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Nokia Chat beta app for Lumia and Yahoo Messenger users goes global

Nokia has announced that its Chat beta messaging application for Lumia phones is now available worldwide.

The Finnish phone maker first released the app in April, but this is the first time it's making its way to countries like Vietnam, Brazil, Italy, and Turkey. The app, which is powered by Yahoo and works using Wi-Fi or mobile data, allows for person-to-person messaging with other Nokia Lumia, Asha, Series 40 feature phone, or Symbian users, along with those using Yahoo Messenger on other devices and platforms.

The app is currently only available in English and Spanish, but Nokia has promised to add more languages in the future. The latest beta release, version 1.1, offers features like push notifications and Live Tile updates, letting you keep track of messages even when the app isn't running.

Once you install the app you can scan your phone's address book to find friends who already use Nokia Chat and Yahoo Messenger. When you're out and about, the app lets you quickly share your location with friends. If the recipient also has a Lumia device, they will see a map preview with details, directions, and reviews.

You can also set status messages, and optionally include your location, so your friends and family know where they can find you.

The app offers even more features for those using a Nokia Lumia device running Windows Phone 8, including lock screen notifications. In addition, there's a feature called Tap+Send, which uses near field communication (NFC) to let you send your chat address, friends' contact details, or the app itself to another NFC-equipped Lumia. It also supports voice commands, letting you start a chat with your voice, and speak your messages.

Nokia Chat beta is available for download on Nokia's Beta Labs page.

Nokia is also gearing up for a major launch on Thursday, which is expected to be the Lumia EOS 41-megapixel smartphone.