Facebook Messenger gains iOS 10 integration on the Lock screen and in Phone app

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2016

Facebook just pushed a major update to its Messenger software in the App Store. On iPhones with iOS 10, the app now takes advantage of Apple’s new CallKit framework to make audio (VoIP) calls from Messenger look and behave like normal cellular calls with full support for Lock screen and Phone integration.

Bumped to version 89.0, the app now shows incoming VoIP calls from Messenger contacts right on your Lock screen complete with fullscreen contact images, standard controls like the Mute, Keypad, Speaker, Add Call and Video buttons and more. Read More

 

Google’s Allo messaging app hits the App Store and it logs all your chats

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2016

At the annual I/O developer conference in April 2016, Google previewed two new mobile apps: a one-to-one video calling app called Duo, which released in mid-August, and a messaging software called Allo, which surfaced on the App Store this morning as a free download.

It sports features commonly found in messaging apps and includes a built-in Assistant, Google’s conversational artificial intelligence helper, an Incognito mode and more.

While Google originally promised Allo would only store messages transiently and in non-identifiable form, the firm’s had a change of heart as Allo logs all chats by default. Read More

 

WhatsApp rolls out its iOS 10 update with Phone/Siri support & more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 14, 2016

WhatsApp is one of the showcase apps for CallKit, Apple’s new framework allowing VoIP calls to integrate with iOS 10’s Phone app and behave like cellular calls. Today, WhatsApp has rolled out its anticipated update which enables integration with Phone and Siri on iOS 10 while bringing out half a dozen other features and improvements like forwarding multiple chats at once, a new iOS 10 widget that lets you go to a recent WhatsApp chat or see which chats have unread messages, and more. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger picks up live-streaming feature, called Instant Video

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2016

Facebook today announced a new live-streaming feature on the mobile Messenger app, dubbed “Instant Video”. Similar to the live-streaming feature built into the mobile Facebook app, Instant Video allows you to start streaming live video with a friend on Messenger by tapping a new button found in chat windows. The video streams in a small window so that you can continue chatting while streaming. Read More

 

How to opt out of WhatsApp-Facebook account data sharing

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2016

As you may have heard, WhatsApp is starting to share some of users’ account data with Facebook (things like your registered phone number and the last time you used the service) to improve targeted advertising and friend suggestions on Facebook and better fight spam on WhatsApp. Thankfully, you can easily opt out, right when the prompt goes up, or within 30 days of accepting the new terms, here’s how. Read More

 

Skype for iOS gains connectivity status bar, more informative notifications & other perks

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Microsoft today pushed an update to its mobile Skype application for iOS, bumping the app’s version number on the App Store to 6.22. The new edition includes several enhancements related to notifications and Skype Credit, which can now be purchased from within the app in more currencies than before. Skype for iPhone and iPad are available free on the App Store. Read More

 

WhatsApp now lets you leave voice messages

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2016

WhatsApp Messenger was updated this morning with an interesting enhancement in the form of ability to leave other people voice messages on the service. “When placing a WhatsApp call, you now quickly leave a voice message if your call isn’t answered, just like voicemail,” read release notes accompanying WhatsApp’s 2.16.8 update on the App Store. Since enabling Voice over IP (VoIP) calling a year ago, more than 100 million voice calls are made on average every day via WhatsApp, or more than 1,100 VoIP calls a second. Read More

 

Telegram for iOS gains personal storage, group previews and trending/archived stickers

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2016

Telegram, a secure instant messaging service that supports rich media attachments and optional end-to-end encryption, today refreshed its mobile app on the App Store with a few new features. Telegram for iOS, now bumped to version 3.11, offers some interesting new sticker packs and lets you archive those you no longer use.

You can now preview groups before joining them and store your messages and media in the new storage chat.

Telegram is available free on the App Store and Mac App Store. Read More

 

Snapchat rolls out city-specific stickers that mock local trends and highlight landmarks

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2016

Snapchat for iPhone, an ephemeral image messaging app, yesterday announced a new feature called Geostickers. Basically special stickers available in some of the biggest cities around the world, they can be applied to images and moved around before sending them. You can also stick these city-specific stickers on your Snaps.

Geostickers are available now in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Honolulu, London, Sydney, São Paulo, Paris and Riyadh. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: sending fireballs via Digital Touch

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 2, 2016

The Digital Touch interface made its debut on the Apple Watch in April 2015. With iOS 10, Apple is bringing Digital Touch features to the Messages app and it does so much more than its wrist counterpart was capable of at launch.

