Skype 5.8 for Mac has just been launched featuring support for Apple’s upcoming desktop operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. The update is not chock-full of new features, but it takes into consideration some persistent suggestions from Apple users.
For one, it allows users to have a clean, minimalist interface while the contacts list is shown instead of having the main window taking up the screen space. This feature is enabled by choosing Windows, then Contact Monitor. Users may also organize Skype contacts into different groups and see whether they are online or not.
Those who are annoyed by automatic updates are also given a new capability to turn them off on the new Skype. This is useful particularly for network admins who have to contend with an overwhelming number of updates from users, as well as those who use Skype to run a help desk.
Skype furthermore enhances support for iOS video calls by having an improved ability to detect the orientation of device from which a user is calling. Users who have called from a Mac to an iOS device will be particularly delighted by this, since both types of device have different orientations. Specifically, a Mac is in landscape mode while the iPad and the iPhone can be either in landscape or portrait mode.
Lastly, users of Skype 5.8 for Mac can now share screens with groups with an upper limit of 10. For this to work, Skype requires at least one member to be a premium subscriber.
When it comes to updates, Skype for Mac is generally a little ahead Skype for Windows. For instance, Skype for Mac enabled HD video calling in August 2011, while the Windows version only had it in February 2012. Push-to-talk, also, had been available on Mac since beta version 5.0, but it had only been recently integrated with Skype for Windows.
Skype for Mac is now available for download. However, the new Apple OS which it will support is still pending for release next month.