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Posts from October 2010

Skype rolls out more multitasking control with new version 2.1.2 for iPhone

skype212iphone.jpgSkype today nicely release version 2.1.2 for the iPhone providing a key change for iPhone 4 / iOS 4 users.

As shown in the screenshot on the right, there is a new "Go Offline" option that allows you to control how Skype behaves when you switch to another application. For those of us who have used Skype on an iPhone 4, this was one of the challenges that was at times frustrating. When you simply switched to another app, Skype went into the background which is good in that you could continue to receive calls, notifications, etc.

However, in my experience I found that sometimes I did not want to keep getting those notifications - and more importantly I found that Skype would suck down the battery with all of the communication it was doing.

You now have an option in the Settings (which you need to access through the regular iPhone "Settings" app versus through the Skype app) where you can change how long it will be before Skype goes offline when it is put into the background. Images of both settings screens are shown below.

I've just installed this new version, so I haven't yet seen what impact this may or may not have on battery life, but I'm very pleased to see the option there.... thanks, Skype!

P.S. And yes, Skype also fixed a bunch of bugs and made a number of other changes, too...


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Creating voice, SMS, IM and Twitter apps using Node.js and Tropo

nodejs.jpgI freely admit to being intrigued by all the various new tools (frameworks, platforms, etc.) that are springing up to aid in the rapid creation of web sites and services. One such intriguing tool is Node.js, a way to build event-driven scalable applications using plain old JavaScript. It's truly a fast way to get web apps up using a language known by most web developers.

So I was naturally pleased to see the Voxeo Labs team come out with a post "Use Node.js & Javascript to Write Your Tropo Apps" explaining how you could build communications apps using and the new Tropo Web API library for Node.js created by Mark Headd (who does not work for Voxeo but likes to develop apps on Voxeo's platforms). The Node.js library for Tropo can be found up on Github at:

You create your app using Node.js and then login to Tropo and create an app there pointing to the URL where your Node.js server is running. In Tropo you can then add phone numbers to the app for both voice and texting/SMS, add instant messaging IDs for most major networks (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber) and add a Twitter ID, too. One app connecting to all those different channels.

The Tropo team followed up with another Node.js sample app... this one showing how you could do voice recording.

All in all pretty cool stuff for JavaScript developers to build apps with!

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Skype celebrates 7th birthday by giving away 400 minutes to everyone

skypehappybday.jpgHaving just hit the ripe old age of 7, Skype is throwing a party for itself and giving every user 400 minutes to call a particular country during one month. Details at:

Skype promotes this as "400 minutes of calls to landlines" and the the little asterisk gives you this disclaimer:

This offer is applicable to our most popular 34 countries. If you choose to call the USA or India, you can also call mobiles as part of this offer

Regardless, it's a pretty cool offer if you frequently call people in those regions. Of course, it's curious to see the distribution of the "most popular 34 countries." For instance, it looks like my friends who want to call Canada are out of luck, eh?

Happy Birthday, Skype!

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