Instagram steals from Snapchat for new Threads app

By

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

By

Siri
Siri is about to get a lot more useful.
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

By

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

By

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.

Apple ‘in discussions’ over bringing RCS messaging to iOS

By

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.

WhatsApp finally adds support for stickers

By

WhatsApp stickers
Lookout! The ads are coming.
Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging platforms on the planet, and it has somehow gone without support for stickers — until now!

Some users now have the ability to send and receive stickers, and the rest will be able to enjoy the same functionality on both Android and iOS in the coming weeks. A selection of sticker packs from WhatsApp own designers are available, and third-party packs are coming soon.

Telegram now securely stores your most important documents

By

Telegram Passport secure document storage
Telegram Passport wants to be the go-to authorization service.
Photo: Telegram

Secure messaging app Telegram now lets you save copies of your most important documents so that you always have them with you.

Telegram Passport can hold your driving license, passport, other forms of ID, and more — and promises to protect them with end-to-end encryption. You can then use those documents to prove who you are when logging into other services.

Popular messaging app Telegram has been banned in Russia

By

Telegram flames
Telegram wouldn't have over encryption keys to authorities.
Photo: Telegram/Cult of Mac

A Russian court has ordered that the Telegram messaging app should be blocked in the country. This is due to the company’s refusal to give Russian state security services the encryption keys to access messages sent using the service.

Russia’s FSB Federal Security service argued that it needs to be able to access the messages to safeguard against terrorist attacks. However, Telegram refused to comply with the demands for reasons of user privacy.