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With the slew of internet-based messaging apps available today, one might think that SMS is dead, but that’s not the case. It’s still useful for communicating with non-smartphone users or receiving updates from companies such as your bank or utility service providers.
Traditionally, sending text messages or SMS was reserved for devices like a mobile phone that had a SIM card. However, there are different options you can use to send and receive text messages from your computer.
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For iPhone users, it’s easy to receive text messages on your Mac so that you never miss an important text message no matter what you’re doing. With Android devices though, the Android Messages desktop app makes it easy to send and receive messages from your PC.What Is Android Messages?
Android Messages is a free messaging app designed for Android devices that allows you to chat, text, send media files like photos, audio messages, videos, and send group texts.
It works much like WhatsApp for the web, with features that you’d find in most messaging apps such as GIFs, emojis, stickers, but it goes even further to allow you to send or receive payments through Google Pay.
All these help you save time that you’d otherwise spend scrolling through social media or photos and videos when you could just send a quick SMS. Not only that, but it also allows you to type longer messages on a keyboard and send them straight from your PC.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Android Messages to link your Android device to your PC, so you can view, copy, send and/or receive Android messages on your desktop PC.How To Use The Android Messages Desktop Client On Your PC
The Android Messages desktop app or Android Messages for Web allows users to send and receive messages seamlessly between their smartphone and PC. To get started, download Android Messages from the Google Play Store, and install it on your smartphone.
Open the app on your phone and tap Set As Default chat app.
If you already have a default app with which you receive your messages such as Samsung’s Messages app, you could receive a pop-up warning notifying you that your action may disable some app features if you set Android Messages as your default. Tap Yes to confirm that you want to change the messaging app to Android Messages.
Android Messages will sync all your saved text messages and conversations, and you’ll see a blue Start Chat bubble at the lower right side of the screen, which you can tap on to start sending messages.
Next, set up Android Messages on your desktop computer or laptop by opening the Android Messages website in your web browser. It works with any browser.
Go to your Android phone and open the Android Messages app. Tap the three dots at the upper right side of the screen to open the menu.
Tap Messages for web. This connects your phone to the services and automatically generates all your messages so you can see them the same way you would with your usual messaging app’s interface.
Note: You can change the contrast from light to dark mode by tapping Enable dark theme if you want less eye strain in low light settings.
The interface will switch to a dark mode theme as shown in the image below.
Tap the blue QR code scanner button.
Scan the QR code on the Android Messages website on your PC.
Once you scan the QR code, Android Messages will load and appear in your web browser, and you can start chatting with your contacts, and share videos, voice messages, photos and other features of the app on your PC.
You can also choose individual messages, see their contents and reply by typing into the text box below each message. It’s important to note that Android Messages works when your phone is switched on and connected to the internet.
Note: If you close the Android Messages website from your browser on the PC, you may have to scan a new QR code to send a message or response using the Android Messages desktop client again. This is because by default, the Remember this computer option is disabled, but you can enable it if you intend to use the app to send or receive messages on your PC.How To Start a Conversation Or Reply With Android Messages On PC
Like other messaging apps, you can add emoji, stickers, GIFs and other attachments, and if your smartphone is a dual-SIM device, you can choose which SIM card to send the message or response from.
The Settings area lets you change your message preview or notification settings, pair or unpair your PC and smartphone, play sounds for incoming messages, replace emoticons with emojis when typing, and display when your phone is using mobile data, and much more.
Other features available with the Android Messages desktop app include muting conversations or opening the overflow menu for more options.
With the smartphone app, you can add or block contacts from the settings menu, and use the Smart Reply tool to get automatic suggestions for replying to messages and sending them to your contacts. It also has more messaging and notification settings you can use.
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Have you ever wanted to be a spy? Well, real spies don’t look like James Bond. They don’t stand out or call attention to themselves – they hide in plain sight. Using your Windows machine, you can transmit secret information that is hidden in harmless files such as a .ZIP archive or an innocent cat pic. We show you how in this tutorial.
Want to send text messages from your PC? Here’s how to link Android to your Windows computer.1. Write an Invisible Text Message in an Image File
An image file is comprised of 1s and 0s, just like every other file on your computer, including text files, allowing you to technically open an image file in a text editor and start typing directly inside the raw data. When viewed normally, the image itself will not visibly contain anything resembling the text that you typed, but when opened in a text editor, your message will be visible. Here’s how:
You should see a whole bunch of weird text symbols and gibberish. Scroll down a bit until you’re around the middle of the file.
Type your secret message somewhere in the middle.
