Google IO 2016 Coverage

WhatsApp drops the $1 annual fee on all platforms, moves to introduce business communication tools to source revenue

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WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging services around, serving almost a billion people globally on a multitude of operating systems that range from our beloved Android to iOS, BlackBerry, and even Windows Phone. While, for many of us, the $1 annual fee that WhatsApp charges is neither here nor there, it can be a huge stumbling block for some users who don’t have access to card payments. In its efforts to attract yet more customers, WhatsApp had decided to drop the annual fee in its entirety. Read more

SnapChat triples its viewing numbers in only 6 months

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If you are a frequent SnapChat user, then you have contributed to the instant messaging app’s huge increase in viewership numbers since May. In just 6 months, SnapChat has tripled its daily viewing numbers.

According to the Financial Times, more than 6 billion clips are viewed every single day on SnapChat, with more than 100 million daily active users. That’s quite impressive for an app that exists purely on the mobile platform. It’s thought that the sudden increase in viewing numbers can at least be partly attributed to features such as Discover, Live Stories (such as the NFL content), and Lenses.


Source: Financial Times  (Subscription required)
Via: Engadget

Google removed the SMS feature from Gmail Chat


Google‘s experimental SMS feature which was released for Gmail Chat back in 2008 has now been removed. This means that users can no longer send an SMS to their mobile contacts via Gmail Chat. Google said users can switch to Hangouts and choose to receive messages in SMS settings.

However, US and Canada users can send an SMS through Google Voice or switch to Hangouts and “continue receiving SMS messages as follow-me (i.e. if you’re offline and receive a Hangout message, you’ll get an SMS message).” The company said that “by streamlining our services, we’re able to focus on creating the best possible products for our users”. Read more

Google Play adds chat support for device purchase inquiries


Ever had a question about a device on Google Play and couldn’t seem to find answers? Then you’ll be happy to know that they’re adding a live chat feature for questions on device purchasing. Before this, the only options to get help were to call support or email them— this new option will most definitely make the process more efficient by eliminating waiting time and allowing you to take care of business without leaving the computer screen.

The chat feature is surprisingly very similar to the layout of Hangouts, which is definitely refreshing and a change in the way of doing things. When your chat is over, the entire conversation will be found in your Gmail inbox— if you don’t want the whole thing recorded in your chat history, however, there is an option to go “off the record.” Read more

Google Babble Chat Client to Unify Now Fragmented Messaging Platforms


Google has been working hard to unify their products. Their latest project, combines its currently fragmented messaging platforms under one powerful and effective service. The new initiative, affectionately called “Babble”, will do just that. Currently, Google is maintaining Google Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Drive collaboration, and the pseudo Google Talk for G+. The only two that work even fairly well together are Google Talk for Gmail and G+ and even they can evoke frustration with users from time-to-time.

The Babble cross-platform solution could enable Google to dominate chat services such as iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. Google is building Babble from the ground up, which may or may not be a blessing depending on how you look at it. On one hand, they will be working from a clean slate and there will be no boundaries as to what they can make the app do. On the other hand, Google will be pushing out another Beta product based on past experiences that may have more bugs than a Louisiana bayou on a hot summer afternoon. We will just have to hope the geeks at Google push out a well polished, well oiled, version of the app on Beta release.  Read more

Facebook Messenger comes to Android and contains code for video chat

With all the IM apps and the recent addition of Google Huddle, it has become the battle of the messaging apps. Now Facebook is looking to crash the party with Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger will be like Google Huddle in that you can send and receive messages within groups.

Top Features

  • Message friends, groups of friends or anyone in your mobile contacts
  • Map your location, find your friends and make plans on the go
  • Get mobile notifications so you never miss a message
  • Include photos so friends can see what you’re doing

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Google Nexus S to get Android 2.3.4 over next few weeks – brings GTalk improvements


Google has another surprise planned for it’s Nexus crowd, it comes by way of an update for the Nexus S which will be Android 2.3.4. The update not only has several bug fixes and improvements to the Gingerbread OS, but it specifically will now have video and voice chat within the Google Talk application and you’ll be able to make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi.

The update will be rolling out to all Google Nexus S owners over the next few weeks either by 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi over the air, and will make it’s way out to other Gingerbread devices soon thereafter.  Pretty cool indeed Google.

Click here to watch a video on the new Google Talk improvements below.

FuzeBox Brings Multi-Party Video Conferencing to Android

Video chat is all the rage these days, and FuzeBox is upping the ante.  Fuze Meeting software brings multi-party HD video conferencing to the Android world.  Froyo-powered smartphones and tablets running Honeycomb will be able to download the video confrencing software and use it via 3G or wifi, with full access to 720P HD videos.  The interface has been streamlined from the earlier version of their video chat software to allow for a cleaner view, while still allowing the mutli-user view.  This software will be made available to enterprise customers, so interested parties should contact them at

[Thanks for the tip, Bob!]

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Yahoo! IM update brings voice calls to HTC Evo 4G and MT4G

According to rumor, the Yahoo! IM app for Android is getting an update this month that will allow for both voice calla and landscape video calling. While this isn’t the most groundbreaking update, it’s still nice to see Yahoo! continue to support their IM app the way they should. Hoever, don’t get your hopes up too far, as the features will only be working on the HTC Evo 4G and the myTouch 4G. Why not other front-faceing camera holders, like the Nexus S, Galaxy Tab, or Epic 4G? No news as of yet, but we’re hoping to see it soon.

You can check out the app here, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

[via droid-life]

Trillian leaves beta, now available for $4.99 in the Market

Keeping track of your friends these days can be a daunting task with many of them using their own preferred IM clients, and while there are a number of apps you can use to regulate this task, you might want to give Trillian a try.  The folks over at Cerulean Studios have been hard at work customizing this application for the Android platform.  The app just came out of beta and is available now on the Android Market for $4.99 (Don’t forget you have a 15 min window to return it if you don’t like it).

Supports – AIM, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ and several others.  It’s nice to see the app using cloud technology.  Moving from one Android device to another?  No problem.  Just download the app on to your new device, log in, and voilà.

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