Tag - Fring
Fring in the middle of Wednesday updated its free Android (Market) and iPhone (App Store) apps to officially launch group video calls. The feature lets owners of either platform make a call between themselves and as many as three others at the same time. Chats are cross-platform and will work on 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi as long as the bandwidth can keep up.
Fring on Tuesday hoped to one-up other mobile video chat options by starting a semi-public beta for group video calling. The test lets Android and iPhone users speak to three other users in real time. It should work cross-platform and won't carry charges, a slight dig at Skype's charging for group video calls on the desktop.
Fring, the company that brought video calling to iOS, Android and some Symbian S60 smartphones, this weekend announced it has launched Dynamic Video Quality (DVQ) technology. This will optimize video bit and frame rates based on the network's bandwidth during a call instead of dropping the call altogether. A DVQ indicator symbol will pop up when network strength isn't at its best and call quality needs to be downgraded.
Google's next release of Android, better known by its Gingerbread codename, may make video chat an important staple of its design based on a leak on Monday. What may become Android 3.0 has received only a single blurry photo from a Nexus One but word that it should use the same video format as behind Gmail's feature. The technique described by Phandroid could theoretically let Android users talk to Gmail desktop owners and not just other mobile devices.
Yahoo's Americas mobile VP David Katz in a discussion today promised that it would bring a version of Yahoo Messenger with 3G or 4G video chat to smartphones. Those with an iPhone 4 as well as Android phones with front cameras, such as the Samsung Epic 4G or T-Mobile's new myTouch, will have the option of a two-way chat regardless of which network they use. It uses the same transmission format as the desktop app and should let owners make video chats between mobile and the desktop.
Apple may be stepping up the release of a camera-equipped iPad to get it out ahead of time, sources claimed on Friday. Although it only just launched in April and supplies have just caught up to demand, AppleInsider understood from a "proven" contact that the tablet was in late testing. If finished on time, it could be ready as soon as the holidays but would arrive no later than the first quarter of 2011, which ends in March.
Toshiba after months of teases confirmed its launch into the mobile tablet space through the Folio 100. The 10-inch tablet runs a heavily modified version of Android 2.2 and is one of the first major shipping devices to use NVIDIA's Tegra 2. The dual-core ARM chip is powerful enough to play 1080p over a mini HDMI output but is still efficient enough to give the tablet a meaningful, if short, seven hours of battery life.
Google today sent notice of a special event at its Mountain View campus on Thursday to unveil a "couple of cool new mobile features" that may bring video calling to Android. While the company has so far only said that mobile product lead Hugo Barra will lead the event, sources suggested Tuesday night that it may be video chat integrated with the mobile OS. A second option raised by AllThingsD may be a clone of Find My iPhone that would help Android owners track, lock down or wipe a lost handset.
Fring on Monday accused Skype of anti-competitive behavior after it blocked the use of Fring for Skype chats. The freeze came after Fring said it had to temporarily stop Skype to accommodate the load from iPhone 4 video chats. The app developer accused Skype's team of being "cowards" by not letting the service come back to Fring and of trying to "muzzle competition" by forcing users to run Skype's official app.
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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives