messaging

Signal encrypted messaging platform arrives on desktops

Signal encrypted messaging platform arrives on desktops

Secure and encrypted chatting on mobile devices is well and good, but sometimes you do need to use all ten (or just 8 or 9) fingers to better express what you have in your head. For that reason, Open Whisper Systems is bringing its Signal messaging app to desktops and laptops after being available first on iOS and, just last month, on Android. Now you can be sure that your super secret messages remain super secret, even from the government's prying eyes and ears.

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Google Hangouts for iOS quietly updated with Apple Watch support

Google Hangouts for iOS quietly updated with Apple Watch support

Google has released a subtle update to the iOS version of its Hangouts messaging app. While the small list of changes includes mentions of group names appearing in notifications, and the ability to reply to messages directly from notifications, the real surprise is that the app works on the Apple Watch now. While Facebook Messenger and even BBM have already come to the Apple Watch, Hangouts is at least better late than never.

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Pebble Time gets Text Reply on iOS for AT&T postpaid

Pebble Time gets Text Reply on iOS for AT&T postpaid

Getting notifications on your smartwatch, be it an Android Wear, Apple Watch, or Pebble, is one thing. Being able to act on those notifications is a different story. The latter is trickiest when it comes to text messages, given a smartwatch's small screen and extremely limited input methods. Most rely on voice recognition or canned replies to make it work. Now Pebble is joining that hip crowd with the latest update that brings a Text Reply feature to Pebble Time owners with iPhones and AT&T postpaid accounts.

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Tumblr rolls out instant messaging on web, mobile for select users

Tumblr rolls out instant messaging on web, mobile for select users

Tumblr has just debuted something new for both its website and mobile apps: a true, honest-to-goodness instant messaging feature, allowing private conversations between users. The live chat function is a bit limited right now, with no support for emojis or media like gifs and images, much like when Gmail first introduced chat to the inbox many moons ago. Oh, and Tumblr is also gradually rolling out the feature to a limited number of users, so don't be surprised if you don't have it yet.

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Hangouts on the Web gets faster, simpler to use

Hangouts on the Web gets faster, simpler to use

Last August, Google introduced a new way to communicate on the Web via your browser. It re-launched Hangouts as a dedicated website in its own right, taking advantage of the full space that the browser window offers instead of a simple popup menu or browser plugin. Less than three months later, Google is pushing what could be the biggest update to Hangouts on the web yet. As you can expect, it has improvements all around, starting with its performance all the way to the user interface.

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Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

When it comes to staying away from the prying eyes and eavesdropping ears of spies and hackers, perhaps no one knows better than Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has spilled it all and is now also trying to stay away from said people's reach. So when he openly endorses on Twitter (yes, he is on Twitter, of all places) WhisperSystem's Signal app, now on Android, then you know, with a bit of confidence but perhaps also a grain of salt, that your text messages and voice calls will be secure and private.

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Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor, whose name amusingly once stood for The Onion Network, has become the software of choice when keeping your identity on the Internet anonymous and protected. As such, it has also become the bane of those, like some government agencies, who would prefer to have everyone's private comings and goings within their grasp. Adding to the project's arsenal of tools, which already includes a web browser, is Tor Messenger, an instant messaging software that tries to offer both convenience and privacy over an established network protocol like XMPP.

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Line messaging app updated with end-to-end encryption

Line messaging app updated with end-to-end encryption

Line, the dominant mobile messaging app in many parts of Asia, has just announced that it's updating its service on all platforms to take advantage of end-to-end encryption. This protects the privacy of conversations between two users, and brings Line up to speed with other popular messaging services, including Apple's iMessage and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. The new security feature, which Line has dubbed "Letter Sealing," is now available on its updated iOS and Android apps.

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BlackBerry BBM app comes to Apple Watch

BlackBerry BBM app comes to Apple Watch

More and more iOS apps these are adding Apple Watch support, with many coming from the email and other communication categories. When it comes to direct messaging, however, the big apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are still missing in action. Fortunately for fans of BlackBerry's BBM messaging service, they can now look forward to their Apple Watch being compatible. The BBM app for iOS has been updated, and is available now from the App Store.

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Skype for Android updated with support for Android Wear

Skype for Android updated with support for Android Wear

Following a similar update to its iOS app that added Apple Watch support, Skype has just released an update for its Android version that introduces features for Android Wear devices. Version 6.4 of Skype is available now from the Google Play Store, and introduces the recently announced Skype Mojis, as well as the ability to respond to messages and accept or decline calls from an Android Wear smartwatch.

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New Firefox update adds built-in instant messaging

New Firefox update adds built-in instant messaging

Mozilla has announced the release of an update to its Firefox browser, now version 41, for both desktop platforms and Android. The biggest addition is that an instant messaging feature is now built right in, thanks to Mozilla's own Firefox Hello. The feature is currently limited to the desktop version of the browser, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and lets users start chatting during a Hello video call. Even better is that once Chrome and Opera are updated to support WebRTC, Firefox users can chat with others cross-browser.

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