Recently launched by Shoto is its latest version, Album Match targeted to iOS devices. The app aims to allow users the ability to share photos with friends, and combines both the users and the friend’s photos into albums. The latest version, being a 5.0 update includes an ‘overhauled design’ for the app. Additionally, it introduces Album Match which is a new feature that points out photos that each user may wish to share.
Album Match essentially identifies which friends were with a user when pictures had been taken at a certain location, then creates an ‘album match’ to group these photos into an individual album. After one of these matches have been identified, the user can then request access via their friends. Once the images have been approved by the friend, the user then has access to the folder.
The app also includes an ‘album completeness’ feature that indicates whether a particular album could still contain more images from friends. Furthermore, the new version of the app includes a redesigned Library. Users are able to browse their Library to discover content. Lastly, displayed on the photos are icons that indicate whether the photos are public, private or shared.
Sachin Dev Duggal, the CEO of Shoto said in a recent statement to Social Times “ Shoto 5 is our big push in truly letting you get the photos you didn’t take. Whilst others sell you on this fear of missing out, you always end up getting a sharing app that doesn’t really get you the photos from friends. Our Album Match technology precisely tells you who has photos and let’s you ask for them by a single tap. All the photos pool into a single album.”
Shoto is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Earbits, a music streaming service, has been launched as a mobile app to both Google Play and iTunes App stores. It offers users free music by independent artists who buy airtime packages from Earbits to create exposure for their music. All music made available on the app has been carefully screened by Earbits’ music specialists and only high quality music is accepted. The app has earned itself 4 stars on Google Play and 5 stars on iTunes and seems to have attracted some very positive reviews by its followers:
Very nice music radio app for Chrome and Android 🙂 – Miroslav
Incredible music selection, great sound quality, beautiful UI, and SUPERB customer service.– M Co
Nice quality music with a lot of choice– Richardje30
Earbits has the capability to analyse the songs on your phone and then recommend channels based on your own specific taste. The intelligence of the app blends these songs into the users own channels, resulting in a curated music discovery with all of the user’s favourites.
The app has already been downloaded a staggering 500,000 times on iPhone and Android collectively. Earbits offers over 500 channels which unlike other music streaming platforms are 100% ad free with no skipping restrictions or subscriptions.
The app offers an ever increasing high quality catelogue of artists such as Alabama Shakese, Wiz Kalifa and Awolanation. Furthermore, unlike most of its competitors, the app is available for download worldwide.
We will no doubt see the continued rapid growth and success of Earbits’ already well established and popular offering.
Just launched by Visbit is the Pixbrite photo organisation app for iOS devices. Organising users photos into a timeline of moments, the app allows users to generate photos collages that can then be shared with friends.
The app generates moments from pictures on a user’s Facebook account or camera roll. The moments are then split into either ‘flashback’ moments or for recent events. Some moments may contain multiple photos which are organised into collages that they can share to social media sites, or may even be a single image.
There are various ways for users to edit their generated collages. These include replacing or deleting various pictures, or changing location of the pictures within the collage. Users can change the collages background and colour, as well as apply filters to the images. They can also add text or stickers to the images and change the thickness of the trim of the photos inside the collage.
While a user is searching through their moments they are able to tap ‘discover’ which allows them to view related moments images. These can include more photos from the same events, those taken in similar locations as well as what the app may define as a similar ‘subject’. If a user would not like to share a full collage, they can share only an individual image.
Pixbrite is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
To help users not miss out on a single post, Facebook has released a new feature for its mobile apps. The new feature essentially enables users to access their news feed while they are offline. It was only last Thursday that the company announced it would be updating the app’s News Feed to enable users to receive the posts even with a weak connection.
Recently in a blog post Facebook said “These changes will help anyone who is on a poor internet connection — even those whose network connectivity is generally good but who have intermittent connections in places like subways and tunnels, or at large events,”.
Furthermore, users will also be able to post comments on the posts in the news feed, however they will only be loaded once the connection is made again. The stories that have not been read yet will be logged in the news feed so that they can still be read when offline. These will be displayed using Facebook’s relevance algorithm. Once the user has returned online, the News Feed of the users will then start receiving the latest stories from Facebook’s server.
The Facebook app also takes into consideration posts that have been downloaded but have not been read, and when the News Feed is scrolled through they will appear as new stories. Additionally, Facebook is working on a new feature that will enable the app to recover new stories while there is a good connection.
Facebook has also mentioned that the rollout of these new features and changes to the News Feed will take some time.
The formerly-independent development studios Fat Rascal and Kiwi have recently been acquired by the LA based mobile and social publisher SGN.
It is with these acquisitions that the firm has expanded to Palo Alto, Seattle, Kirkland and California. It has been said that for SGN, acquiring experience is more relevant than numbers.
At current the Fat Rascal studio consists of 15 staff with collective experience from giant players such as Zynga, Microsoft and EA. The Kirkland office will remain with the team working there however now under SGN.
When it comes to SGN’s new Palo Alto studio, 25 Kiwi employees will be taken across. This includes game leads from Kiwi’s portfolio, of which five of them landed a place in the top 25 grossing positions on Google Play.
Since Kiwi sold the bulk of its portfolio to RockYou, it has effectively been shuttered. These acquisitions were effectively bankrolled by the $130 million investment by Netmarble. It now appears that SGN has a clear strategy moving forward.
