Twitter itself may not be a big fan of new Twitter clients, but that didn't stop the developers at Tapbots to launch a new iPhone client tonight. It's a good thing they weren't dissuaded by Twitter's anti-developer stance because Tapbots' Tweetbot (iTunes link) is easily the best mobile Twitter client out there today. It's even better than Twitter's own iPhone app and more than worth the $1.99 Tapbots charges for it.
TweetDeck, the popular Adobe AIR-based Twitter client, started offering a web-based version of its service in Google’s Chrome Web Store late last year. There, it quickly became one of the most popular apps in the store. Today, TweetDeck is launching a limited beta of the web-based version of TweetDeck that will also be available to users of other browsers. Specifically, TweetDeck Web will work with Chrome, Firefox 3.6 and 4, as well as Safari. Support for IE9 and Opera is coming soon.
Google just launched it's +1 button this morning, which allows its users to like sites and ads right on the search results page and which will soon also come to a site near you in the form of a Facebook-like "-1" button. Quite a few pundits are already proclaiming this as a Facebook competitor, but I have my doubts. For now, the benefits of clicking the +1 button simply aren't there for users to bother clicking on them
The New York Times will activate its paywall at 2pm ET (11am PT) today. While the word "paywall" evokes the idea of an impermeable wall that you will only be able to breach by getting out your credit card, the reality is far more complicated. Indeed, according to the New York Times' own estimates, only about 20% of its readers will ever encounter the paywall at all.
Twitter DM's are a simple, effective way of getting in touch with people, but without presence indicators and , they don't quite feel like real-time chats. Joint, a new project from the team behind content discovery service LazyFeed, piggybacks on Twitter's social graph and allows you to turn your Twitter network into a fully-featured IM system, with one-on-one and group chats. It's basically a private backchannel to Twitter.
Joint is currently in private alpha, but read on to find out how you can get an invite.
The developers of Readability, the service that makes reading text online better by stripping sites down to their basics and allowing readers to just focus on the text, just launched their newest project at the SXSW conference in Austin. This new application, Donahue, provides conference attendees and presenters with a new way to interact during talks. The idea behind Donahue is based on the reality that the audience members at most tech conferences today often spend more time looking at their screens than at the presenters.
The Internet today is brimming with social sharing buttons. As social networks now drive more traffic than virtually any other kind of site, there is hardly any site left today that doesn't at least feature a Twitter and Facebook button to make sharing stories easier. Spread.ly is the latest entrant in the market of third-party sharing buttons and introduces an innovative twist to social sharing: deals.
When Twitter launched the latest version of its iPhone app a few days ago, most users were more than happy to get auto-completion for names and hashtags, among many other improvements. The fact that Twitter now prominently featured the top trending topics in its app - including the promoted trends that Twitter gets paid for - was, according to many users, a major negative of this version and was seen as a sneaky way to push ads to users without delivering any additional value. Some, including the intrepid Apple-watcher John Gruber, even went as far as reverting back to an older backup of their iPhone to get the old version back.
Twitter today launched an update to its iOS apps that brings lots of welcome new features (automatic shortening of links, autocomplete for usernames and easier photo uploads) but also puts far too much emphasis on trending topics in the iPhone app. Every time you scroll to the top of your stream on the iPhone, Twitter will now show you a trending topic at the top.
It’s hard to estimate just exactly how successful (or not) Google Hotpot, the company’s recently launched Yelp competitor, really is. Thanks to its integration with Google Maps and Google Places, it’s likely more popular than Google Buzz, though, and judging from the increase in ratings from Google users we’ve seen on Google Places lately, it’s probably working out well for Google. The company wants more publicity for Hotpot, however. Starting today, Google also lets you syndicate your ratings for local businesses from the Google Maps Android app to Twitter, marking this one of the first times that Google has enlisted Twitter in its tools to not just pull in information but also to syndicate it out.
All the major search engines are now working on integrating signals from your own personal network on sites like Facebook and Twitter to enhance their search results. Google launched its latest initiative last week and today Bing is launching the next step in its program to bring more “liked results” to its results pages. Whenever one of you friends has liked a page that appears in your search results on Microsoft's search engine, this fact is now highlighted on Bing and your friends' profile pictures will appear underneath the link.
Virtually every major airline has a presence on Twitter today. But how active are these businesses on Twitter? Well, compared to the millions of people that get on planes every day, the activity on most airline Twitter accounts is rather low. Our friends at Travel 2.0 took a closer look at this data and created a nifty little infographic based on it.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.