Facebook launches Slingshot

Facebook has officially announced the launch of Slingshot app for iPhone and Android. It was leaked accidentally a week back before Facebook took down the app soon. The app allows you to send and receive photo or video messages that self-destruct after viewing. Yes, it does look similar to Snapchat, but it comes with a different working mechanism.

In Snapchat, you can see the photo or video that your friend sent and then respond with a similar one. But with Slingshot, you will be able to see what your friend sent only when you send one back yourself. You can use your rear camera to shoot a normal photo or video or the front one for a selfie. You can enable or disable Flash too.

 

Choose your friends and Sling!
Choose your friends and Sling!

When you receive a Sling from your friend, it is Locked by default. Locked Slings are pixelated and can’t be viewed as a normal photo or video. To Unlock the Sling, shoot a Sling of your own and send to that friend to Unlock the Sling he/she sent.

This is a Locked Sling. You will be able to see only the Pixelated view.
This is a Locked Sling. You will be able to see only the Pixelated view.

Once Unlocked, you can either tap the Sling to respond with one back, or simply swipe away the Sling to discard it. Do remember that once you swipe away the Sling, the message will no longer be available for your view.

This Sling is Unlocked
This Sling is Unlocked

Slings can also be customized with a text message (limited to 140 characters). You can also draw something on your Slings before Slinging them.

There is an option to Sling to all your friends too. Simply click the Select All button while you are about to Sling your message.

Since the messages self-destruct automatically, the photos and videos that you send or receive are not stored locally on your device. But, there is an option to opt-in to save your images to your local storage – check the Settings section inside the app.

The app is made by Facebook Creative Labs, the same team that made the Facebook Paper app. Slingshot is available for free on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store, but is limited to the United States for now. As for the Android users, the Slingshot APK is already available on the internet.

Related : How to install Facebook Paper for non-US users?

What do you think about this app? Do you think Facebook’s Slingshot will succeed over Snapchat, the company which denied Facebook’s offer of $3 billion? Do share your thoughts with us.

Link : Slingshot websiteOn iTunes App Store | On Google Play store | Slingshot APK

Swarm for Android and iOS is here, Brings Neighborhoods, Swarm Planning

A few weeks back Foursquare announced that the company is splitting it’s service in two – Swarm for check-ins, Foursquare for discovering new places. And now, Swarm for Android and iOS is here.

Taking a first look at Swarm, I should say that Foursquare has worked really good at keeping this app simple and more focused on what is to be done – check-ins, rather than putting everything together like in the previous Foursquare app. The Foursquare app is still the same for now. But, in the near future, Foursquare will be working on making Foursquare app more focused on discovering places and will remove check-ins option soon.

Getting back to Swarm, you get to login with Facebook, Foursquare or sign up with your email ID. Once you are in, you will be introduced to ‘Neighborhoods’ and ‘Swarm Planning’.

Neighborhoods basically displays where your friends are. Unlike Foursquare, Swarm shows the location of your friends even if they haven’t checked in at a place. It scans their location signals and beams you their location. Still, Foursquare gives you options to stop this Neighborhood feature to stop beaming your location to your friends.

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Neighbourhood shows where your friends are

The next section shows the list of your friends’ check-ins. You can favorite those check-ins or drop in comments.

And, here’s another new feature – Swarm Planning. You can Create a plan and your friends can vote I’m interested or create a discussion right there. A built-in group messaging section makes this possible. This way, you can create plans and discuss with your friends before actually executing them. Planning to go to the movies this weekend? Swarm Planning will help you work out things with your friends.

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Make plans and discuss with your friends

And the last section shows notifications to you just like notifications on the previous Foursquare app.

Talking about Mayorships and Badges, they are not available on Swarm. It looks like Foursquare will be retaining those in the Foursquare app and not port those to Swarm.

So, Swarm is an app that looks good only if have lots of friends on Foursquare. If you do not have much friends or live in remote areas, the app is useless. Swarm is all about beaming your friends’ location to you. If you are more into discovering new places, Foursquare app is the one for you.

If you haven’t downloaded Swarm yet, you can get the app at your respective app markets with the links below.

Link : Swarm on Android | Swarm for iOS

Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android, Mac OS X version coming soon

Dropbox, the largest cloud storage service, has launched Mailbox for Android and announced that the Mac OS X version is coming soon. Mailbox was bought by Dropbox last year. Mailbox is a smart email client that manages all your email accounts in one place. It has been designed for mobiles.

