Buzzard's Recent Posts
Download link doesn't work any more, and I have been unable to find an alternate one.
From the "What's New" notes: "We hear your feedback!" Skype hears users' feedback? Take one look at the GUI which remains as bloated as ever and has been almost universally condemned by media reviews as well as users. So exactly which feedback does Skype hear? Please join those of us who are forced to endure Skype as corporate policy, and pray that v. 2.8 continues to work.
Current version is broken in OSX 108 Mountain Lion
Unfortunately, this version does not work with Mountain Lion. The app runs, but does not get rid of the fake leather. And yes, unfortunately Mountain Lion has retained fake leather for both Calendar and Contacts, at least in the current beta.
I've been waiting patiently, using V 2.8, hoping that Skype would do something about that hideous new interface. But what did they do? Keep that same space wasting nightmare of a GUI and then add adverts to it just to make it even more annoying and difficult. That's it for me. There are plenty of alternatives out there now and Skype has become hopeless.
LionBleacher does exactly what it says, and it does it with just a couple of clicks and maybe ten seconds of your time. I had already "fixed" iCal on another of my machines manually before I discovered this application, but LionBleacher is a real time-saver. Many thanks Matthias! Just by way of comment, I was really surprised when I first saw the new skin design of iCal and Address Book. I think I am not alone in saying that the new faux-leather and torn paper concept really is gimmicky and tacky. Further, while they look just like what is on your iPad, they do not look anything like the standard design elements of OSX. I know this may seem blasphemous, but they really look more like part of a tinker toy Windows style interface. Where are Apple going with their sense of design aesthetics?
Following nearly 100% negative reviews of the GUI ever since the early betas, I was holding out some hope that Skype might elect to listen to their user base and take some corrective action. I've been holding out on V2.8 and was hoping, really hoping that Skype would listen and do something about this monstrosity that passes for a user interface. But alas, no such luck. Skype 5.2 is permanently in the bin for me, and judging from Skype's apparently policy to ignore their users' wishes, it will remain there. I may or may not be speaking for most of us, but I am really hoping that 2.8 continues to work.
I've just noticed that a poll has been started in the Skype OSX users forum entitled "Do you like Skype 5.0?". The vote so far is rather telling. Currently, it's 139 'no' and 3 'yes'. Here is the link if you would like to cast your vote: http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=762503
Sorry, posted the wrong URL for the Skype poll. It should be: http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=783089
I'm truly dumbfounded that after the universal negative criticism of the interface during beta testing, and the universal negative criticism of v5, Skype made no improvements to it and releases a v5.1. And the best solution they can come up with is to announce a contest for redesigning the chat window? Are they now admitting that they have no designers capable of coming up with a reasonable GUI? Do the Skype designers even read reviews of their product? The entire GUI needs a complete overhaul, not just an attempt at making a new chat window alone. I'd be very happy if they simply reverted to V2.8 and added new features to that. Sadly, it looks like we are in for a very long wait to see any significant improvement to the interface. I have never seen such an incompetent group of designers for a major product who apparently pay zero attention to reviews from their customer base. Our organisation is standardised on Skype for both Skype-Skype and IDD calls, using a Mac OSX standard. Sadly, it's not easy to completely transition to something other than Skype at this point, but following yesterday's release of 5.1, I received an email today from our IT guys asking us for suggestions on alternatives to Skype. We were asked to wait out v5 and see if Skype would listen to the comments regarding the GUI and make some changes, but obviously that hasn't happened. I would suggest that maybe our origanisation is not the only group looking at alternatives now. As a final note, have a look at Skype's announcement of their chat window contest: "When we first launched our new Mac app, we were delighted to see so many custom styles emerge from the design community, so we thought we’d make it official. Between now and the 14th April, we’re inviting you to design your own chat style for Skype for Mac" Why do they think the custom styles are emerging? Hint: it's because users find Skype's default interface so unusable that users are trying to fix it themselves!
Why did I and hundreds of others even bother to participate in the beta and send constructive comments to Skype regarding the UI? Without repeating the pages of nearly universal criticism of the UI in the pages of comments here, I'll just add one more descriptor: abomination. The Skype beta was perhaps the only beta that I have trashed within an hour of installing, and it looks like the final version here took absolutely no cues from all the users who took the time to try the beta and also to provide comments back to Skype. I actually did download this final release, and of course the UI is still the same. Added to that, it crashed on my Macbook Air twice in succession when trying out video. There is at least one positive note here: V 2.8 can still be downloaded. Do yourself a favour: if you have 2.8 keep it. If you haven't already installed V 5 and you still want to use Skype following this atrocity exhibition, download it.
If you read the last several pages of negative opinions regarding this version, you will see many specific comments regarding the UI, which is the chief failing of this version. Better yet, if you want a picture that's worth a 500 word review, download it and see for yourself. Try using it with a Macbook Air display. While I realise that not everyone might agree with what constitutes a good UI design, the overwhelming majority here do not like it and most will not use it. These same comments were made by many of us who took the time to try the beta and even provide our comments to the Skype developers. The result of all our collective time in providing constructive and specific commentary to Skype? Nothing. There are also many reports here of this version crashing. Is there really any need to get more specific than reporting that an application frequently or consistently crashes? Maybe it doesn't crash for everyone, so give it a try.