YouTube Rolls Out Seven New Features, Google Buzz Sharing Included

Screen shot 2010 05 01 at 8.20.06 AM 490x278 YouTube Rolls Out Seven New Features, Google Buzz Sharing Included

YouTube wants us to have them in our minds as we spend our weekends at home as it rolls out new features, seven of them to be exact that aims to improve our YouTube experience.  These new features are – five new languages, email alerts, new look for search results page, new sharing options, new upload interface, new player changes and enhance YouTube-for-iPad.

Let’s take a quick look at each of these enhancements.

YouTube has added five new languages – Greek, Hungarian, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian. If you want o view YouTube in any of those languages simply scroll down to the bottom of any page on YouTube, select “language” and click on any language and you’re good to go.

The YouTube email alerts feature has been made more useful Now, you can choose to receive an email alert whenever a new video was uploaded to the channel you subscribed to. Say goodbye to checking your email from time to time just to check whether new video has been uploaded. [Read more...]

Twitter App for Android Out Now, Sweet!

ss timeline 180x300 Twitter App for Android Out Now, Sweet!Twitter continues its flight towards various mobile platforms as its application for the Android has just been made available. Following the successful release of the official Twitter app for BlackBerry devices, Android phones become Twitter’s latest conquest.

Just like the Twitter app for BlackBerry,  Twitter for Android is as good as you can get from a mobile version of  Twitter. The app lets you easily share any link or photo and of course reading tweets is a pleasant experience especially if you are using an Android phone with a larger screen, such as the Nexus One.

What’s good about Twitter for Android is that it also lets you add a homescreen widget so that you can easily access your public timeline or view a tweet location on a map. It will also lets you see your friend’s latest tweets in your phonebook, Google Talk list or any application that uses Android’s QuickContact bar.

Another cool feature is the “dynamic” Twitter topics that pop-outs on the main page of the app. This trending topic is updated in real-time and I would have to say that the Twitter folks have done something cool with their Twitter app for Android. This kind of set the app from its other iteration (specifically for BlackBerry devices)

Overall, Twitter for Android is a very good iteration of Twitter’s mobile application. It has practically all the Twitter web version including Tweets, Lists, Mentions, Retweets, Direct Messages, and My Profile.

If you’ve been waiting for this app to arrive on your Android 2.1 phones, your wait is finally over. Check it out from the Android Market. You will definitely love it.

Gowalla iPad App Looks Great, Where Are Thou Foursquare?

photo 490x367 Gowalla iPad App Looks Great, Where Are Thou Foursquare?

I just installed Gowalla on my iPad and was immediately blown away by its nice interface the moment I fire up the app. Gowalla has just launched their iPad app and is now available for free download from the iPad App Store.

Gowalla’s main page displays a Google Map right-fitted into the iPad’s huge screen showing the spots where you’re friends and other Gowalla members have checked-in.  If you turn your iPad to landscape mode, the screen will be split into two, with the left column displaying Activity, Spots and Passport and the right column displaying the Google Map.

If you clicked on any recent activity of your friends, the right column will display your friend’s activity as well as the different comments put in by his friends. You can add your comments as well. Now if you click on the spot where your friend has checked-in the right column will display a placeholder for that spot with a Google map, information about the spot and the list of people who have been on that spot. If you’re in the said spot, you can also check-in. Or if you’re not into the said spot but wants to go there you can tap on  “Get Directions” and Google Maps will show you the fastest route to get there.

Next to the Activity tab is the “Spots” tab. Tap on it and the huge Google Map will be displayed with icons on specific places. This is one aspect which makes Gowalla for the iPad fun. The icons are huge and adds excitement to the overall Gowalla interface. [Read more...]

YouTube Starts Rolling Out New Flash Video Player

Screen shot 2010 04 30 at 7.11.35 AM1 490x297 YouTube Starts Rolling Out New Flash Video Player

This is not quite official yet as YouTube has not announced yet official announced the roll out but New TeeVee is reporting that some YouTube users have spotted the new Flash Video player being used by some videos uploaded to YouTube.  What’s interesting about YouTube’s new video player is that it now displays some performance information about the video. The overall look of the video player also looks different from the regular YouTube video player.

