Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

For those asking, here is the information from the latest software update on your Apple devices- the iOS 6 software update

This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:

• Maps
◦ Apple designed vector based maps
◦ Turn-by-turn navigation with spoken directions on iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (2nd and 3rd generation)
◦ Real-time traffic information
◦ Flyover for photo-realistic, interactive 3D views of major metro areas on iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation)
◦ Local search results with Yelp photos, ratings, reviews, and available deals
◦ Siri integration for requesting directions and finding places along a route
• Siri improvements
◦ Sports: scores, player stats, game schedules, team rosters, and league standings for baseball, basketball, football, soccer and hockey
◦ Movies: trailers, showtimes, reviews and facts
◦ Restaurants: reservations, reviews, photos and information
◦ Send a Tweet
◦ Post on Facebook
◦ App launch
◦ Eyes Free in supported automobiles
◦ Local search available in Siri supported countries (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
◦ Additional country and language support for Canada (English and Canadian French), China (Mandarin), Hong Kong (Cantonese), Italy (Italian), Korea (Korean), Mexico (Spanish), Spain (Spanish), Switzerland (Italian, French, German), Taiwan (Mandarin), US (Spanish)
◦ Supported on iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad (3rd generation) and iPod touch (5th generation)
• Facebook integration
◦ Single sign-on from Settings
◦ Post from Photos, Safari, Maps, App Store, iTunes, Game Center, Notification Center and Siri
◦ Add location and choose audience for any post
◦ View up-to-date Facebook profile photos and contact information in Contacts
◦ View Facebook events and birthdays in Calendar
◦ Like content and see your friends’ Likes in App Store and iTunes Store
• Shared Photo Streams
◦ Share selected photos with the people you choose
◦ Friends can view shared photos in Photos app, iPhoto and Apple TV
◦ Friends can like and make comments on individual photos
• Passbook
◦ One place for boarding passes, store cards, movie tickets and other passes
◦ Barcode display for boarding flights, buying coffee, getting into movies and other actions
◦ Passes displayed on Lock Screen based on time or location
◦ Passes can be automatically updated
◦ Supported on iPhone and iPod touch
• FaceTime improvements
◦ FaceTime over cellular support for iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation)
◦ Receive FaceTime calls, sent to your iPhone number, on your iPad and iPod touch
• Phone improvements
◦ Do Not Disturb to suppress incoming calls and notifications
◦ ‘Reply with message’ option when declining a call
◦ ‘Remind me later’ option based on time or location when declining a call
• Mail improvements
◦ VIP mailbox to quickly access mail from important people
◦ Flagged email mailbox
◦ Insert photos and videos when composing email
◦ Open password protected Office docs
◦ Pull down to refresh mailboxes
◦ Per account signatures
• Safari improvements
◦ iCloud tabs to see open pages on all your devices
◦ Offline Reading List
◦ Photo upload support
◦ Full screen landscape view on iPhone and iPod touch
◦ Smart app banners
◦ JavaScript performance improvements
• App Store and iTunes Store improvements
◦ Updated store design
◦ iTunes Preview history
◦ Complete my season
◦ Complete my album
• Game Center improvements
◦ Challenge friends to beat high scores and achievements
◦ Post high-scores and achievements to Facebook and Twitter
◦ Friend recommendations based on your Facebook friends
• Accessibility improvements
◦ Guided Access to limit device to one app or restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen
◦ VoiceOver integration with Maps, AssistiveTouch and Zoom
◦ Support for Made for iPhone Hearing Aids for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S
• Improved privacy controls for Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Photos and data shared over Bluetooth
• Reminders can be reordered in the Reminders app
• Custom vibrations for alerts on iPhone
• Clock app for iPad
• Clock alarm with song
• Search all fields in Contacts
• Automatic movie mode for improved video sound quality
• Definitions of a selected word for Chinese, French, German and Spanish
• New keyboard layouts for French, German, Turkish, Catalan, Arabic and Icelandic
• Keyboard shortcuts shared across devices via iCloud
• Bluetooth MAP support
• Global network proxy for HTTP
• Features for China
◦ Baidu web search
◦ Sina Weibo integration
◦ Share videos to Tudou
◦ Share videos to Youku
◦ Improved text input for handwriting and Pinyin

• Bug fixes

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. Please visit this link for more details

For information on the security content of this update, click here.

