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Facebook starts public testing of 'M' digital assistant in Messenger

08/27, 8:14am

Digital assistant M helps users purchase goods, services within Messenger app

Facebook has started to publicly test its own attempt at a digital assistant to its users, as previously rumored. Codenamed Moneypenny but now known as "M", the assistant exists within Facebook Messenger for a small number of users, and allows them to complete various shopping-based tasks on the user's behalf, such as acquiring and delivering gifts to family members, booking a table at a restaurant, making travel arrangements, and other similar services.


Facebook allegedly working on virtual assistant with human help

07/14, 9:10am

Project codenamed Moneypenny said to provide services via Facebook Messenger

Facebook is working on its own virtual assistant, usable within Facebook Messenger, according to a report. The social network is allegedly looking to compete with Siri, Google Now, and Cortana with a new assistant internally called "Moneypenny," a reference to the iconic secretary in the James Bond film franchise, though unlike its main competitors, Facebook is opting for more of a "concierge" approach, as well as focusing more on allowing users to acquire goods and services.


Facebook Messenger now works without social network account

06/25, 8:57am

Users able to register on Messenger separately from Facebook

Facebook is making it easier for potential users of its Messenger app to sign up, by removing the requirement to have a Facebook account beforehand. Starting with Canada, the United States, Peru, and Venezuela, the app will allow anyone to sign up without having an existing account with the social network, with a new signup process requiring a user to set themselves up using their phone number, name, and a photograph for the profile.


Briefly: Facebook Messenger location sharing, Sling Latino launches

06/05, 11:57pm

Facebook adds selective location sharing to Messenger app

Facebook has updated its Messenger app to make it easier for users to selectively provide their location to friends. The existing location-sharing function has been replaced, allowing users to send a map to their friends within an existing conversation, with the pointed-to place being either the user's present position or a nearby store or building of their own selection, if the user does not want to reveal exactly where they are.


Hands On: Friendly for Facebook + Messenger 5.2 (iOS)

05/30, 8:14am

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.


Facebook adds video calling to Messenger app

04/27, 10:03pm

Video update to Facebook Messenger arrives one year after VOIP addition

Facebook is making its Messenger app more competitive against Skype and FaceTime, by adding video calling one year after it introduced free voice calls. The standalone Messenger app can now start a video call with other users from within any conversation, by tapping the camera icon, and allows for video calling sessions to work between different mobile platforms, including Android and iOS.


Facebook rolling out user-to-user payments in United States

03/18, 9:26am

Rollout of money-sending service in Facebook Messenger app can take months

Facebook has launched its rumored money transfer service, rolling it out in its Messenger app for iOS and Android, as well as for desktop users. The new feature will allow users to make payments to other Facebook members directly from within the app, with the financial transfers said to be completely free for all parties involved, and with payments claimed to take between one and three days to complete.


MSN Messenger shuttering in China by end of October

08/29, 11:47am

Chinese MSN Messenger service closure marks end of app's 15-year life

Microsoft is ready to close the last remnants of MSN Messenger, also known as Windows Live Messenger, on October 31st. Chinese users have reportedly received a notification of its shutdown via e-mail, encouraging users to migrate over to Microsoft's other messaging service, Skype, before the service is terminated in the country.


Briefly: Yelp adds video, Facebook forces Messenger for iOS

07/29, 2:07am

Yelp iOS app adds ability to create up to 12-second video clips

Branching out in its ability to offer reviews of local businesses, Yelp has now updated its iOS app to version 8.1, which gives users the option to create a shortly 3-12 second-long video message alongside or in place of written reviews, comments or images. The video option is the only significant new feature, alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks, and "lives" alongside the photo option -- which can now be toggled between photos and videos. Users can find existing video reviews alongside photos in both the app and on the company's website.


Briefly: Radiohead's experimental app, Rough Rider messenger bag

02/11, 7:56pm

Radiohead's PolyFauna game deemed 'experimental collaboration'

Prolific UK band Radiohead has announced the release of app they have created in collaboration with Universal Everything, entitled PolyFauna. An experimental game, frontman Thom Yorke says the app was "…born out of The King of Limbs sessions and using the imagery and the sounds from the song 'Bloom.'" PolyFauna aims to envision "an interest in early computer life-experiments and the imagined creatures of our subconscious," with players being able to create worm-like constructs with a finger swipe. Available for Android devices on Google Play and iOS devices through iTunes, PolyFauna is free.


