IM

WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone review

WhatsApp Messenger proves to be a speedy and dependable messaging app. It stays continuously on as long as you are connected to the Internet and encrypts all your conversations.

Pros

Well-maintained: WhatsApp Messenger's popularity translates into a stable connection, excellent service maintenance, and good technical support from the developers. It's popular even among non-iOS users, so there should be no reason not to connect with buddies who are using Android or Windows devices.

Great design for iOS: This app's aesthetics blend in seamlessly with iOS. With its great design and intuitive arrangement of buttons and menus, this … Read more

I'm Expecting Pregnancy Tracker review

I'm Expecting Pregnancy Tracker helps you monitor and manage your pregnancy with facts, advice, videos, and many other resources. But it doesn't stop working when your baby is born. This free Android app not only tracks your pregnancy but also your baby's growth and development. You can use I'm Expecting by itself or with your free MedHelp account.

Pros

Easy: Using I'm Expecting might be the easiest part of your pregnancy: Just enter your anticipated due date to get started for free. Not sure of the date yet? A due date calculator helps provide answers.… Read more

Use your browser for cross-platform instant messaging

Instant messaging may not be the communications dynamo it was a few years ago, but it's still and fast and easy way to connect with friends, family members, and coworkers.

Indeed, I've relied on it for ages to chat with busy editors, and I especially love being able to review message histories to recall what was discussed and when. It's also a great way to reach the tech-support guy who handles my Web hosting -- no waiting indefinitely for an email reply (which is especially important when email is not working).

Just one problem: Different people use … Read more

AppScript wants to help docs find, prescribe best health apps

With tens of thousands of health-related apps on the market, and hundreds more popping up every day, consumers and health care providers alike are stuck with the monumental task of finding the best ones for their needs.

A new mobile health platform, released this week, has done the hard work for doctors, by classifying and evaluating more than 40,000 health-related apps on the iOS and Android platforms.

Developed by IMS Health, AppScript reviews each app's functionality, certifications, relevance, and peer and patient reviews. Physicians can then organize these apps based on the types of patients they see and … 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

Get the new Facebook Messenger for Android

Facebook wants to help you find the fastest way to reach your friends. For instance, "contacts that also use Messenger ... are denoted by a little blue lightning bolt badge," said CNET's Jennifer Van Grove.

Among other major changes, you'll find that SMS support is gone. However, you can send messages to people in your address book that you haven't connected with on Facebook yet. (Yeah, this part sounds a little scary for the stalker types.) This process requires that the recipient provided a phone number on his or her Facebook profile, and that you have … Read more

Glow-in-the-dark ice cream: Next food craze?

Novelty foods are all the rage. Just look at the cronut craze that hit New York earlier this fall, with fans shelling out upward of $100 and waiting hours in line for a taste of the new twist on the breakfast staple.

Now, a British foodie has unveiled what might become the next cronut: glow-in-the-dark ice cream.

To create the glowing treat, inventor and entrepreneur Charlie Francis, founder of the Lick Me I'm Delicious ice cream company, synthesized the protein that gives jellyfish their glow. It's similar to the way that scientists produced glowing bunnies earlier this year. … Read more

Samsung's ChatOn IM service hits 100M users

ChatOn, Samsung's mobile messaging platform, doubled the size of its user base in the past four months, now tallying more than 100 million registered users.

Preinstalled on Samsung's feature phones and smartphones running both Android and the company's own Bada mobile OS, the cross-platform client is also available as a free download for other mobile platforms, including iOS and BlackBerry.

While available in 237 different countries and 63 languages, ChatOn has experienced steady growth in India, China, and the US and is growing in popularity in Europe and the Middle East, Samsung said in a statement Sunday. … Read more

Review: Convert and edit images in batches with ImBatch

ImBatch processes, edits, and converts image files in batches or individually. This easy-to-use freeware also adds watermarks, edits EXIF data, and runs scripts, too. It handles more than 30 image formats; not just common formats like JPEG, GIF, and TIFF but also FAX, G3N, G3F, XIF, ICB, WDP, and other uncommon formats. You can create, save, and load Tasks to process large batches using the same settings. Recent updates include Windows 8 readiness and improvements to the watermarking and crop tools.

With its dark gray tones and highlights, ImBatch's user interface resembles a media player; a nice change from … Read more

Review: Speak for yourself, but let Trillian handle all your chats

Trillian is one of the most popular and best-rated standalone IM programs because it works so well with so many different chat apps and social networks; from Skype to Facebook and Twitter, and AIM, ICQ, and XMPP. Trillian lets you follow your conversations on mobile devices and unfamiliar computers without compromising your security, and its transparent privacy policy helps keep you informed, as well as safe. Trillian is available in several packages: an ad-supported Free version, an ad-free, Cloud-enhanced Pro version with an annual subscription, and a Lifetime version. Users must be 13 or older to access Trillian's network. … Read more