Google+ app for iPhone, and William Shatner!

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Finally there is an iPhone app for Google+. I complained on Twitter this weekend that I was tempted to get an Android phone. Almost! The Google phones already had a G+ app and I was envious. Of course I won’t give up my iPhone 4 until a phone comes along that kicks the shit out of it. That probably will come this fall with the iPhone 5. 😀 Okay, the G+ app is nifty. You don’t get full functionality. No group video chat with hangouts, but who needs that on their phone? Group chat, yes. So my Google+ plus journey continues and the universe expands. There was a hiccup at the beginning when the iTunes App Store released a test version rather than the true release. I downloaded the test version and it was glitchy and the tech heads started to immediately bellyache. Within an hour or two, the correct version was released. Works fine so far.

Tonight I found out William Shatner is on Plus, and he calls us Plusers. And he was complaining that you can only put 5,000 total people in your circles. I hope Google listens to him, because I plan on putting the entire world into Google+.

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Color app update: It’s listening to you

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The much-maligned app Color did a promo event Sunday evening in conjunction with the New York premiere of “Water for Elephants,” a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and, more importantly, Robert Pattinson. He’s the dreamy Twilight vampire who makes the girls go gaga online. Color, which tries to create live social networks based on photos you take, has revamped itself and I thought it was time to give it a second look. Then I came across this report on computerworld.com about Color using the microphone on your phone to listen for certain sounds:

Color uses your iPhone’s or Android phone’s microphone to detect when people are in the same room. The data on ambient noise is combined with color and lighting information from the camera to figure out who’s inside, who’s outside, who’s in one room, and who’s in another, so the app can auto-generate spontaneous temporary social networks of people who are sharing the same experience.

Frankly, this doesn’t really bother me, but I know it will REALLY bothers privacy advocates. And I agree with one key point: Color should let users know this is occurring. Full disclosure is all I want. Then we can make informed choices. Now back to trying to figure out Color. More

Instagram makes crappy photos look cool

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Harvey C. "Barney" Barnum Jr.

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I first noticed photo-filter and sharing apps last year when a friend started posting Hipstamatic pictures on Facebook. I tried the app myself and found it a bit unwieldy. I then tried Instagram and found it to be more intuitive – a natural fit. The charm of the app is that it makes photos look dated, oversaturated or desaturated, scratched and smudged. The various filters can make bad photos better. They can also make good photos great (in my opinion). The free iPhone app has become popular enough that developers are releasing apps to work with it. And you know you’ve really made a mark when other companies identify their products as being like yours, such as live-streaming site Justin.tv, which is working on “Instagram for video.” In December, Instagram reached 1 million users. Just to show how fast things are moving, it took Twitter two years to reach that number. More

iPhone app knows what TV show you’re watching

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On Monday, an app debuted on iTunes called IntoNow. You turn on the app and within seconds it tells you what you are watching, including the episode. It does this with something called SoundPrint, which is similar to the technology used by Shazam to identify songs. IntoNow has a catalog of 140 million minutes of broadcast television – it would take you 266 years to watch it all. The app also scans 130 channels live, so you can identify a live newscast or program, such as the Fox Business show in the image above. IntoNow is the latest entry in the growing world of social media for TV watching. Up till now, I haven’t really cared about “checking in” Foursquare-style for a TV show. But I see how TV programs regularly become top-trending events on Twitter. More