Facebook Messenger updated for iOS 7, adds SMS
Facebook Messenger, a chat app for Facebook users, has received an update for iOS 7. Facebook Messenger allows users to read messages without opening Facebook, send photos privately, make free calls and more. Version 3.0 features a completely new design, optimized for iOS 7. Central to the update is that users can now message people that are not their Facebook friends, using SMS. Available for free, Facebook Messenger can be downloaded on iTunes.
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.
Facebook adds VoIP calling to Android app in US.
Facebook has enabled its free voice calling feature in Facebook Messenger to Android users in the United States and around the world, months after the iOS version. After an initial roll-out in Canada and the UK, the Android version of Facebook Messenger allows users to tap the 'i' button on a contact, and then offers the Free Call option. The sudden release of the feature in the US follows the launch of the Facebook Home launcher, which introduces an Android overlay that allows for greater use of the social network.
Messaging system from Facebook Home included without launcher
Facebook has rolled out part of its upcoming Facebook Home launcher in an Android app update, before the company released its new phone software initiative. Facebook Messenger (Google Play) now has the option to enable the Chat Heads pop-up contacts onto phones and tablets, without the need to install the complete Facebook Home suite itself.
Free voice calls via Facebook lands in Europe
Facebook has enabled Voice Over IP (VoIP) in its messaging app for users in the United Kingdom, and possibly other areas of Europe. After being launched in Canada in January before rolling out to the United States, the iOS version of Facebook Messenger allows users to call each other through the service instead of passing voice messages to each other as previously offered.
Facebook tests measure meant to cut down on spam
The world's largest social network has spent the past several months tweaking and honing its messaging service, and now Facebook is testing a feature that would allow users to directly message users to whom they are not connected, so long as they pay a fee. In a blog post announcing new inbox filtering features, Facebook also tipped that it was conducting a small experiment to "test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance." In short, the feature would give some users the option to pay to have a message routed directly to the inbox of a user with whom they are not friends, whereas otherwise the message would go to the user's Other folder.
Messenger app drops account requirement
Facebook announced today that it had altered its Facebook Messenger app to allow users to create Messenger accounts with only a name and a phone number. The alteration brings Facebook Messenger into the company of other SMS-replacement apps such as WhatsApp and Handcent, as users can now message contacts with just a phone number, as well as share photos with them. The social network rolled out the update to its Messenger app for Android today, and will be rolling out Messenger accounts over the next few weeks.
Update now available for iOS and Android
Facebook today began rolling out an update to its Messenger app, bringing the app to version 1.9. The new update includes a number of user interface alterations, as well as a few new capabilities. It also brings the app into direct integration with Facebook's main app for the first time.
Native version of existing iPhone app
An iPad-native version of Facebook Messenger is currently in early beta development, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The app, which functions as a broken-out chat service separate from the main Facebook iOS app, features Notification Center support and is currently an upscaled version of the iPhone app, which has been available since last summer. The app offers an iMessage-like data-based chat function for users signed into Facebook.
Facebook Messenger lands big Android UI update
Facebook on Thursday posted a tangible update to Facebook Messenger on Android (Google Play). The new app significantly speeds up starting a conversation with individuals or groups, needing just a tap of the + button and the contact or the group option to get started. Android 4.0 owners also get better support, although what's changed isn't conspicuous in a brief test.
Facebook Messenger for Windows now official
Facebook brought out its first proper desktop app Monday by posting Messenger for Windows. The minimalist title lets PC users keep track of conversations without having to keep a browser tab open and risk missing notifications. When not immediately involved in chat, it provides a light version of the Facebook ticker's stream of updates.
RIM CEO hints BBM may be open to iOS and Android
RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins has continued his interviewing with hints the company might not be as closed to the possibility of BlackBerry Messenger on other mobile platforms as once thought. He told CrackBerry that he was still committed to the core BlackBerry platform and there weren't immediate plans, but that the company "should never rule this [possibility] out." The company did have staff exploring the possibility, but it would only go ahead if it was logical.
App finally makes it to Windows 7 desktops
Yesterday, an unofficial link to Facebook's Messenger for Windows 7
surfaced. Today, Facebook has responded by making an official download available (direct download). Desktops will be the last platform to have received the app, following dedicated releases for iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, BlackBerrys, and Windows Phones.