For years, photographers and amateur photographers had only one hub: Flickr. I also used to be addicted to Flickr and made many great friends on there. It’s a huge bummer they became stagnant and really hard to use. I don’t even remember the last time I logged in… And I noticed more and more of my friends using Facebook as their main outlet for photographs.
Now I didn’t understand Instagram either, until I actually created an account and started using it. And the more I use it, the more it’s clear, Instagram is the next social platform for photographers. There are already ridiculous amounts of insanely talented photographers on there. I can’t wait to see the community keep growing.
So what makes Instagram so great? Well:
- discoverability with solid filtering. The noise to signal ratio is on. point. From the popular page to following your immediate friend’s photos, to even seeing activities from your friends (what they liked, what they commented on, etc.) Reminds me of the FriendFeed friend of friend feature, but it’s filtered, so you can choose to look any time you want to and doesn’t clog your feed. (News -> Following)
- community: interaction is pretty much like Flickr, where people can talk to each other without reservations. Plus, you can use handles, which is rare for newer sites these days. Part of the reason so many Asians are on there, to protect their identities.
- shareability is seamless — such a smart implementation, perhaps the best out there.
- MOBILE — it’s in all CAPs because that’s how important mobility will become. I’m excited to see how Instragram will keep iterating its product. And when the Android app comes out? I think the adoption will snowball, trickling down to the mass.
Hopefully, the Instagram team is working on an archiving system with option to store photos at higher resolutions. But I still stand by my statement from a few weeks back: “Finally get Instagram. It’s like Flickr (community and discovery), Myspace-Livejournal (hot girls posting self portraits) but way better.”
If you’d like to connect on Instagram, my user ID is ‘monagram’
Bonus: Check out these two photos from me and Christine. We were at the same place, sitting next to the other, drinking the same thing but the photo, well, take a look. It was so neat when it popped up in our feeds — we both said WOW at the same time.
Don’t know about you, but the iPhone app store is about 80% useless redundant. There are so many frickin’ apps, I don’t know what’s good, what’s bad, which apps have push notifications that actually…well…work…?
I may have found the triad of apps with push notifications. Since I’m feeling generous today, I will share with y’all.
1. For the email junkies: PushGmail
Now before you barrage the “TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW“s; wait. And read. For people who have:
- multiple Gmail accounts
- one Exchange email already set-up on phone
PushGmail is the perfect solution. Still don’t follow? Ok, so I have my work Exchange email set-up, but I also Gmail all day errrrday. With PushGmail, my work emails get pushed onto my phone, and now my Gmail gets pushed too -read: best of both worlds. Have my cake and eat it too. I love this app more than fat kid love cake. At any which way, PushGmail RULES and is only 99cents. WELL worth the dollar (and some change)
2. For the sports addicts: Sportacular
In complete agreement with Kevin (jkontherun) who said: “Sports junkies that have an iPhone or iPod Touch owe it to themselves to take a look at Sportacular.” Holy smokes, this app is amazing. Scores are pushed (multi level settings, create alerts for only games and or teams you keep with) and it’s not just scores. Articles, breaking news, standings, etc., are available too but the best part? It’s free. Free. Screw ESPN. Sportacular is notch.
3. For the breaking news types: Twitter
Ok fine. So this one isn’t an app. But I’ve tried the AP and CNN apps but frankly, for instant breaking news, Twitter’s mobile alerting beats all. First, enable mobile alerts from Twitter to phone. Find your favorite news source and click the lil cell phone logo right by the “Follow” button and breaking news will be texted to you. Like this (points below)
So these are my three must have apps for push – what’re yours?
It’s a robot (in GoogleWave terms) but to me, a robot is like, you know…a machine like thingie with two arms, two legs, hands, and feet. With super duper awesome colors and shiny bodies… eyes with lasers, and stuff.
ANYway, hope this helps.
Seriously, you guys? So WHAT if Tweetie isn’t free.
Hold on, hold on, let me back up. Earlier, Patrick (whom I ADORE) over on Just Another iPhone Blog snagged an interview with the Tweetie creator to address the pricing issue. Apparently, there are people who are unhappy Tweetie is going to be a paid upgrade. (Patrick’s interview was awesome btw – even goes into upgrade, what an upgrade means to developers, etc., etc.)
Now I am definitely a cheap Asian when it comes to certain things. One of the most popular posts over on PixelBits (my geek blog) is the “How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded” post –and I was happy to share the information.
I am a firm believer of getting value out of my hard earned money – if the ratio is imbalanced, I am not afraid to ask for money back. In this case, Tweetie is one of the best Twitter iPhone apps and it’s really annoying how people are complaining about shelling out 3bucks.
Three. EFin. Dollars.
That’s like…two bags of gummi bears. A pint of beer. Three bags of 99cent chips. A cup of stinkin’ coffee. What the hell, people. Can we have some perspective, please? Do y’all realize how much time and effort goes into developing an app?
