According to a report in the New York Times, Facebook is in the early stages of merging the backend of its three popular messaging apps. WhatsApp and Instagram — both acquired by Facebook after independent success — and the separated Messenger app will share the same infrastructure by the end of 2019 or early next year. Read More
There has been a whirlwind of rumors around Google's messaging strategy over the past few days. First we heard that Hangouts might be shutting down, with a Google product lead refuting the claims, then a report came out that Allo is also shutting down. Google has now published a blog post to set the record straight, and it seems the rumors were mostly true. Read More
The sensation that is Fortnite landed on Android just two days ago, but it was set to be a Samsung exclusive for a "few days." That nebulously defined period is now over, and the application now runs on non-Samsung devices, but there is a catch: You still can't actually play it unless you got an invite. Read More
After the U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE from importing US-made components, due to the company violating an agreement it made in 2017, ZTE shut down most operations while it fought to lift the ban. Earlier this month, Trump announced he wanted to help ZTE, as part of negotiating a trade deal with China. Read More
After years of on and off discussions, it's finally happening: T-Mobile and Sprint are merging. The two companies have released official statements, confirming the merger will finally happen and how it will work. The merger will be an all-stock transaction, with Sprint valued at $59 billion and T-Mobile at $146 billion. Read More
According to a source familiar with the company's plans, T-Mobile executive and retail lead Jon Freier is communicating to the company's stores that a stop sale order for the Galaxy Note7 has been issued, effective immediately. T-Mobile stores will not be allowed to swap defective units for replacement, and will no longer sell the alleged "safe" version of the Note7. Store employees are being directed not to fulfill customer requests to purchase the phone unless they were actively occurring during the receipt of the stop order. Read More
AT&T, speaking to The Verge, has confirmed the US's second-largest mobile operator will no longer sell the Galaxy Note7 smartphone because of recent incidents with units catching fire (i.e., on planes). AT&T did not provide any window as to when or if sales might resume, but you can probably assume the halt is indefinite, contingent upon the result of Samsung and various agencies' investigations. Bloomberg reported AT&T was considering the move on Friday.
AT&T will no longer provide "safe" replacements to owners of the original defective Note7, either. Customers coming in with a Note7 eligible for the first recall will have to choose another device. Read More
We know, we know, there are only a few more hours until the Google event, but details about the Pixel phones just keep on spilling. Our latest peeks come courtesy of Verizon Enterprises, which, as you can probably tell from the name, sells smartphones and plans to businesses, and prolific tech leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks). On Verizon's site, both Pixel and Pixel XL listings showed up on the "SmartPhones" page, but they didn't lead to any live listings; however, there's still some info we've gleaned. Read More
Just a few hours ago, Google started the rollout for the first of its two new messaging apps, Duo. For me and some of us here, the Play Store listing still shows "Pre-Registration," but this is the typical Google way. As a refresher, Google is releasing the dynamic messaging duo (ha) to compete in this mobile-first market. Both the text-based Allo and the video-based Duo will be tied to a phone number instead of a Google account. This, obviously, directly contests with Hangouts, Google's all-in-one messaging platform, and is more in line with services like WhatsApp.
Earlier, Google announced that they would be transitioning Hangouts On Air into YouTube Live, separating the feature from Google+. Read More