Skype has released the 4.2 beta for Windows as well as a beta version of its VoIP client for Symbian smartphones. Skype 4.2 offers the ability to transfer calls when using the service, as well as pay-by-the-minute Wi-Fi.
The company said that the new call transfer feature will be particularly important to small businesses, which can transfer calls within Skype free of charge or to landlines and mobiles at a cost.
Skype Access, meanwhile, will allow users to make a quick call without paying for an hour's online access through Skype Credit at over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. Skype will automatically show a message offering users a network connection, the firm said.
The 4.2 beta also includes a number of bug fixes, and a brand new Call Quality indicator to help users get the best calling experience. Skype has improved the way the VoIP system works with a new taskbar and system tray in Windows 7.
Skype users responding to the announcement on the firm's website were less concerned with the new features than with functions which they believe the company should add.
A few agreed that Skype needs to improve how it manages spam, particularly because any Skype user can scroll through a customer directory and report anybody they want for abuse, although this is the policy adopted by many social sites.
The Skype for Symbian beta release will be available for all Nokia users running the S60 3rd Edition platform.
Skype for Symbian will support free Skype-to-Skype calling, instant messaging, group conversations and file sending and receiving. Skype-to Skype calling is free, but users without unlimited bandwidth in their contracts should be wary of the cost of using the service, commentators have warned.
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