Armed with RCS, Google Messages is the current face of the company's longstanding quest for a worthy messaging app. While the multipurpose SMS app now has the features to rival the likes of WhatsApp, it still fails in one key area — staying on top of mounting SMS spam. That’s especially true when the sources are verified business accounts that have been hassling scores of Indian users lately with spammy in-chat advertisements within Google Messages.
Some people speak faster than others. Some listen faster than others. If the discrepancy gets on your nerves, specifically when you're listening to a voice message someone left you in WhatsApp, you might want to hop on the beta channel. The option to increase playback speed (as seen in some podcast managers) is now rolling out to beta users.
Late last year WhatsApp added the option to force your messages to disappear, a la Telegram. At the time the only setting was for the messages to vanish after 7 days, but according to a leak uncovered by some fanatical fans of the platform, that choice will soon be expanding. An upcoming version of the feature with an additional 24-hour option was spotted in development.
If you're a frequent user of WhatsApp, you may want to keep an eye on a disturbing hole discovered in its security this weekend. It's possible for an attacker to completely suspend your WhatsApp account, without any recourse for the individual user, and all they need is your phone number. At the time of writing there's no solution for this issue.
Your phone and its associated number are always with you, and only you, so it makes sense that a text message sent to you is a solid secondary method for authenticating a login. But savvy tech users know this method of verification is rife for exploitation: SIM jacking, SS7 attacks, and other hacking methods are now common. A recent investigation showed that it's possible to perform similar attacks with readily-available marketing tools, with the victim none the wiser.
The slow, painful stagnation of Google's call forwarding service continues. An update to the support text for Google Voice says that soon SMS forwarding for Google Voice will no longer operate. That will leave the Google Voice app, on your phone or the web, as the only place that they're visible. Google says that carriers are beginning to block these messages, which is, indeed, something we've observed over the last few weeks.
It's been almost exactly a year since the last time we saw leaked screenshots of an encrypted cloud backup feature for WhatsApp. Today we see a more fleshed-out version of that tool, offering a password protected backup of your messages that uploads to Google Drive on Android and iCloud on iOS. Unfortunately, there's still no indication of when it's actually going to go live.
There are a bunch of ways to access text messages from a desktop, including solutions from Google and Microsoft. And you know Samsung: once lots of other companies do something, it just has to have its own proprietary solution, too. Now we're getting early signs of a Samsung Messaging app hanging out in the Microsoft Store, which describes itself as a way to send and receive texts from your phone in Windows.
Duo and Google Messages are among the best communication apps Google has ever released, so it's no surprise that they're incredibly popular even among people whose phones ship without Google apps. Unfortunately, it looks like those uncertified phones might soon not be able to run Duo and Messages anymore. XDA Developers and 9to5Google have uncovered strings that reveal that the apps will soon stop working on unsupported devices.
Many Android fans believe in a sort of holy grail: That iMessage can somehow be brought to Android. Almost everything else when moving from iOS to Android has a workaround, an app, or some way to accommodate it, though iMessage remains an Apple-controlled platform exclusive with a dominating presence in the US market. But a new app formally launching today called Beeper aims to change that, delivering not just iMessage for Android, but a single unified messaging app for all your other services, too, like Telegram, Slack, Signal, Twitter DMs, Discord, Hangouts, and even IRC.