Facebook testing iPhone client with Graph Search, revamps Messenger for iOS 7 style

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2013

The social networking giant Facebook used to irk fans with its sluggish mobile clients that used to be second-class citizens on smartphones and tablets. Blame it on Zuck & Co. for taking the easy route by wrapping the mobile-optimized HTML code into “native” apps. That changed last year after Facebook hired a few former Apple engineers like Greg Novick and tasked them with rewriting these apps from the ground up to be snappier and more responsive than the web app disguised as a native one.

Although Novick has now reportedly departed Facebook and will return to Apple, the company has been busy developing major new updates to mobile Facebook and Messenger clients on iOS and Android. Both applications are now apparently dogfooded to company employees for testing purposes. Here’s what’s in store for the revamped Facebook and Messenger… Read More


Facebook now searches your posts, status updates, photo captions, Notes and check-ins

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2013

You can kiss good-bye good ol’ days when you could count on limited exposure to your Facebook friends due to theirs not having enough time to meticulously comb through your entire Timeline.

But starting today and onwards, figuring out where you were, what you commented on your ex’s photos, whether you mentioned “drunk” or F-words  in posts and much, much more can become unravelled pretty easily.

That’s the power of Facebook’s updated Graph Search for you. After first experiencing Graph Search in action earlier this year, I went ecstatic. Finally, I could use Facebook’s search field for something more complex than barebone friends search. For example, as an avid photography fan I absolutely love the ability to filter just the photos my mom took in Prague back in 2007, or those of my significant other I snapped up last year.

That was merely warming up – Facebook now includes more of your content in Graph Search than ever before, things like your posts (way overdue), status updates (useful), photo captions (fun), Notes (meh) and check-ins (creepy)… Read More


Facebook launching editable status updates today, coming to iOS soon

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2013

The social networking giant Facebook has updated its web interface and the Android app today with a tremendously useful, long-overdue new feature: the ability to edit a status update after it has been posted. It’s coming real soon to the iOS edition of the mobile Facebook app, the company has confirmed. Editable status updates function just like an edit history feature for comments, meaning your audience will get to browse revisions to each and every status update.

This is God-sent for folks who post statuses in two or more languages on a daily basis, like myself. Deleting and re-posting a status update (and losing all the cherished likes, shares and comments in the process) just because of a typo (especially on mobile) quickly gets old.

This is definitely going to be a nice addition to my social networking arsenal… Read More


Instagram updated with iOS 7 style UI, larger and higher resolution photos

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Joining the growing trend of revamping App Store software for iOS 7 look and feel, Facebook-owned Instagram just rushed out a new version of its iPhone and iPod touch app. It’s bringing with it flattened, minimalistic design focused on edge-to-edge images and videos. On the downside, this Instagram release skimps on headline new frameworks (that’s why it feels rushed out) which Apple created to help developers tap new iOS 7 technologies.

Nonetheless, it’s a nice little update and fans should be happy that Instagram no longer looks out of place and behaves like a good citizen on iOS 7… Read More


Faster Facebook Messenger with improved scrolling now available

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 16, 2013

It’s been over a month since we’ve stumbled upon any solid piece of news concerning Facebook’s standalone Messenger iPhone app. Last time we heard, Facebook has added the ability to pick photos from your Instagram albums to send to Messenger friends.

Actually, that was the only major development concerning the software since May 2012. In response to Wednesday’s launch of iOS 7, the social networking giant on Monday pushed an iOS 7-ready version of Messenger with improved scrolling, faster startup times and more… Read More


Facebook testing silent, auto-playing videos in mobile News Feed

By Cody Lee on Sep 13, 2013

Facebook announced yesterday afternoon that it has started testing an easier way to watch videos on its website. The new feature will be rolling out as a limited test in the coming weeks through its mobile apps, and continue to roll out over time.

Once the new feature hits you, you’ll notice that when you see a video popup in News Feed it’ll start playing automatically. It’ll be silent at first, and you can choose to turn on the sound, watch it in full screen or scroll past it. It sounds a lot like VineRead More


Instagram hits 150 million users as it prepares to introduce advertising

By Cody Lee on Sep 9, 2013

When Facebook first announced that it was purchasing Instagram last year, a lot of folks were afraid it would ruin the popular photo-sharing network. They feared Zuckerberg’s group would come in, add a bunch of ads, and mess up the whole experience.

But here we are, nearly 18 months later, and nothing of the sort has happened yet. Instagram is thriving—in fact, it just announced that it has surpassed 150 million users—and there’s not a single ad in sight. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t coming… Read More


‘Cate’ combines Gmail, Twitter and other services into one unified messaging app

By Cody Lee on Sep 2, 2013

I hate email. Even with innovative apps like Mailbox, I’d rather iMessage or talk with someone on Twitter than email back and forth with them. There’s subject lines, headers, signatures, and loads of other useless text—it’s just all way too complicated.

I would be willing to reconsider my predisposition, though, if an application like this one ever makes it to market. It’s called ‘Cate,’ and in addition to being gorgeous, it promises to make communication easier with direct Gmail messaging and more… Read More


Facebook unveils Shared Photo albums

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2013

Don’t you just hate that Facebook won’t let you create a shared album where everyone invited could upload their event photographs? Well now you can as the social networking giant this morning announced a self-explanatory new capability dubbed Shared Photo albums. Facebook’s Bob Baldwin took a rather uncharacteristical step of formally launching the new feature in an interview with Mashable, here’s what you need to know… Read More


Instagram buys Luma for its advanced video filters and stabilization tech

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2013

In another indication it’s taking smartphone photography and videography seriously, Facebook-owned Instagram today bought a small Silicon Valley startup Luma, formerly known as Midnox.

