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Windows Live Messenger arrives for iPhone, Swype to talk with Apple

Microsoft has brought its chat client, Windows Live Messenger, to the iPhone as a free App Store download, while Swype hopes to bring its predictive touchscreen typing technology to the iPhone and iPad.

Windows Live Messenger

Microsoft on Monday released Windows Live Messenger for iPhone, a 7.2MB free download available from the App Store. The software allows users to instant message friends on both Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.

Users can also view and comment on friends' photos and status updates from Windows Live, Facebook and MySpace, and see what Messenger friends are sharing on Flickr, YouTube, and a number of other social and photo sharing sites.

Features of the application, according to Microsoft, include:

  • Chat: Instant Message with Windows Live Messenger and Y! Messenger contacts on the go. You can even receive IM notifications when your app is closed so you never miss a message.

  • Social: Windows Live Messenger gives users one place to view updates friends are sharing from social networks like Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and more.

  • Photos: Upload photos right from the iPhone. Create albums, add captions, and let friends and family comment on photos.

  • Hotmail: Access a hotmail account without leaving the app to read, reply to and compose e-mails. Get e-mail notifications within the application so you know when you have new messages.

    Windows Live Messenger

    Swype hopes to talk with Apple

    Swype, a predictive typing technology for touchscreen smartphones, hopes it will be able to offer its technology for Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad. Cliff Kushler, who also created the T9 software that became popular in the 1990s for typing on standard cell phones, was profiled this week by The New York Times.

    "It does not have a deal with Apple, the king of touch-screen phones, but it is tinkering with software for the iPhone and the iPad and hopes to show it to Apple soon," the report said.

    Whether Apple would allow technology such as Swype on the iPhone remains to be seen. Such an addition would need to be added as a part of the iOS mobile operating system, as currently third-party developers are not allowed to change system-wide features such as the touchscreen keyboard.

    Swype allows users to glide their finger across a touchscreen keyboard, touching each letter without lifting a finger from the screen. Kushler says it is faster and more precise than the current typing methods, which require uses to touch each individual letter.


    Swype demonstrated on a touchscreen handset. Photo credit: The New York Times.

    The company boasts that its technology increases the speed of typing on a touchscreen by 20 to 30 percent for even the fastest users. Swype makes money by charging a licensing fee for every device sold.

    The software shows a line drawn onscreen by the path a user's finger takes. The predictive software traces a word's "pattern," and calculates what word the user is spelling. Swype is currently used on seven smartphones in the U.S., including the HTC HD2 and Samsung Omnia II. The company plans to have its software available on more than 50 models worldwide by the end of 2010.