Facebook on Wednesday took the wraps off of the latest major addition to the world’s most popular social network: video chat. Through a partnership with Skype, Facebook video users will now be able to video chat with each other through the company’s new service… for free. The service works just like Skype’s standard video calling service, but video calls can be initiated right from within the Facebook website with a simple click. “A few months ago, we started working with Skype to bring video calling to Facebook,” Facebook wrote on its blog. “We built it right into chat, so all your conversations start from the same place. To call your friend, just click the video call button at the top of your chat window.” Facebook video calling will roll out to all users over the next few weeks. More →
Skype announced on Wednesday that its Android application now supports video calling on select devices. The application is particularly attractive because it allows mobile users to connect with other users on Mac, Windows, TV, iOS, or other Android devices. Skype says the app was built with a complete new redesign, too, which includes a new main menu, easier contact navigation, quick access to your profile, and more. There’s even a new “mood” message box that allows you to show what you’re up to or how you’re feeling. Skype for Android requires Android 2.3 and above, as well as a front-facing camera for video chat. It currently supports the HTC Desire S, the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro, and the Google Nexus S. Skype says it also has plans to roll out support for additional handsets in the near future. Hit the jump for a video demo of the new client in action. More →
HP’s webOS is already tightly integrated with a number of services but now it appears that the OS will soon offer Skype integration, too. According to leaked screenshots, users will soon be able to choose to route their calls directly through Skype from the phonebook application, an option that will no doubt save international callers a big chunk of change. Similarly, users may also be able to place Skype video calls, allowing them to use the front-facing camera on the Pre 3 for video chats. It’s unclear when the integration will be introduced, but this has us more excited than ever for the Pre 3 to finally hit store shelves. More →
Skype has started to fire several of its executives in an effort to reduce payouts from its Microsoft purchase, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Among the execs being let go are vice presidents Christopher Dean, David Gurle, don Albert, and Russ Shaw, as well as chief marketing officer Doug Bewsher, and the head of human resources, Anne Gillespi. Two other execs from Skype’s Qik acquisition earlier this year — Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa — were also fired according to the report. This could possibly mean that the executives will lose any stock options that were not yet vested. Microsoft announced on May 10th that it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion, and the deal is still pending FCC approval. More →
Skype confirmed early Thursday morning that some users may experience connection issues signing into the service or making Skype calls. The company says it has identified the problem and has posted instructions for fixing the issue. The good news is it doesn’t look like the outage will be as massive as the one last December, which was later blamed on an overloaded cluster of support servers. If you’re experiencing issues now, hit the jump for some quick fix instructions from Skype. Just don’t blame it on Microsoft, alright?
Update: Skype says Windows users should update their client to the newest version for an immediate and easier fix. A Max OS X update is also on the way. More →
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The news comes just days after reports surfaced that Facebook and Google were both interested in purchasing, or at least creating a joint venture with the online video chat company. However, sources said Facebook was considering spending $3 to $4 billion on Skype, a fraction of Microsoft’s offer. The firm said Skype will be used to support Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and other Windows devices. Microsoft also said that it will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other software platforms. “Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world,” Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. Skype, which currently has 170 million connected users, will become a new business entity in Microsoft, and Skype’s current CEO Tony Bates assume the role of president of the Microsoft Skype Division. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Microsoft has just invited us to a Windows Phone event in New York City on May 24th, 2011, during which the company will “lift the curtain on the next major release of Windows Phone.” We know Mango will offer Internet Explorer 9 with an integrated Twitter experience, better multitasking, and new apps such as Angry Birds, Skype, and Spotify. We’ve also heard that Microsoft will add Bing Audio for identifying music, Bing Vision for scanning bar codes, and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation with Bing Maps, although none of these features have been confirmed by Microsoft just yet. On May 24th, however, we’ll learn it all — and of course we’ll be on hand reporting live.
Facebook and Google are in separate talks to enter joint ventures with Skype, Reuters reported on Thursday. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also reportedly been in clandestine meetings discussing an all-out purchase of the VoIP service. Skype’s IPO, which is expected to occur later this year, could be worth $1 billion, however, deals with Facebook or Google could bring in as much as $3-$4 billion, Reuters said. Skype 5.0 launched in October of this year and added tight Facebook integration, but the social network has yet to include native video calling into its website or mobile applications. Google could benefit from Skype’s mobile technology to build out its Android video-chat feature, too, which just launched late last month. Neither company has offered a comment on the matter. More →
Last week, we told you about a weakness discovered in Skype’s Android client. The issue stemmed from a combination of incorrect file permissions and lack of encryption usage on the database files used to store contact information, chat history, and more. The company has gone ahead and updated said client, and as an added bonus has included the ability to make VoIP calls via your phone’s 3G data connection. “Calling over your 3G connection is available worldwide – now including the US,” reads the post. We can’t see any reason not to mosey on over to the Android Market and update to the latest version of Skype. The scannable QR code is after the jump. More →
The detectives over at Android Police have found an interesting weakness in Skype for Android. The site has discovered that the popular VoIP chat client stores contact details, conversation logs, and a host of other information in a series of unprotected squlite3 databases. “Skype mistakenly left these files with improper permissions, allowing anyone or any app to read them,” reads the article. “Not only are they accessible, but completely unencrypted.” The vulnerability was initially found in the recently-leaked Skype build for Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt, but upon further review the current build of the software was also found to have the issue. The article’s author has even provided a proof-of-concept application that can leverage the databases’ weakness. Skype has published an official response saying that the company takes privacy very seriously and is “working quickly to protect users from this vulnerability.” Hit the jump to see a video of the proof-of-concept in action. More →
AllThingsD had a chance to sit down with Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore to discuss the new Windows Phone 7 “Mango” update, which the Redmond-based firm is discussing during the MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas today. Belfiore confirmed that Mango will offer a new browsing experience using Internet Explorer 9, and noted that it will have integrated Twitter features. Similarly, Mango will allow users to run multiple programs at the same time – complete with background audio support. That means you could theoretically stream music from Slacker Radio while firing off an email. Microsoft will also allow developers to tap into a phone’s gyroscope and camera, which it hopes will help spur more augmented reality applications. Speaking of apps, Belfiore confirmed that Layar, Skype, Spotify, and Angry Birds, are on their way to the Windows Marketplace. Belfiore confirmed that Mango will launch this fall. 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 →
With the ThunderBolt, HTC has delivered yet another “first 4G smartphone” following its EVO 4G for Sprint (and the often forgotten MAX 4G introduced in 2008). It’s the first handset to run on Verizon’s brand new 4G LTE network, and it’s an Android smartphone powerhouse that is easily the fastest smartphone on the planet in terms of data speeds. That’s not to say the device is perfect, however. The release of Verizon’s first 4G handset was pushed back several times, spanning almost two months, and I’m not so sure all of the wrinkles were ironed out even after all of the delays. But the ThunderBolt is finally here and I’ve spent some quality time with it over the past week or so. Read on to see if this is not only the fastest smartphone on the planet, but one of the best as well.