If you are a fan of Skype and a fan of Apple, then today is your lucky day, as Skype 2.8 for Mac has finally launched, offering a bunch of handy new features.

The software update has been cannily released to tie-in with the Macworld Expo in San Fran this week and includes a number of new features such as a basic form of screen sharing in which the user's screen is turned into a virtual webcam.

You have to be working on a Mac to be a source for this screen, but you can view the video at the other end of the Skype call on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Make Skype friends easier

What else is new in Skype 2.8? Skype Access provides Wi-Fi access for your MacBook or MacBook Pro via Boingo access points (with over 100,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide), plus it is now far easier to add contacts. Not that it was ever really that difficult in the first place, mind!

Other features in the Skype for Mac 2.8 beta include:

  • Skype for Mac 2.8 continues the use of a "drawer" attached to a Skype chat window; from the list of active chat sessions shown in the drawer you can select which session you want to view. But now there are three levels of prioritisation available for those chat sessions. In addition, chats can be sorted by name or date/time.
  • The process for adding contacts to a chat session now simply involves clicking the 'Add a Contact' button and entering the added contact's name.
  • Your Contacts' Mood Messages can be tracked via a 'Mood Message' chat session. While this can currently only be initiated on Skype for Mac 2.8, your mood message chat session will show up as a chat session on, say, a Windows client logged into the same account. Neat for keeping up-to-date on mood message changes, especially when a mood message provides location or reference URL information; it provides a Twitter-like experience.
  • Add notes to contacts: when you go into a Contact's profile there is a separate tab for entering personal notes about that contact.