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AOL playing catch-up with Skype

AOL PhonelineAOL said earlier this week they will open up their VoIP platform for 3rd party development. I guess Skype and it’s parent company eBay is making louder footsteps then AOL anticipated. AOL announced three tools which will become available for hardware and software developers.
  • An API to develop “ringback” tones or personalized ring tones
  • Another would allow hardware developers to create USB devices that work with the service like headsets, phones and speaker phones.
  • The last API would allow for call management features to be used with AIM VoIP platform.
AOL says they are excited about opening up the oldest on-line instant messaging program to the AIM Phoneline platform and giving developers the power to be creative and bring about new and unique voice communication services (what else would AOL say when coming to the game as late as they have). AOL indicated some products will be available at the fall VON 2006 show in Boston, MA a semi-annual conference of VoIP providers and device manufacturers. Products include iotum showing off an intelligent application to handle incoming calls and Ims. MyNuMo will unveil an on-line ringtone and ringback store for service and Mvox will announce wireless USB phones compatible with the AOL Phoneline platform. To boot, AOL started a contest to spur development with a grand prize of $3,500 (although developing such products will cost a lot more!) so if you’re the tinker type you’ve got till November to come up with something.AOL Phoneline

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