social networking

Microsoft is having a busy week at the Web 2.0 Expo and TechFest, showing off new UIs, developing technology and things we can hopefully look forward to actually using one day (Microsoft has a reputation of not delivering on some cool stuff, if you recall).

Of interest to mobile users is two fold. First is the ability for live language translation via some new software. The program combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech technology into one package, allowing two users speaking different languages to converse in real-time. While occasionally making an error or two, overall the program does a pretty knock up job of acting like a real translator. Watch the video demo from CNet here.

While no time-frame or release schedule was mentioned, it looks to be integrated into Microsoft's Office Communicator, of which there is a mobile version. So hopefully we'll see some of this trickle into our WP7 devices sometime in the future.

The second venture by Microsoft is once again into social networking, but luckily for us they are not "inventing" another new service but rather a smart aggregator. Called 'Spindex' it will take in all your feeds from Facebook, Twitter, etc. and consolidate said streams into an easier read and used service. More interestingly, it does personalized "trending topics" and automatically prefetches articles related to said topics via Bing. It even takes advantage of the popular 'EverNote' (see review here): 

Make sense of your social overload, open your personalized Spindex page, and find out at a glance what topics are hot in your social world. You can also keep track of the things you are remembering via Evernote--right inside of your Spindex page. Spindex is not just a social reader--as you browse your friends' updates, Spindex continually suggests related content from Bing--giving you better insight into the topics and trends spinning around you.

Of course between Kin and Windows Phone 7, you can already see some of this social networking consolidation/ease of access in action. No doubt we'll see more of this as Spindex rolls out and works its way onto our devices.

[via CNet and PCWorld]

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For those who use Foursquare, that social network app that pre-dates Google's Buzz and lets you share your location with others, you'll be pleased to see what they have in the works for Windows Phone 7.

Demo shots were shown off by Windows Phone Senior Product Manager Anand Iyer on his blog recently.

While we have a decent version already for Windows Mobile 6.x, this new version for WP7s certainly looks very smooth and minimalist. In addition, there are two new features that as TechCrunch points out, not even the revamped iPhone version has: "Society" area and 'Directions'.

The former shows a "heat map" of the immediate area, which is a representation of the most popular spots in your locale. We suppose this is great for finding where everybody be at, as this kids would say.

The other feature, directions, is just that: once you find where your friends are, you can get directions to that spot within the app itself, instead of hopping into Bing or Google Maps (we won't even touch the multi-tasking issue).

One thing looks certain, with companies like Netflix, Twikini, the Associated Press, EA mobile, IMDB, Weatherbug, Pandora, Photobucket, Sling Media, Seesmic, SPB and now Foursquare, WP7s should have the basics ready to go on launch.

[TechCrunch via Rene Ritchie]

     

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Today, Google announced its new service called Google Buzz. Think of combining Twitter, Google Latitude and Gmail and you have Buzz.

Actually, if you've been using FourSquare...it's exactly like that. We're not saying it's not nice, just it's not really new. It is certainly an interesting move on Google's part though not unexpected. In fact, Larry Dignan at ZDNet thinks Google's real target here is Microsoft's Sharepoint.

What hath Microsoft to say?

“Busy people don’t want another social network, what they want is the convenience of aggregation. We’ve done that. Hotmail customers have benefitted from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008.”

We're not sure pushing Hotmail (isn't it Live Mail now guys?) is the way to go, but at least they're adamant about it.  We guess.

Regardless, Windows Mobile users are the first to get this with Google Maps 4.0 which was just released this afternoon. Rejoice!

As seen from the screenshots, you can add Buzz as a Layer to your maps. It ties in nicely with Latitude for your location by bringing up popular businesses and locations of interest near you.  You can then simply select the location, write a few comments and even add a picture for others to see.  Still confused? Check out Google's own video tutorial for more info.

Overall, it's quite nice, even if it apes FourSquare and since people would rather not sign up for yet-another-service, we'll place out bets with Google.

And yes, My Location/Latitude appears to be now fixed with CDMA.

Read more on Google Buzz here.  

Download the new Google Maps for Windows Mobile at m.google.com from your Mobile Internet Explorer.

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Foursquare, an app that until now has been only available on iPhone, Android and recently BlackBerry, is coming to Windows Mobile. Well, in an unofficial way.

Of course, you're probably wondering what is Foursquare?  It's one of those new wave, social networking apps where you can share your location with friends as well as interesting things nearby.  Or rather:

Think of foursquare as an "urban mix tape." We'll help you make lists of your favorite things to do and let you share them with friends. Think beyond your standard review - we're looking less for "The food here is top notch" and more for "Go to Dumont Burger and try the most amazing Mac and Cheese ever." Foursquare will keep track of the things you've done, help you create To-Do lists and even suggest new experiences to seek out.

Sounds sort of neat.  It's like Google Latitude on steroids. 

Anyways, the APIs for the Foursquare system are evidently public, like Twitter. So third-party companies are filling in the platform gap and making clients for other OSs like Windows Mobile.  That company is Touchality, their app is called WinMoSquare and is currently entering beta testing.  Eventually they plan on offering via the Windows Marketplace. 

Check out the site if you want to sign up/be notified about beta testing and the app itself. Could be fun.  And read more on Foursquare here.

[via TechCrunch]

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We first introduced you to Waze back in September. Waze is a free, turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect traffic conditions in real time. A social network for motorists of sorts.

Today Waze is releasing a holiday version of it's navigation application that includes holiday-themed "road goodies", a treasure hunt contest, bi-lingual support and integration with the location based, geo-game foursquare.

Ease on past the break to read more about Waze's holiday version.

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Ahead of CTIA this week, MySpace has announced it'll have an official Windows Mobile application ready this summer. But wait! That's not all, folks! MySpace also is hopping on board the Silverlight train. PCMagazine's got the lowdown:

"Our relationship enables app developers to use Silverlight to create engaging MySpace apps and allows Windows Mobile users to have a more personal MySpace experience on their phone," Aber Whitcomb, chief technology officer of MySpace, said in a statement.

If the above picture of the MySpace app looks familiar, you're right. The icons are right along with what we've seen in the Facebook app that was ported over from a Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM. That could well be an indicator that the MySpace app will be just as useable.

Stay tuned for more coming out of CTIA later this week.

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SkyData is introducing a new way to stay connected. SkyData plans to take all your Linkedin, Facebook, and even emails and put them in one place. No more hopping from one web site to another or opening five different apps for social networking. Two editions will be supported. The first is the free edition supporting things like Yahoo, Plaxo, and Google. The second is the paid version giving you access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and much more. They have a 30 day free trial in order to see if the centralized mayhem is right for you. If you decide to stay with the basic edition then you can socialize all you want at no cost. The Business edition on the other hand will cost you $9.99 a month.

I think this app could have potential. Then, again, if it doesn

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