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Review: Color SMS Text Message Friends adds highlights to your texts

Color SMS Text Message Friends lets you send texts in color, but your friends need to have the app installed, as well, in order to see the colorful messages. If you can convince your social circle to add it, then you might get a kick out of this application.

When you first start using Color SMS Text Message Friends, only a handful of its colors and about half of the available fonts are unlocked. If you want to use them all, you have to surrender a dollar. The app's layout is a little plain, but it does make inputting … Read more

Send self-destructing messages from your work computer

Much like the vanishing photos sent with Snapchat, a new Web app lets you send self-destructing messages from your work computer.

New York-based app maker Lamplighter Games last week launched OTR -- for "off the record" messaging -- a browser plug-in that lets you send messages that disappear within 5 seconds of being read.

"We both love using Snapchat, so we thought it would be fun to put Snapchat in the browser," according to Kris Minkstein, who co-founded the company with his brother Andy. "We figured since you're in front of your computer all day at work that you're going to end up sending a lot of these photos to probably the guys sitting next to you at your cubicle." … Read more

Use Google Now to send text messages, e-mail

During Google I/O Google announced some improvements to its Google Now service. One of those improvements -- as we have already covered -- was the ability to create reminders within the app. One other feature we haven't discussed yet is the ability to send a text message or e-mail using Google Now.

Similar to the way Siri works, you're able to give a voice command to Google Now and have a message composed, complete with the recipient of your choosing (so long as they are in your contacts). After Now has filled in all of the required … Read more

Review: Message Editor makes fake iOS messages to share with friends

An app like Message Editor is a great way to compose and share messages without actually engaging in a conversation or making a fool of yourself with a friend or family member. Perfect for joke conversations, fake images or memes, or just having fun on social networks, Message Editor emulates the interface of the iOS messenger, well.

To use Message Editor, tap on any of the pre-filled word bubbles onscreen. You can then edit the message, the time the message was sent, and any images attached to that message. You can also edit the sender of the messages from the … Read more

Review: Hide SMS, lock secret messages keeps plain texts a secret

If you're trying to keep your texts a secret, Hide SMS can help. It's a stylish lockbox for all of your text messages. Sadly, it only works with plain texts. Apps, contacts, and even picture messages aren't included.

This app shows up as different names on the Google Play store and in your apps locker. You may see it referred to as Hide SMS, Keep SMS, or KeepSafe depending on how you're looking at it. Once you load it, you have to set a four-digit password to get inside. You can lock any conversation in your … Read more

Google Hangouts launches as a standalone app

Google Hangouts (iOS|Android) brings the group video chat features you have in Google+ to your home screen with a standalone app, but it might be one too many ways to do the same thing.

Having the app on your home screen gives you immediate access to one-on-one and group video calls formerly found by going through a couple of menus in Google+. With Hangouts, you can have a video call with up to 10 people and you can choose who will be in the hangout through a list of your contacts or by using a search field. During your … Read more

Google Hangouts launches as a standalone app

Editors' note: This post was updated July 16, 2013, with more information.

Google Hangouts (iOS | Android) brings the group video chat features you have in Google+ to your home screen with a standalone app, but it might be one too many ways to do the same thing.

Having the app on your home screen gives you immediate access to one-on-one and group video calls formerly found by going through a couple of menus in Google+. With Hangouts, you can have a video call with up to 10 people and you can choose who will be in the hangout through a … Read more

Nine tips to help you manage the BlackBerry Hub

The BlackBerry Hub holds a lot of information and provides a unique way of managing all of your communication needs from a central place. But, with so much information being presented to you at all times, you're bound to want to tailor it to meet your needs. Below you'll find some great tips aimed to help you make the Hub work for you, instead of you working for the Hub.

View messages as a conversation

One way to help eliminate clutter from your Hub is to organize e-mail messages into a conversation view. Doing so will group related … Read more

Review: Get Gmail alerts in your dock with Gmail Notifier for Mac

Those who use Gmail as their primary e-mail application might like to see notifications of incoming e-mails in their system tray without needing to check online. Gmail Notifier for Mac allows users to see and preview new mail messages, as well as their Google Calendars, in a simple application.

After quickly downloading Gmail Notifier for Mac via a high-speed connection, the program installed into the applications folder easily, although acceptance of a user agreement was required. At startup, the program prompts the user to enter a Gmail address and password, which immediately begins synching Google's e-mail and calendar applications. … Read more

Are Americans getting tired of texting?

Text messaging in the U.S. is on the decline, according to a survey (PDF) released Thursday by CTIA-The Wireless Association. The numbers of SMS text messages sent and received nationally dropped from 2.3 trillion in 2011 to 2.19 trillion in 2012.

While 2.19 trillion may seem like a colossal number and not much less than 2.3 trillion, it is still nearly a 5 percent drop. According to a report released last week by research firm Informa, one of the reasons that texting may be declining is because several chat applications -- such as Apple's … Read more