Facebook rolling out free VoiP calling in Messenger to everyone

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 3, 2014

Ever since launching its totally redesigned Messenger app last November, the social networking giant Facebook’s been dragging its feet in terms of enabling VoIP calling for everyone.

For users in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, this useful feature has been part of the old Messenger app for quite some time now.

Today, Facebook issued a minor update to Messenger for iOS that seemingly enables free voice calling over Wi-Fi and low-cost calls over cellular for everyone.

The update is available in the App Store so grab it now and check out free calling in Facebook Messenger… Read More


Google Voice reportedly getting axed soon in favor of VoIP-to-phones Hangouts integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Have you even wondered why it’s been nearly six months since Google last refreshed the free Google Voice for iPhone application (it still lacks iOS 7 styling)? After all, isn’t Google Voice supposed to be a priority for the Internet giant?

For those unfamiliar with it, Google Voice is a telephony service that offers a bunch of nice features such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, conference calling, call screening, call routing, blocking of unwanted calls and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages, to name a few.

According to a new report, Google could be looking to retire the standalone Voice app for iOS and Android and instead fold its functionality into the native Hangouts app, which was released in the App Store in May of 2013Read More


Leaked screenies show off VoIP calling in WhatsApp’s upcoming iPhone update

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2014

As you know, the world’s most popular mobile messaging software, WhatsApp, is being purchased by the social networking giant Facebook for a staggering $16 billion.

WhatsApp previously promised to introduce VoIP calling in the second quarter of this year, a move poised to turn the tables on competition like Viber, now owned by Rakuten.

While Viber last December unveiled a new Skype-like Viber Out feature for making low-cost outgoing calls to international mobile and landline numbers, a set of screenshots leaked on Friday purportedly depicting what WhatsApp’s VoIP calling will look like in its iPhone application, a free download from the App StoreRead More


WhatsApp to enable voice calling in second quarter

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2014

WhatsApp, the popular cross-platform instant messaging software for mobile phones, announced on Monday that it will be enabling voice calling over data networks (VoIP) for the 465 million of its users come second quarter of 2014.

The move is part of broader plans to reach a billion users by year’s end, co-founder and chief executive Jan Koum said this morning at Mobile World Congress, which runs from Monday through Thursday in Barcelona, Spain.

WhatsApp is in the process of being acquired by the social networking giant, Facebook, in a transaction valued at $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares. The development essentially means that Facebook now owns a phone company… Read More


Viber acquired by e-commerce giant Rakuten for $900 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2014

This is kind of interesting. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the popular voice call app Viber has agreed to a deal to be acquired by Rakuten for $900 million. For those unfamiliar with the e-commerce giant, it’s essentially Japan’s version of Amazon.

Viber is available on all major mobile and desktop platforms, and is one of Skype’s biggest competitors with over 300 million users worldwide. It was one of the first apps to allow 3G VoIP on the iPhone and it now supports land-line calls, messages and even push-to-talk… Read More


BlackBerry rolls out BBM 2.0 with voice calling, Channels, location sharing and more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2014

Following a minor refresh recently which brought out a handy new Find Friends feature, Canada’s struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is today rolling out a new BBM version 2.0. The release contains a few new features such as free voice calling, BBM Channels, Dropbox integration, location sharing and more.

The free update is rolling out today so keep an eye on the App Store and don’t panic if it’s not live yet as these things take time to propagate.

The full breakdown is right below the fold… Read More


Skype gains push notifications for chats, two-way video calling in HD on A7 devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2014

Skype for iPhone rolled out the ability to conduct two-way video chatting back in December 2010, but the quality of these video calls left a lot to be desired. Back then, the iPhone 4′s back camera could only capture video in 720p and the front-facing camera was good only for VGA-grade video chatting.

Besides, the handset lacked the processing power to make two-way video calling in high-definition a reality.

Today’s update to Skype’s free iPhone and iPad client brings HD video calling to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, along with an improved chatting experience and more… Read More


Viber announces new ‘Viber Out’ feature for making low-cost outgoing calls

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2013

Popular VoIP and messaging service Viber announced today the release of version 4.1 of its mobile app for Android and iPhone. The update includes the full global launch of Viber Out, a new feature that allows users to make low-cost calls to any mobile or landline phone number.

The service uses credit that can be purchased through in-app purchases, or via credit card, and the minutes can be used on Android, iOS or your desktop. It’s actually a lot like how Skype works, except it looks like Viber’s rates are much lower and it won’t charge connection fees… Read More


Viber 4.0 arrives with push-to-talk, Viber Out, Sticker Market, tweaks and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2013

Viber today released a brand new version of its iOS and Android application which now includes the Viber Sticker Market, the new background gallery, the ability to send push-to-talk voice messages, forward messages, add more participants to group conversations than ever before and additional tweaks.

What’s really interesting is that Sticker Market allows Viber users to put their own creations on sale and make a profit when others buy their work from the palm of their hand.

The full breakdown follows after the break… Read More


Skype gaining better sign in experience, faster startup and iOS 7 mic permissions

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2013

Microsoft-owned Skype app for the iPhone and iPad is about to get bumped to version 4.14, gaining under-the-hood tweaks for faster startup time and iOS 7-specific permissions for microphone access.

The update has been officially announced on the Skype blog earlier in the morning and should drop later during the course of the day.

