updated 12:46 am EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Photo service adds sharing to social networks, admin invites, editing tags, more
Cloud photo-sharing and storage service Flickr has updated its iOS app (free) to version 3.1, which brings the ability to share whole albums of photos to social networks, email, or chat systems like SMS or iMessage. The update also brings the ability to add or edit a photo's tags and descriptions, and offers some additional enhancements to group support, alongside the usual performance enhancements and bug fixes.
While all of the latest enhancements have been accomplishable on the web site, the new version gives users the abilities through the iOS app, lessening the need to use a desktop or laptop computer to manage an account. Albums can now be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email and SMS or iMessage, and group administrators can invite photos to be shared with their group. Users can now be notified directly in the iOS app when one of their photos has been invited to a group.
Google's 'Instant Buy' button now supported on iOS, leverages Google Wallet
On Wednesday, Google "flipped the switch" and began supporting its own Instant Buy technology within iOS, allowing apps with Google Wallet to take advantage of the faster payment system, which leverages Google Wallet authentication for quick checkouts. Similar in nature to Amazon's one-click buying, the Instant Buy button uses pre-existing credit card information such as billing address, care numbers and shipping addresses already on file through Google Wallet to allow mobile phone buyers to skip most of the checkout process, leaving them only to confirm the filled-in details and order.
The Instant Buy support for mobile devices has been available on the Android platform for a year, and will initially launch on iOS with vendors such as B&H, Newegg, Wish.com, Sionic Mobile, Eat24 and Fancy -- with most other Google Wallet-supporting vendors expected to add the Instant Buy option in a timely fashion. PayPal and other payment services are expected to take further steps to make checkouts easier on mobile devices, as shopping is increasing moving away from the traditional desktop and notebook platforms. One attractive feature of the Google Instant Buy system is that at present there are no additional fees for it, though sellers must sign up and be vetted by Google before taking advantage of the feature.
Apple will be making some moves in this direction as well, allowing Touch ID to be used for third-party purchases as well as adding the ability to scan credit cards into iCloud keychain using the built-in camera under iOS 8, which will be released this fall. The company may be planning to incorporate its existing-but-underused Passbook technology into a comprehensive digital payment system, and has been meeting with merchants and banks about such a project.