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Skype for Windows 8 v2.6

Stay in touch with your contacts from a Windows 8 Skype app

by Bob Thornton

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 8
Requirements:

Windows 8.1 or later

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 10 March 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 57551
Developer: Skype
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/Skype
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Skype
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Skype for Windows 8
Stay in touch with your contacts from a Windows 8 Skype app

Skype has become one of the most widely used messaging tools in existence, and the move to a touch sensitive Windows 8 app is one that has gone incredibly well. If you’re using a Windows RT device the app can sit running in the background without draining the battery so you’re ready to exchange messages with your Skype, Messenger and Outlook.com contacts whenever you need.

The touch screen interface makes it very quick and easy to browse through program options and access settings. The interface is large and clear so that contacts can be easily loaded with a quick tap and you can also use and on-screen dialler to call regular phone numbers if you have Skype credit.

Typing using the onscreen keyboard is not perfect, but it still works pretty well, but this is an app that has been designed with audio and video calls in mind. A particularly great feature of the Windows 8 version of the app is the option to snap the window to the side of the screen, this enables you to get on with other work and use other apps.

But the big news here is touch screen compatibility. As well as tapping your way through your contacts and start and ending calls with a tap, you can also re-order the Skype pane and swipe down to access recent conversations.

Version 2.6 adds support for automatic syncing of picked up calls and chats when Skype is running on multiple devices.

Verdict:

For both home and office users, Skype is an incredibly valuable tool, although the Windows 8.1 version still lags some way behind the opposition.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: