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New WeChat for Windows with Video Calling

As their reach continues to expand out from China to Europe and North America, WeChat is constantly rolling out cool new updates, features and platforms to attract even more users (apparently the 600 million they have right now isn’t enough).
Among the latest updates are a native WeChat desktop app for Windows PC, which includes a lot of the features you already love about WeChat mobile.

WeChat Windows

Introducing WeChat for PC/Windows

The creation of an app for Windows PCs is something that people have been wanting for a long time. There has been a native app for Mac OSX computers for quite a while now, and now PC devotees can get the same benefits. Using WeChat on your desktop or laptop computer gives you a lot of advantages that you just can’t get on even a larger smartphone screen or tablet. The much larger screen of a PC allows you to multitask easily with multiple conversation windows open simultaneously, and typing on a regular keyboard is still more comfortable for some people than tiny mobile keyboards with bad autocorrect.

But one of the best features of WeChat for Windows is the free video calling. No, video calling isn’t anything new or particularly groundbreaking, but video calls on the big screen are much nicer (and more comfortable) than video calls on your mobile phone.

With the WeChat Windows app, you can easily send files to your friends, who can receive them on their mobile device or their own PC, if they’re using the Windows app too. It’s also easy to take screenshots and share them with your friends in WeChat.

As with the mobile app, WeChat for PC lets you un-send a message within 2 minutes of sending, in case of typos, second thoughts or accidentally sending to the wrong person (hey, it happens). You can also keep group chats organized with mentions; all you have to do is type the “@” symbol and a list of names of the group chat members will pop up, allowing you to direct a message specifically to one person, who will receive a special notification. That way, no one ever misses an important message in all the chatter.

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How to download WeChat for Windows

Downloading WeChat on your PC is easy. You can get the download link from the official WeChat website, and follow the instructions on screen to finish the installation to your computer. When it’s time to log in, the Windows version of WeChat will show you a QR code that you’ll scan with your mobile version of the app; that way, your account gets synced and you know that you’re the one logging in to your WeChat. You only have to do the QR code business the first time you log on to a particular PC. After that, when you go to log in, you’ll get a message on your mobile version asking to verify that it’s okay to log you in on the computer. It’s very secure for a desktop application; your WeChat messages are stored only on your mobile device so that any random person using your computer can’t see them.

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WeChat Users on iPhone and iPad

WeChat Users on iPhone and iPad: You May Have Been Hacked, Here’s How to Fix It

Just last month, something unprecedented happened on the Apple iOS servers: they were hacked. Operating systems by Apple, both iOS and Mac OS, have long been applauded for their resistance to hacking, viruses and malware. For the better part of a decade, Apple has been able to keep iPhone and iPad users safe from cyber attack by stringently controlling the iOS compatible applications that it allows into its official App Store. But someone, presumably in China, found a weak spot.

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How the WeChat iOS hack happened

WeChat is one of the most popular instant messaging applications, with upwards of 600 million users, mostly in Asia (although its success has been expanding westward for some time now). It is owned and developed in China by the company TenCent, which operates several other mobile applications that aren’t of very much significance in Europe and North America. It seems that WeChat developers took a bit of a shortcut when they created the early September update, WeChat v6.2.5 for iOS, and they weren’t the only development company, either.

When a mobile application developer wants to create a new application for iPhone and/or iPad, they must get access to a special iOS coding software from Apple in order to build the app. This coding software is called Xcode, and it is carefully regulated by Apple to ensure security and houses on servers in the United States.

What the developers at WeChat and other companies did was use a counterfeit version of Xcode that was running on a Chinese server, making downloads and development much faster and on their end. In order to download the counterfeit Xcode software, the developers would have had to disable standard Apple security features.

The Chinese counterfeit Xcode could have been harmless; the developers certainly must have thought it was. But it wasn’t. The software contained a malware program called Xcode Ghost embedded in its code. Since WeChat and other iOS apps are built on this software scaffolding, the malware became embedded into the applications’ codes as well.

Other than the midden Xcode Ghost malware code lurking in the programming of WeChat and more than 340 other Chinese applications, the apps were perfectly legitimate when they reached Apple for approval. They met all standard criteria and were added to the App Store without raising any red flags.

When iPhone and iPad users updated their apps to the new version available in the App Store, like WeChat, the infected application was installed and the code for the Xcode Ghost malware was sneakily put on their device.

(more…)

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Wechat app

If you haven’t heard of the free messaging application WeChat, you’re not alone; even though it currently boasts a half billion active users, it has only recently started to catch on in Europe and the Americas. But it is catching on quickly, and we can only expect that WeChat’s popularity will continue to grow exponentially, possibly even overtaking some other big players in the instant messenger market. The reasons for WeChat messenger’s consistent success are multi-faceted, but underlying its popularity are innovative and exciting new features that other instant messaging apps don’t have. What WeChat has done is take the basic elements of an instant messenger service and transformed them into a truly immersive, social user experience.

