Yahoo Messenger is the number one instant messaging service, and they are really starting to show off the talent their development team has. It’s been over a year now since we first got a glimpse of what their Vista-specific messenger looked like. And disappointingly a lot of time has passed since it was last updated causing debate as to whether the project was still alive.
About two months ago they assured us that a new version was on the way, and they weren’t lying! The Yahoo Messenger blog announced today that the app has entered the Beta stage, and is ready to be downloaded. I have to admit that they have added some really nice features to this version, and it’s definitely not lacking in the eye candy department. Here’s an overview of what’s new:
– Voice (PC2PC & Phone In/ Phone Out)
– Voice Visualizations (including WPF 3D integration)
– Integrated text/voice window for easier navigation
– Keypad-only mode for quick, simple phone calls
- Matrix Mode Conversation Window
- Mail Alerts
- Additional features and enhancements:
– New and Optimized for Vista
– WPF Interface
– Skin Chooser
– Customizable Contact List
– Tabbed Conversations
– Windows Sidebar Gadget
So the big news would have to be the voice support and SMS messaging. The video below shows the cool visualizations that users see when they are engaged in a voice conversation, and it’s pretty slick if I may say so myself. The SMS messaging is something that I really like. When you send a message to one of your friends using SMS it will automatically direct the replies back to the messenger, which eliminates the need to grab your cellphone. Very smart!
Kudos to the Yahoo Messenger team on a job well done, and I’m thinking the only thing this lacks now is video support.