WhatsApp Group Calling Now Rolling Out to Select Android Beta, iOS Users

WhatsApp Group Calling Now Rolling Out to Select Android Beta, iOS Users

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Few WhatsApp for iOS 2.18.52 users have received group video calling
  • Same goes for very few Android beta version 2.18.145 and above users
  • A new Add participant button shows up in WhatsApp video call

At the F8 keynote, it was announced that the Facebook-owned WhatsApp is getting the group calling feature soon. Now, a few users are reporting that they are seeing the feature in their Android and iOS app, and are able to use it. Mind you, very few users are reporting this update, and it doesn’t mean that the official roll out has begun. WhatsApp is the biggest messaging app in the world, with over a billion active users globally.

WABetaInfo reports that few users on WhatsApp iOS version 2.18.52 and Android beta version 2.18.145 and above can see group video calling activated. This feature is not officially rolled out yet, and it does not work on the invitation system either. Users just have to be very lucky to see this feature, and WhatsApp seems to have randomly picked a segment of users to test this feature with. In any case, this does mean that the group calling feature is coming to WhatsApp Android and iOS real soon.

For all those lucky users who have it, they now see an Add Participant icon on the top right window after making a video call to one person. Clicking on that icon allows you to add up to three more people to the video call. The screen then splits into four halves for a proper group video call.

WhatsApp has rolled out the new iOS version 2.18.52 to all users, and you can check for an update on the App Store. After updating the app, you can go ahead and see if you have the video calling feature activated or not by following the above mentioned method. If you do see it, then let us know your first impressions in the comment section below!

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

25 Android and iPhone Apps to Add a Second Phone Number for Business Only Calls

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls

A smartphone is just as much a business communication device as it is a personal one. But using a single number for both on your phone is unprofessional and unnecessarily problematic. But smartphone technology and the many apps available in the marketplace allow you to easily get a second phone number avoiding these problems entirely.

If your phone can accept a second SIM card, you can get another number from your service provider. However, if you don’t want to use this option or can’t because you don’t have a secondary SIM slot, you can use an app to get a second number on your phone.

Why Get a Separate Business Number?

First, it clearly separates your personal and business conversations, while at the same time protecting your personal private number. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about figuring out who is calling you because the dedicated line identifies it. Last but not least, it gives you a professional appearance.

Some apps may have either a free version or trial period, so if you can, try them out before you purchase a plan. And be sure to read the fine print, because unlimited calls, SMS and text are in most cases between users of the app.

Second Phone Number Apps for Small Businesses

Here are 25 apps you can use to add a second number. All of the second phone number apps are available for Android and iOS, except for LineUp, Numbers Plus, Second Phone Number, and Swytch, which are only for iOS.

GoDaddy Smartline

The GoDaddy SmartLine was just announced recently by the domain name company. You can get a local phone number with a US area code plus customizable voicemail, business hour ring option, text messages and more. You can try it free for 30 days.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - GoDaddy Smartline

Burner

Burner is one of the more popular apps for creating a secondary number. It was originally designed to create a temporary number, but permanent options are now available. The mini burner will give you 14 days with limited talk time and text messages, while the permanent version is a monthly plan for as long as you need the number. There is also a three-line plan if you happen to need more numbers.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Burner

Google Voice

With Google Voice, all you need is a Google account to get a new phone number. The calls can be routed to your mobile phone, computer, home, office or another location. In addition to standard calling features, the app also transcribes voicemail messages to text.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Google Voice

Hushed

Like Burner, Hushed has temporary and permanent options for your second phone number. It starts with a free number for three days, followed by seven-day and permanent plans you have to pay for. Features include custom voicemail messages and call-forwarding.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Hushed

Dingtone

Dingtone gives you a free US number so you can make calls or text to any landline or mobile device in over 230 countries. The company uses its dedicated VoIP network to deliver HD voice and also provides instant messaging to share photos, videos, locations and contacts. Yearly and monthly subscriptions are available in the US, UK, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Dingtone

Free Tone

Free Tone says it gives you unlimited free calls and texts to U.S. and Canadian phone numbers when you get your own number from any area code with no trials or hidden costs. The company uses VoIP technology to deliver the service. The free calls only apply to the contiguous US and Canada, so make sure you check if you plan calling anywhere else.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Free Tone

CoverMe

CoverMe gives you end-to-end encryption to make secure private calls and send texts with your new number. The app also has a private vault to hide photos, videos, passwords and files. You can get US and Canadian numbers for many different area codes.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - CoverMe

Cloudphone

Cloud Phone  describes itself as a business phone system for managing your business and personal calls. It includes one touch access to call recording, conference calling, eavesdrop, voicemail transcription and flip call features. The app includes a professional company greeting and an auto attendant for call routing, voicemail and call forwarding.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Cloudphone

iPlum

iPlum has domestic and international functionality with support for 22 global languages on smartphones and tablets. You pay as you go by only purchasing the credits you need for your second number. You can port your existing phone number with caller ID, dedicated voicemail, call forwarding and picture and video messaging.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - iPlum

Line2

Line2 offers full feature business phone systems for your second number starting with 1,500 minutes of outbound calling or forwarding. You can get a number in any city in the U.S. or Canada with visual caller ID, group calling and messaging, number blocking and more.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Line2

LineUp

The second number LineUp provides offers texting, photo messaging, calling and voicemail. The subscription-free pricing lets you use the number for a single call or long-term use. The company also provides vanity numbers for your business with calling and texting features. The calling and texting minutes you pay for roll over instead of expiring, and they are good for any LineUp numbers you have.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - LineUp

Numbers Plus

Numbers Plus lets you create multiple numbers and keep them as long as you want. Currently it only supports US and Canadian numbers for making calls and texting. You can try it for free and use the in-app purchase feature for additional time and numbers.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Numbers Plus

