By Christian Zibreg on Mar 23, 2015
Facebook wants to be more than just a social network. The company has been working on a dedicated Phone mobile app and is considering moves to turn its standalone mobile Messenger service into a platform of its own, according to web reports Monday. The dedicated Phone app would show rich information about callers and automatically block calls from commonly blocked numbers.
As for enhancing Messenger, this could entail adding features beyond exchanging media and instant messages, like bringing news and way richer content sharing to the service.
We’ll know for sure next week at Facebook’s F8 conference, an annual gathering for Facebook developers where the company usually announce major platform advancements and new services. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015
Today, social networking behemoth Facebook issued a small yet important update to its mobile messaging software for the iPhone and iPad. Facebook Messenger version 22 is now available in the App Store and with it comes a much appreciated and long overdue iOS 8 extension.
With it, you can at last send pieces of content to Messenger without leaving other apps. Using iOS 8’s standard Share sheet, it’s simple to share photos, videos and links directly with Messenger contacts, without leaving context of the app you’re currently using. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2015
WhatsApp for iPhone got updated Thursday with three noteworthy improvements. For starters, it now honors your preferred font size set in Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Text so all text labels throughout the app get rendered in your chosen typeface size.
There’s also a new call button in chats. Lastly, a built-in image chooser has been redesigned so you can now quickly add recent images from your Camera Roll right after tapping on the camera icon in chats. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2015
Google on Tuesday added new features to its Hangouts app for the iPhone and iPad, namely deeper integration with its Voice telephony service, a pretty smart way to share your location with others, the ability to tell your friends what you’re up to via status messages and more.
Today’s refresh follows last month’s Android app update which introduced a similar set of enhancements. These newly introduced features are available on iOS right now so go ahead and download Hangouts free in the App Store and take the app for a spin. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2014
Following last month’s preview of a major new update to its BBM for iPhone messaging software, BlackBerry today released BBM 184.108.40.206 featuring an improved support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus alongside additional iOS 8 compatibility updates and other enhancements.
There’s a new timer option and you’ll also notice certain improvements for the message retraction feature and refinements to timed pictures and messages. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014
Facebook-owned WhatsApp quietly introduced blue-ticked read confirmations in its mobile iPhone app a month and a half ago and now the social networking behemoth has refreshed its backend to bring read receipts to Messenger for iOS and Android.
And with Christmas around the corner, the company is helping us celebrate the upcoming festivities by adding holiday-themed content to Messenger like fresh sticker packs, a new festive frame and more.
As if that wasn’t enough, Facebook’s engineers have done a lot of work under the hood to make the app more fluid and responsive than ever before. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014
There’s a brand new app from Facebook in town and it’s hitting iOS real soon. Having launched on Android today, Stickered is a companion app for Messenger which allows you to add some fun stickers to a photo before sending it to a friend on Messenger.
The first companion app for Messenger, the lightweight Stickered app should make it easy and fun to pick a photo and then resize and slap a sticker on top. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014
Qik, an ephemeral video messaging app for the iPhone by Microsoft-owned Skype, has received a refresh Wednesday. For starters, it takes full advantage of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus screens while adding a new video menu.
It also improves how invitations by SMS are handled and includes a special holiday surprise in the form of a cool Easter egg which lets you shake your iPhone to enable snowflakes that fall down the screen. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014
BlackBerry is rolling out a new version of BBM for iOS with support for Apple’s latest iOS 8 mobile operating system, native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes, the ability to send stickers in a group chat and more.
“You can’t help but notice the sleek and modern design updates like a flat UI and attractive transparencies,“ boasted Canada’s embattled company. The overhaul makes the app look sharp across supported Apple devices. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014
Viber, the popular messaging platform second only to WhatsApp, today refreshed its iOS application with support for downloadable mobile games while introducing a new Sticker Menu to make finding sticker packs easier.
Viber Games, the headline new feature in Viber 5.2 for iOS and Android, allows users to play select mobile games with Viber characters Violet and Legcat and see how many coins they can earn. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2014
Back this summer, Snapchat introduced Geofilters, a set of custom image filters that only work on photos taken in specific geographic locations. Up until now, only Snapchat devs have been able to create these. Tuesday, the company has opened up Geofilters to the community at large.
Now everyone can create interesting images and share them with friends who will be able to see them when they’re in a specific location.
Once shared, your little pieces of art will be also available through the newly set up Community Geofilter website. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014
After receiving an iOS 8 focused update earlier this month bringing a nice Share menu extension, Interactive Notifications and other improvements, Viber on Tuesday pushed a small update adding the Public Chats feature.
With Public Chats, Viber users can finally follow group conversations for specific topics that they’re into. Once you start following a group chat, you can then like any piece of content in the group chat, including messages, photos, videos, links and more. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014
Facebook on Thursday issued a small update to its Messenger app for the iPhone and iPad, bringing out additional features to touch up the photos you take within the software using the built-in camera feature.
Now available in the App Store at no cost, Facebook Messenger 16.0 fixed an issue with sending messages while introducing a pair of new controls to adjust the focus and lighting of photos you take in the app. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2014
WhatsApp, the most popular instant-messaging platform with more than 600 million users which Facebook snapped up for $16 billions earlier this year, has started to protect data with end-to-end encryption, The Wall Street Journal reports.
For the time being, text messages exchanged between Android users of WhatsApp are being encrypted by default.
It shouldn’t be too long until the company adds encryption to the iOS app and other mobile platforms. Encryption protects users’ communications from governments and hackers alike by making the data unreadable as it travels between servers. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014
In a pretty significant move Microsoft on Friday announced Skype for Web, an upcoming web application that lets the popular instant messaging and VoIP service run directly in a desktop browser, no plug-in needed, making Skype readily available across desktop, mobile and on the web.
Supported browsers include Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10, Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari 6.
Unfortunately, Chrome for Windows is the only supported version of Chrome so Mac users on Google’s browser (and Chromebook owners) are left out in the cold for the time being. Chatting and video/voice messaging don’t require a browser plug-in. “With WebRTC, there won’t be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation”, the software giant said. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2014
Facebook‘s dedicated instant messaging application for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, Facebook Messenger, is now used by more than 500 million people around the world each month, said the social networking giant Monday.
That’s a massive number, but still half of what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said constitutes a platform in the truest sense.
By comparison, WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired in February 2014 for $19 billion, currently has more than 600 million active users. Instagram, another Facebook property, counts more than 200 million users. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2014
As we patiently await an update to make WhatsApp support native display sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the tremendously popular Facebook-owned messaging service on Wednesday enabled a new check mark in the chat UI indicating that the recipient has read your message.
Now when you’re chatting with someone, pay attention to read receipts in the form of blue check marks, as discovered by designer, Dutch translator at Twitter and jailbreak developer Timon Olsthoorn (and many others on Twitter).
This is an over-the-air update so those with WhatsApp installed on their iPhone can start using this feature immediately, without the need to update the app manually.
WhatsApp, which has more than 600 million active users, is free in the App Store. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2014
The nation’s second-largest carrier, AT&T, said on Friday that it will be increasing monthly data allotments for two of its Mobile Share Value plans.
Beginning Sunday, November 2, Mobile Share Value customers will get three gigabytes of high-speed 4G LTE data for $40 a month instead of two gigabytes.
In addition, customers on a pricer tier will be treated to six gigabytes for $70 a month instead of four gigabytes like before.
Furthermore, all Mobile Share Value plans now get unlimited international messaging for text, picture and video for no additional cost. Read More