Confide app erases your text messages after they're read

Want to make sure that private text message you sent about your new job interview doesn't get seen by your boss? A new iOS app promises to bump it off in the nick of time.

Popping up in the App Store on Wednesday, Confide is a free message-deleting IM app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. You can send text messages to any e-mail address, either by choosing someone from your contact list or manually entering the address.

To read your message, however, your recipient must also sign up for a Confide account and download the app. Viewing … Read more

Using Google Glass with MyGlass for iOS

On Tuesday, Google released its latest firmware update to Google Glass. Bringing the software version to XE12, a long list of features were included in the update. Full Hangouts support, a lock screen, YouTube uploading, and the ability to snap a photo by winking are all pretty big features. But there's one feature that's sure to make many Glass Explorers, and would-be Explorers, happy: iOS compatibility.

In the past Glass owners who refused to switch over to Android were forced to give up two pretty big features of Glass. The first was the ability to send text messages … Read more

Four funky Android keyboards

There's no denying that Swype, SwiftKey, and the standalone Google Keyboard are great standard keyboards for typing on your Android phone. But if you've grown bored of the typical typing experience, hoping instead for something that's unique or challenging, you've got a few options.

I looked at the smattering of keyboards in Google Play and rounded up four funky apps that harmoniously meld features, functionality, and design into a keyboard that not only looks cool, but also gets the job done.

Minuum ($3.99) This minimal keyboard, released in 2013, takes up one row on your … Read more

Instagram gets intimate with private photos

CNET Update has no filter:

In this episode of CNET Update:

- Send photos privately on Instagram with a new direct messaging feature. Twitter also added the ability to send photos in a direct message. Sending messages with apps instead of SMS is a hot trend right now with a younger crowd, especially with apps like Kik, Line and Snapchat.

- See all images in Gmail by default on the desktop. The feature will roll out to apps next year.

- Prepare for the coming of the first Steam Machines. The console for PC games is releasing 300 units to beta testers. … Read more

Getting started with Instagram Direct

Early on Thursday Instagram announced a new feature called Instagram Direct. The new feature allows users to privately share photos or videos with up to 15 people. Obviously this is a new direction for Instagram, as previously sharing a photo was an all-or-nothing act.

Before you can access Instagram Direct you'll need to download the update, version 5.0, from the Play Store or App Store.

All right, with that out of the way, let's begin.

Your inbox

You can access your Instagram Direct inbox by tapping on the mailbox icon in the top-right corner. This is where … Read more

Kik rides teen interest to 100M users

The company behind the mobile messaging app Kik announced Thursday that it now has more than 100 million registered users, which is more than triple the number it had just one year ago. The app is signing on as many as 250,000 new people each day, CEO Ted Livingston told CNET.

Launched in 2010, Kik makes a messaging application for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone -- and BlackBerry unofficially. It was the BlackBerry app that initially helped Kik get off the ground in the early days. But after a legal tumble with BlackBerry, the Ontario-based company decided to focus exclusively … Read more

Instagram treks into well-worn territory with direct messages

A little unsolicited advice to tech companies wanting to hold an event: Bring something at least moderately interesting or new to the table.

Otherwise, you end up like Instagram, which on Thursday unveiled Instagram Direct, its take on the direct and instant messaging feature that's available on virtually every other major service. The moment was, to say the least, disappointing.

Instagram, a unit of Facebook, is just the latest company to focus on upping its one-to-one messaging capabilities after building its business and customer base on its social turf. Founder Kevin Systrom spoke of Instagram as more than a … Read more

You're now free to iMessage about the cabin

Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that it will begin offering passengers with iOS devices the ability to use iMessage, Apple's proprietary messaging system, from gate to gate.

The new service, which will be available to anyone with a device running iOS 5 or later, will cost $2, and work throughout the flight. Southwest is partnering with Global Eagle Entertainment to offer the connectivity.

The airline said it plans to expand the service to Android devices next year.

Southwest offers passengers in-flight Wi-Fi for $8, but it clearly feels that some people want to stay connected with friends, co-workers, or family, … Read more

Cute overload: Line messaging app hits 300 million users

Inexplicably, the world craves more kawaii cute characters.

The dizzying ascent of Japanese messaging app Line has marked another milestone, notching 300 million registered users worldwide, executives told a press conference in Tokyo.

The app, which is drenched in horrifyingly cute cartoon critters, passed 200 million users back in July. It has doubled its number of users since late April, just seven months. … Read more

Majority of Snapchat users are women, its CEO says

For Snapchat, which specializes in the trafficking of vanishing images, women have materialized as its core user base.

About 70 percent of the photo-sharing app's users are women, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said during a closed-door Goldman Sachs conference on Wednesday, according to a Wall Street Journal account of the meeting. Spiegel also told attendees that users of his startup's app are now sending 400 million "snaps" a day on the send-it-and-forget-it photo and video messaging service, which deletes content after a few seconds.

The 23-year-old chief executive also said that half of Snapchat's users … Read more