Skype announced Thursday that it will acquire mobile video software and service provider Qik. Unconfirmed rumors suggest the deal will be worth approximately $100 million. Qik specializes in mobile video broadcasting and video calling services, the latter being an area that Skype has been particularly interested in lately. Qik emerged among a group of similar services but broke out in 2010 thanks to carrier and manufacturer deals that helped net the service 4.4 million new subscribers over the course of the year. Qik’s bread and butter is currently the Android OS, though it also offers clients for other platforms including iOS and Symbian. “The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” said Skype CEO Tony Bates in a statement. “Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype.” Hit the break for Skype’s full press release. More →
We just received word from our friends at Beejive that their brand new version of BeejiveIM for BlackBerry handsets launches today, and is even on sale until the end of the year at only $9.99/$14.95 (single license or transferable license). Obviously our favorite IM client for the BlackBerry (and even iPhone), version 2.0 has some pretty amazing features in it:
- Support for OS 5.0
- BlackBerry Storm/Storm2 support
- Send file transfers via link — all IM accounts supported
- Email push notifications when running in background mode
- Send voice notes
- Send GPS location to buddies
- New chat styles and background images
- New buddy list layouts
- Refreshed UI design
- Improved battery life
- Facebook IM support
You might have heard of a little Twitter client called TweetGenius around these parts… Ok, maybe it’s not so little, but you know what I mean. What started out as a side project just for me (and lucky friends) to use quickly grew into a public software offering. We’ve been so blown away by the feedback and sales that we have been struggling to keep up with our original roadmap and between me and you, our roadmap is intense. Well, what’s the next step to make TweetGenius better, faster, more solid and more feature-rich? Beejive. Probably my favorite software development company for the BlackBerry and iPhone OSes, Beejive’s social messaging vision and service is the perfect partner for TweetGenius going forward.
We’re happy to partner with Beejive on TweetGenius. If you already bought a license, don’t worry — you’ll still get supported and free upgrades like we initially promised. If you haven’t however, TweetGenius is going back into closed beta until we’re ready to re-release it. Trust us, it’s going to be worth the wait. With our innovative UI and upcoming feature-set coupled with Beejive’s experience with instant communication, TweetGenius will continue to be the go to Twitter client for the BlackBerry platform. If Twitter isn’t your thing, that’s alright. You never know what else we might be working on.
Not happy to let the T-Mobile Sidekick be the only device to keep its name, T-Mobile has, as you all know, released the update to the Sidekick LX named… the Sidekick LX. Similarities don’t end there, however. We’ve covered the device a little bit but we’ve now got a unit of our own and in addition to some unboxing photos, here are some of our continued first impressions:
The screen is possibly the best screen we’ve seen on a mobile device. RIM really nailed it with the Bold and 8900 but we think the ‘kick take it one level further. Anyone who has used a Sidekick before will obviously be right at home. The main navigation buttons like Jump, Back, Menu, Cancel are all in the same positions and the trackball makes navigating really simple. What about the keyboard? Any real ninja (not you fake ninjas) will know that the Sidekick holds the title for best mobile QWERTY. Ever. It’s not debatable and you will be banned for making a comment that says otherwise. So how is the LX’s keyboard? Fan-friggin-tastic! Really, really awesome. The thinness of the device is much appreciated nowadays but we really wish they’d step it up in the application department. Apple’s App Store approval process makes T-Mobile’s Catalog approval system look uncivilized and down right stupid at best, plus, it’s not like there are any great tools to develop applications with either on the Sidekick. At the end of the day it’s about the OS and we’re not sure Danger’s OS cuts it.
Palringo first launched its instant messaging app for the iPhone back in July and for six months it has been one of the best options available for IM on the iPhone. The app is sleek and functional, marrying text IM, picture messaging and PTT-like vocal messaging with a multi-platform solution that covers all of the major chat services. Oh, and it’s all free. Today, Palringo announced a new build that adds some great new functionality to its already-capable app revolving around Location Based Services (LBS). As is the trend these days, software developers are finding all sorts of different ways to integrate LBS into their offerings but sometimes things get a tad out of control. Do you think any of your Twitter friends really want you to broadcast your location every 10 minutes? In an IM app however, location adds a new and useful layer to contact presence and Palringo is working on some great features. Included in this update, users will now see location and distance (from the user) data alongside each Palringo contact in their list. In a forthcoming update due very soon, tapping a contact’s location will bring up a map displaying all contacts within a 6-mile radius. The user will also be able to bring up a map displaying his or her own location. We’re sure you can see where Palringo is going with all this, but suffice it say we can expect pretty great things in the near future from Palringo surrounding LBS. If you haven’t tried the app yet, definitely hit the app store and do so. Those of you with jailbroken iPhones, toss Backgrounder into the mix for best results.
We told you it was coming, folks. It’s finally here, approved by the almighty Apple gods, and ready for your download. We’ll keep this short and sweet; we standby our previous article where we said this is hands down the best IM application for the iPhone. So go check it out and report back, we know you’ll be pleasantly surprised after the disastrous duo of IM+ and Palringo.
