F8 2015: Facebook Messenger will soon let you chat with stores, 360-degree videos and more

Facebook’s Messenger won’t just be for chatting with family and friends in the near future. The social network has unveiled a business feature for Messenger that lets you talk to a store about your orders. The option not only spares you from a flurry of email for receipts and shipping, but gives you an easy way to ask questions — if you want to change your order or add something new, you just open up the existing conversation. In theory, you don’t have to go through the hassles of calling or emailing customer service to solve a simple problem. The business effort will only start out with a handful of partners that includes Everlane, Zendesk and Zulily, but a sign-up program suggests that you’ll see Messenger used at more online shops before long.

In an effort to bring even more content to Oculus, Facebook has announced at its developer conference that it plans to bring spherical video content to its VR headset. There really isn’t a whole lot more information aside from that — how will people load these 360-degree videos? — but it’s an important step forward in enhancing the nascent VR platform. Additionally, Facebook also announced that it’ll begin to support these 360-degree videos embedded right in the News Feed, so you won’t need a headset to check them out if you don’t mind not having that whole VR thing.

In the past few months, Facebook has really ramped up the Messenger experience — you can add your location, apply stickers on photos and even use it for payments. Now, Facebook will let you customize your messages even further. That’s because Facebook has evolved Messenger into its own platform, which essentially means you can now integrate third-party apps into Messenger. Want to add GIFs from Giphy? Simply install the add-on, find the GIF you want and away you go. You’ll find many of these apps — there are apparently already 40 on board — in the compose window. And if a friend sends an image or video from one of these third-party apps and you don’t already have them installed, you’ll see an “Install” link on them so you can download them right then and there.

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New Sony Xperia Z4 Renders Leak Out!

Alleged Sony Xperia Z4 images made the rounds online. The renders are from the same source as the previous leak and give us a closer look at the upcoming flagship smartphone.

The leaked Xperia Z4 renders leave nothing to the imagination. The upcoming successor of Sony Xperia Z3 will follow the familiar OmniBalance design language. Sony Xperia Z4 features design cues from its both its predecessor and Sony Xperia Z2 with the front facing speakers design.

A port next to the microUSB on the bottom of the smartphone is the biggest mystery in the unannounced Xperia Z4. With the 3.5mm audio jack sitting on top of the device, we are yet to find out what purpose will the element follow.

The renders of the device’s back lack markings, so they might be unfinished. According to the source, the final images might carry some changes.

Purported specs of Sony Xperia Z4 include Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, 5.2” QHD display, 20.7MP camera, and Android Lollipop. The device is expected to debut at some point this summer.

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WhatsApp to be blocked in several Arab Countries following the new Voice Calling feature?

Whatsapp Voice Call Feature

After multiple flip-flops, WhatsApp has finally released the voice-calling feature for all Android users. You will need to download version 2.11.528 from the Play Store or version 2.11.531 from the WhatsApp website. (iOS to follow later)

The voice-calling can be activated is by receiving a call from someone whose voice-calling is already activated. After you get the call, you need to close and then reopen the app. After that, instead of seeing the most recent chats, you will get three tabs namely Calls, Chats and Contacts. The call tab shows incoming, outgoing and missed calls at the precise times.

Whatsapp Voice Call Feature (1)

As we all know, Viber and Several Voice Calling Apps have been blocked in many Arab countries, now that WhatsApp have this feature, rumor has it that WhatsApp will be blocked once this feature is enabled for all users.

“Vodafone” an Egyptian Telecom company, has been in talk with the officials in Egypt about the declining revenues and profits of the company due to the declining number of regular calls per user; and its concerns about how much this feature can terribly affect these numbers.

Egyptian officials declined to Block WhatsApp as the Egyptian and Arab laws do not give the permission to block applications and to prevent their use since this goes back to the judicial authorities.

Note that Telecom companies can realize profits by providing Mobile Data Bundles (3G/4G) and more options for subscribers. There’s no issue from this matter!

Telecom company “Etisalat” started blocking Whatsapp Call on mobile data this Sunday (March 15); It’s still accessible on WiFi though.

Waiting for your Comments! Or tweet @ElieChahine.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Coming Soon, Here’s Why it’s better than the normal S6!

A new rumor has surfaced claiming to give us the full spec list for the S6 Active. And to start with display size, saying it will sport a 5.1-inch QHD (2,560×1,440) panel as the ‘vanilla’ Galaxy S6.

Moving on, we should also expect the successor to the Galaxy S5 Active to feature all of the other hardware innards of its non-rugged siblings, the S6 and S6 edge. So the same Samsung Exynos 7420 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 16MP rear camera, and 5MP front snapper.

The one thing that will reportedly change is battery capacity, rumored to come in at a whopping 3,500 mAh. That’s more than what’s inside the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, so we’re a little wary of this particular detail – but hoping it will turn out to be right in the end.

The added ruggedness of the Active handset, coupled with the bigger battery has led to an increase in size compared to the Galaxy S6. The S6 Active will measure 146.9 x 73.6 x 8.8 mm, as opposed to 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm for the S6.

What isn’t clear yet is if the S6 Active will come with a microSD card slot and a removable battery, unlike the S6 and S6 edge. Though since it’s identical in every other respect, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath. No detail has been revealed about how rugged it will be, but these things should surface soon now that the leaks have started in earnest.

Today’s rumor also confirms that AT&T will sell the Galaxy S6 Active, and that the model number of the device for that carrier will indeed be SM-G890A. The other versions should therefore be SM-G890x, with the final letter being different depending on region and/or carrier.

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