Sketch a symbol to send texts and messages
Texting is already a pretty fast way of communicating, but we're an impatient lot, us humans, so if you can shave a few seconds work or a few seconds thinking off a task, there is someone who will do that. This is especially true if the task involves typing on an iPhone keyboard, as plenty of people don't like doing that. Etch Keyboard 1.0.2 is for these people.
Like Twitter but for your work colleagues and more useful
Yes, let us have another social media platform: we do not have enough of them. Yet, even if Slack isn't as familiar or as ubiquitous as AIM, Skype, Twitter and the rest, we're still going to recommend it. This month sees updates for the iOS app to Slack 2.20 and OS X to Slack 1.1.3 –– and it also sees the second anniversary of the entire service. The company now claims over a million users of whom reportedly a fifth are paying. That doesn't mean four-fifths are pirating: Slack is a freemium kind of service with generous limits.
Simple app provides all the Facebook features you need, none of the ones you hate.
If you're like us, nothing frustrated you more about the more recent Facebook updates than when, for no discernible reason whatsoever, Facebook decided to split its messaging system into a separate app from everything else. Despite the outcry, Facebook hasn't decided to change it. Fortunately for us, there's a third-party Facebook app, named Friendly, that sets it right.
End-to-end encrypted messaging app from BitTorrent adds screenshot protection
BitTorrent has made its private and secure messaging app available to all potential users, following an invitation-only alpha testing period last year. Alongside the existing Windows, OS X, and Android versions, Bleep has finally made the transition to iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad owners to use the end-to-end encrypted, peer-to-peer messaging service.
Two-factor authentication, kill switch added to Slack following unauthorized access
Work-focused messaging service Slack has increased the security of its accounts, following an intrusion to company servers. The company admits on its blog that its servers were accessed by unauthorized users over a four day period in February, and though it only revealed the intrusion on Friday, it claims to have been working hard on improving the service's overall security.
Video on Twitter allows for clips to be shared without using Vine
Twitter has started to add some features it hinted at last November to its mobile apps. Rolling out slowly, users will be able to send Direct Messages to groups of people for the first time, while those who typically post videos to the micro-blogging service will benefit from being able to upload video clips directly to Twitter from within the app, without using a secondary service.
Video chat service from Mega touts end-to-end encryption of calls
Kim Dotcom has launched his latest Mega-branded enterprise, providing encrypted chat services. Previously teased by Dotcom, MegaChat is a browser-based video chat service similar to Firefox Hello, allowing users to make and receive calls without installing a separate client, with the main draw being its claim of end-to-end encryption between the conversation participants.
'Tiny' segment of users will see reviews of voice messages on screen
Facebook VP of Messaging Products David Marcus posted to his wall on Friday, announcing a test program for voice message transcripts automatically generated with voice recognition software. The feature began rolling out today on a "tiny scale." No timeline was mention on when the feature will be made more widely available.
Walls off Candy Crush, friend feeds to create social network for job collaboration
Social media giant Facebook has launched on a new service for the web, iOS and Android called "Facebook at Work" that is intended to give office communications a familiar interface. Offering a (literally) gray take on the usual Facebook interface, the service creates a variation of the popular social service that is limited to co-workers only, and intended for office communications, messaging, file sharing, and other forms of collaboration. The service is currently still testing with partners, but is available as an app on the iOS App Store.
ChatOn closing for majority of users from February 1, US users sometime in first quarter
Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else.
End-to-end encryption added in Android messaging app, adds TextSecure support
Those that love privacy, but have security concerns about using a messaging platform to stay in contact with friends and family, have a new app to look forward to. It was unveiled today that the most recent build of WhatsApp for Android features end-to-end encryption for messages, enabled by default (similar to what Apple's iMessage and FaceTime have offered for years). With the addition of the strong encryption, WhatsApp is now suspected to be the largest messaging service in circulation with end-to-end encryption active.
Paid conferencing service from BlackBerry works with up to 25 participants
BlackBerry made another business-related announcement at its Enterprise event, one which involves multi-platform messaging. BBM Meetings lets users set up a voice or video conferencing session with multiple other users, with the service covering BlackBerry 10, iOS, and Android mobile devices, as well as computers running OS X and Windows.
Messaging service issuing notices, wants users to 'stop using unauthorized apps'
Ephemeral picture messaging service Snapchat said this week that it's cracking down on the use of third-party applications. The move comes a month after a database of photos originating from Snapchat was leaked online, reportedly coming from a third-party service that allowed users circumvent the self-destructing feature of the platform.
Video messages sent on Skype Qik self-destruct after two weeks
Microsoft is adding another messaging service to its roster, this time using video clips. Skype Qik, reusing the brand of a service Skype acquired in 2011 before Microsoft purchased Skype, is a lightweight app that allows users to record video messages up to 42 seconds in length, which can then be sent to a friend or a group for viewing.
Friend of Snapchat founders accepts settlement of 'mutually agreeable terms'
Snapchat's largest legal issue came to a close today, as the company decided to settle its dispute with Frank Reginald "Reggie" Brown. In a press release announcing the closure of the legal battle, it was said that the settlement would bring an end to the suit that Brown filed, alleging that he originally came up with the idea for a disappearing picture message.
Hashtags, new profile options, links and a subscription service added to messaging app
Early this week, the ubiquitous messaging app Yo received an update that moves it beyond the single-word phrase that made it popular. In the 1.1.0 version of the free application, new profile options, links, a subscription service and hashtags were all added to give Yo some more communication options and perhaps more appeal.