Source: Apple

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Recently, I suggested one of my favourite apps to a gentleman on Twitter. His response and enthusiasm towards the app has triggered this post today.

All of us iPhone users have a few apps that we just cant do without in our everyday lives. Folks in Australia who use the trams will tell you that the Tramtracker  app is like a boon. It has changed the way we use public transport in Melbourne. Same applies for the banking apps like those of NAB and ANZ. We use them for most everyday banking queries and these actually keep us from the need to call or visit a bank physically.

I have a few favorite apps too. To keep it fair, I am only going to mention the apps that apply to everyone in general irrespective of the country you live-in. These are used by me on a daily basis and are FREE! 🙂

If you know me well, you have learnt of my love for Twitter and its only obvious that this list will begin with my favorite app for the chirpy social media site.

App 1: Twitter for iPhone– The official app :Social media

I have used quite a few tools for Twitter and many apps in the past 3 years that I have spent on this wonderful social media site. But the most user-friendly and practical app is the official Twitter for iPhone app, on its own.

Its ease to use, design integration with the official site and notifications makes it the best for me. To compare this, I have used Twittelator, Tweet-deck, Uber social, Echofon among many others.

2. My Pregnancy today by the BabyCenter:  Health (Pregnancy tracker)

When I discovered the wonderful news that I am going to be a mommy, I was obviously keen to get an app that will help me both track my pregnancy as well as keep me enlightened about what to expect in the future. The baby-center’s official pregnancy app beats competition hands-down!

Quoting from Babycentre “My pregnancy today is the most comprehensive daily pregnancy app from the world’s most trusted pregnancy and parenting resource. Simply enter your baby’s due date, and BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today turns your phone into an expert guide for each day of your pregnancy. Feel more prepared for your baby’s birth and get the answers you need, whenever you need them.”

This app helps you track your pregnancy day by day, keep you informed about the general fetal development images, maintain a pregnancy checklist with activities and reminders to keep you on track with decisions, doctor appointments, and more.

The highlight of the app are its award-winning videos: Watch what’s happening inside the womb with breathtaking 3-D animations, or, get informed (and inspired) about your own delivery day with live-action birth videos. It also comes with birth clubs, a due date calculator and a nutrition guide.

3.Desi Radio: Music

For lovers of Bollywood and Indian music in general, this app is a pleasant surprise. This comes with Background/Multi-Tasking,Stations Sync, a Timer, Themes & YouTube Song Search. Desiradio has a comprehensive playlist for every station and my favourite is the Evergreen Bollywood songs playlist that I listen to before going to bed every night. The timer function makes it easy for me to take a nap peacefully without having to worry about turning it off after I’m in my pleasant dreams. I loved this app even more when I was away from home in Melbourne, Australia. Nonetheless, whether you are at home in India or abroad, I suggest giving it a go.

4.Instagram: Photography

I call it the ‘Picture Twitter’.Helps you take pretty pictures on your phone at any time and share it with your friends on most social media sites today. Whether you are a fan of their filters or you just wish to share a moment with your friends, this app makes photo-sharing a pleasant surprise! The closest any app has come to being a great source of instant photo-sharing is the “Picplz” app- mostly for users who don’t have an iPhone like the ever increasing android users in the consumer market. But if you have an iPhone and a twitter account- nothing beats the feeling of being an Instagrammer.

5.Viber: Calling

Call/Text anyone, anywhere in the world without having to pay for a phone-call at all! The voice quality is to swear-by and so is its ability to tell you who you can directly call from your existing phone-book contacts and lets you add/inform the rest via a text invite message. This is the best free voip calling app today with no strings attached.

All of these are available for free at the Apple app store. I’m happy to share my favorites with you and keen to learn of yours. What am I missing?

