Snapchat is changing how you communicate with friends in a major way through what it’s calling Chat 2.0. The social network says it focused two years ago on making chatting more like face-to-face conversation with features like letting you know when your friends were present and “listening” to what you were typing, and the latest Snapchat update refocuses on the 1-to-1 chat aspect of the app with new features around voice and video calling plus stickers and more. How you watch Stories is also getting a change in the new update.
calling Stories March 29, 2016
calling Stories January 12, 2016
Skype bringing free group video calling to iPhone and iPad
Skype today announced that it’s bringing free group video calling— a feature it’s long had available on the desktop—to mobile devices including iPhone and iPad users.
Yes, it really has been a decade since Skype changed the way people connect with their loved ones. 6 years ago, we innovated again with one-to-one video calling on mobile phones. Today, we are excited to announce the next evolution – group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 Mobile.
The feature will officially launch in the coming weeks, but you can pre-register through Skype’s website here.
And keep an eye out for updates to the Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad apps. In the latest update to the apps earlier this month, Skype also introduced to the ability to “Send video messages to groups directly from group chats.”
calling Stories April 27, 2015
T-Mobile, Sprint, TWC make calling & texting Nepal free, waive bills to aid earthquake relief efforts
Many tech companies are attempting to help victims of the devastating Nepal earthquake this week and the latest is T-Mobile. The carrier announced that it’s making calling and texting Nepal free in order to aid relief efforts:
In the wake of the devastating Nepalese earthquake, many T-Mobile customers are trying to stay in touch with their family and friends in Nepal. T-Mobile is making this easier by waiving and crediting fees for all calls and text messages to and from Nepal from Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 16. Calling and texting to and from Nepal without charges applies to all postpaid and prepaid customers of T-Mobile, MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile with international calling.
T-Mobile also notes that its customers can text to various charities to make a donation that will be charged to their mobile bill:
- Save the Children – Text NEPAL to 20222 to donate $10 to Save the Children
- UNICEF – Text NEPAL to 864233 to donate $10 to UNICEF
- World Vision – Text NEPAL to 777444 to donate $10 to World Vision
Google and Apple have also launched efforts to aid people in Nepal impacted by the earthquake.
calling Stories February 9, 2015
Skype for iPhone updates the dialer, reintroduces URI support for other apps
The new version of Skype for iPhone highlights the ability to save contacts from the app’s phone dialer just like the native Phone app on iOS. You can also save contacts to Skype from the recent call list starting with this version, and Microsoft touts improved chat notification reliability as well.
Finally, Microsoft is reintroducing support for Skype URIs which let other developers include interactions with Skype directly in their own apps including features like calling and messaging.
As long as the Skype app is installed on an iPhone, when a user taps on a Skype name or phone number, the URI will open the Skype app to connect a call or send a message*, making it faster than ever to reach friends, family or businesses.
For example, if you’re browsing restaurant options on an app or mobile website that utilizes Skype URIs, tapping on the phone number would launch Skype so you could call and make a reservation.
If you heavily rely on communicating with Skype frequently, this means you should see deeper Skype integration in other third-party apps in the future.
Skype for iPhone version 5.10 is available now for free on the App Store.
calling Stories November 4, 2014
Textplus moves on to Nextplus, adds improved WiFi calling/texting, GIFs, and more
Popular texting and calling app Textplus, which is a more affordable alternative to a standard carrier plan, branched off to a new app called Nextplus today. The new app still has the same texting and calling core (coming soon), but is it now optimized for WiFi networks. The developers tell us that many people want to use unlocked older iPhones (without carrier plans) to text and make phone calls, so Nextplus is a solid alternative to signing up for a normal plan from a carrier.
The new app has also (finally) been modernized with GIF images and stickers support. The iPhone and iPad app is free to download and calling/texting between Nextplus/Textplus users is free. If you want to call a landline or a non-Nextplus user, Nextplus offers some competitive rates per minute, with calls to the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Canada, and Australia costing 2 cents per minute.
If you’re an iOS user, making calls between iOS devices via FaceTime Audio is a great solution, but Nextplus is a great option if you’re looking to talk affordably to landlines and other platforms.
calling Stories July 29, 2014
Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.
Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future, which likely includes iOS and Android:
We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost
Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.