The granddaddy of all VoIPs
Skype has been around for years, connecting people on different sides of the planet (and closer) via the magic of the internet. In its day, it was the VoIP to be reckoned with - easily a market leader at the top of its game. Over time, however, technology has marched on and people have found new ways to stay in touch with their nearest and dearest - has Skype managed to keep up?
Experienced internet calling for Mac
Power or bloat? That’s up to you to decide...
Skype for Mac has been around for years and has changed from being a piece of must-have software to something that’s no longer everyone’s first choice when they want to call someone online. In case you’ve managed to avoid the app until now, Skype is VoIP (voice over internet protocol or internet calling) software. It lets you make telephone and video calls to anyone else using the software and, for an extra charge, to “normal” telephone numbers too.
Visually, Skype for Mac is acceptable but not great. Even though it’s regularly updated, it is reminiscent of software from the early 2000s, with cutesy emoticons and a soft, rounded feel. It’s pretty easy to find your way around once you’ve added your contacts but make no mistake — adding these contacts in the first place is one of Skype’s greatest challenges.
The quality of calls and videos is dependent on your internet connection - if it’s good, call quality is perfect and if it’s bad, it’s a subpar experience. Many users complain of other problems with the software, independently of the internet connection. These complaints tend to be sporadic and anecdotal, but it’s worth bearing in mind. When your calls do connect correctly, you’ll be able to use some fun and unique features, like call recording, subtitles, group emoticons, and screen sharing.
Back when Skype was released, there weren’t many alternatives and certainly none that were as user-friendly and enjoyed such widespread adoption. That made it an incredibly popular app back in the day, so today, with so many alternatives to Skype and alternatives to VoIP in general, is it still as essential an app as it once was?
This may be a question that has occurred to the people at Skype too. They’ve launched lots of additional free and paid call-related services and features that you can add. As well as being able to add credit to call non-Skype numbers, you can also sign up for a Skype number that looks like a local landline. Handy for business and something that’s definitely not offered by Skype’s competitors. In certain countries, you’re also able to use Skype with Alexa, and there are a range of separate Skype apps for content creation, business, and broadcasting.
Where can you run this program?
This version is for Mac, but you can also download versions for Windows, Linux, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, tablets, Kindles, Xboxes, and even Alexa.
Is there a better alternative?
There are certainly lots of alternatives to Skype, but not specifically for Mac. If you’re specifically looking for a desktop app for Mac, Viber fits the bill. In terms of functionality, it’s much like Skype, but it offers a much cuter, younger vibe that will appeal to many.
Besieged by connection problems, buggy behavior, and even accusations of privacy concerns on Mac, it’s no wonder that many people have abandoned Skype-like apps completely, instead opting for mobile alternatives like Whatapp and Facebook to call the ones they love.
Should you download it?
Go ahead and download it if you’re in need of a standalone VoIP app for Mac with a focus on voice calls, or some Skype-specific features.
- Many users around the world
- Good support
- Interesting additional features
- Easy-to-use interface
- Overkill just to make voice calls
- Sign-up procedure painful
- Frequent connection issues
- Occasional bugginess