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Awesome photo editor Snapseed arrives on Android

Apple’s iPad app of the year in 2011 lands on Android in 2012 and if you take pictures with your Android smartphone or tablet, you’re going to want it. Snapseed uses a slick touch interface for photo edits and also integrates with Google+ for picture sharing.

Google+ finally allows you to merge your accounts

Google is finally giving users the option to transfer their circles from one Google+ account to another, which is a big relief for anyone with a private Google+ profile and one connected to their Google Apps account. However, the account transfer process is a little tricky.

Google+ gets a slick new Android app

Google has completely revamped its Google+ Android app, putting a much bigger emphasis on photo sharing and integrating its Google+ Hangouts video chat more tightly. The UI refresh comes just weeks after a similar relaunch of the Google+ iPhone app.

Google’s secret weapon for social: your photos

Google+ was supposed to be a ghost town, but a growing number of photographers are nonetheless embracing the site to exchange pictures and knowledge about photography. That’s no accident, considering one of the key people behind Google+ led Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr.

Google launches Schemer app for the iPhone

Google just launched an iOS app for its other social network: iPhone users can now access the social activity service Schemer with an app that allows them to find things to do and share those plans with their friends. The app closely mimics its Android cousin.

Google+ gets new iPhone app, Android next

Google has rolled out a significant update to its Google+ iPhone app that comes with an interesting approach towards mobile platforms: This time around, iOS is getting to experience the UI changes first. An update to the Google+ Android app is planed for the coming weeks.

Hey Google — your G+ desperation is showing

Google is doing everything it can to integrate the Google+ social network into all of its properties, so that it can become a “social layer” across the entire company. But that same behavior is irritating users like actor — and prominent Google+ user — Wil Wheaton.

Video: Google’s big plans for Hangouts On Air

Google is working on turning its Hangouts video chat platform into a collaborative live streaming product that will give everyone the ability to stream their Hangout sessions to an unlimited number of viewers. Check out our interview with Google Engineering Director Chee Chew for details.

Open vs. closed: What kind of internet do we want?

Debates over apps vs. the web and the value of Google’s new personalized search features are just part of the larger battle between the open web vs. walled gardens and closed platforms — but what if users don’t care? What does that mean for the web?

Google+ updates mobile UI, still no iPad app

Google+ is looking much better on mobile web browsers this morning, thanks to a relaunch of the mobile web UI that takes some hints from the service’s Android and iOS mobile apps. Still missing is a native Google+ app for iPad users.

Google+ Hangouts become accessible to the blind

Google+ Hangouts are a great way to communicate with a small group of people — except when you’re blind, and don’t know who is part of a Hangout. A new Chrome extension wants to solve this by making Hangouts accessible to blind and visually impaired people.

Google on defensive yet again in snafu over ad-tracking in Safari browsers

A Wall Street Journal investigation finds that Google was tricking Apple’s Safari browsers into dropping their ad-tracking protections in order to promote Google+. What does this say about Google’s attempts to promote its services? And about Apple’s proprietorship over its users?

Pseudonyms, trolls and the battle over online identity

Data from Disqus, which offers a comment-hosting service for websites, seems to show that the use of pseudonyms not only produces more comments, but also comments of higher quality. As interesting as the data is, however, it’s unlikely to settle the ongoing debate over online identity.

Google+ just got a new killer app: Search

Google is rolling out a tight integration of its search on Google.com and Google+. Users who opt to personalize their search results will get to see posts from their Google+ contacts mixed with classic search results. This could be a big boon for Google’s social network.

NewTeeVee’s top 11 posts of 2011

Netflix, AT&T’s 250-GB bandwidth caps, the Royal Wedding, Roku, Google+ Hangouts and The Guild were only some of the subjects that proved to be really popular this year. Check out our list of the eleven most-read NewTeeVee posts of 2011.

What Google+ needs next: A filter API

Google Plus now offers its users an option to fine-tune their social feeds with volume sliders. It’s an interesting first step towards a more personalized social web. Now let’s make these kinds of filtering functionality available to developers so we can finally have a Tebow filter.

Google+

Google+, the web giant’s third major foray into the social space, is part social network and part identity system. It’s main point…

Google doesn’t seem to get how media works now

While Google’s new Currents app for mobile news-reading is seen by some as a competitor to Flipboard and Zite, there are some crucial differences between them that make me wonder whether Google really understands how media is changing and how they can take advantage of that.

Google+ Android app gains more parity with web client

Google released an updated version of its Google+ app for Android devices on Wednesday, adding a handful of useful features. Presence in Messenger, high-resolution photo support, search and the ability to +1 both comments and photos are in the free software — welcome improvements.

