Tech in development for six months
The iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia versions of WhatsApp Messenger will be getting a single-tap voice messaging feature, their developer says. CEO Jan Koum comments that the company has been working on the technology for about six months. Although voice messaging in itself isn't unique, WhatsApp says it hopes to make its implementation simpler than the alternatives.
Major newspaper launches mobile reader app for iPhone
The Boston Globe announced its launch of The Globe iPhone app today. The free app allows users to prioritize the most personally relevant newspaper sections, promoting a more efficient reading experience. Featuring a customizable homepage with an infinite scroll function, users can swipe from section to section of the newspaper, and then scroll through stories of interest. Also incorporated into the app is a smart feed trending section, highlighting most read stories.
Nokia launches cheap Asha 210 aimed at the youth market
Nokia has launched the Asha 210 feature phone with a QWERTY keyboard that also includes a dedicated WhatsApp key with its messaging service included for free on the device. The device is at younger users keen on messaging across platforms on the cheap, while it also comes in a range of bright colors adding further appeal. The Asha 210 is also available in a single-SIM or dual-SIM variant giving users additional flexibility if needed.
Rumor has Google thinking of buying WhatsApp
Popular messaging app WhatsApp is the subject of acquisition rumors yet again, this time with search giant Google said to be considering buying the app for as much as $1 billion. The move is said to be part of a wider push by Google to solidify its standing in the mobile messaging sector, and it could play a role in the development of the company's unified chat service Babble.
Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.
Could hint at plans for Messenger
Facebook is in talks to possibly buy WhatsApp, the developer of a popular namesake messaging app, say TechCrunch sources. It's so far unknown what price Facebook might be offering, or how far into negotiations the companies are. If confirmed, though, the talks would suggest that Facebook plans to dramatically alter its messaging services.
Nokia shows off four Symbian S40 Asha phones
Nokia also revealed four new entry-level handsets at Nokia World. The Asha (derived from Hindi and meaning hope) line includes the Asha 303, Asha 300, Asha 200 and Asha 201. The 303 is the most advanced, getting a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen, a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and a 1GHz processor.