Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

facebook-app-center

facebook-app-center

Just last week announced its Facebook App Center, currently more than 600 apps are featured in the App Center. These apps are not new, and are already able to sync with your Facebook account, should you let them. but it wasn’t immediately clear how users would benefit, or whether it simply added another layer between you and apps you download to your smartphone.

So now you can go to Facebook.com/appcenter, and choose apps you want to download on your Android or iOS device. Those apps then show up as notifications in your Facebook mobile app. Click the notification and it will take you to the regular app store on your phone so you can download the app in question. But you still need to go back to the Facebook app to authorize the app you just downloaded.

When you access an app on your phone that you synced with the Facebook app, and one of your Facebook friends visits the App Center, it will show your friend which apps you use.

In that sense, it’s more like a recommendation center than a store. For newbie smartphone owners, this might be useful for finding popular apps. There are numerous app review sites, but this would be a place where users can see which apps their friends are using. You can see what apps are popular with Facebook users in general.

Facebook earlier announced 60 apps integrated with Timeline and its Open Graph that made sharing easier than ever and opened the gateway for developers to put their apps on Facebook. The app center makes it easier to view and read about these apps. Is this worthwhile for you? Will you be using Facebook’s new app center? Let us know

Every year on April 1st Google comes up with this amazing April Fools Prank to all its users. This time Google couldn’t wait for April Fools’ Day to prank the web with its 8-bit version of Google Maps, temporarily replacing its standard version. Shortly after the “upgraded” Google Maps went live, users were posted world landmarks and historic sites that could be viewed on the map: the Parthenon, Area 51, Mount Everest (with a Yeti or hiker, say commenters), and many more “Easter eggs.”

“PLEASE don’t let this be a joke. 8-bit Street View is the greatest achievement in the history of all mankind,”. Someone else added, “Google… I want this for android navigation! You already did the work. Just release it.”

On Friday, Google posted this YouTube video:

Accessing the 8-bit map is easy. Use Google Maps as you normally would to search for cities or landmarks, then click on the “Quest” picture icon in the right area of the screen to view the map as large colored pixels. Another April Fools’ tease: When you load the map, you may see this joking response: “Your system may not meet the requirements for 8-bit computations.”

Last year, Google pranked the interwebs by introducing a faux new feature called Gmail Motion that would let users type emails by using gestures. The Institute of Creative Technologies later brought the concept to life.

What do you think of Google’s April Fools’ Day prank? Would you like to use this map every day of the year? Leave in note in the comments section below.

Do you use your mobile phone more for calling or texting? If it’s the second option, you’re probably grumpy about the cap of 200 SMSes a day imposed by the telecom regulator. Of course, a big SMS bill doesn’t help. Yes, you can opt for the special SMS package, which is offered by most service providers and one that lets you send messages at a lower rate. However, this special offer is confined to a small number of people.

So, what’s the way around this dilemma? You can get past both budgetary and regulatory restrictions by moving from conventional text messaging, which is billed to the operator, to applications and services that are either provided by third parties or mobile phone manufacturers. Many of them let you send text messages, files, photos and videos to your heart’s content, as long as you can access the internet on your handset. Most of the apps come at no extra cost. You only need to pay for the data used in sending and receiving messages, which usually works out to be much cheaper than conventional texting. Here are some such options.

BlackBerry Messenger

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0ne of the smoothest messaging services, BBM is incorporated into the BlackBerry handsets. Users can send (and receive) an unlimited number of messages, pictures, even files. You can add people to your contact list through their PINs (a distinct number that comes with with BBM).

WhatsApp

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While there is no doubting the efficiency of services like BBM and iMessage, the fact that you need to invest in expensive handsets limits their utility. This is where a service like WhatsApp comes in handy. Just install the app on your mobile phone and exchange messages and pictures.

It works across platforms, and though it is separate from your regular messaging app, it scans your contacts and automatically includes other WhatsApp users in your contact list, saving you the trouble of sending out invites. However, it is not free for all platforms. While you don’t have to pay for Symbian, it costs about Rs 52 for an iPhone.

The appy edge

Messaging apps do not charge per message or require a special plan. They work fine with your standard GPRS/ EDGE connection. If your network is erratic, you can switch to Wi-Fi.

Most messaging apps let you swap videos and photos, some even let you send files, without incurring any extra cost or requiring any special service activation.

When you use a messaging app, you only pay for the internet data used, which is generally a small amount. This is particularly handy if you want to send messages to people in other countries. It’s the best option if you travel frequently as most service providers don’t charge for roaming for GPRS/EDGE on post-paid connections. So you can text away without worrying about the bill.

iMessage

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iMessage arrived on the iPad and iPhone via the latest version of iOS (iOS 5) and the service, which is free of cost, has become a rage. What sets it apart from other services is that if the person to whom you are sending a message has either of the above two devices, it converts it from an SMS to an iMessage.

Nimbuzz

Nimbuzz combines several instant messaging (IM) clients, so you can exchange messages, photos and videos with your friends across a number of IM services, such as Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, even Facebook Chat. You can even use it from a computer and make free phone/video calls to other users.

Twitter

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and off course Yes, this is a social networking site rather than a messaging service, but it allows you to swap messages, pictures and links with all your followers. You don’t need to install an additional program on your device and can access Twitter from a computer too. Its restriction to 140 characters may be a blessing or a bane.