patents
Apple May Have Figured Out How to Make FaceTime Work With Bad Internet

A new invention filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Office is so simple but clever that it's amazing it's not been done before: Cook & Co. suggests that it could insert doctored or pre-recorded images into FaceTime chats on crappy connections to keep the conversation smooth. Read More >>

chatroom
Do You Skype Your Pets?

This one has caught me completely by surprise. Apparently over half of Brits actually Skype their pets, and a quick whip round the office says, yes, people really do Skype, FaceTime, Hangout, whatever, their pets. We're surrounded by secret pet-chatters -- are you one of them? Read More >>

skype
Windows 8 Will Have At Least One Decent App on Launch

The Microsoft-owned Skype is going through a bit of a transition at the moment, away from the desktop-centric, cheap peer-to-peer connections of old, to a more mobile-friendly client-server system. Part of this move is a new Windows 8-friendly app, which will be live and ready come Friday. Read More >>

facebook
Report: Facebook Messenger App Could Get Video Chat Upgrade Soon

It's rumoured that Facebook is extending its standalone Messenger app for iPhone to include video chat capabilities, and 9to5mac reports that the current beta version is "smooth most of the time". Read More >>

apple
FaceTime Is Making People Hate Their Faces So Much They're Getting Plastic Surgery

No — not an Onion article. A Washington, DC-area plastic surgeon is being hit with patients rendered so self-conscious by their video chatting visages that they're asking for phone-specific facelifts. Technology is great, except when it's so, so awful. Read More >>

internet
Napster Dudes Working on a Chatroulette-Style Service

The time has very much passed for Chatroulette, but according to Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker (immortalised in The Social Network), a video-chatting service with social networking profiles is The Next Big Thing. Called Airtime, investors include Ashton Kutcher and Will.i.am. Read More >>

iphone apps
Google+ for iOS Gets Mobile Hangouts, Too

Not to leave iOS users in the dust, Google just updated their Google+ app to include video chat and improved group messaging. I have about one more reason to use my languishing account. Keep 'em coming, Google! [iTunes via Phonescoop] Read More >>

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