Chat clients limited to one-on-one conversation are going the way of the dodo. We've got numerous options for group messaging including: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google+ Messenger, Live Messenger, and we're even pretty sure Babel (or whatever it will be called) will join the list. Today, popular cross-platform chat app, Tango, steps up to match its competitors.
The additions to the interface are very straightforward. You can pick multiple people from your contact list to start a conversation and at any time add new people or leave the chat altogether from the participants screen.
Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.
As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS.
We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself.
Facebook has been slowly rolling out VoIP calling to its Messenger app in an effort to make it the single, unified source for all your communication needs (before Google can). Today, it apparently took another baby step forward by granting UK users of the mobile app the ability to connect for free (minus data charges where applicable) to anyone they're friends with.
At the moment the service doesn't seem to have rolled out to all users yet, and it may even still be a bit buggy (the slow expansion is partially to conduct tests, after all).
Popular cross-platform messenger service WhatsApp is a little behind the times. It's part of the depressingly huge collection of Android apps that ape their iOS counterparts, never aspiring to anything higher. That appears to be close to an end, as the latest beta release of the Android client has a new user interface, and it conforms to the Holo guidelines that the rest of your phone (hopefully) uses. Google+ user Jose Luis de la Torre took some shots of the updated interface.
Alright, Google. It's time to stop leaving your VoIP service to languish on the vine. Facebook has released a double-whammy of big news bits. For starters, today the social network is rolling out an update to its Messenger app that will allow users to send each other short, recorded audio clips. It's voicemail for the 21st century, if such a thing can even exist without being horrible. And, really, this sounds like it's not.
Today, Facebook made an announcement that's probably bigger than it seems at first glance. Now, if you want to use Facebook Messenger, you no longer need to have an account with the social networking giant. This, quite simply, is a really big deal that could easily go overlooked. The app can be used to message contacts via just their phone number, create group conversations, and share photos. Of course, you could do this with Messenger before, as SMS was an available option.
I know, you were really hoping for that extra special upgrade that Zuckerberg has been teasing ever since he admitted that HTML5 was a mistake. This should be a nice little improvement, though. Now, no matter which app you do your Facebook messaging from, whether it's messaging in Facebook, or via Facebook Messenger (confused yet?), you'll be able to see which of your friends is online, whether they're mobile, and even pin select friends that you talk to most to the top of the list.
Facebook Messenger, an app the social giant says provides "a faster way to message," got a significant update today, bringing it up to version 1.8. The update, besides promising to speed up app loading, navigating (by way of some small UI tweaks), and message sending, contains several new features that are worth mentioning.
Among these new features is the ability to switch between conversations using handy (dismissible) in-app notification bars which appear any time a friend sends you a message in another conversation.
Now it’s even easier to reach groups of friends on the go:
Text everyone for free, using your existing data plan
Reach friends wherever they are now – on their phone or the web
Know who’s seen your message, and who hasn’t
See where friends are messaging you from
Now, you're probably wondering what Facebook means by "texting" - they mean the app will send SMS notifications of your messages to people who aren't using the app but are on your friends list, and have their mobile phone number listed on their profile.