Social Networking App
Flipboard, the popular news and social sharing app, has received a sizeable update today that gives users the ability to further customise and curate their magazines along with improved sharing abilities. The new 2.0 build of Flipboard adds the ability for users to collect and save information in their own personal magazine, i.e. a storage space within Flipboard so you can go back and refer to it later. It is very analogous to Pinterest in this sense.
Additionally, these magazines you create can be made either public so everyone can see them or private so only you can
read the content. Think of this concept like Lists on Twitter or private pin boards on Pinterest. As you can see, many of the social apps are now starting to have strikingly similar features and functionality which makes it great for us users: We can chose one and get the features of all of them.
Other updates in this release include…
- Use the new bookmarklet to add items to your magazines from your browser.
- Get Flipboard notifications when people like, comment or subscribe to your magazines.
- Easily email or share magazines to Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc
- Personalized recommendations for more to add to your Flipboard.
- Search is now front and center on your Flipboard, with new improved results.
- Faster page-loading and faster flipping performance.
Flipboard is a free app in the App Store and is a universal app for iPhone,iPad,iPad Mini and iPod Touch. A free Flipboard account is required to save to your own personal magazines and can be signed up for directly from within the app.
Facebook has released an update for their iOS app that brings new sharing features that makes it pretty close to the all-in-one social networking app. The update brings users the ability to share audio messages, photos and videos via Messaging to other friends & all of this can be done directly from within the Facebook app. For those of you who use the stand along Messenger app from Facebook, these features are right there for you in the stand alone app.
The update brings messaging beyond just a simple text. Now with the ability to share videos and audio with friends,
Facebook has positioned itself as the potential messaging platform. Only time will tell if that really happens but you can’t argue they aren’t going for it.
The update, version 5.4 for those keeping score, also brings some other updates that slipped in under the limelight. Facebook has improved the Nearby function to provide more accurate details back of the places near you that you like or your friends like.
These updates bring the suit of apps that social networking giant has produced for iOS as the collection of apps to have on your iPhone. The lineup now consists of a standalone Messenger app, Camera app, Pages app and the flagship Facebook app. All of them are free and bring finer control and sharing ability to the service. If for example you are a heavy Messenger user in Facebook, you should download and use the Messenger app as it provides unobstructed access to the Facebook messaging services. With over 1 billion users, Facebook still seems to be pushing the ball forward on providing useful features and apps to them.
The Facebook app is a free download and is a universal app for the iPhone,iPod Touch and iPad. The new features of this update are available on all three platforms. A Facebook account is required to use the app which is also free.
I am a big fan of Instagram, the photo sharing meets social networking app and service. I use it constantly and it has become the way I share photos on Twitter and Facebook. Viewing my Instagram feed however from my Mac has been a bit of a pain as I have to navigate to the not-so-intuitive Instagram website. Fortunately that has changed thanks to Instalicious. Instalicious is a Mac app that allows you to see your Instagram feed, comment and like photos of those you follow or find, search Instagram and see what is popular throughout the service’s millions of users. It is a simple,
lightweight app but effective and one I have been using daily since its released last week.
Instalicious installs on your Mac running OS X 10.7 (Snow Leopard) or later and consumes a small 1.5MB of hard disk space on your Mac. Once installed you provide the app with your Instagram credentials to give it access to your account. Then the simple UI populates with your Instagram feed where you can immediately begin interacting with it. If the UI for Instalicious looks familiar, it should. The app is developed by Said M Marouf, the developer behind the popular Twitter app Osfoora. It is not hard to see the similarities in the UI design of the app but even the subtile, easy-to-use features of the app show in this latest app from Marouf.
The User Interface of Instalicious is intuitive with your Instagram feed dominating the display with a simple, five feature menu on the right side of the UI. As you look at your feed you can scroll up and down to view photos while hovering your mouse pointer over an image will show you the description of the photo from the poster on Instagram. Above each photo you will see a speech bubble icon which is where you can click to add a comment to a photo. There you will also find the heart icon that you can single click to show that Instagram user that you like their photo.
Bump, the popular contact sharing app for iPhone has been updated over the weekend with a small but nice feature. Now you can share files within Bump from Dropbox. The addition of Dropbox support brings Bump not only to the top of the contact sharing list of apps but also those of data sharing amongst those contacts.
