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.
We've got an LG Nexus system dump and endless desire to spoil every Googley surprise we can. Today's edition of the Android 4.2 Teardown could be alternatively subtitled "The Super-Serious Security Edition," because we're talking about the sort of stuff that should make your sysadmin jump for joy.
Please keep in mind this is just as forward-facing and time-ambiguous as all my other teardowns. This is a list of new stuff in the 4.2 dump, not a list of "confirmed for 4.2" features.
Over the past year or so, my tablet has become my primary mobile device, replacing my phone for most things. However, while I appreciate the bigger screen and better battery life my tablet has over my phone, there are still things that I must use my phone for, like calling and texting.
I have a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my tablet a lot of the time, especially if I'm sending a lot of emails or taking notes for a review.
We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.
The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running.
All you Handcent loyalists should love this one - your favorite SMS app just received a pretty major up to version 4.0 in the Play Store. If you've been testing the open beta for the last several weeks, then none of these changes should be surprising to you, but if you haven't been in the beta loop, this version brings several new features:
What's in this version:
- Main update of Handcent,include universal messaging with free Handcent talk services and new style user interface
- Handcent Talk service,send FREE messages/picture to android & iPhone (Coming soon) users easily,fast,security
- Support ICS+SGS2,won't send double messages
- Support Group mms with iPhone,useful for US networks
- First version of Handcent SMS for jailbreak iPhone released
- New Handcent website
The update is live in the Play Store right now, so go ahead and hit the widget to grab it.
It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.
Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).
The Android Market certainly doesn't have a lack of group chat-messaging clients, but it appears that Yahoo is ready to throw its hat into the ring away. Separate from the Messenger app (which has been available on Android for quite some time), Hub uses text messages over a data connection - meaning that you won't incur any text messaging charges from using it. Unfortunately, your friends who don't have the client installed will, and in fact they may not be able to use it at all.
What? Google Voice is getting a feature update? People still work on Google Voice?
They're also working with other wireless carriers to enable the feature for all Voice users as soon as they can, so just sit tight if you're not on the Now Network -- shouldn't be too long.