May 13, 2008 on 1:20 pm | In 9.0 version | 61 Comments
Say the word “Beta” to a computer user and you might not get the last syllable out because they’ll already be running away at breakneck speed. Understandably, a lot of users avoid upgrading to stick with what they have, especially if it’s working fine.
I’ve been using Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 Beta since it launched in October of last year and it’s been great. Yes, it has its “moments” like any Beta software, but overall it’s very stable. So I thought I would share my favorite things about this new version which might encourage you to give it a try too. Some of these have been the subject of dedicated blog articles, so click the links to get more in-depth info. Or click here to watch a video demo.
#1 New emoticons & skins
All the communication functions of Messenger are great, but the real fun is in the extras like emoticons and skins. This version has six new emoticons inspired by users – Wasn’t Me!, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, Rock On , Hurry Up and Don’t Want To See. 9.0 Beta also has a brand new set of skins. Also, did you know you can insert some of the basic emoticons in your status message?
#2 Compact v. detailed view for contacts
We’ve got two views for your contact list in 9.0 Beta. Use the detailed view to see larger display images for your friends and get access to the hover menu to quickly IM, SMS or call a contact. Or choose the compact view to keep each contact on one line.
#3 Inline video player
This is one of the coolest new features in 9.0 Beta. When you send a video link to a friend from a popular site like YouTube (or they send one to you), the video player appears right in the IM window. Just click to watch the clip – no need to jump off to the video website. This makes it much easier to watch and talk about the video at the same time.
#4 It’s all about “hover”
9.0 Beta adds some handy features when you hover on a contact. In detailed list mode, hovering on a contact brings up a menu to IM, call or SMS. When you’re in compact mode, hovering on a contact brings up the full-featured contact card. Depending on the info you have for that contact, you can IM, call a specific number, SMS, send email and even edit their contact info – all with a single click.
#5 Same great features
All of my favorite features are still in 9.0 Beta – the Yahoo! Music LAUNCHcast plug-in, file transfer, photo sharing, ability to IM with my Windows Live™ Messenger friends, IM forwarding to my mobile phone when I’m offline, and free PC-to-PC calls. Check out our features page to see all the great stuff available in 9.0.
Why not give 9.0 Beta a try? Remember, you can always uninstall and go back to 8.1 if you’re not satisfied. And after you’ve used 9.0 for awhile, be sure to leave us feedback about your experience.
>> Download Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 Beta <<
May 9, 2008 on 1:26 pm | In Features, Fun Stuff | 154 Comments
We launched a new IMVironment this week called “Emoticats”. Imagine your favorite emoticons but with a distinctly feline feel to them.
You can play with the Emoticats by clicking the IMVironment button in your IM window during a conversation. Look for the ‘Emoticats’ listing in the menu. Or click here to launch it now if you’re on Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 or 9.0.
Once the IMV is running, you can use your mouse to browse through the Emoticats gallery that displays portraits of cats in various behaviors – Yawn, Cat Nap, Scratch that, Talk to the Paw, I need a vacation and more. Double click on the cat’s portrait and then click the “Insert” button to send the animated emoticat to your friend. There’s also a small Emoticats menu in the lower left corner of the IMV window.
Feeling catty yourself? Click the “Adopt” button instead to make that Emoticat your display image. My personal favorite is the Bling Emoticat – I suspect the model for this one probably auditioned for those old Fancy Feast commercials.
And if you want to share Emoticats with other cat lovers on your friend’s list, click the “Accept” link in the IMV window to set your status message to “Got My Paws On The Emoticat IMV”. Your status will be clickable to friends that have you on their list so they can try it for themselves.
The Emoticats IMVironment is available in Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 and 9.0 Beta. Note that you can only send the Emoticats animated icons to friends when the IMV is running in your IM window.
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May 6, 2008 on 1:57 pm | In Mac version | 34 Comments
From the archives of little known features comes the message format style in Yahoo! Messenger for Mac.
A couple of versions ago, we included a new option for the format of your IM messages in the conversation window. In addition to the usual default style that has the colored bar across each speech bubble, you can also choose an alternate simplestyle for your window.
To change between message format styles, just go to the Messenger menu, choose Preferences, and click the “Messaging” icon. You’ll see a drop-down menu for Conversation style. There is also a similar menu for conference window formatting right below it.
In the future, we hope to make the message format platform open, which would allow users to come up with new themes on their own. One of our designers, Brian Kobashikawa, used WebKit CSS3 to develop another style he named “Kobi Lite”. While this one isn’t available to the public, we hope to offer our additional formats and possibly those made by others users in the future.
On another note, we launched a brand new Yahoo! Messenger website this week. Same URL and products, just a new look and feel including a feature comparison chart across versions, and a new import contacts wizard that lets you add or invite friends to Yahoo! Messenger from your Yahoo! Address Book as well as other email services like Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and many more.