Facebook Releases Mobile Messenger

Have you ever tried to put together a birthday dinner with your friends but then realized that you weren’t sure what was the best way to contact them? If so, Facebook feels your pain. Facebook announced a new mobile app yesterday called “Messenger“.  It installs as a separate app on your mobile phone.  The goal of the app is to provide a single source for all of your messaging needs.

If you follow this link, you will be taken to the page pictured below. You will notice a button on the left side of the page that reads “Get the App”.

Facebook Messenger

If you click the “Get the App” button you will see the following screen. Just type in your mobile number and Facebook will text you a link to the appropriate place, either the Android market or the iPhone App Store.

Text Link

Once you have installed the app to your mobile phone, it really is simple to use. The app automatically gathers information on both your Facebook contacts and your mobile phone contacts. “Messenger” makes it easy to send out a group message. Now, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re sending the message to the right place, because “Messenger” will send it both as a text and a Facebook notification.

New Message
Image Courtesy of Facebook Blog

You also have the ability to add location information into the message. In the picture above you will see a small blue arrow just to the left of the “Send” button. Clicking this arrow will allow you to insert location information into your message. In the image below, you can see how your location information can be integrated into Google Maps.

Map
Image Courtesy of Facebook Blog

The “Messenger” app is currently available for both the  Android and iPhone markets, however, it only appears to be rolled out in the U.S at this time.

There are, however, a few things I would like to point out from my personal experience using the app. One thing to note is that when you send a message to a mobile number it will blast a message to that person’s Facebook account, too. In my case, the person I sent a message to got it on their mobile, their Facebook mailbox, and an email notification in their Hotmail. Some people may not like getting blasted like that. Also, the mobile message appears from a strange number, so this may be a little confusing to the person receiving it. The person I sent the message to also was confused by a “mute” link in the text. So I believe there may be a few kinks left to work out.

Facebook seems to be committed to improving the mobile experience. They also rolled out a couple of other features yesterday. One was to allow social reporting on the mobile version of Facebook. The second allows users to change their password via their mobile. Some of the changes they are making are not going over very well, as usual (there is still a lot of frustration over the new Facebook chat format). All of this being said, I believe the “Messenger” app will be a pretty nice addition to the Facebook family of products.

What do you think? Is this an app that you think you’ll use? I would love to hear your feedback.

Samsung Galaxy Pro Announced; Is A Mid-Range QWERTY Messenger

Samsung has just added a new member to their Galaxy’ line-up   the Galaxy Pro. The Galaxy Pro is mid-range handset, sporting a 2.8-inch touchscreen with a QWERTY keyboard, in a bar shaped form a la E71.

The handset is powered by a 800MHz CPU and packs 512MB of RAM. It features a four-row QWERTY keyboard as well.  The usual GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present.

 

The back of the phone sports a 3MP auto-focus camera. Sadly, there is no LED flash to aid night photography. The Pro will run on Android 2.2 with Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it.

Other specs of the handset including its pricing remains a mystery, as Samsung did not mention anything. However, Three U.K. has already confirmed that the Galaxy Pro will be coming to their network soon!

The Galaxy Pro is aimed at competing with budget oriented handsets messengers’ from Nokia and RIM.

RIM Gives India Access to Blackberry Messenger

RIM BlackberryThe stalemate between RIM and the Indian authorities finally seems to have ended. Research in Motion stated that it has provided solutions to Indian security agencies which will allow them to access data sent using Blackberry Messenger services.

The Indian Government had asked RIM to provide it access to Blackberry Email and Messenger services by January 31, 2011. While it has given the security agencies access to Blackberry Messenger data, it still hasn’t given them access to the Blackberry Enterprise Server.

“RIM continues to work closely with the government and RIM’s carrier partners in India…We are pleased to have delivered a solution well before a mutually agreed milestone date of January 31, 2011.”

“No changes can be made to the security architecture for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers since, contrary to any rumors, the security architecture is the same around the world and RIM truly has no ability to provide its customers’ encryption keys” said the RIM update.

Even Nokia set up its Mail and Messaging servers in India recently, to allow law enforcement agencies to intercept email and messenger data.

via WSJ

Nokia Sets Up Mail & Messaging Server In India

We have already told you about the RIM (Blackberry) – Govt. Of India episode where RIM was asked to allow Indian security agencies to access encrypted Blackberry messenger and e-mail data, to which RIM was constantly opposing the Govt.’s demand. Now it seems that other telecom players have already started feeling the heat.

Nokia announced on Thursday that it would install a mail and chat server in India which will enable law enforcement agencies to intercept email, messenger services and other data sent through Nokia devices. Nokia says that this move will keep it safe in the country as it has conformed with all requirements suggested by the law enforcement agencies, by allowing them access.

Well the strange part is on one hand the Indian Home Ministry is yet to receive a response from RIM (Blackberry) for a similar request and on the other hand Nokia has already taken the required steps without even being asked to.   Here is an official statement from Nokia:

We have installed Nokia Messaging servers, which includes authentication and enterprise servers, in India on November 5. Nokia is fully committed to protecting its users’ privacy and maintaining their trust, while at the same time fulfilling its public responsibility and legal obligations.”

aMSN: An MSN Messenger Clone That Is Better Than The Original

To start with, aMSN is an exact clone of MSN Messenger offering the same functionality and even the same look and feel. It lets you chat, transfer files, arrange contacts in groups, save chat logs, set automated away messages, do conferencing, use web cam and almost all the other good stuff that the original MSN Messenger allows you to. However, there are many features that make this clone almost better than the original MSN:

  • Multi OS Support. Works with Windows, Mac OS, Linux and even Nokia N900.
  • Multi language support: currently in over 40 languages.
  • Multi-account sign in.
  • Over 25 different skins to choose from.
  • Much lighter and quicker to install than MSN.
  • Lots of third-party plug-ins to customize the functionality.
  • Time stamping and tabbed chat windows.
  • Dual display pictures.
  • You can create your own plug-in.

MSN Messenger Clone

These are just some of the features that, to me, make aMSN a much better candidate to use than the original MSN Messenger. Of course there are other uses of it too for example if your school/office doesn’t allow you to install MSN or if the original MSN messes up your OS. To me, the simple fact that it is such a light-weight alternative is good enough to make the switch.

Download aMSN here. [Via ilovefreesoftware]