Facebook

Facebook Groups

The New Facebook Groups App

FacebookGroups-iPhone6Plus

When a company decides to break out functionality from it’s main app into a new separate app I keep my fingers crossed that they did so to make that functionality better and easier to use. For example, the Facebook Pages Manager is pretty good. I use it daily to interact with my Facebook fan pages. Also I’m one of those few that didn’t have a problem with the separate Facebook Messenger App. However, with the latter a case could be made that there was really no reason to break out the Messenger functionality. On the other hand I rarely use the Facebook Mentions App as I don’t see really anything that I can’t simply do in the Facebook Pages Manager App. That brings us to the latest Facebook App, Facebook Groups. As you might have guessed, the Facebook Groups app is designed to allow you to interact with the Facebook Groups that you are a part of. With the Facebook Groups App you can easily see which groups you are a part of and more easily jump between them to see and make new posts. You can add members to the group. You can approve new member requests for the closed groups as well as easily change the group’s settings such as name and description, the cover photo, privacy as well as leave a group that you were added to that you really don’t want to be a part of or ones that you no longer have any interest in. You can also search for groups to join. In other words it does the things you would expect from a new app designed to work with Facebook Groups, but that’s about it.

FacebookGroupsSearch-iPhone6Plus

 

There are no features that made me say, “that’s cool!”. Also it would be have been nice to have an iPad version. If you work with Facebook groups on a regular basis, then you’ll want this App simply because it makes accessing your group easier than within the Facebook App.
You can get the Facebook Groups app for free here iTunes.

 

terrywhiteGiftGuideGlobe-255

Facebook Mentions

Facebook Mentions App for Celebrities and Public Figures (like me)

facebook_mentions_iPhone

It seems that more and more social networks are coming out with multiple apps instead of trying to do it all in one. This has its plusses and minuses. When it comes to Facebook, there’s the general Facebook App, the Facebook Messenger App (that you’ll be forced to use soon), the Facebook Pages Manager App for people that have Facebook Pages and now a new exclusive app called Facebook Mentions for celebrities and public figures that have “verified” Facebook Pages. Once Facebook decides to verify your page as a celebrity or public figure you will then have access to the new Facebook Mentions app. One day the “verified” stamp appeared on my Facebook fan page and I didn’t think too much about it other than I wonder how they verified me? Now that the Facebook Mentions App is out I was invited to try it. I was intrigued to see what they offered us beyond the standard Facebook Pages app and to be honest I’m not really seeing a whole lot of difference between the two. As a matter of fact I seem to be able to MORE with the Facebook Pages app than I can with the Mentions app at this point. This means that I have to keep both on my iPhone. Speaking of iPhone, another pet peeve is that this isn’t a Universal app like the Facebook Pages app is. That also takes it down a notch as I’m not always doing social media on my iPhone.

What’s Mentions for?

At this point let’s cover what this App aims to do. Like the name implies you CAN very easily track your “mentions”. When someone mentions you (your page) in a post you see those posts in a nice tab/feed. Also for some odd reason the App requires you to follow at least one other celeb/public figure before you can even get started using the app. This seems like an odd request since the App is aimed at helping YOU connect with your fans better. You can post status updates, photos, and videos just like the other Facebook apps, but you can also start a Q&A.

facebook_mentions_QA

You can see what topics are trending so that you can jump in and voice your opinion, give your sage advice or simply be in the know about what’s going on in the world. After the initial day of use once I downloaded this app, I found myself back in the Facebook Pages app by default. I have to think to go to Facebook Mentions at this point which says to me it’s not solving enough problems yet or not letting me do enough things that make it a killer app.

Like most things with Facebook, this app will evolve and hopefully become more useful. However, at this point if you’re a celeb/public figure you may not get a lot of use out of Facebook Mentions just yet.

iTunes.

