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WhatsApp to stop working on phones running on Android 2.3, iOS 8 starting February 1, 2020

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Haven’t you updated your Android smartphone or your iPhone in a long time? Well, now might be the time that you jump the wagon and download all the operating system updates that you have been procatinating for so long because if you don’t update your smartphone soon, you might have to stop using WhatsApp.

According to an update on the official blog of WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned social messaging platform will stop supporting Android devices running on Android version 2.3.7. “For Android versions 2.3.7 and older, you can no longer create new accounts, nor reverify existing accounts. However, you’ll be able to continue using WhatsApp until February 1, 2020,” WhatsApp wrote in a blog.

This means that WhatsApp users who have smartphones running on Android 2.3.7 will no longer get security updates and new features. They will also be unable to verify existing accounts. The company also added that it will provide limited support to tablet users.

As far as the iPhones are concerned, WhatsApp said that it will not support iPhones running on iOS 8 or older version of Apple’s mobile operating system. “WhatsApp for iPhone requires iOS 9 or later. On iOS 8, you can no longer create new accounts or reverify existing accounts. If WhatsApp is currently active on your iOS 8 device, you’ll be able to use it until February 1, 2020,” the messaging app added. Simply said, you will need to install iOS 9 or a later version of Apple’s mobile OS to use the popular social messaging app on your iPhone.

WhatsApp further clarified that it won’t provide support for modified – unlocked or jailbroken – verisons of Apple’s iPhones.

Last but not the least, WhatsApp will work on your Windows Phone only if it is running on Windows Phone 8.1 or a later version of Microsoft’s mobile based operating system. “Your Windows Phone is able to receive SMS or phone calls during the verification process,” WhatsApp wrote in its FAQ page.

Separately, WhatsApp users who own an iPhone X or a later variant of the iPhone such as the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, the iPhone 11 or the iPhone 11 Pro can now use memoji stickers while chatting with their friends on WhatsApp. However, they need to download iOS 13 on their iPhones to use this feature.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/whatsapp-will-stop-working-on-these-android-phones-iphones-starting-feb-1-2020-1604735-2019-09-30

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Instagram will give you more control over your third-party apps…in about six months

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Instagram  is slowly rolling out a new feature that will help better protect your personal data from being accessed by your long-discarded, third-party applications — that is, any app you had once authorized to access your Instagram profile over the years. This may include websites you used for printing your Instagram photos, various dating apps or Instagram tools for making collages, finding your top photos and more.

Providing a tool to remove third-party apps’ access to your account is now a fairly commonplace security setting among platform providers. Instagram is late to offer such functionality. TwitterFacebook and Google have had similar functionality in place for years.

And Instagram isn’t hurrying its launch, either.

The company says its new security features will take a whopping six months to reach all users, as it’s designed to be a gradual rollout. For comparison’s sake, most new features tend to roll out in days or sometimes weeks, but rarely as long as half a year.

Revoke access 1

The choice to move slowly is worth calling out here — especially given that Instagram’s parent company Facebook’s massive personal data scandal, Cambridge Analytica, arose because users had connected to a third-party app that improperly collected users’ personal data.

Instagram, arguably, has less of a treasure trove of personal information on hand to tap into, compared with Facebook. But there’s still no need to let some app you used once, many years ago, continue to access information like your Instagram username, your photos, all your captions, timestamps of your posts, permalinks and more. And if you maintain a private account with the intention of only sharing your content with close friends and family, this level of access might make you even more uncomfortable.

While Instagram isn’t clear in its public announcement about its reasoning for such a slow rollout, it’s tied to API changes for developers. The company is giving developers time to move from the Instagram Legacy API Platform to the Facebook Graph API.

As the company explains in a developer announcement, the new API will enable “appropriate consumer use-cases, while protecting user privacy and safety” — including giving users the ability to decide what information they share with apps, then revoke access through the Instagram mobile app. The legacy API platform will be deprecated on March 2, 2020.

