Facebook’s Messenger app for Windows 7 computers leaked to the public late last year. The service was initially in a beta phase, but as of Monday it’s been officially released. Facebook previously created a Messenger app for iOS and Android smartphones, which allowed users to quickly chat with friends, share their location or photos and more. The desktop version, unfortunately, does not feature video chat and is limited to Windows 7, although Facebook is “working on making the app available for more operating systems, so stay tuned.”
Samsung is set to make a big splash with new products during the IFA trade show in Berlin, which kicks off later this week, and the phone maker recently announced a new group text application called ChatOn. The application allows Android, iOS, BlackBerry and bada users to create groups to quickly send and receive group text messages. The service will no doubt compete with BBM, Apple’s iMessage, Google’s Huddle, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and GroupMe, but Samsung is trying to distinguish itself from those other services by offering a more robust feature set. ChatOn lets users to see their most messaged friends, complete with “interaction ranks,” send animated text messages and share photos and videos in a shared group “trunk.” Read on for a full intro video and press release. More →
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has released a new application called “Messenger” for Android and the iPhone. Messenger allows users to quickly chat with friends, create group chats, share their location or photos and more. It doesn’t appear that Facebook will tie it in with its Facebook Chat application just yet, but you can access your Facebook inbox from the new app. Unfortunately, it does not offer the same delivered/read alerts that competing services such as BBM, iMessage and WhatsApp offer. The free application is available in both the Android Market and the iTunes App Store now. Facebook acquired a messaging platform called Beluga in March and this is likely the preliminary fruit of that purchase. More →
Activision on Tuesday announced Call of Duty Elite, a new social network-style experience that will allow Call of Duty players to interact with one another in an entirely different way. The social network has three pillars: connect, compete, and improve. “Connect” will allow users to compete against friends, join groups, find players with similar interests, and enter tournaments. Activision will provide both web and mobile interfaces for managing your Call of Duty information from multiple devices. “Compete” will allow players to enter events and competitions with other players that have similar abilities, and Activision promises real world and in-game prizes. “Improve,” will provide users with a strategy guide to help them bump their gaming skills by following their performance and ongoing statistics. “The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer,” Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, said. “That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community. Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before.” Most features will be free, although a premium package will also be available. The service will enter public beta with Call of Duty: Black Ops this summer and will launch on November 8th with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Hit the jump for the full release and a demo video.
Yahoo! Messenger for iOS has been updated to version 2.1. The chat client is now optimized for tablets screens, and Yahoo! has added support for video chat on the iPad 2, including the ability to place video chat calls to the iPhone, a Mac, or a PC. Yahoo! says it has also added improved spam management tools, and users will now be able to block one or all friend requests from a single screen. If you’ve been using the previous version, the update should also eliminate any unexpected sign-out issues. Yahoo! Messenger 2.1 is available for free from iTunes now. More →
Moments ago, Google announced it will begin pushing out Android 2.3.4 in the “next few weeks.” The company notes that the software will contain bug fixes for the Nexus One and, more excitingly, video chat capabilities for the Nexus S. “You can now video or voice chat with your friends, family and colleagues right from your Android phone, whether they’re on their compatible Android tablet or phone, or using Gmail with Google Talk on their computer,” reads the press release. “You can make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi.” A video demo of the new video chat feature is waiting for you after the break. Enjoy! More →
Earlier this month, we told you about Internet voice and video chat company fring and its plans to release a multi-user video chat client. Today, the company announced that both its Android and iOS software bundles now have this new feature. “With fring’s Group Video calling, four fring friends can now share a simultaneous video call, for free, on their mobile phone (on Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G) using fring’s proprietary DVQ technology, that delivers the highest quality video for all four participants,” reads the press release. The apps are ready to be downloaded from the Android Market and App Store. There is an awesomely bad music-video demo thingy waiting for you after the break. More →
A carefully crafted tweet has sparked rumors of a native video-chat feature coming to Android 2.3.4 in the near future. “Just had a video call using gmail on Nexus S. Impressive quality @googlenexus Gingerbread 2.3.4 #io2011,” reads the post in question. The implication is — obviously — that Google will migrate its Gmail, browser-based video chat service to Android and unveil the new offering at this year’s Google I/O conference, which is set to kick off May 10th in San Francisco. We can’t say we’d be surprised to see it… but we’re still pretty excited. More →
The brood over at PreCentral have managed to acquire a leaked copy of HP’s webOS 3.0 beta 1 software development kit (SDK). Why is this a good thing? Because contained within said SDK rests a TouchPad, webOS 3.0 emulator, of course. While emulators only provide 50% of the TouchPad story — the other half being hardware — it is useful to get a high-level overview of what user interface will look like. If you want to whet your appetite for this summers TouchPad release, hit the jump. There’s an eighteen minute video overview awaiting your scrutiny. Be sure to click through the read link as well for a host of screen grabs. More →
Have an HTC ThunderBolt and a burning desire to use Skype’s video chat service? You’re in luck, because the gang over at Droid-Life have discovered a leaked iteration of the Internet communication client that is video-chat ready. The client, which was expected to ship with the ThunderBolt at the time of its announcement, can only be installed on Verizon’s first LTE smartphone… at the moment. If you’re interested in taking the software for a spin, hit the read link and have yourself a download. More →
Fring, the makers of the self-titled, cross-platform, mobile voice and video chat client, are beginning to dabble in group video chat. In a recent YouTube video, the company showcased its latest software build — currently in beta — running a group video chat session on iOS. The feature will allow up to four users to simultaneously connect, face-to-face in a Brady Bunch-like mosaic as seen above. The beta is currently accepting applicants, so if you think you’re worthy — or just love playing with new software — hit the jump, watch the video, and follow the read link to apply.
RIM has made Facebook for BlackBerry, version 2.0, available via its BlackBerry Beta World portal. The latest update includes support for Facebook Chat and messages — which will now automatically land in your unified mailbox. Provided that you leave yourself signed in, the app will automatically notify you of new chat messages, even if you don’t have the app open. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve accidentally “Liked” a random friend’s status while scrolling through our Facebook News Feed, so a revamped layout that prevents this from occurring is certainly welcome. It’s also now possible to check-in, update your status, or post photos, directly from the top of your News Feed. Facebook for BlackBerry 2.0 offers revamped navigation controls, and a new notifications bar that looks a lot like the “Today View” in BlackBerry 6. Lastly, the profile view has been tweaked, and now allows users to toggle between wall, info, and photo tabs on a friend’s page. More →