Messaging Stories May 18, 2016

Google-I-O

Google kicked off its Google I/O developer conference today with the usual keynote address where executives showed off a number of upcoming hardware, software and developer tool products. It started off with its new voice controlled Siri competitor— Google Assistant— which also ties into its upcoming Amazon Echo-like device for the home called Google Home.

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Messaging Stories March 29, 2016

Tim Cook Snap

Snapchat is changing how you communicate with friends in a major way through what it’s calling Chat 2.0. The social network says it focused two years ago on making chatting more like face-to-face conversation with features like letting you know when your friends were present and “listening” to what you were typing, and the latest Snapchat update refocuses on the 1-to-1 chat aspect of the app with new features around voice and video calling plus stickers and more. How you watch Stories is also getting a change in the new update.

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Messaging Stories September 1, 2015

Instagram Direct update

After mostly letting it sit stagnant for nearly two years, Instagram is ready to show its Direct messaging feature some love. Instagram Direct, which lets you share photos, videos, and messages privately with other Instagram users, was seen as a play at Snapchat and similar apps when it launched in 2013, but it’s so far experienced limited appeal within the photo sharing app. Now Instagram hopes to change that with new features including message threads, giant emoji, sharing from your timeline, and more. expand full story

Messaging Stories August 19, 2015

WhatsApp Web iPhone

The highly popular WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook appears to be adding a new feature that allows iPhone users to chat in the browser using a web app. The feature is called WhatsApp Web and became available on various platforms including Android and Windows Phone earlier this year, but the feature was absent for iPhone users at the time “due to Apple platform limitations.” Using the chat service on the web requires running WhatsApp on a corresponding smartphone. expand full story

Messaging Stories April 15, 2015

White Watch 2

Glide, the app that lets users send live video messages, today becomes the first to bring the feature to Apple Watch. With an update to Glide’s iOS app, users of Apple Watch will be able to receive live videos messages right on their wrist, although it’s a one-way experience for Apple Watch as the device doesn’t yet include a camera; your responses will be limited to text. expand full story

Messaging Stories April 1, 2015

Tweetdeck-01

The TweetDeck Mac app today received an update with a handful of new features including the ability to share account access with others, direct messages to groups, support for in-line GIFs and videos, and much more. expand full story

Messaging Stories January 14, 2015

Microsoft is rolling out a new version of Skype for iPhone today, version 5.9, which brings enhancements to the user interface making communicating faster and easier. The latest version adds contact suggestions to the dial pad when entering a number making the process of finding the right person to dial quicker. The update also adds shortcuts for starting video or audio calls from Skype’s chat picker window.

In addition to introducing the latest Skype for iPhone user interface improvements, Microsoft announced a limited pre-release program for testing early versions of Skype in exchange for sharing feedback and ideas… expand full story

Messaging Stories January 12, 2015

Image (1) WWDC-2011-keynote-Scott-Forstall-iOS-5-iMessage-logo-slide.jpg for post 72528

For several months we’ve followed the U.S. government’s attempts to work around encryption in chat apps, even taking the hyperbole to an illogical extreme at one point, but we haven’t yet seen similar threats from other nations… or at least, we hadn’t until today.

British prime minister David Cameron said today that unless the government is given backdoor access to encrypted messaging services, he’s just going to outlaw them:

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Messaging Stories December 16, 2014

Group Text+ for iPhone & iPad

Group Text+ for iPhone & iPad

Contrast, the makers of the popular iOS automation app Launch Center Pro, released two new apps today that hope to “speed up tedious tasks on iOS.” Group Text+ and Email+ each include features that make texting (iMessage and SMS) and emailing your favorite contacts or groups of contacts easier and quicker. expand full story

Messaging Stories November 17, 2014

WhatsApp Messenger is now optimized for iPhone 6/Plus

Huge news for frequent WhatsApp Messenger users: the app will no longer look huge on the latest iPhones.

If you bought an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus between now and September when they were released, you’ve probably been waiting for WhatsApp to update with optimization for the bigger displays and that update is finally out. The Facebook-owned messaging app released version 2.11.14 today with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support and will “fix bugs and crashes” according to the release notes.

