Sony's Socialife is an attractive app, but it has thus far only found its way into the hands of a limited number of users. This isn't an indictment of its quality. Rather, it speaks to the app's previous exclusivity. The news reader and social network aggregator has only been available for Xperia phones, tablets, and Sony VAIO PCs. Now it's open to any Android device running Jelly Bean or higher. Here it is running on a Nexus 5.
If you're a regular user of almost any social network, you probably know how powerful crowdsourcing questions and answers can be. That's the basis behind a new search engine dubbed Jelly, created by Ben Finkel and Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter. Jelly is a social network for question-and-answer style interactions with friends you've already made connections with on Twitter and Facebook. Instead of going to traditional search engines, users are encouraged to snap a picture and post a question, which can then be answered or forwarded to others who might be able to help.
Mashable is sort of the middle ground for breaking stories and Internet memes: it includes metrics so that the most popular stuff gets to the top, but the formatting and content are friendly enough to appeal to a wider group of users than, say, Reddit. Now there's an official app available in the Play Store. Samsung seems to have secured an exclusive for the launch.
At the moment the description says that you'll need a Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, or any of the new Galaxy Tab 3 models to download and use the app.
This weekend the tech world was abuzz with rumors that Google had purchased Israeli mapping and navigation software maker Waze for a sum of over a billion dollars. Today Google has made it official, thanks to a post on the company blog from the VP of Geo, Brian McClendon. While Google declined to mention exactly how much it spent on Waze, it's a safe bet that it was a lot, since both Apple and Facebook had previously expressed interest.
Quick quiz: can you name how many different beers you've had in the last week, their country of origin, and their brew style? Do you know what beer to recommend with barbeque shrimp? Have you ever successfully used the word "mouthfeel" in a sentence? Then Beer Citizen is for you. It follows the basic formula for enthusiast "social" apps (in other words, just like BeerAdvocate) but presents all that information in a mobile-friendly format that's got more taste and is less filling.
Twitter's official Android app has gone through a number of iterations, and it's not half bad these days. It might not conform to Android's Holo UI, but the app has many millions of downloads. A new update just hit the play Store, and it should make the experience noticeably better.
The changes in Twitter version 3.5 include:
Flickr is something of a dinosaur in the rocket-paced world of online photo services, but pros and amateurs alike have stuck to it in the millions. Sadly the Android app hasn't always kept pace with the many options provided on Yahoo's web service. The gap between app and web grows a little smaller today as Flickr 1.5 hits the Play Store, keeping its freemium service but adding a visual overhaul and a handful of new features.
Those of you who obsessively share photos to Pinterest, the rapidly-expanding and all-encompassing social network built for just that purpose, can finally do so from your favorite mobile platform. Pinterest has published the long-promised app to the Play Store for both smartphones and tablets, and unlike some other photo-centric sharing services we could mention, it actually looks pretty good. The interface mimics the bulletin board looks of the desktop web site, taking advantage of extra real estate on tablets to display more columns of popular photos or your stream.
Facebook already knows quite a lot about you and your friends, so why not use all that data to help find the best apps? This is exactly what Facebook is looking to do with its new App Center. Don't fret, though. This isn't yet another place for developers to upload and manage their apps. This is more of an online catalog infused with social smarts.
Facebook says the service will launch right now with over 500 apps, but didn't specify what the split would be between iOS and Android.