Skype, the popular video and VoIP calling service, has updated its iOS apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to version 4.6. It includes a revamped user interface and improved calling experience. Here's the rundown of the changes:
What's New in Version 4.6
- Beautiful new calling experience
- Mark all your recent chats as read with just a few taps.
- General fixes and improvements
Facebook 5.5 for iOS has just been released, and with it comes free voice calling for North American users over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The feature came to Facebook's separate messaging app a couple of weeks ago, and is now baked in to the full-fledged Facebook iOS experience for users across the US and Canada. After updating, simply open your chat pane by tapping the icon on the upper-right, select a friend, and then select "Free Call." As you'd expect, the person on the other end also needs to be located in North America, and also needs to have the latest Facebook app installed. It's a nice way to make voice calls without tapping into your voice minutes--just make sure to keep an eye on your data plan when you're away from Wi-Fi, no need to try to save on voice minutes, only to rack up massive data usage fees, you feel me?
Facebook has updated its main iOS app to version 5.4, adding in-app video recording and audio messaging. Users can now record their cat videos without leaving the Facebook app and have the ability leave cryptic audio recordings when messaging their besties.
Share your moments with voice messages and video recordings right in the app.
- Send voice messages when you have more to say
- Record and share videos right from the app
- Share and connect with your favorite places using the improved Nearby tab
Read More | Facebook
Hot on the heels of Facebook's event announcing its new Social Graph feature, Facebook Messenger iOS app has been updated to VoIP audio calling functionality for US users. It's interesting since, technically, Facebook uses Skype backend, which is owned by parent company Microsoft. Thus, the collaborative user base is pretty vast. It appears that it is limited only to audio calls, but it is safe to assume that video calling is in the pipeline. VoIP may not use your monthly allotment of cell minutes but it will definitely use your mobile data plan, of course it will not effect your carrier plan if users use a WIFI acces point. The app is a free download available in the App Store.
What’s New in Version 2.1.1
- Back by popular request: Now you can swipe right to archive a conversation again
- Other improvements and bug fixes
*Free calling uses your existing data plan, and will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
Read More | Facebook Messenger
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
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.
It’s been long in the making and long-awaited by many (ever since Microsoft bought Skype,) and now Skype is officially available for Windows Phone. The beta version of Skype has been around since February, but wasn't functional on all Windows Phone devices, according to Skype. However, with its official release, no such warnings exist. You can download Skype from the Windows Phone Marketplace now.
Read More | Skype
We give you a look at Ooma in this episode. Ooma is a service that provides free phone calls within the United States. All you need to do is buy the Ooma Telo box and connect it to your home network, and you're up and running. Calls within the United States are then completely free. They also have the Ooma Telo handset, which almost acts like a smartphone for your home phone service, and a monthly Ooma Premier service that adds a ton of calling features to your package. You can pick up Ooma products on Amazon.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
Wanna win a 32 GB Apple iPad 2? We'll we've got a five to give away to our readers across our network of Gear Live sites, and today we're starting the contest here on Venturus. We've teamed up with Vonage to offer the giveaway of the iPad 2 (or a $700 Apple gift card, if you prefer) along with $15 in iTunes credit that can be used with the new Vonage Time to Call app (App Store link). We've got a few ways for you to enter, allowing up to four entries per person.
- Follow the Venturus Twitter account
- On Twitter, post this tweet about our contest: “Hey @venturusnews hook me up with that iPad 2! http://gear.lv/venturus-ipad2” (Click here to tweet this now)
Doing the above gets you in, and is the only mandatory step. However, you can earn additional entries by doing things like commenting on this post, and hitting the Facebook "Like" button as well. Use our entry widget to monitor and confirm your entries.
Timeframe: The contest ends on September 5th, 2011. A winner chosen using Rafflecopter.
Eligibility: The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada.
Prize: The one winner will receive a 32 GB Apple iPad 2 (or a $700 Apple Gift Card) and $15 iTunes credit.
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.
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