Despite its modest birth WhatsApp has become a veritable force in the messaging realm and has been growing in popularity exponentially over the past few years. Yesterday, Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder of the mobile messenger, shared on his Facebook page that the product has reached yet another veritable milestone – 800 million monthly active users.
Last August, this number was around 600 million and this January – 700 million. At this rate of about 25 million new active users per month, the service could very well exceed 1 billion, by the end of the year. Needless to say, this is a huge achievement and the exponential growth of WhatsApp has become even more impressive after Facebook paid a hefty $19 billion and took the platform under its wing in February 2014. Read more »
Just a few months after hackers breached Sony Picture Entertainment’s computer network, stealing sensitive information and effectively bringing the studio to a standstill, WikiLeaks has published the stolen data – comprising 173,132 emails and 30,287 separate documents – in a fully searchable format.
“This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.” Read more »
Net neutrality has been a hot topic of debate in India the last couple of weeks. The issue started after Airtel announced plans of charging VoIP calls separately and later snowballed into a larger movement when the company announced free access to Flipkart on its network.
But Airtel wasn’t the only one violating net neutrality laws. Facebook’s internet.org intiiative, in collaboration with Reliance, did the same, giving free access to several sites to those on Reliance’s network. While this is a move was in the interests of the customers, especially those who cannot afford to pay for data packs to access the internet, it still violates the principles of net neutrality that dictates that all data should be treated equally. Read more »
Google has had a phone locating service in the Android Device Manager website for a while now. The company has now implemented the functionality within its search engine itself.
You can now simply search for ‘Find my phone’ on Google and a small window appears on the search page showing the map and your phone’s current or last known location. From there you can choose to give your phone a ring to help you find it if it’s around. You can also choose a different device from the drop down menu at the top if you have more than one Android devices. Clicking on the map will take you to the Android Device Manager website. Read more »
Last year, Microsoft and Dropbox announced a partnership meant to lead to tight integration between the cloud storage service and the software giant’s Office suite. This went live for mobile apps shortly afterwards, but only today has it been launched for Office Online.
You can now edit any Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file in Dropbox in your Web browser. All the changes you make will automatically be saved to your Dropbox. So you can now work on the documents you have stored in your Dropbox even without having the offline Office apps installed on your computer. Read more »
The video binge-watchers stay glued to the YouTube only if they have an AdBlock installed for uninterrupted entertainment. Meanwhile, several millions of users have to go through the YouTube ads to continue watching their 5 to 10 minute videos.
YouTube is now working to eliminated the YouTube ads by offering an ads-free monthly subscription service through its Content Creators to the end users. By paying a monthly fee, you can enjoy watching videos from your favorite channels without wasting a second on the ads. Read more »
Facebook has launched a standalone website for its Messenger service. This is already accessible at Messenger.com, where you can go and use only that functionality from Facebook’s main site. The company is adamant that this doesn’t mean Messenger will ever go away from Facebook.com.
However, Messenger was once part of the Facebook apps for mobile – but then it got pulled out, thus forcing people to install the standalone Messenger app alongside the main one. So, in the future, there’s still a slim chance we’ll see something like that happen on the Web too. Read more »
If you have been following Dropbox during the past year or so, you already know that the cloud file sharing service has been growing exponentially in both popularity and features. The San Francisco company has been putting a lot of effort to escape from its simple roots and grow into a sprawling ecosystem, based around collaboration and creative work.
This has led to the acquisition of a lot of other services and startups by the cloud system, as well as the introduction of clever new features, options and the vital integration with other major platforms and suites, like Microsoft Office, for example. Read more »
An update to HTC Blinkfeed for Android renamed the application to Sense Home. The new app brings BlinkFeed, HTC Themes, as well as HTC Sense Home widget under one roof.
HTC Themes functionality allows users to change icons, colors, wallpapers, and even the sound bundles of their device. Read more »
While not relaunched as a separate service (or at least not yet), as has been rumored for a long time now, Google+ Photos has received some neat integration with Google Drive today. In short, your Google+ Photos will now show up in a dedicated place in Google Drive.
A new menu for Photos should show up in Google Drive on iOS, Android, and the Web, as seen in the image above. Read more »
Team communication service Slack got in a bit of a pickle yesterday after the database was hacked. The hackers were able to access the stored usernames, email addresses, and passwords on the database.
Fortunately, Slack uses one-way encryption for its database, so even if the hackers got access to the data, there is no guarantee they were able to decrypt it. Slack also claims no financial or payment information was accessed or compromised in this attack. Read more »
Just yesterday Twitter launched its entrant into the rapidly growing live video streaming app space. It’s called Periscope, and for now it’s only available for iOS. Twitter did promise an Android version, but remained absolutely mum when it comes to Windows Phone.
Not to worry, though, for there is already an unofficial alternative for Microsoft’s mobile platform. Telescope for Periscope has been created by a developer who was eager to use Twitter’s new service on Windows Phone. Read more »
Better late than never, as they say – Twitter’s Vine has finally entered the HD age. The service, which lets you create six-second videos that run in a loop, has just announced plans to upgrade the quality of its recordings. Believe it or not, Vine videos have so far been 480p.
Not anymore, though. Expect to see 720p HD videos on Vine (both through the service’s mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as embeds on websites) “over the coming days”. Above you can see an image that should apparently give you an idea about the quality differences, since it shows the same Vine in 480p on the left and 720p on the right. Read more »
Amazon just became the first big cloud storage provider to offer an unlimited plan. It will cost you $59.99 per year, which is basically $5 per month, and it lets you “store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music”, according to Amazon’s press release.
There’s another option too, which can come in handy if all you need is some space to store photos. The aptly named Unlimited Photos plan gives you the ability to “store an infinite number of photos”, along with 5GB of other files, all for just $11.99 per year. That can be translated into $1 per month. Something like this was already available for subscribers to Amazon Prime and Fire device owners, but now it’s open for all. Read more »
Facebook has announced two new Messenger related features at its F8 event. The first is Messenger Platform. Facebook has turned its messaging service into a platform, that allows integration with third party applications.
For example, you can now have the Giphy app integrated into the Facebook Messenger app on your phone, which lets you access Giphy content from within the Messenger app. Giphy now integrates within the Messenger app, allowing you to choose a GIF, which you can then send to your friends on the Messenger app. The person on the other end receives the GIF in their Messenger app. Messenger shows them the app that you used to send the GIF and then can click on the handily available Install button to install the app if they don’t have it. Read more »