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Facebook-to-Facebook Video Chat

Skype just updated its iPad and iPhone apps as well as its PC software to allow Facebook users to video chat directly with other Facebook users. Rick Osterloh, vice president of product at Skype, said in the Skype blog, ”We are on a mission to connect over one billion people and our continued partnership with Facebook brings us one step closer to this goal.” Check out the video:

Since July, when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg debuted “something awesome,” Skype has enabled Facebook video chat.  

The Personal Connection
If you’re one of the millions of people that can’t live without Facebook, you’ll be glad to see all your contacts instantly populate your Skype account with just a few keystrokes; all you need to do is sync your Skype and Facebook accounts. After that, your friends show up just like they do in Facebook. Video chats placed from Skype can be answered using either Skype or Facebook; it just depends on what service you’re logged into.

From Skype’s blog: “Initiating a Facebook-to-Facebook call from within Skype is easy; all you need to do is connect your Skype and Facebook accounts. Then, select a Facebook friend and hit the video call button in Skype- your friend simply picks up the call from Facebook. This new feature lets you maintain social connections with your Facebook friends and compliments previously announced features such as being able to see when your Facebook friends are online, read their status updates and IM them all from Skype.”


Video chat inside Facebook using Skype is just a few log-ins away.

The update also allows you to use Facebook Messenger for instant messaging from Skype to Facebook. “This new feature lets you maintain social connections with your Facebook friends and compliments previously announced features such as being able to see when your Facebook friends are online, read their status updates and IM them all from Skype,” Osterloh said.

Skype (which is owned by Microsoft) has been pushing the integration for a long time. In return for serving up the video-chat application, Microsoft’s Bing is used inside Facebook.

Apps and Chats
It’s hard to believe just a few years ago the world was going crazy over Instant Messaging. As a connected society, even though we still use IMs, we’re way beyond that now. Skype is a simple application but it enables free communication across the world,  provided you have a computer and an Internet connection. Building an app can be done alone or by working on an app-development team. But make no mistake:  it’s going to be apps like Skype that power the next generation of smartphones and tablet computers.

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posted by DMA Phill in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

iPad, iCloud & App Cards

At the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event on Tuesday, Apple unveiled its next generation iPhone, the iPhone4S, but Apple was also talking about iPads, iCloud and apps, too.


Apple’s iPad pilot program for schools has put iPads in classrooms, in every state in the U.S. new schools are being equipped with iPads according to a recent article in the NYTimes. Photo via NYTimes. 

Apple has been pushing innovation not only in the technology space, but innovating schools and business. Apple’s latest phone features voice recognition and while it’s an incredible technological step, the company is full steam ahead on all fronts.

Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, got a laugh for saying airplane pilots use of iPads makes airplanes more efficient. But it’s true; the FAA approved the use of the device and apps like ForeFlight. Hospitals are testing iPads, too. In fact, 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are supposedly “testing or deploying” the iPad in their workplaces. And the amount of schools and summer camps using iPads has dramatically increased.

In addition to the new iPhone 4S, the Apple event was a chance for Apple to toot its own horn and talk about these innovations and outreach. And Apple continues to surprise us with its unique train of thought.


Instead of iPhone 5, Apple introduced…Apple Cards???

Digital Goes Analog 
Apple has surpassed 250 million sales of iOS devices. That’s iPads, iPod touches and iPhones. Apps make these devices truly shine. The App Store features some 140,000 for the iPad alone, with more than 500,000 total apps. More than a billion of them are downloaded every month. Leave it to Apple to introduce one that helps you send a greeting or holiday card. The Apple Cards app lets you create paper printed cards – right from your iPhone or iPad.


Cards are sent with a special postal mark barcode – when they’re scanned at the destination, you get a text message the card has arrived.

If no one else was excited about the Apple Cards announcement, we’re sure the Postmaster General is since traditional postal mail use is significantly down. People still prefer to send cards the old fashioned way, however.

High Above the iCloud 
In the future we’ll all be storing docs in the Cloud. Think of anything you save – a document, picture or song. It all goes in the Cloud. Google Docs has done this for some time, so it’s no surprise to see Apple follow suit by promoting iCloud.

Apple’s iCloud allows the storage of any file type, and serves up all your media on all your iDevices – MacBook, iPhone and tablet. When you sign up, you get 5GB for your mail and docs, and pay an additional $20/$50/$100 more a year for added storage. Users get unlimited storage for photos and music. Using iCloud allows Apple to see all the music you own, and maybe even if you paid for it or not.

But iCloud does allow you to share your media across your many devices, which could come in handy for work or home.

