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Mac Essentials: Skype

Skype
Skype

Skype offers free VoIP calls between Skype users. All you need to do is to download Skype to your Mac or iDevice, and a registration for a Skype account on their website.

The best thing about Skype is that it is available on all desktop platforms and almost all mobile platforms. Therefore there is a great possibility that your family and friends are likely to have a Skype account already that you would be able to call for free.

While you can make both audio and video calls from Skype the quality of both the calls is at par with the best in the industry. In terms of voice quality and video image it beats most of the competitor hands down. With its multi-user conference facility, it is also possible to conference audio and video with multiple people at the same time.

The interface is very clean, simple and intuitive to use. It doesn’t matter what IM/VOIP you’ve been using for a while but it does not take time to get used to the user interface of Skype. The IM(chat) client is simple and allows you to set user status that is visible for others. It also allows file and desktop sharing.

Skype to Skype calls are free, but the company also offers a variety of paid add-ons like real phone number and cheap calls to landlines and mobiles. Through the paid telephony service you can make free calls to phones of a particular country or call any phone across the globe at pre-defined rates. It is also possible to own a number in particular country through Skype so that people from that country can make a call to you at local rates.

Skype syncs with your address book on you Mac. This makes it easy for you to call people in your address book directly through Skype. You can either choose to call them on their Skype-id or on their landlines/mobile phones.

Skype
Skype

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Mac Essentials: DropBox

DropBox
DropBox

How may times do you use your USB stick to copy and move your files around? How many times do you send a copy of file to yourself so that you can pick it up on a different machine while on travel or at home/office? Now the only downside about this is that you’ll end up with multiple versions of the same file and each one residing at a different location. Imagine a situation where you have multiple computers that you work on and are constantly worried about the right version of a file to be available on the right machine.

DropBox is a tool that can be used to overcome such issues. DropBox is a cloud storage tool that resides on your Mac and seamlessly stores file on the cloud in real time. Since it is available on almost all platforms including mobile platforms, it comes in very handy for making changes in a file on the go and from different locations.

With DropBox, you can use it on as many machines as you like. You can manage files with a simple drag and drop. You can also create folders and sub folders to manage your files. You can share access to a folder with friends, family, clients, associates, vendors and more so that they need not have a copy of the file but can access the file from your folder to get the latest and most updated version of the file at anytime. Sharing of the folder can be done with others even if they do not use DropBox.

You get to use 2GB space for free when you sign up DropBox. You can pay for additional storage based on your requirement. There are various storage options available on payable basis. By the way, DropBox offers a referral scheme which can land you a cool 8GB of extra storage!

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