With Digital Touch, you can doodle over live video, adorn your messages with animated kisses, digital taps and auto-dissapearing drawings and even send animated hearts and broken hearts to other people.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at another nifty feature in iOS 10 Messages: the ability to express your angst or anger by shooting virtual fireballs at your recipient(s). Read More

 

Viber for iPhone now lets you share, preview, delete and restore your stickers

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2016

Just like rival WhatsApp, the popular Rakuten-owned Viber messaging application pushed an update to its App Store app this morning, bumping version number to 6.2 whilst adding a few new features related to handling sticker packages within the app. You can now share sticker packages with others and preview stickers before sending one in a chat. And to preserve storage space on the device, there’s now the option to delete sticker packages you no longer use. Grab Viber for free on the App Store. Read More

 

WhatsApp for iPhone gains 3x bigger emoji, zooming during video capture and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2016

After launching a desktop Mac app in May, Facebook-owned WhatsApp today gave its iPhone application a little love with a new version now available on the App Store. WhatsApp 2.16.7 for iPhone includes three times bigger emoji when sent alone, a feature also found in iOS 10’s Messages app. In this release, you can now zoom when recording videos within the app and select multiple chats to quickly archive, delete or mark as read.

Plus, thanks to under-the-hood tweaks chats now open a lot faster than before. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger hits a major milestone—one billion monthly users

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2016

Facebook yesterday announced that its Messenger service has hit a major milestone: the software is now being used by more than one billion people every month to message their friends and family. Messenger saw a major surge in popularity after it was decoupled from the main Facebook mobile client, and especially since becoming a software platform in its own right with chat bots, apps, money payments, expanded emojis and other features.

Facebook Messenger is a free download from the App Store. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: auto-playing full-screen effects in Messages for texts like “Happy Birthday”

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2016

iOS 10’s Messages app offers a number of new features and meaningful improvements, such as bubble effects, smarter emoji, full-screen animations and so forth. Moreover, iOS 10 turns Messages into a software platform of its own with support for third-party iMessage Apps, stickers and other downloadable items via the App Store.

We previously covered various Messages capabilities on iOS 10, like Spotlight Suggestions in chats, using Digital Touch to send animated kisses and broken hearts, managing read-receipts on a per-chat basis, to mention just a few. Today, we take a look at another cool Messages feature: the ability to automatically play appropriate full-screen effects based on certain messages. Read More

 

At long last, Facebook Messenger implements 3D Touch Peek and Pop

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2016

Better late than never: 3D Touch gestures are now available within the free mobile Messenger app from Facebook. The latest Messenger update on the App Store increases the app’s version number to 79.0, with Peek/Pop support on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus being the only change mentioned in release notes accompanying the 109-megabyte download. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: Spotlight Suggestions in Messages

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2016

On iOS 10, Spotlight Suggestions appear in more places than before. We recently told you about Spotlight Suggestions in the Look Up interface (formerly known as the Define feature). We also discussed iOS 10’s expressive Messages app in depth and mentioned its super useful inline previews of URLs.

As it turns out, not only does Messages support inline previews of media URLs, but underlines specific terms in your chats—such as movie and app names—that Spotlight Suggestions can give you more info about. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: sending broken hearts via iMessage

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2016

iOS 10’s much-enhanced Messages app includes the Digital Touch interface that first appeared on the Apple Watch. With Digital Touch, users can create iMessages that contain doodles, digital taps, video with effects and more.

We recently explained how Digital Touch can be taken advantage of to send nicely animated hearts to your recipients. Here’s another iOS 10 tidbit: Messages on iOS 10 also lets you shoot animated broken hearts to someone for those times you wish to convey more specific feelings. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger starts testing end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2016

The Guardian reported more than a month ago that Facebook would be rolling out end-to-end encryption for chats in Messenger. Friday, the social networking firm announced that it’s begun testing the new feature, dubbed Secret Conversations.

An opt-in feature, the new option within the mobile Messenger app for iOS and Android was designed to better support conversations about sensitive topics with end-to-end encryption. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: using Digital Touch in Messages to send kisses instead of hearts

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

Aside from a lot of other advances, iOS 10 turns the Messages app into a platform upon which developers can build downloadable stickers, full-screen animations and chat bubble effects. Messages in iOS 10 also supports Digital Touch, a feature that first debuted on the Apple Watch.

With the new Digital Touch interface in iOS 10 Messages, users can draw and sketch with their finger on photos and video, send hearts and create other digital effects on video. But as it turns out, users also have the option to send animated kisses instead of heart beats using a simple gesture. Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: managing read receipts on a per-conversation basis

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2016

iOS 10 has a new hidden switch, called Emergency Bypass, which permits you to override your global Do Not Disturb setting on a per-contact basis. It’s especially handy for those times when you wanna enable Messages notifications for a contact that isn’t in your Favorites, even if Do Not Disturb is on.

A similar new feature in iOS 10’s Messages app makes it easy to enable or disable read receipts, which tell the other person when you’ve read an incoming text, on a per-conversation basis. Read More

 
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