Skype is actively testing a new video messaging service with a "group of mobile and mac users" according to its official Twitter account today. The new feature, which doesn't require a new update to the mobile app, enables users to send video messages back and forth up to 3 minutes in length. If you've been selected to be part of this initial test, the option will be found under a contact's name in the "More" category, which now holds options to do video messages and send files. You get a basic video interface where you can press the record button to start, and when you're done hit the record button again to save and send the message.
The menu item clearly says "20 free video messages remaining", so we're going to assume that sending video messages is going to be a premium feature costing Skype credits going forward. Are you seeing the feature show up in the Skype app on your devices? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Skype (Twitter); Via: iMore
A new feature makes it easy for mobile apps to sync data—and poses direct competition to Apple’s iCloud.
Dropbox is best known for providing a “magic folder” that 100 million people use to synchronize files across different computers. But the company’s cofounder and CEO, Drew Houston, has long talked of larger ambitions, telling MIT Technology Review in 2012 that he was setting out to build “a fabric that ties together all devices, services, and apps … the Internet’s file system” (see “Drew Houston Simplifies the Cloud”). A new feature released with little fanfare last week provides new evidence that the company is working toward that vision. It also pitches the company into more direct competition with Apple.
It's February and you know what that means? Mobile Nations Fitness Month! That's when we all get together to get in shape, share tips and tricks and recipes for success, review amazing apps and accessories, give away great prizes, and have a ton of fun! This year we're doing it a little differently, though. We're doing weekly themes, and that means every week you'll have new and exciting challenges, and new chances to win!
You know the old saying, you are what you eat? It's a cliche because it's true. Food is what gets us going and makes us run. Eating the right foods can improve the way we look and feel, how we handle stress and how we make it through the day. Food is our fuel, and we want to make sure we give our bodies and minds the best fuel possible.
As part of fitness month, we'll be reviewing a bunch of great apps and accessories that can help motivate, track, and train us to eat better and smarter.We'll also be doing THREE cool contests!
Startups are bringing creative features to the small screen in hopes of luring iPhone, Android users away from the default browser.
When surfing the Web on a smartphone, most of us stick with the browser that came with our handset. That experience can be clunky, though, and a slew of mobile browsers are trying to break into a market dominated by Apple and Google.
According to research and predictions by Cisco, the average North American smartphone user could consume 6GB of data per month by 2017. The annual report, which has been released six times now, shows smartphone data usage increasing 13-fold worldwide in the next four years. The average North American user currently consumes 752MB per month as of 2012, and the worldwide average is just 200MB. In just four short years those numbers are expected to hit 6GB and 2GB, respectively. These numbers are even slightly more conservative than previous years and estimates from other entities.
The Asia-Pacific region numbers are just as startling, where Cisco predicts usage will increase from 136MB to 1.75GB and the region will account for as much as 47.1-percent of all data consumed worldwide. The report also explains that in 2012 just 1-percent of connections in the world were 4G, but those connections drove 14-percent of mobile data traffic. By 2017, that is predicted to rise to 10-percent of connections and 45-percent of data traffic.
It's no secret that the introduction of new, faster devices and plentiful LTE connectivity will fuel quick increases in mobile data consumption. The unknown at this point is whether or not network operators will be able to continue to offer these connections at a reasonable cost going forward. Let's hope that they can keep up with the times as our world continues to move towards mobile devices.
If you have an HTC Sense 4+ phone, HTC and Playstation Mobile want to give you a free game every week through the end of February. Much like the offer for free games on Sony devices, there are no hoops to jump through, just download the Playstation Mobile for Android app, set up your Sony Entertainment Network account, then use your Sense 4+ phone to download your free games. Supported models include:
There is one sticking point — your phone must be running Android 4.1 and Sense 4+ or higher, which leaves folks on AT&T and T-Mobile out in the cold unless they've rooted and ROM'd. Feel free to express your distaste in the comments.
This week's free game is Cubixx, and HTC reminds us all to check every week for a new game. See the source link for the full details.
Source: HTC; via +HTC
At CES Intel showed for the first time its new, emerging market orientated, Lexington chips. During the keynote presentation though, mention was made of the next generation of performance orientated, dual-core chips for higher end smartphone offerings. Dubbed Clover Trail+, and based on Intel's Atom Z2580, CES also threw up the first smartphone powered by the chip, the monstrous 5.5 inch Lenovo K900. While the K900 is destined only for select Asian markets and Russia at this time, Intel has now promised we'll get to see more Clover Trail+ devices later this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Other than that, we really don't have much to go on. We're promised a look at the new dual-core smartphones, as well as another look at the lower spec Lexington based devices for emerging markets. OEM partners are included, so we should be seeing actual devices that actual consumers can purchase, not just Intel reference devices. If the K900 is anything to go by though, we're pretty excited to see what Intel can bring for the future.
Vine, Twitter’s new “Instagram for video,” looks pretty. But it’s what’s under the hood that counts.
I didn’t expect anyone to crack the “Instagram for video” problem anytime soon. But Vine, the new mobile-video-sharing app from Twitter, may have actually done it. Why? Because it’s well-designed with a user experience that’s totally native to mobile, with no legacy connections to laptops or desktops.
Google’s CEO says we shouldn’t design for mobile devices. Say what now?
It was an offhanded, qualified remark made in passing during Google’s latest earnings call, but Larry Page’s comments on mobile design had all the grace of a gong being hit. “I’d almost say that we shouldn’t be designing for mobile,” he said, as reported by Quartz. “The kind of mobile phones we have now, the state of the art, are a little bit beyond, and those experiences [i.e., full websites] should work on those devices as well.”
British phone retailer Phones4U has announced it's to get into the network operator game through a new virtual network operated on EE's infrastructure. The new "LIFE Mobile" network is scheduled to launch this March, with 2G and 3G services being offered at first, followed by 4G LTE options later in the year. EE is, of course, currently the only operator to offer 4G services to British consumers.
Phones4U has not yet revealed details of pricing on the new service provider, but says it'll offer "variety of tariffs and services" with a "broad appeal" to consumers.
According to today's press release, the deal with Phones4U brings EE's total number of MVNO partners up to 25. Phones4U's biggest domestic rival, the Carphone Warehouse, already operates its own virtual network, Talkmobile, through a partnership with Vodafone UK.