Viber might not be a de-facto standard like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, but the platform still has a loyal following of at least 500 million people on Android alone. Like most of its competitors, it quickly upped the group video call cap at the beginning of the pandemic, but the service isn't done — in a Play Store update note, it has revealed that you can now make video calls with up to 30 participants at once, rather than 20.
Telegram is on a roll this month. After announcing not one, but two new web apps and significant updates to its mobile offerings, the company has now set its sights on Zoom, Slack, and co. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has just announced that the company wants to add a "video dimension" to its voice chats in May, making it a powerful video-conferencing platform.
When the news broke that Discord talked to Microsoft regarding a $10 billion plus sale, people were quickly worried it might pan out like the Redmond Skype acquisition back in 2011. The communication platform gradually turned into a bloated, buggy piece of software that's next to impossible to shut down on Windows. It looks like Discord may not have to face that fate, after all. The gaming focused chat startup halted talks with Microsoft and other interested parties.
Telegram Web has always been a great fallback when you're not on your own computer or using a platform that doesn't properly supports any of the beautiful native apps the social network offers (looking at you, Chrome OS), but it's far from pretty. It looks dated compared to the other Telegram apps and doesn't offer newer features like stickers and voice calls. That's where two new Telegram web applications come in — they feel much more modern, come with tons of animations, and they support stickers.
WhatsApp has supported stickers for a long time, but it has always been tedious to add a new pack if your friends didn't happen to send you a sticker from the desired collection via the chat app. The latest version of WhatsApp makes that easier with support for deep links, allowing you to add stickers to WhatsApp by simply tapping an address on your phone. For example, you can add the recently announced "Vaccines for All" pack via this link: https://wa.me/stickerpack/VaccinesForAll.
Signal was being really secretive about its open-source server code over the last year, and now we know why: the nonprofit has been working on a payments feature and didn't want to spill the beans ahead of the announcement. Starting now, people living in the United Kingdom can send and receive a cryptocurrency using Signal beta builds.
Signal has always been heralded as the security-aware alternative to WhatsApp and Co. due to its open-source nature, but the nonprofit behind the chat app hasn't always stuck to its original open-source promises. While it regularly publishes the code of its client apps, Signal failed to update the Github repository for its server for almost a year, as reported by German publication Golem — though earlier today, the company pushed out an update with a more recent release.
Telegram only recently gained huge momentum thanks to people switching from WhatsApp due to the upcoming new terms of service, but the company isn't resting on its laurels. TestingCatalog took an extensive look at the latest Telegram Beta, version 7.5, and found quite a few forthcoming changes: The update introduces widgets, QR codes for joining groups, and options for reporting content.
Microsoft has been offering a free, restricted version of Microsoft Teams since 2018, but it never really felt like a tool you'd use to organize your family or personal events — it was mainly targeted at freelancers and small teams. After a year worth of work and an announcement during its big Microsoft 365 reveal, the Redmond company is now ready to unleash a preview version of Microsoft Teams on consumers. As soon as it's rolled out, anyone can sign up for it, but you'll only be able to take full advantage of the service when you're a Microsoft 365 subscriber.
Ah, WhatsApp. It's a Facebook-owned chat client with more than 5 billion installs on Android and has been quite stubbornly behind the curve on bringing on a dark mode of some sort. The first hint of it came in 2018, then came a couple more signalslast year, but it's now 2020 and we've still had no reason to pull out our Simon & Garfunkel jokes. Well, good news at last: the latest beta will finally let you give dark mode a spin.