In an email from the Messenger team, they say that they will be retiring the existing Messenger service globally on the 15th March 2013, except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available (Don't ask why because I don't know either..), and they will be combining all the features of Messenger into Skype! So after the 15th March switch over to Skype and continue chatting to your friends and family! And best of all you can use your Microsoft Account (which is the same as your Messenger ID) to sign in to Skype! All your contacts will be merged in with your Skype contacts so none of your companions will be lost!
You'll still be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and/or tablet.
Here are just a few of the great features that you can use with Skype:
- Instant message, video call and call phones from your PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android mobile, Kindle Fire and other supported devices
- Sharing your screen with friends and family
- Video call and instant message with your Facebook friends
- Group video call with up to ten friends at once (But you will need a Skype Premium subscription) ("Aww Man!")
- And that's just the start - there's so much more to explore on Skype
What's happening between now and 15th March?
What's happening after 15th March?
Can I update to Skype on my mobile?Yes! Skype is available on iPhone, Android and soon on Windows Phone 8. We encourage you to download the latest Skype app on your mobile and then uninstall Messenger. You will be able to sign in to Skype on your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8 mobile apps with your Microsoft Account over the next few weeks. If you use another phone with Messenger on it, it will continue to work for a while.
Read more at: NZ TechBlog
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Yes, Google is kinda "late" into the gift card scene as Apple introduced their system back in 2010, allowing users to buy apps for their friends as presents, and RIM provided Blackberry users with the option to purchase apps for friends as gifts, and send them over its Blackberry Messenger service.
These Google Play gift cards look to be released on August 26 (But we still don't know about if it will launch with New Zealand on its list or will it come at a later date for us Kiwis) from a memo acquired by Android Police at a Target store (These stores are US based and are like The Warehouse here in NZ).
If you've always been wanting to buy gift cards to purchase your favorite apps in Google Play, or that you've been waiting for these to easily allow you to buy apps for your friends, you only have about one week or more to wait! (Assuming that the cards will also be released on the day after!)