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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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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Apple Watch: 18h Battery life, Siri Integration and priced from $349 to over $10,000!

Also on April 10, you’ll be able to try on and learn more about Apple Watch at Apple Retail Stores.

We’ve been waiting for months to hear how long the Apple Watch’s battery will last, and luckily the Cupertino-based company has appeased us during its “Spring Forward” media event on Monday. Apple says the Apple Watch will have an 18-hour battery life, or what Apple calls “all day battery life”.

Charging Apple Watch is a snap. Simply attach the magnetic charger to the back of the watch.

“During a typical day you can expect 18 hours. This works for most people I think,” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told attendees at the event.

The Apple Watch collection features stainless steel cases in two beautiful finishes — traditional and space black.

The magnetic charger will click to the back of the Watch to charge at the end of the day, Cook told attendees.

Apple Watch has all-day battery life across a range of activities.

We’ve always known that Apple Watch will have Siri integration, but some new developments were revealed at Today’s Apple Watch event. While on stage, Kevin Lynch demonstrated Hey Siri functionality, which allows you to invoke Siri by simply raising your wrist and using only your voice. 

See who’s calling without having to reach for your phone.

As you’re likely aware of, the iPhone features Hey Siri functionality as well, but on the iPhone, you must have you device plugged in to do so. Having Hey Siri available on your wrist makes it much easier to interact with Siri hands-free, and will usher in a a much more convenient way of communicating with the Siri voice assistant software.

Raise your wrist and say “Hey Siri” to do all kinds of things with Apple Watch.

Hey Siri on the iPhone is a big battery drainer, because it means that the device is actively listening for the “Hey Siri” command. On the Apple Watch, the device won’t listen unless you raise your wrist. This means that there will be a lot less battery drain while using Hey Siri on the Apple Watch.

The SPG app on Apple Watch lets you check into your hotel and unlock your room.

Apple has announced the Apple Watch Edition will be available in select retail stores, priced from $10,000.

Pre-orders begin April 10.

Digital Touch lets you send a sketch, a tap, or even your heartbeat to other people wearing Apple Watch.

Note:

ios 8 -2

On stage at Apple’s media event on Monday, Tim Cook announced that iOS 8.2 will launch to the public today. The software update, which has been in beta for several weeks now, will bring about the Apple Watch companion app that will allow your iPhone to talk to the upcoming wearable.

We saw a preview of the app back in January, when it was unearthed from a developer beta. It will allow users to customize a wide range of things on their Apple Watch including the Clock app with personalized monograms and alerts for notifications, people in your Contacts list, and more.

Additionally, the Companion app will offer up details on the device itself. Users will be able to view the storage capacity of their Apple Watch, the number of songs, photos and apps onboard, and other info like serial number and connection status. We’ll let you know as soon as iOS 8.2 hits today.