The addition of Dropbox support in version 3.5.3 is the only noted change to the app in the release notes. Once you have Bump installed and have identified your contact information, you can setup Dropbox integration from the Choose Files
menu in the app. You will need to authorise Bump to access your Dropbox account and once you do, you will be able to see all of your Dropbox files within the app. Simply tap a file name and it will be added to your list to share.
Like sharing contact information, to share a file within the app simply tap your iPhone with or at another iPhone (or Android) user who is using Bump and the file will be transferred automatically.
Bump continues to be a free application and fully supports iOS 6 and iPhone 5. The app will work on an iPad although it does not have a native User Interface. Regardless of if on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, an active Internet connection is required – either cellular or WiFi.
I have been using Bump for many years now and it is perfect for sharing contact information – and now files – with those around you in a snap. I particularly find the app helpful during trade shows and conventions where I’m meeting a lot of people. I find I had out far fewer business cards by simply getting them to download Bump if they haven’t already to share my contact information.
ThinkTime Creations LLC is proud to announce today that the popular Mac and iPad app, Polaroid Instant, is now available on the iPhone/iPod touch device. With the all new Polaroid Instant 1.0 app for iPhone, users can snap a photo using the iPhone camera, or select an existing image from the photo library, and apply special effects such as adding an authentic Polaroid filter and then framing it within a Polaroid Classic Border with the option to write a caption. Users are then able to store the newly created Polaroid instant photo or share it on favorite social media websites.
Designed and developed by ThinkTime Creations LLC, an authorized Polaroid licensee, the Polaroid Instant 1.0 app for iPhone mimics the workflow of a classic Polaroid instant camera, with realistic effects – both visual and sound. When a user selects or shoots a photo, an “undeveloped” dark Polaroid film appears to slide out from the camera slot on screen. Slowly the film is developed and the final picture is unveiled for the user to then customize.
The app features 30 unique photo filters, including 10 classic Polaroid filters. Each filter is adjustable in strength, vignette and emulsion artifacts, adding an even more realistic look to users’ Polaroid photos. Users may also customize their Polaroid Classic Border, selecting various colors and border effects, writing text on it with 10 handwriting style fonts. Text can be freely resized, rotated and moved around using multitouch gestures.
Images created with the Polaroid Instant 1.0 app for iPhone can be saved to the iPhone photo library or easily shared with friends and family via Email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Instagram (requires Instagram app pre-installed).
* Creative and fun user interface produces realistic experience of Polaroid instant photography
* 30 unique photo effects, including 10 classic Polaroid filters
* 10 handwriting fonts for adding captions
* Customizable Polaroid border effects
* Share via Email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Instagram
About The Polaroid Brand:
Across several generations, people regard Polaroid as one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands when it comes to technology. The history of Polaroid began 75 years ago, with its roots stemming back to Polaroid instant film, cameras and camera accessories – thus was the introduction of the famous Polaroid Classic Border Logo which is still recognized today as a true landmark of photography.
In recent years, Polaroid has expanded its range of products in consumer electronics and photography, such as instant and digital cameras, high-definition camcorders, mobile printers, tablets, flat-screen TVs and more. People can expect to see new Polaroid products that will deliver the fun, instant gratification and value that the brand has long stood. For more information, visit Polaroid online.
Polaroid Instant for iPhone is .99 Cents and available in the App Store
On the second anniversary of Localscope, Cynapse makes Localscope a free download on the App Store. Localscope’s unmatched location discovery experience lets users browse local information from diverse services in an amazingly intuitive list view with realtime direction pointers and distance meters, lay them out on the map, or look through the state of the art augmented reality view to spot the results in the real world. The entire Localscope experience is now available to consume geo-tagged information from 5 key services: Google, Facebook Places, Panoramio, YouTube and the Reminders app for free.
The new Localscope Premium provides all additional services from the ever growing list of integrations with diverse geo-information and social media services including Foursquare, Instagram, Wikipedia and more. Localscope premium also provides integration with a large number of paid navigation apps such as Tom Tom, Navigon and others for turn by turn directions. Localscope Premium is available as an in-app purchase at an annual price of US$1.99 or equivalent in other currencies.
