XP antivirus 2011

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Samsung Galaxy S2 Review

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Qik Bridges Android-iPhone Gap With Cross-Platform Video Chat

A sampling of Qik's mobile interface. Photo courtesy Qik
Today’s mobile landscape is clearly divided on strict party lines: the iPhone camp vs. and Android adopters who eschew Apple’s closed, walled-garden atmosphere in the name of open source software and freedom-of-hardware.
Enter Qik, the mobile-video-chat company that aims to bridge the gap between the two platforms. Qik Video Connect, just released, allows for compatible Android and iOS devices to connect using video chat — that is, if the opposing camps can tolerate each other for long enough.
The app currently works on Android phones running OS version 2.1 and higher, though Qik doesn’t seem to be available for Android 3.0–fueled tablets quite yet. For the Apple crowd, all iPhone 4 users can run the app, as well as those with an iPad 2 or a camera-equipped iPod Touch.
Qik isn’t the only app-maker with skin in the peacemaking game. Fring, another mobile video chat app, offers the same cross-platform capabilities that Qik is debuting. And in a move that smells of one-upmanship, Fring sent out invites to beta testers Tuesday for its group-video-chat mode, where users can connect to up to three other friends simultaneously.
Skype — which owns Qik and is easily the best known name in internet telephony — doesn’t do video calling at all on mobile devices, though it is available for the iPhone and for some, carrier-specified Android devices.
When Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G phone dropped last summer, it was the first Android device to come with a front-facing camera and Qik’s preloaded chat software. At the time, Sprint was the fastest to deploy its 4G networks in the United States: More bandwidth meant better connections and better possibilities for video chatting.
Of course, it’s 2011 and broadband wireless connections aren’t as scarce as they once were. AT&T and Verizon have already started to roll out their respective 4G networks across the country, and front-facing cameras are practically mandatory for this year’s high-end smartphone debuts. While not yet commonplace, two-way mobile video calling is approaching the mainstream, and companies like Qik and Fring will need to work hard to compete for share.
When Skype purchased Qik in January, it was expected that the Qik brand would be discontinued and folded into Skype’s services. But as today’s release suggests, Skype doesn’t seem to have plans to quickly shut Qik.

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