LINE – A fun WhatsApp alternative that lets you make calls and chat for free


LINE lets you call, chat and send photos to others for free, from your Smartphone, Mac or Computer.

LINE allows you to make free calls to other users of the service. This includes the ability to make calls between the iPhone and Android versions of LINE. The application is easy to set up, allowing you to register with your phone number or email address (the latter option only gives you access to text chat, though.)

The call function of LINE works really well. Although the option to make video calls is missing, the sound quality when making calls is excellent. There is a slight delay in calls both via WiFi and 3G, though the quality is still better than both Fring and Skype.

Text chatting in LINE is easy, with support for group chats of up-to 100 people, and a good selection of emoticons to add to your conversations. Unlike WhatsApp, LINE allows you to chat between the desktop and mobile versions of the application – on the go and at the office!

LINE is a viable alternative to apps like WhatsApp and Viber, allowing you to make free calls on your phone with good audio quality.

Download LINE now free for; iPod/iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Mac OS X, Windows or Windows 8

Yuna Software introduces Messenger Plus! for Skype

Yuna Software, the company that develops, designs and markets Messenger Plus!, today announced the addition of a new product to its portfolio: Messenger Plus! for Skype. Messenger Plus! is the most popular and respected extension for Windows Live™ Messenger 2009 and 2011 and has more than ten years experience in the instant messaging arena.

Messenger Plus! for Skype, the Social Extension
We’re releasing the first version of this exciting product after a lot of hard team work“, says Jean-Francois Gregoire, CEO Kimahri Software. “You can now send more than 35 winks (flash video animation), record original Skype video and audio calls for free and easily access your Skype chat logs with the Messenger Plus! log viewer. All of this can be done through our slick, dockable, toolbar window“.

Messenger Plus! has leveraged their expertise in chat logging – the ability to record, view, store, search and retrieve conversation history – to develop an advanced video and audio capture engine for recording Skype calls.

Alex Shamash, Creative Manager at Yuna Software, adds that this release brings the social experience to a new sphere. “Messenger Plus! offers an enhanced and more enjoyable instant messaging experience to Skype users. For some, this will be their first taste of Messenger Plus!” says Shamash. “When the video recording becomes popular on Skype, we hope to bring it over to Windows Live Messenger. Winks are already planned for inclusion in one of the upcoming versions of Messenger Plus! for [Windows Live] Messenger. The goal is to have one single brand that extends across multiple social networks.”

Messenger Plus! for Skype download (in English):

Detailed features for Messenger Plus! for Skype:
• Record your video and audio call recording of unlimited duration.
• Choose from 3 different levels of video quality
• See a live preview of the video call recording.
• Send flash video animation (Winks) to your friends, family and co-workers. Choose from more than 35 available cool animations.
• Preview the Winks before sending them to your contacts
• Consult your chat log with the external Messenger Plus! for Skype Log Viewer
• Search all your chat logs from one convenient interface
• Categorize your chat logs by dates, by sessions or by contacts
• Preview and print any chat log conversation
• Automatically export chat logs in html format so you can easily share them
• Conveniently dock your Messenger Plus! for Skype toolbar to the Skype contact window and display it as semi-transparent in full screen mode

Skype’s purchase by Microsoft signals strong spell for dotcom sales

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates seal the deal. Photograph: Susana Bates/Reuters

Little more than a decade after the dotcom bubble burst, the internet business is once again partying like it is 1999. The frenzy of deal-making in Silicon Valley, which is turning social media entrepreneurs into multibillionaires, moved up another notch when splashed out $8.5bn for the loss-making internet telephone service .

Tuesday’s buy is a record for the software giant and takes the total value of worldwide tech-related deals so far this year to $85.5bn (£52bn) – the strongest spell since the months before the dotcom bubble burst on 10 March 2000.

Analysts said the deal would give a boost in its increasingly bitter battle with and . Skype boasts about 170 million users every month and is adding 600,000 a day. But most calls are free and the service has struggled to make a profit. Last year it lost $7m.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said that with Microsoft’s backing Skype would be able to build a future where “talking to friends and colleagues around the world will be as seamless as talking to them across a kitchen table or a conference room“.

Buying Skype gives Microsoft a recognised brand name on the internet at a time when Google and Apple are both building up their internet phone and video services. “Google has Google Voice, Apple is building up Facetime, Skype is a great brand,” said Colin Gillis, an internet analyst at New York-based BGC Partners.

Gillis said Microsoft was likely to add Skype to its Xbox video games system, Office software and its mobile and tablet software. “Skype addresses some major holes for Microsoft,” he said. “If they don’t screw it up.

Skype was founded in 2003 by Swedish tech entrepreneur Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis. The service has grown far beyond its techie roots and is already a mainstream product. The retail giant WalMart started selling Skype hardware in 2007. At peak times there are more than 23 million Skype users online.

This is the second time it has been sold to a big tech firm. In 2005 eBay, the online auction company, bought it for $2.5bn. But eBay struggled to integrate Skype and argued with its founders and management, eventually selling it for $2.75bn to a private equity investor, Silver Lake, in 2009 but keeping a 30% stake.

Friis and Zennström also backed the sale as part of a consortium that bought 14% of Skype. Just a year and a half later eBay has made its money back and the founders are sharing a $1.2bn payday. The Skype deal ranks as the biggest in Microsoft’s 36-year history and follows multibillion-dollar strategic purchases by other tech giants including Intel, which bought the virus software specialist McAfee, and Hewlett Packard, which bought the handheld devices firm Palm.

Investors are also fighting over the new generation of tech firms including Facebook, Groupon and Twitter. Google is believed to have made multibillion-dollar offers for both Groupon and Twitter.

Private investors have fought to get a stake in Facebook, which is lining up a share sale next year that could value the firm at more than $70bn.

%d bloggers like this: