Deal said to be unconditional, no conditions likely to be assessed
According to sources familiar with the matter, the European Commission is poised to offer unconditional approval to Facebook's purchase of message service WhatsApp. The official decision is due by the European regulatory agency on October 3, and no official comment of approval has yet been made.
WhatsApp for iOS adds option to archive chats and more
Smartphone messenger app WhatsApp has released a major update of its version for iOS. Using a 3G or WiFi connection, WhatsApp allows users to send messages to other WhatsApp users in lieu of SMS. Featuring a new archival function, users can elect to save chats and groups as archives. WhatsApp v2.11.9 includes several additions specific to photo and video content: users can add captions; trim videos prior to sharing; capture content faster with a new access button;, and slow-motion videos can be shared if using an iPhone 5s.
Questionnaire sent by European Commission gaging impact of merger
The European Commission, the EU's antitrust agency, is seeking input from companies that may be impacted by Facebook's acquisition of messenger developer WhatsApp. The questionnaire is asking if queried companies are foreseeing any business issues with the merger, or if customers will be negatively impacted by the $19 billion deal.
Best Buy discounts LG G Watch price by $50
Best Buy has cut the price of the LG G Watch by $50. One of the first Android Wear smartwatches revealed and released, recently superseded by the G Watch R, has been spotted by Android Police priced at $180 for both the black and white models. Despite the discount, it is likely the G Watch will continue to be sold for some time, most likely as a budget option compared to the round-faced stablemate's estimated $300 price tag.
Questionnaires sent by European Commission ahead of formal Facebook purchase review
Officials in the European Union are allegedly questioning competitors of WhatsApp over the proposed acquisition by Facebook. The European Commission, the competition authority, is said to have sent detailed questionnaires to a number of "major technology and online-messaging firms" about how much of an the impact the $19 billion merger will have on the messaging and social network marketplaces.
Company uses provision in merger law to ask for single review process
Even though Facebook already has approval from the United States Federal Trade Commission for the $16 billion purchase of Whatsapp, the company is looking to get ahead of the game in Europe. Facebook has asked regulators that are part of the European Commission to review the acquisition deal ahead of possible antitrust concerns.
Ban by censors opposed by Iranian government officials
Censors in Iran have moved to ban the WhatsApp messaging service, for being owned by an "American Zionist," according to reports. The reasoning of the ban stems from the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for a total of $19 billion earlier this year, with the Jewish background of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg being at issue.
WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily
WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.
WhatsApp must continue existing policy of not collecting user data
Social network giant Facebook said earlier today that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved the multi-billion-dollar acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp. As part of the deal, both companies must adhere to existing user privacy agreements, including a WhatsApp promise made while independent to not collect user personal data for targeted advertising.
Messaging app could offer voice calling in future update
WhatsApp, the messaging client being acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, could soon add voice calling to its features list, according to reportedly leaked screenshots. The images of the apparent VoIP interface comes at the same time as a video surfaces, seemingly demonstrating an updated version of the client for Windows Phone that is claimed to still be in beta.
SD stored backup allows developers, hackers access with permission request
A security consultant has found a way for Android developers and for hackers to access WhatsApp chat logs under a set of circumstances involving SD storage of the chat program's backup database. Developers who need access to large storage on a device or request complete access would be able to see the database once given permission through an app, while a hacker would be able to access the database using malicious software through the same channel.
WhatsApp experiences server problems today
Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has experienced issues with its servers today, days after being purchase by Facebook for $19 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. Users began to report experiencing outages around 11AM PT. WhatsApp acknowledged on Twitter that server issues are to blame, and that attempts were being made to recover service.
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.
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.