Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Morning Brief: Microsoft owned Skype adds support for it own accounts; TuneIn Radio issues big fix update

The Skype mobile and tablet apps for iOS have been updated to add support for Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook contacts – in other words, support for Microsoft accounts. Microsoft acquired Skype in May of last year for $8.5 billion.

Microsoft is killing off its Messenger app, pushing users to Skype, so this update would be necessary to keep Microsoft users within the family, so to speak.

The iPhone version of Skype had previously added iPhone 5 support, while the iPad version had previously updated its artwork for the new retina displayed iPad models. There is a third Skype app called Skype WiFi which is designed to get users online via WiFi when traveling, but users are rather confused by the mission of the app, and in any event don't seem to find it very useful. We'll see if Microsoft continues with this companion app.
TuneIn Radio issued an update to its universal app which is designed to fix some persistent bugs users have encountered. The biggest issues the update is designed to address are stream stuttering and playing problems caused when other apps are open and being used.

For me, TuneIn's biggest issue remains station availability. Some of my favorite stations, such as KCSM in San Mateo, a jazz station, are listed as unavailable, which I find rather strange. The key to these radio apps is, after all, being able to access any station that streams.

TuneIn's app description is promoting its ability to stream the upcoming college football bowl games. The app description points users to look under "Sports", though one would think that a clever developer would see the need to create instant categories – categories that appear suddenly when needed but disappear later. Examples of this use of categories would not only be "Bowl Games" but "Holiday" for stations dedicated to broadcasting holiday music at this time of year.