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Imo.im Introduces VoIP Feature for iOS Version

IMO Imo.im Introduces VoIP Feature for iOS VersionThere are many internet messaging services out there and sometimes you have no choice but to install more than just one because your friends and family will use different services. Installing multiple messengers becomes a necessity if you want to message different people. The best way to streamline your messaging requirements is by using an internet messaging aggregator service. These are services that provide a way for you to access your different accounts in different messengers with just one application. More →

Microsoft Previews the New Windows Live Messenger

SharingVideoCall small 490x367 Microsoft Previews the New Windows Live Messenger

For those of you who refused to go into the darkside and used other online communication tool other than Windows Live Messenger, you’d be glad to know that a bolder, greater version of your favorite instant messaging tool is about to be made available pretty soon. Microsoft has been preparing the new version of its Windows Live Messenger and based on what we can see, it looks like it is going to be a better version than most previous releases, and so we hope.

So what’s in store for us in the new Windows Live Messenger? Three things – improved IM experience, more socially connected and integration to Hotmail.  Let’s look closely into each of these enhancements.

The new Windows Live Messenger will bring richer photo and video sharing, high definition video chat, video messages, games and one-click access to files on your PC, search results from Bing as well as photos and videos shared on Microsoft SkyDrive, Facebook and other social sharing sites. Facebook Chat will also be supported. All these done in an easy to manage and use interface.

Messenger will also be bringing beautiful high-resolution views of photos, videos and links shared by your friends – right to your desktop. It will allow you to view Facebook albums in a fun browsing interface as well as let you update your status and instantly post it to other sharing sites that you often use.

Finally, the new Windows Live Messenger will also be integrated into Windows Live Hotmail. Not just plain integration but right smack into the front and center of Hotmail. There will also be a new Messenger Companion add-on for Internet Explorer that will allow you to share links and comments from whatever website you’re on.

So, there. Some new great stuff coming to the new Windows Live Messenger. Are we excited about it?

Vlingo Updates its BlackBerry App, Adds “SafeReader”

We all know that texting while driving is a big no-no. In fact some countries prohibit doing those two activities at the same time and may get you arrested if found guilty. But what if you’re on the road and you need to check a very important incoming message? Well, you can always pull over and check your phone. But that wouldn’t be unwise to do while you’re driving on the freeway. Thanks to Vlingo’s BlackBerry app checking your incoming text messages is now possibly while driving and won’t require you to use your hands.

Vlingo just announced version 4.5 of its cool BlackBerry app with an added feature called “SafeReader.” Any guess on what this feature can do? Ok, SafeReader reads all your incoming messages aloud allowing you to digest your incoming email and text messages while you drive. The spoken messages are delivered audibly to ensure that you understand what the email and SMS messages are saying.

In case you’re not using Vlingo on your BlackBerry app yet, now may be the right time to do so. Aside from this cool “SafeReader” feature, the app also features a powerful speech-to-text technology that lets you compose and send text or email messages, call a friend, search the web, update your Facebook status, use instant messaging, add contacts and calendar entries and other nifty features – just by speaking into your phone. The “SafeReader” feature expands this features by reversing speech-to-text to text-to-speech.

Cool, right? To get the app, simply point your BlackBerry’s browser to www.blackberry.com/appworld or www.vlingo.com. Once installed on your BlackBerry device and before driving, simply press a button, speak to the device and say “Start SafeReader” and your incoming messages will be delivered audibly, without fail through spoken words.

Add Your BBM Code to Your Facebook Profile

BBM Code Generator 490x322 Add Your BBM Code to Your Facebook Profile

So you got a new BlackBerry handheld device and is now starting to explore the great BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The problem is you don’t know of any friends who are as cool as you who happen to have a BlackBerry phone as well. So that renders your cool BB Pin and BBM useless. Here’s a good news. Why not start sharing your PIN to others? Put it in your Facebook profile. Sounds good right?

A new BlackBerry Facebook app just became available, allowing you to put your BBM QR Code to your Facebook profile so that other BBM users who happen to be in your Facebook network can scan it and add you to their BBM buddy list.

It’s a pretty clever idea. Something that I would definitely want to try since I really haven’t maximized the use of my BBM since I got my BlackBerry phone.