If you take a look at your image, you should see that it’s mostly unchanged. You may see some visual artifacts or a visual glitch. (In our case, we noticed the bottom half of our image tinted with a light blue.)
This is something to be expected from tampering with the raw data of an image file, but it will still effectively hide your secret message. Only those who think to open an image in a text file would ever see your message.2. Record a Secret Voice Message Inside a Song
You may want to send a secret message that’s more personal than just some text on a screen. To that end, you can record a voice message and plant it discreetly inside any song file. With some audio editing, you can disguise your message, and an untrained listener will just think it’s part of the song. Just make sure you have a microphone set up before you start!
Check out your exported file. It is just a song file that looks normal on the surface, but in reality, includes a voice message recorded by you personally. Since your recording was transformed into a high-pitched noise, a listener may think it’s just a normal part of the song. To listen to the message, open this song file in Audacity and repeat steps 7 through 9, but make sure the percentage is set to “-75.000.”
After applying, your recording will be slowed down to the original speed. You may need to zoom out and scroll further out to the right to find your recorded part again. When you play it, you’ll hear your voice, although you may notice it sounds comically squeakier!
Tip: check out the best sound schemes for Windows that you can install on your PC.3. Hide an Image Inside Another Image
This technique is one of the more technically challenging approaches but also one of the coolest. It allows you to hide an image inside a cover image that is two times bigger or more in terms of the number of pixels. The result: the small image is completely imperceptible but can be extracted without any data loss.
Note: what follows is a guide heavy on Command Prompt. You’ll also have to install Python and download an open source project.
Open the Windows Settings app and search for “App execution aliases” in the “Find a setting” search bar.
Scroll down to find any items named “python3.exe” or “python.exe” and toggle them all off.
Download Python 2.7 from the official website. You most likely want the “Windows x86-64 MSI installer” file.
While installing, make sure that “Add chúng tôi to Path” is enabled in the customization steps.
Unzip the downloaded file, and go to the extracted folder. Inside, you should see files like “encode.py” and “decode.py.”
To install a tool that the open source project needs to function, use the pip install Pillow command. After hitting Enter, you should see output as in the following image.
You’re ready to hide your image! Run the following encode script:python encode.
Replace “Cat.png” and “Secret.png” with the paths to your cover image and secret image, respectively, while “output.png” should be the name of the new combined file.
To recover the hidden image, simply run the decode script: python chúng tôi chúng tôi decoded.png (changing the file names as needed). The “decoded.png” file would be the secret image that was hidden.
If you’re new to Git, we have a beginner’s guide that will help you understand its basics.4. Hide Multiple Files (an Archive File) Inside an Image
If you have many documents to hide, you’ll be happy to learn that you can discreetly hide them all away in one go with this easy method.
Enter the following command: copy /B chúng tôi + secret.7z chúng tôi You’ll want to replace “Cat.png” with the image file you want as your cover, “secret.7z” with the archive you created in step #3, and “CatAndSecret.png” with an unsuspicious file name of your choice. (Just make sure it has the same file type as your cover image.)
You don’t have to use 7-Zip for this technique, by the way. WinRAR or PeaZip would also work. Additionally, you can zip up your secrets on mobile. Check out our guide on zipping and unzipping files on Android.5. Hide Any File in Another Plain File
This approach, using something called alternate data streams, can hide something when you’re in a pinch.
Enter the following command, replacing “secret.txt” and “unsuspicious.txt” with your file names:
Only your innocent cover file is left. If opened normally, it looks like nothing is different. But in reality, it’s like a sleeper agent; with the right activation phrase, it will become something entirely different.
You will need to use the Command Prompt to open the plain file to uncover the secret file. If your secret was a .TEXT file, it can be uncovered with a Notepad command, such as notepad unsuspicious.txt:secret.txt.
Someone who doesn’t know what’s going on could type notepad chúng tôi and open the cover file but not the secret.
Tip: learn how to add a text box in Google Docs for increased flexibility.Frequently Asked Questions Will these techniques work if I upload the files to social media websites?
No, they may not always work if you simply upload them directly to sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Social media websites usually automatically compress uploaded image files. Compressing is destructive, meaning it irrevocably modifies the underlying data of a file, and you likely won’t be able to recover the embedded secret message.
To ensure you can share your files, upload them to a file-sharing service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. Do note that the method with alternate data streams won’t work if the file is taken off the computer’s file system.What is the difference between encryption and steganography?
You probably already know what encryption is. It’s the way to protect data by transforming data into seemingly random gibberish. Usually, only a decryption key will reveal the original data. Meanwhile, the art of steganography (what you learned to do in this article) means hiding a message inside another message or file. It doesn’t necessarily involve encryption, keys, or even computers. An example would be writing a physical letter where the first letter of each sentence spells out an additional secret message.
