messaging

Microsoft plotting Skype Teams as a competitor to Slack

Microsoft plotting Skype Teams as a competitor to Slack

Earlier this year, we heard that Microsoft had considered putting in an $8 billion offer for Slack, a group messaging service that has quickly grown in popularity over the last few years. Then, remembering that it had already shelled out billions of dollars for Skype, Microsoft pulled out of negotiations with Slack. Now it seems Microsoft is planning to use the Skype platform to develop a Slack competitor, calling it Skype Teams and offering a fair amount of functionality that Slack doesn't have - namely Office 365 integration.

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These are Apple’s 5 newest proposed emoji

These are Apple’s 5 newest proposed emoji

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could express your dreams of one becoming an astronaut, judge, or pilot in emoji? Well, with Apple's latest recommendations to the Unicode Consortium, you should soon be able to. The company continues to show its influence over the emoji standard with a recent suggestion for five new job profession-related characters, each with men and women versions.

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Facebook testing new ‘Add Contact’ option in Messenger

Facebook testing new ‘Add Contact’ option in Messenger

Facebook Messenger is testing a new feature that will make the app entirely more useable for some individuals: the ability to request adding a contact with another Messenger user rather than having to add that individual as a ‘friend.’ The new feature is aptly called ‘Add Contact,’ and would exist between Facebook friendship and messaging someone sans any formal affiliation with them; you can, for now, message someone who isn’t a friend by sending them a message request.

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Disney Mix is a family-friendly messaging app that’s safe for kids

Disney Mix is a family-friendly messaging app that’s safe for kids

If the thought of yet another mobile messaging app is enough to make you gag, well, you're probably not alone. But now Disney has gotten into the game with Mix, a messaging app that's specially designed for kids and families. Available now on iOS and Android, Disney Mix may not seem as impressive as services like WhatsApp or Snapchat, but it includes a number of features designed to keep kids and pre-teens safe online.

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Skype teams up with StubHub, Skyscanner to launch new bots

Skype teams up with StubHub, Skyscanner to launch new bots

Skype is keeping the bot train rolling, today announcing five new bots that are coming to use from a variety of corporate partnerships. The new round up includes bots from the likes of Skyscanner and StubHub, even tossing a Spock Bot into the mix to coincide with the recent release of Star Trek: Beyond. If you've ever wanted to talk logic with the premiere Vulcan himself, now is your chance.

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Google’s diverse working women emoji approved by Unicode

Google’s diverse working women emoji approved by Unicode

Emoji are about to become a lot more diverse and gender equal for women. The Unicode Consortium, the organization that oversees adoption and standardization of emoji, has approved a group of characters proposed by Google back in May, which includes depictions of women in new professions. There are 11 new emoji, such as a computer programmer, chef, scientist, graduate, and even a rockstar with David Bowie-like facepaint.

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Facebook Messenger embraces 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

Facebook Messenger embraces 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

Facebook continues to embrace 3D Touch, with Apple's pressure-sensitive touchscreen tech now being added to Facebook Messenger. In an update to the Messenger app released for iOS devices today, there's now support for previewing contacts, conversations, photos, videos, stickers, links, and locations with a firm press on the iPhone 6s' display.

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Hangouts 11 on Android removes merged SMS, adds video messaging

Hangouts 11 on Android removes merged SMS, adds video messaging

Google just can't make it up its mind when it comes to its messaging services. It adds apps, removes features, merges, apps, removes features, and introduces duplicate features and apps. The latest example of that flip-flopping is with the Hangouts app on Android. Starting version 11, the app, which was initially a purely instant messaging app, will no longer show SMS and Hangouts messages in a single conversation. Before you sound the alarm, though, you can still send SMS from the app. They just won't take up the same space as Hangouts messages.

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Facebook Messenger begins testing end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations

Facebook Messenger begins testing end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations

Back at the end of May, we heard that Facebook may be rolling out encryption to Messenger sometime this summer. It looks like that day has arrived, as Facebook has announced that it will be testing end-to-end encryption in Messenger through a new feature called Secret Conversations. Not everyone will have access to Secret Conversations at first, but assuming the tests go well and Facebook doesn't need to make any big changes to the feature, it shouldn't be long before it rolls out to everyone.

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Skype debuts new browser-based group video chats, offline file sharing

Skype debuts new browser-based group video chats, offline file sharing

Microsoft's messaging and video chat platform Skype has rolled out several new features this week, starting with a new browser tool aimed at small businesses. Called Skype Meetings, it's a free, web-based option for group video chats, along with a few of the collaboration tools from Skype for Business. In addition, Skype's standard existing apps now feature the ability to share files with users even when they're offline.

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Apple rolls out animated emojis for iOS 10 beta users

Apple rolls out animated emojis for iOS 10 beta users

When iOS 10 was introduced at Apple's WWDC 2016 event last month, a number of changes and new features were introduced, but surprisingly the Messages app was one of things that given the most time and attention. It seems Apple is moving its text messaging app into the territory of Snapchat and Facebook messenger, adding not only stickers and animated emoji, but text bubble effects, handwriting, and an API for developers.

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Facebook Messenger rolls out improvements to chat bots

Facebook Messenger rolls out improvements to chat bots

Back in April, Facebook announced it was opening up its Messenger service with an API and tools to create chat bots. While it's still not clear just how useful mobile users are finding these bots, it's obvious that developers think they are loved — or at least love making them — as there's now over 11,000 bots available on the platform. With that much saturation, Facebook needs to be on the ball about making sure bots are organized and easy to use. Thankfully an update with that in mind has been released.

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