Viber rolls out auto-vanishing messages, instant video messages, rich notifications & more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 1, 2017

Messaging service Viber today announced it is launching a new Secret Messages feature along with other improvements. Viber 6.6 for iOS now lets you send photos and videos that self-destruct after they’ve been seen. The app now supports iOS 10’s rich notifications letting you press a Viber alert with 3D Touch to see the contents of your chats. You can send media as files and create short video messages, too, in the latest edition of Viber for iPhone. Read More

 

WhatsApp gains offline message sending, overhauled storage usage screen & more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2017

Facebook-owned WhatsApp was refreshed on App Store this morning with a few new features. Bumped to version 2.17.1, the iPhone application now lets you queue up messages while offline to be delivered when the device regains an Internet connection.

WhatsApp’s storage management screen has been redesigned and now allows you to selectively delete specific media file types on a per-chat basis. Read More

 

WhatsApp has a backdoor that allows snooping on end-to-end encrypted messages [updated]

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2017

In 2016, WhatsApp finally enabled complete end-to-end encryption for both chats and video calls to ensure that no one but the intended recipient can decipher contents of their communications. Unfortunately, it’s come to light that WhatsApp’s system has been plagued by a major vulnerability which was discovered by Tobias Boelter, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Boelter said the backdoor could let Facebook read end-to-end encrypted content, meaning the social network could be complied with court orders to make decrypted messages available to law enforcement and other government agencies

UPDATE: We’ve received a response from WhatsApp regarding the alleged backdoor. Read More

 

Viber launches instant video messages, chat extensions, redesigned emoji & more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 20, 2016

About a month and a half ago, Viber rolled out Public Accounts as a new way to reach brands. Today, the messaging service pushed another update to its mobile app on the App Store. With Viber 6.5.5 for iPhone, you can now send instant video messages to contacts, share interesting online content with chat extensions without leaving the app, enjoy completely redrawn emoticons and add up to 250 participants to a group chat. Read More

 

Group video chat in Facebook Messenger rolling out globally starting today

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2016

After enabling group audio calling on Messenger with support for up to 50 participants back in April 2016, Facebook today launched group video chatting on its popular messaging service. The ability to video chat in groups is the most requested Messenger feature ever, according to product manager Stephane Taine. The feature is rolling out today on iOS/Android and the desktop version of Messenger. Read More

 

WhatsApp rolls out end-to-end encrypted video calling

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2016

Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced yesterday that it had begun rolling out video calling to the more than one billion users it claims across iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms around the world.

According to TechCrunch, video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted just like with FaceTime in order to prevent rogue parties from eavesdropping on your communications.

WhatsApp previously rolled out end-to-end encryption for chats. “We obviously try to be in tune with what our users want,” WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum told Reuters. “We’re obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones.” Read More

 

Viber launches Public Accounts for brands, overhauls media menus in iPhone app

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2016

Popular messaging app Viber today launched a new account format, called Public Accounts, which allows businesses and brands to interact with users. More than a thousand Public Accounts from such brands as BBC, Mashable, The Washington Post, The Weather Channel and more were available at launch, with many more to follow in the coming days and weeks. Subscribing to Public Accounts allows users to get updates from brands they love and post messages that other followers will see. Read More

 

WhatsApp for iPhone gains GIF search feature

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2016

Facebook-owned WhatsApp two days ago gained support for sending and receiving animated GIFs, as well as sending short videos or Live Photos as GIF attachments. Today the team issued a small update to WhatsApp’s iPhone application in the App Store, bumping version number to 2.16.16 and adding another handy feature: a built-in option that lets you find animated GIFs to attach to your messages from within the app. Read More

 

Join Microsoft’s Skype Insider initiative to beta-test upcoming features

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2016

Microsoft is launching a new Skype Insider initiative which invites users to download pre-release builds and test upcoming features before they’re rolled out to everyone.

Microsoft already has similar programs available for Windows and the Xbox and now Skype users can sign up online at the Skype Insiders registration form. If you decide to participate in the program, you will be permitted to install pre-release builds of Skype alongside your current version of the app. Read More

 

Facebook halts WhatsApp data collection in UK following privacy probe

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

As of late-August 2016, WhatsApp has been sharing account data with Facebook in what the firm framed as an effort to improve targeted advertising on the social network. Although users can easily opt out of the WhatsApp → Facebook data sharing with just a few taps, most novice users are unaware that their WhatsApp usage data is being shared with Facebook.

In the United Kingdom, the Information Commissioner Office head Elizabeth Denham said her office had launched a probe into WhatsApp’s updated Terms of Service a few weeks ago.

The new terms previously drew ire from European privacy watchdogs who expressed “serious concerns” over the policy change. As a result of the UK government probe, WhatsApp has now suspended account data collection and sharing with Facebook. Read More

 
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