The Core of Apple 
Apple’s doing what it has always done; revolutionizing technology to make your life easier and more productive. Siri, the voice recognition software for your iPhone 4S, is billed as a personal assistant. The iCloud makes moving your media easier. Apple Cards let you send a mailed greeting card right from your phone. Apple is revolutionizing the way we live our lives. And owning an iPhone or iPad isn’t the only to get involved with the Apple revolution. Learning app development for iDevices is a great way to get started with the Apple iOS, too. You don’t have to work for Apple to change the world.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple’s iPhone 5 Versus Android Smartphone: Which is Better?

Apple is the most recognized brand in the world; Apple’s products, specifically the iPhone, are in high demand. And yet, Android phones have started outselling iPhones in the U.S., according to comScore. Why? Google’s widely distributed Android OS rules the smartphone platform. Several different providers offer several different types of service, alongside Android phones that are offered at many different price points. While Apple selects its providers, and only Apple makes the iPhone.


Apple and Android face off in the Smartphone Wars.

That’s why analysts expect Apple to release more than one type of iPhone to address the problem of market share, making the iPhone even more accessible. In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple is expected to release a cheaper iPhone 4, too.

Possible iPhone 5 features:

  • Memory. More memory, possibly 1GB of memory, which is twice the amount currently offered in the iPhone 4.
  • Higher-resolution. 8-megapixel (the current phones have 5 megapixel’s worth).
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC). Use your Google Wallet.
  • Voice Control. Call home using voice navigation.
  • Graphics. Improved and similar to the graphics silicon used in the iPad 2. Imagination’s PowerVR SGX543.
  • Dual-core Apple A5 chip. A boost in processing performance.
  • 3G. A Qualcomm chipset is expected that supports both CDMA and GSM networks.
  • 4G. Via HSPA+.
  • iCloud. Synching the phone might also be done through Apple’s cloud service.
  • iOS 5. New iOS with iMessage, tabbed browsing and lots more.

 
In addition to the Apple App Store, iTunes and whole host of features, the iPhone has 200 of them powering iOS 5. Also expect the introduction of iCloud to play a part.


A computer-generated graphic of the iPhone 5. 

Everyone wants an iPhone, including T-Mobile customers. CEO Cole Brodman recently shared his disappointment in a letter that explained the company hadn’t been selected as an iPhone provider yet. The Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile explained his own frustration with Apple and knew the announcement would make customers unhappy.

Droid Does 
The Android OS and droid phones support 4G. A phone like the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has an incredibly vivid and larger display than the iPhone. Droid phones also have great features. The Motorola Droid Bionic has a dual-core Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 processor. It has proved to be a very popular phone in its own right. While both Apple and Android phones support streaming video and audio apps like Hulu, Netflix and Pandora, Droid phones have better audio output and larger displays than iPhone.

App and game development for Google Android devices has certainly become increasingly popular with more games and apps being released ever day. Still, Apple’s App Store and iTunes are well established, offer more apps, games and overall content and are loved by millions.

Some tech-savvy users might say they want the display and many phone options of the Android platform, while having the support and use of Apple’s App Store and iTunes. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. iPhones and their apps integrate with other Apple devices. For that reason and a few others (including iTunes), for the moment, we’ll hold onto our iPhones and remain in line for the iPhone 5.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

PS3 iPhone & Android App Launching in 2011

Sony will release the official PlayStation 3 app to the iPhone and Android most likely in early 2011. So does this mean you’ll be able to play your favorite PlayStation games on your mobile phone? Not exactly. The new app will allow you to track your PS3 gamer trophies and stay connected with friends. The app will be available first in Europe – the UK, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands – with release in the U.S. to follow.

The PlayStation app on the iPhone. It connects directly with the PlayStation Network, so gamers can keep track of their friends or update their own status.

Many in the mobile industry believe this is Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Xbox Live app that was included with the Windows 7 phone. That app allows gamers to play mobile versions of Xbox 360 games on the Windows phone, earning points and extras that can be used on their console games. The PlayStation 3 app gives smartphone users the ability to connect with the PlayStation Network, keep track of gamer trophies, connect with friends through Facebook, Twitter or email, updating their status all through the iPhone or Android mobile device. Best of all, the app is free.

The app will also give gamers news updates on Playstation and PSP games and hardware gadgets. Sony Europe have also said updates and added features for the app will be added over the next few months after the release. It’s also interesting to note that app will not launch in the U.S. first, this decision could be related to the next Sony PSP which will also work as a phone. Finally, to run the app you’ll need to have iOS 4 running on your Apple device or Android 1.6 or above.

DROID. The PlayStation app will apparently have the same features as the iPhone on the Google OS.

The app market is rapidly growing and it’s connection with console games inevitable. If you’re interested in developing games for the iPhone or developing for the Android, get started by taking a class in mobile game development. If anything, this market will continue to grow as we become an increasing mobile culture.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog and have No Comments