Google adds remote desktop feature to Google+ Hangouts
Google+ users can now remotely control a desktop in Hangouts, something suggested by the company to help in long-distance technical support. The feature uses the same background tech from Chrome Remote Desktop, according to Google staffer Daniel Caiafa in a Google+ update. When enabled from the Apps section, Hangouts Remote Desktop will ask permission to allow the other user to control the computer, while still allowing both sides to talk and see each other throughout the control session.
Skype in Outlook.com accompanied by Windows client update
Microsoft has added the ability to make Skype calls within the Outlook.com e-mail service. The site, which left beta in February, will allow Outlook users in the United Kingdom to access their Skype contacts, make calls, and communicate using instant messages, all from within the browser instead of launching external applications.
Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.
Contact blocking, performance updates included in new update
Windows 8 users running Skype will now have the option to exert greater control over who can contact them, thanks to a new software update. Version 1.6 of Skype, tipped by the company in a blog post on Friday, brings the ability to block contacts. The update also includes a number of performance enhancements for the audio and video chatting software.
Users to start move from Windows Live Messenger April 8th
Microsoft has updated Skype to allow video messages to be sent to users, in the US and the UK. The new addition to the VOIP-based service comes at the same time as a revised timetable for Microsoft's migration of users from Windows Live Messenger to Skype shows it will start restricting access to Messenger from April 8th, forcing users to change services.
Mobile payments service Mach plans same for US, Canada
Voice over IP service Skype has started to support direct carrier billing for Skype Credit in Russia, with the United States and Canada set to follow. The new mobile payments option will allow Skype users to purchase Skype Credit directly from the mobile device through their smartphone's browser, with the charge being applied to their account.
Deadline issued for user migrations to Skype service
Microsoft has announced the date when it will shut down Windows Live Messenger. Users of the messaging service will have until March 15th to migrate over to Skype before the servers are shut down for most of the world, with mainland China being the sole market left using the service due to Skype being run by a company called TOM.
Pre-recorded video messaging to be added in near future
Skype is planning to offer video messaging as part of its paid-for service. A change to the terms of service confirmed rumors that the Microsoft-owned messaging network would allow its users to send a pre-recorded video clip to other Skype users, with limitations placed on how many can be sent on non-premium accounts.
Smuggled equipment used to bypass phone lines, cell networks
It has been revealed that Syrian rebels have resorted to using Skype to communicate with each other during the recent country-wide Internet outage. The messaging and voice-calling service was used alongside stockpiled equipment and a satellite connection so as to communicate with others around the country as well as overseas, despite government efforts to stop this from happening.
Skype allows merging Messenger, Hotmail, Outlook contacts
Several key iOS apps have received major updates today, most notably Skype and Skype for iPad. The pair can now access Messenger, Hotmail, and Outlook.com contacts after a person has entered their Microsoft account info. People who haven't used Skype before can now finally create an account from within the app, and instant messaging has been improved with selectable emoticons, and the ability to edit messages by tapping and holding. On the dialpad, saved phone numbers can be edited without having to visit a separate window.
Skype for Android optimized for tablets
An updated version of Skype for Android featuring support for larger displays has been released. Version 3.0 also includes support for Skype's SILK sideband audio codec, which was designed to capture the full range of human speech. The codec is also aware of a user's connection speed, and will dynamically adjust to provide the best possible audio quality on the fly.
Giftable Skype credit sold from Microsoft Stores, Facebook
Skype has launched its gift card scheme in the US in time for the holiday season. Mirroring the same promotional efforts in Mexico and the United Kingdom, Microsoft has put both digital and physical versions of the prepaid Skype credit on sale, which can be used towards subscriptions as well as flat credit international calling.
Call promotion ends tonight, for existing users only
Skype is offering a free international calling for a one-month period, in an effort to promote its international calling subscriptions. Open to existing customers of the messaging and voice call service until the end of today, the promotion includes free calling to landlines in 40 countries around the world and mobile calls to seven, including to the US, Canada, and Hong Kong.
Password reset token core to two-month-old flaw
A security hole in Skype's account management has been discovered by Russian hackers. Posted on a forum two months ago, the flaw revolves around the password reset function and requires the user's e-mail address to accomplish, and finishes with the hacker gaining control of the Skype account while locking the legitimate user out.
