Whiteboarding with Skype 3.0 beta
Many people asked us for a whiteboarding function in Skype. Whiteboarding is when you can share a common “canvas” with your friend and both draw on it. The good news is that there is now a whiteboarding function in Skype 3.0 beta. The bad news… well, what can be bad about that
Whiteboarding is not an inline core function in Skype. Rather, it’s bundled as one of the many extras that you can use. I think it’s one of the simplest and greatest examples of where we’re trying to get to with this whole Extras thing. So I thought I’d do a quick writeup of how the extras work if you want to use an extra with your friend. We’re using the whiteboard as an example here, but all the extras work and install pretty much the same.
It all starts when you right-click on your friend and select “Do More”. You then see a list of the suggested extras and can organize them further if you want. For now, we just select the first one, “Draw on Sketch Pad”.
]]> Afrer you select the extra you’d like to use, Skype sends an invitation to your friend and displays this information to you while you’re waiting. (Don’t worry about the colored pixels in the middle. They’re not really there — I just pixelated out the Skype Names in question, so that I wouldn’t get a million Sketch Pad requests all of a sudden. )
This is what will pop up for your friend. He can then accept or decline the requests. You can also start a voice call or chat to go with your Sketch Pad session.
After you have both accepted the session, the extra will automatically download and install. What’s going on here is that to save space, the actual extras themselves are not downloaded and installed from the Skype server until you indicate you want to use them. Otherwise, the Skype installation would be many hundred megabytes in size and we couldn’t easily publish new extras. So, after the download, you will need to accept the license terms and acknowledge the possible warnings about things not being certified yet. (We’re going on with certification and want to certify at least some of the top extras by the time Skype 3.0 final release comes out.)
You will need to do this only once per each extra.
As a final step, you will need to confirm that you really want this extra to have access to Skype functions. If you’ve ever used a Skype plugin or add-on before, this is familiar.
And you can now draw I’m not an artist so I didn’t even try. Sketch Pad automatically assigns the red color for one of you and blue for the other, but you can of course change it yourselves.