The company has announced the release of three application programming interfaces, or APIs, that will enable interested developers to tweak both the hardware and software aspects of. The APIs, which AOL plans to make available this fall, address such things as ring tone customization, compatibility with USB add-ons and functions that can determine the relevance of a call.
AOL, which also owns a Vonage-like voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), launched AIM Phoneline in May. The service enables users of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to register for a local telephone number and take unlimited inbound calls, with voice mail delivered directly to e-mail in-boxes. For a monthly fee, AIM Phoneline can also accommodate unlimited outbound calls.
This isn't the first time AOL has offered AIM to developers. This March, facing increased competition from rivals such as eBay's Skype, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger, AOL inaugurated , a toolkit that allowed developers to customize the AIM software.
Thesays the Open AIM experiment had been a hit, with more than 50,000 developers registered, and cites it as one of the reasons for expanding developer contributions to the fledgling AIM Phoneline.
Many instant-messaging clients that formerly offered only text chat or PC-to-PC voice functions are now trying to capitalize on the rise of IP telephony, which has been boosted by the.
Earlier this summer, Microsoft replaced its MSN Messenger with the new, partnering with Verizon Communications for VoIP features. Yahoo Messenger with Voice in late July and now can boast of .