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YouTube Gaming v1.7 rolls out with improvements to chat and Android Nougat support, new easter egg [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app received an update yesterday, taking it to v1.7. Google has already posted the changelog and this release appears to be mostly about fixing up the chat experience. There are improvements to both the chat interface and the underlying code that drives it. There are supposed to be changes to better support Android 7.0 Nougat, although it's unclear what they are, and the typical assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements. Of course, with each new version comes a new easter egg.

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Allo's weird SMS support explained, and other answers

The burning question on everyone's mind when Allo was released - "can you send SMS?" The answer, as seemingly common with Google products, is "it's complicated." Allo-w me to explain the answer, and more of Allo's quirky behavior, below.

What happens when I send a text to someone without Allo?

When you tap a contact that has not yet registered for Google Allo, you are presented with the above message warning that you are sending messages through SMS. When you send a message, the recipient receives the following text from a random five-digit number (at least in my tests):

[Your full name] ([Your phone number]) added you on Google Allo to chat.

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Allo and Duo's new app icons are much nicer, more consistent with other Google products

After reading that title, you may already be thinking to yourself "but Google already changed the Allo and Duo icons once, didn't they?" And yes, they did, around two months ago. Those icons were, to put it gently, dull. To put it less than gently? They kind of sucked. I can't think of a single app on the Play Store published by Google that incorporates the product wordmark into the icon aside from Android Pay and Google+, and the latter is arguable.

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Weekend poll: do you think Google Allo should replace Hangouts?

Google Allo is scheduled for a summer release, and recent changes to the app's iconography on the Play Store have brought back discussions on just what purpose the app really serves. With Hangouts probably being one of the most oft-derided Google products in existence, a replacement - even though Allo isn't technically replacing Hangouts - might be welcome. Or it might not: many Hangouts users would rather Google revamp that platform with Allo-like features instead of just releasing yet another chat app. How Allo and Hangouts will coexist remains unclear at this point - will Hangouts languish as Allo becomes Google's favored chat platform?

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Snapchat 9.27 Weaves Together Text, Photos, Audio, Video, And GIFs For Chat 2.0

Snapchat isn't merely an app you open up to take photos that will probably get you in trouble someday. It's also a place to have conversations that you will ultimately regret. But at least with version 9.27, you're likely to enjoy that conversation more than you would before.

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Skype Comes To OneDrive So You Can Chat While You Pretend To Work

Have you ever wanted to chat with your buddies at work but were afraid of what your boss might say if they caught you slacking off? Then you're in luck, because Microsoft has got your back: Skype is now fully integrated into OneDrive, so you can finally gossip and send emoji and still look entirely professional while doing so.

Of course, that's not really the point of having a Skype sidebar built into your company's revenue spreadsheet for last quarter: Microsoft is selling the concept as a means of boosting productivity and letting coworkers collaborate in real time on documents. Each chat history even stays connected to its respective document, so it's always easy to search back and find what you were looking for.

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Riot Games Releases League Friends, An Official Messaging App For The Mega-Popular League Of Legends PC Game

If you don't know what League of Legends is, then you don't spend enough time on Twitch (which is to say that you spend an entirely appropriate amount of time on Twitch). It's one of the biggest games in the ballooning "MOBA" genre, a combination of multiplayer team-based combat and top-down RPG sensibilities that's thrived on a PC-exclusive, free-to-play model. Thanks to League of Legends' highly competitive and social setup, it's become one of the spectacle events around the new boom in professional-level video game competition.

That being the case, it's easy to see why some of the most obsessive players might want to keep track of their league and other game friends for every second of the day.

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Facebook Messenger's Multiple Accounts Are Official On Android, Privacy Features Included

Earlier this month, we reported the news that Facebook seemed to be testing multiple account support in its Messenger application on Android. The feature had been turned on for beta testers and some non-beta testers as well, likely to iron out some quirks and bugs before being officially rolled out to everyone.

Now Facebook is ready to make the feature available for all. The Messenger team announced that multiple accounts are now live on Android under Settings > Accounts, and explained that this should make it easier for multiple members of the same family to use a single device to access all of their chats.

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WSJ: Google Is Building Another Messaging Service... With Chatbots [And Blackjack, And Hookers]

Google, for all its skill in the realms of mobile search, advertising, email, and even operating systems, has never been particularly good at the social thing. Even now, I suspect, someone at Google is fuming at the notion that the company "isn't very good" at messaging or social networks and pointing animatedly at the tens of millions of Google+ and Hangouts users. The problem is and has always been that for whatever success Google has had in social and messaging platforms, it is constantly undercut by the actions of Google itself that say otherwise. There is near-yearly reworking, redesigning, or branching off of these products in ways that very strongly suggest they aren't getting the results Google's Alphabet overlords consider acceptable.

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Sony Releases PlayStation Messages To The Play Store, Decouples It From The PlayStation App

PlayStation gamers have access to a complementary Android app that allows them to send new game downloads to their console remotely, use as a second-screen on some titles, and get social with other PlayStation members. The latter feature has now been cut from the main app and is getting released as a standalone PlayStation Messages client.

Messages is actually better designed than the full app, with a clean Material layout to view your current and favorite chats, check your friends list, see what they're playing, and interact with everyone. You can send texts and voice messages, attach photos and themed stickers, brag about your progress and scores, and more.

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