Hopefully many of you have been able to try out the new video call feature in Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta. We’ve heard from some of you that you’re enjoying it, but we’ve also heard that some are having problems with the feature.
Here is a short FAQ about video calling in Yahoo! Messenger 10, including some troubleshooting steps to take if you are having issues.
Is there a minimum set of requirements that I need to meet before I can make video calls?
Yes, there are and you can see the complete list of requirements on our help page. Below are a few tips for ensuring the best video call experience:
- A computer with the Windows XP operating system or later, a 1 GHz CPU processor and 512 MB of RAM.
- Broadband Internet connection speed: Minimum of 300 Kbps download and 128 Kbps upload.
- Video card: Minimum of 96 MB memory.
- Webcam: Follow manufacturer instructions for ensuring proper webcam installation, including the use of the installation CD.
- Be sure you have the latest version of Microsoft DirectX® installed.
I meet the minimum requirements. Can I start my video call?
Yes but we advise you that you go through the recommended steps to make your first video call. This can help you avoid most issues or problems. For example, make sure you run the video and voice call setup wizard before you place your first call. You’ll find it under Messenger > Preferences > Video & Voice Devices > “Open Video and Voice Setup” link.
Why is the Video Call button greyed out in my IM window?
Video calling is only available to users on Yahoo! Messenger 10. You and your friend both need to have Yahoo! Messenger 10 installed to make video calls. If your friend is not sure of their version, tell them to go to Help > About Yahoo! Messenger and check the version number. If they’re not on 10, they can download it from the Yahoo! Messenger website.
Why does my video call hang up after ringing for several seconds with no answer?
There is no voicemail available for video calls. As a result, your call will ring and then automatically hang up if no one answers after several seconds.
I have my webcam connected – however, the Video and Voice Setup instruction within Messenger cannot detect my Webcam?
To diagnose this issue, please try the following:
2) If you are unable to see your own video at the above link, please follow instructions from your webcam manufacturer’s installation CD to install the webcam drivers. This should fix your webcam detection problem that you are facing. If you no longer have the CD, visit the manufacturer’s website; they typically offer the latest drivers in their support section.
My friend’s video does not appear (window appears black) during a video call
There could be several reasons why your friend’s video does not appear during a video call. First, ensure that your friend is also on Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta. If they are but their video still does not appear, then please ask your friend to follow the instructions here to help figure out the problem.
We appreciate your patience and help in making sure that our new Beta can work with as many webcams as possible. Thanks,
No more Idle status
Now when you exit the Yahoo! Messenger app on your iPhone but are still signed in, you’ll show as available to your friends rather than Idle. We agreed – showing up as idle didn’t make great sense since you want people to IM you.
Buzz got better
Ok, not every feature off the blocks is perfect and this one took some tweaking. In this version we’ve refined the Buzz notification sound and added a preference to turn Buzz on or off in the event you don’t want to use it (under Settings).
We also added vibrating notifications when you send or receive a Buzz. And if you’re in a conversation with someone and another friend buzzes you, you’ll see a notice on the screen.
New notification sound
Oh your bleeding ears! We heard you didn’t like the new IM notification sound so we changed it up a bit. Karl the engineer describes it as “shorter and prettier”. We hope you agree.
Fixed the address book integration
The iPhone address book integration faltered in our last version so we fixed it in 1.2.2. Now when you’re composing a new SMS for example, you’ll be able to access numbers in your iPhone address book, not just in Yahoo! Messenger.
We also tweaked a few things to address some bugs, crash and login issues.
To download the latest version of Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone (v1.2.2) that includes these updates, go to the iTunes App Store or tap the App Store icon on your iPhone and search for Yahoo! Messenger. If you already have Yahoo! Messenger installed, you may also have an update alert for the app.
As always, please use the Report Problem feature in the app if you run into any issues. You’ll find it under “Settings” in the Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone app.