Instagram

Instagram Adds Video, thumbs nose up at Vine

instagram_video_iphone5

Apparently the folks at Instagram (Facebook) weren’t happy with Vine (Twitter) being so popular and they decided to add Video support to their popular photo sharing app. With the new 4.0 version of Instagram you can now post either pictures or up to 15 seconds of video with sound. Like some users I have mixed feelings about this. I think Instagram was doing pretty good at what it was already doing. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works. I would have almost rather seen them come up with a separate App for video so that people that want to post videos could do so and build a following of their videos. Nonetheless, it’s here and it’s probably here to stay. There are no surprises here in the interface. It works the way you would expect it to (very Vine like). You can switch from Camera to Video. You can hold down the record button to record continuously or do stop motion by tapping the button. I was a little surprised that you couldn’t choose an existing video on your camera roll though. This means you won’t be posting videos that you didn’t capture with your phone. That’s both good and bad. When recording your new Instavideo you can tap to focus. You can delete bad takes and once you have your masterpiece you can apply any one of 15 filters to it before posting. Thankfully since the videos can have sound you can turn OFF the autoplay feature in the preferences. Many will want to do that immediately. Nothing like scrolling through photos only to have a random video start blaring . It would be nice to have a pref to turn off videos period, but turning off autoplay will suffice. That means that I’ll only have to watch video that I actually want to watch by tapping to play them.

I like Instragram because it’s my one stop shop for posting pictures to social media. I simultaneously choose to post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Email, Tumblr and Foursquare (with check-in). I’ve not seen any other app that does that. I never really got into Vine and I now I will be less inclined to. My friends are on Instagram and now I can see their videos too (If I choose) in the one spot.

Let the booty shaking videos commence (LOL, but it’s true. You know it will happen).

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

Facebook App Gets A Speed Update (FINALLY)!

To say that the Facebook App on iOS was slow is like saying that the sun is hot. It started to lag so bad that I stopped using it. I started using the mobile web version instead. When I got a push notification and tapped on it I would see the Facebook App load and just sigh knowing that I’d have to wait a couple of minutes before I could see what it was that I was being notified about.

Why was it so slow?

Facebook is a big company with lots of cash! So why would such a high profile social networking company have such a bad App? Your guess is good as mine. I can only guess that it just wasn’t that important to the powers that be. Perhaps Mark doesn’t use an iPhone. If he did, I doubt that he would have allowed the experience to be so bad. The problem was that the original App wasn’t a native objective-c App (at least that’s my understanding) and this new one is.

Is it faster?

A first glance, YES! It is definitely faster than the previous version, but they would have to work pretty hard for it not to be. Is it fast? Well that’s a different question. While it is faster, I still don’t consider it to be “fast.” I would say that now it’s probably usable.

Any other new features?

Sadly no. I was disappointed to see that on the iPad there still isn’t much of an improvement. For example, Pages still don’t have Timeline support on the iPad. So with this update it seems that they spent all of their time on speed and I welcome that! It’s still kinda embarrasing for a company the size of Facebook not to support their own new features in their own App, but it is what it is.

This goes out to ALL of the social media sites that have Apps. Please make your Apps at least as functional as your website. It’s a shame that the mobile web version of your Apps offer more than your native Apps!

iTunes

Instagram

10 iPhone Apps That I Can’t Live Without

I haven’t done this in a while and I’m always getting asked what Apps are “must haves” for new iPhone users. Usually I point them to our Top 100 List, but I thought it was time I shared with you my latest Top 10 Apps That I Can’t Live Without.

 

Instagram

I’m addicted. There I said it. I absolutely love Instagram, not as a replacement for my camera, or a place where I go to make “art”; but rather a really fun way to take, “filter” and share what’s going on with me at that moment with my friends.  There is a reason that it was Apple’s #1 App last year… If you’re on Instagram don’t forget to follow me @jlykins !

You can get Instagram for your iPhone for free from the iTunes store here: iTunes

 

Navigon

Navigon has made it into many of our lists over the past few years, and while we continually try out new navigation Apps, Navigon is by far our favorite over here at Best App Site. I use Navigon almost every single day. With it’s turn by turn Navigation, (new) street view, and awesome local search function, Navigon is the gold standard for iOS Navigation Apps.

