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Skype is one of those programs that is used by almost everyone in one way or another. Whether you have it open all day, or just fire it up to chat with family when you’re away on holiday, most Mac users will have encountered it at some point.
Last week, Skype announced the release of a new Beta for Mac users – Skype 5.0. This new version takes a radical departure from the old Skype interface, in an effort to adopt a “one window” approach and make using the app much simpler.
Although I really like the thinking behind this new version – tighter OS X integration, and a simpler interface – I was really disappointed with a few aspects of the design. Most notably the spacing between elements, which quickly becomes a complete nightmare if you have a long list of contacts.
At the very least, I’d have expected an option to scale down the font size, or switch to a more compact view. At present, it feels like the “one window” approach uses up twice as much desktop space, while only showing half the information I’m used to.
If you haven’t tried it yet, download the beta and let us know what you think! Do you agree with me, or are you impressed with the new, roomier interface?
Simply put, this will be a way to stream content between all your different Apple devices. At the outset, you’ll be able to stream music from iTunes to AirPlay enabled devices (as you could previously with the previous iteration, “AirTunes”), and also wirelessly stream video and audio from your iOS device to a new Apple TV.
This new wireless video streaming is something I’m really looking forward to. I often have a video on my iPad that I’d love to watch on a larger screen – or vice versa – I’d like to stream a video from iTunes on my Mac down to my iPad to watch on the couch.
It isn’t really clear what will be possible with AirPlay just yet. Whether it will allow video streaming to/from your Mac seems to be an unknown factor. I really hope that this will be possible, but I guess we’ll find out soon!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’ll be using AirPlay. Is it something you’re really looking forward to, or are you a little bit indifferent about the whole thing? Let us know using the poll above, and feel free to voice your opinion in the comments!
The announcement of the Mac App Store was something of a semi-surprise. We all considered it a future possibility, but there was a significant amount of doubt over whether Apple would actually flip the switch and implement the idea. As it turns out, in less than 90 days, we’ll have the Mac App Store sitting on our desktop!
For the majority of Mac users, this will be a great addition. It takes away the headache of a complicated installation process, removes the need to understand what a .DMG is, and gives them an easy way to find software they may not have otherwise.
Many people, myself included, take solace in the fact that this is “just one way” to install software on our Mac. We’re not tied to only installing software that has passed Apple’s approval process, and are free to tinker to our heart’s content. This isn’t a closed eco-system.
But will this always be the case? Today I’d like to ask what you think Apple’s future intention is with the Mac App Store. Will it always be “just one way” to install software, or will it one day be the only way to install new apps on your Mac? And would this be a good or bad thing?
Have your say in the comments!