Facebook’s Slingshot picks up new features

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2014

It’s been nearly two months now since Facebook rolled out its would-be Snapchat-killer, called Slingshot.

Thus far, the software looks like it could be going the way of Poke, the social networking giant’s pathetic take on the popular ephemeral messaging software.

Surprisingly enough, Slingshot currently enjoys a three-star rating out of five stars in the App Store.

Besides, the app doesn’t seem to be languishing as the team released its first major update three weeks ago bringing out much-needed new features, including a My People tab and brand new reactions.

Today, a second major update has landed on the App Store. Available to download for free, Slingshot 1.2 improves your experience by letting you jump straight to the list of shots by tapping a notification and more… Read More

 

BBM updated with revamped UI for adding contacts

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2014

Today, BlackBerry pushed an update to its BBM for iPhone application (also known as BlackBerry Messenger) featuring an all-new contact-adding experience.

In addition to the obligatory bug fixes and performance improvements, BBM version 2.3.0.12 makes it easier to add new contacts by PIN, email, SMS and barcode.

Among other new features, the revamped software also permits you to search for BBM users, as well as review and accept invites from other people using the cross-platform messaging service… Read More

 

Facebook Messenger now lets you share and view fullscreen photos and videos

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

Facebook today issued a small update to the Messenger client for iOS. Now bumped to version 9.0 (yeah, their versioning scheme is a bit odd), the refreshed iPhone and iPad application finally makes it possible to share and view fullscreen photos and videos.

Previously, sharing a photo or a short video clip would render content in a smaller section within the larger conversation view, similar to Apple’s iMessage… Read More

 

Instagram prematurely leaks its Snapchat rival

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2014

Facebook-owned Instagram may have unintentionally (or intentionally, perhaps?) leaked an image advertising its rumored Snapchat competitor, indicating the official launch could as well be around the corner. A banner for an app called Bolt was spotted by several online users in Instagram’s Android app.

Tapping the banner would yield a dead end in the Google Play Store. Although the banner went away a few minutes later, people have already screenshoted it and the image is now making rounds on Twitter and other social media channels online… Read More

 

Snapchat launches Geofilters for photos taken at specific locations

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2014

The popular ephemeral messaging app Snapchat today introduced Geofilters, basically custom filters that only work on photos taken in specific geographic locations.

Geofilters are available by swiping to the right from the Preview screen after taking a photo. This will produce custom-designed text or graphic stickers that can be overlaid on your image to make it more attractive.

As the name suggests, Snapchat Geofilters are location dependent and available for locations in Los Angeles and New York City… Read More

 

Skype refresh brings back voice messaging and contact profiles

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2014

Having unceremoniously removed voice messaging from the recently remastered Skype 5.0 for iPhone, the Microsoft-owned VoIP provider on Monday pushed a minor update that has brought the useful feature back while adding two others.

The new Skype 5.2 for iPhone is rolling out this morning. In addition to voice messaging, the refreshed Skype app has also brought back the ability to access contact profiles while allowing you to add participants to the existing conversation at any time… Read More

 

Two-character messaging app Yo breaks past one million users

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2014

Yo, that stupendously simple viral messaging app which lets people exchange ultra-short two-character “Yo” messages, now has over a million users.

The free of charge app, born out of an April Fool’s Day joke and released just four days ago as a single-tap zero character communication tool for the iPhone, immediately got featured on the App Store’s Top Free charts and is currently sitting at the ninth place… Read More

 

Path jumps on the private messaging bus, releases new Talk for iPhone app

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2014

Path, the private social network for families and close friends, is jumping on the messaging bandwagon with launch of a new privacy-focused, standalone messaging software for the iPhone.

Available free in the App Store, Path Talk is basically a spin-off of Path’s in-app messenger. For starters, your message exchanges get automatically wiped out from the servers after 24 hours.

And, Path Talk has a nice Ambient Status feature that automatically lets your friends know when you’re in transit, in the neighborhood and even low on battery, possibly helping reduce some misunderstandings in online communication… Read More

 

Yo hack compromises your phone contacts, but fix is underway

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2014

Yesterday, I told you about Yo, a ridiculous new messaging app which lets people exchange two-character “Yo” messages. Some like Stephen Colbert have eviscerated Yo for being utterly useless and plain dumb while others point out the fact that it’s received more than $1 million in VC-backed funding as a proof that the mobile messaging space is booming with innovation.

Be that as it may, turns out the controversial software poses something of a security risk as a pair of college students have found a vulnerability allowing them to compromise any Yo user’s phone number, spam them with unsolicited messages and more.

Yo founder Or Arbel has confirmed that the app was “having security issues” and has promised to deliver a fix “in next few hours”Read More

 

Skype 5.1 for iPhone delivers enhancements to People, Favorites and Conversations

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

Precisely a week after releasing the remastered Skype 5.0 for iPhone featuring a Windows Phone-like interface, the Microsoft-owned company has released the first update containing a few messaging enhancements customers have been asking for.

In a bid to close the gap between desktop and mobile, the free Skype 5.1 for iPhone update brings out new options to manage your favorites.

The app now allows you to filter the People list with new “Skype” and “Online” filters, with filter settings saved across mobile and desktop Skype apps. Other improvements to conversations and favorites are also included in this nice little update… Read More

 

Yo app takes quick messaging to the extreme

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

There’s a new messaging app in town and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried. It’s lightweight and efficient, doesn’t require you to provide a screen name, won’t ask for your cell phone number nor will it pester you with ads – and boy is its Home screen icon unique.

