Slack voice calls give you another reason to ditch Skype

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Cult of Mac runs on Slack. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You can now make calls on Slack.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The popular messaging platform Slack is ready to go from text-only to providing voice calls for teams that use the service to communicate.

Starting today, paying teams using the iOS, Mac and Chrome apps will be able to make group calls, giving you one less reason to keep Skype installed on your Mac.

WeChat is the messaging app that’s more like a mobile OS

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China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Now that I use WeChat, I don’t need much else when it comes to social media apps. In fact, WeChat has almost entirely replaced text messaging in China. I am able to link up with other WeChat users through their username without providing a telephone number, so it is a great platform for communicating with new acquaintances or people I am working with.

I have hundreds of WeChat contacts, but only a handful of telephone numbers in my iPhone. The app also recently introduced group video messaging and has an extensive WeChat Wallet service (similar to Zhifubao) available to Chinese bank account holders.

Cola is the smart messaging platform that makes life easier

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Cola is getting even smarter with help from third parties.
Cola is getting even smarter with help from third parties.
Photo: Cola

We could all use a personal assistant who’s there to make life that little bit easier, and thanks to Cola, the world’s first smart messaging OS, we can all have one.

Cola is designed to take care of all the small but important things you have to do throughout your day, like arranging meetings and managing to-do lists. And for the first time, it’s opening up to third-party services to become even more powerful.

Popular messaging app blocked in Iran after creator refuses to turn spy

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Photo: Quixotic54/Flickr CC
Lotf Allah Mosque, Iran.
Photo: Photo: Quixotic54/Flickr CC

The maker of Telegram, a popular messaging app, has had his creation blocked in Iran on the grounds that he refused to help authorities to spy on their own citizens.

Creator Pavel Durov said that Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology asked him to provide them with “spying and censorship tools” for the service. When he refused, Telegram was quickly given the boot.