Facebook adds AMBER Alerts to people’s News Feeds on mobile and the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

Facebook on Tuesday announced adding AMBER Alerts to both its mobile applications and the web interface in order to help find missing children in a more systematic way than before.

Realized through a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the initiative will deliver AMBER Alerts, which include photographs and other details about the missing child, to people’s News Feeds in targeted search areas after a child has been abducted and the National Center has issued an alert, said the social networking behemoth.

Facebook is betting that the power of its network will help find the missing children and is encouraging users to share these alert with friends and link directly to the National Center’s missing child poster. Read More

 

Apple ranked #11 among top patent recipients in 2014

By Cody Lee on Jan 12, 2015

Apple was awarded just over 2,000 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2014, according to data compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services. That amount is good for a 13% boost over 2013, and enough to rank it #11 among top patent recipients for the year.

A total of 19 US-based companies appear on the 2014 IFI Claims Top 50 list. IBM finished in first, with 7,534 patents awarded in 2014, keeping its 22-year streak alive. Samsung came in second with just under 5000 patents, followed by Canon, Sony and Microsoft. Read More

 

Facebook acquiring web video startup QuickFire Networks

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2015

Facebook is purchasing the San Diego, California-based web video startup QuickFire Networks for an undisclosed amount. The company announced the acquisition on its website today, saying that “key members” of its team will be joining the social networking giant as it “winds down operations.”

QuickFire is known for its propriety software tech that significantly reduces the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading its quality. The startup will help Facebook build an infrastructure capable of supporting the massive influx of video consumption it’s currently experiencing. Read More

 

Facebook acquires voice recognition firm Wit.ai

By Jake Smith on Jan 5, 2015

“Natural Language for the Internet of Things.”

Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its product reach into voice recognition, with the acquisition of Palo Alto-based Wit.ai on Monday, reports Reuters. Read More

 

Facebook will continue efforts to move away from one single app on iOS

By Jake Smith on Dec 30, 2014

Facebook is not going to change. It plans to continue filling up your iPhone and iPad homescreens with multiple apps.

The social network giant confirmed in a statement to CBC News that it will continue moving away from one single Facebook app, and instead break its features into several apps on the iTunes App Store. Read More

 

Facebook’s ‘Stickered for Messenger’ app now available on iOS

By Cody Lee on Dec 22, 2014

Facebook this evening released its odd ‘Stickered for Messenger‘ app for iOS. First released on Android last week, Stickered allows users to add some fun stickers to their photos before sending them off to friends and family on Messenger.

More specifically, the app allows you to snap a photo, or pull one in from your camera roll, and pick from hundreds of stickers to apply. You can move the images around, resize them, and then pop into Messenger to send off your work. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger gains read receipts, fresh holiday content and a huge speed boost

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

Facebook-owned WhatsApp quietly introduced blue-ticked read confirmations in its mobile iPhone app a month and a half ago and now the social networking behemoth has refreshed its backend to bring read receipts to Messenger for iOS and Android.

And with Christmas around the corner, the company is helping us celebrate the upcoming festivities by adding holiday-themed content to Messenger like fresh sticker packs, a new festive frame and more.

As if that wasn’t enough, Facebook’s engineers have done a lot of work under the hood to make the app more fluid and responsive than ever before. Read More

 

Facebook launches Stickered, a Messenger companion app

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

There’s a brand new app from Facebook in town and it’s hitting iOS real soon. Having launched on Android today, Stickered is a companion app for Messenger which allows you to add some fun stickers to a photo before sending it to a friend on Messenger.

The first companion app for Messenger, the lightweight Stickered app should make it easy and fun to pick a photo and then resize and slap a sticker on top. Read More

 

Slingshot adds swiping between selfie and frontie and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Slingshot, Facebook’s weird ephemeral messaging app, is actually getting better and more useful with each update.

After releasing a major 2.0 version rebuilt from the ground up and enriched with such new features as private reactions, photo filters, drawings, emojis and notifications on a per-contact basis.

Today’s update keeps smoothing out the remaining few rough edges.

For instance, you can now switch smoothly between your iPhone’s front-facing FaceTime camera for ‘selfies’ and the iSight camera out the back for ‘fronties’ by swiping left and right. Read More

 

Facebook will begin auto-enhancing photos for iPhone users

By Jake Smith on Dec 16, 2014

Even with its Instagram product, Facebook is still one of the premier places to share memories with family and friends. That’s why Facebook says it will start auto-enhancing your photos for you on iOS. I guess Facebook thinks you’re a sucky photographer.