Screen shot 2010 03 20 at 5.42.12 AM 208x300 Add Your BBM Code to Your Facebook Profile To try this one out, just head over to the bb_barcodegenerator app on Facebook. You will be asked for your BlackBerry PIN, choose a layout for your BB QR Code, then have the app generate it for you. From there you can opt to display the QR Code on your Facebook profile, either in the sidebar or overlaid onto your profile picture. Then wait till your friends and others within who can view your profile scan it and add you to their BBM list. Then you can start chatting away.

The barcode generator works with BBM running on version 5.0. So if your phone’s BBM is still on an earlier version, now may be the right time to update.

Via IntoMobile

Brightkite Offers Free Group Text Service

Screen shot 2010 03 13 at 6.33.11 AM 490x498 Brightkite Offers Free Group Text Service

For whatever it’s worth Brightkite actually pioneered the location-based checked-in with social networking service a couple of years ago. Yes, long before Gowalla and Foursquare started to become popular  it  has been offering the same service. But for no apparent reason Brightkite became silent for quite some time now.

Enter Brightkite’s latest offering called Group Text. Aiming solve the tedious process of organizing gigs and events among your friends through sending of numerous text messages addressed to several people, Brightkite is offering a better, faster and more cost-effective solution through Group Text.

So, how does Group Text actually works?  You create a group, enter your contacts and then send out a text to the group. The fun begins when your friends start receiving your messages via text, push notifications, mobile web or from the web itself.  Then when anyone replies to your message, everyone in the conversation thread will receive the message as well. Basically, it’s like having email groups, only this time the main activity is done through text messaging.

Brightkite Group Text allows you to create groups with up to 25 members. Once you’ve created a group, you can easily ping them, introduce new members or start any conversation with all the members of the group. The service is free, so that answers your question on possible mobile data service cost.

Group Text also lets you send photos and locations to your group. You can also send messages directly from your desktop’s web browser.

And finally, Brighkite has submitted an updated version of its iPhone app to Apple. Once approved the new Brightkite iPhone app will have the group text messaging feature.

Lunchwalla Answers the Question – “What’s for Lunch?”

Frankly, the first thing that came into my mind when I stumbled upon new social media site Lunchwall was the location-aware social media site Gowalla. Not only does these two services’ names sound alike but somehow they offer similar services.

Gowalla is a social recommendation site of sorts, built upon crowd sourced experience when visiting restaurants and other places of interest. Lunchwalla on the other hand is also banking on the social aspect, this time of planning gigs and events by group of people or network of friends.

Basically, Lunchwalla answers the most pressing daily question – “What’s for lunch?”  The site is for coordinating events at millions of eating and drinking establishments with friends, colleagues and family. Don’t get me wrong here, you can also use Lunchwalla for organizing breakfast, dinner, drinks and other gatherings. It is not just limited to lunch events.

From the official press release – Lunchwalla changes social planning by combining reviews, reservations, menus and local coupons into one site that lets friends, colleagues and family vote on where to go.  It aims to cut down cost on sending text messages the hazzle of calling back-and-forth just to finalize on where your friends would be holding your next small gathering.

To find out whether Lunchwalla suits your needs, you can check out the site at http://lunchwalla.com and register to join. You can create a new account or use your Facebook login credential to start planning your next lunch gig.

Lunchwalla is currently web-based service only. Although I’m pretty sure a mobile application is already under way.

Screen shot 2010 03 09 at 5.28.17 AM 490x205 Lunchwalla Answers the Question   Whats for Lunch?

Via Market Wire

Skype Now Available for All Nokia Smartphones

Skype and Nokia’s partnership has been going for quite some time now. In fact, their plans of integrating Skype to Nokia devices has been discussed as early as February last year. Although Nokia devices were able to get a default Skype client it is only now that it is finally made available for majority of Nokia’s smartphones – specifically those running on Symbian ^1.

Skype for Symbian will let you to use Skype even while on the move, either through WiFi, GPRS, EDGE or 3G.  Skype for Symbian is now available for download at the Nokia Ovi Store and you can install it on your smartphone if it belongs to the following long list of Nokia devices that support it:

Nokia N97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia X6, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia 5530 and the following non-touch devices: Nokia E72, Nokia E71, Nokia E90, Nokia E63, Nokia E66, Nokia E51, Nokia N96, Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8Gb, Nokia N85, Nokia N82, Nokia N81, Nokia N81 8 Gb, Nokia N79, Nokia N78, Nokia 6220 classic, Nokia 6210 Navigator, Nokia 5320.

