Location sharing Stories June 4, 2015

Facebook launches ‘Lite’ Android app for slow networks, new Messenger location sharing feature

A couple Facebook announcements today for Android users: Those in the developing world get a new “Lite” version of Facebook that brings a scaled-back but much faster experience when using the app on slower networks.  In addition, all Facebook Messenger users on Android are getting new and improved features for sharing their location.

Facebook notes that the new Lite app is “is less than 1MB so it is fast to install and quick to load. It includes Facebook’s core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, notifications and more.”

And here’s the company’s description of the new location sharing features rolling out to Messenger users today:

 Today, we’re excited to start rolling it out in place of our previous location sharing feature. Now you can choose to explicitly send a map of your location or another particular place as a separate message… With this update, you have full control over when and how you share your location information. You only send a location when you tap on the location pin and then choose to send it as a separate message. You can also share a location—like a meeting spot—even if you’re not there.

Here’s a look at the new location sharing features on Android:

The new Facebook Lite app is already available on Google Play for users in Asia while users in parts of Latin America, Africa, and Europe will get access over the coming weeks.

Location sharing Stories July 3, 2014

Last month, Apple quietly unveiled a new feature in iOS 8 that automatically scrambles an iOS device’s MAC address when it is searching for Wi-Fi networks. It made this move as a security precaution, as some marketing and analytics companies use the unique identifier to collect users’ location history to help clients “improve store layouts, determine timing for promotions and sales, measure the effects of advertising, and set staffing levels and store hours.”

If you have an Android smartphone, however, the Electronic Frontier Foundation claims there remains a high risk that your device is broadcasting your location history to anyone within Wi-Fi range of you. “Wi-Fi devices that are not actively connected to a network can send out messages that contain the names of networks they’ve joined in the past in an effort to speed up the connection process,” the EFF writes.

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Location sharing Stories May 20, 2013

Following showing off a redesigned three column version of Google+ for the web and new “Auto Awesome” photo editing features at I/O, Google is today bringing some of the new features to its Google+ for Android app.

The updated app, which should be hitting Google Play some time today, will include a number of new photo editing features including the new Auto Awesome effects, auto backup for photos, and other photo editing tools from Snapseed:

  • Auto Backup, to safely and privately store your photos as you snap them
  • Auto Highlight, to browse a selection of top shots from every set of photos you add
  • Auto Enhance, to make subtle improvements to the people and places in your images, automatically
  • Auto Awesome, to create fun new versions of your pictures (like animations and panoramas) based on the photos in your library

The updated Google+ for Android app will also offer improved location sharing with a new Locations section that lets you view your friends’ current locations on a map.

Lastly, after updating you’ll have the ability to access Google’s new intelligent related hashtags feature:

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