As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.
Today, Facebook made an announcement that's probably bigger than it seems at first glance. Now, if you want to use Facebook Messenger, you no longer need to have an account with the social networking giant. This, quite simply, is a really big deal that could easily go overlooked. The app can be used to message contacts via just their phone number, create group conversations, and share photos. Of course, you could do this with Messenger before, as SMS was an available option.
Maybe the official Twitter client isn't up your alley. You're not alone. The fine folks at HootSuite are banking on your picky disposition, and have updated their Android app. HootSuit 2.0 is live with a number of handy additions.
Changes in this version of HootSuit are:
- Added Action Bar + Drawer navigation
- Added AutoSchedule feature
- Improved support for 24 hour time formats
- Search is now in Drawer menu
- Added Traditional Chinese & Simplified Chinese
- Fixed various UI issues
- Fixed various crashes
- Fixed 4.2 compatibility
- Improved speed and memory performance
The interface does look more modern now, and it takes some cues from the Holo guidelines.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing exactly what Color is or does. The sordid history of this app, and its parent company Color Labs, is a complicated one. Headed by Bill Nguyen, famous for founding Lala, the incredible music streaming service that was purchased by Apple and promptly closed down, Color Labs received $41 million in funding for its initial app Color for Facebook. Several fundamental changes and a year and a half later, the company is reportedly going to close the books on itself.
Facedroid, Platinum Apps' tablet-centric Facebook client, got a major update today, bringing the app up to version 2.0.
For those who aren't familiar, Facedroid, which was released back in December of 2011, is a powerful Facebook client that looks to replace – and improve upon – Facebook's own mobile experience. The app does everything you'd expect and more, allowing for quick browsing, sharing, and updating, and its 2.0 update brings even more functionality, along with a guidelines-inspired redesign.
Whenever you hear someone talking about Facebook's mobile app, the most common complaint is always how slow it is. Even your news feed can take what feels like an age to load, and that's before you've started navigating through your events and photos of friends.
The reason for this is that the Facebook app uses HTML5, so it doesn't perform as well as other apps which are written natively for a particular platform.