While Instagram has been monetising its app for nearly a year, UK users have enjoyed scrolling through their timelines completely free of ads. Until today, that is. The company has taken to the service to share the very first sponsored post with UK users (shown above), letting them know that “over the coming weeks” it will begin displaying paid content their streams, whether they like it or not. Users are invited to tap the “Sponsored” label to learn more about a specific campaign, but the majority are likely to become acquainted with “…” button, which quickly hides them from view. The dream might be over but Instagram says it’s starting out with only a “few” businesses, meaning you shouldn’t be bombarded with ads when they begin rolling out.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Charlotte Williams
Happy Saturday, and welcome to another edition of Feedback Loop! With all the talk of online data breaches this week, we’re discussing ways to better protect your data stored in the cloud. After you’re done auditing your passwords, let us know what you think of Samsung’s new curved Galaxy Note Edge and find out how much fitness trackers are helping your fellow readers. Make yourself comfy and join us after the break for some in-depth tech talk.
How are you keeping yourself safe online?
In light of the recent iCloud security issue, I’m curious to find out how you protect yourself online. Obviously, strong credentials are the way to go, but are you using password managers? Do you go the extra mile by also enabling two-factor authentication? Come join the discussion and share your tips for staying safe in the cloud.
Who is the Galaxy Note Edge for?
Samsung likes to get a little crazy with mobile devices, and at IFA this week, the Galaxy Note Edge captured everyone’s attention. The curved screen has TgD asking just who is the Note Edge made for? Check out Brad’s hands-on first, and then head to the forums to share your own theories.
Facebook Messenger: Give in, or say goodbye
Decoupling apps is all the rage right now. Foursquare kicked things off with Swarm and Facebook finally spun out Messenger for good. John isn’t thrilled with this move; he doesn’t understand why we need multiple apps for a single service. Is this the final straw for Facebook on your phone?
Are fitness trackers improving your health?
Even though fitness analytics are showing up in phones and smartwatches, the dedicated tracker market is still kicking. They’re coming in the form of bracelets, watches (the non-smart kind) and more. The age-old question still remains though: Do they actually work? A few of our readers have already shared their success stories, so come join the discussion and let us know if all that data-tracking is working for you.
Other discussions you may also like:
- Recommendations for headphones priced under $200
- What IFA announcements have you most excited?
- Operation Finish all the games!
That’s all this week. Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
Instagram has already revealed a bit about how Hyperlapse turns your shaky handheld footage into smooth time-lapses, but what if you really want to know what makes it tick? Don’t worry — the company will happily satisfy your curiosity with a deep dive into the app’s inner workings. Ultimately, you’re looking at a significant extension of the Cinema tech used in Instagram itself. It’s still using your phone’s gyroscope to determine the orientation of the camera and crop frames to counteract any shakiness. The biggest change is in how Hyperlapse adjusts to different time-lapse speeds. It only checks the positioning for the video frames you’ll actually see, and that crop-based smoothing effect will change as you step up the pace.
Importantly, Instagram’s approach contrasts sharply with what we saw in Microsoft’s similarly-named technique. There, Microsoft is calculating a 3D path through the scene and stitching together frames to create a seamless whole. That approach is potentially nicer-looking, but it’s a lot more computationally intensive; Instagram is taking advantage of your phone’s built-in sensors to create a similar effect without as much hard work. You don’t need to know the nitty-gritty about Hyperlapse to appreciate the effect it has on your clips, but the post is definitely worth a read if you have unanswered questions.
Source: Instagram Engineering Blog
Today, we look at Instagram’s new video sharing app called Hyperlapse, imagine a world with a truly unified inbox, prepare for school with the 10 best tablets available, and more! Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
This morning, Facebook-owned Instagram released a new, free iOS app for making time-lapse videos. It’s called Hyperlapse. Though it sounds simple, the app is anything but: it adds beautiful image-stabilization to normally shaky-cam. We’ve compiled half a dozen of the best videos we’ve seen thus far, but we’d love to add more to our collection as the day goes on. Let us know about your favorites in the comments below, on Twitter/Facebook/G+/the Engadget forums, by carrier pigeon — really, whatever means you’d like. Preferably not smoke signals
My phone buzzes. I glance at it and see a text message from my husband, who wants to know if I can pick him up from work. Later that day, my phone buzzes again. This time, it’s a Facebook Messenger notification from my mother, who wants to chat about an upcoming trip. At the same time, a friend pings me using Twitter’s Direct Messages. Next, a colleague strikes up a conversation on Google Hangouts. Realizing it would be easier to handle all of these with a computer, I flip open my laptop so I can chat with everyone simultaneously. Within the span of a few hours, I’ve chatted with four different people on four completely different messaging platforms. And the juggling doesn’t stop there.
