Apps

WhatsApp copies Snapchat

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There’s a saying that goes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but Snapchat may not be feeling all too flattered after another blatant move to copy one of the app’s more popular features.

The feature, Snapchat Stories — a public compilation of snaps from a user’s day.

The culprit, Facebook. Yep, following Snapchat Stories clones finding their way to Instagram and Messenger (both Facebook properties), the world’s largest social network is bringing Snapchat’s bread and butter over to WhatsApp.

That’s some fine kage bunshin no jutsu work by Facebook. ?

Whatsapp Status

The WhatsApp Status will appear in a new tab on the app.


Using the feature is a lot like Snapchat. Simply fire up the in-app camera then take a photo or video. You can then add text, drawings, and emojis. The photo or video appears on the new status tab and is visible to your contacts for 24 hours.

The feature has begun rolling out globally to all WhatsApp users on Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone.

WhatsApp, on its blog post, claims the move is a gift to its users for its eighth birthday, noting it was time to update the status feature. However, we all know what’s going on here.

Massive users

Facebook’s move is clearly geared towards stunting Snapchat’s growth.

The numbers support Facebook’s decision to clone the feature. In less than six months, the number of people using Instagram stories daily quickly rose to 150 million, closing in on Snapchat’s 158 million daily active users.

Snapchat, who’s Initial Public Offering is scheduled on March 2nd, now has another app to worry about.

[irp posts=”11261" name=”The LG G6 camera features are built for Instagram”]

Apps

QuickShare will be Samsung’s alternative to AirDrop

It has cloud powers too

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Samsung is developing an alternative to AirDrop. It has a rather straightforward name of “Quick Share” and appears to carry all the functions of Apple’s offering.

Spotted by XDA-Developers, the feature lets Samsung users quickly share files, photos, and videos to other Samsung users. They can set to receive from their trusted contacts by selecting “Contacts Only”. Alternatively, they can receive files from any nearby user by choosing “Everyone”.

To differentiate it from Apple’s seamless file-sharing feature, Samsung will let users upload files to Samsung Cloud. Nearby SmartThings appliances will download the files and stream it to the user’s Galaxy device. However, there is a size limit of 2GB per day with this feature.

This feature will probably debut on Galaxy S20 when it launches on February 11th. It will likely remain exclusive to newer Samsung devices sporting OneUI 2.0. However, it is possible that this feature will roll out to other devices through over-the-air updates.

Samsung is not the only company developing its own nearby file sharing tool. Last August, rivals OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi announced an unprecedented partnership to develop an AirDrop-like feature for their devices. These are a welcome development for Android users longing for a decent AirDrop alternative.

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Apple isn’t encrypting iCloud backups because of the FBI

Public security is their concern

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One of Apple’s selling points for its products is encryption by default. For a long time, the Cupertino company advertised device encryption for its iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

For users, it means better security and privacy against malicious hackers wanting to steal sensitive information. All device data is securely stored and encrypted so only the users can access them.

However, there is one thing missing from Apple’s encryption clause. By default, iCloud backups are unencrypted — Apple can see any data users store in the cloud service.

Privacy no more

While the company remained mum on the issue, a report by Reuters revealed why Apple didn’t encrypt iCloud backups for many years.

It turns out, the company planned on encrypting all iCloud backups last 2016. During that year, the company successfully fought a court battle against the FBI for unlocking the iPhone of a school shooter. The encrypted iCloud plan has the code name “Plesio” and “KeyDrop”.

Apple discussed the encryption plans with the FBI but the agency complained about its implications. Pressured by FBI and several US agencies, Apple later caved in and dropped plans to encrypt iCloud backups.

Sources gathered by Reuters also suggest one reason for dropping encryption: more users will find it hard to retrieve their data once they lost their password.

Implications and repercussions

With iCloud backups remaining unecrypted, FBI can easily request a court order for Apple to turn over precious data to the agency. As such, iCloud data became one of the preferred evidence for the agency, with more than 1,568 cases involving its use.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue. However, expect the fallout from this relevation to be swift and widespread, as more tech companies face the dilemma of balancing users’ privacy against the need for upholding public security.

Source: Reuters

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Apps

WhatsApp is finally getting a dark mode for Android

Currently available only in beta

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Android’s dark revolution is finally in full swing. Following the launch of Android 10, the operating system has slowly updated its supported apps to accommodate the much-awaited dark mode. Android apps are getting darker, potentially saving millions of eyes at night. The revolution has already swept the heavy hitters like Twitter and Instagram.

Now, the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, is getting the same treatment. More specifically, WhatsApp has rolled out the feature for its Google Play Beta Program.

On the updated app, users can access four types of display modes. The first two are the basic Light and Dark modes: dark text on a white background and white text on a black background. The third automatically switches between the two modes, depending on the time of day. The fourth, dubbed as Set by Battery Saver, switches depending on your current battery.

Unfortunately, the Beta Program is not accepting new members at this time. Only current members of the program can access the new mode. Currently, if you want a makeshift dark mode, you can change your chat wallpaper to a dark image.

Given the timeliness of the beta update, a public release will likely roll out in the near future.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp may soon get disappearing messages

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