Skype launches BlackBerry 10 preview, but only for Q10 owners at first (Original)
For all the hullabaloo about Skype coming to BlackBerry 10, there wasn't much to show at the Z10's launch beyond a logo. We've got more to work with today -- sort of. A preview version of Skype has indeed popped up in BlackBerry World with voice, video and instant messaging like we've seen on other platforms. However, no one in the general public can actually use it yet: the app requires BlackBerry 10.1, which won't reach the market until the Q10 ships to Brits and Canucks. That leaves Americans and Z10 owners in the lurch for a few weeks, although they can at least see the light at the end of the VoIP tunnel.
Source: BlackBerry World…
TokBox Brings WebRTC To The Cloud, Enables Multi-Party Video Chats & SIP Interop (Original)
Telefonica’s TokBox announced a huge upgrade to its OpenTok on WebRTC service today. TokBox’s new cloud-based Mantis media distribution framework is designed to overcome some of WebRTC’s limits with regard to video distribution. By default, WebRTC is a peer-to-peer platform, but that makes it hard to scale video chats beyond two participants. With Mantis, TokBox essentially puts its own cloud infrastructure in the middle of these calls and is then able to route and manage calls that include multiple participants without using a prohibitive amount of bandwidth and using a complicated mesh-based architecture.
In the future, as TokBox CEO Ian Small told me earlier this week, this will also enable TokBox to shape video streams according to the different users’ bandwidth conditions and the developers’ needs. “With Mantis, what we’re doing is putting smarts into the WebRTC infrastructure,” Small said. “Today, we’re routing traffic. Tomorrow, we’ll shape traffic.”
On cool feature Mantis already enables today is SIP interop, so developers will actually be able to write WebRTC-based apps that allow users to call in from their standard phone lines. This, for example, is useful for video conferencing services where you can now have a number of WebRTC-based video streams and a few participants on regular phone lines simultaneously.…
Facebook Voice Calling Now Available To All US Users Thanks To Today’s Android Rollout (Original)
Now the Facebook can really start to replace your phone. Today Facebook rolled out its free VoIP voice calling feature to US users of Home and its Android Messenger app. That means even less reason to open your standard “phone” app, and more data for Facebook about who you care about the most. Now all iOS and Android users in the US can Facedial their friends.
Previously VoIP for Android was available in 23 other countries, but its roll out to the United States makes it 24. Facebook tells me the rollout will happen over the course of today, and doesn’t require any formal app updates.
To start a VoIP call in Messenger you click the I icon on someone’s profile and then tap “free call”. In Home, you can start a call from a Chat Head by clicking the three dots beside a person’s name, opening the conversation in Messenger, and then following the steps above.
Facebook first began testing its open sourced version of VoIP with iOS users in Canada and the US in January, and has been slowly rolling it out to more countries and Android since. But today is the culmination of that rollout (excluding less critical developing markets).…
Amazon buys Siri-esque Evi, planning voice-based shopping assistant? (Original)
Amazon has bought British start-up Evi, akin to Apple's Siri, for $26 million, rumored to be launching a new voice-based shopping guide or its own smartphone within the year.…
Will Google Hang Up on Voice? (Original)
Will Google Voice, Mountain View's red-headed stepchild, live to see another day. Google pulled the plug on its popular Reader RSS reading service, so anything is possible.…
Vtok Aims To Bring Google Voice And Video Chat To iOS (Original)
Anyone who has a Gmail or Google Apps account and a number of contacts using either service will probably be able to attest to the convenience of using the Google Chat plugin as a way to connect with friends and family. But while Android has most of the plugin’s features built-in, unfortunately there’s no good way to get the same native voice and video chat functionality on iOS devices.
That’s a problem that a tiny startup called SkyMobius has sought to solve with an app called Vtok. The app goes beyond just enabling iOS users to send messages to their connections logged in to Gmail or Google Apps, and contains many of the features people love about the service. That means voice and video chat first and foremost, but it also includes a number of other features.