It’s called Yo. (with the full-stop) and could easily be the simplest and most efficient communication tool in the world, with an insane twist on the mobile messaging concept… Read More

 

This is Skype’s upcoming iPhone facelift

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2014

Microsoft-owned Skype is putting finishing touches on a major new version of its free iPhone messaging and VoIP calling software. The software giant has just announced some of the new features making their way to the upcoming 5.0 iPhone release soon and boy are we excited.

The sleeker UI is only part of the story because Skype 5.0 focuses on speed. In fact, in redesigning the app developers have rewritten much of the code with iOS in mind.

As a result, Skype 5.0 for iPhone is up to five times faster than before. Additional tidbits and a cool promo video can be found right after the jump… Read More

 

Improved BBM for iOS due soon: easier sign up and friending, new emoticons and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2014

Remember BBM? Good, because Canada-based BlackBerry has announced on its blog a new version of its free cross-platform messaging application coming.

The software is about to get a nice little update for iOS and Android aimed at removing some of the friction associated with signups and friending, new emoticons and more. Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

Skype makes group video calling free on OS X, Windows and Xbox One, coming soon to iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2014

One-on-one video calls have always been free on Skype and now the Microsoft-owned communication platform is making the group video calling feature, unveiled in 2010, available free of charge to desktop users running OS X or Microsoft Windows, with no expiration date, as well as to owners of the Xbox One console which has Skype deeply integrated.

Up until now, group video calling used to be limited to Skype’s Premium users on Windows desktop and Mac, which costs $4.99 for a day pass or $8.99 per month. Microsoft has said it will make the feature free on all platforms “in the future”Read More

 

Facebook removing messaging feature from iOS app in favor of Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2014

Feeling chatty? Love Facebook? Good, get ready to embrace Facebook’s polished Messenger app if you haven’t already.

That’s because the social networking giant is reportedly gearing up to kill chatting in its main iPhone and iPad application (available free in the App Store) and force users to download the nicely done Messenger software, also a free download.

The writing has been on the wall ever since Facebook revamped the Messenger app and rechristened the full-featured messaging tab in its mobile client as ‘Messenger’. Instead of showing your messages, tapping that tab yanks you out of the Facebook app to launch Messenger… Read More

 

Facebook rolling out free VoiP calling in Messenger to everyone

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 3, 2014

Ever since launching its totally redesigned Messenger app last November, the social networking giant Facebook’s been dragging its feet in terms of enabling VoIP calling for everyone.

For users in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, this useful feature has been part of the old Messenger app for quite some time now.

Today, Facebook issued a minor update to Messenger for iOS that seemingly enables free voice calling over Wi-Fi and low-cost calls over cellular for everyone.

The update is available in the App Store so grab it now and check out free calling in Facebook Messenger… Read More

 

BBM updated with stickers, large file transfers and image sharing in multi-person chats

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2014

The Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is launching a new version of its BBM instant messaging software for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

As previously reported, this BBM edition enables popular stickers and includes a couple feature additions, such as the ability to share images with multiple parties in multi-person chats and send larger files to others.

Various sticker packs can be purchased from the new BBM Shop, with some stickers like the legacy BBM emoticons offered free of charge. It’s interesting that BlackBerry partnered with brands on themed sticker packs like CosCat, Gilbert’s Tales, Bubble Bot and many more.

The new BBM 2.1 will be launching in the App Store later today… Read More

 

FireChat for iPhone lets you chat off-the-grid, without cellular or Wi-Fi signal

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2014

FireChat, a new instant messaging application for the iPhone, is kinda of a big deal. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and other messaging apps on the App Store if it weren’t for its particularly unique feature.

FireChat supports off-the-grid communication, a codeword for the ability to exchange instant messages without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

What kind of dark magic is this?

FireChat, the brainchild of the crowdsourced firm Open Garden and available free in the App Store, uses the same principles as AirDrop, Apple’s feature that takes advantage of a new iOS 7 technology called Multipeer Connectivity Framework (MCF).

Read on for the full reveal… Read More

 

WhatsApp picks up new wallpapers and introduces new privacy controls

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, the world’s most popular mobile messaging service, has received a nice little update Monday bringing some much-needed privacy controls.

For starters, you can now tell the app who you want to share your profile photo and status with, quite in handy if you’re a private person who only wants to share this type of information with your phone contacts rather than with anyone using the service.

The same privacy settings are available for your Last Seen status as well – useful when you don’t want others to tell you haven’t opened their messages yet. Oh, and this edition of WhatsApp also includes some nice new wallpapers.

The update is live in the App Store so grab it nowRead More

 

Massive Verbs IM update brings iOS 7 UI, Dropbox integration, iCloud sync and lots more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

Despite the undeniable usefulness of Apple’s iMessage and the massive popularity of WhatsApp, many people still rely a variety of other messaging services, from the Facebook chat to Gtalk to AIM (who still uses AIM?) to Yahoo Messenger and a variety of emerging and lesser-known services with cryptic names.

Verbs by #include tech was released on the iPhone back in January 2011 and instantly won me over with its gorgeous interface that looks like it was designed by Apple itself.

It supports tons of instant messaging services, has a native iPad UI, delivers notifications for incoming messages and lots more. In todays Verbs 3.0 update, now available in the App Store free to existing users, the app is now iOS 7-ready and improved in ways more than one.

For starters, it now uses iCloud to sync your chat archives across devices in real-time – something Apple’s iMessage still can’t do. Verbs 3.0 integrates with Dropbox for sharing files and photos in chat, supports the Jabber protocol (useful for Hipchat and other Jabber-compliant IM services), while introducing a slew of new notification options.

The full breakdown is right after the break… Read More

 
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