Social network brings slew of new features
Google has invited media to San Francisco to highlight a slew of new features that are headed to the company's social network. Many of the Google+ updates focus on photography, expanding manual and automatic enhancement tools, along with new effects for saved videos or live Hangouts feeds.
Twitter's Conversations layout redesigned
Twitter released Version 5.1 of its iOS app today. The app lets users of the prominent social networking site connect to their Twitter account to get real-time stories, pictures, videos, and conversations on one's own 'timeline.' The latest update includes a redesigned Conversations segment, including a blue line indicating a conversation between people you follow, and the first Tweet in a thread now appears above the most recent reply. The new release also includes various other improvements, including new notification settings and bug fixes. Twitter 5.1 can be downloaded for free from iTunes for devices running iOS5 or later.
Google+ gets new Android, iOS apps today
Google today unleashed a slew of new features for its social networking project, Google+, Beginning today, Google is rolling out new versions of both its Android and iOS Google+ apps, bringing Google+ Communities to the apps, as well as the ability to edit profiles and indicate how many guests one will bring to an event. Users can also add animated images to events in posts and, if they have a device running Android 4.2 or above, they can create Photo Sphere images, while users running Android 3.0 or above can view and explore Photo Sphere images.
New product still in testing for foreseeable future, no announced plans
Microsoft's work-in-progress Socl has opened its doors to all. The nascent social network project was originally available to invited testers, and was primarily used amongst Microsoft employees along with students in a few select universities. Officials have described the new product as a combination of social networking and image search (a la Pinterest), to try to get groups "considering how to use collaboration technologies in new ways."
Samsung officials say social feature to be built into products
While competitors are touting deeper integration of Facebook into their products, Samsung is reportedly looking to unseat the social networking giant. Unnamed officials within the company have revealed to The Korea Times that Samsung will introduce a social network embedded in its products sometime early next year. The company is said to have been emboldened by early successes with some of its social offerings, and believes it can build a network to eventually compete with Facebook.
Patent filed in the era of Symbian S60
Nokia has been granted a patent for technology that enables phones to automatically upload data to social networks. The patent describes a system that could be used to initiate automatic uploads whenever a user performs certain operations, such as changing a music track, capturing an image or video, accessing a website, or changing location.
Has changed course following reform
Once the center of a firestorm of scandal regarding its collection of users' address book data without explicit permission, social networking app Path has announced that in order to further safeguard security, it will hash user contact data so that it is anonymized, according to a new blog post from the company. The new update, version 2.1.1, will still collect contact data, but only with explicit permission and will anonymize last names and other details.
Social network to be available on all handsets
Wireless carrier Orange has announced that it will bring Facebook functionality to its subscribers in Africa. The company suggests the social networking feature will be available on all of its mobile phones throughout its coverage area across the continent.
Third party iOS devices warranty
Bump, a free app for quickly sharing information between mobile devices, has been completely redesigned with a focus on sharing contact information in social settings and sharing photos with friends and family. Unlike most major updates, Bump 3.0 actually removes more features than it adds, however, the developers feel this has resulted in a streamlined experience that still offers the most requested functions. Bump's new interface uses a swipeable layer that allows users to move between different functions while remaining ready to bump at any time. The existing mutual friends feature has also been expanded and will now instantly show any mutual friends that two new contacts have. At the time of writing the update has not shown in the App Store, but is expected to become available later today.
No explanation given, opt-in change coming
The social networking app Path, which provides its own community along with the ability to share statuses and pictures to other popular public networks like Twitter and Facebook, has been discovered to be uploading users' entire address books to its own servers on first use. The undisclosed (and unauthorized) uploading was discovered by developer Arun Thampi and detailed in a blog post. The co-founder of Path responded by saying users would soon have an opt-in on the "feature," but did not explain why opt-in wasn't there from the beginning.
Navigation company embraces social networking
Although Garmin would seem to fit in better at CES rather than the Macworld iWorld expo, the navigation company brought its latest iOS apps to San Francisco this week to show off the latest features. MacNN played around with the updated version of StreetPilot onDemand, which now enables users to take advantage of social networking features.
