Internet calling and messaging service Viber does a solid job of constantly bringing new features to its apps, regardless of the platform. Now, some seven months after iOS 7 was released, Viber is finally changing the looks of its iPhone app to match that flat, minimalist appearance of Apple’s OS. Aside from overhauling the UI, the Viber application now also lets you create a list of numbers you’d like to block and send longer video messages to people. The company’s CEO, Talmon Marco, tells us this update isn’t just about iOS 7, however. “This is the first time we are introducing a new look and feel for Viber. Our goal was to create a simple and friendly interface but at the same time establish a solid foundation for future updates,” Marco stated. In other words, don’t be surprised when you see some of these design cues make their way to other Viber apps, like those on Windows Phone 8 and Android.
Source: App Store
How does Viber celebrate being acquired for a ton of money? By bringing one of its most popular features, Viber Out, to Windows Phone 8 — that’s how. In second thought, we’re probably way off. Still, the Skype rival has indeed updated its WP8 application, celebration or not, allowing users to now make calls to any phone number thanks to Viber Out. This new version also lets you send video messages and multiple photos at a time, while added Bluetooth support should make it easier for you to enjoy some hands-free action. As usual, you can grab the update from the Windows Phone Store — and feel free to share your Viber 4.1 impressions with us in the comments below.
Source: Windows Phone Store
If you’ve been waiting to give LINE’s Call service a try, now’s your chance — so long as you live in the right country, anyway. Those using LINE’s Android app in Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand and the US can dial most any phone number at rates that might well beat what their carriers would offer. Americans get one of the best deals: their calls start at 2 cents per minute using prepaid credit, and they can pay 70 cents per month for an hour’s worth of talk time. The Chinese will get a similar bargain when Call reaches them in the near future, and LINE-to-LINE conversations are always free. There’s no iOS support yet, but we wouldn’t be shocked if the corresponding app update arrives relatively soon.
Just a few weeks after WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum hinted that his Facebook-owned service will integrate voice communication features (VoIP, specifically) into its apps by this summer, we’re finally seeing alleged screenshots that show off what it’ll look like on iOS. The shots, which were leaked by iPhoneItalia, show an interface that looks awfully similar to the iOS 7.1 phone UI — complete with circular buttons, blurred background and even a similar keyboard (is the shift key on or off?), albeit with a camera button on top. We’re hearing that you’ll be able to make calls for free over WiFi or cellular, which will help WhatsApp compete against the litany of other VoIP apps and services available on the market.
We know that the NSA has been ramping up its efforts to collect data from computers, but it’s now clear that the intelligence agency has the tools to compromise those computers on a grand scale. Information leaked by Edward Snowden to The Intercept has revealed that the NSA has spent recent years automating the way it plants surveillance software. The key is Turbine, a system launched in 2010 that automatically sets up implants and simplifies fetching data; agents only have to know what information they want, rather than file locations or other app-specific details. A grid of sensors, nicknamed Turmoil, automatically spots extracted info and relays it to NSA staff. The combined platform lets the organization scrape content from “potentially millions” of PCs, instead of focusing only on the highest-priority targets.
The spies also have a wide range of weapons at their disposal. They can grab data from flash drives and webcams, remote control PCs and intercept the content from both internet calls as well as virtual private networks. The NSA doesn’t always go directly after a target, either. It frequently compromises IT administrators to reach people on the networks they run, and it will both spoof websites and alter traffic to trick targets into installing code. Snowden’s latest leak isn’t all that surprising given that we’ve seen governments use similar espionage methods in the past, but it suggests that the NSA can easily watch a large number of computer users without sweating the exact techniques that it uses.
Source: The Intercept
With all of the privacy concerns in the U.S. with the National Security Agency, some smartphone makers are trying to provide their customers with more security and privacy.
You may be familiar with one that was recently launched at Mobile World Congress, Blackphone, that runs its own PrivatOS and is built on Android, offering anonymous search functions, smart disabling of WiFi, private calling, anonymous anti-theft and remote wiping features, all for $629.
Today FreedomPop launched the Privacy Phone, its own smartphone to address monitoring and Internet tracking, which the company nicknamed the “Snowden Phone.”
It comes at a much cheaper price than Blackphone, at $189, and uses FreedomPop’s VoIP network. It uses 128-bit encryption to encrypt both voice calls and text messages, while apps and Internet data will be sent through an encrypted virtual private network, or VPN.
All that being said, if FreedomPop wanted to ensure more security, it could use more than 128-bit encryption and VPNs aren’t safe from everyone.
Some interesting things to note are that the phone is a modified Samsung Galaxy SII, a fairly outdated smartphone running Android Jelly Bean with a 1.2GHz duel-core Samsung Exynos processor, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, 8-MP front-facing and 2-MP back-facing cameras and an 1800mAh battery.
Taking its security even further though, FreedomPop is now accepting bitcoin payments so its customers can pay their bills anonymously, plus customers may request a number change at any time and as many times as they want.
The Privacy Phone can be purchased from the FreedomPop website now and the $189 price tag includes unlimited voice and text, 500 MB of data for three months and then costs $10 a month after that.
The post FreedomPop announces the Privacy Phone, its “Snowden Phone” with encrypted communications appeared first on AndroidGuys.
When surveillance agencies collect large volumes of cellular data, it’s easy to understand why you’d want an extra-secure smartphone. Those devices aren’t always affordable, though, which is why FreedomPop has launched the Privacy Phone for $189 contract-free. It’s ultimately an old Galaxy S II, but its software boasts some strong secrecy measures — all of its internet-based calls and messages are encrypted, and data goes through a virtual private network (VPN) that masks your identity. Don’t count on total security. FreedomPop isn’t using more than 128-bit encryption, and VPNs aren’t always safe from prying eyes. Still, the Privacy Phone may fit the bill if you’re looking for better-than-usual anonymity at a low price.
You no longer have to live in one of a few fortunate countries to make a Skype call while checking your Outlook.com email: as of today, Skype for Outlook.com is available worldwide. All you need now is to download a browser plugin and link your Skype account. The global release comes alongside improved software support, too. PC users can now participate in HD video chats, while Mac users get a Safari plugin. If you’re heavily invested in Microsoft’s internet services, everything you need to get started is at the source link.
It’s been a long time coming, but Skype’s revealed that folks can finally sign up for service using a Microsoft account. Skype believes this feature is perfect for users who perhaps want the least amount of logins possible, and it also points to Microsoft’s two-step verification as a benefit for having such an account. Meanwhile, the Windows Phone app has been updated with a number of security improvements, plus an indicator which lets you know when the person on the other side is typing. As part of the integration with its parent company, Skype will now require a Microsoft account (like the one used to set up your WP device) when registering for a new account through the application. This new version is only available for Windows Phone 8, however — as you might recall, support for the app on earlier versions of the OS was cut off months ago.
Via: The Next Web
Japan’s answer to Amazon, Rakuten, has just got into the mobile communications business by purchasing internet calling app-maker Viber for $900 million. Viber was one of the first to introduce 3G VoIP on the iPhone, and now lets you call any land-line or mobile phone, send messages and even push-to-talk. The app is available on all major mobile and desktop platforms, and is one of Skype’s biggest rivals with over 300 million users worldwide. According to the WSJ, Viber’s global userbase helped draw Rakuten, which is trying to expand its business interests beyond Japan’s shores. It also recently purchased a huge stake in Pinterest and bought e-reader maker Kobo. Rakuten’s CEO confirmed that Viber “perfectly compliments” its goals and said the acquisition “will enable it to penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings.”