“Two years and 22 versions after its initial release, we and many of our users think that local discovery using Localscope has evolved to become one of the best things that one can do using the iPhone. We have decided to make Localscope free as we feel a strong urge to bring this value to every iPhone user in the world and not just the ones who pay us before they experience it.” said Apurva Roy Choudhury, CEO Cynapse. “While Localscope with 5 key integrated services can be now be used for free by anyone in the world with an iOS device, the Localscope Premium paid subscription provides a broader set of local information from a continuously increasing portfolio of integrations with diverse services.”
In appreciation of the support from Localscope users who have paid to download the app prior to v3.1, Cynapse is providing them with an exclusive lifetime Premium subscription. The upgrade will be automatic when users update to v3.1 and the full set of services will continue to be available to them forever.
With v3.1, Localscope also adds integrations with even more navigation apps including the brand new Google Maps app. A complete list of What’s New in v3.1 is available on the App Store.
In light of the recent uproar over the privacy and policy changes at Instagram, apps that provide services are, understandably, treading cautiously with any terms, conditions and privacy changes going forward. Instagram suffered an almost instant backlash publicly but it seems debatable how much real damage was done to the company with their recent snafu.
Yesterday Foursquare sent out an email to all of its members highlighting changes that are coming in 2013 to the social networking app and service. The email lays out in plain English the changes that are coming and where you can read all of the detailed legal bits should you want to do so.
The first change to come 28 January is that your full name will be displayed, not just your first name and last initial. The email explains that, “Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name.”
The second change is for businesses on Foursquare. This change means that businesses on Foursquare will be able to see who checked in to their location over the course of a day, not just the past 3 hours (the current limit). As an individual user you can of course opt out so a business won’t see your check-in.
The full policy can be found on the Foursquare website but it is clear that the afterglow of the Instagram debacle has made companies think carefully and clearly about policy changes. Having read over the policy I don’t see anything alarming but your mileage may vary.
The social media influence measuring service Klout has updated their iPhone app with improved functionality and support for iOS 6. The update, released yesterday, brings Passbook support so you “…Use it to show off your influence and to get special service and experiences from the businesses you love.”
Other updates include notification of Perks, benefits for Klout users, on your iPhone and can take advantage of them directly from your iPhone. Previous to this release you had to go to the Klout website to sign up for these Perks. Finally
there is support for the larger iPhone 5 display in this release.
The update is free as is the Klout service. There have been much debate in the blogosphere of the value of a Klout in the marketplace – a service that essentially measures if you are one of the cool kids or not (at a Klout score of 41, I’m likely not one of them) but it is if nothing else a motivator to get more active in social networks.
Facebook has just released a significantly updated and improved version of their app for iPhone and iPad. The new 5.0 version, according to Facebook, as been rebuilt so “…it’s faster and easier to use.” The updates listed include:
* Scrolling through news feed is faster than ever
* New banner lets you tap to quickly see more stories – no need to refresh
* Photos open fast and close with one downward swipe
* Instant access to your notifications
In my testing of the app for this post, the app is much faster than the previous version with Timeline viewing now on the iPad version. Loading seems far quicker than before and banner updating in the news feed is fantastic. This very much a worthwhile upgrade for Facebook users.
The app is free in the App Store
The popular social networking-meets-geo tagging app Foursquare has received a major update today. The new version 5.0 is available in the App Store now and brings a completely rethought and reengineered User Interface. On the surface, it looks like the new UI is the only major change over the previous version but there is an underlying theme going on with the app now that, while there before, is a bit clearer.
Ultimately Foursquare is about going out in the world and exploring with you indicating your location with a “check-in”. This principle hasn’t changed with this update but exploring is really a key driver for the app. Within the app there is the Explore tab which shows you a map which has popular locations in your area based on other Foursquare check-ins or has specials from retailers in the area. This can be a particularly handy feature if you are somewhere that you do not know well and are looking for a coffee shop or a place to eat.
Make no mistake that Foursquare is still all about the check in. That is the user data pool that Foursquare uses so it is still the #1 point and purpose of the app. The revamped exploring however makes those check-ins a little more fun.
The new Foursquare app is a free download and is available now in the App Store. It is still an iPhone-only build which is a bit disappointing given the 3G/4G and WiFi capabilities of the iPad. It would be great to see an iPad specific version in the future. Still, this new 5.0 version renders much better on the iPad and is far easier to read & navigate.