The social network told TechCrunch on Tuesday you’ll still have complete control of your photos, but a slider will now appear on your photos as you post them that will show how enhanced you want the light, shadow, and clarity. You can even revert back to your original shot. Read More

 

Instagram hits 300M monthly users, rolls out verified badges

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Facebook-owned Instagram shared a new milestone today as the popular mobile photo-sharing service hit 300 million monthly users, making it bigger than Twitter which on October 27 had 284 million active users.

The figure is sharply up from 200 million active users Instagram had at the end of March, meaning the service has grown 50 percent in the past 9 months alone. Read More

 

Facebook confirms Trending coming to iPhone soon, now available on the web and Android

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Wednesday, the social networking giant Facebook announced that Trending is coming to iOS soon, with the Android app getting the feature today. Announced in January, the feature lets you discover timely and relevant conversations happening in the world in the form of stories from different sources.

The feature groups together only public posts and those that you are in the audience for such as updates from friends or groups that you belong to. Read More

 

Facebook launches Graph Search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2014

Facebook on Monday confirmed that it’s at last gearing up to launch Graph Search in its mobile application for the iPhone and iPad this week following what has turned to be an incredibly extensive period of testing.

Tapping Facebook’s vast database, Graph Search uses natural language queries to surface content information from within a user’s network of friends that would be impractical or impossible using the standard and fairly limited search feature.

Another way to describe Open Graph: this tremendously powerful tool makes it easy and fun to explore the world through the eyes of your friends. Read More

 

Facebook Rooms gains push notifications, activity dashboard, 50+ Like button sounds and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Facebook Rooms, the social networking giant’s latest attempt at Reddit-like anonymous posting app, received new capabilities Tuesday morning in the first feature focused update following its App Store debut a month ago.

In addition to performance improvements, Rooms 1.1 now has an Activity dashboard, will send you push notifications when somebody posts to a room you’re in and lets you choose among 50+ new custom sounds for the Like button. Read More

 

You can now adjust focus and lighting of photos in Facebook Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Facebook on Thursday issued a small update to its Messenger app for the iPhone and iPad, bringing out additional features to touch up the photos you take within the software using the built-in camera feature.

Now available in the App Store at no cost, Facebook Messenger 16.0 fixed an issue with sending messages while introducing a pair of new controls to adjust the focus and lighting of photos you take in the app. Read More

 

New Facebook Groups app goes live in App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2014

Facebook on Tuesday announced a brand new iPhone application, now available at no cost in the App Store. Dubbed Facebook Groups, the 54-megabyte download promises to give you a dedicated space for you and your groups and make it easy to discover and join new groups, post photos and links, or create your own.

For those wondering, Facebok Groups are like forums on the Internet. Anyone can create a group covering specific topics.

For example, families can create closed groups to share family photos, organize vacations and more. Or, your team could use Facebook Groups to post updates and schedules, your school or neighborhood may have set up a Facebook Group and so forth.

Facebook Groups is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

WhatsApp updated with support for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

By Cody Lee on Nov 17, 2014

The Facebook-owned cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp has updated its iOS client today, bringing the app to version 2.11.14. The team says the new version fixes bugs and crashes, as well as adds support for the new iPhones.

The app now looks great on the larger display of the iPhone 6, and the larger, higher resolution display of the iPhone 6 Plus. WhatsApp, which Apple labels as an App Store “Essential,” was one of the few remaining top tier apps to update. Read More

 

Facebook@Work being worked on

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014

Using Facebook in the workplace could soon become the new normal thanks to a new business product Facebook is said to be currently developing.

Dubbed Facebook@Work, the forthcoming service should permit users to collaborate on projects and connect with professional contacts through group chats and document collaboration with co-workers, three people familiar with the matter told The New York Times newspaper Monday.

As first mentioned by The Financial Times on Monday, Facebook began working on the project years ago, lead by a team based in the firm’s London offices. They’re currently testing Facebook@Work externally with a handful of outside companies and expect to roll it out “within the coming months.” Read More

 

You can now ‘Say Thanks’ with Facebook’s personalized video cards

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2014

Facebook on Wednesday introduced ‘Say Thanks’, a new service allowing its members to create and send personalized video cards to their friends and family on the service.

To make a video for a friend, just visit facebook.com/thanks. Upon choosing a friend, the service will generate a preview of your personalized video card. Limited customization features are available, allowing you to change a theme of the video< edit photos and posts that represent your friendship and write a personalized message. Read More

 

How to use Facebook profile pictures for your iOS contacts

By Lory Gil on Nov 11, 2014

I have dozens of contacts in my iPhone that don’t have a picture attached to them. Sometimes, I’ll get a band’s information at a show and will even forget who they were months later. Pictures always help in situations like these. I’m better with faces than I am with names.

For a while now, Apple has included the ability to merge your friends’ Facebook information, including updated profile pictures, to your contacts in iOS. It only takes a few seconds and we’ve got a short tutorial for you below. Read More