Alternate iPhone Apps

Apple, Foursquare labs to strike a deal for betterment of iOS maps application

Apple is reported to be in talks with Foursquare Labs to improve its maps application with the knowledge of local data. Google had recently launched its map applications for iOS, which might have driven the California company to bring in something different to the struggling Apple maps application.

Apple senior vice president, Eddy Cue, is reported to be in talks with Foursquare representatives about integrating local data with Apple maps application, though nothing can be set in stone yet. The meetings are also reported to discuss the services used by Foursquare labs to find locations and local business listings.

The maps application from Apple released in September and received strong criticism from the users and still continues to cause discomfort to people. Apple ditched Google Maps to introduce its own maps, which did not go as it was planned. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, offered a public apology for the debacle of the maps application.

Foursquare labs have created a unique way of finding places and business listings and if Apple manages to strike a deal, the Cupertino giant might have something different to offer from Google maps application. Foursquare employs services, which allow it to ascertain the popularity of places from user-generated tips.

This service comes in handy when a user has to pick a dining place or a bar and it could add the unique factor for the resurgence of Apple Maps. Foursquare labs might also be looking to strike a deal with Apple to better its dwindling popularity. It seems to be a win-win situation for both the companies.

Facebook Snapchat clone

Facebook might be planning to introduce its own Snapchat variant application, which will allow the user to send non-permanent messages online. The users can set the time in which the messages destruct after they are relayed to other user. Rumours suggest that Facebook might be preparing for the release of the application in the coming weeks.

The rumoured new application from Facebook will be a stand-alone app as it will not be linked to the main application. Snapchat came into prominence for its privacy settings as the users have the option of setting the time for the message to destroy. When the time limit comes to an end the message will be deleted from the sender’s and receiver’s phone.

Snapchat also deletes the message from its servers at the end of the time limit. Facebook has been aggressive in introducing mobile platform applications and now has over three stand-alone applications. Facebook recently launched a messenger application for Android users, who do not have Facebook accounts.

Talking about the rumours of Facebook’s new application in an e-mailed statement, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said, “We haven’t heard anything from Mark Zuckerberg about a Snapchat clone. We’re big fans of Instagram and the Facebook platform and we look forward to watching Mark continue to innovate and grow his company.”

Facebook has been earlier rumoured to buy WhatsApp, but there has been no news about the happening of that event. Snapchat has also added video sending features to the application. Facebook will have to bring something new to the table if it plans to attract the users.

Flickr’s iPhone App

Flickr’s new iPhone revamped application has inserted changes dating through one year in order to refurbish its claim on the photo sharing market. The new application induces a new user interface and Instagram-like photo filters. Flickr’s addition of new filters comes days after Twitter introduced its own filters after being shunned by Instagram.

The changes in the new Flickr iPhone application displays individual photos better and makes it easy for new users to sign-up for the service. The changes also increase the speed of photo browsing and enhance searching capabilities of the application. The new Flickr iPhone application is designed to provide better smartphone support.

Talking about the changes in the application, head of the Flickr product at Yahoo, Markus Spiering said, “Engagement to a high percentage is happening on mobile. It really brings Flickr into the palm of your hand.” The new features show recent photos posted by Flickr members if the users scroll vertically and for images from a particular contact, users can scroll horizontally.

The options at the bottom of the application’s screen allow the users to navigate among different categories to reach Flickr services. On choosing the iPhone for the changes of the Flickr application, Spiering said, “We’re doing iPhone in this case first, because it’s the most popular camera on Flickr now.”

The firm is planning to move the changes to Android platform as well. Yahoo is moving towards a notion of improving mobile access under the new Chief Executive Officer, Marissa Mayer, who announced the refurbished Yahoo mail.

Google maps application

Google maps application for iPhone was released by the search engine giant, thus providing respite to the iOS users, who have been misdirected using Apple maps. Google has also announced a maps application for iOS SDK, which will help the iOS app store developers to embed Google Maps into their applications

iPhone and iPod Touch support the newly released Google maps application. The much awaited app by iOS users brings the popular Street View feature and transit directions, which were not available in Apple maps application. Google maps application also includes the turn-by-turn directions feature.

A URL access to the application is also present on the iOS, which means that any iOS application can launch Google Maps. The features of the app are similar to the attributes of previous versions of the service on iOS with little tweaks to enhance the user experience.

The highlights of the Google Maps application for iOS users include 360-degree panorama view of places, street view imagery, voice guided driving directions, option to search locations and a newly designed user interface for easier navigation. Apple maps has been the Achilles heel for the California company as iOS users have been misdirected and lost due to the directions from the application.

With Google maps application releasing for iPhone and iPod Touch, users can now go back to the usual way of navigating through the world, but for Apple things might have to change. The question is, when Apple fixes its map application, (if it does so) will the users switch back to it?

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