Handy new app turns Notification Center into messaging machine

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Select a pre-written message and send it straight from Notification Center.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

“I’m leaving” is a message I probably send way too often, but not as often as “I’m here.” It’s just become routine whenever I’m making plans or picking someone up. It’s not necessarily a burden, but it’d be a nice luxury to be able to quickly send friends these repeat messages automatically to save a little bit of time. You’re smart so I bet you know where I’m going with this.

Yes, Written is a new app for iPhone that lets you write out five of your most commonly used phrases and save them for easy access in Notification Center. Then when you pull down the Today view from the top, you see the Written widget with your five messages. Tap one to send it along to your favorite contacts. It works with the Messages app and even WhatsApp.

Yes, Google can wiretap your Hangouts for the government

This text isn't the only message that's insecure. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac
This text isn't the only message that's insecure. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking to plan a heist, you’d probably best stay clear of Hangouts: Google has inadvertently confirmed that its chat platform is susceptible to police and government monitoring.

While the tech giant usually keeps quiet about Hangouts’ security features, the revelation (of sorts) came out of an “Ask Me Anything” session Friday on Reddit that included members of Google’s public policy department and legal team. Its proposed topic was “the current status of U.S. government surveillance law reform and how Google thinks about these issues,” but the questions were less about laws or reform and more about Google’s practices.

iMessage and FaceTime just got a lot harder to hack


iMessages are safer from the NSA. Photo: Apple
Your iMessages are now safer from the hackers. Photo: Apple

Apple is making iMessage and FaceTime harder to hack by turning on two-step verification for both services in an effort to tighten security for iOS and Mac users.

The extra security goes into effect today and gives users an extra layer of protection against hackers or anyone else trying to log in to your iMessage account to either impersonate you or steal data.