Skype 5.5 strengthens links with Facebook, boosts video performance

July 29, 2011 – 05:58 by in News Print Share No Comment

Skype has announced the release of Skype for Windows 5.5. Its headline feature is deeper integration with Facebook. Once installed, you’ll be able to see which Facebook friends are online and chat directly from Skype itself, plus update your Skype Mood and Facebook status together. You can also view, comment and “like” Facebook status messages too.

Skype 5.5 also promises improved video call reliability, new and updated emoticons and a raft of other minor improvements, interface tweaks and bug fixes.

Video performance has been improved via a series of changes designed to reduce the load on your graphics device, which has benefits for those with older cards or chipsets. Skype has also rejigged the emoticons available during text-based chats, adding a number of new ones that include (facepalm), (highfive), (fingerscrossed) and (waiting).

Among various design changes are a stripped down call control interface, with less buttons onscreen when making a call – additional controls such as screen sharing or file sending are now hidden behind a + button.

In addition to these new features and minor changes, Skype for Windows 5.5 also features a number of numerous bug fixes, although it has been released with a number of issues. If switching network connections at any time, your Facebook connection may be lost – Skype suggests either restarting the application or changing your status to offline and then online again.

You may also be unable to make yourself invisible in Facebook when setting your Skype status to Invisible – no workaround is currently available for this problem, while Skype 5.5 may also prevent your computer from going to sleep while it’s running. The only suggestion here is to quit the application before leaving your computer.

For those who installed MP3 Skype Recorder following yesterday’s tip, the good news is that while Skype 5.5 removes the Extras Manager, MP3 Skype Recorder will continue to function even after this has been removed. It appears that MP3 Skype Recorder only requires the Extras Manager to be present when first installed.

Skype for Windows 5.5 is available now as a freeware download for PCs running Windows XP or later. Separate versions of Skype are also available for Linux, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android.

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