Messaging Stories November 5, 2014

EFF-Secure-Messaging-Scoreboard-01

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today released a report examining three dozen messaging services and ranking them based on what it deemed are seven “security best practices.” While Apple scored the best among what the EFF called “mass-market options”, it didn’t do as well when compared to all 36 messaging services included in the report. Specifically, EFF noted Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime services failed to offer “complete protection against sophisticated, targeted forms of surveillance.” expand full story

Messaging Stories October 7, 2014

Ray Ozzie, who used to be Microsoft’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect, has come out with a new app for the iPhone. In an extensive profile, Steven Levy explains the premise behind the app, dubbed Talko. You can read the full overview on Medium. The app has been in development for more than two years.

A new take on phone calls, the app shows if your recipient is currently walking or driving — giving a hint at attentiveness of the speaker before the conversation even begins. It’s a nice use of the Apple M7 and M8 coprocessors. Any voice communication is archived into the growing thread … to organize a conversation like any other modern chat app really. Talko seems best as an app for modern meetings, like a conference call replacement, although Ozzie insists it can be used beyond business.

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Messaging Stories July 31, 2014

Facebook’s photo messaging app Slingshot updated w/ easier reactions, My People tab, more

After first launching earlier this month, Facebook has today released a feature update to its new photo messaging app Slingshot.

The new version allows users to reply with a reaction to photos without having to first reply with another photo. The launch version structure was a bit more convoluted as it required you to respond with a new photo as well. The new version allows you to respond with a photo, video, or just text.

The update also allows you to connect with your contacts and Facebook friends with inviting more people to use the app, and a new My People section shows you other Slingshot users. The update also features the following under-the-hood improvements:

• Shoot crisp, clear videos even faster than before • Improved reliability for sign-up confirmation codes • Plus, a bunch of bug fixes and other tweaks to keep things running smoothly

In addition to launching Slingshot earlier this month, Facebook-owned Instagram released a quick-photo messaging app called Bolt in a select few countries earlier this week.

The latest version of Slingshot is rolling out now in the App Store.

Messaging Stories July 29, 2014

Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.

Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future, which likely includes iOS and Android:

We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost

Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.

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Messaging Stories July 28, 2014

Facebook has announced today that it will no longer allow messaging in its main mobile application later this week. Instead, any users who wish to take advantage of the company’s messaging platform will have to do so through the standalone Facebook Messenger app.

Earlier this year the comapany started informing some European users of the upcoming move to the separate app, but this is the first time a solid timetable has been set for the transition. For users who already have the Messenger app installed, nothing will change. Once the change goes into effect, the “Messages” tab in the Facebook client will simply link to the Messenger app rather than an inbox view.

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Messaging Stories July 18, 2014

Upcoming Twitter for iPhone update will allow you to browse your entire DM history

Twitter has announced that an upcoming update to its mobile clients will allow users to go back and review their entire direct message history. Currently the app only provides a limited look back, but that restriction will be removed in a new version that will also make deleting messages more reliable across its web and mobile platforms.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Support/status/490260546818543618 align=’center’]

Messaging Stories July 2, 2014

AIM-iChatAs Apple previously announced in April, today marks the end of support for AIM in iChat using a me.com or mac.com ID for Macs running OS X Lion 10.7.1 or earlier. While some reports are claiming the change also appears to be affecting users on newer versions of OS X, we’ve confirmed with sources with knowledge of the situation that users running 10.7.2 or higher, including Yosemite, will continue to have support for AIM. expand full story

Messaging Stories June 20, 2014

The private social network Path updated its iOS app today with a simpler chooser for posting content and a tabbed navigation bar for moving around the app. It’s biggest feature, though, follows a growing trend with mobile apps: Path Messaging has moved to a standalone app called Talk that’s rolling out today.

With its new Talk app, Path wants to replace SMS and Facebook as it focuses on privacy with a feature called Off the Record. While it’s not quite as ephemeral as instantly self-destructing messaging apps like Snapchat and Cyber Dust, Path promises its users that messages sent via Talk automatically erase from the social network’s servers after 24 hours from sending the message… expand full story

Messaging Stories June 12, 2014

Skype 5.0 for iPhone available now… for some lucky App Store users

We showed you an early behind-the-scenes look at Skype’s major update to its iPhone app including an interview earlier this week, and today Microsoft says that update will officially roll out to users. In fact, a few people are able to download/update it now, while others are still getting the “not available” as of this writing.

From Skype’s blog:

On June 9, we announced that an update to Skype for iPhone was on the way, and today it’s time to try it out for yourself: Skype 5.0 for iPhone has arrived! We were excited to use your feedback to remaster the app around you, to help you connect with your friends and family simply and quickly.

Earlier this week, Skype pulled its previous version from the App Store in anticipation of its major new release. Microsoft says Skype 5.0 for iPhone is rolling out today and the new version is already available for many users via the App Store now.

