Review: Gmail's latest relaunch brings great organization features and solid speed

Gmail is Google's default e-mail app, which means it matches most e-mail apps in terms of features, style, and organization. There's a reason it's the default on most Android gadgets. If your smartphone or tablet didn't come with it installed, there aren't many excuses to not have it, especially if you already have a Gmail address.

With Gmail you can organize multiple inboxes into one while adjusting categories, signatures, and notification sounds for each of them, separately. If you have Android 4.0 or higher, you can use Gmail's latest inbox settings, which organizes … Read more

How to disable SMS messages in Hangouts for Android

Version 2.0 of Google Hangouts for Android now has SMS/MMS integration, as promised by Google back in May. It finally began rolling out to users on Thursday, and the feature adds convenience for people who use text messaging and Hangouts by unifying the two into a single app.

The first time you launch Hangouts after the update, you're prompted to enable SMS in Hangouts or try it later. If you opted to give SMS in Hangouts a try, but still prefer using separate apps, you can disable the SMS integration.

On devices running Android 4.3 or … Read more

Hello Kitty: Japan's Line inks Sanrio deal to conquer US

A hit with mobile messengers in Asian countries, Line plans to introduce itself to the US market with the help of Sanrio and its beloved female Japanese bobtail cat Hello Kitty.

The Japan-based messaging and VoIP calling service, which launched in June 2011, has more than 280 million registered users. Line is credited with popularizing the now ubiquitous practice of sending digital stickers in messages to friends.

Line is sticking with its successful sticker formula -- it made around $27 million from stickers in the second quarter of 2013 -- to conquer new territory and will start hawking a Hello … Read more

Android, iOS spark 20 million new users for BBM

BlackBerry's messaging platform had a strong first week on Android and iOS.

The company announced on Tuesday that 20 million new users have signed up for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), bringing its total monthly active users to more than 80 million. According to BlackBerry, it defines monthly active users by those who "send or receive any data through the BBM service within a given 30-day period."

It's important to note that while BlackBerry's announcement was tied to last week's launch of BBM on Android and iOS, the company didn't say that those 20 million … Read more

How to receive DMs from any of your followers on Twitter

Last week, Twitter slowly started rolling out a new feature that allows users to receive a direct-message from anyone following them on Twitter. The current setting only allows users to send a direct-message to those who follow them, leaving a potential recipient without the option to send a DM back.

The new feature isn't on by default, as it requires you to specifically enable it via Twitter's Web site.

You'll need to visit your account settings to see if there's a new Messages option under the Content section. If the option isn't present in your … Read more

Apple reasserts claim it doesn't want to spy on your iMessages

Apple has said time and again in the wake of the NSA snooping scandal that it cannot read user iMessages. But new research has shown that it's theoretically possible.

Security firm QuarksLab on Thursday issued a white paper describing a method by which a hacker or Apple itself could access iMessages. The white paper states that Apple could intercept messages between sender and recipient and make them believe that their communication is secure. In order to do so, however, Apple would need to disrupt the encryption between communications and effectively change how iMessages works.

Back in June, Apple issued a statement on its siteRead more

Apple can read your iMessages, security firm says

In June, Apple said that communication over iMessage is protected by "end-to-end encryption," and so secure that even the company itself "cannot decrypt that data." But on Thursday, security researchers disputed that claim.

At the Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur, Quarkslab -- a Paris-based security firm -- presented findings that said people at Apple would in fact be able to decrypt messages, either because of a government request or on an employee's own accord, according to multiple reports.

"Apple's claim that they can't read end-to-end encrypted iMessage[s] is … Read more

Twitter said to be eyeing dedicated direct-messaging app

Twitter is in the process of revamping its handling of direct messages.

The company is currently deciding whether it should bring its direct-messaging platform to a standalone service or if it should surface it to make it more prominent in its existing offering, All Things Digital is reporting on Thursday, citing multiple people who claim to have knowledge of Twitter's plans.

Twitter has been quietly making changes to its direct messages over the last several months. Earlier this year, Twitter started testing a feature that would let users send direct messages as long as they followed the recipient. That … Read more

New Nike FuelBand boasts better tracking

CNET Update will Fuel you:

In this episode of Update:

- See if Nike's new FuelBand SE fitness tracker can motivate you to workout more with its updated tracking technology, colors and new app. But sorry Android, there's only an iOS app.

- Learn how to change your Twitter settings to receive direct messages from anyone.

- Don't be surprised if Amazon releases an HTC smartphone next year, according to this Financial Times report.

- Get ready for new iPads and Macs at Apple's news event on October 22. If rumors are true, the latest iPads … Read more

Twitter could soon open the direct-message floodgates

It might soon be easier for Twitter users to send direct messages.

Marketing professional Jim Connolly on Tuesday showed off an image of what he says is a new Twitter feature that will allow people to send direct messages to anyone they follow. The feature does not appear to be widely available and its default setting is off, but it could mark a dramatic shift in communication on the social network.

Twitter's Direct Messages feature is locked down quite heavily. In order to send someone a direct message, the recipient must be following the sender. If the feature Connolly … Read more