Skype 2.7 is now available in public beta form. The new version of the Voice over IP (VoIP)-based chat software is free to download and use (though some premium features cost extra).
Skype lets users chat and text message each other for free; the software runs on multiple platforms including Mac OS X. Users can pay an additional fee to enable Skype calls to landlines and cell phones, or for incoming use as a replacement for a phone line.
New to the 2.7 beta release is the ability to organize contacts into groups; integration with Address Book contacts; you can now manage and create public chats by clicking on Chats in the menu bar; auto-redial for busy or unconnected calls; easy sound-level controls; and an overhauled file transfer engine.
Skype requires Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later. For more general information visit the Skype Web site.
This story, "Skype adds group contacts, Address Book integration" was originally published by PCWorld.