It used to be that sending an SMS was enough. Now there’s a seemingly endless number of ways to stay in touch with someone. And it’s not just dedicated messaging apps like WhatsApp or Line either. Instagram added direct messaging this past December; Vine followed suit earlier this April; and even Pinterest joined the bandwagon recently by letting pinners chat with other pinners. And, of course, Twitter has had direct messaging for almost eight years now. While variety and choice are generally good things, all of these messaging services introduce a perplexing problem: We have too many inboxes.
Being able to send messages within different applications isn’t all bad, of course. If I think of an interesting photo or video I want to share with just my friends on Instagram, I can do so within the app easily. The same with Pinterest — I can continue the collaboration process of pinning designs and planning a home remodel, for example, without having to use another messaging service. And, of course, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are a lot cheaper to use than traditional SMS — for US users at least, there’s no need to fork over exorbitant messaging fees every month or, if you’re on a limited plan, cough up pennies with every text.
But the problem is all of these messaging services and apps are siloed experiences. Messages can’t be shared outside of their respective ecosystems. Worse still, I have an obligation to use all of them because different people in my social circle use different apps. When I travelled to Malaysia earlier this year, WhatsApp was the app of choice amongst my friends. A couple of my other pals use Snapchat, so I have that installed on my phone too. A few other early adopter friends (most of whom are admittedly tech writers like myself) use Slingshot, Facebook’s Snapchat alternative, so I’ve got that as well. I also installed Path’s Talk app and Line to chat with a few people, though they were mostly to exchange fun stickers. I even downloaded that silly Yo app, even if I only ever use it in jest.
Forrester researcher Thomas Husson said in a report on messaging apps entitled “Messaging Apps: Mobile Becomes The New Face Of Social” that the “fragmented nature of the social media ecosystem is inherent to the fact that individuals have multiple identities.” Basically, people use different apps and networks for different reasons. For example, people tend to use LinkedIn to talk with potential business partners, while they might use Facebook Messenger only with friends or family. Further, some messaging apps tend to be more popular in certain parts of the world — Line, for example, has a stronger following in Asia — which, if you have friends all over the globe, would mean you’re constantly switching between services.
What’s the big deal, you might ask? Our smartphones and computers are certainly more than capable of handling these disparate systems, and besides, it’s not that difficult to switch between apps, right? Well, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. I shouldn’t have to have a dozen different messaging apps on my phone to talk with all the people in my life. Chris Heuer, a longtime social media user and CEO of Alynd, a social business startup, expresses the same frustration over too many apps: “I think what’s missing in this whole discussion on messaging now is that the messaging is now often done within the context, instead of messaging being the context.” It’s the reason why he dislikes the fragmentation of Facebook Messenger away from the core Facebook app. “Now I have another app I have to open and that will waste more time I don’t have … I’ve got enough apps. I want less, not more.”
Several years ago, there was a similar problem with too many instant-messaging protocols. I used all of them — AOL, Yahoo, MSN, GChat and, yes, even ICQ. I remember installing all of these apps on my computer and keeping them all logged in at the same time because, for some reason, my friends and coworkers just couldn’t agree on the same IM platform. Then, something wonderful happened. All-in-one apps like Trillian and Adium came along to unite most of the disparate IM services under one program. At last, I could launch just one app to chat with everyone.
What we need, then, is an equivalent universal inbox for messaging. No, not just for all your email and text messages. For everything. We need a smart inbox that’ll sort messages by service, label them appropriately and will let you continue conversations within just one app.
There are a few solutions out there that come close to solving the problem. The Hangouts app for Android, for example, is able to handle both Google’s IM system and text messages. If you’re a loyal BlackBerry fan, you already know that the OS from Waterloo has a unified inbox that can house emails, texts and messages from Facebook and Twitter in one place. Disa.im is an Android app currently in alpha that promises to combine SMS, WhatsApp, Hangouts and Facebook messaging in one place as well. There’s also an app called Messages+ that promises to do the same thing, though it seems to fall short — it doesn’t support incoming messages for WhatsApp and we weren’t able to use it to send a message on Facebook.