Update: Skype has offered the following statement below.

Today we announced Skype 5.0 for iPhone is available for download. We understand some users are having problems downloading the app while it populates in the Apple App Store. We’re sorry about the delay, but don’t worry – you’ll be able to try the new version very soon. In the meantime, you can learn about the great new features coming with Skype 5.0 for iPhone here.

Messaging Stories June 11, 2014

Cannes Lions Festival app will use iBeacons to let attendees network

Like it did for SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, and the Olympic Games, event app platform Eventbase will be in charge of rolling out iBeacons at the upcoming Cannes Lions 2014 Festival that will provide attendees with unique features via the event’s official iOS app. This time around, rather than speeding up check-ins or interactive audience features, the company is allowing attendees to network with an “Around Me” feature in the event’s app that displays nearby attendees using iBeacons. The festival is the same one that Apple’s Jony Ive and Bono will appear at on June 21 for a rare interview about the (RED) charity organization.

The feature will integrate with LinkedIn profiles and allow attendees to send messages and connect instantly if they’ve opted in. The app will also be sending out other targeted notifications using iBeacons:

Eventbase co-founder Jeff Sinclair says the Cannes Lions app combines the power of iBeacon technology with tight LinkedIn integration to allow attendees to see who is around them, read their profile and immediately reach out to them through the app… “We’re excited to be pioneering the use of iBeacon technology for attendee-to-attendee networking,” says Sinclair. “The ability to find out more about the people around you and instantly connect has the potential to transform the event experience entirely.” Eventbase is partnering with mobile relationship management platform Urban Airship to deliver highly targeted and relevant messages via iBeacon-triggered push notifications to attendees during the event, including those visiting the festival’s Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Tent — a showcase for mobile, creativity and marketing innovation.

Last week Apple introduced some new features that it hopes will improve the iBeacon experience including indoor mapping features coming for developers in iOS 8. The company explained the new indoor navigation and indoor positioning features will make for an even richer iBeacon experience by allowing, for example, event spaces to guide users to iBeacon-powered exhibits using the indoor location features.

Messaging Stories May 18, 2014

facebook-poke

If at first you don’t succeed…

Facebook may have recently pulled its Snapchat-like Poke app from the iOS App Store, but the social network is gearing up to take another swipe at the messaging giant later this month, according to a new claim by the Financial Times. Facebook’s new app, currently dubbed “Slingshot” interally, will enable users to send short video messages to one another.

In 2012, Facebook launched its own Snapchat rip-off called Poke, which borrowed its name from an entirely separate feature that had been available on Facebook’s website for years. When Poke failed to attract a significant number of users, Facebook forgot about it and let it sit idle for nearly three years before removing it from the App Store.

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Messaging Stories May 14, 2014

messages

Adam Pash, former lead editor of Lifehacker, reports that Apple has acknowledged a problem we’ve heard reported before: text messages continue to be converted to iMessages and forwarded to an Apple ID even when that ID is no longer in use. This means that any text messages sent from an iPhone are reported as delivered while actually disappearing into the ether.

[The AppleCare rep] explained:

  1. This is a problem a lot of people are facing.
  2. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
  3. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat …

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Messaging Stories April 28, 2014

Facebook Messenger 5.0 adds video sharing, faster photo and sticker access, more

Facebook today updated Messenger to version 5.0 bringing a list of feature improvements to the iPhone messaging app. The new version boasts a streamlined design for accessing and sharing photos as well as a new shortcut for downloading sticker packs (tap and hold a sent sticker to download the pack), but it’s main feature addition tackles video. Users can now access and share video clips to other users within the app. Previous versions were limited to only sharing photos and voice recordings. The update also includes improvements to searching people and groups by name.

Messaging Stories April 2, 2014

WhatsApp announces 64 billion messages sent through its texting app — in just one day

 

Whatsapp, the popular messaging client for iOS and Android, announced today on Twitter that it had reached a new record for messages sent in a single day. With 20 billion outgoing messages and 44 incoming messages handled in a single 24-hour period, the grand total came out to 64 billion.

[tweet https://twitter.com/WhatsApp/status/451198381856014337 align=’center’]

Here’s a little perspective on that number: Instagram recently announced that its users had posted 20 billion photos to the service. You’ll notice that’s not a statistic for one day. It’s the total number of photos shared in the history of the network.

That means that in one day, Whatsapp handled over three times as many requests as Instagram has since it launched three years ago. Not too shabby.

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