Skype 2.0 with video calling
Skype 2.0 was released yesterday (January 5th). It’s a stable release, not a beta as it was until now and to be more accurate is version 220.127.116.11 according to their website.
What’s the main change? Well it’s not a surprise but one-to-one video conversations are now possible using Skype 2.0 (of course a decent internet connection is required to have a decent video conversation – just to be clear, by “decent” I mean without high delays in displaying the other person you’re chatting with).
According to their website, this is what’s changed officially in Skype 2.0:
- Our best ever call quality.
- Smile, wave or say hello to anyone, anywhere in the world with free one-to-one video conversations.
- Easily sort your contacts into groups like ‘colleagues’, ‘friends’ and ‘family’.
- Display mood messages and your local time, so people know where you are and how you’re feeling.
The download size is about 7.2Mb and you can get it from here: Skype 2.0
Just for fun I’m going to remember how many downloads they have now, January 6th, which is 229,308,402, and see how that increases this week.
If you’re installing Skype for the first time, you might take into consideration their requirements too:
- PC running Windows 2000 or XP. (The new video feature requires Windows XP.)
- Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary on a satellite connection).
- Speakers and microphone — built-in or separate.
- A webcam, if you want to make video calls.
- We also recommend that you have at least 400 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM and 15 MB free disk space on your hard drive.
That’s about it, have fun video chatting.
Well I got to play with it for a couple of days since version 2 was released. First of all the download file is about 9.52 Mb and not 7.2 MB as they wrote on the website.
Regarding their changes, I really dislike the new sounds they’ve incorporated. But the good news is that you can switch back to the Classic sound. To do that go to Tools->Options->Sounds and select for each sound type the Classic one instead of the Modern sounds.
There are some changed icons too (images are all so shiny now) but I tend to think the old ones were better. Anyway, that doesn’t bother me.
You can set mood messages in your profile now. Just click on your profile name that appears now on top of the contacts, and type in whatever you want. And others can also see what time is where you are now (you can uncheck the option to allow your contacts to see how many contacts you have though, since that’s kind of private). Also, you can set a cool picture to go with that (they have a library too):
Now, even if version 2 is now a stable release (non-beta) the video calling feature is still in beta, as you can see in the Tools->Options menu:
Even with these minor things, Skype 2 seems much more stable than the previous version and the sound quality is better (at least on my connection, which goes through a proxy server). And seems that I’m not the only one that thinks that, since their download counter now shows “only” over one million extra downloads (230,312,087 download) compared to yesterday’s counter.