The Vtok app has been available for a while, but it recently launched its third version of the app, which includes a major upgrade to its user interface and support for a bunch of new features. In addition to the new UI, Vtok is adding picture messaging to the release, which is one feature Sky Mobius founder Manpreet Singh said users were asking for.…
SendHub, A Google Voice Alternative For Enterprise, Arrives On Android (Original)
SendHub, the Y Combinator-backed call and messaging solution targeting business users and other organizations, is today extending its platform to include support for Android. The company had previously rolled out support for iPhone almost a year ago, promising that an Android option was on the roadmap.
The company says that demand for Android support was high – they were averaging around 30 requests per day from users who wanted an Android version of SendHub.
Like the iOS version, the new app also includes support for calling and texting over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or cellular voice networks, support for group messages, the ability to add auto-responders and contacts, and more. In addition, it includes support for call transfers – a feature that is currently in the Apple App Store review process, expected to launch in a week or so.
The call transfer feature, like many the company has added in recent months, is designed with the needs of businesses in mind.
SendHub, for those unfamiliar, is something like a more feature-rich alternative to something like Google Voice. While previously targeting both individuals and businesses, it went after the business market more directly with the launch of its SendHub Manger at the beginning of the year.…
Viber Brings Voice Calls To BlackBerry OS (Not BB10) In Beta Update (Original)
Just a few months ago, Skype competitor Viber previewed voice calling on the BlackBerry platform. Viber is available on a multitude of platforms, including iOS, Windows Phone 8, Bada, S40, Symbian, and the list goes on.
However, BlackBerry represents a good chunk of Viber’s user base (it’s their third largest platform behind iOS and Android), and yet it’s still in the minority of Viber apps that don’t have access to voice calls. Today all that changes.
Viber has pushed out an update for BlackBerry users to version 2.4 of the Viber app, finally bringing free voice calls to BlackBerry users for the first time. At first, the update will roll out in a beta version to push the feature out as quickly as possible. Later on, Viber will release the official update.
Here’s what Viber CEO Talmon Marco said in a prepared statement:
BlackBerry is one of the most important markets for us and represents our third largest user base. We are thrilled to bring this community free voice calling, letting them communicate freely with all of their important contacts across multiple platforms.
Interestingly enough, this latest update to voice calling doesn’t include support for the new BB10 operating system BlackBerry is so excited about.…
Google TV Remote app for Android gets its first update, with voice search and design tweaks (Original)
The official Google TV Remote app for Android has been around since late 2010, but it only just received its first update since launch. So what's changed? Support for voice commands has been extended for compatibility with Voice Search on Google TV 3.0, the old swiping directional circle has been replaced with an easier to use tappable d-pad, the look has changed slightly (check after the break for a screen of the old UI) there's accessibility support, and now the icon is sporting a small microphone. They're all minor tweaks, but after a couple of years, it's nice to see any attention being paid. We'll see if bigger changes for the platform are in store at Google I/O in May.
Update: Now that the official app has been updated, third party apps may add similar features, including the popular Able Remote which also added Voice Search.
Source: Google Play…
Thanks for Making Skype a Part of Your Daily Lives – 2 Billion Minutes a Day! (Original)
Today, we are excited to celebrate that our Skype users – YOU – are spending more than 2 billion minutes connecting with each other! 2 BILLION MINUTES!
But just how big is 2 billion minutes, you ask?
That’s enough time to travel to the moon and back over 225 thousand times, walk around Earth more than 845 times or travel to Mars more than 5,400 times.
2 billion minutes is more than 33 million hours of people singing, laughing, joking and staying in touch. That means 1,388,000 days of togetherness which make up more than 3,805 years of sharing or nearly 38 centuries of time spent on Skype in one day.
Thank you for making Skype a part of your daily life. With numbers like these, it’s clear that Skype is for more than just for special occasions – it’s for being together with those who matter most – at work, at home and anywhere in between. With Skype you can connect with the people you care about most on any device – PCs, iPhones, iPads, Kindle Fires, Androids, Macs, Windows Phones and even TVs.
2 billion minutes is a testament to our users who are making Skype the everyday communications hub that brings people together.…