Encryption and steganography can be used in tandem. You could encrypt any of the secret files used in steganography for added protection. If you’re interested in upgrading your spy skills, we have a guide on how to encrypt your messages with PGP.Have any of these techniques been used in the real world?
Yes! A real Russian spy network in the United States was alleged to have used steganography to transmit messages to their motherland starting around 2005. The spies used a custom-built program to encode data inside innocent-looking images, then uploaded them to various public websites. The data contained information about where to meet, where to find cash drops, etc. The spies were arrested by the Justice Department in 2010.
Image credit: Caleb Oquendo via Pexels All screenshots by Brandon Li.
Brandon Li is a technology enthusiast with experience in the software development industry. As a result, he has a lot of knowledge about computers and is passionate about sharing that knowledge with other people. While he has mainly used Windows since early childhood, he also has years of experience working with other major operating systems.
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WhatsApp has a chat moderation feature that lets you report suspicious conversations. The feature is intended to curb hate speech and misinformation in the platform, along with reducing spam. While the messaging app has allowed users to report contacts for a long time, WhatsApp is now rolling out the ability to report individual messages as well. So to give you a better look at how to tackle spam, abuse, or misinformation, we have compiled an in-depth guide on how to report WhatsApp messages.Report Messages on WhatsApp: A Step-by-Step Guide (2024)
First spotted by tipster WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is currently testing the option to report individual messages in beta. It’s live on WhatsApp beta version 220.127.116.11 and newer. If you are not using the beta version, we have also added steps to report a contact, which in turn shares five recent messages with WhatsApp. So without further, let’s jump right in!Why Should You Report WhatsApp Messages?
Reporting a WhatsApp message helps avoid unwanted interactions on the platform. You could report a message if it is problematic in nature or is a spam message. Once you submit a report, WhatsApp’s moderators will review it and may even ban the user if they violate the company’s Terms of Service.
Moreover, contrary to recent reports, reporting a spam message or contact doesn’t undermine WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) practice. The messaging app submits a copy of the last five messages of the contact you report. It does not share the entire chat history and break end-to-end encryption in any way.How to Report Individual WhatsApp Messages
2. Press the new ‘Report’ option to proceed further. It’s worth mentioning that the Report option will appear only when you select a single message. Reporting multiple messages is not supported right now, but there’s a workaround in the next section.
3. A pop-up will now appear clarifying that the message will be forwarded to WhatsApp, but rest assured, it will not notify the said contact. Press the ‘Report’ button to flag the potentially harmful message. You can also choose to block the contact from right this screen by selecting the ‘Block contact’ checkbox.How to Report a WhatsApp View Once Photo or Video
WhatsApp recently rolled out the option to send disappearing photos and videos called View Once to users worldwide. These photos and videos self-destruct once you have viewed the content. Now, if someone shares potentially sensitive or harmful content using View Once with you, report such photos and videos with ease. Follow the steps below:
1. Open a conversation window and long-press on a View Once message. Then, tap on the three dot menu icon on the top right corner of the screen. Select the ‘Report’ option here to share the contents of that disappearing message with WhatsApp.
3. Alternatively, you can also report contacts while viewing the disappearing photo or video. Simply tap the three dot menu icon at the top right and select the ‘Report [contact name] option.
If a chat has multiple messages you would like to report, choose to report the contact instead. This way, the last five messages from the person will get forwarded to WhatsApp.
1. To get started, open the chat window, tap on the three dots menu icon, and choose ‘More’.
2. Then, tap on ‘Report’ and press ‘Report’ again from the pop-up that appears. You can block the contact and delete the conversation on your end by selecting the ‘Block contact and delete chat’ checkbox.
1. Open a conversation, tap on the three dot icon at the top right corner. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Menu’, followed by the ‘Block’ option.
2. From the pop-up menu that now appears, tap the ‘Block’ option. You can also choose to report the contact once again while blocking them at the same time by selecting the ‘Report and Block’ option.
3. Alternatively, you can tap on the contact’s name or phone number at the top and scroll down to the bottom to find the ‘Block’ option.Report WhatsApp Messages in Easy Steps
You could consider reporting individual messages when it’s clearly a spam message. For other conversations, we suggest using the report contact option to report multiple messages at once would be a better option to give moderators some context. So yeah, considering it is in beta, it shouldn’t be long before the company brings the individual message reporting feature to all users via the stable version. Once you have reported the message, you can continue using all the best WhatsApp tricks, including the option to use WhatsApp as 2FA on Instagram.
