Instant messaging Stories May 20, 2015

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

As 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

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

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.

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