This morning Facebook revealed a new Android-based mobile initiative called Facebook Home. Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to talk about what would happen if your phone was made to be about "people, not apps," and the result is Facebook Home.
While many assumed that Facebook would be releasing its own hardware device (despite our assurance that it wouldn't!), Home is, instead, a suite of Facebook apps that work together to put Facebook front and center across your entire Android device, making it feel like a "Facebook Phone." For example, in the Coverfeed app, it takes over both the Android homescreen and lock screen, and then provides a regular stream of updates from your friends--all without you tapping a Facebook app icon or even swiping to unlock. From the home screen you can even comment and like the updates that flow across your display.
Facebook has announced a greatly revamped News Feed that hopes to beautify all the content that you consume on the social network. The new News Feed separates the different categories of content, making it easier to get to, say, just photo updates, or music updates, or groups, for example. Mark Zuckerberg says the new design is akin to a "personalized newspaper." The thought behind the changes are that people are sharing more and more multimedia--images, videos, links with previews…so why not take advantage of the screen space and optimize it?
Twitter has finally (finally!) released a substantial update to Twitter for Windows Phone. The new version brings the design of the app in line with what you'd find in the iOS and Android variants, with the Home, Connect, Discover, and Me tabs included in the app. Additionally, Twitter for Windows Phone includes Live Tile support, so you can pin specific Twitter accounts, lists, and searches right to your Start Screen. You can grab the update right now.
Read More | Twitter
Facebook 5.5 for iOS has just been released, and with it comes free voice calling for North American users over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The feature came to Facebook's separate messaging app a couple of weeks ago, and is now baked in to the full-fledged Facebook iOS experience for users across the US and Canada. After updating, simply open your chat pane by tapping the icon on the upper-right, select a friend, and then select "Free Call." As you'd expect, the person on the other end also needs to be located in North America, and also needs to have the latest Facebook app installed. It's a nice way to make voice calls without tapping into your voice minutes--just make sure to keep an eye on your data plan when you're away from Wi-Fi, no need to try to save on voice minutes, only to rack up massive data usage fees, you feel me?
Tweebot for iOS was updated about two weeks ago to include in-line viewing of Flickr and Vine content, and the same treatment is now available for the Mac version.
In version 1.2, Tweetbot for Mac allows for six-second films, as well as several new upgrades and bug fixes, such as being able to opt-in for notifications for specific Twitter accounts, as well as a new ability to begin messages by dragging videos or images to the app icon. The Mac app of Tweetbot also now features MP4 support and account reordering in the preferences section. Also, the software used is version 1.1 of the Twitter API, which supports a new Costolo and Co. approved UI.
Read More | Tweetbot for Mac
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!
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- 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!
Instagram started it; Facebook has it now and, of course, social micro-blogging service Twitter won't be left behind. Twitter has followed suit with it's own editing and filtering functionality update in version 5.2. Here is a list of changes and new features:
Create beautiful photos right within Twitter, with filters powered by Aviary.
- Apply one of eight different filters to instantly add a new look and feel to your photos
- Choose a filter by comparing all your options in a convenient grid view or by swiping through each version
- Make your photos pop with balanced light and colors by tapping the auto-enhance wand
- Crop and scale to frame the action the way you want
- We’ve also added many other improvements and fixes to this update.
Read More | Twitter
Thanksgiving is a time for sharing, and that's exactly what Instagram users did, giving Instagram it's most shared photos ever.
Over at the Instagram blog, the social network reported that over 10 million Thanksgiving specific photos where shared yesterday. The post didn't mention previous statistics, but it did provide a graph detailing the hour by hour photo traffic it received. The majority of photos came in around noon, averaging out to over 200 photos shared every second.
In it's post, Instagram stated, "We’re thrilled to see people use Instagram to share their holidays. Whether celebrating with friends and family or sharing photos with them halfway across the globe, we’re excited to see the intimacy and immediacy of the Instagram experience bring us all closer together over this holiday season."
With Christmas on the horizon, Instagram might see another record-breaking day sooner than later.
Read More | Instagram Blog
Remember when Apple launched Ping? It was supposed to be the quintissential social network for anyone who loved music. Except that Apple crippled Ping right out of the gate, and we learned that it wasn't really a social network at all - it was just another method the company wanted to take advantage of to get people to buy more music. It was annoying and resrictive. You could only talk about music that was available on iTunes...and nothing more. Recently, it was rumored that Apple would kill Ping, and now it has been confirmed. Ping closes its doors on September 30th. Anyone out there upset by the closure? Anyone?
Instagram 3.0 was released today, and with it comes a host of new features and bug fixes. One of the major additions is the Photo Map, which makes it easy to find images that have been geo-tagged to specific locations. Users will find a new Photo Map section in their profiles that will allow them to see their own images overlayed on a map as well. Other features include infinite scrolling on photo feeds, redesigned profile and upload screens, and other performance improvements. Grab Instagram 3.0 now from the App Store or Google Play for free. Check out a video explaining it all after the break.