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Facebook 5.5 for iOS introduces free voice calling, easier sharing

Facebook free voice calls

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?


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Tweetbot for Mac 1.2 update brings Vine, Flickr thumbnail support

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Apple, PC / Laptop, Software

Tweetbot for Mac 1.2

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

Twitter t.co shortener adds two more characters, shortens tweets

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: News, Social Networks

twitter t.co adds 2 characters to tweets

If you thought that 140 characters was just not enough to thoroughly get your point across on Twitter, get ready, because any URLs you add to your tweet out are going to make them even shorter.

Starting today, including a URL in your tweet will leave you with 118 characters, or 117 for https links. This tweet reduction was announced in December due to a change in Twitter's t.co link wrapper, which extends the maximum length of links from the previous 20 characters to 22, and 21 to 23 for https. 

What does this mean for you? You'll have two less characters to annoy people with your updates.

Read More | Twitter

Facebook 5.4 for iOS adds in-app video recording & audio messaging

Facebook in-app Video Recording   Facebook Audio Messaging

Facebook has updated its main iOS app to version 5.4, adding in-app video recording and audio messaging. Users can now record their cat videos without leaving the Facebook app and have the ability leave cryptic audio recordings when messaging their besties.

Share your moments with voice messages and video recordings right in the app.

  • Send voice messages when you have more to say
  • Record and share videos right from the app
  • Share and connect with your favorite places using the improved Nearby tab

Read More | Facebook

Facebook Messenger iOS App adds free VoIP audio calling

Facebook Messenger App VoIP   Facebook Messenger App VoIP (2)

Hot on the heels of Facebook's event announcing its new Social Graph feature, Facebook Messenger iOS app has been updated to VoIP audio calling functionality for US users. It's interesting since, technically, Facebook uses Skype backend, which is owned by parent company Microsoft. Thus, the collaborative user base is pretty vast. It appears that it is limited only to audio calls, but it is safe to assume that video calling is in the pipeline. VoIP may not use your monthly allotment of cell minutes but it will definitely use your mobile data plan, of course it will not effect your carrier plan if users use a WIFI acces point. The app is a free download available in the App Store.

What’s New in Version 2.1.1

  • Back by popular request: Now you can swipe right to archive a conversation again
  • Other improvements and bug fixes

*Free calling uses your existing data plan, and will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

Read More | Facebook Messenger

Here’s how to stay on top of all the Gear Live news!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Announcements, Features

Gear Live

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.
  • Kindle: You can get all of Gear Live's news delivered directly to your Kindle!
  • 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!


Facebook encouraging employees to switch to Android

Facebook Android phones

Facebook wants more of its employees carrying Android devices, employing vaguely propagandistic posters around its Menlo Park campus. The posters outline the growing lead Android has over iOS, projecting that lead to double by 2016. The goal is to get Facebook employees using devices that the majority of their app users use, or "Droidfooding," as the campaign is casually known.

“In the early days we gave employees iPhones primarily”, a Facebook spokesperson said to TechCrunch. This recent shift to a more Android OS orientated workplace is part of an effort to make it as simple as possible to test future Facebook For Android and Facebook Messenger apps.

“We’ve created more awareness that Android devices are available” Facebook says. "There's plenty of people here carrying around both devices, and not just engineers and not just mobile people.”

Read More | TechCrunch

Facebook 4.1 for Windows Phone 8 brings speed improvements

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Cell Phones, Microsoft, Software

Windows Phone 8 Facebook

A new update for Windows Phone 8's Facebook app doesn't bring new features, but does make the app a lot faster and more responsive. Similar to the recent Facebook app updates on Android and iOS, this one focuses on the general performance of the app, and eliminates the lag from the older version.

Windows Phone 7 devices, however, aren't capable of running the new update. UK users will assuredly find the Facebook version 4.1 update in the UK Windows Phone Marketplace, but its not quite available in all markets yet.

Read More | Windows Phone

Twitter allegedly attempted to buy Instagram for $525 million

Twitter buy Instagram

Way before Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion, Twitter apparently made an offering of its own, to which Instagram initially agreed to.

The offer from Twitter, according to The New York Times, was for $525 million. Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, agreed to the buy-out, but changed his mind before selling Instagram to Facebook without allowing Twitter to make a counter offer.

What's interesting is that Systrom had stated while under oath to the California Corporations Department that Instagram had never received another formal offer. None of the parties have commented on the Times article that brought this information to life, but it could mean we might be in the throes of an intense legal battle shortly.

Read More | NY TImes

Twitter rolling out Archive feature, allows you to download your tweet history

Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Corporate News, Internet

If you thought you could just bury the past under an onslaught of new tweets, then you're about as wrong as Commissioner Gordon and Batman at the end of The Dark Knight.

The truth always comes out eventually, and this time it's coming out one tweet at a time in the form of your very personalized Twitter archive that, you guessed it, contains every tweet you ever posted. Each personalized archive is done up in HTML and divided by month, so you can remember the great (and not so great) times of your social media life a month at a time.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo promised this feature earlier, but it appears to be rolling out for select users right now, and you may very well be one of them. To check, go to your Twitter account and see if you find "Your Twitter Archive" under the settings page.

Read More | The Next Web

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