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Google's last update to their NFC-powered application on Android, Google Wallet, saw the Mountain View-based company open it up to let users add any credit card they wanted.
Since the company has done this, they've noticed the usage of Google Wallet has doubled. Google have slowly been pushing credit card companies to optimize their own section for the Google Wallet app, too.
The only thing Google need to do now is spread the tentacles on Google Wallet, as the US isn't the only market in the world that needs something like this. I'm based in Australia, and I'd love to be able to use Google Wallet, hopefully we'll see more use of NFC-powered payment systems in the near future around the world.
Instagram have just pushed through some changes to its mobile photo pages affecting both design and function. Design-wise, we're looking at a more consistant look and feel with its Web-based counterpart. In the function department, the developer has made it easier for users to interact with their photos, as well as friends' photos when viewing them outside of the Instagram app itself, but still on a mobile device.
Instagram updated their Web presence which paved the way for comments and likes on a few months ago, something they call "the new Photo Page". The latest update to the photo-taking and sharing application looks to move the old mobile site's design to the recently-launched desktop site.
The mobile version now lets Instagram users like and comment on photos from their chosen mobile web browser, and it now lets you go directly from the mobile photo page into the Instagram app by tapping the "Open in App" button. Tapping the Open in App button will launch the Instagram app, with the photo you were on previously, loaded into the main view.
Day two of keynotes have happened at the Intel Developer Forum, where Renee James, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Software & Services Group talked about software development, security and services in an "age of transparent computing".
The keynote involved a security-centric portion, where Renee grabbed a representative from Intel's McAfee division, where they showed off a beta release of the McAfee Social Protection app. McAfee's Social Protection app will be released soon as both an application, and browser plug-in for Facebook that makes people sharing their photos more secure.
McAfee's Social Protection would take this one step further, where it would, when installed, not allow people to copy or capture your images. As it stands, right now if anyone wants to download or screen capture your picture, they can do so without a problem. The McAfee Social Protection demo rep claimed that "McAfee Social Protection - It's like a condom for your digital life." I would've loved to have been there to hear that said out aloud.
Chrome for Android has finally been updated, not long after the iOS-based version received its much-awaited release. Chrome for Android includes improved sandboxing technology for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
This will keep your Jelly Bean-based device safer from malicious websites, thanks to the OS' user ID isolation technology. It also integrates location preferences with system level Google apps settings, adds playback controls to YouTube videos when played in fullscreen, and fixes destined for third-party input method editors (IMEs).
There's a few miscellaneous bug fixes and security issues closed, so if you're rocking an Android device, you should check the Play Store right now if you don't have automatic updating enabled.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg regrets using HTML5 for Facebook mobile, native Android version is coming soon
Facebook for iOS received a much-needed update not long ago, ditching HTML5 and moving over with some native code. Everyone loved it, as it finally propelled the iOS app into the awesomeness that is Facebook on mobile, but much faster and more efficient.
Mark Zuckerberg said during an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt that betting on HTML5 for the app is "one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistakes we've ever made". Now they are some very strong words.
The Facebook founder also stated that new features will be baked into the app, as well as a much faster Android-based version coming "when it's done", id Software style.
Since Apple is removing the stock YouTube app from iOS 6, Google has been hard at work producing a new app to replace it with. Since Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone tomorrow, which is expected to come with iOS 6, Google wanted to make sure they had a new app ready in case Apple releases iOS 6 to everyone tomorrow.
According to the Google Blog post, "The new app is built by YouTube engineers, to give our iPhone and iPod touch users the best mobile experience." The new app is sure to be better than the old stock one because they now can do more of what they want and don't need Apple to sign off on all the changes.
Of course, there are more changes than just that, but Google wants to tease you and says just this. They then let you know it's free to download on the Apple App store. Google also notes that they are working on an iPad optimized version, which should be ready in the coming months. Of course, you'll find out about that new app first here on TweakTown.
Google has updated their Google Drive app on iOS today to include built-in document editing. The new app version also includes support for collaboration, so more than one user can be editing the document at one time. Users have access to formatting options from a prominent bar placed across the top of the screen.
One user of the new app notes that it seems to be a web interface as the keystrokes don't immediately appear on the screen. He also notes that the interface is very similar to Apple's Pages app, though the typing features that delay previously mentioned.
The iOS App page lists the following as changes:
- Edit Google documents with formatting and collaboration
- Edits to your Google documents appear to collaborators in seconds
- Richer Google presentations with animations and speaker notes
Having editing and collaboration directly in the app is an extremely useful feature, especially the collaboration part. Users can pick up the app for free from the Apple App Store.
Fans of Instagram and Windows Phone rejoice, the app will be coming to the new Windows Phone 8 platform. According to The Verge's sources, Instagram will be made available on Windows Phone 8. A slip-up in a promotional video tipped them off, though the video could possibly be showing a Vimeo live tile.
The Verge then went and independently verified that Instagram is indeed coming to the platform. As you can see in the video above, at 0:52, the tile on the right, second from the top appears to be Instagram likes and comments. An image is provided below for your viewing pleasure.
Now, you no longer have to make a decision on buying a phone based on needing Instagram as it should make its way onto Windows Phone 8 before the end of 2012. Now you can use Nokia's PureView camera to take even better grainy 600x600 sunset or meal pictures. Won't all your friends be impressed?
It looks as though Apple may be lessening some of its restrictions on apps, if the addition of Conttrol to the App Store is anything to go by. Conttrol is an app that allows the remote control of uTorrent running on a PC, so while the app doesn't itself torrent, it controls a program which does, thus enabling torrenting.
Transmission RPC, a similar app in function to Conttrol, was also approved a few months ago. It's important to note that neither of these apps torrent on the device itself, so this is possibly how they managed to get through the checkpoint. It could also be that they slipped up and accidentally let them through and will ban them as soon as they notice.
"Currently the app supports connections to uTorrent & BitTorrent clients but there are future plans to support Transmission on the Mac, as well as planned development of a native iPad version," Conttrol developer Craig Donnelly said.
Whether or not this signals a change in Apple's policy isn't quite clear. It's possible they don't want to get left behind as Android just received a torrent client from the makers of uTorrent. Only time will tell if this is a true change in policy. If the apps get removed, it clearly isn't.
A tweet from MG Siegler has started the rumor mill flying tonight with news that Twitter is set to discontinue development for their Twitter for Mac app, but it will still be available to users:
Word is that Twitter made the call today: Twitter for Mac is done. They won't kill it outright, but no further updates. Goodbye, old friend.
Twitter for Mac started out after Twitter purchased Tweetie and turned its Mac client into the official Twitter for Mac app. One of the biggest complaints fans of the app made was that Twitter didn't bake in support for the Retina-powered MacBook Pro.