Digixav Podcast 011 – June 20th 2013

It’s been a bit of a crazy week, best epitomised by John McAfee going mental. There’s also been a trailer for The Lego Movie, an Xbox 180 and even a new portrait QWERTY phone from NEC. Less excitingly, Samsung, Instagram and HTC all hosted events, while Nokia promised one in early July. As ever, Chris and Xavier digest it all so you don’t have to, and Henry calls in for the final seconds despite our plethora of technical issues.

If you have any feedback, questions or comments, tweet us or send us an email to podcast@digixav.com. We’d love to hear what you think!

Right click and save this link to download, and you can now subscribe (and rate and review the show) using iTunes! Don’t fancy iTunes or use a different podcatcher? Here’s our RSS link!

You should also check out our intro music on SoundCloud! It’s Melodic Trap by Harry Ling.

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Twitter introduces photo filters into its iOS and Android apps

[tweet https://twitter.com/Xavdog/status/278284300485541888]

After Facebook-owned Instagram removed its integration with the social network last week, Twitter has released an oft-rumoured update to its Android and iOS applications that add photo editing and filters without the need for third-party services or applications. Powered by Aviary, a photo editing platform which provides an SDK that is already implemented in a number of third party applications, the new app provides eight filters that were designed specifically for Twitter along with basic cropping and enhancement options. While unlikely to tempt many users away from Instagram, which also added a new filter today, frequent users of Twitter’s own mobile apps may be pleased to see them gaining more features to challenge third-party clients. The updates are available now through Google Play and the App Store, but no information has been offered up regarding the filters debuting on other platforms.

Twitter Filters

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=2giNzaZunqE]

Source Twitter Blog

Is Facebook looking to buy Opera to make its own web browser?

Fresh from floating itself on the NASDAQ at a valuation of $104 billion, only to see share prices plummet by almost 20% in a week, and a $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the rumour mill has sparked up again, this time suggesting that Facebook is set to acquire Norwegian firm Opera Software. Pocket-lint’s sources claim that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is looking to create its own web browser, possibly one compatible with the oft-rumoured Facebook phone, and that it is looking towards Opera to achieve this goal. The Next Web also cited a different source close to the browser maker, stating that the company was not only in talks regarding a potential acquisition with multiple suitors, but a hiring freeze has been introduced – a sign that big things may be coming. A Facebook browser could look very similar to RockMelt, a browser with Facebook integration and built from Google’s Chromium engine, but partnering with or acquiring a company like Opera would give Facebook independence from third-parties such as Google, thus ensuring total control over the browser, while also the potential to tap in to Opera’s 270 million monthly users. All of this speculation certainly seems plausible, and with Facebook’s tendency to roll out new features perpetually, it might not be long until we find out the truth.

Windows Phone App of the Week: Fhotoroom

This week’s app of the week is Fhotoroom. To put it bluntly, it’s Instagram for Windows Phone. With this app, you can take and edit photos and then ruin enhance them with effects, writing and frames. You then can proceed to upload these either directly to Fhotoroom or to a number of places such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr.

Upon entering the app, you are prompted to create an account and upload your first picture, which will be used as your profile picture. You are then able to proceed to edit and upload as many photos as you wish. Some of my personal masterpieces include a picture of bacon and multiple pictures of coffee.

But in all honesty, I recommend this app for the sole fact that the pictures that appear on the title screen are either really cool or contain boobs just hilarious.

Fhotoroom, Windows Phone, Free
Download from the Marketplace or visit the website

Things That Should Exist: The Instant Insult Machine

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

Firstly, shut up. This idea may sound stupid but I can completely reassure you that it is in fact 100% pointless, unneeded, antisocial and probably stupid, but, since I said it first, you can take that and shove it somewhere where I’m not looking.

Secondly, this idea may or may not already exist but I don’t care.

And thirdly, here are some fire extinguishers for your own sick amusement.

Onto the subject for today which is, as you might have guessed, an incredible device that allows you to instantly insult your best friends at merely the touch of a button. I know – awesome. As I’ve  clearly stated in the paragraph beginning with ‘secondly’, this may already exist. but this is my own take and what I want my Instasult machine to do.

I’m certain you have (so certain you wouldn’t believe, in fact) that you have accidentally got yourself into an argument that you just can’t be bothered to fight for anymore. This is where the magic happens. Because you’re so damn bored of this person, you can whip out this small (or large) box/tortoise-shaped robot and, at the press of a button, have his mum called fat for some reason.

BAYM!! He feels sad and depressed and you’ve got that smug grin on your face because after the insult the whole crowd went “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!” and in the end he cannot come up with anything to beat it. These insults would be downloaded at your own pleasure and I’m thinking that an app would be able to send new insult to the machine via your mobile device or such like.

Also, think of the advertising potential. I won’t go into detail, but you can imagine some happy clappy man presenting a machine that AUTOMATICALLY INSULTS YOUR FRIENDS. Sorry for the caps lock, but I just wanted my point to get across one last time.

And, once again, I bid you farewell for another week as I leave to go and do something better, more constructive and that might actually give me some sort of pleasure in my life.

Insert sound from typical comic book here.

Header image from spinningpixels

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion

In a post on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that his company has purchased Instagram for $1 billion. Read his post below.

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.