One of the few apps so ubiquitous that its name has become a verb, Skype has been around since 2003, dominating the video call and messaging space globally (being available in 108 languages) for the majority of that time.
Originally developed in Estonia by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Skype was purchased by eBay in 2005, and then again by Microsoft in 2011 for a whooping $8.5 billion.
Although Skype accumulated more than 600 million users by the end of 2010, it started slowly losing its appeal to a number of alternative messengers, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, and Signal, all of which were mobile-centric right from the start and offered texting as well as video and audio calls.
However, in 2017, Microsoft released a completely new version of Skype, reworked from the ground up to be run on Microsoft Azure infrastructure and redesigned with the latest trends of messaging in mind. In August 2018, Skype also added full end-to-end encryption to better meet privacy concerns of its users worldwide.
By now you might be wondering if Skype app for Mac is available and what’s the best way to download Skype for Mac. Simply follow this step-by-step guide to find out.
How To Use Skype On Mac Effectively
To begin, since Microsoft acquired Skype, they’ve created a few different Skype applications for Mac that cover interviews, video streams, classrooms, and most importantly Skype for Business.
While the regular version of Skype for Mac supports up to 50 participants at once, the business one can handle up to 250 and gives you additional features, such as joining through a URL, muting control, presenter selector, head-tracking video, and PowerPoint integration.
You can download Skype for Business Mac version and the basic Skype for Mac on the official Microsoft website. One caveat though is that you have to have an active MS Office 365 subscription to run the business edition, whereas the default one is free.
To get Skype on Mac:
- Visit skype.com
- Navigate to the Downloads tab for the regular Skype or Products > Skype for Business for the business one
- Click on Get Skype for Mac
- Double-click on the Skype download for Mac .dmg file
- Proceed through the installation process
Using Skype is as easy as any other messenger. All contact information is based around your username, so if you give it to someone they will be able to find you and add you to the list via search. Below the search field, you have Chats, Calls, and Contacts tabs. Going into any of them would switch the plus button below for creating a new chat, call, or adding a contact respectively.
Besides the basic functionality, all Skype chats support file attachments, money transfers, location sharing, call scheduling, and poll creation. There are also dozens of third-party bots and plugins that expand Skype capabilities even further.
The easiest way to join Skype meetings
Whether Skype is your one and only, or one of many video conferencing tools you use, there’s a way to make it work better and faster. Instead of scheduling meetings in your calendar app and then opening Skype, you can have a tool that does it all for you.
Meeter is an ultimate meeting app for Mac that you totally need. It collects the information about your upcoming meetings and brings it all into the menu bar. What’s more, Meeter sends you meeting notifications with clickable links so that you can join in a click. No need to remember when your next meeting begins. In fact, there’s no need to even open Skype before it begins — Meeter will take you right in.
How to deliver impressive presentations via Skype
Skype has a free screen sharing feature, which allows you to run online demos and presentations with ease. Simply hit the screen share button to start presenting during a Skype call, and hit it once again to stop sharing. It’s that easy. What’s not so easy is having your colleagues’ full attention while you’re presenting. Here are two apps that will help you with that:
PliimPRO gives you a custom presentation mode that you can use in combination with Skype’s screen sharing feature. The app hides notifications, desktop icons, and active apps in one click. So once you start presenting, nothing can distract your audience. It also has handy toggles for muting your mic and changing desktop wallpapers.
Vidrio adds a bit of fun to the whole process. It’s the first app that makes screen sharing on Mac holographic — like in the Tony Stark movie. Vidrio places webcam behind your Mac’s screen, creating a mirror effect. This way, a presenter is always visible in full-screen mode. Not much different from being in the same room. Give it a try! If anything, it’s super fun.