Still, none of these really live up to the dream of that one, true universal inbox for everything. Which is, sad to say, probably more fantasy than reality. Not only because most of these apps are walled gardens, but also because some, like Snapchat and Slingshot, are based around messages that are meant to disappear after you’ve read them. Further, new messaging features and apps crop up all the time, making it tough to keep something like a universal inbox up-to-date.
The alternate solution, of course, is to insist on just one communication method for people to contact you. You probably won’t be able to keep in touch with as many people in your life, and it might be harder for people to reach you. But, perhaps, that’s the price to pay for sanity.
Hold on, my phone’s buzzing again.
The videos you see on Instagram right now are rarely worth writing home about — after all, most people just slap filters on them and cast them out into the social ether. As it turns out, the folks at Instagram have cooked up a new to create truly beautiful shareable videos with a new app they call Hyperlapse. In traditional Instagram fashion, it’s a breeze to use: all of the heavy lifting is done behind the scenes, so all you have to do is record what’s happening in front of you and choose how fast (between 1x and 12x) you want the resulting creation to play back. The end result? Some incredibly smooth, downright entrancing time-lapse videos that don’t require a desktop to make.
Curiously enough, Instagram’s new (and as-yet unreleased) app happens to share a name with another awfully neat bit of image processing tech. Microsoft showed off its own Hyperlapse at this year’s Siggraph conference and it too smooths out the shakiness from videos captured from devices like GoPros and Google Glass. It won’t surprise you to hear that Microsoft’s approach seems just a bit more complex – Redmond’s Hyperlapse calculates the camera’s path and chews on the geometry of the scene to create a new, smoother path to align images too, and it requires considerably more hardware to get the job done too. Alas, Hyperlapse won’t hit the App Store for a few more hours at least (don’t fret Android fans, you’ll get it soon too), but we’ll keep you posted once it does.
It is Tuesday, so time to talk Android with you quick status. The Motorola Nexus 6 speculation has increased, but man is that phone going to be huge. Hopefully there will be a smaller version when they announce it. Another Galaxy S4 catches fire, but you can’t fully blame the phone for that. Enjoy the video!
The post Motorola Nexus 6 is Huge! Galaxy S4 Catches Fire! – ManDroid Quickie appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
So many social media outlets…so little time to download and use them all. Instagram took the world by storm, because everyone loves to take pictures of themselves or what they are currently doing. I think most of us were satisfied by Instagram’s features of just posting filtered pictures, but of course that is never enough for the people who develop these apps. Instagram has introduced a new app called “Bolt”, that will compete with Snapchat, because it pretty much is Snapchat Instagramified.
- One tap takes a photo or records a video. As soon as you lift your finger, it sends.
- Photos and videos are always unedited so people can see the world as you do.
- Easily caption photos and videos.
- Go back and forth by replying to your friends with text, photos or videos.
- Swipe photos away and they’re gone.
- Organize your 20 Favorites in whatever order works for you.
- Sign up with your phone number, no email address needed.
Those are just a few features you will find with Bolt, but don’t get too excited Americans. This app is not available for us quite yet, but you people living outside the States should be fine. This app should most likely do better than Facebook’s Slingshot app, that tried to bring the same kind of concept to Facebook Messenger. Facebook should just stop trying to be what it’s not. So click the link below to try out Bolt. Let us know how it is.
The post Instragrams Brings Us ‘Bolt’ that will Compete with Snapchat appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
We knew Instagram’s effort to nab a bit of Snapchat’s thunder was imminent thanks to leaked promo banners, and now, the app has officially arrived… for some. Bolt, the filter-driven photo app’s own ephemeral messenger has hit iTunes and Google Play for folks in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand. The software’s claim to fame is speed: instead of having to fiddle through a series of options, tapping a contact’s picture both captures and sends a photo — no further swiping required (tap and hold records video). So long as they’re in your favorites list, of course. There’s also an undo feature that allows you to retrieve a message in the first few seconds by shaking your phone. While Bolt doesn’t require a Facebook or Instagram account, you will have to sign up with your phone number for sorting through your contacts. For now though, most of us have to find solace in just reading about it, since a select few locales are privy to the initial rollout. Instagram’s word on that particular strategy is situated after the break.
“Bolt is the fastest way to share an image or a video — just one tap to capture and send. We decided to start small with Bolt, in just a handful of countries, to make sure we can scale while maintaining a great experience. We expect to roll it out more widely soon.“