Skype issues a thorough revamp of iPhone and iPad app with new features

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype on Thursday announced a major redesign of its mobile application for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The new Skype 6.0 for iPhone and Skype 6.0 for iPad (still two separate downloads) features a sleeker look that the company says was “built for both the iPhone and iPad,” includes simpler navigation, a more powerful search and improved multi-tasking when switching between call and chat screens. Read More

 

Instagram Direct rolls out threaded messaging and sending feed content privately

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2015

Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram launched some notable improvements for its private-messaging feature, called Instagram Direct.

Available in Instagram’s 7.5 update, a free download in the App Store, Instagram Direct now supports threaded conversations and allows you to pick a photo from a user’s feed to send to a friend or group privately as a Direct message. Read More

 

Viber gains improved spam handling and reporting in latest iPhone update

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2015

Viber for iPhone was refreshed this morning in the App Store with improved spam handling. I’ve noticed an increase of spam messages on Viber lately as I’ve been regularly getting spam messages from seemingly random people telling me I’ve won a free iPhone or some fishy contest prize.

While Viber offers the ability to block unwanted contacts from messaging you, this update should help sort out the influx of spam on the service.

No other changes are mentioned for Viber 5.5.1, a free download from the App Store. Read More

 

Looks like WhatsApp Web has at last begun rolling out to iPhone users

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2015

WhatsApp introduced its web app in January 2015 and it’s since added compatibility for all major mobile and desktop platforms sans iOS.

While the web application works on Windows PCs and Android devices without a hiccup, mobile and desktop Safari versions were unsupported as WhatsApp did not update its iPhone app with a barcode scanning option.

Now some users are seeing the new option in WhatsApp for iPhone, meaning they can visit web.whatsapp.com in a browser and authorize access by scanning a QR code within WhatsApp for iPhone. Read More

 

Google rolls out Hangouts web app with chatting, free voice and video calling and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2015

Just like the recently introduced standalone Facebook Messenger web app, Google’s Hangouts service now runs in a browser. Taking advantage of modern web technologies, the Hangouts desktop web app can now live inside Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and other modern browsers, no app install required whatsoever.

Try it out at hangouts.google.com and let us know what you think in the comments. Read More

 

Twitter removes 140-character limit from Direct Messages

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2015

Two months into the announcement that it would remove the archaic 140-character limit from Direct Messages, Twitter today officially made the move in the hope of taking on popular instant messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage and others.

For people who use Direct Messages to communicate with their Twitter followers privately, this change couldn’t have come sooner because they can now chat on in a single Direct Message without restrictions and “likely still have some characters left over.” Read More

 

Snapchat’s latest update introduces data-saving Travel mode, emoji improvements and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 10, 2015

If you’re a Snapchat fan and a frequent traveller who doesn’t use the service abroad due to exorbitant international data roaming charges (or are simply on a budget plan), Snapchat has some good news for you.

Their latest update, now live in the App Store, brings an all-new Travel mode designed specifically to reduce mobile data usage when roaming. In addition to Travel mode, Snapchat’s iPhone application now lets you see who viewed your Story and puts more emoji characters at your fingertips. Read More

 

WhatsApp for iPhone receives a dozen new features in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 5, 2015

Not to be outdone by rival Viber which rolled out animated stickers, location sharing, a brand new keypad and other enhancements in yesterday’s refresh, Facebook-owned WhatsApp today pushed a substantial update to its App Store application.

WhatsApp for iPhone now features richer notifications settings with per-chat rules and mute options, a new swipe gesture to mark chats as read or unread, the ability to directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps, backups for your videos and much more. Read More

 

Viber for iOS gains link previews, animated stickers, easier video calling, better compression & more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2015

Viber, the third most popular messaging platform after Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) today delivered a few new features to its iPhone and iPad application in the App Store.

The new Viber 5.5 for iOS now includes rich link previews in the chat window, has the ability to exchange contact information via messages (in addition to QR codes), introduces animated stickers, permits easier video calling directly from a contact’s profile or the recent calls list and more. Read More

 

Yahoo unveils LiveText, its new Snapchat-esque messaging app with text and silent video

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2015

As vaguely hinted yesterday, Yahoo held a press conference in New York City this morning to announce its brand new mobile product: a messaging app called LiveText.

The app recently soft-launched in HongKong, Taiwan and Ireland and is scheduled to roll out in more markets tomorrow, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated as soon as it hits the US App Store.

LiveText promises to transform simple conversations into rich, fun and memorable experiences with text and live video, but without sound. It’s very Snapchat-esque and you might be willing to give it a try. Read More

 

Yahoo reportedly readying a new messaging app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

According to Re/code journalist and technology columnist Kara Swisher, the Internet’s pioneering company, Yahoo, will announce a brand new mobile messaging app at a forthcoming media event.

