Like Twitter but for your work colleagues and more useful
Yes, let us have another social media platform: we do not have enough of them. Yet, even if Slack isn't as familiar or as ubiquitous as AIM, Skype, Twitter and the rest, we're still going to recommend it. This month sees updates for the iOS app to Slack 2.20 and OS X to Slack 1.1.3 –– and it also sees the second anniversary of the entire service. The company now claims over a million users of whom reportedly a fifth are paying. That doesn't mean four-fifths are pirating: Slack is a freemium kind of service with generous limits.
App allows users to create customized chat rooms, log in with any user name
Facebook's Creative Labs team is bringing a new, yet old way to socialize over the Internet to users through its application Rooms. The free iOS app lets users create custom chat rooms on a topic, without requiring any special log in or connection to a Facebook account. Instead, users can select whatever user name they like and chat in virtual anonymity.
Automatic updates, full screen mode, more
The Skype Group at Microsoft has updated Skype, its VOIP calling, chatting and video-conferencing application for the Mac, to version 188.8.131.52. The new release primarily adds automatic updating to the program, along with an improved user interface for group video calls, the ability to delete conversations, a new full-screen mode for Lion and the ability to disable Audio Gain Control. The new release also fixes several minor bugs and issues.
Quality sound for music, gaming and chat
CompuExpert has introduced a lightweight, foldable, rechargeable wireless headset called the Airhead 1000 that positions itself as a top-quality music headphone system that also happens to handle chat and gaming experiences. The headset provides up to 12 hours of wireless use at a stretch and features both a USB charging port and a 3.5mm line-out jack for a second headset or speakers. It works with all major chat, VoIP and gaming networks up to 30 feet from the computer.
iChat now able to connect to all IM networks
In a surprise move, the team behind the Microsoft Messenger IM network have made the network available via XMPP, an open-source protocol for chat clients that most other multi-IM network programs support, AppleInsider reports. With the move, iChat users should now be able to add MSN or Windows Live accounts as buddies directly without the need of a gateway. The program now directly addresses all major chat networks.
Plans to expand crowd-sourced local chat across US
Yobongo (not to be confused with Yojimbo) is a community-sourced chat application for the iPhone now available on the App Store. Currently only serving Austin (Texas), New York City and San Francisco, the company plans to expand service to other locations in the US soon. Yobongo automatically connects to people also running the app who are nearby, with community guidelines but no manual sign-in, no virtual "rooms" and no people users need to follow.
Also launches line of apparel, fixes bugs
Multi-network instant messager client Adium have updated their self-titled free software to v1.4, adding Twitter and IRC support along with significant improvements to group chat, contact management, MSN and Jabber connections and AIM/Mobile Me connections. The update includes "hundreds" of bug fixes and improvements, and the developers are celebrating the release with a new line of Adium t-shirts and other merchandise.
TalkShoe comes to iPhone
Community chat service TalkShoe has come to iPhone, bringing live phone calls together with online chat. The service presents users with a Web-based interface to host live discussions, according to Yahoo News, and is designed to facilitate discussions about podcasts or other events in real time as they progress. TalkShoe's new iPhone interface allows users to take part in community calls, while registered users can use an iPhone to conduct as well as manage those calls. iPhone users have access to a link that automatically dials in and participates in a call, allowing up to 250 people to talk together simultaneously.
Skype update adds 38 fixes
Skype Technologies recently unveiled Skype for Mac 184.108.40.2067, bringing with it 38 bug fixes, and much tighter compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Among the Leopard-specific fixes, Skype would sometimes crash when ending video calls, or when moving the "Send Video" windows. In addition, chat window emoticons would sometimes be shown in the wrong "Space" in Leopard; this has been resolved. Skype 220.127.116.117 is available for download from Skype's website.