Cross-Platform Stories May 20, 2015

Facebook Messenger’s free video calling now available worldwide

After adding support for a new cross-platform video chat service through its Facebook Messenger mobile apps, Facebook has now announced that the feature is rolling out to all worldwide.

The feature first launched back in April for users on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. Today, Facebook said the feature is now rolled out globally “with the exception of a few countries” that it’s still working on:

Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for.

You can check out the new Facebook Messenger video calling feature through the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps.

Cross-Platform Stories July 10, 2014

New Google Play Games SDK brings improved cross-platform gaming to Android & iOS

Google announced today that some notable new updates are available now in its Google Play Games SDK allowing developers to make even better cross-platform gaming experiences across Android and iOS. Some of the features were announced during its Google I/O developer conference late last month, including an update to the Play Games C++ SDK that brings turn-based multiplayer, quests and events, and saved games support:

Cross-Platform Stories March 3, 2014

Microsoft reportedly working on a cross-platform Xbox Live for Android & iOS apps

Microsoft is considering taking Xbox Live cross-platform and allowing developers to integrate the service in iOS and Android games, according to a report from The Verge. The report cites a job listing from the company’s website seeking an engineer to work on “a modern framework that is open-source, lightweight, extensible and scalable across various platforms,” including iOS and Android. The report also cites its own sources reportedly familiar Microsoft’s plans to take Xbox Live cross-platform.

“New Devices and Gaming” is looking for passionate and experienced developers to join us. Your contribution will have direct impact on how we win back our game developers from our competitors. As a member of the newly formed team, you will have the rare opportunity to influence our planning and design from the beginning. We will create a modern framework that is open source, light-weight, extensible and scalable across various platforms including Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS and Android. Working on the gaming technologies, you will collaborate with both internal partner teams across the company and external ecosystem partners to enable end-to-end gaming scenarios.

The idea, according to the report, is that Xbox Live would act as a cross-platform alternative to Apple’s Game Center and similar services, allowing users to earn achievements, manage friends and more through a single service across Xbox and mobile platforms. No details on specific features or when we might expect to see more.

Cross-Platform Stories May 16, 2013

Google announced its new cross-platform messaging service called Hangouts at Google I/O yesterday, which prompted many users to wonder if Google had plans to bring SMS and messaging unification to the Hangouts inbox.

Droid Life points us to comments by Dori Storbeck, who manages the Hangouts and Chat Google+ community, which confirm integration with SMS is highly requested and coming soon.

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We expect SMS integration will only be available on Android as iOS doesn’t allow the necessary hooks to pull off the feature, which makes the platform that much more appealing for fans of the Hangouts service.

Hangouts launched on the Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS yesterday, as well as Google+ or Gmail on the desktop. expand full story

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