Android signs up for official default setting for texting

The underlying code that powers Android text messaging is about to get a makeover, and that could have far-reaching changes for how people text each other on Android 4.4 KitKat and beyond.

For non-developers, the changes will be practically unnoticeable. As the screenshot above indicates, soon you'll be able to choose a default SMS (Short Message Service) app through the Android operating system itself. Currently, the SMS app developer must make it an option in the app's settings.

The changes to how KitKat will handle text messaging involve altering its application programming interfaces. Google said in an … Read more

Google's Hangouts for Android could get text-message support

It looks like Google's Hangouts app could soon absorb new communications abilities with integration of text and picture messaging, according to screenshots and a report that surfaced Monday.

Hangouts originally debuted as a video chat tool for Google+, but Google built into it the instant-messaging ability that formerly shipped in the Google Talk app for Android. Now it's possible that SMS and MMS services also could be built in, according to a report at Android Police.

Google has promised SMS integration into Hangouts, so the biggest question about the feature was when and how it would arrive.

The … Read more

How to view Messages time stamps on iOS 7

One of the most annoying things about messaging on iOS is the lack of true time stamps for messages. It felt as if iOS would randomly place a time stamp throughout a conversation, but there was no obvious pattern. Because the time stamp was so random, it was very difficult to go back and view when a message was sent or received mid-conversation.

Someone at Apple finally was able to convince the powers that be to time-stamp every message in the Messages app. Can I get a "Huzzah!"?

To view a time stamp for a message, open the … Read more

Twilio adds Picture Messaging service for developers' apps

Twilio, a startup with a platform for developing cloud-based communications apps, today announced Picture Messaging, a feature that enables developers to build mobile apps that let users send images.

The service, which utilizes multimedia messaging system, or MMS, will initially allow end users to send pictures via short codes -- generally five-digit numbers accessed on mobile devices -- in the United States, and full phone numbers in Canada. Given that Twilio has been gradually expanding its platform globally, Picture Messaging could well expand to other countries in the future.

Today, of course, most wireless carriers allow users to send pictures … Read more

Secure SMS app Wickr finally hits Android

Wickr isn't the only encrypted text messaging app around, but it does provide a hard-to-replicate level of protection for your texts. Previously for iOS only, it launched Monday in beta on Android.

The app's argument is simple: its San Francisco-based makers claim that Wickr, now cross-platform between Android and iOS, provides the most secure text messaging apparatus currently available. It uses AES-256, RSA-4096, ECDH-521, Transport Layer Security, and SHA-256 to encode data while it's being stored on a server and while being transferred between devices.

Nico Sell, a Wickr co-founder, doesn't hesitate to talk about her … Read more

Review: Color SMS creates colorful text messages for your messaging app in iOS

Color SMS is designed to provide a feature that the iPhone does not -- colorful, multistyle text messages that anyone can see. The app works in this way, but the process of making it happen, combined with a sometimes frustrating interface, can make it hard to get the results you want quickly enough to be useful.

When you first start Color SMS, you'll receive a message that outlines several steps you must take before the app will work. If you close this message, the app will seem to work but may not display the text properly when sent to … Read more

SMS, emoji, and an iPhone in the restroom: Thank you, Katy Perry

The first time I received an emoji, it was of an angry bald man.

It was followed by one of a smiley face, with one eye closed and its tongue hanging out.

I assumed this was some sort of encouragement to mingle intimately. I also assumed this was very modern.

Though it's hard these days to judge which music is modern, I know now with certainty that Katy Perry is no Drunken Uncle Rick of the music world.

For she has just released a music video in which all the words are in SMS and emoji.… Read more

Report unwanted messages sent from iMessage

Spam is nothing new. But if you are getting spam when using Apple's iMessage service, you can help tackle the problem. Apple has implimented means for you to report iMessage spam. To do this, you will simply need to take a screenshot of the spam message, and send the image to Apple in an email.

The steps for doing so are relatively simply, and only require you to take the screenshot on your Mac or your iOS device and then include the shot in an email attachment. Apple has outlined this process in a recent knowledgebase article.

With the … Read more

BlackBerry 10 users: Update ate our text messages

BlackBerry users seem to be struggling with missing messages in the wake of the latest OS update.

Following installation of a new maintenance release for BB OS 10.1, many users say their text messages have vanished, blog site N4BB reported on Wednesday. Others say the messages appear but the message thread shows no history, while some say that text messaging no longer works at all.

Several tweets uncovered by The Next Web reveal the problem among BlackBerry smartphone owners.

"A small number of customers have reported an issue with their SMS message history after updating to BlackBerry 10.… Read more

Mobile malware grows by 614 percent in last year

Mobile malware creators and smartphone makers seem to be in a neck-and-neck software race, but new data shows that the malware creators could be taking the lead.

Juniper Networks released its third annual Mobile Threat Report on Tuesday and the findings aren't pretty. Mobile malware grew at a rate of 614 percent from March 2012 to March 2013 -- that's equal to 276,259 malicious apps floating around out there. Last year, the increase was a mere 155 percent.

The report is based on an analysis of more than 1.85 million mobile apps and vulnerabilities across major … Read more