messages

Questions persist about NSA surveillance

CNET Update wants answers:

In this episode of Update:

- Get up to speed on the latest developments in the NSA spying flap and how it extends to contents of U.S. phone calls. Apple, Microsoft and Facebook are only able to disclose limited details on government requests for customer data.

- Speed things up on MetroPCS with new phones that work on T-Mobile's 4G network.

- Keep the kids entertained next year with DreamWorks television shows on Netflix.

- Learn how to leave a video message for anyone on Skype.

- Speculate on rumors about Facebook's news announcement on Thursday. … Read more

Skype launches video messaging to all users

Any Skype user can now send a video message to friends and family who are offline.

Rolled out in February as a beta preview, Video Messaging launched on Monday to all Skype users. Those of you on Skype can record a video message to share with folks who aren't available. The message then pops up for your recipients after they log into Skype.

Built directly into the Skype software, Video Messaging is accessible via Skype for Windows desktop, Skype for Windows 8, Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype for iPad, Skype for Android, and Skype for BlackBerry.

There'… Read more

Saudi Arabia may block WhatsApp within weeks

Saudi Arabia plans to block WhatsApp in coming weeks if the makers of the mobile chat app don't comply with local regulations.

The warning comes after the Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked popular voice and messaging app Viber last week.

"We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however nothing has come of this communication yet," Abdullah Al-Darrab, governor of the CITC, told English language Arab News.

One of the regulations stipulates that WhatsApp establish a local server that allows officials … Read more

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