Preview includes always-on background service, full video chat
Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Announced during the recent Windows Phone 8 event, the preview version includes the ability for the app to run as a background service, saving on battery power and processing, and for incoming Skype calls to come through to the handset in the same style as a normal phone call.
Microsoft says move will allow broader device support
Microsoft today confirmed rumors it was preparing to retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype. Starting early next year, Microsoft will begin migrating Windows Live Messenger users to Skype, which the software giant purchased last year for $8.5 billion. Microsoft says that the move will allow the software giant to provide broader device support on all platforms for instant messaging, land and mobile calls, and video calls.
Skype rumored to replace Windows Live Messenger service
When Microsoft purchased Skype, it may have had some key long-term plans in store. The latest rumors stemming from The Verge indicate the software giant's Windows Live Messenger client will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype instead. The news comes from several sources, though they are not being named.
Skype prepaid card scheme set to expand to other countries
Microsoft has launched its prepaid card system for Skype in the United Kingdom. The prepaid cards can add credit to Skype accounts used by customers lacking access to debit cards, credit cards or PayPal, or could be used by those not wanting to link their payment information to the messaging and calling service.
Skype app for Windows 8 will integrate with People, get own Live tile
Skype has just detailed its forthcoming Windows 8 app, which will launch alongside Microsoft's latest OS later this week, on the 26th. The app will be accessible from the Start page/homescreen thanks to its own Live tile that will show any missed calls or messages. The app will always run in the background, promising quick notifications but reportedly without draining battery life on mobile devices.
Wi-Fi cost passed from customer to retail store
Skype is offering free Wi-Fi access across the UK and Ireland through its app. A deal signed with hotspot provider Wicoms will let customers connect at no charge at various “high street venues and businesses” across the country, in a move that sees the service offer free Internet connectivity for far longer than previous short-term special events, such as in New York City during New Year's Eve.
Opus could be used in browser-based Skype
Skype has been working on a new audio codec promising CD-quality audio through its calls. The codec, named Opus, has been approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a new standard for online audio, and is expected to become not only standard for all platforms Skype runs on, but also for other companies to take advantage of for their own products.
Skype for iOS gains Photo Share
Apple has released a security update for its Remote Desktop application, which addresses a problem with data encryption. According to Apple the previous release would fail to properly encrypt data when connected to third-party VNC servers, even with the "Encrypt all network data" setting enabled. In addition, the software also failed to provide a warning when the connection was insecure. Version 3.6.1 resolves the problem by creating an SSH tunnel for the connection, and preventing the connection if this tunnel cannot be created. Versions 3.5.2 up to and including 3.6.0 are affected, while earlier releases are not vulnerable.
New Skype interface revealed in Win 8 leak
Microsoft's new Skype app for Windows 8 has leaked out early, showing how the app has been modernized for Microsoft's tablet-first approach to the look and feel of its apps. Although the app is marked as an 'App Preview,' Neowin
says that it performs fluidly and is relatively stable. The app is expected to adopt exactly the same appearance and functional approach for Windows RT-based tablets as well.
First step towards in-browser Skype video without plug-ins
Microsoft has officially announced its proposal to bring realtime communication in browsers, without relying on plug-ins. The W3C WebRTC working group received the "Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web" (CU-RTC-Web) proposal from the software giant, as the first step toward establishing a standard that would be essential to creating a browser-based version of Skype.
Logitech rolls out latest 720p TV Cam with Skype
Logitech has revealed its TV Cam HD with Skype video calling. Unlike the previous version, which required users to have a TV with a free USB port, the new model works with any TV with a free HDMI port. It will connect to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or by direct connection through an Ethernet port and does not require a computer.
Windows, Mac, Linux updates available
Skype is now releasing hotfixes addressing a serious security flaw in its VoIP client, according to a blog post. If a few recent versions of the app crashed during the middle of an IM session, they would sometimes send out the last recorded message to the wrong person on a user's contact list. The glitch was also contingent on rebooting Skype, or logging in as a new user.