Knowing how to send the same message to various WhatsApp contacts can save you a lot of time. Sure, you want to personalize the message with their name and everything, but when you’re in a hurry, that’s just going to have to wait.
The best thing you can do to get your message across is to send a broadcast message on WhatsApp. Instead of saying, ¨Hi Sam…,¨ you can say something like,¨Hey There…..¨ The person that receives the message won’t know that other people received the same message.How to Create a Broadcast Message on WhatsApp
A broadcast message is sending the same message to a large group of people at the same time. You can send one by opening WhatsApp and tapping on the dots at the top right, and choosing the New broadcast option.
On the next page, you’ll see all your WhatsApp contacts. You can choose up to 256 people to form part of the WhatsApp broadcast. Right above your contacts, you’ll also see a message letting you know that only contacts that also have you in their address book will receive your message.
If you don’t want to endlessly swipe through your contacts, you can also use the search option on top to find specific contacts faster. The contacts you choose will be lined-up at the top. When you’re done adding people, tap on the checkmark at the bottom right. A type of group chat will be opened, but this time it’s going to be called a Broadcast List.How to Edit a WhatsApp Broadcast List
Making changes to the Broadcast List is easy. For example, if you want to add or remove people from the list, open the list. Tap on the dots or the group name at the top, and you’ll see options to make a few changes. You can give the list a name, and by tapping on the person icon at the top right, you can add more members.
If you want to remove someone from the list, long-press on that person, and a small window will appear. You can choose to remove the person, View them, Message them, and verify their security code. At the bottom in red, you’ll also see the option to delete the Broadcast List when you think it’d time to part ways.
When you press the delete button, you’ll get a message confirming your choice. If you want to keep the media you shared in the group, make sure to uncheck the box. When your delete a list, that doesn’t get rid of the messages you’ve already sent. If you want to erase a message, you have to do it manually like you would in any other WhatsApp chat. You’ll need to long-press on the message and tap on the trash icon. If you want to change the list’s name, tap on the pencil icon and add the new name.How to Check Who’s Seen Your WhatsApp Broadcast Message
You’ve sent out your message, but no one has responded. Check to see who’s read your message by tapping on the dots at the top right and tapping on Info.
In Message Info, you’ll see who the message has been delivered to and who’s read your message. Maybe they haven’t responded because they haven’t seen the message yet. If you want to access the list faster, you can always create a shortcut. This way, you can open WhatsApp directly to the list without seeing WhatsApp’s main page.
Open the broadcast and tap on the dots, followed by the More option. The Add shortcut option will be the third one down.
You also have the option of pinning the list instead of creating a shortcut for it. You can do this by opening WhatsApp and long-pressing on the list. Tap on the pin icon at the top, and you’re all set. Unlike a WhatsApp group, you can’t add an image to the list. Hopefully, this is an option that’ll be available soon.
Like I mentioned before, you can erase the broadcast message as you would on a normal chat, but there’s no way to mass delete the message. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can create as many Broadcast Lists as you want since there is no limit.Conclusion
Apple introduced new interactive stickers in iOS 13 known as Memoji Stickers. These are an upgrade over the original Animoji stickers which were well-received by users when they were introduced. Animoji stickers allowed you to record a short message as an animated character and send it to your friends and family. The new Memoji stickers are a creative play on the original Bitmoji stickers (which Snapchat uses). Memoji stickers allow you to make original creations of different stickers of your face and use these digital stickers across your iOS device. You can use them in iMessages, when posting photos and more. We’ll be covering how to create and use Memoji stickers on your iOS device in detail below, so continue reading.How Memoji Work
You can design a Memoji sticker easily on your iOS device (more below). Once created, you’ll have a customized sticker pack of your Memoji self that you can send to your friends or family on iMessage or any other messaging platform. It’s a fun and creative way to express your feelings instead of a traditional emoji or thumbs up/down sign. Memoji are unique and can be made to represent you and add creativity to your messages.
Setting up a Memoji is very easy; simply follow the steps below:
1. Make sure you’re running iOS 13 / iPadOS 13 on your device.
2. In an app that supports stickers (such as iMessage), open up the keyboard.
You’ll see a variety of options that will allow you to customize nearly every aspect of your Memoji, from hair to eye color, nose shape, etc. You can easily design it to your liking.