The press conference is apparently scheduled for later this week, but the company has yet to formally announce it.

“It’s likely a messaging app,“ Swisher wrote on Twitter this morning. Yahoo’s press event should be held in New York City and serve as a launchpad for new consumer products focused on mobile. Read More

 

Microsoft launches Send for iPhone, a hybrid app for quick IM-style emails

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2015

Microsoft’s hybrid email/IM app which leaked back in May is now official. Today, the Windows giant said a new app called Send is launching exclusively on the iPhone. Designed for “in-and-out email,” Send for iPhone lets you engage in brief and snappy communications with co-workers using quick text message-like conversations without a subject line or formal email constructs. All of your communications gets automatically saved in Outlook for reference later. Read More

 

You can now sign up for Messenger with your phone number, no Facebook account needed

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

You no longer need a Facebook account in order to exchange instant messages with your contacts through the Facebook Messenger service. By dropping the Facebook account requirement, the social network hopes to bring in even more people under the Messenger fold.

By last count, Messenger had 700 million active users, approaching the 800 million user base of WhatsApp, a wildly popular messaging service Facebook acquired for a staggering $19 billion. Read More

 

Skype for Web is now available worldwide with added Chromebook support

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype has now made its web-based client available regardless of where you live, following its limited rollout last November.

Skype for Web runs in any web browser that supports modern web technologies, including Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox on Windows and OS X. Read More

 

You can now chat while on a call, add contacts via QR codes and more in latest Viber update

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2015

Viber, the popular VoIP and messaging platform owned by Japan’s Rakuten, hasn’t updated its iPhone app in any meaningful way for a while now. And just when you thought they’ve neglected the iOS app for good, here comes a brand new release packing a few solid improvements.

I’ve always hated Viber wouldn’t let me chat while on a VoIP or video call. This should be expected behavior as iPhones have always supported messaging during a cellular call.

In latest Viber 5.4 for iPhone update it’s now possible to minimize a VoIP call and open any other screen within the app without interrupting your conversation. Read More

 

Skype for iPhone gains link previews, Apple Watch app adds replying with dictation and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 2, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype today issued an update to its free-of-charge iPhone application in the App Store, adding a few enhancements related to chatting on both your handset and the Apple Watch.

Web link previews are now available in your chat, courtesy of Skype 5.13 for iPhone. When you paste a URL into the chat window, the mobile application will now provide a preview of the website similar to Facebook.

Previews are available when you send or receive a web link and support video content, blogs, news websites and many other types of web content. Read More

 

Flow by Outlook, Microsoft’s hybrid IM/email iPhone app, inadvertently leaked

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2015

Microsoft has inadvertently leaked an upcoming hybrid email and messaging app via a download webpage marked “Microsoft Confidential”, ZDNet reported Wednesday.

Called ‘Flow by Outlook,’ the lightweight email app should release for the iPhone. It’s being billed as a “great way to have rapid email conversations on your phone with the people who are important to you,” as per leaked changelog. Read More

 

Free video calling in Facebook Messenger rolling out to all users worldwide

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2015

Facebook confirmed today that free video calling in its mobile Messenger application has begun rolling out to all users worldwide. The feature launched in select markets on April 27, 2015.

“Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for,” David Marcus, Messaging at Facebook, wrote in a post on Facebook this morning. Read More

 

BitTorrent launches Bleep, secure peer-to-peer messaging app for iPhone and Mac

By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2015

With ephemeral messaging growing in popularity, and given ongoing fear of government-sponsored snooping, small wonder that BitTorrent has now entered the market for secure chat apps — and in a pretty big way, too.

Bleep, their new Mac and iOS secure messaging and VoIP software, strives to ensure the privacy of your conversations by never saving them on your device or the servers. In a nutshell, Bleep uses encryption and peer-to-peer networking to establish a private, secure connection between devices.

With Bleep, you can whisper with friends on your Mac or iPhone and the messages will disappear after they are read. Read More

 

WhatsApp for iPhone rolling out VoIP calling, gains iOS 8 share extension and more

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2015

Following months of promises and multiple delays, Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which commands more than 800 million active users worldwide, on Tuesday started rolling a voice calling feature in its iPhone application.

WhatsApp Calling is a staggered release and will be rolling out “slowly over the next several weeks,” the company said, meaning it may not be available for you immediately.

In addition to calling other people for free over Wi-Fi networks, regardless of where they may live, the app has gained other enhancements, too, starting with a much welcomed app extension on iPhones running iOS 8. Sadly enough, this update hasn’t brought out support for iOS 8’s Interactive Notifications. Read More

 
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