Taking Windows Live Messenger with you on your iPhone

Taking Windows Live Messenger with you on your iPhone

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Today we’re launching Windows Live Messenger for iPhone in the US, Canada, UK, and France. You can download Messenger for iPhone for free from the iPhone App Store.

[Update: 23 June, 2010] Good news: We're adding the iPhone app, available in English and French, to the iTunes App Store in the following countries today: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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Messenger for iPhone is a slimmed down and yet full-featured companion to the soon-to-be-released Messenger beta for your PC. It’s the best tool to keep iPhone users connected while on the go and allows you to do most of what you’re used to doing on the PC. We’ve been working hard to make this app streamlined and simple to use, while preserving all the core functionality that you're used to in Messenger. In order to make it as familiar as possible to iPhone users, we adopted the native style of the iPhone for much of the user interface. Let us know what you think of the design.

Sharing anywhere is easy, quick, and fun

Mobile phones are ideal for capturing moments, sharing with your friends and staying connected to their lives. When you first open new Messenger iPhone app for iPhone, you’ll be able to both update your status message and see your friends’ updates at a glance. As Piero mentioned in his blog post Preview of the New Windows Live Messenger, you will soon be able to access other services you already love such as Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin (available soon), and more through the new Windows Live Messenger on your PC. We deliver that same experience in Messenger for iPhone.

The Social tab brings together all of your friends’ activities on Windows Live and on other services that you’ve connected to Windows Live, and displays them along with photos, links, and other content they've posted. You can view people’s comments or add your own. To help you cut through the clutter, you can use several filters, such as “photos” and “status messages,” to quickly focus in on a particular type of update.. Click the Friends tab and visit the profile of any of your friends to see everything that they've shared with you.

Windows Live Messenger on the iPhone, social highlightsWindows Live Messenger on the iPhone, photos in social feed

One of the new features in this Windows Live release is the ability to include photos, links, and other rich content in your status messages. Creating a photo status message from your iPhone takes just a few taps. You can take a new picture, select one from a local iPhone album, or use any photo you’ve uploaded to your SkyDrive. Want to make your photo a bit more fun? You can “style” it using one of the built-in photo effects.

 Windows Live Messenger on the iPhone, photo effectsWindows Live Messenger on the iPhone, photo effects applied

Once you share this, your Messenger friends will be able to see your new photo status message in Messenger anywhere, whether they connect from their PC, from the web at www.live.com, or from their own iPhone Messenger app. Moreover, if you’ve connected Messenger to another service such as Facebook, Messenger takes care of publishing your status message to that service as well – if it supports this type of status message.

 My status message shown in Windows Live Messenger on the iPhoneMy status message shown  in Facebook's iPhone app

If you want to connect Facebook or any other service to Windows Live, just browse to your profile page and click Connect on your PC, and then select the service you want to connect to. This connects Windows Live to that service whether you’re on the PC, the web, or the iPhone.

Stay connected through IM and e-mail

Of course, since this is Messenger, it’s fantastic for IM. All the primary instant messaging functions that you've come to expect are at your disposal. Starting an IM with friends is easy. You just tap a person’s name on the Friends tab, or tap their picture from anywhere in the app. So if you're scanning through the highlights on the Social tab and you see some new pictures that a friend just uploaded, you can instantly send her compliments on her new photos.

 Interacting with someone in Windows Live Messenger for iPhoneIM conversation in Windows Live Messenger for iPhone

You can send text, emoticons, nudges, URLs and photos with your IM messages. Messenger for iPhone also makes it easy for you to carry on multiple IM conversations at the same time. While you’re chatting with one friend, incoming IM messages from others are displayed in a notification area within the current chat screen, so that you don’t miss a beat. And push notifications keep you on IM even when the app is closed.

Later this year, we also plan to support Facebook Chat as part of our deeper integration with that service, so that you’ll be able to chat with your Facebook and Messenger friends all in one place.

And of course, you can also view your Hotmail without leaving the Messenger iPhone app. The Hotmail icon on the Social tab lets you know when you have new email messages. Tapping it takes you to the mobile web version of Hotmail right inside the app.

Don’t have an iPhone? No worries.

Windows Live has a broad set of options for other mobile phones, too. Our web services for mobile browsers support most popular smart phones and other feature phones and offer many of the iPhone app features. You can access Windows Live using your phone’s web browser by visiting m.live.com.

Even if you have a more basic phone, you can still update your Messenger status message, get alerts for social updates, and more, all via SMS. Sign up and learn more about SMS services at sms.live.com.