Over the past two months, Skype’s mobile app has received its iOS 7 style visual makeover and gained the ability to make HD quality 720p video calls from the fourth-generation iPad and later and the iPhone 5 and later… Read More


Skype receives its iOS 7 makeover

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2013

You can blame Microsoft-owned Skype for missing the train on stickers, games and other popular messaging features (sans video messages), but the application still stands out as the most popular VoIP software in use to this date. Skype wasn’t among the list of third-party apps that were immediately updated with the new design following the September 18 iOS 7 release, so today both the iPhone and iPad clients have finally received a nice little refresh bringing the iOS 7 look and feel along with a few minor enhancements… Read More


Skype iOS apps now support HD quality video calls via iPad 4 and iPhone 5

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2013

Microsoft-owned Skype has been giving their iOS apps some much-needed love lately. For example, following June’s announcement of Skype Video Messages, the company has updated mobile and desktop apps with the ability to record and send short videos to your contacts, even when offline. The feature was previously available with a 20-message limit and imposed a three-minute ceiling on the length of individual video messages.

Today, the iPhone and iPad Skype app has been updated with various call quality improvements and general fixes, including the ability to make HD quality 720p video calls from the latest and fastest iOS devices, such a the fourth-generation iPad and the iPhone 5… Read More


WhatsApp adds unlimited voice messaging

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2013

WhatsApp is arguably the most popular cross-platform mobile messaging solution out there and while it currently lacks a desktop client (unlike its rival Viber), it’s just become a whole lot more useful by introducing a significant new feature: voice memos, a pet project of its CEO over the past six months.

Unlike Facebook’s Messenger iOS app that requires three taps to make a voice recording, it only takes a single tap to record and send a voice memo in WhatsApp. And no, it’s not a staggered release: the new WhatsApp with push-to-record voice messaging is available now simultaneously on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia… Read More


Enormously popular WhatsApp goes free: gains iCloud chat backups and other features

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2013

WhatsApp, arguably the most popular cross-platform chatting solution, has just gone free on the App Store. We’re not sure whether the move is part of the upcoming iOS subscription switch or if there was a change of heart.

Either way, we’re not complaining. Previously a 99-cent download, WhatsApp for the iPhone and iPod touch is now provided free of charge (jump past the fold for the fine print).

In addition, the app’s been updated with the much-needed ability to back up your chats to iCloud so you don’t loose your chat history upon reinstalling WhatsApp. Other changes in WhatsApp 2.10.1 include support for URL schemes and the ability to send multiple photos at the same time… Read More


Viber for Mac gets typing indicator, group messaging, stickers and emoticons

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2013

The popular Skype alternative and WhatsApp rival Viber today updated its Mac app with half a dozen new features. You’ll recall that Viber released the inaugural Mac build back in May to allow for cross-platform messaging. I’ve been actively using it ever since on my MacBook Air and today’s update adds a few features I’ve been missing a lot.

Now, when you’re chatting with someone, you can tell whether a person is typing a message thanks to the new typing indicator. And for a feature-parity with Viber for iOS, the Mac edition now expands on the initial release with full support for group messaging capabilities, as well as popular stickers and emoticons. I’ve included a few remaining nice-to-haves after the break… Read More


GV Mobile + updated with Google Voice VoIP calling and new interface

By Cody Lee on Jun 28, 2013

Good news Google Voice users. One of the more popular clients for the service, GV Mobile +, has just received a significant update with several new features and improvements, including an all new interface and support for making free VoIP calls.

The GV client has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, bringing the app to version 3.0, with a new UI that appears to be designed to fit in with the new iOS 7 aesthetic, and the ability to make free phone calls that won’t use your minutes… Read More


Skype for iPhone gains improved calling and chatting features

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2013

Today, Microsoft-owned Skype has been updated on the iPhone and iPod touch (the latter sold 100 million units since its 2007 inception). The enhancements include a pair of features related to the application’s chatting and VoIP calling capabilities.

For starters, one-to-one chats now appear in the correct order. There’s also a new introduction screens for first-time users. More importantly, the VoIP application now lets you switch easily between headset, speaker or Bluetooth device, without interrupting call in progress… Read More


Google ostensibly close to buying WhatsApp for $1 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2013

WhatsApp, the cross-platform instant messaging application for smartphones, is rumored to be close to negotiating a landmark acquisition deal with Google. Sources reportedly close to the negotiations claim the Internet giant is considering dropping a whopping one billion dollars on the popular service that as of March 2013 had a cool 200 million users, a hundred million ones on Android alone.

The report ties nicely with talk of a new instant messaging brand from Google called Babble, and even more so given Facebook with its new Home UI layer for select Android devices is basically encouraging its one billion users to use its Messenger service right from their Lock screen or from whichever app they happen to be using at any give moment… Read More


Facebook voice calling now available in UK, seen elsewhere

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2013

The social networking giant Facebook back in early-January updated its free Messenger app with the ability to share audio snippets, having added that feature to its official iOS client, also a free download, later that month. Initially only available to Canadian and North American users, today the company has expanded in-app voice calling to people in the United Kingdom in the form of a quiet backend update.

The handy feature should presumably become available to UK users through the company’s main iOS client at a later stage as well… Read More


Skype for iPhone gains emergency call redirection, automatic call recovery

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2013

Following a Skype for iPad update earlier this week that has enabled automatic dropped call recovery, in-app purchase of Skype credits and a minor UI tweak, the Microsoft-owned VoIP provider has pushed out an update to its iPhone and iPod touch client this morning. Borrowing from the latest iPad build, the iPhone version will now automatically reconnect any dropped call.

More importantly emergency calls now get routed through the native dialer, which is interesting knowing most other VoIP apps don’t support this feature. A few more tidbits and the full changelog follow after the jump… Read More

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