If your current Nokia phone is any of those devices listed, then you can enjoy the following features of Skype on your device:

  • Make free Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
  • Save money on calls and texts (SMS) to phones abroad.
  • Send and receive instant messages to and from individuals or groups
  • Share pictures, videos and other files.
  • Receive calls to their existing online number
  • See when Skype contacts are online and available to call or IM
  • Easily import names and numbers from the phone’s address book

Of course before you go on a Skype holiday, make sure that you are subscribe to an unlimited data plan, since even though Skype-to-Skype call is free, you are still using up air time of your mobile carriers.

You may download Skype for Symbian by following this link.

Via The Skype Blog

Samsung Embeds Skype into LED HDTVs

SamsungTV SkypeCall 1 490x382 Samsung Embeds Skype into LED HDTVs

Samsung has just unveiled their latest HDTV line-up, the LED 7000 and LED 8000 series. Wait, before you stop and say that these are just another one-of-them Samsung HDTVs, well think again because they are actually not just your ordinary HDTVs.  These HDTVs are quite unique because of the fact that they come embedded with Skype software.

Yes, folks this simply means that you can now have the comfort of making video and voice calls through these Samsung HDTVs. Do you have any idea how crisp and clear the person you are Skype-ing with would be? Well, the idea is pretty cool for me and I would love to get one of these new Samsung HDTVs. Although we may all have to wait for quite some time since Samsung is launching the new TVs worldwide sometime before the second hald of 2010.

Going back to the two Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series TVs. These two products will come with Samsung’s free InternetTV service as well which will let you access selected online content.  And you also need to buy the FreeTalk  TV Camera to enable the high quality video calls.  Voice calls on the other hand will be handled by Skype’s SILK audio codec which is capable of producing super-wideband audio quality.

If you don’t have a Skype account yet, you can create one using the TV’s remote control via the TV’s simple Skype interface. Of course, the bottomline is that voice calls and video calls will be free provide that you are communicating with another Skype user.

Cool? Yes, of course!. So, I’ll watch out for those Samsung LED HDTVs if I were you.

Google Voice Explained in a Series of YouTube Videos

Google Voice is one of the most important products that Google put a lot of stake on. Hence, we really couldn’t blame them for going out of the way to make this endeavor a success. But apparently, Google Voice doesn’t s seem to be getting the mileage, or perhaps usage that it wants to have.

What could be the reason for this? Google thinks that their service is overwhelming for its many users. So, to remedy this and perhaps to spike up interest towards it, Google has prepared a series of videos explaining, demonstrating and exploring the said communication service.

In case you’re  like me who have never experienced using Google Voice and is wondering what it does and how it can make your communication life better, I suggest you check out all the videos. But if you’re don’t have the time and just want to know what Google Voice is – it’s actually a communication service provided by Google with various features ranging from call screening to voicemail transcription to the ability to send and receive SMS by email. What’s good about Google Voice is that it allows you to use one number for all your communication transactions.

The series of videos explaining the service include the following:

  1. Voicemail transcription
  2. One number
  3. Personalized greetings
  4. International calling
  5. SMS to email
  6. Share voicemails
  7. Block callers
  8. Screen callers
  9. Mobile app
  10. Conference calls

And while you’re at it, you might want to subscribe to the Google Voice YouTube channel to be notified of new videos about Google Voice in the coming days.

Facebook Connects Chat Client to AOL, Other IM Platforms

Screen shot 2010 02 11 at 5.31.58 AM Facebook Connects Chat Client to AOL, Other IM PlatformsIf Google is going social with Google Buzz, Facebook’s chat facility is going towards that feature too, in a more subtle way. The Official Facebook Blog just announced that Facebook chat now integrates with various popular IM clients, including AOL’s.

What this simply means is that you can now stay connected with your Facebook friends through chat, even if you navigate away from Facebook.com.  In fact, you don’t even have to stay logged in to Facebook just to chat with your Facebook buddies. Chat messages can now be sent to your desktop IM client. This new feature will also let you control how and where you chat with your friends. You can also select  which of your online friends you would like to appear online by adjusting some settings on your Friend Lists.

This new feature uses Jabber XMPP, which is actually an open messaging protocol supported by most IM platforms. Some of these IM clients include – iChat, Pidgin, Adium, Miranda and more. So, if you’re using any of those IM clients, you can now start chatting with your Facebook friends using any of the said IM facility.

To connect Facebook chat with your existing IM clients, click on the “Connect your IM” link on this site tour, select your IM client and follow the instructions for setting up your account. Then, enjoy chatting with your Facebook friends while you surf the web, just like your ordinary desktop chat facility.