One thing that Facebook has not been well-equipped to deal with is children. No, I don't mean teenagers. Most users are familiar with the barrage of photos that accompany each birth in the family of a Facebook friend, which often involves a mess of tagging of one or both parents in every baby photo. For parents themselves, they struggle sorting out photos of their sons and daughters unless they just dedicate albums to the children specifically.
Facebook's internal instant messenger isn't so internal now: it's a stand-alone app platform that will operate in conjunction with the social network, and developers of every flavor can integrate their apps with Messenger. Naturally the first apps to take advantage of this come from Facebook itself: new apps include Selfied, Shout, Sound Clips, and Strobe, and the older Stickered app has been updated, all with the "for Messenger" label.
They're simple little tools or toys that add a bit of fun to Messenger. Read More
Facebook desperately wants to make itself an indispensable part of your mobile life. Selling phones didn't work, nor did replacing your homescreen. The company has had its share of misses, but Messenger has been an unambiguous win. The client has been adopted by hundreds of millions of users.
At this year's F8 (Facebook's annual developers' conference), the company fleshed out ways in which it intends to turn Messenger into a platform of its own. Read More
The Instagram Android app has acquired over 500 million installs, a milestone that only a few items in the Play Store can claim. The majority of them come from Google, but Instagram marks the third one from Facebook.
Facebook Messenger passed this bar back in August of last year. By the next month, the main Facebook app managed more than double that amount.
Aside from Google and Facebook, only two other companies have made it into this exclusive club, with one gaining access on a technicality. Read More
The problem with designing a feature around other services is that you only have control over your end. If the other guy changes something, you have to be ready to fix any issues that crop up. Such is the case with HTC's BlinkFeed stream. A recent change to Facebook caused social updates to stop appearing in BlinkFeed, but now HTC has released an app that should solve the problem.
Facebook has introduced a new way for friends to swap cash with one another that doesn't involve meeting in person, writing a check, or even opening up another app. With Facebook Pay, they can send and receive money directly inside of Messenger. And it won't cost them a thing. Read More
The Material fever has struck again and this time it took over the Hootsuite social application. The service, which supports both Twitter and Facebook (along with LinkedIn and Foursquare), has moved from a very Holo design to a more or less Material one that sits quite comfortably on Lollipop devices.
Included are a transparent status bar, a colorized tab bar, a navigation drawer that slides on top of the entire app (but below the status bar), a FAB for quickly posting a new message, and appropriate icons in the drawer. Read More
At some point or another, most Android developers will eventually open up the profiling tools to track down bugs and performance issues in a misbehaving application. Let's be honest, the tools included with the Android SDK do leave something to be desired. Facebook has just released one of its internally-developed tools which provides network inspection, database inspection and interaction, and a support for access to the dumpapp output with the use of customizable plugins. Read More
Facebook's app has long been a source of great discontent among the Android faithful. Facebook goes its own way with design and is slow to change direction, but it looks like some users are getting an updated version of the UI that has at least a little material influence. Specifically, there's a floating action button.
January brought us the yearly madness that is CES, but that doesn't mean much in terms of software. The biggest news is probably Microsoft's continued expansion into multi-platform support for its biggest software sellers, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and now even Outlook. Google has been uncharacteristically quiet so far in 2015, aside from updating its current stable of apps.
Microsoft Outlook Preview
Android Police review: Microsoft Releases Outlook Preview For Android
It's been possible to use Microsoft Exchange mail accounts on Android for years, but never exactly in an ideal or intuitive way. Read More