Facebook has (finally!) released its updated iOS app that's been rewritten from the ground-up in native iOS dev code. That means that instead of being HTML5 based (and super-slow,) it's now twice as fast. There are other visual tweaks, but they're relatively subdued. You can scroll faster in the News Feed, pictures are a bit larger, there are nicer animations, and Timeline profile pages can now be viewed on the iPad app. All nice, but make no mistake about it, the star here is the fantastic speed of the app. You can download Facebook 5.0 for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch now, for free on the App Store.
Read More | Facebook 5.0 for iPhone
We know we push out a lot of content here on Gear Live, but it's actually prtty easy to stay on top of everything, even if you don't have the chance to visit the site every day. How? Like this:
- Gear Live newsletter: Our free daily newsletter that brings you a wrap-up of all the tops news of the day. We also launch exclusive contests in the newsletter that you might not find on the site itself!
- YouTube: We have a pretty active YouTube channel with almost 500 pieces of content for your viewing pleasure. You can even subscribe and get notified of new videos.
- Twitter: Gear Live in 140 characters or less.
- FaceBook: We know a lot of you spend hours here, and we've got our Facebook page set up to deliver tech news right into your feed.
- Google+: Yep, some of you hand out here, and we're there too.
- RSS: Old-fashioned RSS is still available for all you grizzled tech veterans out there.
See? Told you it was easy!
Mountain Lion has been out for a couple of days, available for just $19.99 on the Mac App Store. Judging by our server logs, many of you have already upgraded to the latest Apple OS. For those still on the fence about what exactly you're getting for your Jackson, we figured we'd explain the top user-facing features of OS X 10.8. Sure, Apple is touting that Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features, but redesigned scroll bars are hardly anything to get excited about. Here are the Mountain Lion features that prove that $19.99 is a steal.
We've gotta hand it to Netflix. The company has just announced a pretty major milestone--there were over one billion hours of video content streamed from Netflix in the month of June. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made the announcement on Facebook, stating that he expects that upcoming Netflix exclusives like House of Cards and Arrested Development season four will help "blow these records away."
Read More | Facebook
It looks like Apple has even more in store for its mapping solution that'll make its debut in iOS 6 this fall. According to a Bloomberg report, iPhone users will be able to use Maps directly to check in to the local spots that they're visiting courtesy of Yelp's check-in service. Of course, this leaves us a bit confuses, as almost no one uses Yelp check-ins when compared to Foursquare or Facebook, but we're guessing that Apple doesn't wanna get too reliant on any one company for iOS features. Still, in this case, we think Yelp is a bit of a disappointment for system-level iOS 6 check-ins.
Read More | Bloomberg
My pal Rich Handley at Hasslein Publishing has a big favor to ask. He publishes a great bunch of books on shows and movies like Planet of the Apes, Back To The Future, James Bond, Red Dwarf and lots of others. He's asked for a no-cost favor, so I'm posting it here, mostly verbatim.
"Paul and I at Hasslein Publishing are trying to qualify for one of 12 small-business grants from Chase in order to build up Hasslein into something bigger than it currently is. We need 250 votes within an eight-day period to qualify, so please vote before June 30!
"Each grant is for a whopping $250,000. It's a huge long-shot, as I'm sure a lot of people are submitting their companies to this program, but if we were to win one of the grants, we'd have a ton of money to do amazing things with our company, which would be a good thing.
Sure, it Flipboard for Android leaked weeks ago during its period of exclusivity to the Samsung Galaxy S III, but for those less adventurous, you can now grab the unique newsreader the old-fashioned way. Just head on over to Google Play to download Flipboard for your Android device.
Read More | Google Play
Apple's Ping, the music-based social network that has struggled to find any sort of dedicated fanbase, is set to be killed off with the next iTunes update and the public release of iOS 6, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to the publication:
Ping, which still exists today in iTunes 10.6.3 and the iOS 6 beta - where it doesn't work, will be gone with the software's next major release, likely scheduled for this fall. And at that point Apple's social networking offerings will shift to Twitter and new partner Facebook entirely.
We don't know too many people who'll miss it. Ping has been a far too barren wasteland for far too long. If its something you enjoy, though, then start saying your goodbyes.
Read More | WSJ
TechCrunch has learned through a source that iOS 6, set to debut next week at WWDC 2012, will include system-level Facebook integration. This means that you'll be able to log in to Facebook in iOS 6 itself, similar to how you can currently do the same with multiple Twitter accounts in iOS 5.
After much speculation, Facebook integration will indeed be baked into the latest version of iOS, we’ve learned. [...]
To be clear, Twitter will still very much be a part of the new iOS (presumably named “iOS 6″ and codenamed “Sundance“), and that company will be holding sessions at WWDC to chat more about the continued partnership (including the integration into the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion). But Facebook integration will be very important for iOS — tons of apps use Facebook for sign-ups and authentication (many use Facebook as the only way to do this, to the dismay of some).
Details of how exactly sharing will work remain a mystery, since Facebook has a more customized set of privacy options on a per-post basis, and of course, things can always change at the last minute and Facebook integration could end up being scrapped again (it was a planned feature for iOS 4.) However, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, recently suggested that we will see more out of Apple and Facebook shortly with the phrase "Stay tuned."
Read More | TechCrunch
Earlier today, Facebook launched its new photo-sharing app, Facebook Camera. Since then, we've seen tons of comments on Facebook and Twitter from people who are making fun of the company for releasing a new app that competes with Instagram, the photo sharing app and company that Facebook just acquired for $1 billion. Really? I thought it was time that we took a closer look at why Facebook Camera makes perfect sense, and how it really doesn't compete against Instagram at all.