video chat

Google+ Hangouts get “bandwidth slider” to battle Skype

Google+ Hangouts get “bandwidth slider” to battle Skype

The team behind the Google+ video chat environment "Hangouts" has updated the system this week to work with internet connection speeds of all varieties. To attach to those that normally wouldn't be able to keep up with a video chat interface (be it Hangouts, Skype, or otherwise), the Google developers working with Hangouts have revealed two new features: a Bandwidth Slider and "Audio-Only mode." This means Google+ is ready to do not just video chat, but phone calls as well - almost as if Google Voice has come to visit!

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Skype for Windows Phone 8 updated with “always on” feature

Skype for Windows Phone 8 updated with “always on” feature

The final release of a completely rock-and-roll Skype app for Windows Phone 8 is upon us all, here this week with a new Preview Release that includes no less than call and message notifications even while closed. This is in contrast to the past where both users (on either end of the Skype call or message) had to have Skype open to make a connection. This update is coming to all Windows Phone 8 users starting today (if they've got Skype downloaded already, of course).

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Skype for iOS updates with Microsoft account login, animated emoticons

Skype for iOS updates with Microsoft account login, animated emoticons

After updating their Android app with Microsoft account login abilities, Skype is doing the same for its iOS app today. The company has issued an update for the app that follows along with their plans to merge Windows Live Messenger with Skype. Along with the Microsoft account login, the app adds animated emoticons and a few other welcomed additions that users will find useful.

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AT&T defends blocking 3G FaceTime with FCC rule wording

AT&T defends blocking 3G FaceTime with FCC rule wording

This morning the folks at AT&T have made it clear that they will indeed be blocking Apple's FaceTime usage over their 3G network unless users switch to their new data plan, and have defended this move with a reiteration of an FCC rule on the subject. The FCC has a rule in place that keeps carriers from blocking applications that compete with their own - but because AT&T does not have an application that competes with FaceTime, they've made it clear that they feel justified in this situation. AT&T representative Bob Quinn spoke up today with assurances that criticism of this move by the carrier is nothing more than a "knee jerk reaction" on the part of users.

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Gmail gets Hangouts integration for super simple video chat

Gmail gets Hangouts integration for super simple video chat

Google continues to integrate their system in an ever-tightening web of connectivity with video chat for Gmail. This video chat comes in the form of Hangouts, the same system that's currently working in their social network Google+. You'll be able to use this chat system without signing up for a Google+ account, but Google is encouraging you to do so anyway, of course, for "even more" special features than you'd get without such an account.

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Airtime connects Facebook and YouTube to real video chat

Airtime connects Facebook and YouTube to real video chat

This week the folks at Airtime have started a company on just a measly $33.5 million in funding and the help of celebrities ranging from Snoop Dogg to Martha Stewart, hoping that Facebook-connected video chat will bring them big bucks starting extremely soon. This is a chat service that connects you with people you know and/or have similar interests to your own, this taking the "oops, that person is naked" factor out of what was once a very successful Chat Roulette.

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Mozilla demos video chat app for Firefox

Mozilla demos video chat app for Firefox

Mozilla has been experimenting with integrating social features directly into its Firefox browser, recently demoing a built-in video chat service. The web app uses the open-source WebRTC standard to establish the video call connection and a SocialAPU add-on, built on Javascipt and HTML for audio and video streaming capabilities that previously relied on proprietary plugins, such as Flash.

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Social messaging apps cost mobile companies $14 billion

Social messaging apps cost mobile companies $14 billion

If you used Google Talk, Facebook Chat, imo, or any other data-based social messaging platform on your phone, congratulations. You helps reduce the pockets of mobile providers by nearly $14 billion. That's the number that analytics group Ovum came up with, saying the rise of instant messaging apps is killing what is one of the highest margin line items on any cell phone bill. And it isn't just text messaging. New apps that allow users to place calls without using any plan minutes are also on the rise.

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