Following up with the announcement last week that a new iPhone app from Yahoo was on the way, folks at Boy Genius Report now point out that this application has now been released to the App Store and is already available for purchase. As already noted, this application brings a significant feature addition that lets users video-call their friends and family over both a 3G as well as a Wi-Fi network.
The new Yahoo Messenger app is one of the several third party apps that have gone one step ahead of Apple’s native FaceTime video calling functionality that offers video calling solely via a Wi-Fi network. With 81 million users worldwide, expect a significant rate of adoption of this new app. As announced earlier, Yahoo is also learned to be working on an Android app that is expected to launch shortly with these same features.
In an apparent bid to take on Apple’s newly introduced FaceTime video calling feature, Sunnyvale based Yahoo is said to be working on an Yahoo Messenger application for the iOS and Android platforms that will incorporate a video calling feature. This announcement was made by Yahoo’s Vice President of Mobile Development, David Katz recently.
According to Katz, the new feature shall be much more comprehensive than FaceTime. Firstly, Yahoo Messenger already enjoys a more robust user base with more than 81 million worldwide users. Also, by introducing this functionality to iOS and Android platforms, Yahoo could render the service on a far more number of handsets than Apple has since FaceTime is only available on iPhone 4 and iPod Touch at present. Besides this, the video calling functionality is expected to work on 3G as well as Wi-Fi. FaceTime as you know, famously works only over Wi-Fi.
Yahoo will not have it easy though. There are already a number of other VoIP calling applications with video calling feature that have a more elaborate presence on the smartphone platforms. Yahoo, for all its 81 million user base, is still a predominantly a desktop application that is still to see widespread usage on the mobile. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.
Yahoo has announced on their developers blog that the company will be releasing their Yahoo Messenger IM API shortly. This will allow developers to create a whole new range of applications and tools that will use the Yahoo service to create more value adding products.
First thought – the release is a bit too late. Yahoo’s IM service has already peaked and users have now been moving to other services like Facebook to connect. Assuming this service does get its traction, the growth can still be thwarted by Facebook choosing to release their own chat API – something that would be lapped up by developer much more aggressively considering that the social networking service is still in its prime.
Nevertheless, this does hold a lot of potential and can seemingly revive the Instant messenger service. What are your thoughts?
[via Yahoo Developer]
Acer is working on a technology that will combine the real-time connectivity offered by instant messengers with Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) technology to build a system that will enable users watch the TV shows of their choice right from the comfort of their instant messengers.
The technology, a patent for which was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently describes a way to connect an instant messaging module to a television card and control the outputted audio and video signals from the IM service.
It is not clear if Acer plans to integrate this service with third party messengers like Skype or Yahoo Messenger