Apple is reportedly preparing an upgrade to its iCloud service that includes new photo-sharing features, according The Wall Street Journal. The publication cites multiple anonymous sources who claim the Cupertino-based company will announce the new features at its Worldwide Developer Conference beginning on June 11th. Users can currently store and sync photos using iCloud, however the upgrades will allow users to share and comment on each other’s photos as well. The iPhone-maker is also said to be working on a new feature that will allow iCloud users to sync their personal videos to the cloud, and the update will reportedly also let users access “Notes” and “Reminders” through the iCloud web portal. Apple has not refreshed iCloud since it launched last October, and the service is currently home to more than 125 million users. More →
The popular photo sharing app Instagram, which allows users to capture photos or import them from a smartphone’s camera roll and then apply retro effects before sharing them with friends, is coming off its biggest month yet. After being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion dollars, the app amassed more than 5 million Android users a mere week after the service launched on Google’s operating system. Instagram continued to see tremendous gains, surpassing 10 million Android downloads and totaling 40 million users in late April. Mashable on Tuesday reported that Instagram now has more than 50 million users and, according to its API, is adding roughly 5 million per week. Instagram is free for both iOS and Android. More →
Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram has had a great impact on the photo-sharing app’s popularity. Despite public outcry with some users looking to delete their accounts, Instagram continues to add users by the millions. The media coverage has benefited the company greatly and on Tuesday evening, Instagram became the N0. 1 free app in Apple’s App Store for the first time ever. The company recently revealed that it had surpassed 30 million users on the iPhone, and combined with the success of the Android version and Facebook’s user base, it won’t be long until the photo-sharing app surpasses 50 million users and beyond. More →
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom previously confirmed that an Android version of the company’s popular iOS application was in the works, even claiming that “in some ways its better than our iPhone app.” On Saturday, the company launched a teaser page, allowing users to sign up to become “first in line for Instagram for Android.” The release date for Instagram’s Android app is still unknown, however. As an iOS exclusive, Instagram has already racked up more than 27 million registered users, making it one of the App Store’s most popular photography apps. With an Android release imminent, Instagram will soon solidify its position as one of the top photo-sharing app makers in the mobile world. More →
During the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger of Instagram teased the company’s long awaited Android app. During an interview with TechCrunch, the duo said that an Android version of the app is coming “really soon.” Systrom briefly showed the app running on his Galaxy Nexus and claimed that “it’s one of the most amazing Android apps you’ll ever see, in some ways, it’s better than our iPhone app.” The company previously announced that an Android app is on the way, however no time frame was given. The app is currently in a private beta phase, and Instagram hopes “to have it out to people really soon.” Finally, Systrom and Krieger revealed that Instagram now has more than 27 million registered users, almost twice as many as it had in December 2011. More →
AT&T on Monday announced pre-order availability of its first “Facebook Phone,” the HTC Status. Social butterflies on the nation’s No. 2 wireless carrier can pre-order the sleek smartphone for $49.99 on contract beginning immediately, and the phone will arrive in stores this Sunday, July 17th. Aimed squarely at young Facebook fanatics, the HTC Status features Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, a QWERTY keypad, a 5-megapixel camera and a dedicated Facebook sharing button. “We can’t wait to put the HTC Status in the hands of our young customers who will waste no time tapping into Facebook to update their friends,” said AT&T Senior VP of Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets Jeff Bradley in a statement. “We’re also really pleased to offer the hottest new smartphone at an affordable price to this important, socially savvy youth market.” Also of note, Best Buy will be the exclusive purveyor of the HTC Status in a special limited edition mauve color when the phone launches next week. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network has plans to “launch something awesome” next week. There’s no official word on what will be announced, but we suspect it’s going to be the new iPhone photo-sharing service that we saw just last week. The service — which looked amazing in the leaked screen shots — will likely compete with other applications such as Instagram and Path. Rumor has it that inside Facebook headquarters, the new photo sharing app has been dubbed either “WithPeople,” or “Hovertown.” It’s entirely possible that Zuckerberg will also take the wraps off of his company’s native Facebook iPad app, since it would likely fit well into the photo-sharing ecosystem. Lastly, it’s possible Facebook will detail the next steps it’s taking with its Facebook Places check-in service, too, but given Zuckerberg’s use of the word “launch,” we’re not so sure. It remains unclear what day the announcement will be made. More →
Facebook is set to launch its own iPhone photo-sharing service that will compete with the likes of Instagram and Path. Tech Crunch has obtained 50MB worth of data about Facebook’s project, including documents and actual images of the work in progress. The service is being called “WithPeople” or “Hovertown” internally, and it’s possible that it will be launched as a built-in feature to Facebook’s existing iPhone app or as a separate application entirely. Judging from the leaked image, we definitely see a resemblance to Path, particularly with the layout of the image previews. It certainly looks like a faster and more interactive way to view your friend’s Facebook photos though, so we’re excited to hear more about this project. More →
Twitter on Wednesday unveiled two new services tied to its massively popular social network. The first is one that companies like ImageShack and Twitpic will be none too happy about — a photo-sharing service built right into Twitter.com. Users will see a new camera icon beneath the tweet composition box on the site, and clicking it will allow them to upload images that will display with their tweets. Twitter has partnered with Photobucket to host the photos, and uploading will not initially be supported from mobile devices. Twitter says it is working with carriers on MMS upload support, and the company made no mention of integration with various official mobile apps. The other major announcement out of Twitter HQ is a revamped integrated search service that will now list images and videos alongside tweets on results pages. The new search is available immediately and Twitter’s photo-sharing service will roll out over the next several weeks. Hit the break for a video showcasing Twitter’s new photo sharing service. More →
Both Daring Fireball and TechCrunch are reporting that Apple’s iOS 5, the next major software release for Apple’s mobile devices, will integrate Twitter (and most likely Facebook, with possibly other social services) at the system-level, offering up unique social experiences beyond just simple photo-sharing. TechCrunch has heard:
We’ve heard from multiple sources that Twitter is likely to have a big-time partner for such a service: Apple. Specifically, we’re hearing that Apple’s new iOS 5 will come with an option to share images to Twitter baked into the OS. This would be similar to the way you can currently share videos on YouTube with one click in iOS. Obviously, a user would have to enable this feature by logging in with their Twitter credentials in iOS. There would then be a “Send to Twitter” option for pictures stored on your device.
Though Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber adds the cayenne pepper on top of the original report:
So close to the bigger story, but yet so far. Imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service.
We’ll all see how this shakes out in under a week from now. More →