Instant messaging Stories May 20, 2015

microsoft

Microsoft appears to be working on a new instant messaging app for the iPhone, acting as a kind of cross between email and instant messaging, known as Flow by Outlook. The download page, which describes the project as ‘Microsoft Confidential,’ was first spotted by @h0x0d (via ZDNet).

Use Flow with anyone, it’s email: Reach anyone with an email address and all conversations for you and others are also in Outlook. Together, you can use Flow and Outlook interchangeably to participate in the same conversations.

Fast, fluid, natural conversations: No subject lines, salutations, or signatures. Flow is designed for fast, light-weight conversations in real time.

Focus on what’s important: Only conversations started in Flow and their replies show up in Flow, not your whole inbox. Focus on your most important person-to-person conversations without the noise.

While the webpage describing the app is unprotected, the actual download link requires a login… expand full story

Instant messaging Stories February 20, 2015

Apple to begin offering web-based chat support for Beats hardware (update: live)

Apple will expand its support capabilities for Beats by Dre hardware products, like headphones and speakers, next week by launching web-based chat support, according to sources. Customers in need of support for their Beats devices will be able to instant message with a support representative via Apple’s support website beginning on Monday, February 23rd. In January, Apple began moving Beats phone-based support wholly in-house after still using the headphone maker’s outsourced support for most of last year. Apple began servicing Beats products in its retail stores late last year.

Instant messaging Stories February 9, 2015

Skype for iPhone updates the dialer, reintroduces URI support for other apps

Microsoft is out today with its latest version of Skype for iPhone, version 5.10, as it continues to add refinements and features to the overhauled version of its app first released last year.

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.

Instant messaging Stories July 2, 2014

AIM-iChatAs Apple previously announced in April, today marks the end of support for AIM in iChat using a me.com or mac.com ID for Macs running OS X Lion 10.7.1 or earlier. While some reports are claiming the change also appears to be affecting users on newer versions of OS X, we’ve confirmed with sources with knowledge of the situation that users running 10.7.2 or higher, including Yosemite, will continue to have support for AIM. expand full story

Instant messaging Stories March 11, 2014

Verbs IM client for iOS updated with overhauled design, iCloud message sync, and a lot more

Verbs, the popular instant messaging app for iPhone and iPad, was updated today at long last with a revamped design for iOS 7 and a whole host of new features and fixes, including the removal of an in-app purchase to enable extra features.

One of the bigger notable features in version 3.0 is the ability to keep your conversations in sync across all of your devices via iCloud. This works a lot like iMessage’s syncing function, where every message you get will automatically show up on all devices whether Verbs is currently running on that specific device or not. Previously any devices that didn’t have the app running would miss any messages that were downloaded on other devices.

Other changes include the addition of Dropbox for file sharing (alongside the old CloudApp and Droplr options), Pocket and Safari Reading List options for saving links, tappable URLs in chat bubbles, per-contact muting, the ability to manage your contact lists, in-app notifications for messages that come in while you’re in the settings view or another thread, and notifications when certain contacts come online.

Speaking of notifications, the former “Verbs Pro” in-app purchase has been removed, and all of its features are now included standard in the app. These include push notifications and longer connection times after the app closes.

You can grab the completely overhauled Verbs 3.0 from the iOS App Store for $2.99 today. The complete change log is below:

What’s New in Version 3.0.0

• Designed for iOS 7 • Completely rewritten server side code • Supports Jabber protocol • Added OAuth support for GTalk • Real time syncing of chat messages across devices • New Conversations view • Use Dropbox to share files in chat • Sync Chat, File Sharing and Read Later accounts over iCloud • Pocket (Read later) support • Safari’s Reading Lists support • Sent bubble color changes when messages are delivered • Notify when a buddy comes online • Ability to mute buddies • New Notification sounds • HTML hyperlinks are supported in messages • Use shapes to indicate Buddy Status • Ability to create Lists (Groups) • In-app notifications • Lotta bug fixes!

IMPORTANT NOTES: • Before upgrading, please back up your existing conversations using the “Email conversation” feature. Because of the new sync features, your existing (2.x) accounts and conversations would not be available after upgrade. • We’re removing Facebook chat support for the time being • Also, we’re deprecating Verbs Pro and the basic app itself will include all the pro features.

Instant messaging Stories September 21, 2013

Five years late, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) rolling out for iPhone

BlackBerry just announced another disaster quarter and is currently valued at under the value of its assets, yet despite public pleading, no one wants to buy them. They also just laid off 4,500 of their remaining employees and left the consumer market.

But we’re not here to talk about the horrific financials of an imploding company. We’re here to bring the news that Blackberry released BBM (a very capable IM client) for iOS and Android today. It is currently available in Eastern hemisphere countries and is making its way around the globe.

In 2008, this would have been bigger news. Now, you can use it to ask your remaining BlackBerry friends which color iPhone they will be getting.

Update: It looks like the app has disappeared from the stores it has already hit. 

Update 2: Here’s why:

Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.

Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visitwww.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.

As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone. Please follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates and go to www.BBM.com to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android and iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.

Instant messaging Stories August 7, 2013

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Popular chat app whatsapp now allows iPhone users to exchange voice messages with a push-to-talk style function. The feature is also being pushed out simultaneously on the app’s other platforms: Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Phone.