We continue to work with partners to make rich Windows Live experiences available on more smart phones, including the upcoming Windows Phone 7.

We’ve worked hard to make the new Messenger app for iPhone something you'll want to use every day. Let us know what you think.

Ye Gu

Group Program Manager, Windows Live Mobile

66 Comments
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  • Why isn't this App available in other countries? I'm in Portugal but I certainly wouldn't mind using Messenger for the iPhone in English, if only I had access to it...

  • Dooma
    1 Posts

    Very nice interface in fact, but can be greatly improved by:

    1- The application signs out after a few minutes of inactivity.

    2- A "sign-in-as" option would be great to set the status before actually sign-in

    3- Adding an option to hide all offline contacts

  • I would like you to put an option in to view just only my online friends for the iphone. Would webcam be available? Can I get a status notifier option? Thanks!

  • w3iiipu
    1 Posts

    Does the app not work with Iphone4's multitasking?

    windows live have to sign back in every time i switch back to it again from other apps....which also means i dont get messeges sent to me unless the windows live app is open and is running on top.

    Do wanna point out i am able to sign in on both my iphone and my pc and messages show up on both ends.

  • Quikboy
    30 Posts

    I'm aware there's already a Windows Live Messenger app for Windows Phone, but anyone comparing it and the iPhone version can obviously tell that the iPhone version is much, much better.

    I just hope y'all can release a much better Messenger app for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, that's on par with or above the Windows Live Messenger for iPhone app. It just doesn't make sense for people that actually use Microsoft products and services throughout to get the low end of the straw.

  • Haki
    1 Posts

    Windows Live Messenger for iPhone looks really awesome! I'm just hoping when Windows Live Messenger will appear to mobile phones. Example Nokia mobile phones.

  • It'd be nice if there was a larger iPad version.  Maybe with some of that Wave 4 mojo....

    Rotation needs a bit of work.  Conversations include rotation, which is good if you use the larger landscape keyboard, but switching through the other sections is jarring when it goes back to portrait mode, especially on the iPad.

    One feature that should be in is SMS.  If there are restrictions with the iPhone, and you make a dedicated iPad version, it should be okay to send SMS on that device, since there is no way to implement SMS on the iPad in any way (even the 3G doesn't support SMS), so it's not like you're duplicating functionality or cutting into wireless services.

  • Andi.g
    1 Posts

    Iphone messenger bit hit and miss............ signed in on my desktop and Iphone (3GS os4).......... not always getting (infact rarely) getting chats to the Iphone. If Im in a chat from Iphone then desktop always gets it, but not other way round. Also noticed that if I multitask to other app then come back to Iphone messnger it says its signing in again........and has missed chats.

    .......... If I remove iPhone messenger then reinstall........ works fine for a bit then back to above.

    Hope this helps

    Andi

  • barts2108
    65 Posts

    "soon-to-be-released Messenger beta for your PC" .. well what is it.. a release... or a beta ??

  • As an old windows phone user (from the first smart phone orange SPV), i had to say microsoft really piss me off this time.

    they're abandoning WM users like sh!t, we have to use the ugly windows live mobile 10.7 and will get nothing updated in the future. WM is dead, i don't see WP7 any good 'cause there's enough time for users to switch to android or iphone before wp7 releases. no REAL support for WM anymore. thank you microsoft , thank you Ye Gu and Andy Chu, you Chinee guys are screwing people. you don't even answer the WM user's questions fairly.

    maybe it's time to get my first non-windows phone.

  • Hugh
    3 Posts

    Thank you Ye. With the new messenger has most of my issues. :-)

  • Neil
    2 Posts

    Thank you for releasing on the Australian store.

    Now any chance of the Bing iPhone app for Australia?

  • As I posted on the iTunes store,

    It looks good and the feature set isn't bad, however it does have a number of problems that make it hard to recommend, mostly because it's so generally unreliable.

    1) Push notifications when the app is closed seem to be really hit and miss, I'm never sure whether I'm still signed in or not as people often send me messages that I never receive.

    2) Sync between messenger clients (like when my PC is also running messenger at the same time) doesn't seem to work with any reliability either, sometimes messages are shared, mostly they're not.

    3) The interface looks nice, but for some things, like changing status and signing out, it's quite cumbersome.

    My other main gripe is with the Messenger social tab, but it's more of a general complaint about the service in general.  WHERE IS THE TWITTER SUPPORT?  