I’m sorry (well not really) but all you whiners please: SHUT YOUR TWITTERHOLES.
Thank you and have a great day.
Holy Moly, Apple does return and refund iPhone apps!!
I am THE biggest stickler for value:money (ratio), and firmly believe in “You get what you pay for.” Upon recommendation, I forked over cash for Beejive –an IM application, when iPhone OS 3.0 was released; mainly for the push function. (Push is notification of new activity, even when the application is closed).
Long story short, Beejive is still extremely buggy and utterly useless. i.e. super crashy, couldn’t log on with mutiple accounts, server errors galore…I just had all sorts of issues with it.
I felt ripped off.
$10 bucks for an iPhone app is HELLA money in my book. For 10bucks, I can get four iced espressos at Starbucks, eight bags of Swedish Fish, 9 soft serves from McDonald’s, or nine 99cent iPhone apps, etc., etc., you get the picture right? So I spent a few days complaining on Twitter about how much Beejive sucks.
On Saturday, I couldn’t take Beejive’s suckiness anymore so I Tweeted: “Dear Beejive, I would like a refund.”
I assumed iPhone application returns and or refunds were near impossible…iTunes and Apple’s site are clustermesses and for the life of me, I could not figure out how to request a refund. Seriously, try “Search” on both, it works but seriously needs help. People were sharing their personal nightmare experiences with Apple refunds, and Sean even got locked out of his iTunes account.
It looked like a refund wasn’t happening…until FriendFeeders Drew and Kisha linked me to two successful refund stories. I followed the directions and requested refunds for (1) Beejive and (2) Chocolatier –a game I purchased by “accident”. ;) hehehe.
These are the steps I followed to request a refund:
- Open iTunes
- Log on to your account
- Go to purchase history
- Report a problem
- Fill out form with reason for refund (nicely)
Apple resolved my issues with a quick turn around time, hassle free, and was really really nice about it, too. And I am not going to lie, it shocked the crap out of me! …It may have helped I was clear and concise: “Beejive is not working out for me because x and x. Therefore, I would like x.” Manners and politeness can be advantageous, too. :)
At any rate, thank you, once again, to the wonderful FriendFeed and Twitter communities for helping me out and offering advice, as well as sharing your own personal experiences. Though it is hard to respond to every single @reply and comment, I read every single one of them and appreciate the insight you guys provide. :)
Reason no. 98273948379823 Social Networks RULE.
*if you are interested, there is discussion on apps and personal experiences with Beejive here. Beejive sucked for me, but there are many who experience no issues.
**Apple’s iTunes help web form’s direct link is here.
I am way too cheap to buy apps and don’t do product/app reviews, since they are so time consuming (taking screen shots, explaining, etc) but this I have to share. I found this neat iPhone app by GAM products and it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen.
It’s a filter that applies light to iPhone photos.
Confused? Well, see for yourself:
BTW whoever says the iPhone’s camera sucks is WRONG. Proof is here.
Launched October 29th, notifu.com lets you “Send a message to an individual or group, know if the message was received, and gather responses to make quick decisions.” …um wow. This is useful for personal and business use.
Messages can be sent via:
- IM services (AIM, Gtalk, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo)
They’re already working on the next release (11/20/08) that’ll allow adding notifu to Social Sites such as:
AND this service:
- Works outside of the US and Canada
- Has an iPhone interface (web app)
Nice. Why didn’t I come up with this? Anyway, check it out: notifu.com
I came across monitter.com and wow, it might make me use Twitter more.
What made me stop and check the site out, was the UI. I have NO patience for hunting and pecking to learn how to use a site. I certainly don’t read help or about pages to learn how to use the site. So I am a huge fan of intuitive UIs — opening the site and jumping right in. Monitter is exactly that, and became an instant fan.
Monitter is independent from 3rd party apps like Adobe Air! And beyond the interface, the features are useful. It’s like TweetDeck, except it’s web based. Has a search engine like Summarize, but updates Real Time and customizable.
Some more additonal features and funtions:
- Default layout is three columns — but adjustable. Each column queries its own #search based on the Twitter API. You can add up to as many columns of keyword Tweets as you want. (I stopped adding columns at 10, since they’re vertically displayed)
- Location searches: You can set Monitter to only display Tweets within X miles of X location. Neat
- Language: Set Monitter to display Tweets in four languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, and French. (no Asian language support — yet)
- Free embeddable widget for your site. (I downloaded it but it’s kinda huge (dimension wise) — no thanks)
- As a bonus, it’s written in jQuery. (I’m a fan)
Conclusion: A definite must check out.
I like it more than TweetDeck, Twhirl, Summarize, and any other Twitter app I’ve used.
Do you use Twitter? If so, what’re your favorite Twitter apps?