Microsoft has announced that it is rolling out a preview version of Skype for Outlook.com in the United Kingdom that will allow users to make audio and video calls directly from their inbox.
Available from today, Skype for Outlook.com requires a one-time download of a browser plugin for Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. Once installed, users simply connect Skype to Outlook.com and merge their contacts.
According to the London Fire Brigade, the number of accidental fires involving young professionals (aged 18-35) in the UK capital has dropped by an average of nearly two a week since the fire service started using social media to deliver fire safety advice.
The Brigade set up its Twitter account and official Facebook page in 2009, and now has over 66,000 followers across both social sites.
For years, Tumblr CEO David Karp balked at running ads. But, hey, you can only run a free service on startup capital for so long. Karp caved in 2012, allowing sponsored posts on the website. Today Tumblr brings them to the mobile app. Click carefully.
The first one I see is for General Electronic. Surely there's some pithy wisecrack to be made about GE, because of "30 Rock" -- you know incorporating microwave ovens and other products into fictious "TGS with Tracy Jordan".
There’s been a lot of talk and rumors flying about Twitter’s new music discovery service, but today the social network revealed the details and launched the first app for it.
Based partly on the social site’s recent acquisition of the music startup We Are Hunted, Twitter #music is described as a "new service that will change the way people find music".
Popular business-oriented social network LinkedIn has unveiled new mobile apps for Android and iOS, touting a "brand new mobile phone experience, completely revamped with the general professional and everyday use case in mind". This comes a day after LinkedIn updated its Windows Phone 8 app, with major new features.
However, unlike the Windows Phone 8 app which offers a similar user experience as before, LinkedIn for Android and iOS sports an overhauled UI (User Interface) that is both more modern as well as better looking. Gone are the darker colors of before as lighter ones take their place instead.
The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission is investigating allegations that Samsung representatives posted fake reviews of rival HTC’s products online. Allegations of dirty dealing come from whistle-blowing site taiwansamsungleaks.org, which posted documents it claims are from a third-party marketing agency employed by Samsung.
The documents reveal a raft of allegedly fake posts on popular Taiwanese gadget websites, prompting the leaks site to describe Samsung’s tactics as "evil". The company is accused of hiring students to post negative comments about HTC smartphones.
Facebook Home, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on April 4, and leaked as three APK files shortly after, today officially hit the Google Play store and the HTC First, announced at the same event, can officially be ordered through AT&T. The social network today pushes out a new launch page designed to make a splash with its live background of endless video.
The Google Play app describes itself as "the mobile experience that puts your friends at the heart of your phone". It essentially functions in the same way as any other launcher app for Android, bringing Facebook front and center on your homepage. From the moment you unlock your device you will be bombarded with a steady stream of photos, posts from friends and notifications of all sorts -- it's like a full-screen Windows 8 Live Tile totally dedicated to Facebook.
If something really matters on Twitter then it's on Trends. The little card displayed to the left of the tweets feed in the browser (or inside a tab in the mobile app) shows ten topics that have managed to come out on top as most relevant to worldwide users.
In order to get even more spooky, Twitter even offers something called "tailored Trends" which delivers a more personal list "based on who you follow and your location". But if you don't want to use the feature, you can get trends only for a specific location, an option which Twitter has expanded to include 160 more places worldwide.
How important is Facebook really? The answer may come soon after April 12, when the social network releases Home to Google Play. The Android add-on usurps the homescreen, putting interactions/people first and pushes apps to the background. This, ah, Home invasion means potential trouble for Apple and Google, but in vastly different ways. Apps anchor both their platforms, curated content and the digital lifestyles users adopt. Facebook bets that between the choice of both ways, human relationships matter more.
For either the fruit-logo company or search and information giant, another question is perhaps more significant: Is Facebook's mobile experience already good enough? Related: Do most users want to be enmeshed in a constant stream of social updates and interactions most of the time? Affirmative answer to either, or both, spells trouble for the platform developers but most worrisome for Apple, for which Facebook Home affronts and condemns the entire business model.
It's the question many people have asked since the social network announced its April 4 event one week ago. This live blog answers the question.
Today's "new Home on Android" follows by nearly a month, a massive user interface redesign, as Facebook unifies the look and feel across devices and puts more emphasis on mobile. Obviously Android is part of that. Paragraphs are reverse order, with newest up top. All times EDT.
Kids. They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that my Android phone finally became a member of the Instagram generation, only just "slightly" behind all of those iPhones out there. Now the social photo sharing service is celebrating its one year anniversary on the Google-based mobile operating system.
Philip McAllister, of the Instagram Android team, announces that "One year ago today we launched Instagram for Android. In less than a day, over a million people downloaded the app, and now nearly half of all Instagrammers use the Android app to share photos with friends, family and the world".
The notion of a Facebook phone has certainly lingered for a few years now -- the concept reached a point of half-hearted fruition in the HTC ChaCha and Salsa in 2011, but neither really embodied the true potential of a Facebook phone. They were much more of "throw and see what sticks" devices -- with the only tangible evidence of deeper Facebook integration being the Facebook button on the devices’ fronts.
Much has changed in nearly two years: Facebook’s Open Graph, the acquisition of Instagram and the introduction of Facebook Camera and Messenger applications, among others. Perhaps the most strident progression Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has made in the past two years is reaching 1 billion active users. And counting. That’s approximately one in seven people in the world, and an even larger proportion if accounting for the developed world alone.
BlackBerry Z10 social butterflies rejoice! Updated Facebook and Twitter apps are now available for BB10 sporting new features and enhancements over previous iterations. Users should find it easier to "stay connected and do more with social media", according to the Canadian smartphone maker which detailed the changes.
Twitter was previously updated three weeks ago alongside LinkedIn, and the latest iteration only contains more modest improvements by comparison. Twitter 10.0.2 features a Connect tab where users can view all interactions, similar to the Android, iOS or Windows Phone counterparts, a counter which displays the number of favorites for a tweet and the ability to display photos, summaries and other items straight within tweets.
Last week, Digg revealed plans to build a replacement app for Google's soon-to-be-defunct Reader and compete with other services that have suddenly become popular, like Feedly and The Old Reader. While I wait to someday have my OPML file uploaded to The Old Reader (currently number 3,590 in the queue), I am trying out some other alternatives -- I really liked Feedspot, but updating seems spotty.
In a blog post, Digg says "Google did a lot of things right with its Reader, but based on what we’re hearing from users, there is room for meaningful improvement. We want to build a product that’s clean and flexible, that bends easily and intuitively to the needs of different users. We want to experiment with and add value to the sources of information that are increasingly important, but difficult to surface and organize in most reader applications — like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, or Hacker News. We likely won’t get everything we want into v1, but we believe it’s worth exploring".
Millions of people around the world use Foursquare to check into places they visit. The company has taken a year’s worth of these check-ins at two of the planet’s largest cities -- New York and Tokyo -- and plotted them on a map.
The result is a video that runs from 4AM right round the clock and up to 2AM, showing the cities pulsing as they come to life and then die back down again.