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Skype 5.6.0.143

Offering a number of welcome improvements, the Microsoft-owned Skype video and audio telephony client has been updated to version 5.6.0.143 for Mac OS X. At the top of the list is the addition of automatic software updates, which should both alleviate the need to check for updates manually and fix the less-than-reliable Check for Updates menu item. The release also adds a “dynamic mode” to the group calling user interface, which moves the currently talking participant to the top of the screen. This should play nicely with another addition — support for full screen mode in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The update also enables you to delete messages from a conversation as well as your history, plus disable automatic adjustment of the microphone setting to help reduce background noise. While these additions should make for a more-pleasant Skype experience, The Verge points out that the Mac release still lags behind Skype 5.8 for Windows in some features, including push-to-talk shortcuts and 1080p video calls. If Skype’s auto-update feature doesn’t see the new release (which, again, should be fixed by this update), you can download it from the company’s blog. (Free, 22.7 MB)

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