Tech News

Facebook Forces Messenger on You, How Android Apps Run on Chromebook… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 06-06-2016

Facebook insists you use Messenger, a demonstration of Android apps on a Chromebook, Cortana arrives on the Xbox One, Netflix makes its first Indian Original, and the fictional app everyone should own.


Facebook Wants Us All to Use Messenger

Facebook is determined to get you all using Facebook Messenger 15 Hidden Facebook Messenger Tricks You Need to Try Even though you use Facebook Messenger every day, here are some Facebook Messenger secrets you may have missed. Read More , and is willing to force you to take the plunge. How? By making it impossible to access Facebook messages on your phone on anything but Messenger.

Facebook started this process in 2014, removing messages from the Facebook app Facebook Pushes Messenger, OkCupid Experiments on Users, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Amazon launches a portal for 3D-printed products, Samsung delays release of its first Tizen smartphone, Reddit eyes profitability, Yelp adds user-generated video reviews, and Microsoft trolls Apple with Cortana bullying Siri. Read More on Android and iOS. Users unwilling to install Messenger simply started using the mobile site instead. But Facebook is now removing that option too, telling users, “Your conversations are moving to Messenger”, and warning that, “Soon, you’ll only be able to view your messages from Messenger”.

The social network is officially claiming this is for your own good, telling The Guardian:

“Since [2014], we’ve worked hard to make Messenger the best way to connect with the people you care about by adding video calling, conversations with businesses, gifs and much more. [Messenger] helps messages load about 20% faster and enables richer interactions.”

That may all be true, but Facebook should still be giving people a choice to either install Messenger to get the best user experience, or carry on using the mobile site to get a not-quite-as-good user experience. Removing that choice altogether is inexcusably dictatorial.

Google Previews Android on Chrome OS

After years of rumors and expectation, Google is finally bringing Android apps to Chrome OS One Million Reasons to Buy a Chromebook, Chromebooks Outsell Macs... [Tech News Digest] Google is bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, Chromebooks outsell Macs in the U.S., Gran Turismo Sport has a release date, help Google name Android N, and watch a nightmarish vision of our future. Read More . In a nutshell, this means you’ll be able to use any one of the 1 million Android apps currently available on your Chromebook. And we have already recommended 12 you should install at your earliest convenience 12 Android Apps You Need to Install on Chromebook With the Google Play store about to come to our fingertips, the power of an incredible number of apps is about to reach Chrome OS. So what will we install first? Let's see. Read More .


However, while it’s easy for Google to talk up this brave new world, which is exactly what the company did at Google I/O 2016 The Best of Google I/O 2016, Nokia Makes a Comeback... [Tech News Digest] Google reveals new products and services at I/O 2016, Nokia comes alive once more, a reminder that Facebook Live broadcasts are public, and the first teaser for the new Star Trek TV series. Read More , how nicely are Chrome OS and Android going to play together in the real world? We now know thanks to a video demonstration of Android apps running on a Chromebook, as posted to the Google Developers’ YouTube channel.

Suffice to say, everything works seamlessly. It’s easy to share files between apps, games run extremely smoothly, and offline support means your Chromebook is about to get a lot more useful. It should be noted that Google will have used a high-end Chromebook for this demo, so performance should be taken with a liberal pinch of salt. But still, everything is looking good.

Microsoft Previews Xbox Update

Microsoft is offering Xbox Preview members the chance to try out a major new update for the Xbox One Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More . The update, which will be released to all Xbox One users later this summer, brings Cortana to the Xbox One for the first time, as well as a host of other interesting improvements.

Xbox One gamers will soon be able to use Cortana How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life Your life is so complex, you deserve a personal assistant. Meet Cortana, your virtual assistant ready to serve at the tip of your tongue. We'll show you how to effectively delegate tasks to Cortana. Read More to find new games to play, to see what their friends are doing, start a party, and more besides. Other improvements include a new Game Collection user interface, a Facebook Friend Finder, and improved sharing capabilities.


Only Xbox One users who have opted into the Xbox Preview will get the update this week, and Cortana will initially only be available in the U.S., UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. You can find out all of the juicy details on Xbox Wire.

Netflix Is Making an Indian Original

Netflix is making a new original series based in India, with an adaptation of Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. Sacred Games will be produced by Netflix and Phantom Films, shot on location in India, and be available to view worldwide upon release. In the press release announcing the new series, Netflix explains the plot of Sacred Games thusly:

“Set in Mumbai, Sacred Games delves into the city’s intricate web of organized crime, corruption, politics and espionage that lie beneath India’s economic renaissance. It is an epic masterwork of exceptional richness and power that interweaves the lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched and the bloodthirsty.”

Netflix has already produced some amazing original series 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More well worth watching, and this should be no exception. However, unlike most of the shows produced so far, Sacred Games suggests Netflix is intentionally seeking to expand its content to appeal directly to people in the countries that have only recently acquired the ability to subscribe Netflix Expands Everywhere, Oculus Pricing Causes Rift... [Tech News Digest] Netflix is now available in almost every country, the Oculus Rift will cost you $599, Politwoops embarrasses backtracking politicians, Psychonauts 2 is getting made, and Trevor from GTA V is now selling Old Spice. Read More (legally). India being one of them.


Beeps – The Best Fictional App Ever

And finally, a lot of the apps we use on a daily basis are actually kind of useless Do Not Install These 10 Popular Android Apps These Android apps are extremely popular, but they also compromise your security and privacy. If you have them installed, you'll want to uninstall them after reading this. Read More . If you strip these apps down to their bare essentials they don’t really add anything to your life, they just keep you staring down at your phone like a hypnotized halfwit. And many of us embrace this way of life.

Which leads us onto Beeps, a new app which does nothing but occasionally beep to prompt you to look at your phone. When you do, the app will display, “Good Job” on the screen to remind you you’re doing a good job.

As you may have already guessed, Beeps isn’t real, instead being the imaginings of The Upright Citizens Brigade, but the scary thing is this could actually exist, and no one would bat an eyelid. [H/T Slate]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you be installing Messenger to appease the Facebook gods? Will you be installing Android apps on your Chromebook? Are you looking forward to the Xbox Update? Should Netflix make more local shows for specific regions? Would you install Beeps if it actually existed?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

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  1. John Doe
    June 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I will never use messenger. Facebook can't force me to install it. I will use Facebook Lite or or mini old facebook to check my messages but i will never install messenger

  2. nope
    June 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Looks like I'll only be checking my facebook messages at home on my PC.

  3. banio
    June 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    The only reason Facebook wants users to install Messenger is to get the most personal data possible out of your phone (much simpler with the app instead of a browser). Of course I won't install any facebook app (including whatsapp and others).
    Note: there will be always a way to read facebook messages on your android browser, just view facebook on desktop version :)