Messaging

You can now watch YouTube videos while you do other things on Viber for iPhone

The mobile Viber app today received an interesting update that enables a special mode for enjoying YouTube clips without having to leave the app, which  resembles iOS 9′ picture in picture feature on iPad. As part of Viber versions 6.8.2 for iOS, tapping a YouTube URL sent or received in a conversation now brings up a floating overlay that can be moved around so that you can enjoy the video in minimized view while you do other things within the app.

Facebook unveils group payments via Messenger for desktop

Facebook announced this morning that sending or receiving money between groups of people is now supported on the Messenger service. The social networking company debuted peer-to-peer payments on Messenger in March 2015. The new group payments feature, currently limited to users in the United States, is available starting today on Messenger for Android and via the company’s desktop app at messenger.com. Group mobile payments will be coming to Messenger for iPhone and iPad at a later stage.

Facebook launches revamped message compose interface on Messenger

As part of today’s rollout of Facebook’s AI-powered personal assistant to all users in the United States, the social networking company mentioned that you should now start seeing a redesigned message compose interface within the mobile Messenger app. We first caught wind of this new iOS 10 Messages-style chat experience two months ago.

At the time, Facebook was still testing the redesign with a small percentage of users. The new way to compose messages is currently rolling out to Messenger users across the globe so check back in a few days if it’s currently unavailable to you.

Facebook launches AI assistant in Messenger to all U.S. users with suggestions based on chats

Facebook today announced that M, its AI-powered personal assistant in the mobile Messenger app, is now available to everyone in the United States with a new suggestions feature. Suggestions from M appear when it recognizes intent in a conversation. Initially, M will suggest about half a dozen actions, including getting a ride via Lyft or Uber, paying or requesting money, sending stickers and more. M is launching today to all iOS and Android users in the U.S. and will eventually roll out to other countries.

How to schedule text messages on iPhone

Although Apple doesn’t provide a way to schedule text messages on iPhone, there thankfully are some third-party options that allow you to do just that. An app called Scheduled, as featured in our apps of the week roundup, is one of those.

Via a clean and simple interface, Scheduled lets you draft messages to be scheduled and sent using iMessage, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, or even email. For the purpose of this post, we will only look at the iMessage/SMS option.

File sharing hits Google’s Allo app

Google held a media event today in São Paulo, Brazil, revealing that its messaging app Allo, which debuted last September, has gained a pair of new features: file sharing in group chats and support for the app’s Smart Smiley feature in Portuguese. Noting a lot of users have requested the ability to share documents in group chats, Google said that Android users everywhere can now share documents with friends on Allo, including files like PDF documents, ZIP archives, MP3 tracks and more.

Google didn’t say when file sharing might hit Allo for iOS, but it shouldn’t be too long.

WhatsApp brings back text-only status, adds new features in latest update

A few weeks ago, WhatsApp rolled out auto-vanishing slideshows with photos, videos, emoji characters, drawings and more. Called Status, it supplanted WhatsApp’s text-only feature that’s been part of the app since its inception. Turns out many users are hating the change, turning to social media to express their disdain with WhatsApp’s relentless cloning of Snapchat. WhatsApp developers responded by promising to bring back text-only statuses.

Today, WhatsApp for iPhone was updated with the addition of text-only statuses, called About, whilst gaining a few new features.

Viber rolls out self destructing Secret Chats

Messaging service Viber today rolled out a new Secret Chats feature. Not to be confused with Secret Messages, a similar feature introduced in February 2017 that lets you define how long your photos, videos and texts are available after the recipient has opened them, Secret Chats use Viber’s end-to-end encryption let you set a timer on individual messages so they disappear after a few seconds, get an alert when a screenshot is taken and be sure no messages get forwarded.

Facebook is testing Reactions and all-new Dislike button in chats on Messenger

Some users of the mobile Facebook Messenger app have noticed that the empathetic Reaction emojis, which launched in the company’s mainland mobile app in February 2016, are now available to them inside the standalone messaging app, along with a brand now iMessage-like Dislike button that’s yet to launch in the main Facebook app.

Facebook’s confirmed this new feature to TechCrunch.

How to create self destructing status updates on WhatsApp

WhatsApp for iPhone supports sharing of photos, videos, animated GIFs and more via Snapchat Stories-like slideshows that automatically disappear after 24 hours. Media-rich statuses are all the rage these days so we’ve decided to put together a tutorial to get you up to speed.

You can adjust who is allowed to see your auto-vanishing statuses, reply to a status update, delete a status manually, mute statuses you don’t like and more.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll tell you everything there’s to know about WhatsApp’s multimedia status updates.