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Messaging app 'WhatsApp' gets updated for iOS 7, 'Paper' adds support for new drawing stylus

Two popular iOS apps received updates on Monday, with WhatsApp getting a makeover more consistent with iOS 7's "flat" design aesthetic, while drawing app Paper prepares for its new Pencil stylus.

WhatsApp Messenger

Popular iMessage alternative WhatsApp Messenger has been redesigned to fit in with iOS 7, meaning a "flatter" user interface, new notification sounds and improved picture handling features.

From the release notes:

- new iOS 7 User Interface

- broadcast lists: communicate with your classmates, work colleagues or just friends by messaging many people at once.

- improved share location: 3D map view, hide places, search places

- large thumbs: see more

- new notification alerts and sounds: WhatsApp Settings > Notifications > New Message.

- application will now use your device text size as configured in iOS Settings > General > Text Size

- new improved User Interface for managing your blocked contacts: WhatsApp Settings > Chat Settings > Blocked

- crop image before sending

WhatsApp was initially a free app, but with explosive growth worldwide and an anti-ad "mantra," the company changed its pricing structure to include a year of no-cost access followed by a yearly charge of $0.99. Those who were using the app prior to the switch were grandfathered in with no annual fee.

WhatsApp Messenger is available as a free download from the iOS App Store.

Paper by FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree has made a number of backend changes to accommodate the new "Pencil" hardware accessory made specifically to go along with the app.

Pencil, which began shipping out to preorder customers on Monday, is a stylus shaped like a carpenter's pencil, with a large nib, virtual eraser and magnetic snap that attaches to an iPad's Smart Cover.


Adjustments to the Paper app include new palm rejection technology, the ability to sense Pencil's eraser tip and a new blend function that allows users to blend colors and smooth out edges with their fingers.

Finally, the app's "Kaizen" ink engine has been rebuilt, allowing for faster draw times and an overall boost in responsiveness.

Paper by FiftyThree is a free download from the App Store, while Pencil can be ordered through FiftyThree's website for $50 for an anthracite model or $60 for a walnut version.