Network admins to remove network-wide Skype installs
Microsoft has accidentally deployed a Skype update to Windows clients that never had it installed before. The update, via Microsoft's Windows Server Update Services, installed Skype on all connected machines, forcing system administrators to manually remove the software from computers affected by the error.
Also enables video auto-rotation for calls with mobile users
VoIP service Skype has released a new version of its Mac client, 5.8. One of the main additions is support for OS X Mountain Lion, which is set to be launched next month. The company has also responded to complaints and re-introduced the slim contact list, which can be resized and repositioned as necessary.
Skype hopes new feature will spark conversations
Skype has announced that it is launching a new feature: Conversation Ads, according to a blog post on the company site. Users without Skype Credit or subscriptions who make Skype-to-Skype audio calls using the Windows client will now see ad images displayed in their call windows. The company bills the new feature as a means by which to get customers to engage in "meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment."
Microsoft gives OEM partners option to preload SKype onto new Windows 7 PCs
Microsoft is allowing some of its OEM PC maker and system builder partners to download the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) that will preload Skype on new Windows 7 PCs. Included in the kit is Skype 5.8 for Windows code, which is slightly older than the currently available Skype 5.9 for anyone to access. The kit makes it easy to silently pre-install the software for OEMs, who need to be registered with Microsoft before accessing such OPKs, ZDNet reported.
DCAC in Quantico will allow FBI to increase Internet monitoring
The FBI is reportedly forming a unit to develop new technologies for electronic surveillance, enabling the agency to expand monitoring capabilities for VoIP, wireless signals, and the Internet. According to Cnet, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, located in Quantico, VA, will serve to intercept Skype conversations and analyze data received from a social network or carrier.
Nationwide rollout of Skype on Xfinity commences
Comcast has made its Skype on Xfinity system available in Boston and Seattle in the first stage of a nationwide rollout. The previously leaked Skype camera allows users to perform video calls through the service, with instant messaging available while watching TV at the same time.
Five-year rollout will bring hotspots to NYC subway
Boingo and Transit Wireless on Thursday announced a deal that will see New York City subway stations equipped with hotspots. The rollout will occur gradually over the next five years in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens stations. Users will need to have a Boingo account or access the hotspot network using their Skype, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon accounts.
PS Vita gets Skype with background support
PlayStation Vita owners got a major feature update Tuesday with the imminent release of Skype for PS Vita. The app lets the Sony console participate in both voice and video calls using either the front or back cameras. The app not only works both on 3G and Wi-Fi but truly runs in the background, making sure that gamers will catch an incoming call.
Skype on Windows Phone official for all
Skype picked an uncommon weekend introduction to post the finished version of its VoIP app for Windows Phone devices (Windows Phone Marketplace). The new version from Microsoft's recent acquisition adds some of the core features that had been missing in a preview version from February, including Skype Out calls to landlines, the ability to add and find contacts, and numerous improvements to performance. It could already make typical Skype-to-Skype calls and chats in an interface tailored to Windows Phone's Metro interface.
TeliaSonera to intro VoIP call charges in Europe
Nordic mobile operator TeliaSonera will begin charging its Spanish customers for VoIP services on top of the regular data charges, ArcticStartup reported. It will begin doing so within a month before expanding the practice to Sweden sometime this summer. The carrier's CEO, Lars Nyberg, stated early on this will be the case, so it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Skype seeks development engineer with Xbox focus
The Skype team is looking to bolster its ranks by posting a job listing which references the Xbox gaming console. Based in its London office, the position tells little about exactly how the video, voice, and text chat service will integrate into the platform hasn't been revealed. The Software Development Engineer will contribute to the development of experiences on Xbox, the listing reads.
Braven speakers support FaceTime, iChat, Skype
Braven, which used to be called Spar, has just introduced a new Bluetooth speaker range that aims to differentiate itself from the others out there thanks to a couple of uncommon features. All three can be daisy-chained to provide stereo or surround sound, and they can also be used to charge phones or other portable devices through their USB ports. The wireless range is Bluetooth's typical 33 feet, and the auxiliary port also allows connecting other sources.