Chris DeWolfe, the CEO and co-founder of SGN said in a recent statement “Fat Rascal and Kiwi are two of the best independent studios I’ve seen in the market today, collectively being involved in some of the biggest social/mobile games in the industry,”
“It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to deploy fresh capital and acquire the brightest game talent to expand our development capabilities globally.”
Recently launched to iOS and Android devices is the eleat restaurant app that essentially aims to eliminate problems users encounter when they are at restaurants. These problems may include waiting for the check or waiting in order. The app enables users to pay and order their meals at participating restaurants through the app.
Users are able to use the app as much as they would like while making a trip to the full service or casual restaurants of their choice. To be specific, a user can browse the menu and order their meal, or browse the menu and order through the waiter. Meals can also be paid for from within the app if the user chooses. In some cases, uses can choose to share the cheque at the beginning of the meal.
The eleat app also works for delivery and take-away orders. Users can also submit special requests for their orders once they have browsed for restaurants via category and food type. For users with special dietary requirements including vegans, gluten free and vegetarians, they can also search with filters.
Terry Miller, the founder and CEO of eleat said in a recent statement “ It all started on a beach, when my wife, son and I were on vacation, waiting for what seemed like forever to order food and drinks. Then, it actually took forever to get our food and pay our bill. We also had no idea if all the food we ordered would be safe for our son’s food allergies. From there, eleat was born.
Just launched by Sony is the new Playstation Messages app for Android and iOS devices. The app essentially enables users to start conversations with other users in group conversations or in private.
Originally, chat was available in the Playstation App, however this feature was removed after the launch of Playstation Messages. Users will now be prompted to download to the new app when they attempt to view old messages in the Playstation App.
Giving users access to their friends list and conversations, the app also offers a ‘favourites’ tab which enables users to mark groups of users or individuals for quick access at a later time. The uses can be sorted based on their online status or alphabetically.
While chatting in Playstation Messages, users can send photos, voice messages and text messages as well as stickers from Playstation games. To view another users Network Profile, the user will be redirected to the main Playstation app.
John Koller, the vice president of Playstation brand marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America said in a recent blog post “We know that Messages is the most used feature of the PlayStation App, so we created the standalone PlayStation Messages app with a more streamlined design in order to get you into your Messages and communicating with your friends faster than ever before.”.
Recently launched to the iTunes Store is ModiFace Live by Modiface, who specialise in reality enhanced reality technology for the beauty industry. Essentially the app enables users to edit their videos and pictures and apply real time effects which can be saved and shared with friends.
The app includes various effects such as contact lenses, teeth whitening and makeup palettes as well as others. These effects can be previewed in real-time. Users can also use an ‘emoji’ like tool that transforms the users face to look like an emoji.
For users to compare their actual appearance with the modified one they can swipe on the screen. The intensity of each modification can also be adjusted.
Using the gesture control effect users can also create their own make up palettes on top of the app’s stock makeup palettes. When this effect is being used users can raise their eyebrows or pucker their lips to change their eyeshadow colour and lipstick.
Once the changes are made and the user is happy with their appearance, they are able to take a photo by tapping the screen or tapping and holding to record a video. These videos and pictures can then be shared to various social media platforms. They can also be saved to the camera roll.
ModiFace Live is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.
With the goal of creating a more simplified user experience, LinkedIn redesigned its mobile apps and offers five major tabs for searching and browsing content.
The newest version now offers a ‘home’ feed for searching customised content which is said to be the most relevant information to the users skills and industry. Users are able to share posts on their feed as well as post comments and likes. In order to customise the content a user sees, they are able to unfollow users and remove posts from their feed.
Additionally, the ‘Me’ tab offers users the ability to view their endorsements and profile views, as examples. This tab also allows users to update their profile.
The ‘My Network’ tab shows the current events within the users network. It also offers a list of people that users may wish to connect with that are recommended based on their current network.
Lastly, the ‘Messages’ tab enables users to access their private conversations. The ‘Search’ tab offers users the ability to search for groups, jobs and people. This function is said to be at least 300 percent faster and more efficient, allowing users to potentially see results before they have finished searching.
Joff Redfern, the VP of product at Linked In commented recently “ We’ve not only rebuilt the new Flagship app from scratch but we have taken everything you love and more to develop a mobile experience that is more intuitive, smarter and dramatically simplifies your LinkedIn experience.”
The digital personal assistant app GoButler has now been launched for iOS devices. It was developed to be along side the SMS-based platform the company currently offered by the company. The app provides users with access to the Human Assisted AI (HAAI) service, enabling users to do specific tasks such as buying a movie ticket or making a restaurant reservation.
GoButler enables users to send image or text messages to the HAAI service as well as offering in app payments options with credit card scanning for purchases. When making a request to the app users can share their location to assist the app in finding nearby restaurants or petrol stations. So far the app has been launched with Carbd.io and Uber.
For users that are feeling festive, the app offers a holiday gift guide with various product that are based on price and recipient. When users view a product within the app, they are shown a snapshot of the item as well as the price and description. The company plans to offer guides for future holidays and events moving forward.
Navid Hadzaad the CEO and founder of GoButler said in a recent statement “ We’re excited to announce the launch of our iOS app, providing a smart, complementary channel to communicate directly with GoButler everyday. We want to make it easier for our users to get everything they need in one place, with direct integrations and new features to add functionality to our existing service.”
GoButler is available for a free download from the iTunes App Store.