Twitter has made a surprise attack on Instagram with their latest update for iOS and Android. The new Twitter update adds filters to their photo uploading menu that are, without a doubt, meant to compete with Instagram’s multiple filters. Users of Twitter that may have often used Instagram to share photos on their timelines with filters will no longer need to use Instagram as their filtering tool.
But the battle doesn’t end there. In reaction, Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is blocking Instagram photos from showing up directly in Twitter’s timeline. As of now, Instagram photos shared to Twitter will only appear as a link. Also, Instagram updated their app with improvements and a new filter, Willow.
Without a doubt, the battle is beginning to rage over being the easiest and best photo sharing app for the end user. Will Twitter’s efforts to improve their photo sharing prove to be more popular than Instagram? Only time will tell if it’s enough for the end user to ditch Instagram all together.
YouTube has finally updated their iOS app to include support for the iPad and also iPhone 5. The new update includes a completely revamped layout with subscriptions on the left and the user’s stream on the right.
With the release of iOS 6, Apple removed the native YouTube app from devices. Without a native YouTube app, iOS users were forced to access YouTube through a mobile browser. YouTube eventually released a YouTube app for the iPhone and iPod Touch in August, but it did not support the iPad.
Yesterday’s update to the app has been a wish fulfilled for many users eagerly waiting for the release. The updated YouTube app can be downloaded from the App Store here.
Last night, AT&T opened the flood gates to their long-overdue Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S3. Users were able to download the update via Samsumg Kies and then flash it to their phones. It appears the update might be available via OTA this morning or later today for users who would rather aquire it that way.
AT&T is the third carrier in the US to release the update, with Sprint and T-mobile being the first. The update for Verizon and U.S. Cellular GS3′s still remains MIA.
Google originally released Jelly Bean back in July, but delays in it’s deployment are usually caused because of carriers tweaking the OS with their bloatware and testing it’s stability.
Jelly Bean 4.1.1 packs a few new features for the GS3, such as Google Now, Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri.
Other new features include resizable widgets on the homescreen, a new ‘easy mode’ for first-time smartphone users, new option to pause and resume while recording, and a ‘blocking mode’ to block calls, notifications and other phone alerts for a period of time.
Overall, the update seems to have stable battery life and make the AT&T GS3 buttery smooth with it’s inclusion of Google’s Project Butter. This project is Google’s aim to make all Android phones lag free.
The 4.1.1 update makes the AT&T GS3 become the extremely smooth phone that it has always had the potential to be.
Not even 2 hours after tickets went on sale for Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, tickets sold out. This is quite surprising to me because a ticket cost $1,599.
The event will be held June 11-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. This year purchasers of the passes were required to be part of one of Apple’s developer programs. This year the conference is said to be focused on Mac OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, with both already in development for later this summer and fall. The WWDC this year has been speculated about for a while now as to whether the new iPhone or a new Apple product will be announced during this week in June. Nevertheless, we will see many new apps and software that developers have been working on to be displayed at this event.
Many of you might have heard of Google Voice, but I’m sure most people are not aware of what it offers. Google Voice is a service by Google that gives you a separate phone number that you can give to your contacts that can converge many phone numbers into one.
Google voice can have your calls, voicemails, and text messages forwarded from multiple numbers to your Google Voice number; making life a lot simpler. One can get in on this by simply signing up for a number and begin using the service.
I have used Google Voice for over 2 years now because it offers free text messaging. I haven’t payed for a texting plan in years, saving me at least $20 every month on my phone bill.
What I like the most is that you can access Google Voice from a desktop computer, tablet, or any web-enabled device. So in my case, if I’m browsing on my iPad and don’t feel like texting on my phone, I just reply to the texts on my iPad through an app.
My favorite Google Voice app for iOS is Think Messenger. It sends push notifications when someone texts you and gets the job done with a nice UI.
I’ll start of my list with Tweet Stream.
Tweet Stream is a new Twitter client that updates your twitter feed in real-time as tweets are posted. I love being able to just open this app and watch as tweets come in in order and in a constant stream.
Next is Meebo.
Meebo is an IM client that brings Facebook, Google Talk, MySpace, AIM, and Windows Live together into one app where you can chat across all platforms. I use this app quite often because it keeps all of my friends and chat in one single app.