Job advert from Microsoft tells of Skype for web
Microsoft appears to be considering a new version of Skype for web browsers, based on a job advert posted online. The Microsoft Careers website shows listings for developers based in London and Prague to help create a project named as “Skype for Browsers” based on HTML5.
New York City fires up phonebooth pilot project
New York City will install 250 web-connected 32-inch smart screens into 250 old phone booths across its five boroughs. Part of a pilot program, the tech will be free to access and include local neighborhood information such as traffic, safety alerts, restaurants and store listings, among others. According to New York Post, the project may eventually see all 12,800 outdoor payphones replaced with these screens.
Logitech BCC950 combines HD cam, speakerphone
Logitech has just unveiled its BCC950 ConferenceCam, meant for meetings. It's the first device to combine a 1080p webcam with a full-duplex speakerphone. The camera connects over USB and an included remote control or control pad lets users pan, tilt, and zoom the camera to focus on anyone or anything in the room.
Apple recruits with VoLTE-friendly IMS in mind
Multiple job listings at Apple this week have hinted that Apple is getting ready to support Voice over LTE, or VoLTE. Telephony software engineer positions ask for experience with IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), the foundation for VoLTE's purely Internet-based calling. They're also asked to know related technology, such as the common VoIP protocol SIP as well as real-time transport (RTP).
Sharp Aquos 7 and 8 TVs ship out
Sharp this week started shipping the two higher tiers of its 2012 Aquos TVs. Both the 7-series and 8-series both revolve around SmartCentral, a new UI intended to make Internet features more accessible, including both quick access to favorites and a filtered system that makes it easier to find Internet music, video, game, and social sources such as Netflix and Skype.
Future connected Vizio TVs to have Skype built-in
Budget HDTV maker Vizio and VoIP video chat and Internet calling service provider Skype have just revealed that some of the former's upcoming Internet App TVs will be Skype-enabled out of the box. When a call comes in, users won't have to stop watching a show during a call, though we assume the TV audio will be muted in order to accommodate the call. The TVs will require a camera accessory that also contains four microphones that are capable of picking up a user's voice from up to sixteen feet away.
Skype announces beta version for Windows Phone
As one of the new divisions in Microsoft’s empire, Skype has been working overtime to finally deliver a mobile app for Redmond’s Windows Phone OS. Following an employees-only pre-release, Skype has announced that a free beta version of the app is now available in the Marketplace.
Windows Live Wave 5 to get video chat: leak
An earlier report of Windows Messenger Live Wave 5 getting web-based video chat has been confirmed thanks to a slip on Microsoft's MSDN blog. While the screenshot in question seems to have since been replaced, Liveside shared the original, which shows a testing version of SkyDrive. It contains a video icon beside the user's name (in this case Program Manager for SkyDrive apps Mike Torres), which matches up with a similar icon leaked back in August.
Cisco says MS-Skype needs tougher oversight
Cisco has posted a formal appeal of the EU approval for Microsoft's acquisition of Skype. The networking giant accepted the merger on a basic level, but it wanted the European Commission to have imposed interoperability requirements. Making Microsoft adhere to standards would prevent it from trying to "control the future of video communications," Cisco said.
Skype Windows Phone app in employee testing stage
Microsoft has made a version of Skype available for download from the Windows Phone Marketplace, though it's only for employees, The Verge reported. The app is still undergoing testing, and will reportedly be customized to resemble the Metro interface, with a two-column grid for contacts, similar to the photo here. The app won't integrate Windows Phone's People Hub, however, as that's due later in 2012 as part of Windows Phone 8.
Client offers push-to-talk, Bing integration
Skype has released an update to its desktop software for Windows machines. Version 5.8 adds a number of new features, including 1080p video calling and support for Facebook audio and video calling. Users can also take advantage of group screen share, presenting an entire screen view or a single application window with up to 10 contacts.
Microsoft talks Skype tie-in for Windows
Skype product VP Rick Osterloh in a chat (video below) at CES this week promised that Skype for Windows Phone was "coming out soon." He didn't say more, but confirmed that the app for new corporate parent Microsoft was in development. Skype had shown its VoIP app running on Windows Phone as far back as , but it has remained mostly silent until now.