April was a bit sparse when it comes to new apps - there aren't any real standouts, though Facebook certainly made a splash with its self-branded phone dialer. The rest of the best picks from last month are mostly advanced tools for power users, or in the case of the impressive edjing, experienced music producers. Here in no particular order are our picks for the best of the lot, plus a few honorable mentions that might have broader appeal. Read More
Facebook Messenger is adding a feature that, if you didn't use it, you would expect to already have. With today's addition of video chat capability, it has parity with the desktop chat interface that has long supported this. As a server-side switch, you should have this available so long as you are using a reasonably new version of the app.
As you see in the image above, there is a camera icon at the top of the conversation that will initiate the video chat. Read More
After popping up in a leak several weeks back, Facebook's Android dialer app has been released in the Play Store. Rather than going with the generic and confusing "Phone," the app is called Hello. You can place calls, see who's calling, and block incoming callers.
April 1st isn't the safest time to browse tech blogs on the web. One third of all of the posts that go up are likely a fake (this one, though, is entirely legitimate). Yet while Facebook's latest app looks like it could be a joke—it isn't. Riff is a collaborative way for friends to make videos with one another using the social network.
Riff lets you shoot a clip that's up to 20 seconds long and share it for others to see. Read More
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.