Messaging

Facebook is hunting ways to push targeted ads into encrypted WhatsApp chats

Facebook is hunting ways to push targeted ads into encrypted WhatsApp chats

Just because your WhatsApp messages may be end-to-end encrypted, doesn't mean Facebook won't one day potentially be able to use the contents for advertising. While one of the big assumptions about encryption has been that the messaging platforms themselves aren't privy to what you're discussing with your contacts, a new push to develop homomorphic encryption techniques could change the stakes.

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Telegram’s latest massive update includes 1,000-viewer group video calls

Telegram’s latest massive update includes 1,000-viewer group video calls

Telegram, the popular messaging app alternative to WhatsApp, has greatly expanded its video calls feature. Among the changes is new support for 1,000-person group video calls, making Telegram a solid alternative to other video chatting apps. In addition, Telegram has also improved video messages, screen sharing, video playback, and more.

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Discord Threads are the new home for off-topic conversations

Discord Threads are the new home for off-topic conversations

Back in May, Discord launched a brand refresh of sorts that not only saw the company roll out a new logo and color scheme, but also new features. At the time, Discord said that chat threads - one of its most-requested features - would be arriving later in the summer. Fast forward to today, and it looks like the big launch is here, as Discord has rolled out Threads in a new update.

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WhatsApp join group call expanded beyond start

WhatsApp join group call expanded beyond start

WhatsApp expanded its Group Call system beyond a one-time-join rule to allow joining at a later time. Joinable calls, as they're called, "reduce the burden of answering a group call as it starts," according to a WhatsApp representative commenting on the release. It also "brings the spontaneity and ease of in-person conversations to group calling on WhatsApp."

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Verizon makes RCS default with Messages by Google for Android

Verizon makes RCS default with Messages by Google for Android

All three major mobile carriers in the United States now have RCS ready to roll with Messages by Google by default for Android phones. Rich Communications Service (RCS) amplifies the abilities of text messaging - by default - for all Android users from this point forward. Google has been working for years to make RCS the default baseline experience for messaging between smartphones and tablets of all sorts - now, with Verizon onboard, that goal is basically a reality (in the USA, anyway).

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WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp has introduced a key privacy feature that'll help prevent unwanted snooping in your old chat logs -- but you can only access it if you're a beta user on Android. With the latest beta update, WhatsApp now offers encrypted cloud backups, meaning that anyone who acquires your stored chat logs won't be able to read them.

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Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook has rolled out a new library of emojis for its messaging app that adds a new layer of expression to the commonly-used images: sound effects. Facebook calls these Soundmoji, explaining that when selected, the recipient will not only see the emoji but also hear a related sound, including everything from clapping and chirping crickets to sound bites from TV shows.

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WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

Facebook has improved WhatsApp multi-device support and it is making it available to some users as a limited public beta test. With this beta, WhatsApp users can finally access their chats across multiple devices other than their smartphone -- and these devices won't be dependent on your phone to continue using the messaging service.

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AT&T RCS now default for Android with Messages by Google

AT&T RCS now default for Android with Messages by Google

The North American mobile carrier AT&T revealed this week that they're working with Google to make Messages by Google the default messaging app for all AT&T Android devices in the USA. This should, hopefully, make the transition to an industry-wide adoption of Rich Communication Services (RCS) a reality at some point in the future. This is not the first time RCS has been available for AT&T users, but it is the first time AT&T's agreed to make RCS for Android a reality with Google's own Messages app - by default.

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Amazon buys Wickr, a secure messaging platform even the NSA likes

Amazon buys Wickr, a secure messaging platform even the NSA likes

Amazon has acquired Wickr, with the encrypted communications platform being rolled into AWS. Billing itself as "the world's most secure collaboration platform," Wickr offers not only text messaging but encrypted voice and video calling, along with file sharing, and has proved a popular option among both enterprise and government agencies, along with journalists and other users.

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Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Messaging has become so common among smartphone and Internet users that people often take it for granted that their conversations may not always be just between them. Unlike face-to-face or even telephone conversations, the chances of third parties, especially unauthorized actors, snooping in on private dialogue are so much higher in Internet-based messaging services. To fight such privacy intrusions, Google is finally flipping the switch for E2EE, short for end-to-end encryption, on its Messages platform. Provided you meet certain requirements, that is.

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Android Summer 2021 updates improve voice control and messaging

Android Summer 2021 updates improve voice control and messaging

Google has revealed a handful of new Android features hitting smartphones this summer, including the ability to star messages in chat, better voice control, and smarter emoji suggestions. The new features will also see Google tackle a potential summer disruption more broadly, with the Android Earthquake Alerts System set to roll out globally.

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