    I hope Microsoft sorts these issues out, but I'm not holding my breath.  I'm pretty sure this will be the last version for a LONG TIME as I'm sure the app only exists so that Microsoft can tick a box on a product's feature list.

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    Hugh, we'll be releasing a new Messenger beta tomorrow. windowslivepreview.com/messenger. It has many new features and enhancements over the current version. Please try it and let us know what you think. :-)

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    Odegaard, we're working on an update which will include viewing your contacts by online status. We'll get it out to you soon.

  • efjay
    14 Posts

    Thank you for the response Andy, however the iphone version is more fully featured than the WM version, Multiple point of presence support being chief among the differences. Wll that ever come to WM devices or will we have to buy a phone running WP7 for that?

  • For those of you who are using Windows Phone, you can get the latest Windows Live client from the Windows Phone Marketplace.  The client works on 6.0 and 6.1 as well.  We have had a Windows Live Messenger client on Windows Phone for quiet sometime now.  We released an updated Windows Live client when we launched WP6.5, the client includes Hotmail, Messenger, Social Updates, Photos, etc.  You can find out more info here: www.windowsliveformobile.com/.../default.aspx.  Thanks for your feedback.

  • Please allow us to group by status! It's a pain scrolling through them all to see who's online (not to mention the difference between online and offline is way too subtle to notice when quickly scrolling).

    I'd like to see the social aspect to be a second class citizen, and not fron and center and in the way. It's way too much in the way for an app that's primarily for IM. Sometimes it seems like Messenger is moving closer and closer to being an entire OS that does it all.

  • phate89
    2 Posts

    Why not in italy? i take it from u.s. store but it's tricky :(

  • KSee
    3 Posts

    no answer for my questions then? didn't think you would...

  • revanmj
    4 Posts

    As usual Poland is not on that list. Thanks MS ...

  • efjay
    14 Posts

    parrotlover, ksee and other WM users: dont bother with MS, notice how all your questions were ignored while iphone users got swift answers. This is the level of support MS is giving us WM users, they want to sweep WM under the carpet along with those users who still use it. Its plainly obvious WM is a dead platform to them and they would rather support the iphone. Not surprising since I bet not one MS employee owns a Windows Mobile phone.

    Thank you Microsoft, I wonder how long it will take you to give the finger to your new WP7 users as well.

  • Nice! keep up the good work :) Now, I'm only looking forward to Exchange and Live Essential beta downloads :P

  • Good news: We're adding the iPhone app, available in English and French, to the iTunes App Store in the following countries today: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland. Thanks for your patience so far!

    - Antonia Blume, Windows Live team

  • sbtm
    1 Posts

    will this App be available for the BADA OS from Samsung anytime soon? Would like to use it on my Wave.

  • JD320
    1 Posts

    Dear Ye Gu... When will the iphone app be available in India? in months i hope... thanks

  • heinry
    1 Posts

    What about android? I'm from Hong Kong, my mobile provider charges me an extra fee for using their messenger client even though I have an unlimited data plan. Is there any plan to provide a free messenger client for all android users??

  • The guide there doesn't work for me too :(

    but the great news is that we will maybe get exchange support soon!! :)

  • Craigg
    2 Posts

    I didn't realise you were putting in so much effort to convert the UI to Australian english.  Does this mean I can expect loads of Australian slang.

  • The guide there does not work for me by the way ;)

  • This site and many more says so :). www.redmondpie.com/hotmail-push-email-exchange-activesync

  • lasseespeholt -> Do they really release Exchange support for Hotmail? Haven't seen news about this feature yet...

    And yes - it would be better then an app for the calendar :)

  • Hugh
    3 Posts

    Comparing to this impressive release for iPhone, I'm more concerned with the desktop version of Windows Live Messenger.

    I did see the significant improvements happening on Windows Live. However, the progress of Windows Live Messenger is really really small, close to zero since Windows Messenger, no matter how many times the product name has changed.

    I have been expecting to see some key features in Live Messenger for many years, which are now missing. Maybe the team is too busy on some other more important features, but, what can be more important than providing the essential features for general users?

    First of all, I don't think guiding users to live.com website is a right decision (this is what I'm seeing in Live Messenger, only some links). Why not provide such features on the main panel?

    The key features I mentioned above are following:

    1) Better integration with live.com. I wish I could see some tabs shown on the top of the main panel (exactly as live.com provides right now), so I can switch amongst Messenger, Mail, Space, Documents, Photos, Bookmarks etc. This would certainly stick me more to the live.com platform. It could easily defeat those social websites on UX perspective, no matter how hard they utilize Ajax tech.

