fring

It has been a long, long time since the Microsoft crowd heard from Fring – a relatively popular VOIP/IM app for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile back in the day. It was back in October of 2012 that we got word they had no plans to support Windows Phone 7 due to the lack of camera access. Since then the access developers have to the camera with Windows Phone 8 has changed dramatically and Fring is coming back!

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Though the launch for Windows Phone 7 has been mostly positive than negative (777 apps so far but supply issues in Europe and Australia), there are a few holes left in the OS that are keeping certain developers from entering the WP7 field.

Two of those companies are Fring (past coverage) and Layar. The former is a VOIP/IM solution familiar to Windows Mobile users (they offered the best Skype experience before their falling out) and Layar, offers an "augmented relaity" app for finding local happenings.

The issue for both of them is lack of access to the camera: Fring for video calls, Layar for its camera/GPS combo that allows you to "see" locations in your surroundings. For Fring, they don't need the camera, but after entering the video chat market big time with the EVO 4g, not having access "cramps their style" and of course with no camera, there is no Layar. Layar had this to say about the issue: "On our side, we don't really understand what this means or why [Microsoft is] doing this" and Fring was also as direct: "We need the ability to get to all the different parts of the device. We need to have that freedom. There have been standards set by Android and the like. When the cards are held too tight, it cramps our style and we can't deliver the value that consumers want and expect from smart phones."

Evidently, Microsoft is mum on the issue. Is it because the API is not ready? Do they plan on addressing this soon in a developer tools update? Or is it verboten indefinitely? We'll keep following the story for any changes.

Source: Fortune/CNN

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This is sort of out of left field, but evidently Skype has discontinued and pulled the Skype Mobile software for Windows phones.

Why? They sort of answer in their FAQ, but to be honest it is more of a dodge:

Unfortunately, Skype Lite – a version of Skype for your mobile phone – and Skype for Windows Mobile are no longer available for download from our site.

We’ve chosen to withdraw Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile because we want to offer our new customers an improved mobile experience – much like the version that has proved so popular on the iPhone, and which is now available on Symbian phones. Our focus is on providing a rich user experience that allows you to enjoy free Skype-to-Skype and low cost calls as easily on the move as you do at your desktop.

We felt that Skype Lite and Skype for Windows Mobile were not offering the best possible Skype experience.

Fair enough and we actually agree. Skype for Windows Mobile was really a huge program (~10MB) that ate a lot of resources. Granted, it did offer nearly the "full Skype experience" but at processing cost.

For Skype/VOIP, we here at WMExperts have always found Fring a much better alternative.

Still, Skype is obviously begging the question with their response: are they going to, you know, release a new version that is much more awesome and built better? Or are they just pulling it and wiping their hands altogether of Windows phone?

For the time being, you can still download and use Skype here. Or if on your phone, just scan the MS Tag to the right to direct download (11.7MB!) 

[WMPhone.de via WMPoweruser]

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The mobile internet community and communications service Fring has announced the release of a new, updated, Twitter 2.0 Add-on that will allow you to get immediate twits from people you are following, allow you answer and post your own twits, and keyword search posts.

To get the Twitter 2.0 Add-on, you can go to the add-ons tab inside Fring, unsubscribe to the previous version and re-subscribe to the new version.  Granted if you don't have Fring, you'll need to go to their website to get the application.

Fring is a free download/service that brings online communities together under one roof. It allows Windows Mobile users to connect to social networks including Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Yahoo, AIM and Facebook. Fring also has offers interface with VOIP services such as Skype Out, SIPNET, EuteliaVIOP, VolPVOIP and VolPTalk.

Funny video announcement of Fring & Twitter after the break. (And, yeah, we now we're seeing video screen shots on Symbian. That should make our friends at NokiaExperts happy.)

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Fring, that all in one VOIP and chat app, got a major bump today to v3.34.

Added new features:

  • Better fring addons (facebook, gmail, etc.)
  • File Transfer (Skype, MSN, Yahoo..no AIM?)
  • Typing indication
  • Some nav changes
  • Earpiece support for newer HTC devices

That last addon is something people who use VOIP services have been waiting for years. Anyways, it's a free service with a nifty Today Plugin, so if you use Skype, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, Twitter, etc. you may want to take it for a test run (or mobile site: m.fring.com)

And kudos to the fring developers who just got their official “Designed for Windows Mobile” certification.

 

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