A list of the apps on my phone that can make calls

Doesn’t require phone number:

  • FaceTime
  • Phone
  • Contacts
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • Google Hangouts
  • Messages
  • Whatsapp
Can/does use your phone number:
  • Phone
  • FaceTime
  • Messages
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Mail
  • Notes
Announced, but hasn’t shown up yet:
  • Slack
As it turns out, pretty much every remotely social company has a way that people can talk to one another in a phone call-type manner. Many of these apps also let you use video chat, but people have no idea. For instance, you’ve been able to make phone calls (and recently, video chats) with any of your Facebook contacts on your phone, for such a long time. But I can routinely blow people’s minds by telling them that, because approximately nobody* knows about this feature.
Snapchat updated their app yesterday to revamp chat, and added the ability to send video clips or make voice calls to any of your Snapchat contacts who’ve added you back. But none of the features in the update are actually new capabilities your phone didn’t have before, and I’m betting people aren’t going to be making use of this feature any more than they did, no matter how good it is. 
If I were a gambling man, I’d put money on Snapchat continuing to grow at a rapid pace for quite some time. But people who already have a predefined way of communicating, like my generation and those older than me, won’t use Snapchat for voice calls because to us, the way you make a phone call is by calling a phone number.
But the kids, they don’t obey these rules. They do whatever their friends are doing, and their friends don’t make phone calls to a phone number. That’s not cool anymore, at least not until their parents stop doing it.

Podcasts Like ‘Serial’ Are Encouraging Literacy

[L]istening, unlike looking at a written page, is more active, since the brain has to process the information at the pace it is played.” My student Roberto offered similar insight: “I think it helps me out with my reading since I have to keep a pace up.”

Huh, turns out the best ways for kids to learn aren’t determined by a group of adults telling them what’s best, kids (like everybody) are going to learn best when given options and a choice. And just like I always say, podcasts are a great way to learn and take in new information, and listening isn’t nearly as much work as reading.

And if learning is work, you’re much less likely to want to keep doing it.

> Why Podcasts Like ‘Serial’ Are Helping English Teachers Encourage Literacy – The Atlantic

Ed Snowden can say whatever he wants

“The FBI says Apple has the ‘exclusive technical means’ to unlock the phone,” Snowden said. “Respectfully, that’s bullshit.”

It must be really nice to be in a position where you can say something like this with confidence, having not a care in the world about repercussions. Not saying Snowden is in an enviable position overall, but he can say what he really thinks even better than the current American Republican front-runner (and he’s much more likely to be telling the truth).

> Snowden: FBI’s claim that it requires Apple’s help to unlock iPhone is ‘bullshit’