Facebook creates experimental messaging app only for Apple Watch

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kip
Kit's interface is very simple.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook launched an experimental new app today that aims to make it easier to message friends and family from your wrist while stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new app, called Kit, short for “Keep in touch”, only works on Apple Watch. Kit can be used to send voice messages, your location, emoji and more all with just a few quick taps.

Instagram DMs are coming to the web

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instagram
Facebook is focused on owning messaging.
Photo: Instagram

Chatting with your friends on Instagram is coming soon to a desktop computer near you.

Instagram revealed today that it is testing a new feature that allows users to access their Instagram DMs through the company’s website. For now, the feature is only being tested with a small percentage of users, but it might be available to everyone later this year.

Instagram steals from Snapchat for new Threads app

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Threads
Instagram has yet another standalone app.
Photo: Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram launched a new standalone app today that pretty much steals some of Snapchat’s key features.

Threads, rolling out globally to iOS today, is built around Instagram’s Close Friends feature, giving you a quicker way to message the people you care about on Insta the most.

Apple will soon let Siri default to third-party messaging, phone apps

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will roll out a software update later this year that eases some of the Siri restrictions for third-party messaging and phone apps.

Siri currently defaults to using Apple’s own apps when sending messages and making calls. But it will later default to the services that are used most frequently, based on specific contacts.

Valve brings brand new Steam Chat app to mobile

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Steam Chat app for mobile
Download it today to stay in touch.
Photo: Valve

Valve now offers a standalone Steam Chat app for Android and iOS.

The free download lets gamers stay in touch with friends on the move. It boasts all the messaging features you’re used to in Steam, including group chat, customizable notifications, and more. But one thing’s missing.

Zuckerberg explains benefits of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger

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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.

Apple ‘in discussions’ over bringing RCS messaging to iOS

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Messages replay
Is Messages due for a big upgrade on iOS?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is said to be “in discussions” over adding Rich Communications Services (RCS) to iOS.

The upgrade to traditional text messaging would allow for some iMessage features — like read receipts and typing indicators — when talking to friends who use Android and other platforms.