Microsoft is officially retiring its Messenger service and will redirect users, and their contacts, to Skype.
According to The Next Web, users will retain access to Microsoft Messenger until March 15th, at which point they will then be prompted to join Skype. The migration will be made with your contacts in tow, so that alleviates some of the stress involved in the changing of hands. Mobile users of Skype will be glad to know that Microsoft account support is already mixed in with the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 to make the transfer as swift as possible.
How do you feel about the death of Messenger? Let us know in the comments.
Read More | The Next Web
Microsoft, the parent company of Skype, has patched a password recovery tool bug that Russian hackers utilized to exploit and gain access to user's accounts with nothing more than their account name and email. According to The Next of Web, they independently verified the five step process and confirmed that it works. Skype made this announcement on its website blog:
Early this morning we were notified of user concerns surrounding the security of the password reset feature on our website. This issue affected some users where multiple Skype accounts were registered to the same email address. We suspended the password reset feature temporarily this morning as a precaution and have made updates to the password reset process today so that it is now working properly. We are reaching out to a small number of users who may have been impacted to assist as necessary. Skype is committed to providing a safe and secure communications experience to our users and we apologize for the inconvenience.
Read More | Skype
Vonage has released an updated version of its Vonage Mobile app, 1.5, for the iPhone and iPod touch, which includes Bluetooth support and a bunch of messaging features as well. Vonage Mobile allows users to make free VoIP calls to other users on the app on iOS and Android, as well as directly to landline numbers in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for free (up to 3,000 minutes per month.) The new update allows you to use any Bluetooth headset that works with iOS, and the messaging feature has been enhanced to allow for sharing of contacts, photos, and locations. Call quality and connectivity has been enhanced as well. You can grab Vonage Mobile for free from the App Store.
Facebook has just released a new Android and iOS app called Facebook Messenger, and it's exactly what it sounds like. Basically, Facebook has taken its messaging system, used their Beluga team to simplify it a bit, and pushed it out as an independent app. You can message your contacts without using up SMS (similar to things like BBM, Google+ Huddle, iMessage, GroupMe, Fast Society, and plenty of others,) and you can also create group messages on the fly as well. People will see these messages show up in the Messenger app, their Facebook inbox, or by SMS if they don't have the app installed. You can also share your GPS location and attach images to the message conversations as well. If you've used Beluga or Facebook, then you know how to use this.
"Skype for iPad is beautifully designed and optimized for the iPad. It offers the best of both worlds for users who want a larger Skype experience, on-the-go," Skype said in a blog post. "The large iPad screen is perfect for bringing Skype video calls to life, in either landscape or portrait view, and because it is on the iPad, Skype video calls can be made at the beach, in a car or even lying on a couch."
Skype promised several iPad-optimized features, including two-way video calling for those with an iPad 2. Connect with other Skype users on PCs, Macs, or iPhones and Android phones with front-facing cameras.
Among the various iOS 5 features Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled today at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2011) was iMessage, a messaging option for iOS devices reminiscent of RIM's BlackBerry Messenger.
Apple said iMessage "brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices―iPhone, iPad and iPod touch." It is built into the Messages app, and allows users to send messages, photos, videos, or contact information to other iOS 5 users via Wi-Fi or 3G.
Like BBM, however, iMessage will include delivery and read receipts, and typing indication, so you know if the person has received your message and if they are typing back. Apple's iMessage will also have secure end-to-end encryption.
Ping!, the iPhone-to-iPhone messaging app, has just been updated to version 1.0.1, and with the update comes a bunch of bug fixes. Here’s a little of what’s changed:
- You can now unregister your Ping! ID
- Landscape keyboard fixed so you can now send updates from that view
- Duplicate messages will no longer be received
- Notification settings icon fixed
- There’s now an in-app invitation email
Ping! certainly isn’t the prettiest app in the world, but it is definitely functional, and allows free iPhone-to-iPhone messaging without having to use SMS, and it’s way faster. You can pick up Ping! for $0.99.
We were just alerted to a new iPhone and iPod touch app called Ping!, which aims to provide free iPhone-to-iPhone (and iPod touch) messaging to users of those devices. We tried it, and thought it was worthy enough to give a shout out to.
Basically, once you download the free Ping! application, you set up a username, and you are set. You can invite others from within the app over email, letting them know your username, and also set up whether you want push notifications or not. Once you start a conversation, it’s very similar to SMS…except it’s free, and instant. You get the speed of an IM conversation with the persistence of SMS, all at no extra cost. Even better, it works internationally. So you can send and receive messages with people in other countries, and again, at no extra cost.
Go ahead and give Ping! a try, we think you’ll like it.
Read More | Ping! in App Store
In case you missed it, Google introduced Google Wave to the world a couple of months ago during their Google I/O conference back in May. It was instantly heralded as one of the best things ever seen on these here Internets, and regardless of how you feel about it, you’ve got to at least admit that there is some serious innovation happening there. Now, Google is preparing to release Google Wave in public beta. Starting September 30th, 100,000 people will get access to the Google Wave public beta. Wanna be a part of it? Hit the link below to apply.
If you haven’t seen it, here is the video where Google reveals Google Wave.
Read More | Google Wave Sign-up
If you hunt and peck at your computer or don’t have enough patience to take a typing class, Fast Fingers may be right for you. The QWERTY board also can become ABC with one key push. If you IM a lot, another button gives you access to Internet abbreviations. It was created by Faith Quintavell (who can type) after noticing that others couldn’t. Plug into your USB port and pick up some speed for $27.95.
Read More | Fast Fingers