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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Dropbox ‘commenting’ feature now available to all users

Dropbox ‘commenting’ feature now available to all users

If you use Dropbox to collaborate a workflow, you’ve probably been left scratching your head now and then. What is your colleague event talking about? Is this the right document for the project they were discussing in the meeting? Typically, that left you firing off emails or tracking them down via chat or stalking their cubicle. Now, you won’t have to be that person. Dropbox is opening up commenting within documents for all, which lets you discuss what’s going on with a particular document or project, all without ever leaving Dropbox.

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Quip adds Chat Rooms to take on Slack

Quip adds Chat Rooms to take on Slack

Mobile-first productivity app Quip is entering the chat age. While you could always carry a discussion within the confines of a document, Quip has updated their service to roll in Chat Rooms, which takes the conversation outside of your documents or folders. It’s an interesting move for Quip, which likely sees a bit of an opportunity as other services like Slack snipe users with their enterprise-first approach to chat. The update is rolling out soon to Quip’s Android and iOS apps.

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Twitter adjusts DM settings, now lets anyone contact you

Twitter adjusts DM settings, now lets anyone contact you

Getting Direct Messages via Twitter isn’t as good as a standalone chat client, but it’s a handy feature when you just need to have a quick chat with a contact. Today, Twitter is giving users a bit more control, and once again allowing Direct Messages from anyone (if you opt in, of course). Similarly, accounts you follow can now Direct Message you. While that sounds a bit sketchy, Twitter is a pretty profound customer service portal in addition to providing newsworthy content in 140 characters.

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Yahoo may be readying new Messenger to battle Snapchat, Periscope

Yahoo may be readying new Messenger to battle Snapchat, Periscope

You probably don’t use Yahoo Messenger. It’s tired, really. As a simple chat app, it’s fine, but we want more than that. In an age of sending each other more than words, Yahoo is way behind. Instead of dropping messaging, Yahoo may be priming a revamp to Messenger, one that reportedly combine live and recorded video sharing. This app is meant for mobile, though it’s not clear if Yahoo is also readying the app for your desktop as well. If the report is accurate, we’ll see this new Messenger by the end of Q2 2015.

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Slack: the hip and modern way to communicate at work

Slack: the hip and modern way to communicate at work

A lot of technologies have grown around the workplace, trying to ease the burden of collaboration, from cloud storage, to task management, to document management, and even video conferencing. Despite these advancements, however, a lot of the core communication that happens between members of a workplace still take place inside e-mails or instant messaging. That's not even considering yet the separate and disparate workflows that these tools impose. What if you could have just one virtual workplace to rule them all? That is partially the promise that Slack is trying to make as it undergoes yet another funding round.

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Google tests a new way to chat with businesses

Google tests a new way to chat with businesses

Modern day businesses are evolving. A few years ago shopkeepers started realizing the importance of social media, but now that isn't enough. Google is giving businesses new ways to keep in contact with their customers. Google is testing a feature that allows customers to use a chat with business owners in real time through Google Hangouts. It's a great idea for today's customers who not only want instant access to store information, but they want it without having to pick up the phone and make a call.

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Microsoft pulls Google and Facebook chat from Outlook

Microsoft pulls Google and Facebook chat from Outlook

If you logged into your Outlook account today, you were likely greeted with a message bearing grave news (or mention of a feature you didn't even realize was available): Facebook and Google chat are going away. Until now, Outlook users were able to tie in their other accounts and chat with contacts on both of those aforementioned services -- something that was incredibly convenient and oft requested. All of it is set to fizzle away in the next few weeks, however, and Microsoft isn't being 100-percent clear about why.

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8 robust chat alternatives to WhatsApp

8 robust chat alternatives to WhatsApp

Texting has become little more than a quick way to fire a simple message off to someone you’ve only a casual acquaintance with, or those few holdouts still using dumb phones. Everyone else is likely connected with you through a chatting app, most of which now offer features like sending audio snippets, files, high-quality emoticons, and more. WhatsApp has been a long-reigning champ when it comes to chatting apps, and there’s a good chance you either use it or have used it in the past…and, like many, you might not be so fond of the app.

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Skype update for iOS, Android good news for other apps

Skype update for iOS, Android good news for other apps

Microsoft has been making several dedicated attempts to make Skype a useful tool rather than an unnecessary legacy add-on of late, with real-time translation being the most headline-grabbing update rolling in. Now Skype is announcing a few upgrades for Android users, with offline photo sharing coming via an update. Now Skype users can send photos to friends who may be offline, which will be immediately viewable once that user logs back onto Skype. Skype for Android also has some other neat tricks, like running in the background while you use other apps.

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