Looking For Skype and Mac Integration Hints

Well my Mac experiment is going extremely well.  I’m not sure I remember how to use a Windows PC, nor am I sure why I’d want to. I’m using a Mac that is at least a year old (2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM) so I’m not even tuned to the max but I’m absolutely loving the overall experience.  As so many people have told me, “shit just works.”  And so far, whenever I’ve had a problem, I’ve been able to quickly find the answer with a Google search (e.g. “three pane mail view in Mac Mail” – two choices: WideMail or LetterBox).

As I’m starting to go well beyond the things I did with my Windows PC, I’m starting to bump into some issues.  I’m using Skype constantly for video and audio calls, including regular phone calls.  It’s way better than my iPhone (oh – the irony) and given how solid the audio / video on the Mac is I feel like I can just use it whenever I’m in front of my laptop.

But – there are a few things I’m struggling to figure out.  I’ll lay them out here for y’all in case anyone has suggestions.  I’m also interested in any Skype-related Mac happiness people have found – please leave hints in the comments.

Issue 1: I’m still using Exchange for my mail, address, and calendar store.  Mac Mail, iCal, and Mac Address Book are working great – no issues at all other than sending large attachments through the Exchange server (which is a well documented issue.)  But for some reason I can’t figure out how to get Skype to include all my Address Book contacts.  I only seems to integrate with the contacts listed in the “On My Mac” folder, which is empty since I have all my contacts stored on the Exchange server.  Any clue how to get Skype on the Mac to read the Exchange contacts?

Issue 2: I can’t find a Safari plugin for Skype.  I’ve got a Firefox one – where any phone number gets highlighted.  But I’d like one for Safari also.

Oh – and if you want to reach me via Skype, it’s just bradfeld.

  • Elia Freedman

    Plug-ins for Safari were just announced at WWDC last month so don’t think they are really publicly available yet.

  • Brad, I just drag and drop phone numbers on the Skype icon on my Mac's doc. It opens up Skype and dials the number.

    • Wow! I also figured out that you can set your preferences to fix the problem I was having with the "1". I will now be dragging and dropping thanks to Andrew.

  • Hi Brad,

    I'm using the Skype iphone app quite a bit because my house in Boulder is in a dead zone. Pros: more mobility than sitting by computer. Cons: will dump you if you get an incoming iphone call, but the new app with multitasking should be out really soon. Hoping it will fix that (am also moving which is a sure fix).

    As for syncing, when I set up Skype on my computer there was an option to import contacts from the Mac address book program. In my desktop Skype application, there is a contacts menu with an import option and then various address books to choose from with checkboxes next to them. Is that where you are when it is breaking down for you and none of your options there work?

    It worked fine for me except that many of my saved phone numbers, once imported, didn't have a "1" in front of them for dialing. I needed to edit them to add the "1" and after that they worked. These contacts from my computer then all magically appeared on my Skype iphone app, so Skype seems to have that syncing working well.

  • David

    go to preferences, general tab and select "show address book contacts"

    • Mark

      Brad, you didn't say if you also had Address Book syncing to Exchange. If so, then David's comments will work. If not, then either set up Address Book as a client for Exchange or have Entourage sync addresses with Address Book…but be careful if you do the latter so you don't obliterate one data store with the other unintentionally…

  • Maybe checkout Zimbra Desktop (as an alternative to Outlook) as a way to bring Exchange/IMAP/POP/Gmail/Y! mail and Skype together?

  • You can also dial a contact direct from the address book by clicking on the label (e.g. ‘Home’) next to the number. Hope that helps!

  • Garrett

    Brad, since you are using Mac Mail, have you found any add-ins where you can easily change the subject line of a message?

  • Hey Brad, Chrome has a great google voice plugin that you can dial from. You do have to setup an online Skype number so your google voice account can forward to. Working on updating this post, but there's some good info in it: http://mostlikelee.squarespace.com/blog/2010/6/6/