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WhatsApp Messenger is one of the best chat apps

WhatsApp Messenger (iPhone|Android) lets you chat for free with anyone else who owns the app and offers a few extra useful features to make text messaging more fun. With this chat app installed on your smartphone, you'll save a little money on text charges through your carrier and across platforms. The only catch is that you'll have to persuade your most frequent texting buddies to download the app, too, but once they see WhatsApp's advantages, they'll probably give it a try.

Like iMessage for iOS, WhatsApp Messenger shows your chats in little text bubbles, gives … Read more

WhatsApp Messenger is one of the best chat apps

Editors' note, February 19, 2014: This review has been updated with information from Facebook's announcement that it acquired Whatsapp.

WhatsApp Messenger (iPhone|Android) lets you chat for free with anyone else who owns the app and offers a few extra useful features to make text messaging more fun. With this chat app installed on your smartphone, you'll save a little money on text charges through your carrier and across platforms. The only catch is that you'll have to persuade your most frequent texting buddies to download the app, too, but once they see WhatsApp's advantages, they'… Read more

Foursquare raises $41M in debt deal with Silver Lake, others

Foursquare has been able to raise a whopping $41 million, but the funding hasn't come in the form you might expect.

The company announced the news today, saying the cash came from a host of well-known Silicon Valley investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and others. However, rather than give those firms equity, Foursquare raised the $41 million through a combination of tapping into the Silver Lake Waterman growth debt fund, as well as asking for convertible debt from the aforementioned investors, among others.

The cash raised helps Foursquare fund its growth and also aids the company in … Read more

How to find truly free wireless access

You're in the middle of a city park. You're at a rest stop on the side of the road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe you're simply in your living room. You turn on your computer and have instant, secure access to the Internet without requiring any network cables or log-ins -- or even any payment to an ISP.

Yeah, right.

Ubiquitous, free, and safe Internet access is a long, long way off, and many skeptics believe such a day will never arrive. The glass-half-full among us will point out that the number of people … Read more

Foursquare updates Android app with locale advice

Looking more and more like a local search and reviews site, Foursquare is launching a few brand new features with its Android update today.

The central new feature is popular places recommendations.

"When you're in a new city or neighborhood, Foursquare will show you popular places, sites, and must-see attractions," Foursquare wrote in a blog post today. "When you're on your home turf, we'll tell what spots are 'new and notable' -- places that have recently opened in your area."

This feature pops up in Android devices as soon as users open the … Read more

Find your car quickly and easily with this intuitive iPhone app

The age-old problem of "Where the heck did I leave my car?" may finally be over as a number of app developers use the built-in GPS feature in the iPhone to track and remind users where they left their vehicle. Car Finder Locator is just such an app and offers one of the more intuitive, attractive interfaces for GPS car locators currently on the market. The app is very easy to use, instantly activating the GPS locator on your phone and ascertaining your current location. Simply click the "Set new position" button to mark the location … Read more

Judge: We can't rely on what Apple tells court in privacy suit

Apple must detail for a court what it's doing to produce documents in a privacy suit, a judge ruled, saying he has already "refereed" this particular dispute and that he can no longer believe what the company tells him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued the order March 6 after the plaintiffs in the case accused Apple of withholding documents it had been ordered to turn over. He noted that while the plaintiffs "presented to the court little more than suspicions that Apple has withheld responsive documents," Apple provided enough evidence on its … Read more

Google curates points of interest with Field Trip for iPhone

Field Trip (Android|iPhone) helps you find out more about your current location by sending you notifications when you're near landmarks, restaurants, historical sites, and other noteworthy spots. The app draws information from several sources, including Arcadia, Historvius, Food Network, Zagat, Atlas Obscura, Daily Secret, and others to enrich your experience of locations you wouldn't know were uniquely interesting otherwise. You can use it as a personal tour guide or share interesting locales over Facebook and Twitter.

The app also lets you set the frequency of notifications from none to an Explore mode that gives you all the … Read more

Facebook said to develop new app for tracking friends

Facebook is developing a standalone application to help users find their friends in real life, according to a new report, marking the company's entry into a field that has plenty of competitors but has yet to yield a mainstream success.

Bloomberg reports that the app, which so far does not have a name, is expected to be released next month in time for South by Southwest. The app would track your location in the background, even when it hadn't been recently opened, and share that location with nearby friends.

Facebook has not responded to a request for comment.… Read more

Use Find My Friends to alert anyone of your location

Find My Friends is a handy app for families who want to keep tabs on each other. Of course it has a downside for couples who aren't always honest with each other, but that's to be expected.

Previously, I had shown you how to set up alerts for your Find My Friends contacts. Once set up, you'd receive an alert on your iOS device when they either arrived or left a location. But I neglected to show you how to send alerts to a Find My Friends contact, or to anyone else, regardless of if they have … Read more