Top software trends of 2016

Well, that was an odd year. We got a very public lesson in why it's important to keep online communications secure; we went outside to toss Poke Balls at augmented-reality pocket monsters; and we asked inanimate objects in our homes for assistance. Here are the software trends of 2016 that we found intriguing, important, or entertaining.

Streaming services put cable TV on notice

Cutting the cord keeps getting easier and more attractive. When PlayStation Vue launched in March... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Messaging , Apple , apps , Google , Facebook , streaming , app

Facebook Messenger goes retro with Instant Games

Facebook just introduced Instant Games to Facebook Messenger, so now you can play a variety of games inside conversations on newer Android and iOS devices. In addition to current games, you'll find retro arcade favorites like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Galaga, Track & Field 100M, Arkanoid, and Bust-a-Move Blitz. While the games look a lot like they did decades ago, you now control the gameplay with swipes and taps.

What makes the games instant? They're built... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Messaging , Facebook , games , game

10 iMessage apps for iOS 10

Apple's iMessage overhaul is one of the greatest reasons to upgrade to iOS 10. You get tap-back quick responses, heartbeat messages, invisible ink, message bubbles, screen effects, GIFs, and music. But the real convenience comes from the sizable selection of apps that integrate into iMessage, enabling you to work, play, and chat at the same time. Here are 10 fun and useful iMessage apps for you to try, including new ones and some old favorites redesigned for iMessage.

If you... Read More »

Topics: iOS Software

Tags: Messaging , Apple , App Store

Facebook Messenger unveils Secret Conversations

Facebook Messenger is gradually introducing end-to-end encryption in the form of Secret Conversations to its roughly 900 million active monthly users. This new security feature relies on a protocol called Signal (already used in the standalone Signal app, Facebook's WhatsApp, and Google's Allo). If you're one of the lucky ones who's received the Secret Conversations update, then your Messenger chats will be private.

You'll know if you have it, thanks to an alert that sits atop Facebook Messenger's home screen. ... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Messaging , Facebook , Chat

10 WhatsApp hacks

WhatsApp was made to be minimal, but lately the popular messaging app has been adding functionality. WhatsApp is currently beta testing Quick Quotes, which enables users to respond to messages in-line. This is particularly helpful if you're in a long group exchange and want to respond to something typed 12 lines back. Learn how to quote and do so much more with your chats with our 10 hacks for WhatsApp.


To quote, long-press any text or media message in your conversation.... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Messaging

Chatbots for your daily tasks

Chatbots are virtual assistants that you can text-message to get food delivered, find a movie, and perform many other everyday tasks. You can use your phone's native SMS (or a messaging app) -- you don't have to download or open other apps, and in most cases you sign up with your phone number. Here are 10 text bots for your common to-dos.

Assist for shopping and transportation

Assist offers help with 10 tasks, from getting a ride to booking a... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Messaging , instant message

WhatsApp Messenger gets major privacy upgrade

Today WhatsApp (iOS, Android), used by approximately 1 billion people worldwide, announced end-to-encryption throughout its network, for all types of messages (texts, videos, phone calls) shared within its app. With end-to-end encryption, even the company itself cannot view the contents of your communications. All the bits sent from one WhatsApp user to another are scrambled in a way that cannot be unscrambled by anyone except the sender and the recipient.

This upgrade does not require... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: Security Center , Messaging , apps , security , Internet security , Privacy