As for the video players new features, some of the notables include relocation of the playback button, volume slider, information about the length of the video and selector for different video resolutions below the status bar.

The video player’s volume control was also tweaked a bit that instead of sliding upwards and downwards it was made to slide out sideways instead. This is of course to prevent the volume control from interfering with the video display.

YouTube also removed the caption or annotation buttons when these features are not available in the video.  Also, if you right-click on a video, YouTube will display an option called “show video info.”  This will bring up an information overlay showing size, bit rate, fps, transfer bandwidth and other details about the video and its playback performance.

And the most important enhancements has to do with preventing further buffering of the video. You can now stop the video at any time and clicking on the play button will resume the video’s playback from where you stopped it. Meaning it will no longer default to the start of the video.

Finally LinkedIn Lets You Follow Company Profiles

follow frm user profile 490x242 Finally LinkedIn Lets You Follow Company ProfilesFinally, business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn is staying true to its monicker. LinkedIn  has just rolled out a much delayed feature that lets you easily follow company profiles on LinkedIn. In case you’re more of a Facebook user, you’d know that this is somewhat similar to the “become a fan” feature, which incidentally was changed to “like.”

Rationalizing the roll-out of this feature, the LinkedIn official blog states that this will help LinkedIn memeber to stay in the loop on new developments, potential business opportunities or even job opportunities by simply following a company.  Following a company, just like following a brand profile in Facebook also lets you get the first hand information about developments at companies you follow.

So, how do you follow a company on LinkedIn. There are various ways to do so. First, you can click through any of the companies listed on your LinkedIn contacts’ profiles. Once you find a company that interest you, you simply mouse-over on that company and the “Follow Company” icon will appear on a hover bar.

You can also follow a company right on the company’s profile whenever you chanced upon them as you search on LinkedIn. To easily find a company profile, you can check out the “more” drop-down list from LinkedIn’s homepage.

Now here’s the interesting part. LinkedIn also allows you to choose the volume of updates that you want to receive from various companies you follow. You can select the type, frequency and format of updates as well.

Like the features so far? So, what are you waiting for? Start following those companies now and wait for the fruits of what you are about to do, hopefully the soonest time possible.

Kindle Firmware Update Integrates Facebook, Twitter

hero top right 05. V244132736  284x300 Kindle Firmware Update Integrates Facebook, Twitter

Amazon is really trying hard to make its Kindle eBook reader to become a multi-function device – much like the Apple iPad. But I guess, due to the limited technical capabilities of the Kindle, making it at part with the iPad in terms of multi-features would be a hard feat to accomplish. Well, at least Amazon is trying and its latest effort will be rolled out with the new firmware  version 2.5 upgrade for Kindle – Facebook and Twitter integration.

Well, it’s not really a full Twitter and Facebook integration since this would be pretty hard to accomplish. What the new feature will let you do is to let you share book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle. Unfortunately, that’s just how far Amazon can probably stretch the Kindle’s social capability.

But, don’t let this lack of powerful social features disappoint you. There are other new features that the Kindle firmware version 2.5 that are worth waiting for. These include:

  • Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.
  • PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics.
  • Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you’re not using it.
  • More Fonts & Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.
  • Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you’re reading.

Kindle’s firmware upgrade will be rolled out automatically via OTA to all Kindle users in the coming days.

Microsoft Previews the New Windows Live Messenger

SharingVideoCall small 490x367 Microsoft Previews the New Windows Live Messenger

For those of you who refused to go into the darkside and used other online communication tool other than Windows Live Messenger, you’d be glad to know that a bolder, greater version of your favorite instant messaging tool is about to be made available pretty soon. Microsoft has been preparing the new version of its Windows Live Messenger and based on what we can see, it looks like it is going to be a better version than most previous releases, and so we hope.

So what’s in store for us in the new Windows Live Messenger? Three things – improved IM experience, more socially connected and integration to Hotmail.  Let’s look closely into each of these enhancements.

The new Windows Live Messenger will bring richer photo and video sharing, high definition video chat, video messages, games and one-click access to files on your PC, search results from Bing as well as photos and videos shared on Microsoft SkyDrive, Facebook and other social sharing sites. Facebook Chat will also be supported. All these done in an easy to manage and use interface.

