It's incredibly tempting to reach out and respond to a text you get while you're driving, but maybe less so when you realise that distracted driving is causing thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year in the US alone. Take away the temptation by having your phone reply to messages for you, so you don't have to worry about it.
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If you've picked up a new phone recently, chances are you have a couple of instant messaging clients installed on it. I've got eight — too many. In trying to cut down the number of ways I talk to all my different friends and acquaintances and coworkers, though, I've convinced two of my most regularly used group chats — one on Facebook Messenger, and one on iMessage — to move over to Signal. And that's because Signal is the best messaging service out there — here is why.
IFTTT (IF This Then That) is an incredibly useful tool for all kinds of tasks, which is why we talk about it so regularly. The platform continues to expand its smartphone integrations for Android and iOS users, and one of the best ways you can take advantage is by automatically alerting your significant other when you're heading home.
Earlier this week, it came to light that a simple text message can crash Messages on any iPhone it's sent to. Apple hasn't fixed the problem at a software level yet — but it does have a temporary solution that you can use if you're affected.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'll take it as a compliment that Brent Rose saw fit to explore the wondrous and alarming world of Magic in this video short for Wired. Giz got a fish, but Brent got a much larger collection of impressively random things.
Those long-winded SMS/iMessage/Hangouts conversations filled with emoticons and pictures and GIFs aren't doing the storage space on your smartphone any favours. And the clutter in your messaging app isn't too much fun either. Fortunately, you can get your iOS or Android-powered mobile to erase older messages automatically. Here are the settings to use if you can live without your text history.
In a car, in a meeting, in the library, clambering up a mountain face — the list of places where it's not convenient to take a call is almost endless. The latest versions of Android include an SMS auto-response feature you can use to fire back a text if you can't pick up. Here's how to activate it and customise the messages to suit your needs.
SMS Backup + isn't the only option for getting your texts and call data off your Android smartphone, but it's one of the simplest and most effective. It archives all of your messages to Gmail (or Google Calendar), and it covers WhatsApp communications too. The app is free to download and install, though you can leave a donation for the developer if you wish.
When it comes to group texts, nothing is more infuriating than being trapped in an endless barrage vibrations signaling nothing more than a "lol" or the occasional poop emoji. But until now, there was no convenient way to put an end to the madness without blocking your friends or insulting them to the point that they cut off contact. GroupXiT fixes that.
Most people lie. Whether it's once and a while or daily, everyone has to do their thing and sometimes lying seems like the best way to make it all work. But liars have tells, which can be just as important in life as in poker. And a new study suggests that people take longer to respond to texts when they're cooking up a lie. Just one more thing to factor into the social calculus.
Humanity is finally starting to realise that we dont need to make phone calls and leave voicemails like a bunch of animals. Instead, we've moved on to the more refined, less-social-anxiety-inducing text message. But with the rise of SMS comes a relatively new phenomenon: The misdirected text from a wrong number. It's a peculiar kind of power — don't abuse it.
Real-time chat has been everywhere for, you know, forever now and has swallowed everything in its path. Integrating chat platforms and finding a way to coherently deal with texting vs. chatting has become a major issue. Other than venting here in hallowed Gizmodo chatroom posts, how do you manage all the Google chat options, Facebook chat, Skype and everything else?
Anyone who has tried to navigate down a busy footpath while dodging people who are obliviously looking down at their phones will appreciate this latest prank by ImprovEverywhere. Its latest mission in New York City was to pose as municipal workers, with orange "Department of Transportation" vests, and act as "Seeing Eye People" for texting-obsessed pedestrians.
For a long time now, our smartphones have been getting more and more, well, smart. They do more things. You probably haven’t beaten your phone at chess in years. And the race to cram increasingly granular, eventually useless, features into them has defined the past few years of phone making. Except the next big waypoint won’t be some technological marvel like week-long battery life. It’s something much simpler: plain old chat.