Third is Tumblita.
Tumblita is a Tumblr client that is by far the best you will find in the AppStore. It condenses posts on Tumblr so that one can scroll through them easily and then click the post to enlarge it and view it. This is nice because it causes less lag compared to the official Tumblr app that fully loads gifs and images, which slows down the app and usually results in crashes.
Fourth is Vlingo.
Vlingo is almost the Siri for non-iPhone 4′s. Vlingo is a voice assistant that can dictate your speech into text. You can tell it to call someone, text someone, search the web for a topic, and even update Facebook and Twitter. I find the app quite reliable and it dictates correctly 95% of the time and is by far the best dictation app besides Siri.
Fifth is Fab.
I think Fab is pretty awesome. This app streams a feed of interesting products and other things that can actually be purchased. Not only is this an awesome way to find your next set of kitchenware or a new pair of shoes, but it also gives the creators of the new products a way of getting their creation out there for the public to view it and possibly purchase it.
New sources are saying that the next-generation iPhone will use an “in-cell” display that is much thinner than the current one used in the iPhone 4 and 4S. This new display is said to be thinner by combining the touch sensor layer and actual display layer, rather than have one on top of the other in the current iPhones. David Hsieh, an analyst from DisplaySearch, talked to Taiwan’s Central News Agency in this report and believes that this will be Apple’s next strategy, but one must remember this is speculation and not fact.
With this information, one can only wonder how much thinner an iPhone can become. I honestly think that the iPhone is thin enough and making the device even thinner could make it more fragile if the design is not created with this in mind. Maybe the new iPhone will become as thin as the current iPod Touches; I can see that being a reality.
On Monday, April 9, Facebook bought and acquired photo-sharing app Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Why would Facebook buy Instagram? Facebook is the top social network right now, yet it is lacking development in the mobile space and with photo sharing. Instagram has been one of the most downloaded photo sharing apps ever and Facebook knew that acquiring the app would help improve their own photo sharing within Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg explained the acquisition in a post on his Facebook Timeline Monday saying:
“We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.”
So now all of those people worried that their beloved Instagram app will be destroyed can rest easily. On the day of the acquisition many people went to Twitter to post negative tweets and urged Facebook to leave their favorite photo-sharing app as it was. I think Facebook knew from the beginning that any changes made to Instagram itself would result in major backlash.
I am a Facebook user and also an Instagram user, and I agree with Zuckerberg, they are two separate apps and it should stay that way. I am actually excited to see how Facebook uses Instagram’s features on their social network in the near future.
Google updated their social network, Google+ this wednesday with a new layout, features, and other visual goodies.
Now when you log on to Google+ you’ll be greeted with a new layout that seems to use a lot of whitespace; leaving a column of icons down the left side of the screen to navigate. These icons can be rearranged by the user to their preference. One of those icons, Explore, is a new addition where the user can view what is popular on Google+ at the moment.
Google+’s chat features have been moved to the right side of the screen where a user can easily see who is online and start a “hangout” video chat session. To the left of the chat section, one can find a list of things that are trending on Google+, which I think is an awesome addition and maybe the most interesting part of the update. With this new trending column, Google+ seems to resemble a combination of Facebook and Twitter in one.
Though Google has updated their social network, and certainly added attractive features, it’s hard to tell whether the public will even care at this point. While Google+ has many accounts, it seems that the social network has become old news and personally, my news feed is quite bare.
I think Google has done a great job with this update, but I’m still not 100 percent sure if it’s enough to make me begin using their social network more often. In a world where Facebook is dominating the social networking scene, any competitor is bound to have a difficult time gaining attention.
On April 20, the Apple iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be heading to the regional networks of nTelos and Alaska Communications. This isn’t the first time the iPhone has came to a regional carrier, Mississippi’s C Spire gained the iPhone in November 2011.
With regional carriers gaining the iPhone, big carriers such as T-Mobile have still been left out in the cold.
I think that the move of the iPhone to smaller and regional carriers is a positive move by Apple to cover the entire field with their phones. One day, a person might be able to walk into any cellphone carrier store and find an iPhone on display