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Best of the App Store: Social Networking

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
One of the most popular categories for software in the App Store, social networking lets users stay in contact no matter where they are. We pick a few favorites, including apps that let iPhone and iPod owners find nearby friends and upload photos as they're taken.

AIM

AOL's AIM (free) is one of the few instant messaging apps available on launch for the App Store and so becomes one of our top picks almost by default.

The software is relatively simple, but allows multiple ongoing chats and also takes advantage of the iPhone's camera: users can snap a photo for their buddy icon directly from the app.

Even so, AIM is missing any location-based features, and doesn't allow sending images to friends, either of which would be appreciated for new iPhone 3G owners.

Facebook

While Facebook has been lauded for its iPhone-specific web app, its native app (free) exploits the iPhone and iPod hardware for features that aren't practical on a web page.

It's now possible to upload photos directly to Facebook and to join text chats with other Facebook members (web or otherwise) using Facebook Chat. On iPhones, users can also look up friends who have made their phone numbers public to make a call.

Not all features translate over: Facebook apps are inaccessible, and members' Walls are currently unavailable despite their being available in the iPhone's web version. Facebook does, however, promise to update the app in coming weeks.

Kyte Producer

Photo uploading apps are already common on the App Store, but Kyte Producer (free) is rare for its ability to offer live interaction with others.

It requires an iPhone (the iPod touch is excluded) but lets users create live "channels" on Kyte that show users recent photos in real-time and also allows real-time chat with any other Kyte member tuned into the channel. More passive users can also watch other Kyte photo feeds.

Notably, though, Kyte's app doesn't support the live video the website has become well-known for -- an omission that may be due to the lack of pre-supplied video recording support with the iPhone itself.

MySpace Mobile

Until now, MySpace members have never had an iPhone-oriented version of the social networking site; the alternatives were to either use the bare mobile page for simple WAP browsers or else to deal with the frequently cluttered full profile pages.

MySpace Mobile (free) is thankfully much less cluttered than the desktop site but allows most of the same comments, status, and other features, although it does conspicuously omit the blogging feature.

Like its rival at Facebook, MySpace integrates with an iPhone's camera to upload photos, though it lacks support for MySpace IM to compete against Facebook Chat.

Without Adobe Flash support or a suitable plugin, it also omits profile music -- an omission that may be considered a blessing by some users.

ShoZu

The ultimate example of a photo uploading utility for the current App Store may be ShoZu (free).

Its most impressive feature may simply be the sheer number of photo sites and social networks it supports: the app will send images from an iPhone or iPod touch directly to very common sites like Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa but also social networks like Facebook, blog systems such as Wordpress, and even news organizations like the BBC and Reuters.

It's also appreciated that many of these same sites also have support for many of their native features: it's possible to tag and comment on images as well as check or make status updates on Facebook and other similar pages.

Video is unsurprisingly not an option, but in our experience there's very little ShoZu lacks for those who can't wait to get home to upload their photos. It may well be our definitive pick among the 500 apps available for the App store's initial launch.

Twitterific

Twitterific (free) has been touted by Apple with the launch of the App Store, and not without good reason: it takes advantage of nearly every feature of the iPhone and iPod touch from the outset, and looks good while doing it.

The software is polished and permits virtually all the public and direct messaging features of the web version, but also a few device-native features. Both iPhones and iPods can mark when tweets have been made by nearby users, mark the user's own position, and upload photos.

One also doesn't have to leave Twitterific to visit a web link: a basic web browser is built into the app.

The only complaint so far is that scrolling is at times slightly jerky compared to other apps, suggesting that there may be some optimization needed. Those who detest built-in ads may also want to investigate Twitterific Premium, which for $10 eliminates the appearance of any ads at the top of the main Twitter feed.

TypePad

As the only full-scale blogging app on launch, TypePad (free) is almost a category of its own but is nonetheless notable for just how complete it is.

Users can not only make a full post but attach multiple photos (including those from an iPhone's camera) but crop those images and automatically set TypePad to update a Twitter account when the blog is updated.

We do wish location features were built in, but the ability to update a blog when on the road can't be underestimated; hopefully other blogging engines are given apps of their own in the near future.
post #2 of 13
Check out the LifeCast app. Maybe not as polished as typepad, but does support Blogger and Tumblr, and supports location awareness !!
post #3 of 13
The AIM app is currently useless :

- it doesn't turn on your away mode when you leave the app
- it doesn't get pushed messages when you leave the app
- it even logs you off if you've been out of the app for too long!

I'm waiting for an iPhone version of Adium.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by McHuman View Post

The AIM app is currently useless :

- it doesn't turn on your away mode when you leave the app
- it doesn't get pushed messages when you leave the app
- it even logs you off if you've been out of the app for too long!

