Despite claims that Google+ is a “dead” social network, it appears Facebook has decided to take a page or two out of Google’s playbook for the holidays. Google+ users are familiar with the goodies that Google makes available for their social platform during different times of year, like virtual snow added to winter pics that are posted. Facebook has released some similar features for their Messenger application.
Google is currently pushing out a much-anticipated compatibility update for its official Messenger application via the Play Store. In terms of added functionality, this upgrade brings users the ability to assign colors to individual chats, as well as support for emojis, a new search feature and a handful of bug fixes and speed optimizations.
Hit the break for the full changelog.
To add some more Material Design flavoring to your device, go ahead and download Google Messenger. It is a standalone app for sending/receiving SMS and MMS messages. It will replace your existing messaging app. What it will not replace is Hangouts as that remains the go-to for devices connected to a Google account. Google Messenger looks great and functions just as well. It clearly follows Lollipop guidelines.
Here are the key features of Messenger:
- Faster sharing: Select or take pictures and videos directly from the app and share easily. You can even send audio messages to your contacts.
- Easy search: Search through contacts and conversations threads to find exactly what you are looking for.
- Purposeful design: New, fluid, material design that is intuitive and delightful.
- More features: audio messages, emoji support, colored text heads, message archiving and more.
Hit the break for the gallery and download links.
On many of the press shots of the Nexus 6, there’s a new application in the phone’s dock next to the phone icon. The app is called Messenger, and at first glance, it makes sense to think it’s something that could replace Hangouts and finally merge everything into one single application. However, according to Google, that’s not the case. Not yet, at least.
Facebook’s Messenger application has seen a recent update that’s added in the ability to draw and sketch over your photos before sending them to someone. Since Facebook has made Messenger a mandatory install for anyone that wants to chat through the social network’s IM service, it’s good to see that they’re continuing to add in some features to make the switch worthwhile.
That’s pretty much the only addition in the update, but if you like to draw on your pictures or superimpose text Snapchat-style, it’s worth downloading.
The latest app to add support for Android Wear is a big one – Facebook Messenger. According to Facebook’s Ian Lake, Facebook Messenger v9 adds the ability to respond directly to messages using your voice, as well as send a “like” thumbs up to recipients. You’ll also be able to mute notifications on your phone or Android Wear device.
Aside from Wear support, the update also adds some “improvements to make the app faster and more reliable”. To get this update, head to the Google Play link past the break.
Source: +Ian Lake
Facebook previously announced that they were planning on splitting messaging off from their main application solely into the Facebook Messenger app, and it looks like that day has finally come. Up until now, users had a choice between sending messages through either the Facebook app or the Messenger app, but now users trying to communicate through Facebook will be prompted to download Messenger to continue sending and receiving Facebook messages. Love it or hate it, that’s how it’s going to be moving forward.
Facebook has updated their Messenger mobile app to add video sharing. Clips of up to 15 seconds can now be recorded and sent to your friends. All you have to do is tap the camera icon and hold the send button to begin recording your message.
That’s not all that comes in version 6.0, however. There’s a new feature called “Big Likes,” that allow you to press and hold the thumbs up icon to send an even bigger thumbs up sign, if that’s more your style. The update is available in the Play Store via the link past the break.
Those of you that rely on the Facebook app for your chats won’t be able to much longer if Facebook follows through on their plan. Facebook has notified users in a few European countries that messaging friends in the Facebook app will stop in about 2 weeks. Users will still be able to message their friends, but they will have to download and install the Facebook Messenger app in order to do so.
This doesn’t appear to be a “test” and is the long term plan for Facebook. You can expect this change to hit every country, but there are a few caveats. Those with lower-end Android devices won’t be required to use Messenger. Also, for whatever reason, Windows phone users will still be able to see messages in the Facebook app. Finally, the Paper newsreader app (not on Android yet) will still show messages.
WhatsApp, under new management from Facebook, has shifted course slightly on its 2014 roadmap. At MWC this year, CEO of the company, Jan Koum, announced that WhatsApp users would be seeing a new feature rolled out in the next few months: voice calling.
Voice calling will initially become available to Android and iOS users in Q2 of 2014, with BlackBerry and Windows Phone users seeing the addition later on in the year. They didn’t reveal any details about how the voice calling would work, but it’s very likely that it will work like WhatsApp’s normal messaging service in that users will get a free trial period, then have to pay 99 cents per year to keep using it. Of course, if that is the plan, it’s still as cheap as ever.