    2) Richer layouts of contacts, such as Windows Explorer style, so I can minimize the use of scrollbar when I need to browse my contacts and observe their status.

    3) Remove the thick frame of the avatar. I don't see any necessity of having such a frame. If you want to display the status, you can either put a traffic-light style icon on the corner of the avatar, or use the foreground/background color of the name. This can save a lot of space therefore represent the picture nicer.

    4) Improve advertisement zone. This zone occupies almost 1/4 of the panel area. With the unremovable header zone, even though I maximize the main window, the contact list area could use at most 50% of the whole area.It's difficult for me to tell this is a good design.Make the ads as corner pop-up or background picture is more convenient to me.

    5) The worst design is the popup panel when I hover one contact name. It contains 4 links. Will you use it in any circumstance? There are much more important and useful information and actions to put onto this panel. Profile, Photo Albums, Recent Updates, Favorite Resources, to name a few. In addition, is it really necessary to display such a long text "Send an offline instant message", why not make it a small icon with such text as tooltip?

    6) Integrate more existing social features. Can simply borrow some from Facebook. Such as the Friend Update View in time order, Conversation View with each friend (Mails and Chats), Friends in Common etc.

    7) Appointment feature. This is what I think quite important for both business and non-business users. For example, I can click one friend and request a dinner with him/her at certain time, certain place. If he/she accepts, both of us will get notification before that.And the panel could show such appointments in a proper way (a cute flashing icon?).

    8) Improve the Search result view. Because I have more than 200 contacts right now in around 10 categories, sometimes I could not recall which category I put him/her so I have to use search feature. One sad thing is, though I can find the name and start the conversation, I have no way to figure out which category. The simplest solution is to show the category together with the name.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    When will Windows Mobile get an updated Windows Live Client?

    Also, will the new Windows Live Messenger use the phone's data connection instead of WAP/counting towards our Text Message plans?  Software like Parlingo and fring make Windows Live for Mobile virtually useless for IM because they allow us to have a small text message plan and still get unlimited IMs.  Messenger Mobile will continue to be useless as long as free software allows me to save $15/month or more.

  • Just adding my plea to the international list: New Zealand.

    Because um, why not?

  • rognym
    1 Posts

    Why not realease english version for everyone?

  • fdm
    2 Posts

    Excellent application. I've long waited for a stable WLM app and this is pretty much it. Gotta love how they've integrated facebook and other services in the WL world. absolutely love it!

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    Craigg, while (obviously) we already have the UI text, we'll have to do additional verification to make sure that our app shows correct language in the UI based on your iPhone's International settings for a country other than the ones above. We're doing just that, as we "speak." :-)

  • Neil
    2 Posts

    C'mon Aussie, C'mon, C'mon.

    C'mon Aussie C'mon

    (chant by Australian fans at international cricket matches)

    One the of the guys in the video (Nick) is an Aussie, so when do we get some Messenger love for iPhones down-under?

    In puzzles me then when you're dealing with things on the 'net you don't release world-wide. Remember when we use to refer to the Web, buy it's full name: The WORLD WIDE WEB?

    While I'm on the subject, what about the Bing iPhone app? Would love to see that on my iPhone too (it did breifly appear in the Aussie app store when it was first released).

    At this rate we'll see Windows Phone 7 devices in Australia when? Around 2015?

  • clowg
    1 Posts

    When will this application be available in New Zealand?

  • Upgraded to iphone OS 4 today. So disappointing :( I am getting win 7 moble.

  • Craigg
    2 Posts

    *facepalm* Thanks for the big finger to your international users.  But hey, thanks for letting us know you'll 'consider' translating english to english.

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    Folks, thanks for all your suggestions on the language issue! We'll consider them and get the app to an App Store near you asap.

  • KSee
    3 Posts

    one more thing, what about a ZuneHD app? is that really to much to ask for considering zune and windows live are both Microsoft?

  • KSee
    3 Posts

    I agree with Parrotlover77. Thats the thing i dont get about microsoft, you have your own mobile os wich needs all the help it can get, but you decide to not only actualy release an app for the iphone in the first place, but you decide to release it on their first.. thats if you are actually going to make an app for windows mobile at all..!? You should have made Messenger and exclusive for Windows Phone, that way you can boost sales for WP by using people who want Messenger on the go, Windows Live Messenger is all ready the biggest messenger there is and thats not going to change so use its success and help Windows Phone!! you would think a company as big as Microsoft would think about that, i guess not, Apple or Google would have done that straight away.. why do you guys do it differently? Before i get accused of being an Apple/Google fanboy, im actually a Microsoft fanboy.

