| Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger Kids expands its reach, adds new features

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Facebook-Messenger-Kids
Download it from the App Store today.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook Messenger Kids, the free chat app designed specifically for your little ones, on Wednesday expanded its reach to more than 70 new markets and added a number of helpful new features.

It’s now possible for parents to give kids control over their contacts (if they wish), and for kids to join approved groups. The changes come at a time when many children are out of school and unable to see friends.

Facebook’s brand-new Messenger app available to all on Mac

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Facebook-Messenger-Mac
Grab it now from the Mac App Store.
Photo: Facebook

The all-new Facebook Messenger app for macOS made its official Mac App Store debut on Thursday at a perfect time for those working and interacting more from home.

Messenger for the desktop first appeared in early March, almost a year after Facebook announced it at its F8 conference, but was then on offer in only a handful of countries. It is now open to all — and free to download.

Facebook Messenger has a brand-new app for Mac

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Facebook-Messenger-Mac
It's finally here, almost a year after it was confirmed.
Photo: Mac Generation

A brand-new Facebook Messenger app has finally landed on Mac. It gives users the ability to more easily keep on top of their conversations across different devices, and it supports a whole host of useful Messenger features — including group video chat.

You might not be able to download it where you live just yet, however.

Facebook Messenger for iOS goes light and fast

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Facebook Messenger video chat includes augmented reality.
Not all of the silly features were stripped out of Facebook Messenger.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook shrunk the size of its Messenger app, and stripped out some features, intending to make it faster to load and simpler to navigate.

Some of the missing features will be back, though.

Facebook Messenger could protect your messages with Face ID

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Face ID
An extra layer of protection for your messages.
Photo: Apple

Facebook Messenger could soon add Face ID support to protect your conversations from nosy neighbors.

The feature would prevent access to Messenger until it is first unlocked with your face. It seems like a useful addition to the app for the security-conscious, but it’s still in development for now.

Apple forces popular VoIP apps to be rewritten to protect user privacy

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Facebook Messenger on an iPad
Facebook Messenger is fun, chatty... and always running in the background whether you’re using it or not. Always.
Photo: Facebook

A change in iOS 13 that limits what applications can do when running in the background will force a rewrite of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other apps that offer voice calls.

While these developers will be inconvenienced, the goal is to increase the battery lives and performance of all iOS devices. The change will also make iPhones and iPads more secure.

Facebook Messenger now lets you unsend messages, but be quick!

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Facebook Messenger unsend
It’s about time!
Photo: Facebook

Facebook Messenger is finally giving users the ability to unsend messages.

The feature had previously been exclusive to Facebook executives, but now it’s rolling out to everyone in the latest version of the app. You’ll have to act fast to remove accidental messages, though — and don’t think that you’ll be able to completely hide your tracks.

Zuckerberg explains benefits of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger

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facebook-logo-file
It won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — but says it probably won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.

In a fourth-quarter earnings call this week, Zuckerberg also explained the reasons behind the plan, such as increased security with end-to-end encryption. Many questions still remain unanswered, however.