Looking at previous iterations of Camfrog, the popular and free video chatting software, it was hard to deny that it offered a wide range of options and experiences for video chat aficionados. It was also hard to deny that the user interface was a disastrous mess of modular windows that made maneuvering through the program a frustrating and sometimes confusing journey. The new version of Camfrog has fixed that.
This summer, Nielsen Net Ratings released a study of the fastest-growing instant-messaging clients from August 2006 to June 2007. The big winner was Meebo--the Web-based cross-platform chat app that lets AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, and Meebo's own users talk amongst themselves anywhere they've got a Web browser and an Internet connection.
The second-fastest growing chat client was more of a surprise. IMVU--which gained 154 percent more users over the year studied--is a 3D chat client that allows you to create your own avatar (covered previously) and interact with other users in a proprietary "metaverse.&… Read more
It's a good thing Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger Santa is just an AI-powered chat bot. You'd probably want to think twice before sitting on his lap.
According to The Register, the now-disabled Santa bot that was once IM-able at firstname.lastname@example.org was prone to off-topic suggestions about oral sex. Microsoft has acknowledged the claims and disabled the chat agent.
While this feature might have had appeal to a limited portion of adult users, the Santa bot was unfortunately designed to be used by children. According to The Register, Santa made a reference to oral sex when … Read more
Update 2:50 p.m. This article has been updated with user experience information on AIM integration into Gmail.
Gmail and Google Talk users can now chat with their AOL Instant Messenger buddies through the Gmail interface, Google announced today. Rolling out to all English-based users by the end of the day, the new feature will let you seamlessly jump from chatting with a Google contact to an AIM buddy without having to use two separate chat clients.
Here's a twist on the all-in-one cell phone chat client--make it call your contacts too.
Fring is a free VoIP and chat client. The downloadable app harnesses your cell phone's Internet connection into phone calls and chats with buddies on Skype, Twitter, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and ICQ. Your carrier will slap you with no accruing SMS fee, but you'd better have Wi-Fi reception or an unlimited data plan if you want to chat freely and stay in the black.
Fring groups all contacts, including those in your phone's address book, into a single list, highlighting icons at the top to indicate the service your buddy patronizes. You can click a buddy's name to call them, and choose the method of telephony--Fringo, GMS, Skype Out, or SIP. You can also select your service of choice from the call menu. To reach out and ping someone, you select the "chat" option from the menu and begin typing into the narrow field.… Read more
After a recent attack on Power Downloader's home system, Power wanted to find a way to monitor or block usage on his computer while away. Ideally, Power wanted a program that could block usage of certain applications and record usage if a bad guy somehow accessed his system. With the holiday season just around the corner, Power knew that he would probably need to take extra precautions.… Read more
FriendVox has been on my radar for a few weeks now, and I finally gave it a go this morning. Its purpose is to link up to your list of Facebook friends and act as a go-between for on-the-spot instant messaging. The entire app runs in a set of small pop-up windows, and once you've given it the good graces of accessing your Facebook data, that's all it takes to get started. Considering Facebook doesn't yet have its own official IM solution, third-party developers are trying their best to come up with their own using the tools … Read more
Meebo released their Firefox extension earlier this morning. It lets you chat with people on six different popular chat clients, or sign in to all at once with your Meebo ID using a sidebar in your browser. The 64k extension is aimed at solving the problem of providing active notifications for friends and conversation activity--one of the most widely requested features from Meebo users, and the hardest to implement without something that has deeper access of your browser. If you've ever used Meebo before and been annoyed you can't tell a whole lot about what's going on when it's not your main tab or when minimized this extension solves that with colored taskbar pop-ups. And as an added bonus for the lazy, there's an option to automatically sign into the service every time you start your browser.… Read more
Meebo released its Firefox extension earlier this morning. It lets you chat with people on six different popular chat clients, or sign in to all at once with your Meebo ID using a sidebar in your browser. The 64k extension is aimed at solving the problem of providing active notifications for friends and conversation activity--one of the most widely requested features from Meebo users, and the hardest to implement without something that has deeper access to your browser. If you've ever used Meebo before and have been annoyed that you can't tell a whole lot about what's … Read more
This morning Web-SMS service Joopz is launching a new Outlook plug-in that turns your desktop e-mail client into a one-stop SMS hub. Once tied into your Joopz account, you can send and receive text messages like you would e-mail. The tool also syncs up with your Outlook contacts, to let you send notes to anybody with a phone number.
The service is flouting the new plug-in as a handy way to keep in touch with friends, but for business users who use SMS to communicate with their colleagues while out on the road, this could be a handy, finger-saving tool … Read more