Google has revealed that it has begun the global roll-out of a new Chat messaging service which they have designed to replace text messaging on Android phones.
The firm has also revealed that it is pausing development of its Allo app.
The Chat messaging service will have features including group text, read receipts and videos, currently not available with text messaging.
The new service will eventually be integrated as the default messaging app for Android.
However, it still needs mobile phone operators to enable the service and it will not offer encrypted messages.
The Chat messenger is the latest after several failed attempts by Google to create a feature-rich mobile messaging app but these have, so far, failed to attract a large audience.
TaskRabbit app hit by ‘cyber security incident’
The popular app which helps people find a handyman for hire, called TaskRabbit, has been taken down after a ‘cyber security incident’.
Professionals and customers alike have been left in the lurch after those behind the app said they are working with police and IT experts to work out what has happened.
Now, app users cannot access their account and service professionals cannot be contacted.
The app works in four locations in the UK: Manchester, London, Birmingham and Bristol, but there is no indication of how many customers or service providers have been affected.
Also, there’s no indication of what information may have been breached in the incident – though users are being warned to change passwords on other accounts.
The TaskRabbit website has also been taken down and the California-based company, which is owned by IKEA, says it’s working hard to resolve the problem.
Netflix launches mobile previews on iPhone
Netflix has revealed that iPhone users can watch previews of its shows and the app will soon be available for Android phones as well.
The mobile previews are available to boost the video browsing experience on mobile phones and users simply use a slideshow and swipe to find the preview they want to see.
The previews load quickly and have been personalised to the user’s own tastes, Netflix says.
New Smart Pension app is a ‘game changer’
Smart Pension, a workplace pension platform, says it is launching an app that will prove to be a ‘game changer’ and transform the way a new generation saves for a pension.
The app enables users to track in real time their pension balance from their phone and then encourages dynamic engagement so they can opt for self-selecting their own funds and increasing contribution levels.
The app will replace paper annual reports and there’s a planned daily video along with animated financial illustrations and talking avatars.
The firm’s co-founder Will Wynne said: “The young organise their lives around their phones and have high expectations of how transparent and intuitive their mobile interaction is, particularly for their money.”
In other mobile phone app news …
A drug dealer is the first to be convicted after an image he sent of himself holding ecstasy tablets on WhatsApp led to his identification through a pioneering fingerprint identification technique by South Wales police.
The winners of a competition to design technology that would rectify a social challenge saw students from Worcestershire’s Bishop Perowne College winning for an antitheft bike app they developed.
An Australian tech firm has launched a legal action in the UK accusing Google of abusing its dominant position. The firm, Unlockd, rewards customers for watching adverts on a smartphone but Google is seeking to cut the advertising content to the app.