You can get Navigon North America for $39.99 from the iTunes store here:iTunes

 

GasBuddy

While you’re out driving around with that new Navigation App you just bought, you will undoubtedly need some gas at some point. Make sure you find the cheapest prices around you by using GasBuddy from the website of the same name. Before there was the iPhone and the App, there was GasBuddy.com; a place where you could go to find the cheapest prices in town. Using crowd sourcing information, and location services GasBuddy can now find the cheapest prices near you, or near a destination of your desire.

You can get GasBuddy for your iPhone from the iTunes Store for free here: iTunes

 

Facebook

It seems like everyone is using Facebook these days, even big businesses. I access Facebook probably 50 times a day, and as such I want to be able to access it from my mobile phone with a semi-native App, meaning I don’t want to have to access it via mobile safari or other mobile browser. While we all know that there are some bugs and performance issues with the official Facebook App, it is by far the most full featured that I have found to date for iOS. If you’re on Facebook don’t forget to “like” the Best App Site Fan Page!

You can get Facebook for your iPhone from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

 

Chase

I love Chase Bank. I have been using them for a few years now. I also love the fact that I never have to go into the bank (unless I’m making a large withdraw). With the Chase App I can do all of the things that you would normally expect with a banking App, but I can also take pictures of my checks to deposit them! This saves me a trip to the bank and I appreciate that saved time.

You can get the Chase Mobile App from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

 

Nightstand Central

 

I long ago removed a “stand alone” alarm clock from my room. My iPhone is battery powered, auto updates for daylight savings time, and does more than my old alarm clock ever thought about! I like Nightstand central a lot because it has a ton of customizable features. backgrounds, alarms, songs, sleep timers, weather conditions, etc. You want it, this alarm clock App has it.

You can get Nightstand Central for your iPhone from the iTunes store for $1.99 here: iTunes

 

Dropbox

For those who don’t know, Dropbox is a cloud service for files that puts a local folder on your computer and automatically synchronizes that folder’s contents with the cloud. There are a ton of uses for it, and it’s free! If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, go here to sign up for one for free! Once you have a Dropbox account, and you’re putting your files there, make sure you can access them on the go from your iPhone with Dropbox for the iPhone. It’s an awesome App with a wonderful UI.

Get Dropbox for your iPhone from the iTunes store for free here: iTunes

 

MLB.com At Bat 2012

I’m a huge baseball Fan; specifically my hometown team the Cincinnati Reds. I go to a bunch of games every year, and when I can’t make it to a game, I like to keep up with what’s going on. MLB.com At Bat 2012 does that for me! With At Bat 2012 I can watch real time what’s going on at the games and keep up with all of the scores around the league. It’s hands down the best way to follow your favorite MLB team from your iPhone!

You can get MLB.com for free from the iTunes store (there is an in App purchase for full use) here: iTunes

 

Pandora

If you don’t know about Pandora, you’re missing out. This free online radio plays stations customized by you. You select the artist, genre, song, etc. and it selects “like” songs to play. You give songs the thumbs up or thumbs down to tell Pandora what you think of it and the App learns your musical likes for that station and plays the music that you want to listen to.

Get Pandora for your iPhone for free from the iTunes store here: iTunes

 

645Pro

Last but not least we have 645Pro. I did full review on this App a few weeks ago where I told you how this is the only camera App that allows you to save your photos in uncompressed Tiff format. It has phenomenal camera controls built in that are at your finger tips, and selectable quality settings. This is my go to App when I want the best possible photos out of my iPhone. I would recommend it to anyone that likes to take good photos with their phone.

You can get 645Pro from the iTunes store for $2.99 here:iTunes
There you have it! The top 10 Apps that I use daily or almost daily and can’t live without! I would suggest getting each and every one as they are the best of the best!

Page 1 of 3123