Messenger will also be bringing beautiful high-resolution views of photos, videos and links shared by your friends – right to your desktop. It will allow you to view Facebook albums in a fun browsing interface as well as let you update your status and instantly post it to other sharing sites that you often use.

Finally, the new Windows Live Messenger will also be integrated into Windows Live Hotmail. Not just plain integration but right smack into the front and center of Hotmail. There will also be a new Messenger Companion add-on for Internet Explorer that will allow you to share links and comments from whatever website you’re on.

So, there. Some new great stuff coming to the new Windows Live Messenger. Are we excited about it?

HP Buys Palm for $1.2 Billion, Can it Bring Back the Glory Days of WebOS?

Palm HQ sign 2 HP Buys Palm for $1.2 Billion, Can it Bring Back the Glory Days of WebOS?

That was fast and swift. All of a sudden, Palm which was previously rumored to be selling out has just been bought.  Guess who was the “lucky,” big time technology company who bought Palm? – yes the company named HP. The price? – $1.5 billion. Are we happy now?

Todd Bradley, a top HP executive said that Palm will provide HP with the innovative OS that will be ideal to HP’s mobile strategy.

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices,” said Todd Bradley.

Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and CEO for his part said he is looking forward to working with HP to continue delivering the best mobile experiences to Palm customers as well as business partners.

“We’re thrilled by HP’s vote of confidence in Palm’s technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP’s longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein.

Mr. Rubenstein is to remain with the company when the merger takes place. And also under the TOR of the merger, all Palm stockholders will get $5.70 for each share of Palm common stock. The merger is set to take effect on July 31, 2010 – the closing of HP’s Q3 fiscal quarter.

Now, where would this bring Palm’s WebOS? Hopefully, into a greater good. Palm badly needs to shape up and gear up for a more competitive smartphone market. Can HP bring back Palm’s glory days in the smartphone market? That we are about to see.

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Opera Mini Gets More Downloads from iPhone Owners in March

Screen shot 2010 04 28 at 6.49.20 PM 490x224 Opera Mini Gets More Downloads from iPhone Owners in March

Opera’s latest State of the Mobile Web Report is showing some pretty interesting results for iPhone usage and global mobile handset trends. According to the report, the iPhone is now the third most used handset used by Opera Mini users worldwide. Even more interesting is the fact that the other top 20 mobile phones are either Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones.

The report also highlighted the fact that the iPhone is the number one device used by Opera Mini users in the United States. displacing the BlackBerry.  In addition, of the 10 countries using the Opera Mini, the United States and United Kingdom tops the countries where the iPhone is the most used device by Opera Mini users. This is pretty significant since Opera Mini for iPhone was only made available last month.

Going now to the global mobile statistics presented by Opera, in March 2010, Opera Mini had more than 55.2 million users, wherein 25.8 billion pages where viewed increasing page views by 17.4%. Opera Mini has also generated more than 396 million MB of data for oeprators worldwide. And the top countries for Opera Mini usage in 2010 include – Russia, Indonesia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, Nigeria, Vietnam, United Kingdom and the U.S.

Some pretty impressive stats for Opera Mini, right? Have you downloaded the latest version of Opera Mini on your mobile phone?  What is your phone’s mobile web browser if not Opera Mini?

Place Pages for Google Maps Now on Your Mobile Phone Too

Sometime last year, Google introduced a feature in Google Maps called Place Pages which display relevant information about  places in Google Maps.  These Place Pages cover detailed information about businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world. Now, those Place Pages are now optimized for mobile phones.

Place Pages for Mobile offer the same detailed information about different places you see on Google Maps, whenever available.  But this time, the display tab is optimized for mobile phone’s smaller screen estate.

The mobile service would be more useful if you’re out somewhere and you want to search for speficic information about a particular place – its exact location, customer ratings, opening hours as well as reviews from people who have gone to the said place. This will save you time and the trouble of checking out a place without knowing what you might encounter there.

Place Pages also gives you links to useful websites as well as a full screen dynamic map that you can pan and zoom, giving you a clearer picture of a place’s exact location.

Place Pages is currently optimized for Android phones and iPhones/iPod Touches in the U.S.