Skype 2.8 for Mac Adds Screen Sharing, WiFi Access and More

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While we’re on the way to CES, there is another show going on of course. I’m talking about MacWorld and there’s some mobile news from Skype that hit last night. The new Skype 2.8 client for Mac users adds several new features; some are minor in my book, but there’s a few that are well worth the mention.

For starters, Skype added screen sharing in the client, which you can see in the above video from the Emerging Tech Talk video podcast. I find this interesting since it competes head on with Apple’s own iChat, which also supports remote desktop sharing and control. James and I have fiddled with that feature in iChat, but it was hit or miss for us in terms of success. We’ll definitely give this new feature a look as it could be very handy for collaboration.

The other big feature jumping out at me distantly ties in to the Boingo Wireless announcement we mentioned yesterday. Boingo now offers a WiFi client and plan for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Skype is leveraging Boingo by adding WiFi access to the 2.8 client. That means you can use Skype over WiFi at a Boingo hotspot, even if you don’t have a paid Boingo account. Don’t get too excited as you will be paying… only the funds go to Skype through  your Skype Credit. It’s not cheap either at around $0.20 a minute, but the price of convenience usually isn’t low.

At the time of this writing, Skype is still showing version 2.7 of their client for Mac, so you’ll want to check out their download page later if these features sound good.

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