Skype 5 for Mac Exits Beta, Group Video Calling Now Premium Feature


Skype today announced that Skype 5 has gone gold, exiting the beta stage that began last November. The company has made a number of tweaks to the application based on user feedback from the beta period, primarily working to reduce the size of the application's window as it attempts to find the optimum layout for the new single-window interface.

We've reduced the minimum window size, so that those of you who prefer to keep Skype to one side of your screen, for example, can do that more easily. We've also tightened up the contact list, so that you can see 30% more contacts at once. We've reduced the amount of whitespace in the sidebar too.

In addition, we've tweaked the way instant messages are displayed to reduce the amount of whitespace, allowing you to see more of your conversations without scrolling.

Other changes include the return of full-screen mode for video calls and easier access to chatting functions during calls.

But probably the most significant change is the shift of group video calling to Skype's premium package, priced at $4.99 per day or $8.99 per month. The feature had been free during the beta testing period, although the company had signaled its intentions to charge for it once it officially launched.

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