Once finished, simply tap on Done in the top-right corner.How To Send A Memoji
Once you’ve designed a Memoji, sending it is very easy. As mentioned before, Memoji have their own separate keyboard that you can use to select stickers and send. Stickers are automatically created for every new Memoji you create and can be found in the Memoji keyboard. To use them:
1. In an app that supports sending stickers, open up keyboard.
2. From the bottom-left corner, long-tap on the Globe icon on the keyboard.
3. Select the Emoji / Memoji keyboard option (highlighted below)
4. Choose from the variety of stickers available to send. Tapping on any one of them will allow you to send the Memoji sticker to your friends or family.
That’s it. It’s that simple. Using the Memoji stickers, you’ll be able to add some fun flair to your chats and messages instead of the plain, regular emojis.
Do you use Memoji stickers, or do you just figure them to be a gimmick? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube
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Facebook Messenger, as we all know, is Facebook’s standalone messaging service, which has created its own identity over the last few years. However, its newfound identity has also created confusion in some key areas, and today, we’re going to tackle one such issue — the act of unhiding a message on Messenger.
So, if you are dying to read the messages you had hidden, archived, or ignored, be sure to follow the guide below. You will need to unhide the chat that you hid earlier, or unhide the ignored/archived chats, or unhide ignored message requests, as relevant to your case.
Related: How to share your screen on Messenger?
How to unhide messages on Messenger?
As mentioned, Facebook has allowed Messenger to have its own identity, which has led to the inception of its very own website, chúng tôi This is the perfect place to chat and video call, devoid of the distractions of Facebook’s decorated news feed.
If you’ve hidden someone on Messenger Web, and want to see them back on your regular chat list, the solution is rather simple, as given below. However, you can’t unhide someone on the Messenger app — you will have to use the Messenger website to unhide any chats you hid earlier.
First, visit chúng tôi and then log in to your Messenger account. Now, tap on the gear (Settings) icon at the top of the page and go to ‘Hidden chats.’
Related: Is Facebook Messenger End-to-End Encrypted?
“Hiding” works differently on the Messenger app and Facebook Web. Neither Facebook Web nor the Messenger app gives you the option of “hiding” a chat like chúng tôi Here, the desired results are attained through one of the two methods: Archive, and Ignore.
Can’t find the chat in the “Hidden Chats” list, look below for the fix.
How to unhide messages from Archived Chats by searching for it
If you “ignored” or archived someone’s chat, then it won’t show in the “Hidden Chats” option we covered above. But getting them back is easy. To unarchive a chat, all you have to do is search for the name of the person and send them any message on the chat to unhide it. You can do this on Facebook’s website and app, as well as Messenger website and app.
In the guide below, we are using the Messenger website. Go to chúng tôi Then in the “Search Messenger” field, type the name of the person you wish to bring back the ignored chat of.
But if you want to bring back the chat permanently in your Chat List, then you can send them any message on this chat.
How to Unhide Message Requests on chúng tôi on PC
Finally, locate the chat you want to restore and send a reply. A simple reply would move the conversation back to the regular ‘Chats’ folder.
How to Unhide Message Requests on chúng tôi on PC
Here, you’ll see the conversations you’re currently ignoring. Simply open a chat and send a message to restore it to the regular chats folder.
How to Unhide Message Requests on the Messenger app on iPhone and Android
On Android, your ignored messages are sent straight to the ‘Spam’ folder. To restore, first, fire up Messenger, tap on your profile picture at the top-left corner of the app, and go to ‘Message requests.’
Now, head over to the ‘Spam’ tab and tap on the conversation you want to restore.
Then, simply reply to their text and the message would be moved out of the ‘Spam’ folder.
What is the difference between archiving and ignoring?
Before you start archiving or ignoring conversations, we believe it’s important to know the distinction.
The former — archiving — is a much lighter process and doesn’t necessarily protect you from spammers or irrelevant conversations. Even if you archive a message, you would still be notified when a new message pushes through. So, it’s only useful if you don’t want to see a conversation on your Messenger dashboard. For all other purposes, it’s hardly useful.
Ignoring, on the other hand, takes care of serial texters a lot more effectively. By moving the chat to the Spam (Filtered Requests) folder, it makes sure you’re not notified of any new messages. You can, however, safely go back to an ignored conversation to read messages without letting the sender know.
Related: How to turn off chat in Messenger?
What does muting do and how to unmute someone?
Muting doesn’t make a conversation disappear, per se, but it still is an effective tool against annoying texters. If you mute a user, you will not be notified of every text they send. They will still pop up on your Messenger dashboard, but it’ll definitely become easier to ignore them.
Muted a conversation by mistake or want to hear from them again? Follow these steps to unmute a conversation.
On the Messenger app
Fire up the Messenger app and press and hold the conversation you want to unmute. When the menu pops up, tap on ‘Unmute notifications.’
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