Instagram hits 300M monthly actives, rolls out verified user badges & deactivates spammy accounts

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Instagram announced today that it’s now at 300 million monthly active users, up from 200 million users that it announced approximately nine months ago. The company is announcing the new milestone on its website alongside other update user stats.

In addition, Instagram is today rolling out verified badges for brands and public figures while announcing it’s making a “significant effort to remove spammy and fake accounts”: Read more

BlackBerry goes on the offensive, claims five ways BBM trumps Apple’s iMessage

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Earlier this week a report from Wired noted security company Cloudmark’s claim that iMessage is host to nearly a third of all mobile spam messages due in part to email addresses being attached in many cases to accounts. In our coverage we noted that you can manually report such messages in addition to certain workarounds to avoid being bothered.

BlackBerry, however, is taking this report as an opportunity to remind you it still has a messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, which it says is a more secure alternative to iMessage. In a recent blog post (via BGR), the handset maker goes on to list five reasons why its messaging platform is better than iMessage: Read more

iMessage “being taken over by spammers,” accounts for almost a third of mobile spam

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Security company Cloudmark claims that almost a third of mobile spam messages are now being sent via iMessage thanks to the ease with which they can be sent from a Mac, reports Wired.

Thanks to one particularly aggressive campaign from a junk mailer, [iMessage spam] accounts for more than 30 percent of all mobile spam messages […]

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Cloudmark’s Tom Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Applescripts, you can tell your Mac to send message to whoever they want.”

Read more

How-to: Use Apple Mail rules to automatically filter out unwanted messages

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Preventing unwanted messages from showing up in your inbox can be integral to enjoying email. In this article we will walk you through the process of creating mail rules that will direct messages to other folders or the trash based on conditions you specify. We will also discuss how to update rules to include additional senders or other criteria, and provide some common-sense guidance about effectively using mail rules in general.

Mail rules allow you to direct messages out of your inbox into another folder or trash automatically, based on their sender or other conditions. Rules can be set up on iCloud.com if the email address is the one you use for iCloud (it can end in either @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com).

For your other email addresses, rules can be set up in the Mail app on a Mac. If you set up rules using iCloud.com they are very effective, immediately directing messages to the specified folders on all your devices. If you set up rules using the Mail app, they are effective only after you start up your Mac and open the Mail app.  At the end of this article, I will make some practical suggestions about how to address that, and other aspects of using mail rules.

Read more

Apple clamping down on cheaters & adding new features for gamers in iOS 7

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Apple is making some big improvements for gamers in the coming releases of iOS and OS X, and not just the new standardized gaming controllers we told you about previously. Not only is Apple introducing enhanced leaderboards, improved challenge modes, and new turn-based gaming features, it is also providing developers with tools to combat and prevent cheating.

Head below for details on everything Apple is doing in iOS 7 to improve the gaming experience… Read more

Facebook aims to declutter the iOS Contacts app by no longer syncing friends without useful contact info

Facebook-Contacts-iOS-6Over the past week a number of 9to5 readers have noticed issues with their Facebook contacts within the Contacts app on iOS 6 and up that are automatically synced when logging into Facebook through Settings. Some users have taken to the Apple support forums to discuss the problem, noting that a large portion of their contacts from Facebook no longer appear in the iOS Contacts app. Rather than a bug, we reached out to Facebook about the problem who told us it’s actually Facebook’s new effort to remove “phone book entries that were not useful.”

In other words, Facebook is trying to remove some of the spam from your iOS Contacts app by no longer syncing friends that have no useful contact information. According to a Facebook spokesperson, friends that have no contact information on their profile other than a @facebook.com email address will not be synced to the Contacts address book going forward.

The result, of course, is you might notice more than a few of your Facebook friends disappearing from Contacts. You can always add them back manually, but Facebook is thinking the majority of users will be happy with its decision to declutter its iOS sync feature.  Read more

Users complain Path sending spam messages to contacts, company says it’s a feature not a bug

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 3.43.51 PMToday a number of reports are flowing in claiming that social network app Path is sending spam messages to people listed in the user’s address book. The issue apparently isn’t new with some Android users on Reddit experiencing the spam a few months back, while a growing number of users on Twitter today have complained of their contacts receiving both spam text messages and calls. The messages, as pictured right, say the user has photos to share on Path and urges the recipient to downed the free Path app.

However, Path confirmed to The Verge that the issue is actually a feature of the app that sends messages to a user’s Facebook friends during sign-up: Read more