Skype pops up on Mac

Beta release of scrummy new features

Skype will be launching a new client tomorrow just for Mac users, which provides screen sharing, bigger avatars and Wi-Fi hotspot access to the ubiquitous VoIP service.

Skype Beta 2.8 for Mac goes into Beta release tomorrow, according to Disruptive Telephony, and offers a range of new features that take the product well beyond VoIP. These include a per-minute Wi-Fi access through Boingo - connections to be charged at around 20 cents a minute - and screen sharing so the person with whom you're communicating can see what's on your screen.

Per-minute Wi-Fi access will appeal to a certain demographic, and having the access billed to one's Skype account is certainly convenient, but screen sharing is probably the most interesting feature. Not only can all, or part, of the screen be shared over a Skype connection but the feature is compatible with previous versions of Skype - a trick it achieves by replacing the optional video stream with whatever is being shared.

The release also adds "moods" which provides Twitter-like updates, which can be linked to your iTunes player if you want everyone to know you're listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack again. ®

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