Mailbox has been available for iPhone and iPad since a long time. This is the first time Mailbox is available for Android. Currently it supports only Gmail and iCloud accounts. There are no words on when Dropbox will launch other email services to Mailbox for Android.

Mailbox for Android - Archive section
Mailbox for Android – Archive section

Mailbox for Android comes with Auto-swipe feature that learns from your swiping gestures on the mail conversations. There are four swipes that you can perform on your mails :

  1. Short swipe to the right : Archives the mail.
  2. Long swipe to the right : Trashes the mail.
  3. Short swipe to the left : Snoozes the mail. A pop-up box shows you pre-defined times which you can choose. Based on your choice, Mailbox will remind you of the pending un-read mail at the specified time.
  4. Long swipe to the left : Categorizes the mail to lists. There are three pre-defined lists : To Watch, To Buy, To read. You can create your own lists too.

You can also create your own rules (tasks) to be performed when you receive a particular type of mail. To create rules, long press icons shown at the top right of the mail conversation and choose the task.

For example, if you wish to trash all the upcoming mails from [email protected], long press the trash icon at the top right of the screen and choose the required option.

Also, based on reports, a Mac OS X version of Mailbox is coming soon. To signup for the beta, enter your email address at Mailbox for Mac OS X webpage.

Link : Mailbox for Android | Mailbox for iOS

How to install Facebook Paper for non-US users

Facebook rolled out Facebook Paper for the iOS devices yesterday, as announced. Facebook Paper is an app that beautifully shows your News Feed stories and other themed stories.

Facebook Paper is available for iOS devices only in the US for now. If you are in hurry to install Facebook Paper before an international rollout is launched, here is a trick that will help you.

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Open App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Tap the Featured section in the bottom left of the app. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see your Apple ID there. Tap it.

Then, in the pop-up menu that appears, click View Apple ID and then you’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID password. Once entered, you’ll find an option there to change the country. Set the country to US.

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Change Country on iTunes

You’ll be asked to accept the new Terms and Conditions. Once done, choose None while Apple asks for a valid payment option.

Note : If you have pending non-US Apple credits or iTunes Match subscription, or iTunes Pass, you’ll be in trouble. You’ll have to either to finish your credits and then change your country to US. Or, you can login from iTunes desktop app and sign up for a new US account. Note that you’ll need a US address and credit card.

Also, your existing credit card details will be lost when change countries. You can now download and install the Facebook Paper app on your iPhone or iPad.

Link: Paper – (Facebook) on App Store

Via The Next Web

Telegram messenger – WhatsApp clone with better security options

Telegram messenger is a new instant messaging app. It is a secure, fast and reliable means for instant messaging and is available for Android and iOS devices for now.

Telegram messenger has been designed to look a lot like WhatsApp, but the former has a couple of brilliant features that are limited in latter.

To begin with, this service claims to be faster than any other instant messaging service. It is fast in delivering the messages and offers read reports with check marks, just like WhatsApp. The app claims to run perfect even with the weakest mobile signals.

Telegram Messenger (1)
WhatsApp clone – Telegram

Similar to WhatsApp, your Telegram messenger account is linked to your mobile number, but there is an option to log out of your account when needed. It is free, without ads, and the developers claim that it will remain free forever.

It even has WhatsApp emoticons!

Interesting Telegram features

Privacy – You can create Secret Chats with your friends. If you start a Secret Chat with your friend, your friend will have to accept that invitation.

Once done, your messages won’t be recorded by the Telegram messenger servers. Also, you have an option to make the messages self-destruct in few seconds to minutes. This is a quality privacy feature that many would love to have.

Click the photo of your friend at the top right in the Secret Chat and you can set the the self-destruct message timing in an option available there.

Telegram Messenger (2)

100 members in a group chat – With Telegram messenger, you can make group chats with as much as 100 friends.

WhatsApp offers 50 members in a group limit.

Unlimited storage  You can send media upto 1 GB in-a-go over Telegram messenger. It is said that the app offers unlimited media storage in a cloud storage. This way, you can access your messages and media from several devices!

You can also send files of any format! This way, you can send MP3, PDF and other files that can’t be send on WhatsApp.

Based on the first impressions, the app looked brilliant to me. It’s WhatsApp with better security features.

Link: Telegram messenger website | Telegram on Google Play | Telegram on App Store

InstaMessage Helps you to Chat Privately with Instagram Users

InstaMessage is a free app for the Android devices that helps you to chat privately with other Instagrammers. The app is available on iOS as well as the Android platform. This app is simple and is really easy to use. It requires no registration. It uses your Instagram login credentials to work.

