Yahoo Messenger for iPhone Sports Free Video Voice Calls

Yahoo, one of the earliest supporters of the iPhone, continues to advance its Messenger App for the popular mobile device. Tuesday Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced it added several features to Messenger including the ability to make free video and voice calls to contacts using the VoIP technology built into Yahoo Messenger.

Three other new features of note in Yahoo Messenger 2.0 for iPhone include an instant notification that sends users an alert once they've received an IM even if the Messenger app isn't open.

Yahoo also said Messenger now works in the background if the user has another iPhone app open. Mobile video calls and phone calls made to others on Yahoo Messenger don't count against calling plan minutes. Users can also send free SMS text messages and images via Messenger (though recipients may be charged by their carrier, depending on their plan). Messenger 2.0 also lets users capture and share iPhone photos and video in real-time with anyone on their Yahoo Messenger buddies list.

Other new features include what Yahoo said is improved performance in the Messenger app and the ability to make low cost calls to land lines and to other mobile phones and international calls.

Connections to other services has been expanded, as Messenger now lets users add Windows Live Messenger contacts to their buddy list. Language support has also been extended, with Yahoo adding traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Romanian.

Yahoo and Google were among a handful of companies that appeared onstage at the iPhone's debut launch event back in 2007. While Google remains an Apple partner on the iPhone offering search and other services, the relationship has become strained since Google decided to launch Android and promote mobile devices that compete with Apple's. Apple rejected the Google Voice app for the iPhone, though Google later made it available as a browser-based application not dependent on the App Store for distribution.

A short video showing off the new features in Messenger 2.0 is available at Yahoo's Messenger blog.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPhone, Apple, messenger, Yahoo, app store