Skype Vs I Chat For Smog


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Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Podcast hosted at demonstrated the capabilities in iChat AV vs. Skype for text, audio and video conferencing along with screensharing at the April 10th, 2010 meeting of Southern California Macintosh Owners | Users Group

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Skype Vs I Chat For Smog

  1. 1. Allison Sheridan <ul><li>NosillaCast Podcast hosted at </li></ul><ul><li>A Technology Geek Podcast </li></ul><ul><li>with an EVER so slight Macintosh Bias </li></ul>
  2. 2. iChat vs. Skype <ul><li>The Smackdown </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>You’d like to connect with friends and chat but you’re beginning to hate the telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Your dad is in another city and you provide tech support for him </li></ul><ul><li>Your daughter is in Italy going to school and you wish you could see her smiling face to be sure she’s ok </li></ul><ul><li>You’re a sophisticated chat user and you’d like to be able to record your conversations </li></ul>What Problems are We Trying to Solve?
  4. 4. The Challenge <ul><li>Price </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of use & Features </li></ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul>
  5. 5. Price <ul><li>iChat = Free </li></ul><ul><li>Skype = Free </li></ul><ul><li>Score : Tie at 5 to 5 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ease of Use Setup Setup <ul><li>iChat uses AIM protocol - most common in the US so most people have AIM accounts already </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also lets you chat with Facebook, ICQ, and MobileMe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comes on all Macs preinstalled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Features limited if talking to PC’ers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype is it’s own protocol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Might have to convince people to download it to talk to you (but it’s easy to install/configure) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross platform - all features work Mac to PC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 5, Skype = 4 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ease of Use Video Chat Video Chat <ul><li>iChat you connect by clicking on the little video icon (even works if they’re on AIM) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But to find Audio chat you have to right click or go to Buddy, Invite to... or Screensharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This seems trivial but I have to teach my father-in-law EVERY time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype gives you 3+ buttons when you open a chat window - easy peasy </li></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 5, Skype = 5 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call (voice), Video, or Screensharing (plus More) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Ease of Use Screensharing Screensharing <ul><li>iChat is hinky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can request to share someone’s screen or offer to share yours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t always work, have to try flipping who invites who </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only shares entire screen - which is awful if you have two screens and the receiver only has one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can control the other person’s screen so very good for tech support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype is easy peasy and always works </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One click to share your screen - asks to share full or just share selection (and you can resize shared area on the fly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t control the other person’s screen so not as good for tech support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 3, Skype = 5 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Features Recording Recording <ul><li>iChat - Built in audio/video recording </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Records video as shown on screen, asks permission, audio is one AAC file </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype - Call Recorder from for $20 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Side by side video, audio can be split so you can process tracks separately </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 4, Skype = 3 </li></ul><ul><li>You might also want to check out one of these two great audio recording programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WireTap Studio ($69 from ) or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio Hijack Pro ($32 from ) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Other Features <ul><li>iChat - Share files and photos with iChat Theater </li></ul><ul><li>“ Skype Out” allows you to call land line phones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited US & Canada for $36/year (or 2.1¢/min) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited One Country = $72/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of other pricing options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype for iPhone & iPad </li></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 3, Skype = 5 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Quality <ul><li>In my tests Skype has better compression for video chat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested iChat vs. Skype to Italy & Skype was a pretty clear winner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Might sacrifice quality for 3 way video chat capability in iChat </li></ul><ul><li>Score : iChat = 3, Skype = 4 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Final Score in Our Smackdown <ul><li>iChat = 4.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Skype = 4.4 </li></ul><ul><li>Skype wins on ease of use and quality, and for the cost of $20 you get full featured recording </li></ul><ul><li>iChat was hurt by the unreliability of screensharing </li></ul><ul><li>The good news? You can’t go wrong with either one </li></ul>