The ability to text an emergency to 911 has long been in the works, and will finally be realized this month. Starting May 15, all four major US carriers will be able to handle your 911 texts. While the program is not designed to take the place of calls to 911, it does provide a necessary option for those in dangerous circumstances.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging service that has been around for a while. In June of 2013, the WhatsApp service hit a record with a daily average of 27 billion messages sent and received. With 2014 now here, WhatsApp has hit another record and has grown significantly since last summer.
Gogo is perhaps best known for providing fliers with wireless Internet access when above the clouds, making long flights a tad less tedious. Soon it will be known for a bit more amongst fliers -- as the service that allows passengers to chat on their phones as if they have regular cellular service, which could be a blessing or a curse depending on the person. Texting will also be made available.
Google has released Hangouts 2.0 for Android, adding in SMS and MMS support in addition to enabling group MMS conversations and embedding animated GIFs. Promised when the incoming update was first revealed late last month, the new app also drops alongside an update to the Android keyboard, also bringing it to version 2.0, though that change has been met with less enthusiasm from users.
A New Jersey appeals court has found true an interesting set of conclusions this month in going over a case involving a car wreck from 2009. In this case, the driver of a vehicle in Mine Hill Township, New Jersey, was texting and driving when he hit a motorcycle carrying Linda and David Kubert - who both subsequently lost their legs as a result of the crash. The Kuberts settled their case against Best, continuing then to sue Shannon Colonna - the person on the other end of the phone.
WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular messaging apps today, but its $0.99 price tag on iOS was a bit disappointing considering that every other platform had the app for free. However, the makers of WhatsApp are moving iOS over to the subscription model of other platforms, charging users only $1 per year to use the service.
Cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp has set a new personal best for messages sent and received, handling 27 billion in the space of 24 hours. The record, which WhatsApp took to Twitter to announce, saw more than 10bn inbound messages sent and more than 17bn messages received, and is a considerable step up from the last public stats from April.
Google+ Hangouts got a major face-lift yesterday when Google announced that all of their chat services would be merged together into one app. Essentially, users can now message each other over various platforms, as well as video chat. Furthermore, you can send someone a message without even them being signed in, hinting to the possibility that Hangouts could be an SMS replacement.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent that would allow a phone to automatically and intelligently select the best method to contact someone given the current situation. In order to determine what the best communication method would be, the phone would use its GPS, microphone, accelerometer, etc. to determine the best course of action.
Mobile instant messaging apps have overtaken SMS for the first time, new research suggests, marking a likely end of the text message cash-cow for operators. Nearly 19bn IM chat messages were sent every day in 2012 on average, according to research firm Informa, in comparison to 17.6bn traditional text messages, with analysts claiming some carriers are already "seeing a decline in their messaging revenues."
Automotive manufacturers have been pushing to get improved hands-free technology into automobiles all around the world. Handsfree technology allows drivers to do things such as make phone calls without actually having to touch their mobile phone. Some vehicles will even read text messages out loud to the driver and will allow the driver to send text messages using their voice.