Social networking now available to 13-17 year-olds
Google has opened up Google+ to teens 13 and older. Previously, only adults over 18 could participate in the service. Google has also implemented safeguards to help make sure the younger crowd's participation in the social network is safer until they're adults.
US launch planned for 2012
Motorola has confirmed that it has invested in Shaker, an Israeli startup that specializes in social networking experiences. Shaker last year won an award at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference for its Facebook game that enables users to socialize in a virtual bar and meet new contacts.
Experiment integrates social networking & search
Microsoft has gone public with details on its So.cl network service. The "research experiment" is an attempt to help people learn informally from their friends and colleagues by integrating more closely Internet search and social networking. Microsoft has been beta testing the project with about 150 students, but is planning on inviting up to 1,000 more students and academics to participate.
Company downplays site as research project
Microsoft is reportedly reading its own social networking site, known as Socl, that appears to be aimed directly at Facebook and Google+. Screenshots suggest the site pairs a Facebook-like social feed with Bing search functionality, while enabling users to tag specific topics so the content can be quickly searched for at a later time using keywords.
Google Apps account integration imminent
Social networking service Google+ will be adding several much-requested new features by the end of the year, starting with the ability to integrate an existing Google Apps account into the service. Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin explained that the rapid growth of the service, now at 40 million, had exceeded expectations with regards to their feature-rollout timetable, but the company was catching up to users' demands.
One in 20 primary-school kids have an iPad
A survey commissioned by a security app developer that polled parents in the U.K. has revealed surprising attitudes about children and access to technology and the internet. The study focused on primary-school children (ages 5-10) and found that one in 10 kids under the age of 10 years old already owns their own iPhone. One in 20 have their own iPad, and one in 10 children in the survey had a social networking account -- despite the age limit of MySpace and Facebook being 13.
Twitter, Facebook icons added to Cloud Player
Amazon has expanded the social networking functionality available in the company's Cloud Player utility, enabling users to take advantage of Facebook and Twitter sharing. The online retailer has updated the web-based interface with dedicated icons for publishing Twitter posts and Facebook status updates. Posts include links to the Cloud Player and Amazon MP3 downloads for select tracks.
Site offiers users to share passions
Twitter has acquired the social networking website Bagcheck. Bagcheck allows people to create and share a collection of personal items and explain why they are so passionate about them. Other individuals can then comment or give gold stars to what's "in the bag" if they like it.
Debuted on Android last week
The popular check-in app Foursquare (free) brought its new notification tray feature to the iOS version of its app, having made the feature available on the Android version last week. The iPhone version also sports the new check-in format, a feature that has not yet migrated to the Android version.
Foursquare lands AmEx deal in hopes of expansion
Foursquare Labs, the makers of the popular social networking and geo-location entertainment smartphone app Foursquare, has announced a national deal with American Express. The deal will give users of the app, who also hold and American Express card a discount when they ‘check in’ on their smartphone at certain shops and restaurants. The deal comes at the same time as Foursquare Labs announced that it now has over 10 million users, and after a recent trial of the discounting concept at SXSW in March.
References can only be informational
France has reportedly enacted new legislation that aims to ban broadcasters from uttering terms related to popular social networking websites that originated in the US. Television and radio hosts are no longer allowed to say the words "Twitter" or "Facebook" during broadcasts, unless the references are necessary to convey information directly related to a news story.
Filings surface amid CEO's caution over security
Despite Google executive Eric Schmidt's recent comments cautioning against the use of facial recognition systems, several patent filings suggest the search giant has worked to develop such technology. As noted in an Atlantic report, one of the filings, titled "Facial Recognition with Social Networking Aiding," was submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization on August 6, 2010.
Concentrates on industry tracking
LinkedIn has added a News feed to its iPhone app, which has been updated to v3.6. The News aggregator focuses on specific industries a person works in or markets to. Users can select the industries they want to follow, see what contacts have shared, and share headlines themselves. Articles can be archived for later reading.
