Sure you can make a nine-way video call with SightSpeed and one in Skype's almost full screen software, but OoVoo is using fightin' words with its new 1.7 version to keep up. Released today, the new version of the software rolls in some useful and distinctive features.
The user interface on ooVoo's 1.7 software is relatively unchanged from its previous versions and the new features are a bit buried. But once we knew where to look we were running like the wind.
New to this version is the ability to add non-ooVoo users to a video call. Anyone with a Web browser and a webcam can be invited to a six-way video call. It is as simple as selecting "call non-OoVoo friends" from the Actions menu. OoVoo will then present you with a video calling window and a link that you can easily copy and send to any of your contacts via e-mail or instant messaging.
We sent a link to our buddy "Monkey" over Google Chat. Monkey clicked the link, which prompted him to type in his name and 12 seconds later the video window launched in Internet Explorer (he did have some problems getting it to work within Firefox 3). The real bummer is that it will also not work on a Mac, even if it is still in the browser. Monkey came through a bit pixelated but we could see him and his spray-on tan very well. Even though it was just Monkey and I in the chat we could have added four more ooVoo or non-ooVoo users to the video call.
The second improvement worth noting is the support of high resolution video within the client. Like Skype, ooVoo video calls are now capable of VGA/640x480 resolution. The best part about this is that unlike Skype, ooVoo doesn't require you to have a specific webcam (like a Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000). We made a high quality video call (which requires a dual core processor) using the Lenovo x300's 1.3-megapixel webcam to our friend below with the mohawk. We don't know how our high quality video looked to him, but he came through very clearly. The colors looked bright and there was enough detail to make out what type of headset he was wearing.
The updated version of oooVoo is available now at oooVoo.com.