Skype debuts 4.0 beta
Don’t get me wrong, I love the resizable video in HD, I love the multiple seperate chats all handled within the same screen, I love the orange dots to show who has updated a chat message. For those that want to undock chats into seperate windows there’s a not-very-obvious button in the top right to do so.
The thing I really hate about Skype V4.0 though, is the size of the screen. I used to run Skype at the side of my other application windows. If I was waiting for one particular person to come online I could keep half an eye on Skype. Not any more though, Skype 4 V.0’s window is just too large – why they haven’t made it so that you can minimise the right hand side when you have no open chats/calls is bizarrre.
To be fair though this is the first public beta and Skype have already committed to listen to feedback over the next few months. So please guys – make the window resizable. I love the functionality of Skype – just hate the lack of functionality of the new user interface.
There’s also some more good news, the new install fixed the broken state of the Skype Firefox add on from yesterday!
There are a number of very interesting points which are NOT covered in the Skype 4.0 beta announcement. The most intriguing is, are they still limiting “High Quality Video” to the three “anointed” Logitech cameras, or have they opened this up to others as well? If they have not, then you can have the best webcam money can buy, and if it isn’t one of those three, you are going to be stuck with 320×240 resolution video displayed full screen, which will not be a pretty sight. Other interesting questions: have they fixed the presence reporting problems in the current version? There’s not much more frustrating than knowing your contact is online, and not being able to call or even message them because Skype claims they are offline. Have they fixed the video freeze/missing/dropout problems? Frozen video and black screens don’t look any better full screen than they do in a tiny window. Does the 4.0 version still steal bandwidth for other users at random and without notification when it decides to promote your computer to “SuperNode” status?
good news…. when it comes out of beta it’ll be possible to have a smaller screen so I’m feeling happier 😀
“We realise that some people will prefer to have a smaller contact list only window and we will be addressing this by the time 4.0 comes out of beta. We would, however, like you to encourage you to stick with the full window for a while so we can get feedback on this new style of working with Skype (we think most people will prefer it having got used to it â€“ we certainly do).”
Anyway, Skype is a really great application which I use daily. I expressly bought the Logitech webcam to have HD video and it is truly amazing. Have never had any problems with freezing or blackouts. I refuse to install any beta applications on my machine by I honestly look forward to version 4.