Once you download the app and install, you’ll be asked to set a cover photo, update your status and set other personal information. The app has four sections shown at the bottom : Explore, Chats, Friends and Profile.

InstaMessage-first-page

It works similar to the other IMs like WhatsApp. To chat with other Instagrammers, you’ll have make sure that they too have InstaMessage installed on their device.

Interesting Features in InstaMessage

  • The app lets you search for any Instagram user easily. You can also Follow the Instagram users right within the app. You can also check their photos right inside this app.
  • If the Instagram user is using InstaMessage, there will be a Heart symbol shown. Once clicked, it’ll notify that user of your interest in him/her.

InstaMessage-like

  • It uses your phone’s GPS technology to search for Nearby Instagram users. The nearby users are shown in the Explore section.
  • You can also check for the most Popular InstaMessage users and start a chat with them straight away.

InstaMessage-explore

  • The Friends tab shows the list of InstaMessage contacts.
  • The tab also shows the list of Instagram users not using this app.
  • You can invite Instagram users to InstaMessage by using the Invite option available.

InstaMessage-invite-2

  • There is an option to promote yourself in the Profile section. Hit the Promote Me button to post a photo on Instagram asking users to chat with you.
  • The app supports Push Notifications too. The app alerts you of New Likes and New Messages.
  • You can also Block Users.

Feature(s) Missing in InstaMessage

  • The app lacks an option to see whether a particular message is delivered or read.
  • There is no option to Like and Comment on the Instagram photos.

The app works cross platform too. You can use an Android to chat with a friend using an iOS. It requires Android 2.2 and up. It requires iOS 4.3 and later. It works well with your iPhone 3GS and above, and also with iPod Touch 3rd generation and above.

What’s your thought on this app? Do share with us.

Link: InstaMessage for Android | InstaMessage for iOS

NewsHunt – Read Indian Newspapers on Mobile Platforms

I have always liked reading through newspaper headlines mostly of English and Marathi daily newspapers. Now, I hardly read actual newspapers and end up using Google News and other select feeds. But this reliance on Google has ended up me missing out on skimming through news in Marathi language which is my mother tongue.

We can use ePaperGallery which has some newspaper feeds from older newspapers, but I preferred a mobile friendly service. NewsHunt seemed to be a great website for News junkies.

NewsHunt App
NewsHunt’s Mobile Friendly website

NewsHunt Features

  • The website can be accessed as a mobile website. Just head over to m.newshunt.com and a mobile friendly website allows looking through news taken from various sources in India. The service supports many languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and more.
  • There is a free app released on Android, iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry and even the Nokia Ovi store.
  • NewsHunt does not at the moment support Windows phone which. They will have to use the browser.

If you want to save money on buying a newspaper but still catch the articles, this app seems to be a perfect fit.

Do try out NewsHunt and drop in your comments.

Link: NewsHunt | Download App for NewsHunt

Download Official App for Microsoft’s Office 365 on iPhone

Microsoft has quietly rolled out Office 365 for iPhone and iPad. Until yesterday there wasn’t any official application from Microsoft that brought Office to iOS devices. Launched today, the new app on the iTunes Store bears the “version 1” tag.

Named “Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers”, the app is available as a Free download. You’ll need a Office 365 subscription account to use this app. One month free trial of Office 365 is available. You can choose to not continue the subscription from the next month if you don’t want to. You can now create, view, edit and even share your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents even on your iPhone and iPad.

This app is also capable of accessing your documents stored in your SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint. You can also download Office documents received as email attachments and edit them.

microsoft-office-word-iOS

This app comes with many amazing features. You can use Slide Navigator to easily view your PowerPoint slideshows. Resume Reading is yet another feature that takes you to the last read section of a particular document. Even you if read the document on your PC, you can resume reading at that place on your iPhone or iPad.

The app has been designed especially for the iPhone 5. Never the less, it runs on iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad 3rd generation and above, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5th generation. But it runs with 2x resolution on the iPad devices. It needs iOS 6.1 and above.

Notice to Users

This Microsoft Office app needs Office 365 subscription to run. And also, you can use this subscription account on 5 iPhones with this app. This 5 installations doesn’t count with the already given 5 installations for Office 365. Totally you have 10 installations (5 iPhone installations and 5 Windows, Mac installations). Office University plan is limited to 2 iPhone installations. Office 365 trial subscription can also activate this Office Mobile app.

Link: Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers on App Store

via Microsoft Office Blog