SMS

Twitter finally turns off SMS service, removes millions of accounts

Twitter finally turns off SMS service, removes millions of accounts

It may seem almost unimaginable but one of the world's largest social networks was actually built upon SMS, that service we often refer to as old-school text messaging. That explains, for example, why tweets were limited to 140 characters up until recently. Twitter shed off the latter limitation last year and is now dropping the last traces of its true origin. But in dropping SMS support, it also reportedly dropped millions of accounts, most of them inactive, that relied on the technology.

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Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

I started to write an article about the latest update for Telegram, when I realized I might only be speaking to a select few in-the-know users. Far fewer than I think should be interested, anyway. Telegram is a private chat system with end-to-end encryption support and cross-platform functionality. It's privately funded by a guy named Pavel Durov, whose only goal seems to be "fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free."

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RCS activated for all Android phones in USA

RCS activated for all Android phones in USA

As of this week, the RCS chat protocol was activated for Android devices in the USA. This means that when you've got the official Google Messages app and the latest version of Carrier Services, you'll have a slightly more advanced version of SMS TXT messaging on your hands.

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Twitter two-factor authentication no longer requires a phone number

Twitter two-factor authentication no longer requires a phone number

Humans seem to be terrible at creating and using strong passwords, let alone remembering them. Various technologies have popped up to alleviate those flaws, like password managers and two-factor authentication. The latter has been particularly popular especially with the rise of fingerprint and face recognition. Many, however, still use SMS as the second factor, which is just a half-step above having no 2FA. Fortunately, Twitter has finally seen the light and will allow users to opt for a more secure option.

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Google just enabled Android RCS SMS+ chat in the USA

Google just enabled Android RCS SMS+ chat in the USA

Users will soon get a more comprehensive and "rich" experience in SMS text messaging in Android. This is thanks to Google's push for RCS (Rich Communication Services) in SMS text messaging over the past few years, enabled here in the USA in late 2019. To enable this newly-enabled more powerful chat system, users will need the official SMS text messaging client from Google called Messages - which can be downloaded as the Messages app in the Google Play app store.

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Valentine’s text messages sent 8 months later due to buggy system update

Valentine’s text messages sent 8 months later due to buggy system update

Despite the proliferation of instant messaging services, our mobile-centric culture is still dependent on good old text messages. But what if those text messages never reached their recipients or only months after they made any sense? That's the rather strange situation that many in the US just experienced when Valentine's messages they sent months ago only reached their intended targets in November in the middle of the night.

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RCS on Android can be enabled with a not so simple trick

RCS on Android can be enabled with a not so simple trick

iMessage is one of those things that Apple users have long lorded over their Android counterparts. Various alternatives on Android have popped up but none have really had any staying power. That could change with RCS or Rich Communication Services, especially now that the four major US carriers are promoting their own RCS-based system. Android users might not have to wait for all those pieces to fall in place and can enable RCS on their phones, provided they are willing to jump through some hoops to do it.

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Microsoft SMS Organizer offers text message sanity to more countries

Microsoft SMS Organizer offers text message sanity to more countries

While it may seem that most of the world has moved away from SMS and towards instant messaging, the fact is that the world still revolves around good old simple and insecure text messages. It may still be limited in length compared to email but, just like email, the volume of text messages one can receive in a day can be quite harrowing for some people. That's why Microsoft introduced the SMS Organizer app to bring the same features email apps and services provide to keep those text messages from overwhelming users.

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Google Voice voicemail transcript forwarding shut down due to spam abuse

Google Voice voicemail transcript forwarding shut down due to spam abuse

If you think robocalls were nothing more than annoyances, the fact that a Google Voice feature is being killed because of them might change some people's minds. These unsolicited calls that could also be used to phish important personal data has been a scourge of consumers, regulators, and especially carriers for years and efforts to block and penalize them have ramped up in recent months. Unfortunately, Google sees no workaround for one feature and will instead be shutting down Google Voice's voicemail transcript forwarding because of it.

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Skype will lose SMS Connect soon, but there’s an alternative

Skype will lose SMS Connect soon, but there’s an alternative

Microsoft has announced that Skype will lose support for SMS Connect, the feature that enables users to view and send text messages from their computer instead of their phone. The feature is very convenient for those who use SMS messaging, but who are on their computer during work and don't want to separately handle their handset. Though the loss is disappointing, Microsoft says there is an alternative option.

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SMS two-factor authentication is unsafe – Use these instead

SMS two-factor authentication is unsafe – Use these instead

The revelation of Google’s Titan security key has put the spotlight on a long-existing but not widely adopted technology: physical keys that open the doors to your digital life. FIDO-compatible security keys, strange as they may seem, is just the latest attempt to solve one of the biggest threats to digital security: passwords. But while two-factor authentication is finally gaining a bit of traction, thanks to services enforcing it, they are unfortunately using the least secure medium of all: text messages.

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Facebook should be paying you

Facebook should be paying you

Facebook's call records, SMS, and contacts collecting are the headline of the day - but that's old news to you. You knew a long time ago that Facebook was harvesting your data, and you don't care. What would anyone want with your info anyway? You're just an everyday average person, after all, surely there's no reason to worry that Facebook workers would take the time to read your boring old communications and contact list, right?

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