Facebook’s iOS app now listens for identifiable TV & music when posting status updates

 

AppleInsider:

Facebook on Wednesday launched a new, optional feature that allows its iPhone application to use the device’s microphone to listen for and identify television and music content when posting a status update.

The new feature will make it easier for users to say that they are watching a particular show or listening to a certain song, then share that information with their friends. Upon updating the Facebook app, users are presented with an explanation as to how the feature works, and are given the option to turn it on.

To utilize the new listening option, users can begin to create a status update, then click the “mood” icon. The app will then begin listening to identify any content playing, and users can then select the song or TV show to quickly share it with their friend.

If a user decides to turn off the feature, they can do so by tapping the audio icon at the top right of the screen. But if the functionality is left on, the audio icon will move and attempt to detect a match when a user is writing their status update.

Shazam!

Facebook Adds ‘Nearby Friends’ To Notify You if Your Friends Are Close

 

Buster Hein:

The new feature is a lot like Apple’s Find My Friends in that it allows you to share your location with friends and family so you can hopefully get in touch with each other in the real world. Nearby Friends will also send you push notifications to let you know when a group of pals just happen to be close by.

A similar ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature was rolled out by Facebook in 2012 but was quickly pulled, but Facebook swears this Nearby Friends will hit iOS and Android in the next few weeks.

Facebook mentions that the entire feature is opt-in: first you have to turn in on, then you can only see friends’ proximity if you choose to share it with them, and vice versa.

Precise locations can also be shared with friends for set periods of time – like say you just want friends to know where you’re going to be at in the park for the next hour. It can also be turned on and off whenever you want so you don’t have to worry about friends stalking you all week.

Privacy concerns to one side, I like how the feature can be automatic, unlike Find My Friends which needs manual intervention to set alerts.

WhatsApp To Add Voice Calling Later This Year

WhatsApp To Add Voice Calling Later This Year

Alex Heath via TechCrunch:

WhatsApp, the popular messaging service that was recently bought by Facebook, is adding a big feature in a few months: voice calling.

During a keynote at Mobile World Congress, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that voice calling would be added in the second quarter of this year. The feature will be a free addition to the already free app.

WhatsApp has 465 million monthly active users, which is 15 million more than Facebook. The service’s huge international presence (it’s the largest mobile messaging service in Korea, for example) also helps explain why Facebook paid $19 billion to own it.

Just Do Something

Just Do Something

John Gruber reminding us on Apple’s focus in light of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp:

This is the worst sort of advice, suggesting a complete ignorance of everything Apple stands for. (Jay Yarow loves it, of course.) Just buy something. Spend, spend, spend. Acquire. Buy all the spaghetti, throw it against the wall, see what sticks. Wrong. Apple’s model is about focus. Apple wasn’t joking about “a thousand no’s for every yes” — that’s really how they think, what they believe. That’s the DNA.

Only one thing Jackson suggests makes any sense: Apple perhaps acquiring Tesla. I don’t think that’s likely, but I think it’s possible, for two reasons: First, Tesla could be integrated into Apple’s core business — selling high quality, well designed products that work well together. If you can imagine Apple making a car (and I can), then you can imagine Apple acquiring Tesla to jump-start the initiative. Second, Apple and Tesla share a fundamental engineering problem; batteries.

But other than Tesla, who else would it make sense for Apple to acquire for billions of dollars? No answers come to mind. Certainly not WhatsApp — as I wrote last week, Apple already has exactly the messaging platform it wants: iMessage, with hundreds of millions of users.

Facebook Buying Messaging App WhatsApp for $16 Billion

Facebook Buying Messaging App WhatsApp for $16 Billion

Jordan Golson:

The company’s app is currently the 35th most popular on the App Store. Facebook says WhatsApp’s messaging volume is “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume”, roughly 7 trillion message a year.

Facebook obviously consider “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume” and having access to every user’s mobile number a bargain at $16 Billion. Interesting to watch where they go with their services now..