When Google pushed out their new social service Google+ they simultaneously gave Android users a way to access their accounts on their phones in a handy dandy app. Up until now, iPhone users have been forced to login and check their accounts inside the Safari browser. Today, thankfully, Google has pushed out a native Google+ app for iPhone users. The app’s homescreen includes Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile, Circles, and a Notifications tray. In Stream you can view new posts from your Circle mates, those that are Nearby (if you allow the app to tag your location), and Incoming posts; you can also check-in at places and obviously send out posts and attach pictures to them. In Photos you can view pictures that have been uploaded by your Circle mates, photos of you, from your albums, and from your phone. In Profile you can view (but cannot edit) your About page, your Posts and Photos. In Circles, you can see all of your Circle mates, tap them to view their profiles, and from there you can move and/or remove them from Circles; you can also create new Circles. And lastly there’s Huddle, the one feature that has been exclusive to Android users until now. With Huddle you can initiate a group messaging experience that gathers together selected friends or circles so you can chat together in one space; users can be searched by name, email, and circle.
And that about covers the Google+ app for iPhone. Download it today for free from the App Store. Note that it is only compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G; Google has not specified when (or if) the app will make its way to other iOS devices (i.e. the iPad and iPod touch).
Fring is putting the finishing touches on its newest service for mobile users called Group Video Calls. That’s right–soon you’ll be able to initiate a video chat amongst you and three friends. After some beta testing is completed, Fring plans to roll out the new group vid chat service to Android and iPhone users. See it in action above!
Today Skype updated its official iPhone app and version 3.0 brings with it video calling over WiFi and 3G. Two-way Skype-to-Skype video calling can take place between two phones and between phones and computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux) at no charge. In addition to the iPhone 4, the app is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS, the newest iPod touch, the third gen iPod touch, and the iPad all running iOS 4.0 or higher. Since the latter two devices do not feature back and front-facing cameras they are restricted to only receiving video. And note that since the 3GS does not pack a front-facing camera it will only broadcast video from the back-facing camera.
I gave the app a test drive and it worked flawlessly…over WiFi, that is. With that stable connection I was able to successfully connect to a desktop Skype client and video chatting worked as advertised. With the iPhone 4 you have the option to broadcast video from the front-facing camera and switch it to the back one on the fly, as well as options to mute the conversation and switch between portrait and landscape modes. When I disabled WiFi and attempted an iPhone 4-to-desktop video chat the video appeared noticeably more pixelated and laggy until it decided to cut out completely and drop the call. But that’s 3G for you; heck, at least it works.
The free Skype update is available to download now at the App Store. Apple might have had a leg up on the video conferencing competition with FaceTime since iPhone 4′s introduction, but with Mac and Windows support–plus 3G support–plus a giant user base in the millions–Skype is enabling the futuristic functionality for a significantly larger community of iOS users. Press release and (creepy) introductory demonstration video after the break.
Now this is flipping brilliant. A college student has transformed his old mini fridge into a beer cannon! Check this: Using a custom-made iPhone app, he can select a desired beer brand (the system vends four types of beer), adjust the fridge temperature, manage the beer’s final destination, and fire the beer with a force of 50psi to the selected position. That’s right–the fridge is decorated with a webcam and the app has a viewer to help guide the beer to its target. In addition to launching beers on command, the fridge records every fling and broadcasts them via Twitter so that all your friends can know when you’re using the coolest thing ever invented…ever.
Today Coca-Cola launched a Tron: Legacy app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners. But nevermind the Coke Zero sponsership; this game appears to look awesome in theory. It’s being touted as the “first location-based video game” and the objective is simple: Build a Light Wall as you move about the real world and earn points by forcing other players to crash into it. The app uses the iPhone’s GPS to track your location and show you on a Grid-themed map where other players are located. Coke promises to push out updates to the app surrounding the release of the film it’s based on, and you can expect new single and multi-player modes to come with them. Also, an Android version is on the way. But enough blabbing; get a better idea of how the game works in the video above and download the *free* app right here.