Phoner

The Phoner app has a random phone number generator to quickly give you a temporary or permanent number. Once you get the number, you can access reverse phone number lookup, phone call recording functions, anonymous texting and calling, along with SMS and MMS.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Phoner

Ring4

Ring4 gives you a local or international number in 20 countries with features such as text with emoji, call recording, do not disturb mode and more. If you make international calls, you can make or receive calls and texts overseas with a US number, with no roaming charges.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Ring4

TalkU

TalkU gives you a free second number to make and receive calls in the US and internationally. Call any mobile or landline phone number in more than 200 countries with unlimited free calling and texting between TalkU users. Features include Visual voicemail with instant listening, call screens, group calling with free group conference calls, and walkie-talkie.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - TalkU

Talkatone

Talkatone gives you a free US or Canadian phone number to make free calls in those countries. Inbound international calls are also free, with monthly subscription fee for making calls to select countries. The app supports ads, but you can pay for the service to have them removed.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Talkatone

Swytch

Swytch has designed its app so businesses can give their employees work mobile numbers, instead of work mobile phones. This is a great cost effective option for many small businesses. For the employees it means not having to change personal handset, network operator or SIM card. And for business owners, it means saving on the purchase of increasingly expensive smartphones.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Swytch

Sideline

Sideline built its business with a free version loaded with features, but now it is only available as a paid service. Still the high-quality features such as auto-attendant, along with standard calling options seem worth the price for many businesses.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Sideline

Second Phone Number

Second Phone Number  gives you as many numbers as you want with monthly or yearly subscriptions. The phone numbers are available for 31 countries with features including contact management, numbers for specific business use, texting, SMS and more.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Second Phone Number

Telos

Telos gives you unlimited calling and texting with a second phone number. You can get a US phone number in any area code as well as international numbers in several countries. Calls can be forwarded to any landline or mobile number with voicemail, auto reply messages and blocking features.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Telos

Textfree

Textfree starts with free text messages, inbound calls and limited outbound calls for your second number. It is important to remember you have to use your free number at least once within a 30 day period or the company will reclaim it. You can keep the paid numbers for as long as you want.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Textfree

TextMe Up

TextMe Up lets you manage as many numbers as you like and switch between multiple numbers in one screen. Features include HD voice and video calling, as well as group messages with texting, photo and video sharing. You can call numbers in the US, Canada, UK and 200 countries with monthly plans.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - TextMe Up

Textplus

Textplus provides real free US phone numbers with unlimited free SMS text and MMS to any US or Canadian number. While inbound calls are free, you can only make ad-supported free calls. If you don’t want the ads, you can opt for the paid service. The app uses push notifications to instantly deliver text messages. You can also send emojis, stickers, animated GIFs, and voice notes with support for group blast messaging.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Textplus

Virtual Phone

You can place and receive calls and text messages to any phone number or SIP device with Virtual Phone. The app includes features to keep track of all caller information, such as geographical location, time zone, caller’s name, and phone. Advanced business call management and routing rules, interactive voice menus, custom greetings, multiple voice mailboxes and more are also available.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - Virtual Phone

WhatsCall

WhatsCall lets you make calls to users even if they don’t have the app or an internet connection. It includes one touch recording for incoming and outgoing calls, call block and caller ID. The company has different offers to earn credit for free calls, including watching ads, playing games, completing tasks and inviting friends.

25 Android and iPhone Second Phone Number Apps for Business Only Calls - WhatsCallMan With 2 Smartphones Photo via Shutterstock

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpg

One other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpg

Shankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpg

Who should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Wacom Bamboo Tip Stylus Allows for Seamless Pairing on Android and iOS Devices

Wacom Bamboo Tip Stylus Allows for Seamless Pairing on Android and iOS Devices

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Bamboo Tip comes with an anodised aluminium casing
  • It is available for iOS devices and most Android devices
  • It has a claimed battery life of 20 hours on a single charge

Accessory maker Wacom on Tuesday announced the launch of the new Bamboo Tip fine-tip stylus for Android and iOS devices. The stylus has been designed for Android phones/ tablets, iPhone, and iPad. It enables switching between devices without pairing. The Bamboo Tip stylus comes with a claimed 20-hour battery life. It has been priced at $49.95 (roughly Rs. 3,200) in the US, EUR 59.90 (roughly Rs. 4,700) in European markets, and JPY 6,280 (roughly Rs. 3,600) in Japan.

The Bamboo Tip comes integrated with Wacom’s proprietary Inkspace, a cloud based service that offers access and synchronisation for notes and other sketches. The fine-tip stylus has an anodised aluminium casing in a Dark Blue colour variant. It conserves battery life by turning off within a few minutes of standby time; users can also switch it off by pressing the button provided.

Yet another switch on top of the Bamboo Tip allows users to fine tune performance by changing frequency based on custom preferences.

The highlight feature of the Wacom Bamboo Tip is the ability to switch between Android and iOS devices without the need of pairing and unpairing repeatedly.

The Wacom Bamboo Tip has a length of 142mm and minimum diameter of 10mm. Weight of the stylus is 16 grams. It comes with a Micro-USB charging port hidden behind the cover on the top. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. “Bamboo Tip works best on screens without one (screen protector),” according to the product page.

“In today’s connected world, we rely on a combination of smartphones, tablets and different operating systems to capture ideas, observations and next steps at work or at play. Bamboo Tip lets users move seamlessly between devices and operating systems to get things done. As OS providers roll out more seamless note taking and markup capabilities on their devices, Bamboo Tip will help users take full advantage to be more productive and turn ideas into reality,” said Mike Gay, Senior Vice President of the Wacom Consumer Business Unit.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]