Heard of Yugma? It’s a cross platform screen-sharing application. You need to install it on your computer, as does anyone you want to do the sharing with. It’s a java program, so if you don’t have the right java runtime the installation might have a bump or two.
The Skype plug-in needs to be installed too, also a java app. (For this, I needed to change the version of the runtime I was using, which was more of a bother than a real problem; for an “average user” that might be a serious hindrance, however.)
So you need all 3: Skype, Yugma, and the Yugma Skype plug-in. Once everything’s installed, and you open up Yugma, you’ll see a list of your Skype contacts. This seems to be the benefit of using the Skype plug-in for Yugma: you can invite your Skype contacts to do screen-sharing directly from Yugma, instead of sending out the email invitations that otherwise would be necessary.
Other than that, you’re still using Skype and Yugma at the same time – not integrated together, but using them in parallel. We had both a chat and a Skype phone call open during our screen sharing session.
It was not a really thorough test, but maybe a more realistic one, since we decided to just use it quickly so David could show me something he was doing. So more like a real life situation, like “hey what do you have to do to do blah, can you show me quick….”.
And all in all, it works. I got to see what he did. But…
…we lost phone contact a couple times. That’s a real pain. Chat just takes too much time, sometimes you just need to talk something through. Then Yugma’s basic functionality didn’t work: I tried to share my screen, Yugma told me it had started, but my colleague’s Yugma window remained black. At that point we just had to drop it and move on. Like I said, in that way it was more of a real test: in the real world, if it doesn’t work, you just can’t take time to fiddle until it does.
It’s great to be able to share screens, especially when it’s free (for up to 10 people, I think). For e-learning purposes, collaborative work, helping an uncle install this or that, etc. – there are plenty of situations where Yugma has lots of potential. But if it’s not stable yet, I hesitate to recommend it to a business or institution that needs a reliable solution…
I’ll be watching and waiting though.