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.