video chat

Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

At the height of the great Snowden whistleblowing phase of history, highly secure and encrypted messaging services became en vogue. While some of that has died down, a notable few like Signal remain. Developed by Open Whisper Systems, which also developers the Signal protocol now used by Whatsapp for encryption, the Signal app started out as a simple, text-based chat app. Now it is on the cusp of its next evolution, adding that oh so popular video chatting capability, though still in beta format.

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Amazon Chime brings retail giant to the teleconferencing arena

Amazon Chime brings retail giant to the teleconferencing arena

Amazon is, of course, most famous for its retail store first and foremost, and perhaps its digital content second. But for the geekier crowd, Amazon’s name is also synonymous to cloud infrastructure through its Amazon Web Services. Powering not a few critical cloud services, AWS is venturing into the business of directly offering services, particularly for enterprises. Its latest stab at that market is Chime, which, unlike its name, is going to be a more or less noisy service, as it enables companies to chat in groups, whether by voice or by video.

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Google Hangouts shutting doors on apps by April

Google Hangouts shutting doors on apps by April

Google’s messaging platform strategy has never really been stable. Over the years it has switched from one system and app to the next, practically promising “this” would be it. Substitute “this” with Voice, Messages, Hangouts, and now Allo and Duo, and you pretty much get the picture. Unfortunately for those who actually invested in, for example, Hangouts, they might soon find their investments rendered useless as Google shuts down Hangouts’ API that third-party app developers once used to hook into the service.

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Facebook Messenger joins the group video chat, 3D masks game

Facebook Messenger joins the group video chat, 3D masks game

Remember the days when you’d juggle half a dozen communication services just to keep up with family and friends? Well, those good old days are back with even more messaging apps and services offering nearly the same set of features. Their only difference is that some of your friends may or may not be using the same service. Trying to keep pace with other players, Facebook has finally given its Messenger service group video chat capabilities, finally fulfilling its most requested feature ever.

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Google Duo (somewhat) launches to make video calls a breeze

Google Duo (somewhat) launches to make video calls a breeze

Despite being called smartphones majority of users hardly use their mobile devices for voice calls anymore these days. Of course, some still do, but even those usually course it through VoIP services rather than regular cellular lines. With phone calls practically a dead venue, Google is turning its attention to what it bills as the next best thing to communicating with someone with a personal touch: video calls. But as nice as the thought may be, video chat is also the most unreliable medium. That is why Google is finally launching its Duo app and service to make video calls a piece of cake.

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BBM Video released in Beta for Android

BBM Video released in Beta for Android

Thank goodness, BBM Video has arrived (as a public Beta) in the United States this week. I, personally, was beginning to think it'd never arrive. Because I forgot that it existed, to be entirely honest. But now that it's here, BBM Video from Blackberry will be good to test against the masses of video messaging services that may have become complacent in the absence of any real massive competition. OR it'll be fun to speak with your one friend with a BlackBerry phone with video, at last.

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Slack could soon get into Skype’s turf with voice, video chat

Slack could soon get into Skype’s turf with voice, video chat

Slack is one of the startups that embody the Silicon Valley dream. A small app that was intended to help teams stay productive in communication exploded into a something that even huge businesses have become dependent on. It was hailed by many to rival and even replace instant messaging and even email, and now it might even be setting out to challenge other forms for communication soon. At a customer conference in San Francisco, it revealed it 2016 roadmap that included, among other things, the addition not only of voice but also video chats.

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Booyah’s WhatsApp group video chat is finally on Android

Booyah’s WhatsApp group video chat is finally on Android

It probably isn't news to Android users that many, if not most, apps first launch on iOS, promising a later launch for Android. It has become a painful fact of life that many have accepted, as long as the promised Android versions do come. Rounds is definitely doing good by Android fans thirsty for more group video chats. A month after it surprised WhatsApp users, and probably WhatsApp developers themselves, Booyah is now landing on Android, featuring the promised ease of use that has made services like FaceTime popular.

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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Skype update for iOS, Android good news for other apps

Skype update for iOS, Android good news for other apps

Microsoft has been making several dedicated attempts to make Skype a useful tool rather than an unnecessary legacy add-on of late, with real-time translation being the most headline-grabbing update rolling in. Now Skype is announcing a few upgrades for Android users, with offline photo sharing coming via an update. Now Skype users can send photos to friends who may be offline, which will be immediately viewable once that user logs back onto Skype. Skype for Android also has some other neat tricks, like running in the background while you use other apps.

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Kim Dotcom’s MEGAchat promises encrypted video chats in browsers

Kim Dotcom’s MEGAchat promises encrypted video chats in browsers

Recent world events have gotten many tech companies concerned about security and privacy. Some of them have scrambled to add, enhance, or even enforce security measures like encryption while governments and their leaders, like Cameron and now Obama, have scrambled to have them blocked or at the very least weakened. Chat apps and services are one of the common targets and we've seen many old and new ones wave the encryption flag as a major feature. MEGAchat is just one of the latest to join that roster and it comes from a man who should know the situation all too well.

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Firefox Hello lets you make video calls without fuss

Firefox Hello lets you make video calls without fuss

Mozilla has just rolled out version 35 of the popular Firefox web browser and it is bringing in a handful of new features. Highlighting this release, however, is something that they have been working on for quite a long time now. Leveraging the power of what is called WebRTC (Real Time Communications), Firefox Hello lets users create and share video chats without the hassles of third party accounts, services, or plugins. All you need is a Firefox browser, and sometimes you don't even need that.

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