Trademark focuses on paired-bubbles Ping icon
Apple today filed for a new trademark for its Ping bubbles symbol. Patently Apple reports that Apple applied for four distinct trademarks related to the paired bubbles, each resembling conversation bubbles from a comic strip, though the Apple bubbles are more stylized. The trademark applications are filed under classes for computer software, online retail services, entertainment and educational services and online social networking services.
Not to be confused with 'Places' in iPhoto
Apple has filed a trademark application with the European Union (based on an earlier filing in Jamaica) to protect the name "Places" as a social networking service that may offer the ability to find friends via GPS. The application, filed yesterday, is categorized under for very broad classes covering almost every technology-related activity one could think of, but particularly lists the name as being used for "online social networking services."
New features mimic existing services
Apple appears to be set to expand iOS functionality with several new features focused on social networking and content sharing. The iOS 4.3 file system includes a new section labeled "Media Stream," which contains another folder titled "Photo Streaming," according to a 9to5Mac report.
SkyBar UI focuses on social networking features
Skyfire has introduced an update to its mobile browser for Android handsets. Version 3.0, also referred to as the "Facebook edition," focuses on social networking integration. The new SkyBar interface allows users to quickly view site popularity, while a feed reader presents a filtered list of Facebook posts containing links to websites, images or videos.
Manages, timelines, filters notices
Boxcar, an iOS app that has gained a solid reputation for handling multiple push notifications from various social networks, RSS feeds and email in a more logical manner than the default system Apple uses, is to relaunch very soon with a major overhaul to v4, bringing all-new organizing and filtering of messages, support for even more Twitter clients, the option to reply right from within the app or launch the associated application with that service, added support for Google Voice, Google Buzz, GitHub and other social hubs and more. The new version even supports Growl, allowing you to receive notifications from your computer at home on your mobile device.
Popularity of new service unclear
Only days after Apple quietly updated iTunes to bring more focus to its Ping service, the company has distributed an e-mail reminding users of the social networking features. The media software now provides options to recommend or comment on tracks that are currently playing, while the Recent Activity section includes communication from other Ping contacts.
Google Checkout integration also expected
Google is reportedly preparing to equip a number of small businesses with mobile devices that can be used for social networking purposes and checkins, unnamed sources have told TechCrunch. The devices could potentially be used by customers for rating the businesses or finalizing purchases via Google Checkout.
Companies still said to be in talks
Additional details regarding Facebook's dispute with Apple have emerged, suggesting that Apple attempted to connect Ping to the social networking service before both sides negotiated a deal. Although the Facebook Connect APIs are typically open for free use, the company requires an agreement when usage will have a significant impact on infrastructure.
Update brings new social networking features
Apple has released iTunes 10, a major update to the media utility that was introduced today alongside several new iPods. The update features a social networking feature, Ping, that allows users to follow friends and artists. Users can post music they like, concert attendance, genre interests, and a variety of additional information.
Users can follow artists, friends
Alongside Apple's new iPod unveilings, the company has introduced a major update to iTunes. Version 10 focuses on social networking with a new "Ping" feature. Users can now follow favorite artists and friends, listen to previews of music they like, or view tour dates. Status updates and media uploads work in a similar way to networks such as Facebook.
Photo Gallery, Movie Maker improved
As promised, Microsoft has released the full series of Windows Live Essentials betas. The company has made improvements to the full range of utilities, with tighter social networking integration in Photo Gallery and Messenger.
Features news, weather, social networking widgets
Best Buy has announced the Insignia Infocast Internet Media Display , a web-based media player powered by the same OS as the Chumby. Strikingly similar to the Sony Dash, the Infocast centers on an 8-inch, 800x600 LCD touchscreen and has access to most Chumby content Over 1500 widgets are available from the Chumby app store to display news, weather, and content from social networking sites like Facebook, and Pandora. The Infocast can also share files with other Chumby-powered devices.
Networking groups use proximity-based 'tokens'
The US Patent Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application detailing social networking technology using proximity-based communication via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The background description suggests the technology could be used to automatically share contact information between devices, rather than requiring manual entry into web-based networking services.