The transaction represents Instagram’s first acquisition since joining Facebook’s fold in April 2012. The startup is behind Luma Camera, an iOS app designed to make it easy to record and share high-quality video.

This isn’t your typical acqui-hire: Instagram is both after Luma’s talented engineers and its advanced technology which makes possible real-time cinematic processing such as filters, effects and video stabilization. As you could imagine, the promising app got immediately pulled fom the App Store following the deal… Read More


Facebook changes third-party app login rules to stop unwanted posts

By Cody Lee on Aug 22, 2013

Facebook has rolled out some nice little changes to the way third-party apps request permissions from users when. The move, it says, is part of an effort to get users to post more to its social network from other apps.

The changes will require third-party applications that connect with Facebook to request separate permissions to ‘read’ information from your FB account, and to write, or publish any app activity on your Timeline… Read More


Facebook updates Pages Manager with a bevy of new features

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2013

Facebook’s Pages Manager mobile app has seen little action since May’s 2.0 update which has brought it in line with popular features seen elsewhere, such as stickers and the omnipresent photo filters.

But don’t worry, the software isn’t going anywhere nor has the social networking giant forgotten about it. Matter of fact, Facebook’s mobile team has just pushed an incremental 2.1 update to Pages Manager containing half a dozen tweaks and new capabilities.

For starters, you can now use the app to edit the cover photo of your Facebook Page, which previously required visiting the web interface. Additionally, the new Pages Manager now allows for the creation of a new Page in-app as well as events that are hosted by your Page (this is an iPhone-only feature).

Additional goodies are right after the break… Read More


Facebook is now rolling out embeddable public posts to everyone

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2013

Following in the footsteps of Twitter’s Vine and its own Instagram – both of which have recently started supporting embed codes for posts – the social networking giant Facebook in late-July launched the new Embedded Posts feature. These embeddable public posts could be initially seen only on websites of top publications which signed up as launch partners, like CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People and Mashable.

After nearly two months of testing, the feature is now ready for prime time as Facebook today started rolling out Embedded Posts to everyone… Read More


Instagram warns third-party apps to stop using ‘Insta’ and ‘Gram’ in their branding

By Cody Lee on Aug 20, 2013

Your favorite Instagram-connected app could be changing soon, or worse, it could be shutting down. The photo-sharing network just updated its brand guidelines, stating that it’s going to start banning apps that use either the word ‘Insta’ or ‘Gram’ in their names.

In fact, according to a new report, it looks like Instagram has already begun sending emails out to developers of existing apps, requesting that they change these trademark-infringing components ‘within a reasonable period’ or risk losing their apps’ API access… Read More


Facebook testing out new mobile payments service

By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013

Facebook is testing a new payments product that would allow online shoppers to make purchases using their login info, according to a new report from AllThingsD. The move is reportedly an effort to simplify online checkout processes.

Citing sources, the site describes the service as one that allows shoppers who have provided Facebook with their credit card credentials to make purchases on partnering e-commerce sites without having to enter their billing information… Read More


Facebook testing new VIP app to boost celebrity engagement

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2013

Facebook is working on a new mobile app, but you probably won’t be able to use it. That is, unless you happen to be a Hollywood A-lister or a high-profile professional athlete. That’s because the app is for VIPs only, or very important people.

The project is Facebook’s latest attempt to entice famous people to share more stuff on their site—a move which is part of an even larger plan to compete more directly with Twitter for the attention of celebrities and their legions of followers… Read More


Facebook acquires speech recognition firm Mobile Technologies

By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013

Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a private company that develops speech recognition and machine translation technology. The move reiterates the social network’s commitment to its mobile strategy.

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the company before today. But some quick digging shows that Mobile Technologies is behind the popular Jibbigo translation app, which the developers claim is the ”world’s first” online/offline speech-to-speech translator… Read More


Facebook app updated with hashtag support, restaurant reservations and more

By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013

Facebook just posted a significant update for its iOS client, bringing the app to version 6.4. The update brings about a number of new features and improvements, including support for the social network’s new hashtag feature.

Version 6.4 also includes a new feature that allows users to make restaurant reservations from within the Facebook app. So if you see a place you’d like to try in the local business Pages, you can set that up with a single click… Read More


Instagram update brings video importing, automatic straightening, and more

By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013

Instagram just announced its first major app update since it introduced its new video capture and posting feature last month. Today’s update brings the client to version 4.1, and it includes a handful of some highly requested enhancements.

Easily the biggest change in today’s update is the ability to import videos from your Camera Roll (though jailbreakers have been able to do this for a while now). This means you can now upload clips shot outside of the app to Instagram’s network… Read More


Facebook Messenger for iPhone updated with Instagram support and more

By Cody Lee on Aug 6, 2013

Facebook updated its popular Messenger app for iPhone this afternoon, for the first time since May. The update brings the app to version 2.6, and brings about a handful of useful improvements and bug fixes.

Among the improvements is deeper integration with Instagram. Users can now pick photos from their Instagram albums, as well as any other album, on their iPhone and attache them in a Facebook message… Read More

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