With Google Duo already released and working well, and rumors of Nougat coming on August 22nd, it's only a matter of time before we have Google's Assistant and its messaging app Allo in our hands.
In the meantime, what we have here is an early look at one of Allo's features: sticker packs. From the screenshots, it looks like Allo will come with 3 packs installed by default and others can be added later.
There are 24 additional packs available in different styles and from different designers. As far as we can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own sticker packs from a URL or a Zip file, but that may or may not change in the future. Read More
Stickers: they're seriously business. Apparently. Not being into all of these newfangled messenger alternatives I've really never seen the point, but they're important enough that super-popular alt messenger Telegram thinks they need their own "trending" section in the app. Version 3.11 adds a trending sticker area to its dedicated sticker page, so you can browse the most popular images being used by the service's hundreds of millions of users. Neat. Read More
In the past year or so, I haven't had the time or opportunity to travel or explore new countries and cities. What I do have time for is my job where I sit behind a desk and write about people who are traveling and enjoying new places and who also have enough free time to use Snapchat to chronicle their trips... Oh how I envy their lax lifestyle.
Anyway, these people — you or your friends or your kids or your parents even — now have a new feature in Snapchat that uses their location to show appropriate stickers to add to photos or chats. Read More
GIFs and emojis are everywhere. You can't even start a conversation nowadays without some form of graphic popping up in the first 5 exchanged messages. But finding and inserting them isn't always the most seamless of experiences. Whether it's scrolling through endless lists of emojis with the complexity of dealing with different sets and their weird emoji orders and designs, or trying to figure out how each app you're using deals with GIFs, it can take anywhere between a few seconds and a couple of minutes to find the perfect visual to convey your message.
That's where Dango swoops in to provide a better approach. Read More
Partnerships between keyboard makers and smartphone manufacturers aren't new — we all remember when Samsung started using Swype's technology on its keyboard a few years ago. So it isn't a surprise to see Fleksy striking a deal with an OEM of its own, as a way to extend its reach and installation base and as a benefit to the manufacturer who won't have to waste time and resources trying to develop a fast and reliable input method.
The deal in question is with Chinese manufacturer ZTE who will start bundling Fleksy with its smartphones. This includes Fleksy's fast keyboard and correction engine as well as its recently added rich content (GIFs, stickers, and emojis) and customization features (keyboard photos, colors, and effects). Read More
Messenger is Google's basic alternative to Hangouts for sending SMS messages, and today it has received an update bringing along a widely-requested feature. No reason to tease you about it. Let's jump in.
Quick Reply is the ability to respond to a message without having to switch to the full app. Now when the notification comes in and you hit the reply button, you can tap out a response and go about your day.
However, the feature isn't without its drawbacks. The Quick Reply interface takes up the full screen, but it doesn't show you any of the message you just received. Read More
You know what would make me use Facebook Messenger more? (... Said no one ever, but let's just pretend, OK guys?) If I could send my friends photos with a bunch of stickers plastered all over them. Thinking that it's a great idea 4SHO (that's one of the stickers), some developers at Facebook's Creative Labs took it upon themselves to turn it into a reality. The result is Stickered for Messenger, an app that is as full of Kawaii as it sounds.
Whether you're primping a new photo or one from your gallery, Stickered has 52 categories of tens of drawings to pick from. These range from some cute Pikachu and Teletubbies-like emojis, to a burger head man rowing a boat with his true love — lady fries. Read More
Version 2.6 makes BBM ready for Android 5.0, but don't get too excited. There's no big redesign here. The app still looks as Gingerbread as ever, it just now explicitly supports devices running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.
That's not to say that the update is without visual changes. If you turn your phone sideways, the interface will now rotate to landscape mode in order to accommodate you.
Other features new to BBM users include the ability to share stickers in a group chat, set longer limits on timed messages (up to 60 seconds), share multiple pictures or attachments at the same time, and see when someone has received or viewed your photos. Read More
Google just announced its biggest update to the Hangouts Android app in some time, introducing a bevvy of features not seen before on the platform. In terms of utility, the biggest addition is probably confirmed phone numbers: like competing SMS-style message services, this will allow people who know you to search for your Google+/Hangouts profile with your cell phone number. It's an addition to the app that will be particularly useful to international users, who are used to this kind of contact lookup.
Other functional upgrades include a contextual tool system. This is sort of like Google Now for conversations: if the person you're chatting with should ask "where are you," you'll be given a temporary link to share your location with him or her. Read More