Users of Skype, the ever-popular video conferencing service, will be happy to hear that the Mac client has received a new update, enhancing support for more recent Macs. Skype 5.3 brings support for high definition video conferencing to the platform, allowing users with a built-in HD FaceTime camera to make video calls in markedly improved quality. Customers can also use their own external HD cameras, and Skype lists several recommended cameras in its online store. Skype recommend an upload/download speed of 1.5Mbps for HD video.
The other major feature is Mac OS X Lion support. While this isn't expanded on in the official company literature, at face value this appears to extend as far as a new default grid layout of contacts. Full screen support is absent, and while not an issue for most users, Skype is yet to make its debut on the Mac App Store. Offering the client in the store would likely entice Mac newcomers with an easy installation option, but Skype is not the only major software company to not have included their product in the store.
With this being a minor update, there is little in the way of major changes. Skype 5 has received criticism for its new interface and lagging behind on features that its Windows counterpart has enjoyed for a long time now, most notable Facebook integration. However, more recently Skype has displayed a commitment to Apple's platforms, and recently introduced an iPad-native app that takes advantage of the iPad 2's new dual cameras. Whether or not this is a sign of things to come is uncertain, but the release of an update a month after another update is sure to be a sign of interest in the Mac platform.
Skype for Mac 5.3 can be found here.
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