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Woke up this morning to a rather comical article on the front page of a serious (at least I thought so) financial newspaper and this immediately got me pondering (again) about the cultural differences impacting the use social media sites, globally.

Like I have always said, Twitter is my first love. But, to remain in love with it while in India is another matter. Two things have always annoyed me here-  firstly, DM (Direct Messages) asking you for “frandship” and secondly the gender bias. Women in India are supposed to behave in a certain fashion and arranging tweets-up to meet random strangers on a regular basis is a social taboo here. There goes my vision for @socialBLR. As much as I would have loved to meet and greet new people and share common experiences, things work diffrently here and keeping yourself “safe” from ulterior motives might just be a better option. I’m not here to network but just to share but the thin line of difference is somehow lost in this part of the world.

Without deviating further from the reason for my post today, let me get straight to the point: Tweeting for money (using your personal handle)

Call me naive, but I was rather amazed to read that people actually talk about products and events in their everyday tweets not just because they are genuinely interested in them but because they are paid to do so. I am not commenting on the personal choice made by people here (That is none of my business) but on the “trust-factor” we lay on Twitter, as a whole. This makes me think, makes me laugh at myself and makes me believe my favorite place on the web a lot lesser than before. Not everything people say on Twitter is to be taken seriously. Someone I follow because we share common interests suddenly looks like a Shahrukh Khan selling a hair oil that he has never used. Alas!

I suddenly missed my Twitter friends in Melbourne. Didn’t we all tweet about the restaurants we frequent, the events we attend and just the awesome people we meet everyday? I’m not sure I’d like to learn that they were all tweeting about them because they had  to and not because they want to. That said, I am not saying Twitter is not used for promotional purposes (of course that’s the main purpose twitter exists, for most of us) but to promote something without tagging it as an #ad or #promotion would tantamount to cheating, for me. Promote a brand- happily do it, but from its OFFICIAL twitter handle, if you may. That way I know that you are saying good things about a brand you stand for.

To think of it, using popular names likes Miss Malini, @rajeevMasand, Madmanweb, @beastoftraal etc to get the word out is a VERY good choice but paying them for it? I’m not sure.

It’s best when Twitter remains a personal experience (good or bad) shared with people who are genuinely interested in “what you are up to” and follow you with love, than to influence their mind because someone paid you for it.  I really want to continue going to the movies Ravi Kapoor suggests and the restaurants @Madmanweb ticks as good, please let it remain so.

Just my two cents there, what do you think?

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Happy to introduce you to a project I am initiating in my hometown- Bangalore, India.

Social Bangalore: This project is born out of the most important and intriguing lesson that I learnt in Australia- “The impact of a community spirit”. Whether its the online community on Twitter and Facebook or the offline communities that have come together in times of strife and adversity, the way people in Australia  live and work as a community is an eye opener for me. To break free from your king-sized egos and sense of superiority and to work with the people around you as equals is the sign of a great human. I long to see this happen in my motherland- India.

What are we trying to achieve?
Bangalore’s premier SOCIAL radio and “community for change” powered by social media, Social Bangalore is believes that if a community of like-minded individuals are brought together, anything is possible!

How do I connect?
Regular Meet-up:
 Starting on 8th May 2011,we will connect weekly on  Sundays at 11 am for a meet-up at the INFINITEA and also once a month on a Saturday night for dinner (new restaurant every time!). All are always welcome to join in.

Also the Social Bangalore JELLY! fortnightly on a THURSDAY at the SocialBLR offices is a platform where we get to WORK together on our individual and team projects. Find out what is a Jelly here

Further, Social Bangalore is soon going to start a RADIO SHOW where YOU decide how we run it, what we play and who we feature. YOUR theme, YOUR requests, YOUR guests and YOUR questions. Every Friday evening! (Watch this space for more)

What we are out to achieve is simple- the feeling of being ONE community. To be the common voice of the common men…to work together in building a tomorrow we wish to see for ourselves and the generations to come.

This is your chance to “Be the change! The best way to stay in touch is via Twitter on @SocialBLR. You can also choose to email

Look forward to seeing you soon!

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