It would have made sense for Instagram to communicate to users that the gradual rollout is because it’s giving developers time to get their apps ready for these changes. But because it didn’t mention this, the news of the slow rollout comes across as Instagram not believing such a feature is a priority or important to users.

If you have the new security setting, you’ll find it under “Settings” in the Instagram app. It will be under “Security,” then “Apps and Websites.” From this screen, you can tap “Remove” on any apps you don’t want connected to your Instagram account.

Related to this, Instagram says it’s also introducing an updated authorization screen that will detail all the information an app is requesting when you go to authorize it to connect to your Instagram account. If you think it’s over-reaching, you can just choose “Cancel” instead of “Authorize.”

Authorize Access

If you don’t have the new features now, just wait until sometime in 2020, I guess.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/16/instagram-will-give-you-more-control-over-your-third-party-apps-in-about-six-months/

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Microsoft’s Your Phone app now supports Android call syncing on Windows

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One big reason iPhone users stay within Apple’s ecosystem is that all of its devices communicate with one another. Microsoft’s Your Phone app helps bring similar connectivity between Android and Windows devices. And with its latest update, it’s better than ever.

Android users can now sync their phone calls with their Windows computers. Right now, the feature is open to the Windows Insider community, but it should be available to everyone else soon.

This new functionality allows users to answer, initiate, and decline Android phone calls from their computers. The app can also send a custom text to declined callers or send them directly to voicemail. Users can even transfer calls between their computers and smartphones on the fly.

To take advantage of this, users must be running Android 7 or newer, Windows 10 PC build 18362.356 or later, and both devices need Bluetooth support. The feature has some bugs as of right now, but Microsoft should fix them soon.

Blog site Thurrott also noticed Microsoft released the ability to inline reply to notifications a few months ago using the Your Phone app. This was a critical feature missing at the app’s launch.

With Android call syncing and inline replies on Windows, users are one step closer to Apple-level device communication (although we’re still pretty far away from that). And now that Microsoft recently announced an upcoming Android device, we expect the Your Phone app will greatly improve over the next year.

Source: https://www.androidauthority.com/windows-android-call-syncing-1039039/

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Instagram Gets Dark Mode Support on Android and iOS, Removes Following Tab for All Users

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Instagram is introducing a series of new, welcome changes to its Android and iOS apps this week. The Facebook-owned app now finally supports dark mode on both Android and iOS. The company has been testing the feature for a while and it’s now rolling out to all users. Besides this, Instagram is also removing the Following tab from its Activity feed that lets users browse through others’ Instagram activity. Lastly, Instagram is also adding a new security feature that helps you avoid phishing scams.

The new dark mode feature in Instagram works on both Android and iOS apps. You’ll need to switch to the system-wide dark mode setting on your smartphone to use this feature. You’ll need an iOS device running iOS 13 and an Android device running Android 10. But in case your Android phone runs a custom skin that supports dark mode, it’ll trigger Instagram’s dark mode too.

You’ll also need to update the Instagram app to the latest version on your Android or iOS smartphone. There’s no way to toggle the dark mode feature on or off within the app.

Besides the new dark mode, Instagram is also removing the Following tab in its Activity feed. The tab featured a user’s friend activity on Instagram. The Facebook-owned company had started removing the feature for select users starting August, but will now remove it for everyone by this week, the company confirmed to Buzzfeed News.

Instagram’s head of product, Vishal Shah told Buzzfeed News that the app’s users weren’t always aware of the fact their activity was accessible to their friends. The tab will now focus on a user’s own activity instead. The Following tab was introduced back in 2011 to let users discover new content before the Explore tab was introduced.

Meanwhile, Instagram is also trying to help users avoid phishing scams. The company is adding a new security feature that adds a list of official email addresses from companies, letting users cross-check if an email they have received is from the relevant company or a malicious user.

Source: https://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/instagram-dark-mode-support-android-ios-following-tab-activity-feed-removal-anti-phishing-2113485

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