else, I just had to bring the chat window in front, and place it in the corner.
Well, as you’ve guessed, this is not an option anymore. The chat area is stuck to the bottom of the video. As if you wouldn’t want to chat with somebody while video calling an other person on full screen. Or chat with the same problem, who you are watching, if having some sound related issues.
The new Skype is just simply bad. It forces the Windows look onto Mac users, but as if this is not enough, the software was brought down to the Windows standards, and not the contrary: the Windows version brought up to Mac standards. It is obvious that the old Skype had a better structure on Mac than Windows. But I guess this is a thing of the past. Mac users outraged all around the world, and Skype not doing so much for us.
The only good thing in the new Skype was the video conference. But then I found out that it’s only free for a 7 day period, and after that you have to pay for it. So it was a fine moment when I deleted the new version and installed the old one on my Macbook.
What do you think of the new Skype? What OS do you use?