Review: Flamingo for Mac looks to improve on Messages for Mac

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Messages for Mac may support a few different chat services, but there are still a variety of features that would vastly improve the experience of messaging on the Mac. Flamingo is a new app designed to make chatting even better with a whole host of features you didn’t even realize you were missing.

Unfortunately because Apple keeps iMessage pretty locked-down, you won’t be able to use Flamingo with that. You can still use it with your Facebook, Google Hangouts (text, not video), and other XMPP-based chat services. But should you use it for those things? Keep reading for our full review.

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Google’s new Hangouts app now available for iPhone and iPad

Google just announced a new unified messaging service today that will be available across multiple platforms and now the iOS app is officially available to download on the App Store.

Google-Hangouts-app-iconThe free Hangouts app is available as a universal download for both iPhone and iPad and offers group conversations with photos or 850 emojis, Video calls for hanging out with up to 10 friends, alerts that are synced across devices and more.

More Hangouts awesomeness:
– View and continue your Hangouts across devices.
– Get notifications just once.  After you see an alert, it’ll be removed on other devices.
– Snooze your notifications if you’d prefer to respond later.
– See what you talked about in the past, including shared photos and your video call history.
– Keep a record of any Hangout for just a short period of time by turning history off.
– View collections of photos shared from each of your Hangouts.
– Choose from over 850 emoji to express what’s on your mind.

The Hangouts feature will also be coming to Gmail users today: Read more

Google announces Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service, launching today for $9.99/month

From 9to5Google:

Google just announced its much rumored new music service called Google Play Music “All Access” live on stage at its Google I/O event keynote presentation.

Google execs focused on showing off curated playlists but also made a note of pointing out a “radio” feature that will automatically create an endless radio station based on the song you’re currently listening to. The service will also allow users to search for a particular song or view the “playlist” of a radio station to remove unwanted songs.

Also included is a feature called “Listen Now” that will provide quick access to recently listened to songs, customized radio stations based on your preferences, and recommendations for new releases from artists you like.

The service will be available on the web, tablets, and phones through Google Play and cost users $9.99 per month with a 30 day free trial in the US. Those that sign up before the end of June will be able to get the subscription for just $7.99/month and Google said the service will land in other countries soon.

Message Box brings systemwide Facebook Chat Heads to iOS [jailbreak]

Jailbreak developer Adam Bell has just published a new tweak that allows Facebook users to access their Chat Heads from anywhere. The tweak is called Message Box and it works remarkably well. It’s not 100% perfect yet, but it functions well enough to use full time without much of an issue.

Keep reading for more info on the tweak, including where you can get it before it hits Cydia.

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