Facebook refreshes Messenger app; iOS now, Android within weeks

10/29, 2:27pm

Redesigned Messenger distances itself from Facebook website

Facebook will be updating its messaging app for iOS and Android with a new design and functionality, as the social network moves to make Facebook Messenger a more general-purpose "mobile-to-mobile" messaging app. The next version of the app will be made available to a random group of Android users, before a full rollout over both platforms in the coming weeks.


Briefly: Facebook UK Android update, IBM tech center

03/29, 11:11am

Facebook updates Android app in UK with VoIP access

Facebook has updated the Android version of its Messenger app in the United Kingdom, enabling Voice over IP (VoIP) calls in the country. The new version comes just days after the same update appeared on the iOS version for the UK, with users being able to place calls to other Messenger users by tapping the "i" button then "Free Call." The unannounced Android update has taken place in a much shorter time-span than the two-months seen when the feature first rolled out in the US and Canada.


Whatsapp free SMS app temporarily unavailable, fuels hoaxes

01/16, 9:45am

Users should ignore any forwarded emails, say devs

Whatsapp, an inexpensive app that offered a service similar to Apple's own iMessage but across platforms and iOS versions, has temporarily been pulled by the app developer for reasons not yet made clear. The company recently patched a potential security issue, but says this has nothing to do with the unavailability, and that it has "submitted a new version and [is] awaiting approval by Apple." It has also published a blog post warning users of hoaxes circulating about the app.


Booq ships Taipan shadow notebook bag with luggage features

12/03, 7:45pm

New bag has unique Terralinq number

Booq has launched a new notebook bag, the Taipan shadow. It is a messenger-style carrying case geared toward maintaining a professional look. It can handle magazines, business cards, keys and notebook accessories, with a densely padded laptop compartment with a soft interior. The design also accommodates luggage trolley pass-through for easier transportation at airports.


Messenger for Mac to gain audio, video support

12/19, 9:10am

AV in Messenger for Mac

Casual users of Messenger for Mac should finally be able to engage in audio and video chats like their Windows counterparts, Microsoft has announced. Following the addition of AV chat for corporate users, Microsoft says it is now working on support for personal clients. Though the technology is currently associated with a beta of Windows Live Messenger, a matching beta of Messenger for Mac should see public release in 2009. A demo should be present at next month's Macworld conference.


Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7.01 released

06/27, 7:10am

Messenger for Mac 7.01

Microsoft on Thursday took the wraps off Microsoft Messenger 7.0.1 for Mac. Designed to offer improved compatibility with Office Communications Server 2007 for OS X, Microsoft also integrated a number of bug fixes. Version 7.0.1 sees a resolution to user interface issues when using European languages and also improved support for the 'VoiceOver' feature. Messenger still offers users with a 'Windows Live' account the ability to chat with family, friends or co-workers, and share files across the internet. Compatibility with Apple's Bonjour technology was also implemented, allowing improved connections to other users on the same local-area-network. Messenger 7.0.1, a Universal Binary, is free to download. System requirements for this latest version have been upped to Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later.


Messenger for Mac 7 adds Bonjour, AV meetings

04/29, 3:10pm

Messenger for Mac 7 ships

Microsoft has released Messenger for Mac 7, the latest version of its ported instant messaging client. For all users the major addition is support for Apple's Bonjour technology, which lets users more quickly detect other users and peripherals on a network. It is now also possible to sort through contacts with a new search tool, and create nicknames for people that will remain unchanged even as their screen name is altered.


Solo unveils Urban At Ease designer bag for laptops

04/09, 6:30pm

Solo Urban At Ease bag

Solo today unveiled a new designer bag made for 15-inch laptops called the Urban At Ease Laptop Messenger Bag, constructed from a durable matte canvas fabric, with an oiled leather trim and padded corduroy sleeve. The sleeve stretches to fit almost any 15.4-inch laptop, and features several interior, side, and rear organizers. The Urban At Ease Laptop Messenger Bag is currently available for $95, in either black or olive finish.


Yahoo Messenger 7 adds phone, SMS, voicemail, more

03/26, 1:00am

Yahoo Messenger 7 for Mac

Yahoo today announced a new version of Yahoo Messenger for Mac that introduces a number of new audio and voice capabilities. Users can now place PC-to-PC calls, as well as Phone Out/In, with a full voice message and SMS service on the Mac. By creating a Phone In account, Yahoo will provide users with a telephone number that they can be reached at from a standard phone, starting at $2.50 per month, and is available in France, the UK and US.



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