Yesterday at the Google I/O event, the company announced the release of Google Hangouts, an app for iOS (and Android of course) and the desktop that is clearly and squarely aimed at Apple’s iMessage service. The new Hangouts brings many of the elements of Google+ and Google Talk into one app and tightly integrates with other Google services to make one unified platform.
Google Hangouts is already available in the App Store and it is free. It is a universal app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
With Hangouts you can leverage your circles created in Google+ and do either text or video chat via the app which is a step up from the Google Talk service. The new app should help increase the usage of Google+ which has never really captured the imagination of a broad audience. The app is a simple, minimalist UI with easy ways to create hangouts with individuals (think IM’ing) or with groups (your circles). Having it tried it out last night I have to say it is quite nice.
It is clear that Google and Apple are heading for a direct head-to-head competition not only on the core OS level but on the app and services level as well.
During the Google I/O Keynote, it was mentioned that Google Hangouts would also be available for Desktop. It is available at this link but you will have to have Google Chrome for your Mac or PC installed in order to use the service.
Tweetbot, the popular Twitter app from Tapbots, has been updated with a new Media Timeline view that makes finding Tweets with photos or videos attached quick and easy. The new 2.8 version is in the App Store now and both the iPhone and iPad versions have been updated with this new feature. The new Media Timeline essentially acts as a filter, bringing you only the Tweets of those you follow which have images or videos attached to them. Is kinda Instagram-ish in a way
but it makes finding media Tweets far easier.
Speaking of Instagram, Tweetbot has also had a fix in this release where Instagram posts are displayed correctly. This is a big win for me personally as I love Instagram.
Here are the other updates in this build according to the Release Notes:
- New media timeline. Scroll to the top of a timeline and switch to the new media view (next to the search box). This view displays only supported image and video tweets.
- Completely redesigned image viewer
- Tweet/status detail view now displays the number of Favs and Retweets
- Fixed Instagram Previews
- Various other bug fixes
Tweetbot for iPhone or iPad is $2.99 each. This isn’t a universal app so you have to buy it for each platform you want to use it for Tweeting.
Twitter has released a significant update to their iOS app today, brining some improved performance to the social networking app along with new features. The 5.5 version is now available in the App Store and it is a universal app and with this version support for Twitter Cards, a new tool the company brought to developers a few weeks ago.
The concept of Twitter Cards for end users is the ability to have a deep-link to another app on their iPhone or iPad when a link in a Tweet is tapped. So for example, if I were to post something on Foursquare to my Twitter feed. When you see
that in your Twitter app, you can tap the link and it will automatically launch the Foursquare app on your device, providing you a native experience. This feature is slowly rolling out to end users over the course of the next several weeks and only a few developers – Foursquare, Vine, Path, Flickr and Soundcloud – are on board at this point. Hopefully Instagram some day?
Other updates in this release include:
- Faster launch times and general performance upgrades
- “Retweeted by” in Tweet detail is now tappable
- Fix for reply-to-self in conversations
- Fix for bug that prevented undoing retweets in some cases
The update is free in the App Store and if you are one of the very few who don’t have a Twitter account, you will need one of those as well which is also free (and can be signed up for in the app).
Blue Cottage Software would like to announce the release of Flip Messenger 2.0, a beautifully designed mobile messaging app that sends and receives messages via mobile devices. Perfect for anyone with an active social life, Flip makes organizing social gatherings easier with group messaging and location sharing.
Flip was created by independent software developer Jerrold Poh, and was born out of the frustration he had when using
existing mobile messengers to plan group events. “Adding group messaging was a logical first step to take”, says Jerrold, “as a lot of time in planning group events, like a road trip, or meeting up for a drink, is taken up by messaging friends individually. Group messaging solves that problem in a very effective way”.
Location sharing was also added, to remove a lot of the stress involved with group events. By seeing where your friends are on a map, you are able to very easily determine your location in relation to them. With this knowledge, you can then plan your movements accordingly, and be sure to arrive at your destination at the same time as your friends. Flip also adds the following features to its mobile messenger, to complement the features above and enhance the mobile messaging experience:
* A beautifully designed and intuitive user interface
* Real time location sharing
* Encryption of messages and locations sent and received
* Grouping of images sent and received within the app
* Muting of notifications, used in the case of noisy group chats
* Messaging of friends connected via Facebook, Twitter, or mobile phone number
Flip Messenger is a free app and available in the App Store
3y3.net introduces Quote Of The Day for Twitter 1.0 or iOS. Users have no excuses to not keep their Twitter account active. The app features 10,000 inspirational quotes that can be published directly to a Twitter account with a single tap. Users get full access to a carefully selected collection of quotes, some of the best ever said, and can share them with friends on Twitter.
The app holds an extensive collection of quotations by famous authors, celebrities, and newsmakers, up to ten thousand quotations within the palm of your hand.
- Free access to the application
- Tweet any quote you wish by a single tap, directly to your account
- Browse among ten thousand quotes
- 10.000 inspirational quotations from the most remarkable people along the history
- More than 200 different authors
- 100 quotations for free
- “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Those who occupy their minds with small matters, generally become incapable of greatness” – Francoise de Rochefoucauld
- “It is better that some should be unhappy than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality” – Samuel Johnson
Quote of the Day for Twitter is a free download in the App Store. There is an in-app purchase of .99 Cents that unlocks the app and gives you access to 10,000 quotes over the default 100.