I'm waiting for an iPhone version of Adium.

This post above shows either a) ignorance or b) lack of information. I'll go through point by point.

1) Why would the app turn you to away mode? It's not running in the background (as that would suck up battery life). If you're not actively using the AIM app on your iPhone, you SHOULD be logged off.

2) Again, AIM doesn't run in the background. Plus, a push system will be ready to solve this problem in September.

3) No duh. No background apps means that you can't receive a message if you aren't running AIM at the moment anyway!
post #5 of 13
Dumb Q: how do you delete apps you no longer want?

I delete them from the iPhone and then upon next sync, it's installed again.

I delete them from both the iPhone and *manually* remove them from the iTunes "Mobile Applications" folder on the desktop computer, and the app is STILL re-installed upon next sync.

If I happen to install an App, particularly a free one I want to sample, I'd like to be able to wipe out all traces of the app from my desktop and iPhone.

Right now, I've stopped the re-installation loop by de-selecting the app in the syncing tab in iTunes. The apps still show up deselected, even though I've manually moved them out of the folder...

I'm sure I'm missing something right in front of my nose. It can't be this difficult to uninstall apps permanently. Anyone care to chime in?
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

This post above shows either a) ignorance or b) lack of information. I'll go through point by point.

1) Why would the app turn you to away mode? It's not running in the background (as that would suck up battery life). If you're not actively using the AIM app on your iPhone, you SHOULD be logged off.

2) Again, AIM doesn't run in the background. Plus, a push system will be ready to solve this problem in September.

3) No duh. No background apps means that you can't receive a message if you aren't running AIM at the moment anyway!

Is anyone else having problems with the AIM app? It keeps crashing on me (iPhone 3G, 16GB)
post #7 of 13
I actually signed up for Wordpress when I saw that the Type Pad app was being built. I knew that there was not a wordpress app out, but figure there must be soon. Word press is one of the major blogging choices out there... and I can NOT wait for it!

I have checked out Life cast... good one, but still no Wordpress!! LifeCast deve crew? you out there? Cna you PLEASE add wordpress support! I'll be a huge fan when you do!
post #8 of 13
any suggestions?? i listen to a local talk radio station
http://www.wvhuam.com/main.html

have any of you tried
pandora

tuner

any others to consider??
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

any suggestions?? i listen to a local talk radio station
http://www.wvhuam.com/main.html

have any of you tried
pandora

tuner

any others to consider??

Pandora rocks. I'm going to see how well it works over EDGE at work this week.

An NPR radio app would be cool. So many possibilities.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix E. Martinez View Post

Dumb Q: how do you delete apps you no longer want?

I delete them from the iPhone and then upon next sync, it's installed again.

I delete them from both the iPhone and *manually* remove them from the iTunes "Mobile Applications" folder on the desktop computer, and the app is STILL re-installed upon next sync.

If I happen to install an App, particularly a free one I want to sample, I'd like to be able to wipe out all traces of the app from my desktop and iPhone.

Right now, I've stopped the re-installation loop by de-selecting the app in the syncing tab in iTunes. The apps still show up deselected, even though I've manually moved them out of the folder...

I'm sure I'm missing something right in front of my nose. It can't be this difficult to uninstall apps permanently. Anyone care to chime in?

I deleted two free apps from my iPhone. On iTunes, I unchecked those two apps. I did a sync and the apps did not reappear on the iPhone so I've got rid of them there.

My question is how to get rid of the two unchecked apps that are still listed on iTunes.
Win Vista x64; iPhone 3G v3.0
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Win Vista x64; iPhone 3G v3.0
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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix E. Martinez View Post

Dumb Q: how do you delete apps you no longer want?

I delete them from the iPhone and then upon next sync, it's installed again.

I delete them from both the iPhone and *manually* remove them from the iTunes "Mobile Applications" folder on the desktop computer, and the app is STILL re-installed upon next sync.

If I happen to install an App, particularly a free one I want to sample, I'd like to be able to wipe out all traces of the app from my desktop and iPhone.

Right now, I've stopped the re-installation loop by de-selecting the app in the syncing tab in iTunes. The apps still show up deselected, even though I've manually moved them out of the folder...

I'm sure I'm missing something right in front of my nose. It can't be this difficult to uninstall apps permanently. Anyone care to chime in?

Delete the app from iTunes, and then sync your iPhone and it will delete the app from the phone. Just like any other method of deleting music, etc.
post #12 of 13
ok what if you want to restore this app later, can you store it in an on your hard drive? or idisk?
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

ok what if you want to restore this app later, can you store it in an on your hard drive? or idisk?

Time machine - make sure you have a backup on TM before you delete. You can restore from TM.

Tiger - drag apps to a HDD (or just re-install from the store).

James
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