Foursquare Now Forces Users to Checkin With Swarm

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Foursquare app on iOS now forces us users to checkin with Swarm. While Swarm’s is entertainingly good but honestly don’t like it. For me, the Foursquare app is more useful because of its tips and the UI is more intuitive. But it looks like Foursquare is is about to kill its original app anytime this year. If ain’t broke don’t fix it right Foursquare? I believe there will be user backlash here.

Anyway if this is inevitable then just bring back the private checkin and I’ll be happy.

Family Mart in Escolta is Opening Today

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The Ayala-run Family Mart convenience store is opening a branch today in the historic street of Escolta. The branch is exactly located at the newly renovated Natividad building.

This will surely make the existing Mini Stop panic, and they should because their store needs a heavy renovation not to mention a heavy clean up.

Hopefully this will encourage more big time businesses to open in the Escolta area.

Monument Valley – A Game of Trickery

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I maybe late in the game downloading this fantastic app. Monument Valley is what games should be in touch gadgets such as tablets and smart phones. Its a puzzle-like game with 3D illusion trickery for you to be able to get through the path and gates. The $3.99 vector rendered game looks really cool on the iPad Air, but what makes it even more awesome is the in-game sounds that makes vibration-like experience whenever a scenario demands it.

So far I’m on level 3 because my eldest son kidnapped my new “toy”. Hopefully I get to finish it this sunday when work mode is turned off. Are you playing Monument Valley too?

Save 50% on bandwidth with the newly updated Chrome iOS

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Google Chrome for iOS is now updated with the intriguing “50% bandwidth savings” feature. How true? We still don’t know yet.

If you want to track it then go to your Chrome settings and tap on the Bandwidth option. For Android users, you should have this already because Chrome Android released this last January 16.

Fire up your app updates now!

Camera+ 5.0 takes iPhone photography to the next level

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The popular iOS camera app Camera+ 5.0 is now available. It has some new exciting features like the Clarity Pro which can be found with an abundance of new tools in The Lab.

Best part is you can upgrade your existing Camera+ free of charge!

Take a look at the new features here

Simplified Waze Update

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Waze version 3.2.2 iOS update is out. Auto typing completion will soon hit your search box. Waze simplified the menus too which I think a very wise UI tweak. This is rather minor but very helpful update and if you are like me who use Waze on a daily basis this is a very welcome improvements. Continue reading Simplified Waze Update

Official Twitter App Turns v6.0

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Twitter has been busy since its IPO offerings. They are trying a lot of new features to its platform. Today version 6.0 of its iOS app comes out.

There are some new design tweaks in this release plus the ability to send and receive photos via DM. See my screenshot above to know more about the entire release notes.

Unfortunately Tweetbot will still be my primary Twitter client.

Reply, RT and Favorite Buttons Now in Twitter App’s Timeline

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As I enjoy my return to Tweetbot as my primary Twitter client. The official Twitter app has been updated today and shows the Reply, Retweet and Favorite button in the timeline view. My point is, I like the old way, buttons should be hidden to have more timeline space.

Also, in this update Twitter made the image previews large and prominent occupying more timeline space. Luckily you can disable it in the settings.

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This update makes my Tweetbot 3 love affair stronger. Ciao for now official Twitter app.

Your Waze Car Now Has Headlight When Driving at Night

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Waze the new billion dollar baby of Google has been updated. Version 3.7.2 (iOS) now features showing a headlight in front of your nav car on the map whenever you use it in night mode.

I found a bug in this version though, the app is freezing sometimes.

And yeah Android version will have to wait again.

Instagram Adds Video

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Facebook’s Instagram now adds 15 seconds video recording. The famous all-in-one social sharing app will be going head to head with Twitter’s Vine app.

Just like Vine the Instagram video can record and pause so you can ‘film’ several cut scenes without even touching a post-production app. Aside from this, it also features 13 filters that will provide your clips a ‘cinematic’ or ‘nostalgic’ feel.

Unfortunately the recording feature is only available on iOS. Android version will surely follow soon.

For me, I feel Vine’s 6 seconds is more practical. Time will tell who will win this battle

Update:

Android version of Instagram (4.0) now has video too

Emoji on iOS Can Now be Seen on Android

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Emoji’s are now compatible on Android, at least on Jelly Bean OS. It doesn’t display as colorful as iOS but you can clearly see what the icon is. See my above screenshots.

It is a bright move by Android since it is very popular on Instagram to use Emoji’s.

Hangouts Replaces Google Talk

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Google Talk a.k.a. Gtalk is now gone. Last week at the Google i/o event, Google launched its unified messaging app called Hangouts. It is part of Google’s strategy in streamlining its overlapping products. Hangouts is capable of sending and receiving images and videos. It is now also the messaging app to handle video calls.

Hangouts is planning on to be the 1-for-all messaging and video calling needs. It is available on both Android and iOS including on desktop PC’s.

One of the cool features is the Hangouts On Air – think Ustream.

You can read more about Hangouts here

Instagram is Now Listening After The ToS Disgust Yesterday

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There was a loud noise against Instagram new ToS yesterday that will take in effect on January 16 next year. The controversial paragraph about advertisement was the big blow to hardcore Instagram users especially hitting professional photography. The wordings were so vague and unclear. Today Kevin Systrom co-founder of Instagram issued an statement on their blog.

Quoting the important part below:

Advertising on Instagram From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

Well, for me damage has been done and with the big money of facetagram (Facebook and Instagram) they should have carefully studied the ToS first before publishing it. I know their lawyers are aware of Facebook being so ‘careless’ about privacy policies and copyright issues. There is nothing wrong in monetizing their service but they should have done something like what Flickr and 500px is doing, the pro membership route. Let us see then what will happen on or before January 16.

Obviously I love Instagram and been hooked to it more than 2 years now. I’ve been sharing my photo musings (mostly smart phone photography) and discovered a lot of talented Instagrammers to check out once in awhile but  if the ToS will be awfully the same then I guess I need to find another service. Flickr’s newly updated app is kinda cool and been playing with the app since yesterday.