Skype Makes Group Video Calling Free for Mac, PC, and Xbox One Users

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Skype today announced that it is making its group video calling feature free for select users. The feature was introduced in 2010 and was made available to Premium users on a Windows desktop, Mac and the Xbox One. Now, group video calling will be accessible for free to anyone on those platforms, with support for additional devices coming at a later date.
    Group video calling debuted on the Mac platform with Skype 5 in early 2011. Much like Google Hangouts, Skype video calling allows customers to hold a video conference with a group of other Skype users who can talk using the webcams on their devices. The feature was available for free in the beta version of Skype 5 and required a Premium subscription when it officially debuted in the shipping version.

    You can download Skype for Mac from Skype's website. It is available for free and requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard and above, a webcam for video calling and a microphone.

    Article Link: Skype Makes Group Video Calling Free for Mac, PC, and Xbox One Users
  2. Guest


    Jan 22, 2014
    Earth's Core
    Totally happy with facetime. I switched to facetime after microsoft bought skype.
    :rolleyes: :apple:
  3. macrumors regular


    Nov 21, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    The problem is, FaceTime still doesn't allow group video calling. Moreover, unlike Skype, FaceTime is not available across various platforms.

    However, I was never satisfied with the call quality on Skype. Google Hangouts FTW!
  4. macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2013
    I will stick to Facetime. Nice. Simple. No need to download 3rd party software :)
  5. macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    Too little, too late. FaceTime works great for one-offs from my phone, and Hangouts works extremely well from an iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows.....whatever. My group routinely runs Hangouts all day long when we work from home due to office closures. It's amazing.

    The last time I had to use Skype (few months ago) it was far more choppy and lower quality than either of Apple's or Google's solutions.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    What I would really like ...

    is that FaceTime becomes available multiplatform and with group video calling.
  7. macrumors 603

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    So you only video chat with one person at a time, and only if they have an Apple device?
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2007
    I was happy with FaceTime until it stopped working on my iPhone 4. Now I have to Skype.
  9. macrumors regular


    Dec 12, 2009
    The problem for me, with Google Hangout, is that it can't handle the most trivial thing properly - voice calls.

    Sure, video is nice, but not what you are looking for always, and at this, Skype really leaves Hangouts in the dark.
  10. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    About time - Google Hangouts has had this for months if not years.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2009
    I would be happy if they could just fix the iPhone app.

    I had gotten used to not getting notifications for group chats, but with the last update I don't notifications at all until about 30 minutes after the message was sent to me. And to other users I keep going offline and online. Pretty lame :/
  12. macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2010
    Its because prior to being bought by Microsoft it had a different business model. Microsoft & Google ( Google+ Hangouts ) VOIP/Video was not their primary money maker. Prior to that its owners had to figure a way out how to make money off of Skype and Group video chat was one of them.
  13. macrumors member

    May 12, 2009

    I don't know about you guys, but I got friends on multiple platforms. Having free group calling is wonderful.
  14. macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Not that it's exactly on topic... but I wish Facetime and iMessage was available cross platform. I'd love to be able to iMessage my Android toting friends... or have iMessage on my work Windows computer so I don't have to constantly have to pull my phone out to message people back while I'm at work.
  15. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Glad you don't need group chat. Or have any friends that don't own an Apple device.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2008
    They are working on integrating Google Voice in to hangouts this should make it a nice all around app.
  17. macrumors 603

    Sep 19, 2003
    Yeah, notifications have been very spotty for
    me for a while. Also I've has this annoying bug forever where if I go to text chat while doing video, the video will become inverted. Super annoying.
  18. macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    I use hangouts, never had any issues so far, pretty smooth video calling even in China where streaming from Spotify didn't work.

    Also handy is possibility to video call on the computer without a program, only using the browser. And cross platform of course.

    I like the facetime interface as well, but not owning any iOS devices and many of my friends have android devices, the limitation is really too great.
  19. macrumors 601


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    This is good news. This makes up for the lost iChat group video that FaceTime replaced. Looks like Apple will never add that feature back.
  20. Cuban Missles, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

    Dec 6, 2012
    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    Actually, my answer is yes. I am probably in the minority, but with less than 5% of my contacts using something other than idevices, this is not an issue for me. And because I use this for personal use, I never speak to multiple people at the same time. I could totally see group chat as being useful and it really would be awesome if it worked across other devices. It just so happen that neither is an issue for me and I therefore use Apples solution exclusively. Also, as others have commented, the apple solution really works better, so unless I need one of those other features, there is no reason to use anything else.
  21. macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY
    This is awesome! Dont know how they make money off this though.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    Still horrible and unusable UI compared to Skype 2.8.. I’ll refuse to update until it is still working
  23. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    It probably helps sell Windows Phones, and Xboxs, or at least that's the hope. If I'm between the Xbox One and PS4, this might push me to the One. (Although I have no idea why anyone would ever buy the One. Personally, I'm a Nintendo person and wouldn't ever buy a console that lacked Nintendo titles, but going by the available specs, games, and prices, there's no competition: PS4 beats Xbox One in every way imaginable).
  24. macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2014
    You get premium free if you have an Xbox One.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY

    I'm a Nintendo person too. Microsoft or don't won't be getting my money anytime soon.
    I know there are ads in skype, but I would imagine that hardly pays for the cost to run it.

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