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WeChat’s New Social Options

WeChat includes all of the standard messaging features you would expect, such as the ability to send SMS text messages and MMS picture and video messages, start group chats with groups of up to 500 people, and make free voice calls from just about anywhere in the world. To spice up your text messages, there is an enormous sticker gallery with some of your favorite animated characters. WeChat also has a great video chat feature, and you can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your WeChat account, making it easy to share things from your WeChat feed to your other favorite social networks using the “Moments” feature. There is also a “Live Chat” feature which is sort of a hybrid of a walkie-talkie and a conference call. But these features aren’t what make it stand out from the crowd. This is where those unique social features come into play.

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WeChat: The Shake Feature

The WeChat app is not only great for helping you stay in touch with family and friends, it can actually help you meet new people and make new friends if you want. WeChat’s two social features can be used to find existing friends or find new people to chat with or hang out with, depending on how you use them. The first social feature that is totally unique to WeChat is called “Shake”. This can be used to coordinate large groups of your existing friends or to chat with new people. For example, let’s say you’re out with a group of people, friends, mutual friends and some new acquaintances. You’re all having a great time, and want to add each other as WeChat contacts. You don’t have to manually add every single new contact, just have everyone turn on the Shake feature and shake their phones simultaneously; WeChat will display a list on each phone of everyone who was shaking, so that you can add your new friends quickly and easily and get back to having fun. Alternatively, if you’re sitting at home and bored, you can use the Shake option too; you’ll get a list of every other WeChat user all around the world who is also shaking their phone. Find someone who looks interesting, and strike up a conversation. Boom, you just made a new virtual friend.

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WeChat: The Look Around Feature

WeChat’s other unique social feature is called “Look Around”, which is great for people who are interested in making new friends in real life. When you select the Look Around option, WeChat will give you a list of nearby people who also have the option turned on. Scroll through the list, find some interesting people, and send them a request. If you decide to meet up, you might find your new best friend, or even Mr. or Mrs. Right! Don’t worry about random people stalking you with this feature, though; you’ll only show up as “nearby” in other people’s lists if you’re using the feature too.

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WeChat is Totally Free

WeChat is really shaking things up in the instant messenger app industry with its unique social features, plus all of the basic messaging features you could ever need. Best of all, WeChat is 100% free. Download WeChat for free, use all of its great features for free with no subscription fees or hidden charges; even international calls and messages are free. And you will also find tons of free stickers available in the sticker gallery. With so many awesome ways to stay connected and meet new people, all for free, it’s no wonder over 500 million people use it as their preferred social messaging application!

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WeChat, Because Half a Billion People Can’t Be Wrong

When we say that WeChat is a popular application, we’re talking half a billion people. They must be onto something, right? Although at the moment, approximately 430 million of those users are in China, the number of users around the world is growing at a steady pace. This instant messaging application may soon become top dog worldwide, if current trends are any indication. There are several reasons behind the huge success of the WeChat messenger app, but they all boil down to unique and innovative features that you can’t find in any other similar application. WeChat has taken the basic instant messenger and made it a really exciting, social experience.

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Aside from the standard messaging features that you would expect from this kind of app, WeChat’s unique social features are what really set it apart from the rest. As far as I know, this is the only instant messenger that allows users to easily make new friends online and in real life, if they choose to. This is done with their two special functions, “Shake” and “Look around”. Picture this: you’re at home and bored and want to chat with someone new. Select the “Shake” function in WeChat and then shake your phone… you will get a list of everyone who is also shaking their phone, from all around the world. You can send messages and friend requests to people in the list, and make new friends near and far. Another example: imagine you’re out with a group of people, some of which you’ve just met, but you’re all having a great time and want to add each other as WeChat contacts. You can add each other all at once by having the whole group shake their phones at the same time.

The other social feature, the “Look Around” function, is geared towards people who are interested in making new friends in real life who are nearby. Like the “Shake” feature, when you “Look Around” you will get a list of all the other WeChat users nearby who are also “Looking Around”. Don’t worry about your stalker figuring out where you are with this feature, though; you will only show up in people’s lists if you are “Looking Around” too.

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Another neat way that WeChat has made the basic messaging application more social is by offering the possibility to link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that you can share photos from WeChat into your social media feeds with the tap of a button using the “Moments” feature.

This is all in addition to WeChat’s text messages, picture messages, video messages, recorded audio messages, group chats (with as many as 500 people!), voice calls, video calls, and something called “live chat” which is sort of like using a walkie-talkie for a conference call. And to make your messages really fun, WeChat has a huge gallery of stickers, many of which are animated and famous characters, and a lot of them are free. Which brings us to the best part about WeChat… it is 100% free. Free to download, free to use, with no extra fees for using the special features or making international calls, and no annual subscription fees to worry about. Free forever. No wonder half a billion people are using it!

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