We spend a lot of time at WhatsApp thinking how we can make keeping in touch easier, and we know there’s no substitute for hearing the sound of a friend or family member’s voice. So today we are introducing a new feature we are truly excited about: Voice Messages

While there are other push-to-talk apps out there, whatsapp has introduced a number of features which it says makes the functionality particularly easy to use …  expand full story

Instant messaging Stories June 18, 2013

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Messages for Mac is buggy. There’s no denying that fact. At some point, all of us have tried to search for a specific message in the app only to be confronted by everyone’s favorite multi-colored symbol of despair.

Several weeks ago, Flexibits, developers of Fantastical for Mac and iPhone, announced a new project called Chatology that would finally solve this issue once and for all. Today, they unveiled the app to the world. So what exactly is Chatology? Does it solve the problem it sets out to solve? Keep reading to get answers to those questions and more.

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Instant messaging Stories November 9, 2012

Popular iOS IM app, ‘imo’, getting gorgeous redesign on Tuesday (Gallery)

Popular cross-platform messaging service imo.im, home to 700,000 daily users, has been updating its iOS app over the last few months with some big new features. In August, it rolled out voice calls over Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G, but next week it will introduce an all-new app that includes a new UI. We got an early look at the new app (screenshots below) and might have just found our new go-to messaging app for iOS. And it’s free.

Other features in the update will include new group photo sharing features, allowing users to “take multiple photos quickly with the native camera and upload and share with groups of friends in real-time.” You’ll also now be able to download those photos from within group chats to your iPhone’s gallery over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi.

The all-new imo instant messenger app for iOS will be available Nov. 13 for free in the App Store. In case you’re unfamiliar, imo is currently sending about 50 million messages daily through the following supported services: Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Skype, MSN, ICQ/AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, Hyves, VKontakte, Myspace, and Steam.

Instant messaging Stories July 26, 2012

Morcut/Crisis Mac malware capable of monitoring location, webcam, address book, more

We told you yesterday about the Trojan named “Crisis“, also being referred to as “OSX/Morcut-A”, discovered for OS X, but it is considered low risk for users. Today, we get some more details about the trojan with security company Sophos explaining the Morcut Malware features code for controlling the following:

  • mouse coordinates
  • instant messengers (for instance, Skype [including call data], Adium and MSN Messenger)
  • location
  • internal webcam
  • clipboard contents
  • key presses
  • running applications
  • web URLs
  • screenshots
  • internal microphone
  • calendar data & alerts
  • device information
  • address book contents

The malware appears to have been specifically created with spying on the user as its goal. There have not been any reported cases of infected users, though, so the threat is still considered low risk.

Instant messaging Stories March 5, 2012

In another display of how native apps are beating the web, the social networking behemoth Facebook revealed intentions to launch its first native chat client for the Mac. Put simply, it brings Facebook to your desktop and lets you chat with people without logging into Facebook.com in a browser. The company posted Messenger app for iPhone in August 2011 and today released the Facebook Messenger for Windows client, bringing the Facebook Chat functionality to beige boxes.

A Mac version will follow shortly. The Windows client requires Windows 7. Support for Vista is on its way and there are no plans for an XP version, the company said. If you are a daily Facebook user, you will want to integrate this handy program into your daily workflow. True, you can already set up a Facebook Chat account in iChat, as well as Pidgin, Adium, or other IM apps using the industry-standard Jabber protocol. If I were theatrical about this one, I would claim that the arrival of the native Mac client marked an important milestone in our daily productivity.

Bear with me for one more second…

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Instant messaging Stories October 10, 2011

Verbs for iOS review: the perfect IM client? (now for iPad)

Finding the perfect instant messaging client on the App Store is a pretty big challenge, but a new app called Verbs is pretty close to it. Verbs is available on both the iPhone and iPad and includes support for Google Talk, AIM, MobileMe, and Facebook. With all of these services bundled in one, Verbs becomes […]

Instant messaging Stories September 15, 2011

Announced on the Skype Blog, Microsoft-owned Skype now integrates with (5% Microsoft-owned) Facebook on Mac.  With the update, your Facebook friends will be able to see your online status and Skype you without leaving the Skype application.  As per usual with Microsoft applications, the Mac version trails behind the Windows version…and as a bonus, non-paying Skype users will now see ads.

Today we’re launching Skype 5.4 for Mac Beta. The launch introduces the same Facebook integration found in Skype 5.5 for Windows. We are excited to finally deliver Facebook integration to our Mac users.

Just like in our Windows client, you will now be able to IM and connect with your Facebook friends without leaving Skype. You will also be able to read and update your News Feed, as well as comment and ‘Like’ your Facebook friends’ posts – all within Skype for Mac. To connect to Facebook, simply sign into Skype, click on the Connect to Facebook tab and enter your Facebook sign in details.

Skype 5.4 for Mac Beta.jpg

We are also introducing an advertising platform in this new release, but if you are a paying Skype consumer or have Skype Credit, you won’t see any display ads; similar to the model that is currently being used in our Skype for Windows client.

Download Skype 5.4 for Mac OS X Beta.  We’re sticking to 2.8, in case the snarkiness didn’t tip you off. expand full story

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