Warm up your webcams because the all-new Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta has arrived! This latest release is full of great new features. Without further ado, here’s what you’ll find inside (and don’t miss the demo video near the end of this post):
High-quality video calls
We’ve completely redesigned our 1:1 webcam feature (under the hood too). Now you can make a high-quality video call to a friend with synched audio, right in the IM window. Features include the ability to swap video windows, position the video windows side-by-side, mute the call or place it on hold. You can even go full-screen with your video call. To get started, click the new “Video Call” button in the IM window.
Note that the friend you video call has to also be on Yahoo! Messenger 10. And these video enhancements are just for 1:1 video calls; broadcasting your webcam to multiple viewers (with no audio) has not changed.
New “Y! Updates” view of your contact list
People are busy these days, doing all sorts of interesting things online. To help you keep up with your friends, we added an alternate view of your contact list that shows a real-time stream of their updates, including Messenger status message changes. If they’ve opted-in to share their updates via Yahoo!, you’ll be able to see what they’re saying on Twitter, reading on Yahoo! Buzz, listening to on last.fm, and more. More about sharing Y! Updates
Just like in the regular contact list view, you can easily IM a friend, start a video call and more, right from the Yahoo! Updates view. Or use the contact action bar to quickly find a friend without switching tabs.
We also added additional features for how and when you see your friends’ updates. When a new update comes in, a “toast” alert will pop up in the lower right corner of your screen. If you want to disable these, go to Messenger > Preferences > Yahoo! Updates. You can turn alerts on and off and even update preferences by contact or by type of update.
Find more to chat about
Within the new “Yahoo! Updates” view, you’re sure to find more to talk about with your friends. To make it easy, we added a hover menu that lets you quickly IM a friend about their update. When you do, the update appears inline in the conversation window, so when you start your IM with “I can’t believe you said that!”, your friend will know what you’re talking about. Note that your friend needs to also be on Yahoo! Messenger 10 to see the update inline.
All-new Yahoo! Insider
For a lot of our users, Yahoo! Messenger is one of the first things they fire up on their PC in the morning. When they do, Insider is there to get them started. But we thought a new design was long overdue.
This new version looks a lot better and includes your Yahoo! Mail, a ton of news (Today, headlines, local news), weather, and Yahoo! Search (web, images and video). We even added a new Y! Insider button onto the main client window, so you can open it anytime to get the latest news or check your Mail or weather. View screenshot
Change your language easily
If you use the U.S. version but wish it could be in your local language, you’re in luck. When you start up Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta, you’ll notice a new language menu on the sign-in screen. Choose from 16 different languages and the buttons, menus and various parts of the interface will change to that language. If you’re already signed in, you can also change your language under Messenger > Preferences > Language (you’ll have to restart Yahoo! Messenger for it to take effect).
New ways to sort your contacts
We added a couple new ways to organize your contact list. First is by recent activity which will list your friends with the most recent updates at the top of your list. We also added the ability to sort by availability, so if you usually show all contacts in your list whether they’re online or not, this will help bring the online friends to the top. Sort options are located in the drop down menu on the right side of the “Contacts” tab.
New icons in the IM window
We also added new icon designs to the toolbar in the IM window, and you’ll also find specific buttons for video calls and voice calls.
Watch the short video below to see the new features in Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta:
As with any new release, we welcome your feedback about what’s working well for you and what’s not. After using Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta for a bit, go to the Help menu and select “Send Feedback” to get started.
My bad, I was mistaken. As some of you might have seen earlier, I wrote a post incorrectly calling out Apple for a delay in the iPhone app approval process. This is what I get for partaking in too much of the free caffeine we get here on the Yahoo! campus…
Turns out I didn’t have the latest information about our Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone app, which is awaiting approval and release by Apple.
If you want all of the gory details… Two weeks ago we submitted an updated version of Yahoo! Messenger for the iPhone to the App Store for approval, but withdrew it to make some additional fixes and enhancements. Doing so reset the approval process timeline.
So the newly submitted Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone app has been with Apple for less than a week, and is well within the timeframe for their approval process.
Mea cupla. We’re a big company and despite all our fabulous technology, we can get our wires crossed and a certain blogger (yup, me) can jump the gun.
We’re thrilled that all of you are enjoying Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone, and we look forward to working with Apple to bring you the update soon.