Facebook drops new features for its Portal devices, including WhatsApp login

Facebook has announced that it's rolling out a set of new features to the Portal family of videocall-oriented devices. Some of the new features are available for all devices, while others are specific to certain members of the family.

One of the features that you should be able to use on any Portal device is the ability to login with your WhatsApp account, removing the need to use a Facebook account. This lets users use features like calling and Story Time, but features that require a Facebook account won't work if the user opts for WhatsApp login. Speaking of Story Time, Facebook has also added new stories to the lineup, including new versions of Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as well as new stories featuring characters like Llama Llama and Pete the Cat.

Another big new feature is integration with Facebook Workplace, the communication service aimed at enterprise users. This lets users make calls, chat, and access groups on Workplace through a Portal device at home.

Portal TV, the new device that doesn't have a screen, is getting a few new features of its own today. First, there's Mic Drop, which lets users sing along to popular songs while on a call. It includes songs from artists such as Katy Perry, The Backstreet Boys, Coldplay, and more. Users can also apply AR masks to make themselves look like different characters. There's also Photo Booth, which lets users take pictures and videos and apply effects before sending them to another user.

Portal TV is also getting access to new content from Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., UK, Canada, and France. U.S. users can also access FandangoNOW and SlingTV. Moreover, there's music from streaming service Deezer, as well as Crave in Canada, and video content from France Télévisions for users in France.

The remainder of the Portal family is getting the ability to livestream directly from the device to Facebook Live. Watch Together is also making its way to those devices, so users can watch videos on Facebook Watch in sync with someone else.

These features should be available starting today for all Portal devices. While the announcement doesn't explicitly say if both 2018 and 2019 versions of the 10-inch model are getting the update, the fact that last year's Portal+ is getting it should indicate the smaller device is getting it too. We've reached out to Facebook for confirmation, though.

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