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Online platforms are getting better: Here's what you need to know

Online services are becoming more and more similar. Soon everyone will be able to do everything on any platform.
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Google sends messages

Google has made improvements to its "Messages by Google" app by enabling RCS (Rich Communication Services) by default. RCS is designed to replace SMS and offers features similar to Apple's iMessage. End-to-end encryption for group chats is now available for all RCS users.

Despite Google's efforts to get Apple to adopt RCS, Apple is sticking to iMessage as the core element of its ecosystem. Users can still disable RCS in the settings and benefit from enhanced messaging features.

Whatsapp shares screen

WhatsApp has introduced a screen-sharing feature for video calling to compete with platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. Announced by Mark Zuckerberg, this new feature allows users to share documents and photos during calls. First available to Android beta testers in May, it will be rolled out gradually to Android, iOS, and desktop.

Additionally, Landscape mode has been introduced for video calls. Screen sharing is already a standard feature in many video conferencing apps.

Gmail translates

The Gmail app for Android and iOS has introduced a native translation function that automatically translates emails into 100 languages. This was previously only available in the desktop version. Previously, users had to copy content into Google Translate or upload it into Google Lens. To translate, users click on "Translate" in the menu of an email. They can also choose the output language and disable translations for certain languages.

The feature will be rolled out gradually for Android and from 21 August for iOS.
Bing chat everywhere

Microsoft will soon offer "Bing Chat" in third-party browsers and on mobile devices to compete with other AI platforms. The tool offers features such as summarised responses and image search. Despite integration in other browsers, Microsoft emphasizes that the best user experience is offered in its own Edge browser. New features include a dark mode and "Bing Chat Enterprise" for increased data protection in companies.

An exact start date for the integration into other browsers was not mentioned.

Paid for with advertising

Ad-supported free streaming is booming in the US, with a third of viewers using services like Freevee and Pluto TV. Amazon's Freevee experienced the biggest growth at 11% YoY in the first half of 2023, adding content from Prime Video and new TV channels. In contrast, subscription services such as Netflix and Peacock saw declines. According to Samba TV, 60% of US adults would consider a cheaper ad-supported service.

After the introduction of advertising models on Netflix and Disney+, 85% of users reported having chosen this option.