Tapbots has released an important and mandatory update to their iOS Twitter app, Tweetbot. The update, version 2.7.2 for those keeping score, brings the app up to the standards required by the Twitter 1.1 API. Effectively Tweetbot had to update in order to continue to work after 5th March of this year.
The update covers both their iPhone & iPod Touch version of the app as well as the iPad version. These are two separate downloads in the App Store. The updates for the iOS version simply bring the app up to the standard required by the Twitter 1.1 API.
For Tweetbot for Mac users, the updates are a bit more comprehensive. The update, which is available now in the Mac App Store, brings the version up to 1.2 and has a long list of improvements and updates along with the new API
requirements. Here are the highlights of what has chances in the Mac version:
- New options for menubar icon and dock badge. See Notifications in Preferences.
- Enable/disable notifications when a specific user tweets. Control-click on a user you are following and choose ‘Enable/Disable Notifications’ from the context menu.
- Thumbnail support for Vine and Flickr.
- Ability to reorder accounts in account preferences.
- Support for adding .mp4 video to tweets.
- Fixed issue with uploading animated gifs.
- Can now drag .mp4 or images into app icon to create a new tweet.
- Can now open profiles or tweets on twitter.com.
- Clicking on the date label in the status detail will open in your browser.
- If the username/hashtag completion popover appears and you press up arrow when there’s no selection or the top item selected, the popover now goes away. Same when at the bottom.
- Fixed the issue where ‘goto user’ would fail if there was a space before or after the username.
- Fixed the issue where a twitter search url didn’t work as expected in some cases.
- Fixed the issue where if someone faved your tweet it looked like you faved it.
- ‘View in Favstar’ now respects open links in background preference
- Fixed the issue where when creating new tweet, typing something, hitting escape and then clicking somewhere would dismiss the tweet.
- Fixed the issue with changing muted keyword durations.
- Updated to use Twitter’s 1.1 API.
- Updated to meet some of Twitter’s new UI requirements.
Here is the key for AlliOSNews readers: If you are a Tweetbot user on Mac or iOS, you must upgrade to these new releases no later than 5th March or the app will cease to function. This is NOT the fault of Tapbots but rather the changes Twitter has made to their API.
If you are new to Tweetbot I highly recommend it. It is in my opinion the best Twitter app available for Mac and iOS.
Foursquare, the popular social networking check-in service, has updated their app for iPhone that brings you more control over your notification settings. The update, which is now available in the App Store, you can adjust when you see notifications from friends and family on the service. The settings are found under your Profile in the app and allow you to make the following changes.
- Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world
- Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by.
- Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.
There are no other changes or update to this release noted by Foursquare.
Foursquare is a free app and is a free service but to use the app you will need an account which is also free-of-charge.
Twitter has released an update to their universal iOS app that brings some nice improvements to the UI along with some other changes to bring more social features to the app. One of the biggest changes is the improved search function of the app, making it much easier (and more accurate) to find people on the social network. That search can be done by tapping the Search icon in the upper right of the display from virtually every screen in Twitter.
Here is a full rundown of all of the improvements in this release, build 5.3.1 for those keeping score.
- Discover delivers a single stream of Tweets, Trends, Activity and accounts to follow. Pull to refresh or keep
scrolling to see more content.
- Search results may now include older, popular Tweets
- Search now shows the most relevant mix of people, Tweets and photos.
- It’s also easier to use search with one button at the top of the app.
- You can see your five most recent searches and tap them to redo the search, or you can clear your recent search history.
- Links instantly open web pages when you tap URLs in your stream.
- Performance improvements make launch times faster, especially for older iOS devices.
- Connect shows interactions like new followers, retweets and mentions by default. You can switch to “view mentions only” in settings.
- Improved right-to-left language support for Arabic and Hebrew.
- Bug fixes and other improvements.
These updates make the Twitter app usable in my opinion. I’ve been highly critical of the Twitter app to this point but having used this new release for the last day it is not bad at all and is a big improvement over the previous release. There are still areas to be improved like the streaming of Tweets. Why Twitter doesn’t use their own Streaming API in their own app is difficult to understand.
Twitter for iOS is a universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. You will need a Twitter account to use the app which is also free. Remember you can follow AlliOSNews on Twitter.
I’m a big fan of Instagram, the photo sharing social site. It is a great way to see what’s going on with people and the fun (or not so much fun) they are having in their day-to-day. Up until now Instagram has only been an iPhone app and viewing photos from Instagram in a browser, while possible, was not very efficient as you could only view a particular photo. That is no longer the case thanks to a website update Instagram did yesterday.
If you go to Instagram.com you will now see your photo feed just like you do on your iPhone. You can scroll down and view everyone’s updates and add likes and/or comments to a photo. While you cannot upload photos from your Mac or PC
to the Instagram website, you can at least now view those you follow. It’s a nice step forward indeed.
In addition to viewing your photo feed, it is now easier to find and manipulate settings on your Instagram account as well as viewing your own profile. When you do view your own profile you get a sense that the Facebook team, which owns Instagram, had a bit of influence over the design. It actually looks really good and gives you a montage of your latest photos.
As always, Instagram is free and the app in the App Store is free to download. You will need to register for an account to use the app and service. The app is only for iPhone but of course will work on your iPad with the iPhone UI.
Now Instagram team, let’s talk about that much desired iPad UI shall we?