We give you a look at Vonage Mobile and explain how you can win one of twenty $25 iTunes gift cards in this episode! Vonage Mobile allows you to make free phone calls to other users of the app (which is currently available for iOS and Android.) In addition, you can also send free text messages as well to other users of the app, cross platform. Even better, you can call any phone number, the rate is much lower than what your mobile carrier would charge, and is even 30% less than what Skype would charge you as well.
The app works over both Wi-Fi and cell service (3G and 4G) and it uses your existing contacts and address book, rather than requiring you to set up a new username, get a new phone number, etc. Even cooler, you don't need a Vonage account to pay for your calls - instead, you just add your minutes right from the App Store or Android Market! As we said, the video also explain how you can win one of the 20 $25 iTunes gift cards we will be giving away as well!
Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
Vonage Mobile has launched, and we're giving away 20 iTunes gift cards to our readers to celebrate! In case you're unaware, Vonage Mobile allows you to make free phone calls to other users of the app (which is currently available for iOS and Android,) anywhere in the world. In addition, you can also send free text messages as well to other users of the app, cross platform, anywhere in the world. Even better, you can call any phone number, and if that other person doesn't have Vonage Mobile, then the rate is much lower than what your mobile carrier would charge, and is even 30% less than what Skype would charge you as well.
The app works over both Wi-Fi and cell service (3G and 4G) and it uses your existing contacts and address book, rather than requiring you to set up a new username, get a new phone number, etc. Even cooler, you don't need a Vonage account to pay for your calls - instead, you just add your minutes right from the App Store or Android Market!
So, how do you enter to win one of the $25 iTunes credits? We've got a few different ways for you to enter. You only need to enter once, but for each method of entry, you gain an additional entry in the contest. Here's how you enter:
- Download the Vonage Mobile app (it's free!)
- TWITTER ENTRY: Follow the Gear Live Twitter account and take a picture of the app on your phone. Include that image in a post with this tweet exactly as written: “Hey @GearLive I got @Vonage Mobile! Hook me up with that prize! http://gear.lv/vonagecontest” (Click here to tweet this now)
- FACEBOOK ENTRY: Like the Gear Live Facebook page, and take a picture of the Vonage Mobile app on your phone. Leave a post on our wall and include that photo.
- YOUTUBE ENTRY: Subscribe to Gear Live on YouTube and leave us a video response on this video showing us that you downloaded the Vonage Mobile app.
That's it! Again, there is no requirement for you to perform all three methods of entry, but you do get a point for each entry that you do. At the end of the week, we'll choose twenty winners at random who followed the rules!
Skype might still be in a holding pattern from Microsoft's May announcement that it was acquiring the company for $8.5 billion, but that hasn't stopped Skype from picking up a brand-new purchase of its own. The company announced today that it is planning to acquire GroupMe, a group text messaging and conference calling service that's just a year and change into its existence.
The actual cost of the acquisition and other terms of the transaction won't be disclosed, according to Skype's announcement.
"The acquisition of GroupMe complements Skype's leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest tie," reads Skype's statement.
If you've been putting off calling your aunt in the Dominican Republic or your Slovenian cousins because of the cost of calling from your mobile phone, a promotion from Vonage should pique your interest. The VoIP provider is giving away one free international phone call, up to 15 minutes, to anyone who downloads its new iPhone app, Time to Call. The app is also free.
What's especially appealing about the offer is you don't have to be a paying customer of Vonage (from $11.99 per month) to use the app or get the one free trial call. The free call expires one year after you download the app. Be sure to check that the country you're calling is on the list of 100 that are included in the deal (check below).
After your one free call, all calls are billed in 15-minute increments. Prices for the 15-minute blocks of international talk time range from 99 cents to $9.99, depending on which country you call, although calling most countries is less than $1.99. And typical of Vonage's slightly experimental nature, the Time to Call app doesn't charge you through pre-paid credits or an in-system account, the way other services such as Skype do. Instead, Vonage's app bills you directly through iTunes.
"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.
This morning Facebook announced its new video calling feature, powered by Skype. We've been getting a bunch of reader questions asking just how the heck they enable it, so we figured we'd give you a quick how to. It's simple, but for some reason Facebook hasn't made it super clear. All you need to do is go to the Facebook Video Calling page and hit the green button to turn it on. You can then initiate a video chat session with any of your available friends. If they haven't already enabled the feature themselves, they'll get a prompt to install a plug-in, and you'll be chatting in no time.
Facebook is right in the middle of announcing three new changes that are happening today. The first is multi-person group chat, which has been one of the most requested features. Second, a redesign of chat that makes it easier to get to the people you chat with most, better see the avatars of yours friends, etc. Lastly, and this is the big one, instant video chat through a partnership with Skype. Just choose a friend and initiate a video call, and if they don't have the plugin installed, it takes 10 seconds to download, and you are chatting. No need for a Skype username, or Skype software, it all happens through Facebook. Hit the link below now to see the announcement happening live, with demos.
Read More | Facebook Live
Google+, the presumptive Facebook killer, shows tremendous potential. As someone who warms up to any social network with the alacrity of a Galápagos tortoise, this, for me, is saying something.
Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones who got a pre-over-capacity invite. I've tried to share a couple, but new Google+ users are only gaining entrance at a halting pace.
The service, which initially stuck me as a blatant Facebook rip-off, actually has many of its own charms, not the least of which is the useful, somewhat addictive Circles. I know this topic divides Google+ users. Some people do not like to spend time organizing their social contacts. I'm not sure I do either, but the method that Circles employs for discovery and organization (dragging and dropping people into actual circle graphics, for instance) is addictive and easily blows away anything Facebook ever developed.
Comcast is working to bring Skype video chat to their set-top boxes through the Xfinity service, and they've put together a video that gives the inside scoop on what it took to build the look and feel for Skype on your television. We've got the video for you above. No pricing or launch date has been announced yet, but we're curious what you'd be willing to pay for something like this from your cable TV provider. Hit us in the comments!
Comcast is set to show off the next evolution of their Xfinity TV offerings, which they are calling Xfinity Spectrum, tomorrow at NCTA 2011. We've gotta say, Comcast has been long overdue for a revamp, and it's nice to see that the company is looking to step things up in a major way. As you see in the video, things are much more integrated and easier to navigate. You're even able to share things about your viewing habits with Facebook, and of course this is likely the way that Comcast will bring Skype to your television. No word yet on how long it'll take to roll these boxes out, or when it will start, but let's just keep our fingers crossed on that one. Hit the video above for a look at the new hotness.
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