Motoblur 'likely' on TV boxes in late 2010
In a move that signals greater cohesion between its cellphone and home-products divisions, Motorola has said that it would bring e-mail and social networking functions to television set-top boxes. The MOTOBLUR interface, which ties together social networks, emails and news, is now being tested on set-top devices. Motoblur-enabled set-top boxes will likely ship in late 2010 or early 2011. Motoblur made its debut on the Cliq late last year but has since spread to phones like the Backflip and MOTOROI.
Service supported on Android 2.0+, iPhone
Google on Tuesday released a new version of its Maps utility for mobile phones, less than a week after the previous v3.4 update. Version 4.0 integrates directly with the company's new Buzz service. Users can post live updates tagged with their location, add pictures, or view and comment on Buzz posts from other users. A new layer has been added to the maps interface, allowing the Buzz overlay to be easily enabled or disabled.
App enables Bluetooth connection with members
LinkedIn on Monday released an update to its self-titled app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Version 3.0 features a redesigned interface, with a new main screen displaying several large buttons.The Reconnect feature allows users to quickly find other LinkedIn members, while the In Person selection enables contact information to be swapped via Bluetooth.
New geotagging options and UI elements
Stone Design has released an update to its iPhone Twitter clients, Twittelator Pro and Twittelator Free. Version 3.5 adds full support for landscape orientation throughout the entire interface, while conversations threads can be viewed in Messages. Messages are now cached locally, enabling users to view content even while disconnected from the Internet.
App expected to hit beta stage by end of week
Following the recent release of Tweetie 2.0, developer Loren Brichter is almost ready to launch the next update, v2.1, which adds a variety of bug fixes and several new features. The app will support the new-style retweets, along with geolocation information, according to a preview posted by TechCrunch. Both features will only work with the select accounts Twitter has enabled for the additional functionality.
Minor update to precede
The next major version of the official Facebook iPhone app, v3.1, will add push notifications, says developer Joe Hewitt. The title lets users view and update news feeds, as well manage photos, and browse profiles and other content. It is not known when v3.1 will become available; coming "soon" however should be v3.03, a minor update providing only bugfixes.
Adds state caching, threaded conversations
atebits has released Tweetie 2, an update to the company's Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app is said to have been completely rewritten, and now features state caching. Users can not only read and compose tweets offline, but return to their last known position in the interface after quitting or receiving a phone call.
Program built for Twitter
Naan Studio has released a public beta of its Echofon desktop app for Mac systems. The software works in conjunction with the company's Echofon Pro app for the iPhone and iPod touch, allowing users to sync unread tweets between their mobile device and computer.
App awaiting approval for entry into App Store
Atebits has announced additional details of its upcoming Tweetie 2 iPhone app. The update is promised to be a complete overhaul, rather than a cosmetic revision with only a few small changes. The app will allow users to send and receive video tweets, while tweet streams can be live-filtered in a similar way to the Mail utility.
Independently developed software
Software developers Lee Byron and Owen Yamauchi have released Facebook desktop notification software for the Mac. An independent release, it places a Facebook icon in the Mac OS Menu Bar, with drop-down notification feeds and Growl-style alerts. It is considered experimental software and has only been tested in Mac OS X 10.5.
Apple contact list patent
A newly-published Apple patent application suggests that the company may have a deeper interest in social networking than previously recognized. Titled Event-based contact list methods, the application describes a public website intended to organize an event, such as a wedding or school reunion. As with many such social networking sites, visitors could add personal contact information in order to get in touch with one another.
RealPlayer SP update
Real has announced an update to its media player, RealPlayer SP, which adds a variety of new functions for sharing content or transferring videos to portable devices. Users can download videos from the Internet, and then select their particular mobile device from a drop-down list.
iTunes 9 social ties?
(Updated with images) The social networking aspects of iTunes 9 could be more elaborate than previously suggested, says a source responsible for earlier rumors. Beyond just providing basic interaction with sites like Twitter and Facebook, Apple is said to be looking to tie iTunes to a separate social networking app, which could function similarly to Yahoo's OneConnect and merge multiple services. It is not known if the app is intended for Macs or iPhones and iPods.