Skype has just released Skype 2.5 Beta for Mac that has features such as outbound SMS text messages and 10-way conference calling. The new software is more in sync with the UI. It has one cool feature, that I personally like. It shows the total amount of money left in your account, either SkypeIn and SkypeOut, which is pretty nifty way of letting me know how much money is left in my account. (I did not upgrade from 1.5 for so long, that perhaps this seems new to me, and it might not be. Still it is pretty handy.)
The new beta allows you to click on a person’s name and it displays their information in addition to giving you ability to chat or call them right from the main window. In previous versions, a sidebar would open and display this information. In a hat tip to newbies, the new client has a little icon with the message: call ordinary phones. Click on that, and a dial pad opens allowing you to call anyone.
In addition, the company had added ability to choose which audio device they want to use during incoming and outbound calling. If you prefer to listen to calls you receive through headphones but make a call using a speakerphone, it’s now possible in the latest version of Skype. Of course you could already do this with Sound Source software from Rogue Amoeba Software.
In addition, the company announced a deal with FON and SMC. SMC will sell a Skype enabled WiFi for for 139 Euros, and buyers will get a La Fonera router from FON and 500 SkypeOut minutes.
Update: We checked back with FON and got this response: SMC Skype phones that are Fon-enabled use a firmware that auto-authenticates to FON APs when in range. In this implementation there is no need of micro browser, we use a simplified version of protocol WISPr so the devices use the FON username and password stored into the device and login to the first FON AP available. Those phones also have an extra menu on the UI for the user to manage their FON username and password.