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IM

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Google Is Rolling Out New Custom Invitation Options In Hangouts

Hangouts does some things well, but letting you know when someone new is trying to contact you is not one of them. Google is rolling out several new invitation options to Hangouts that will make things much clearer. What's more, it looks like they're already live in the Android app.

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Skype Updated To Version 5.4 With A Couple IM Enhancements Including A New Script That Appears When A Message Is Being Written

The Skype app was updated today with a few small, but welcome, tweaks to make its instant messaging service a better experience on Android. The biggest enhancement is the addition of a typing indicator that shows when other parties are composing a message. This element is pretty common in instant messaging applications, and Skype users I'm sure will welcome the new feature. Another small improvement is that the avatar picture will now move alongside longer messages as you scroll down the page making it easier to track who said what in a multiperson conversation.

Screenshot_2015-05-21-15-37-49

The other changes present in Skype 5.4 are all pretty minor.

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Chat Heads Come To Facebook Messenger Without Facebook Home, Regular App Updated To Prepare For Home Arrival

Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.

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As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS. Just tap your friend's face and an IM window appears.

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WhatsApp: No, Google Isn't Buying Us, Don't Believe Everything You Read

We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself. Just in case you were wondering.

This contradicts rumors that WhatsApp would be selling to Google for close to $1 billion.

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[Update: It's Live, Hands-On] Facebook Preparing To Roll Out 'Push-To-Talk' Voice Messaging, Is Testing Free VoIP Calling In Canada

Alright, Google. It's time to stop leaving your VoIP service to languish on the vine. Facebook has released a double-whammy of big news bits. For starters, today the social network is rolling out an update to its Messenger app that will allow users to send each other short, recorded audio clips. It's voicemail for the 21st century, if such a thing can even exist without being horrible. And, really, this sounds like it's not.

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Perhaps more interestingly, though, is that Facebook is also testing free VoIP calling in Canada right now. This is a huge deal, as it competes directly with Google Talk.

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IM+ Pro Now On Sale For Just $0.99 – Formerly $9.99

Social butterflies have been enjoying SHAPE Services’ maxed-out instant messaging application IM+ Pro since last year, but the privilege certainly came with a price – it cost $9.99. Recently, however, SHAPE dropped the price to just $0.99, considerably increasing the app’s value.

As a reminder, here’s what IM+ Pro is capable of:

im 1 im 3 im 4 

As of yet, we have no idea as to how long this sale will last, so if you’re interested, you might as well pick it up now. All the information you’ll need is provided below.

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Trillian For Android Sheds Price Tag, But Gains Ads In The Process

Cerulean Studios, creator of the popular cross-platform IM client Trillian, recently announced that all versions of the aforementioned product would transition to a free-with-ads model, as opposed to a paid download. Even though this change took place about a week ago, it looks like the Market listing has finally been updated to reflect accordingly.

Users are still able to subscribe to a paid service that is ad-free and adds new features, like the ability to view chat histories online. Users who've paid in the past will have their purchases honored, and will be able to transfer them over to other platforms.

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PSA: AIM and Google Talk Can Now Talk To Each Other; All 9 AIM Users Are Essited

Last week, TechCrunch posted a little announcement that got all 9 people who still used AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) very excited, as all their buddies had already left the dying empire and migrated to Google Talk, and AIM was starting to get kind of boring without them. AOL to the rescue - the company (or whatever is left of it) quietly announced that starting sometime this week, AIM and Google Talk users would be able to become BFFs again, all without switching away from their respective clients.

As of this morning, the integration of the 2 networks is a go.

AIM users can now add their Gtalk buddies by their Gmail email account - for example, [email protected].

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For The Conversationalists - Today's Free Premium Amazon Appstore App Is Trillian (Normally $4.99) [4/16/11]

After a bunch of relatively uninteresting premium apps given out for free in Amazon's Android Appstore, today's offering is really quite refreshing. Users of the desktop version of Trillian will instantly recognize their beloved multi-network IM client's logo, and those new to it will find its features quite impressive:

  • support for AIM, Facebook, Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, and, of course, Google Talk
  • Trillian synchronizes contacts, avatars, statuses, and accounts between Android, Mac, Windows, and Web clients
  • push notifications for those on Android 2.2+
  • multiple chat windows, emoticons, and more

While Trillian is no longer my client of choice on the desktop (Digsby took that spot), I must say that if you're looking for a great multi-network IM client on Android, it's hard to go wrong with this [normally $4.99] offering from Cerulean Studios.

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Valve Looking Into Expansion Onto Android, According To Gabe Newell

Those of you familiar with PC gaming will no doubt be well aware of Valve Corporation's digital distribution platform Steam. Well, member PoliticalGamer over at the Steampowered User Forum just got back from a trip of a lifetime to Valve HQ in Bellevue, WA, and he brought back some interesting news.

In a discussion with Valve co-founder and frontman Gabe Newell, PoliticalGamer caught wind of Valve's interest in expanding its Steam operations onto both iOS and Android. While he had no direct quote, the paraphrasing below gives us some hope:

he said they were looking into the iOS/Android platform for possible expansions with Steam

It might seem like an obvious move for Valve given the recent explosion in mobile gaming, but it's nice to hear from the man himself that Valve do have their eyes on portable systems.

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