WhatsApp Video Calling is now Official, Here’s how it works!

Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced yesterday that it had begun rolling out video calling to the more than one billion users it claims across iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms around the world.

According to TechCrunch, video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted just like with FaceTime in order to prevent rogue parties from eavesdropping on your communications.

WhatsApp previously rolled out end-to-end encryption for chats. “We obviously try to be in tune with what our users want,” WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum told Reuters. “We’re obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones.”

You can call a person you’re chatting with, provided each party has updated their copy of WhatsApp to the latest version, by tapping a new Call button in the top-right. A prompt goes up, asking if you’d like to place a voice or video call.

The in-call screen provides the controls to switch between phone cameras, mute and hang up the call. Video calls use iOS 10’s CallKit to integrate with Contacts and Phone’s Recents/Favorites. They also appear on the Lock screen like regular cellular phone calls. You can place video calls to WhatsApp contacts via Siri, too.

The thumbnail video shown during the call can be moved around and you can also flick a video call in progress to the side to minimize it while chatting. WhatsApp video calling is supported in 180 countries. Facebook has allowed WhatsApp to use its servers and bandwidth around the world for both voice and video.

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Other cross-platform apps that support voice calling include Viber, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Google Duo, to name but a few. Of course, Apple’s FaceTime has supported end-to-end encrypted video calling since its inception, but Apple has failed to fulfill its original promise of open-sourcing FaceTime and making it an industry standard.


WhatsApp is also testing a two-factor authentication system in the latest beta, but it’s unclear when this security-enhancing feature might be ready for prime time. With two-factor authentication, a unique one-time code generated by a dedicated authenticator app is required before a new device can sign in to your account on the service.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will reportedly come in two new sizes!

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Samsung’s Galaxy S7 smartphone will be released with two different screen sizes, according to a report from South Korea’s ET News. One version will reportedly have a flat, 5.2-inch display, while the second — the “Edge” variant — will incorporate a curved, 5.5-inch screen. It’s previously been rumored that the Galaxy S7 will include a 5.7-inch display, the same size as the screen on the S6 Edge+.

Launching the S7 with two different screen sizes would be a change in strategy for Samsung, which released this year’s S6 in flat- and curved-screen variants, but with the same size 5.1-inch screen. The rumored approach would be more comparable with Apple’s tactics with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, released with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens respectively. (The S6 Edge+ has a larger screen too, but was released months after the original S6 and S6 Edge.)

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Citing unnamed sources, ET News also reports that Samsung is planning an initial production run of approximately 5 million units for the new Galaxy (split between 3.3 million for the S7 and 1.6 million for the S7 Edge) with mass-production rumored to start in February. A previous report from The Wall Street Journal suggested a March release date for the S7, as well as claiming that the phone will look “largely similar” to the S6 and will feature a pressure-sensitive screen like Apple’s 3D Touch feature.

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Google Project Wing to launch in 2017!

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Alphabet Inc, the new holding company for Google, announced that it expects to start delivering its consumer packages by drones in 2017.

David Vos, the leader for Alphabet’s Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters).

Amazon.com is one of the companies that intend to make package delivery by drone a reality. But drone deliveries are not expected to take flight until after the FAA publishes final rules for commercial drone operations in the US, which are expected early next year.

Two years after initial research began, Project Wing was announced in August 2014 with a YouTube video showing a field test of its most viable prototype in Australia.

Watch the Project Wing Prototype

 

Note that in the US Google was testing Project Wing with NASA. And its becoming a reality in 2017!

Samsung’s response to the iPad pro: The massive 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet!

Not to be outdone by Apple’s $799 iPad Pro, which has an ultra high-resolution screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally and goes on sale next month, rival Samsung is gearing up to launch a brand new tablet with a huge 18.4-inch screen, the Galaxy View.

Although the View is yet to officially launch, some online retailers are now taking pre-orders for the $599 Android device, 9to5Google reported Monday.Samsung Galaxy View image 003

Available for pre-order over at Adorama for $599 for an entry-level model with thirty-two gigabytes of built-in flash storage, the Galaxy View is powered by Samsung’s own 1.6 GHz Exynos 7580 octa-core chip with 2GB of RAM, code-named ‘Carmen2’.

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On the connectivity front, the device includes Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi networking and Cat. 6 CA LTE cellular. Built-in storage is expandable up to 128 gigabytes via a micro-SD card.

The front camera is a paltry 2.1-megapixel module with 1080p video capture at thirty frames per second. There’s no LED flash on the front camera and there’s no second camera on the back.

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Driven by Android Lollipop, the View’s gigantic 18.4-inch TFT screen has a full HD 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution. Samsung claims the View’s 5,700 mAh battery provides 8.5 hours of video playback time.

If the promotional images and the device’s moniker are an indication, Samsung is positioning the View as an inexpensive tablet with a massive screen, mostly dedicated to watching video and enjoying media.

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YouTube Red: Download and Watch YouTube Videos without Ads and much more!

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On October 28, Google will be introducing a new membership designed to provide the ultimate Youtube experience. With YouTube Red you’ll be able to watch your favorite videos uninterrupted!

This subscription will allow you to watch YouTube videos without ads, a feature that many of us has been waiting for, and even tried to download tons of add-ons to get rid of it. You can also save videos to watch offline on your phone tablet and almost any device.

All of the above features will cost you a $9.99 / Month, and this membership is not device related, you can benefit from it on all of your devices with no restrictions.

Google also promised that, starting early next year, YouTube Red will get even better with member-only access to new, original shows and movies from some of YouTube’s biggest creators. You can read all about Originals coming to YouTube Red here.

Viewers in the U.S. can try YouTube Red for free with a one month trial on October 28 and YouTube Music will be coming soon.