With the recent release of BBM for Android and iOS, the realm of mobile messaging apps is getting pretty crowded. Looking to establish itself as a viable contender, Facebook released the latest version of Messenger on Tuesday to a random group of Android testers. Interestingly, the new app has effectively distanced itself from the Facebook brand, forgoing the trademark ‘Facebook blue’ color that many of us have come to expect from the company. In fact, if it weren’t for the chat window’s unmistakeable ‘like’ button, you probably wouldn’t make the connection.
The biggest problem with past Facebook messaging apps is that they tried to recreate the online messaging format, but in mobile form. Messenger will essentially act as its own entity, hoping to model a messaging network similar to WhatsApp or Kik. The redesign features many aesthetic differences, including circular avatars for each of your friends.
On a more functional note, the latest version allows you to see which of your friends actually have the Messenger app themselves (for direct mobile-to-mobile communication), or whether messages are being redirected to their Facebook profile instead. This will eliminate plenty of confusion about which communication method is actually being used.
Furthermore, Android users will finally get a custom design, rather than an iOS port. To speed up the sending and receiving process, the app has also undergone several front-end adjustments. For example, Facebook has decided to eliminate the SMS texting feature after realizing that few individuals actually took advantage of it.
Finally, it’s important to note that the app won’t actually let you text a phone number. That being said, it will make use of phone numbers to help you identify potential contacts. For example, there are many instances where you might have a colleague’s phone number, but don’t have them as a Facebook friend. Simply send them a message on Messenger, and the app will redirect it to their inbox.
The latest version of Messenger should become available to all Android and iOS users in just a few weeks’ time.
The iPhone 5C replaces the iPhone 5 with nearly identical tech specs, a plastic-based exterior and 5 color choices, a first in the iPhone family. The 5C features the same 4" Retina display, A6 CPU, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, a new front-facing FaceTime HD camera with better low light support, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a higher capacity battery and support for more LTE bands.
The iPhone 5s is the Apple’s latest flagship handset. The iPhone 5s is powered by a first of its kind 64-bit A7 processor and the same 4" Retina display as its predecessor. It also includes a fingerprint reader dubbed Touch ID, HD video capture at 720p at 120FPS that can also perform slow motion at 120FPS. Battery life on the iPhone 5s is rated for 10 hours of 3G talk time, LTE browsing, Wi-Fi browsing and video.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: