Apple has FaceTime, Microsoft has Skype, Google has Hangouts, and now Amazon has Chime. They’re all video chat services, and now Amazon is in on the game across the Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. Chime is more business focused with features like 100-people conference call support and corporate directories. It’s free for one-on-one conversations, adds in screen sharing and the corporate directory feature for US$2.50 a month per user, and $15 a month gets you all that plus meeting scheduling along with video and audio recording. Apple doesn’t have much to worry about since FaceTime targets individual users, but Skype and Hangouts better watch out because Chime is clearly targeting their users.
Apple has been on a killing spree of sorts with its new MacBook Pro models. The physical Escape key and function keys are gone, the traditional USB A and mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 2 ports are gone, the SD Card slot and MagSafe are gone, and the iconic startup chime is missing, too. It’s sad to see—or hear—the startup chime go, but it seems Apple has a reason for axing the sound.