  • brianm76
    61 Posts

    Really disappointed.  Guess I will continue to use ebuddy.

  • I think it's fantastic. I've already deleted a few (paid for!) Messenger clients from my iPhone and chose to use this instead. However - I do have a few comments.

    1) Offline contacts could be grouped together. It's an option available in other clients and the desktop client and makes finding online contacts easier.

    2) Fast switching support. App takes quite a while to load up on the 3GS.

    3) Perhaps Apple will say no, but video or voice calling to Messenger would be brill.

    4) When you add a network, the photo albums from that network are all dated from the date you added the network, not their true date. I imagine new albums will be the correct date but it does mean I see lots of albums dated "24 minutes ago!"

    Thanks!

    Steve

    P.S. Bring the Bing app back to the UK app store!

  • gbh80
    1 Posts

    As you have release it in the UK, can you not also release it in Ireland...no extra translations required ;)

  • Please publish it in the Mexico's App Store, there are a lot of people who use Messenger here, we do want it as soon as possible, it doesn't really matter if it's in english.

  • captainjy
    14 Posts

    Very nice, any plans for a native iPad version?

  • The only thing missing is the sign is as feature as in BlackBerry devices that besides telling you that you're available it should say that you sign in from a mobile device.

  • Really excited about this. Regarding the language thing: there are quite a few non-US or UK countries with English as their main language. Could we possibly have access to it soon, since it wouldn't be conflicting with the language of the App Store? In my case, that would be the Irish store.

    Looking forward to it. Looks like a really great creation!

  • NorthWind877-> You can when they (MS) releases Exchange support for Hotmail :) Then the iPhone calendar will be synchronized with Live Calendar - even better (I think)

  • It is a great app -  I really like the Windows Live Calendar, on my PC i am using the Windows Live Mail but on my IPhone I can't access the calendar. I would be really awesome if the app could get this feature one day :)

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    phate89, to change your presence status, tap on your own profile picture and then the right most option in the slide-out.

  • What about Windows Phone 6.5?  I personally am pretty pissed off that Microsoft has basically completely obandoned those of us that have been using Windows Phone for quite some time.  First, no new OneNote features (as previously promised) for us!  Next, no Mesh for us!  Then, browser support for Pocket IE (seriously?? YES!)!  Now, no Live Messenger love for us!  I thought Windows Phone 6.5 was going to be supported "for as long as there is demand" as Charlie Kindel said.  But even iPhone and Android are getting more features than we are.  Thanks for the love, MS.

  • Finally a mobile IM app that doesn't sign me out of other places... BeeJive can suck it.

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    phate89, thanks for your feedback on the language support! We'll consider making the app available in more English and French speaking countries shortly.

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    The iPhone app does support the ability for you to sign in from multiple places. If you're experiencing problem with this, please email us (wliphone@microsoft.com) which version of the PC Messenger you're currently using. We'll be sure to follow up.

  • I put it on my iPhone today and I love it! It's my favorite app!

  • phate89
    2 Posts

    But why you only put the app in usa store? a lot of people can use it too in english..

    BTW too many basic features missing.. You can't change your state (appear ofline, not at computer, busy), you can't delete a contact, you can't mark all mails as read... I hope in a better new version for the future..actually i stay with beejive

  • Islander
    46 Posts

    So I assume you are in lack of translators, because I see no other reason for not letting 98% of the world  to use WLM on iPhone. I'm willing to do a translation to Spanish and German free of charge if you send me all the strings and give me a couple of days.

    Or well, at least release it in English on the other Stores, so we can use it anyway.

  • Bijan
    3 Posts

    When will mobile apps have the ability to do multiple-location sign in? The WinMo version doesn't support it either, and it's entirely stopping me from using it, as i'd like my home desktop to maintain logs of all chats, and stay online when my phone goes offline.

  • I have installed the app. However it logs me out from my other locations. Is this something that will change when I install new version of Messenger to my PC ?

  • Ye Gu
    11 Posts

    While we don't have a specific date yet, we'll be expanding our language offerings over the next few months. Thanks!

  • When will in appear in the rest of the world? Denmark, in specific :) thanks...