Pinterest adds direct messaging of followers to service
Pinterest has added the ability to message other users to its service for the first time. An extension from last year's pin-sharing feature, Pocket-Lint notes the social network's mobile apps include the option to send messages back in responses to pins, including support for messaging multiple followers in the same thread, with the site suggesting it could be useful for planning events or projects with others.
Company releases first chat application Bleep, currently only available for Windows
BitTorrent is making an attempt to diversify its offerings even more. While the company has said it was adding pay options to its Bundles early in the month, it has now launched a server-less chat client called Bleep. BitTorrent says that the app is created in a way that the experience is decentralized, only exposing messages and phone calls to people users choose to trust.
Updates allow entire direct message history to be seen across apps, consistently deleted
Last week, Twitter announced that it is going to issue an update on how direct messages are handled on the micro-blogging service. The update makes deleting direct messages consistent across all platforms, allowing users a single action for removal, rather than deleting across every interface version. Another update is coming that changes how direct messages are handled across the numerous platforms, to give users access to their complete messaging history.
Trillion-yen Line IPO could include dual listing with New York Stock Exchange
Line Corp has applied for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to a rumor. The operator of the messaging service of the same name, owned by Naver of South Korea, is said to have made the request to the exchange two weeks ago, with the company claimed to be valued at over 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion) by report sources.
Facebook Slingshot opens up to all users following US-only launch
Facebook has expanded the reach of its recently-launched reciprocal messaging app Slingshot to the rest of the world, following its United States-only launch. The app, available on iOS and Android internationally, will let recipients of images, video, and text-based messages view the contents only after replying another message back at the original sender.
Georgia Tech students hack single phrase messaging service, help team fix issues
The new messaging app of the moment Yo, which sends out only the phrase "Yo" to contacts, was hacked last Thursday by a group of students allegedly from Georgia Tech, according to TechCrunch. The hack allowed the students to spam users of the messaging program, as well as send push notifications with custom text. Yo confirmed through Twitter that it was working on security issues that had been brought to the team's attention.
Slingshot requires response before reading incoming messages
Facebook has launched its Snapchat competitor for a second time, following its accidental release and retraction earlier this month. Slingshot, out for both iOS and Android in the United States, allows users to pass messages, images, and video to each other, though the recipient will not be able to read the message until they "react" with their own message.
Botched early leak revealed features of Snapchat competitor
The official launch of Facebook's Snapchat competitor, called Slingshot, will likely happen on Tuesday, according to reports. The ephemeral messaging app, which offers users the ability to send a photo or short video with annotation features that are depending on the recipient acknowledging that they want the incoming message. The application was accidentally released and subsequently removed from the App Store a week ago.
Expansions in messaging, device enrollment program, further integration of iCloud
During Apple's WWDC presentation, Craig Federighi unveiled new improvements in the upcoming iOS 8, giving enterprise clients more tools and reasons to stick to Apple hardware. Numbers from the presentation put the iPhone and iPad in the hands of 98 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500. New features will include expanded messaging options, device support and iCloud expansion.
App known as Slingshot could bring simple interface in ephemeral messaging
A report from the Financial Times indicates that Facebook is working on another app to complete with the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat. Information from sources close to the company say that the app, internally known as Slingshot, has been under development for several months at the evolving social media organization.
Deal sees Blink employees fold into Yahoo, app removed from marketplaces
Blink, a mobile app that features self-destructing messages much like Snapchat, has announced that it has been acquired by Yahoo. A statement from the company provided few details indicating that the app would be shut down in the coming weeks on both Android and iOS platforms.
Patriot launches new Stellar Boost XT and Stellar Lite USB OTG storage systems
Memory storage company Patriot has announced the release of two new additions to its Stellar USB On-The-Go memory storage ecosystem -- the Stellar Boost XT and Stellar Lite -- offering USB storage compatible with Android and Windows mobile devices. Both featuring a dual connector design for MicroUSB and USB connection options, the Boost XT is equipped with USB 3.0 connectivity, and the Lite with USB 2.0.
WhatsApp to remain independent despite Facebook acquisition
Facebook has announced it will acquire messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion. The deal, surfacing in an SEC filing, will see Facebook part with $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in shares for the messaging app, though there is an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units for WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest four years after the deal has closed.
Skype competitor purchased by Japanese e-commerce giant
Japanese retailer Rakuten has acquired Cyprus-based VoIP and messaging service Viber. The purchase, worth a total of $900 million, will see the Japanese Internet giant take control of Skype's biggest competitor, with the company claiming the purchase of Viber "perfectly complements Rakuten's strategy in the digital space" in its bid to become the "world's No.1 Internet services company."
World Messaging Unlimited includes global text messaging, reduced calls to Central America
Verizon has made yet another change to its plans, following its recent changes to the Edge upgrade program and adding another Share Everything tier. The carrier's World Messaging Unlimited plan costs $5 per line per month as an add-on to an existing plan, with customers able to send unlimited texts from the United States to other countries, as well as reducing the rates of calls to a number of locations.
Hangouts conversations to carry between iOS, Android, Web
Google has shown a significant number of changes to Google+ at its Google I/O developer event, as part of its attempts to attract users. The redesign of the social network is accompanied by the rumored unified messaging system, branded Hangouts, and the automatic enhancement, editing and highlighting of photographs uploaded onto its service.