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40

[Update: Back] WhatsApp is mysteriously disappearing from the Play Store

If you try to look for WhatsApp on the Play Store now, you're likely to find nothing. For many users, searching for the app's name only returns WhatsApp Business, and the regular Messenger app has disappeared from both the Installed and Beta tabs under My apps & games. It is still accessible under its listing's URL though.

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37

Your sketchy Instagram habits are private now that the Following tab is gone

A few days ago, BuzzFeed reported that Instagram was removing one of the most berated features of its app, the Following tab. That has indeed been the case, with the app first showing a blank tab with a disclaimer that it's going away, then completely removing it in the most recent update.

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42

Instagram's dark mode is official for Android 10

After years of pining from enthusiasts, more and more Android apps are starting to get dark modes. Most of Google's offerings now have them available, and Nova Launcher just added official support yesterday. Instagram has now become the latest application with an official dark theme, though only for Android 10 (and iOS 13) for now.

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18

Instagram pushes quick, private messaging with yet another new app, Threads

Peer-to-peer media sharing apps have gone through all of their growth phases — from Snapchat opening people up to private pics to competition with Instagram through to the commoditization of the dreaded Stories format — that we figure it's about time things came full circle. And from none other than Facebook comes Threads, a private sharing app that enables you to quickly send snaps to your Close Friends on Instagram.

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15

WhatsApp Beta begins testing 'disappearing messages'

Whatsapp, which is used by billions around the world, might be upgraded in the near future to gain a new privacy-oriented feature. According to the folks at wabetainfo, the latest beta version of Whatsapp is starting to lay down the foundation for disappearing messages. However, the feature isn't live for anyone yet, and there is no promised and concrete timeline.

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11

US technology companies will have to share user data with UK government under new agreement

Privacy laws have been, and always will be, a hotly debated topic. Corporations, governments, and citizens all have differing opinions when it comes to how private users’ information should be. New legislation is set to be signed next month that will give the UK access to user data from Facebook, WhatsApp, and other US-based tech firms. This latest development is convoluted and sure to spark privacy fears.

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5

Skyrim and other demanding Oculus Rift titles are coming to the cheaper Quest

The VR hype train has slowed down considerably over the last couple of years, but that doesn't stop companies invested in the technology from iterating on their products. The same is true for Facebook, which announced a number of significant improvements to its VR division during its annual Oculus event on Wednesday, making advanced virtual reality experiences more accessible at lower prices. Among a plethora of changes to the platform, you can now let the Oculus Quest track your hands without additional hardware and connect it to a computer via USB, allowing you to get some of the full Rift VR experience.

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18

Facebook refreshes Portal family, adds new Mini model and camera-only option for TVs

Bastion of privacy Facebook remains ridiculously insistent on wanting a presence in your home — something with microphones and a camera involved. So, it has come up with a new range of Portal smart displays and video chat peripherals for 2019. These include an update 10" design, a new 8" screen, and Portal TV, what's essentially a camera bar that plugs into your TV set.

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10

WhatsApp Beta now lets you completely hide muted status updates from view

Just like almost any other app these days, WhatsApp offers status updates eerily similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories. People who are into this feature have had the possibility to mute certain contacts (such as their colleagues) for quite some time already. However, muted updates would still show up in the status tab, greyed out but within a separate section below all others. The latest beta (version 2.19.260) is looking to change that with an option that lets you hide muted stories altogether.

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29

Google Assistant is adding WhatsApp voice and video call support

While Assistant is better integrated with Google's own services, its support for third-party messaging apps has been commendable. It can send messages via WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and others, record and send voice notes from WhatsApp, as well as read incoming messages from many apps. However, it didn't support calls on any of these apps, but it's now adding that for WhatsApp.

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