Good News, Bad News: Fring

Multi-platform chat and video chat service Fring has see their share of good news and not-so-good news over the last week.  First, it was announced last week that customers with Apple’s iOS4 platform could make and receive video calls with the cool kids on Android.  Even better was the announcement that it would work over 3G, unlike the FaceTime application. Great news!  Two platforms with video chat that play nice together!

Unfortunately, it’s not all roses.  Today finds us learning that Fring had to slam on the brakes with their Skype interconnectivity.  Why?  Potential lawsuits!  Fring has been tied to the VoIP service since it launched way back in 2006 but sadly, Skype is “attempting to muzzle competition, even to the detriment of its own users.”  Effective immediately, Fring customers can no longer communicate with Skype friends in the manner in which they were accustomed. However, it is still possible to invite Skype friend to join Fring for video calling.  Poor Fring, right?  Wait just a moment!

According to Skype, Fring has been using Skype API’s in a manner in which they weren’t originally intended and are technically considered a breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. Skype has been trying to resolve the matter amicably and says Fring was the company who decided to yank support.

… Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers. On Friday, for example, Fring withdrew support for video calls over Skype on iOS 4 without warning, again damaging our brand and disappointing our customers… We actively encourage developers to build products that work with Skype, acting, of course in accordance with our various API licences. At the same time, Skype will rigorously protect our brand and reputation… Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own.

About author

Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6615 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

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