This morning, Skype announce a new version of its audio and text based chat client for the Mac. The Mac version has lagged behind its Windows based brother for some time. This new release is the first with two way video support. The update is also Universal Binary, so it is optimized for new Intel based Mac systems.
This new version of Skype is considered a preview release because it has not completely stable, nor is it ready for mass consumption. Instead, it has been released in its beta form to allow early adopters a chance to test the software ahead of time. Skype is very clean is its recommendation that users not install this version on production system as it is still a pre-release version.
Several weeks ago, a very earlier version of the Skype beta was released on pirate sites. Some of the users who installed it paid a price for their ill-gotten acquisition of the software. It seems there were some serious problems with the software and those issues resulted in the corruption of Skype users preferences and some accounts.
That being said, the software that was circulated some time back was never considered ready for consumer use and was actually leaked to the public before the developers ever intended. Today’s release of the Skype update carries a warning for early adopters, but it is legitimate. It is actually a sanctioned public beta release that has been approved by the Skype developers.
Any users who are not put off my the standard beta warnings can head over to this link at Skype.com and grab the first public beta that supports video based chat. It includes support for Apple’s iSight camera as well as others, and requires a 800MHz G4 or better.