If you haven’t dabbled in the goodness that is BeeJive (formally JiveTalk), you are really missing out. Creators of the best IM program for the BlackBerry devices (this isn’t up for debate, ok?), we were ecstatic when we found out they were making an official iPhone application. Let’s start it off by saying MobileChat, Palringo, and yes, even AIM’s official application, sit down. You are done. Finished. Even in its beta state, it’s going to take a whole lot to knock BeeJive off the podium. It’s the most stable IM application we’ve ever used on the iPhone, it supports every single IM service under the sun, and does so in an awesome and clean user interface. Let’s not forget functionality, though. What good is an IM app that never works? We’re pleased to report that BeeJive handles connections with ease. You can specify your timeout time in the settings, and the application will continue to receive messages when the app is closed. As soon as you launch it, your missed messages are there. They even went as far as to include background notification support, so as soon as Apple flips that switch, notification sounds and badges will be pushed to you instantly. Again, this is a beta version, but even now, it’s the best IM application to use. Ok, you’re sold. When can you get it and how much? We’re not able to provide you with a release date or pricing at the moment, but it shouldn’t be too long before you can get your hands on BeeJive’s IM application for the iPhone. Want to check it out? Hit up the gallery for some shots!
It has been less than one month since Palringo added its IM application to the iPhone App Store and we already have the major revision promised when it was released on July 29. The most notable addition of course, is Push-to-Talk (PTT) support. PTT, or vocal IM as they often call it in this case, is the feature that sets Palringo apart from competitors on various other platforms and now the great functionality is available to iPhone users as well. So how does it work? Just like standard PTT services, simply select a contact from your contact list and hold a [virtual] button while speaking. Finish talking, release the button and your audio recording is quickly delivered to the recipient. Incoming PTT messages can be played automatically or manually depending on your settings and they will play right from within the app. Of course Palringo also supports messaging to a variety of other IM platforms such as GTalk, Yahoo and AIM and they aren’t left out when it comes to PTT. The catch of course is that these IM services don’t support PTT so any vocal messages, just like picture messages, will be delivered as a link to the file hosted on Palringo servers. The recipient can then easily click the link and view your image file or play the PTT message right from within any standard browser. Of course the addition of PTT support doesn’t change the fact that the app is free and since all iPhones are sold with unlimited data, you’ve now got unlimited PTT as well – to any handset running Palringo on any network! Take that, carriers.
If you have an S60, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry smartphone then you should already know about Palringo. They call it “rich messaging” and we call it a good IM application with support for AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, Windows Live Messenger and Palringo’s own IM platform. For a quick recap on what sets Palringo apart, here are the three core functions:
- Text IM: Standard, run-of-the-mill instant messaging.
- Vocal IM: More commonly known as Push to Talk (PTT), users can instantly exchange voice messages in near real-time. Think of it as a free walkie talkie on your mobile. Palringo -> Palringo voice messages will play automatically on the recipient’s device, just like PTT. Palringo -> ‘Other’ messages will be delivered as links that the recipient can click on to play the audio file hosted on Palringo’s servers.
- Image IM: Exactly what it sounds like. Click the picture button and Palringo will activate the handset’s camera. Snap a picture, hit send and the image will display right in the Palringo client on the recipient’s handset. Users can also send images to third-party IM services (GTalk, AIM, etc). Just like voice IM, your contact will receive a link that will allow him / her to view and save the image hosted on Palringo’s servers.
Now, iPhone owners have access to what is likely one of the most versatile mobile IM apps on the market. For the time being, functionality is limited to text and image messaging but Palringo promises vocal IM in the second release version. In the meantime, iPhone owners can now enjoy free text and image IM on whichever IM platform they like. Just hit the App Store and you’re good to go.
This is a happy, happy day for any AIM addicts toting around a Windows Mobile device. There are 3rd party solutions (JiveTalk, what up!), but it’s always comforting to get a piece of software directly from the source. AOL has finally released an updated AIM client, and boy does it look sexy! We’re giving it a go right now but sadly, it doesn’t look as if we’ll get file transfers at the moment. Let’s hope this feature makes it way into the final build as it is still in beta. It also is said to be compatible with just about every Windows Mobile device — Standard or Professional, 5 or 6. Anyone looking to give it a try? Hit us up and let us know what the verdict is!
After what has been quite a long wait for many eager BlackBerry users, Palringo has finally made its BlackBerry IM client available to the public. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Palringo’s IM client, it’s definitely time to remedy that. Already fairly popular on Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, Palringo provides text, voice and image IM services – for free. Beyond its own IM service it also supports just about every popular IM platform like Google Talk, AIM, MSN Yahoo and more. Let’s break it down by service:
- Text IM: Standard, run-of-the-mill instant messaging.
- Voice IM: More commonly known as Push to Talk (PTT), users can instantly exchange voice messages in near real-time. Think of it as a free walkie talkie on your mobile. PTT is a service that has been very limited in consumer acceptance due to high prices, handset compatibility issues and carrier limitations. Enter Palringo. Now that a solid java client is available, for free, PTT couldn’t be more accessible. Also of note, Palringo supports voice messaging to third-party IM clients (GTalk, AIM, etc) as well. While Palringo -> Palringo voice messages will play automatically on the recipient’s device, Palringo -> ‘Other’ messages will be delivered as links that the recipient can click on to play the audio file hosted on Palringo’s servers.
- Image IM: Exactly what it sounds like. Click the picture button and Palringo will activate the handset’s camera. Snap a picture, hit send and the image will display right in the Palringo client on the recipient’s handset. Users can also send images to third-party IM services (GTalk, AIM, etc). Just like voice IM, your buddy will receive a link that will allow him / her to view and even save the image hosted on Palringo’s servers.
Palringo also includes some other nice features such as group chat with image and voice support; meaning you can send one text, voice or image IM that will be received simultaneously by any number of users in a group. To download the app on your BlackBerry, just visit palringo.mobi from your mobile browser or hit the read link to visit Palringo’s site and check out other download options.
UPDATE: Sorry guys, we forgot to mention that for the time being you’ll need a Pearl, Curve or 8800 series to play.
[Via Press Release]