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Articles Tagged:

messages

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Android Messages v3.1 continues toward Android Messages for Web, a GIF browser, and Google account linking [APK Teardown]

It's another busy Wednesday as Google rolls out an update to the Android Messages app. Version 3.1 doesn't appear to have any functional or visual changes, but there are some interesting details about things to come. The upcoming web chat interface is still in progress, but it's sporting a slightly different name than when we last discussed it. There's a GIF browser in the works for those that don't have one in their keyboard. And there may be some new features destined for Android Messages that will be able to benefit from connecting a Google account. We're still watching for any live changes, so let us know if you stumble across anything interesting!

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Android Messages v3.0 drops KitKat support, prepares notification improvements, more on purchases and enhanced chat features [APK Teardown]

Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices. There are also clues about changes to notifications about pictures and videos, enhanced chat features, and making purchases.

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Alexa gets Follow-up Mode to listen to consecutive requests, and enables calling and messaging on tablets

Every few weeks, Amazon adds a couple of features to its Echo line-up or Alexa app, and today is no different. Rolling out now are two changes: a Follow-Up Mode for Echo speakers and the option to make calls, send messages, and drop in from tablets.

Starting with Follow-Up Mode, this can be activated on a device basis only for US English, and lets you ask other questions to your Echo without repeating the wake word "Alexa." The way this works is after Alexa answers your first request, the blue indicator light on the Echo remains active for a few seconds, waiting to see if you have any more questions, then turns off.

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Instagram starts showing activity status in direct messages

In its quest to become the only app where you share photos, moments, and messages, Instagram is adding one new feature to its direct messages: activity status. Just like you'd see when a person was last active on WhatsApp or Telegram or plenty of other messaging services, now you can do the same on Instagram and chide them for not replying with "oohs" and "aahs" to the preettay pic of a sunset that you just posted or the kissy face you messaged directly to them. Or you know, there's one more way to track every online activity of your significant other and get many more proofs and reasons to pick a fight over "Are you still checking out your ex on Instagram?"

I guess this kind of feature isn't for me since I never started an Instagram DM with anyone, like eveeer, and my latest reply to anyone was about 16 weeks ago.

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SMS Backup & Restore changes hands again, sold by Carbonite to SyncTech

SMS Backup & Restore is a well-known app in these parts, especially among those of us that have to (or choose to) swap devices frequently. Just last year, the app was picked up by Carbonite, and with the purchase came a nice visual overhaul. But now it appears that Carbonite had decided to hand the app off of SyncTech, an Australian company. 

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VSCO rolls out Messages, because every image sharing platform needs a built-in messenger

It's like there's a recipe for image sharing social networks: 1) launch the service with some hook to make it special against the thousands of other competitors, 2) wait until there are enough uses and add a messenger so people can talk to each other without ever leaving your app, 3) launch a Snapchat-like auto-destruct feature, 4) separate all 3 features into their own standalone apps. VSCO has graduated from step 1 to step 2.

Yup, VSCO is rolling out Messages, so you can talk to all those VSCOers out there and not feel alone in your VSCO world. It's described as "a new way to connect, share inspiration, and learn from other creators in the VSCO community," which sounds inspiring, but all it is is an easy way to share photos, journals, other profiles, and DSCOs (animated images) with others.

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[Update: Money transfers & Duo calling are live] Android Messages v2.7 prepares to add new message indicators and RCS support for dual-SIM phones, drops 6 MB in size [APK Teardown]

It's time for a new version of Android Messages. The latest update takes a slightly larger than average jump from v2.5 to v2.7, but no obvious changes to the UI are really popping out. However, the apk did get much smaller with this release, and there are some things visible through the lens of a teardown. We'll keep watching for other changes, but let us know if you see anything.

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Google's Android Messages app hits 100 million downloads

Google has a long and often complicated history with messaging. For a time, there was no core Android SMS app while Google dabbled with SMS in Hangouts. Well, the Nexus 6 debuted with the Messenger app, later renamed Android Messages. Hangouts has since lost SMS capabilities, and now the Messages app has hit 100 million downloads in the Play Store.

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Android Messages v2.5 removes the FAB for new conversations, prepares to launch video calls, read QR codes, and exchange money [APK Teardown]

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." That's a famous quote by the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Nobody knew it at the time, but he had been sent back from the future and was actually making a snarky comment about Google's approach to design. It was only about two years ago when every app was adding FABs (floating action buttons) regardless of how much or little they made sense, and now we're saying an abrupt goodbye to the one in Android Messages as it vanishes with the latest update. Alongside that simple change, a teardown also turns up signs that the app will soon provide shortcuts to launch video calls, exchange money with contacts, and read QR codes.

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"OK Google, send a Google Voice message" command is coming soon to help those with Google Voice numbers

Some of you exclusively use their Google Voice (GV) numbers, some have differentiated between friends and colleagues by giving their regular number and GV number separately to each set of contacts, and some might use the GV number occasionally for a few contacts only. Regardless of your case, sending texts from that GV number has been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to Android Auto, Android Wear, and Assistant. But that should be fixed soon.

As explained by several complaining users in this support thread, if you have a Google Voice number and you set it as the default SMS number in Hangouts then set Hangouts as your default SMS app, when you're using Android Auto and you say, "OK Google, send a text," the command will forego your defaults and just issue a regular SMS text through your carrier number.

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