It's raining mobile apps this week

Posted by A STAFF WRITER

Microsoft introduced its Tag Reader, Fring was the first with video conferencing for Android smartphones and Firefox unveiled its long-awaited Home for the iPhone.

It's been a pretty good week for mobile apps. There have been some major developments. Let's take a look at the pick of the bunch so far:

Microsoft Tag Reader:

Microsoft Tags (or barcodes) can be added to posters, product packages, flyers, websites, billboards and clothing. When scanned by a mobile smartphone camera, the Tag automatically opens a webpage, displays a message, or dials a number. 



Tags - which are currently free to scan and create - can be accessed on a number of mobile phones, including Windows Mobile, J2ME, iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian 96 and Android.


Firefox Home for the iPhone:

Although Firefox Home is not a "full browser," it enables Internet surfers to access their personal FF history, bookmarks and open tabs on their iPhones.

According to Mozilla, Firefox Home is part of a "broader effort" to provide a more "personal" Web experience with improved user control.

Fring Video Conferencing for Android:

Fring has enabled free, two-way Internet video calling for Android-based devices. The company already offers the same service to Nokia (Symbian S60) and iPhone/iPod touch owners.

Fring is a peer-to-peer Mobile VoIP based internet telephony network founded by Avi Shechter, formerly co–CEO of ICQ.

The platform allows users to talk and chat using Skype, ICQ, Google Talk, MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger, AIM and Yahoo Messenger.



Skype video conferencing for Android:

Although Fring already offers free, two-way Internet video calling for Android-based smartphones, Skype is busy prepping its own mobile video conferencing app.

"We're betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it's something we're going to do this year," a Skype rep told SkatterTech.

"We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers."