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messenger

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Now you can play games in your conversation threads within Facebook Messenger

Anyone remember the days of playing those silly Facebook games? Since the world has changed quite radically since the heyday of Zynga, it feels like that era was so long ago. Perhaps in a bit of nostalgia or an urge to incite over-competitiveness among friends, Facebook has rolled out games within the Messenger app.

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Android Auto integration with Facebook Messenger now available

Texting while driving can be extremely dangerous, but replying to messages with your voice is probably the safest way to do it. I've used Google Now (well, it's not called Now anymore) on my Nexus 5X countless times to send SMS and Hangouts messages while driving. Facebook today announced that the Facebook Messenger application for Android has added support for Android Auto.

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Google makes RCS support in Messenger official, will be default SMS/RCS app on all Sprint Android devices

The ultimate goal of RCS is to completely replace SMS, but moving the millions of daily SMS users away is no small feat. Yesterday, we posted that RCS support was being rolled out to some Messenger users on Sprint and Project Fi. Now Google has made the feature official, and should be available to all Sprint customers starting today.

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RCS is going live for some Google Messenger users, enabling "enhanced features" for messaging

A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.

Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it.

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Facebook finally figures out how to enable pasting in Messenger's Chat Heads

Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads changed how we interact with notifications and messages, spawning several similar apps such as Brave Browser (né LinkBubble) or Floating Touch, among others. However, Chat Heads have always had one disadvantage in that you cannot paste things into the text entry field. Not anymore, as Facebook has now fixed this.

It might seem like a very simple thing, but that's kind of why it's so interesting: it's so simple that it seems unbelievable that up until now chat heads haven't had the ability to paste. Chat Heads have been around for about 3 years, so either it's not been a priority for the Messenger team, or it's just found how to enable it.

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Google Messenger v2.0 adds unread counts to several launchers, brings a new launcher icon, prepares for RCS support, and much more [APK Teardown + Download]

The Google Messenger app officially hit version 2.0 yesterday. There are plenty of changes, largely related to visual tweaks like a new launcher icon, color changes, and some revised layouts. While a mostly visual release, there are some functional improvements, as well. A teardown also brings a good look at some interesting things in the future of messaging.

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Facebook tests a data saver option in Messenger

Data savers are becoming something of a trend, with Google recently adding one to Android and Facebook following with the main Facebook app. The company obviously liked the idea, because it seems it's testing a data saving feature for Messenger as well, which should reduce the amount of data the app consumes.

Data saver, which can be found in the app's settings area, reduces the amount of data used when looking at pictures of videos that have been sent to you. It does this by enabling click-to-download on said items, instead of automatically downloading when they are received. This only occurs when using cellular data; if the device is connected to a WiFi network, the app will continue to download pictures and videos when they are received.

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[Not a new national holiday] Messenger Day is Facebook's Snapchat clone

Ah, Facebook Messenger. In a few short years, it's gone from the humble chat function on Facebook to a full-blown platform with its own apps and store. According to what we're hearing, the next evolution of the app may be about to take place, as Facebook rolls out a Snapchat-like feature named Messenger Day. This had previously been reported by TechCrunch to be tested with users in Poland, but it may be rolling out to a wider audience now.

The concept is much the same as Snapchat's core feature: take a picture, add it to your 'day,' and it'll disappear after 24 hours.

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[Update: APK Download] Facebook releases Messenger Lite, a cut-down version of Messenger for emerging markets

Facebook Lite was released early last year, and it's pretty good - it takes up less space than the regular Facebook app and consumes much less data. As a follow-up, Messenger Lite is now available, meaning phones in countries where data is thin on the ground and people with small amounts of storage can use Messenger as well.

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Telegram adds photo masks, GIF creation, and trending stickers

We're a bit late with this news, but this is what happens when an update rolls on Friday and we're short-staffed over the weekend, so please forgive us. Telegram, a popular messaging app among our readers, has added a few cool features in its latest 3.12 update and is promising more now that the summer break is over.

First is a major improvement to the photo editor that lets you draw on photos, apply stickers, text, and most importantly (or most relevant nowadays, because I can't judge how important this is to you) masks. Masks will resize and overlay on your photos smartly, because just like Snapchat, they can recognize faces.

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