Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype for iPad Released then Pulled

August 2, 2011

Skype for iPad was released but then pulled. But not before Rich Tehrani snagged a copy and tested it. Works great! Though the resolution of the iPad 2 camera could be better.

As for the reason it was pulled, according to Skype's Twitter account, "To ensure your best Skype experience, we’ve temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today.” They also tweeted, "We know you’ve been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience."

If you cannot wait for Skype to put it back on the App Store, you can always try my workaround to make Skype iPad video calls.

It's back on the App Store!

Skype 5.5 Now Available

July 28, 2011

Skype 5.5 for Windows is no longer just a beta and is now available for download. The new version lets Skype users instant message their Facebook friends via Skype, making Skype a nice consolidated app for all your IM needs. You can also comment on friend's Facebook status updates. You also have the ability to use the Facebook News Feed within Skype to "like" a friend's status or comment on it without logging into Facebook.

I have some Facebook friends that I don't know who friended me and constantly IM me via Facebook, but because it's not VoIP-related and is sometimes "spammy" I just ignore these IM windows within the Facebook window.

Twilio, the Cloud-based VoIP/Skype App Enabler

July 26, 2011

Today, Twillio is launching their cloud-based VoIP offering that enables developers to add VoIP capabilities to any website with just three lines of code. Twilio's VoIP developer toolkit called “Twilio Client” enables realtime two-ray audio to voice-enable browsers, iOS, and Android Apps. Twilio's product uses the Flash plugin to access the microphone. But since Apple's iOS doesn't support Flash I'm told for mobile they are integrating with iOS and Android through custom mobile SDKs. The mobile SDKs will allow the Android and iPhone mobile platforms to offer Twilio-powered VoIP to their applications.

Twillio explained that "with Twilio Client, web developers worldwide can now build Skype-like voice capabilities with Twilio’s scalable, reliable communications infrastructure-as-a-service. With just a few lines of code, web and mobile applications can host voice conversations, conference calls, and other forms of rich communication." Essentially, you can think of Twilio as a hosted Skype service that lets anyone into the VoIP game.

Facebook Kid Bullies Google+ Kid. Punches Thrown, Body Slam & Hilarity Ensues

July 13, 2011

Perhaps you recall the viral video of a skinny bully picking on a much larger kid, egging him on, taunting him, punching him, until finally the larger kid has had enough, he picks up the smaller kid, lifts him in the air and body slams him on the concrete. The bigger kid (Casey Heynes) became an instant hero to millions of picked-on kids, including his own Facebook fan page. Well, what if that skinny kid was Facebook and the big kid was Google? Why you get one of the funniest animated .gifs of all time!

{Disclaimer: No Facebook or Google+ servers were harmed during the making of this film}

How Skype Works With Facebook

July 7, 2011

                      7/7/11 Video Interview with Jonathan Rosenberg and Chaim Haas

I interviewed Jonathan Rosenberg, Skype's Chief Technology Strategist, to get the inside scoop on how Skype works with Facebook from a technical perspective. It was an interesting interview that covered topics such as whether the Facebook Skype plugin acts as a supernode, how Skype's architecture communicates with Facebook's architecture, group video calling, PSTN calling via Facebook, and the future direction of Skype within Facebook.

Essentially, the Facebook Skype plugin that you download and install the first time you make a Skype call within Facebook is a plugin that is a "mini-version" of the full Skype client. The mini version of Skype  removes the Skype UI and is compacted down allowing it to be plugged into a browser.

Tom: Could this plugin be used in other places/sites or was it designed specifically with Facebook in mind?

Jonathan: Right now it is 100% focused on Facebook and in fact it's locked to Facebook. You would not be able to use it on another website even if another website tried.

Skype Users Make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month

July 6, 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Skype CEO Tony Bates Share the Stage

July 6, 2011

Facebook Skype Video and Group Chats Features Launch

July 6, 2011

Facebook announces video calling leveraging Skype! They also announced a new chat design that includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window, and it automatically appears when the window is wide enough. From the sidebar you just click your friend and then select video calling.

Facebook Livestream Users >40,000 users for Skype & Project Spartan (HTML5) News

July 6, 2011

Facebook Launching HTML5 Skype App?

July 6, 2011

I've griped for awhile about the lack of VoIP or video calling within Facebook and even pointed out some 3rd party Facebook VoIP "kludges", but none truly gained much traction. Well, tomorrowtoday, Facebook will be making two huge announcements. The first is that according to various sources, Facebook will be announcing  browser-based Skype video calling. The second is that Facebook will be announcing the release of Project Spartan, which is the codename for a an entirely HTML5-based platform, with the specific goal of reaching mobile users and in particular mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad platforms.
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