Apps

Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

It took some time to arrive

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Remember Facebook‘s promise to release a redesigned Messenger? The social networking company previewed major UI changes to their popular messaging app during their F8 2018 conference last May. Finally, the new interface is now available to some users.

Screenshots were sent to Android Police by a tipster. Interestingly, the changes happened without a software update. It was a server-side rollout that magically changed everything. The bottom bar now only has three tabs, while the camera and new chat buttons are moved to the top right.

If you’re wondering where the non-essential features like games and businesses are, they are simply moved to the third Explore tab.

The redesigned Facebook Messenger is promised to be simpler than what it is today. Facebook said they’ll remove some of the unnecessary elements, and focus on features that people actually want. Most importantly, it’ll have a dark mode — ideal for OLED-touting phones.

Since this appeared to be a server-side rollout, we can’t force it to show up through a quick software update, by joining a beta, or downloading an APK installer. All we can do is wait for Facebook to give us the blessing of a simplified Messenger.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger’s new interface makes it simple again

Apps

Facebook officially launches new and simplified Messenger

There’s still no Dark Mode, yet

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The wait is over! A lot of users have been requesting a simpler Messenger app for Facebook for a long time now, and it’s finally official. The redesigned messaging app, which is officially called Messenger 4, is now being rolled out globally.

First demoed months ago, the new Facebook Messenger is now available to all compatible devices running Android and iOS. The new Messenger promises a more simplified experience that focuses on the most important features that people actually use.

Gone are the multiple tabs that crowd the interface of the old Messenger. Only three of the nine tabs remain in the new version: Chats, People, and Discover. If you love the existing features of Messenger like connecting with businesses, instant games, and the like, they’re still there hiding in the Discover tab.

Aside from the refreshing interface, Messenger 4 also introduces new personalization options. There are now color gradients for your customized chat bubbles. These colors can be changed at any time you wish.

This is how the new Facebook Messenger looks like on iPhones running iOS:

And, this is how it’ll work on Android phones:

The rollout has already started and it’ll be done in phases. The update should be available in the coming weeks. Also, Facebook will soon introduce new features including the much-awaited Dark Mode.

Source: Facebook Messenger

SEE ALSO: Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

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Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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