The cloud shouldn’t be an over-the-top service

The public Internet and the cloud shouldn’t mix, according to a paper out today. Cisco seems to agree if its CloudVerse suite of products is any indication. A growing number of endpoints and multiple services in web apps required dedicated and intelligent networks.

YouTube reinvents itself with massive relaunch

YouTube is rolling out a complete overhaul of its site Thursday that includes a new emphasis on channels as well as a completely redesigned homepage. The changes tie into the site’s attempts to establish its millions of channels as the Internet’s answer to cable TV.

Can Google News compete with Twitter and Facebook?

Google says it’s adding +1 recommendations to Google News. But has the web giant lost the social news market to Twitter and Facebook, or could the integration of recommendations with the Google+ network allow it to catch up and become a strong competitor?

Court makes it official: You have no privacy online

A recent U.S. court decision involving the Twitter accounts of several WikiLeaks supporters shows that when push comes to shove, users of social networks and most online services have no expectation of privacy — at least, not if the one requesting the information is the U.S. government.

Google Talk and Hangouts close to go native in Chrome

Chrome will soon feature an open-source and open-codec implementation of Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts voice and video chat, thanks to the WebRTC framework the company open-sourced earlier this year. This implementation will replace the proprietary plugin that’s currently bundled with Chrome.

Is Google helping journalists, or co-opting them?

Google is adding author images and information to Google News search results, but only if writers have Google+ profiles. Is the web giant trying to help journalists get discovered more easily, or has it crossed the line by promoting its own social network over others?

Why Twitter could win the online identity race

The race to become the default identity platform for the social web continues to intensify, but while both Facebook and Google are determined to win and have substantial resources to throw at the problem, there are some compelling reasons to believe Twitter has the upper hand.

Declaring bankruptcy in the attention economy

David Shing, the “digital prophet” for AOL, says he expects unfriending and unfollowing to become a major phenomenon, as more people become overwhelmed with social information. I know just what that feels like, because a friend unfollowed me on Twitter recently for that exact reason.

Why fear of Facebook is not enough for rivals to succeed

New social networks — such as the newly launched Unthink, as well as the open-source Diaspora — are pitching themselves as alternatives for those who are upset with or afraid of Facebook. But as Myspace found out, a social network really requires one thing to succeed: utility.

For Twitter, free speech matters — not real names

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked about the company’s recent growth during an interview at the Web 2.0 conference, but he also made some strong statements about Twitter’s commitment to free speech and to defending the rights of its users against governments in Britain and the U.S.

Bill Gross Q&A: Can Chime solve the web’s relevance problem?

In an interview with GigaOM, UberMedia CEO Bill Gross — who is launching his new content-based social network, Chime.in, today — says existing social networks like Facebook and Google+ suffer from a signal-to-noise problem and a monetization problem, and that Chime was designed to help with both.

Is Google+ a solution in search of a problem?

Despite recent reports about a dramatic decline, Google+ still appears to be growing relatively strongly. But the network still has a substantial mountain to climb in terms of gaining a broad user base, and it’s not clear what Google has to offer that’s radically different.

What media companies should learn from Tumblr’s success

The success of Tumblr — which has raised $85 million in funding and sees 13 billion pageviews a month — contains lessons for media companies, and the main one is that social sharing can be an incredibly powerful force if you make it as easy as possible.

What do Facebook’s changes mean for Google and Twitter?

The changes that Facebook launched this week have clearly upped the ante for Google, which desperately needs the signals that come from social activity to feed into its search and advertising algorithms. But Twitter is playing a somewhat different game than either Facebook or Google.

Why Twitter doesn’t care what your real name is

Why does Twitter allow users to have pseudonyms, while Google and Facebook require real names? Because Twitter realizes it can provide plenty of value for both users and advertisers without having to know your real name. On the social web, it’s all about reputation and influence.

Should Twitter be afraid of Facebook’s subscribe feature?

Facebook has added a new feature that allows users to “subscribe” to updates from people they aren’t actually friends with, which brings an asymmetrical aspect to the giant social network. So should Twitter be concerned about this Twitter-fication of Facebook? I don’t think so.

Hey Twitter, you are a media entity now — embrace it

Twitter’s 100 million active users may pale in comparison to Facebook’s half a billion, but then Twitter isn’t really a social network — it’s a real-time information network. In other words, it’s a media entity, and the sooner it starts acting like one the better.

It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in an interview in Edinburgh on the weekend that Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue with Google+ because it sees the social network as an “identity service” on which it can build other products.

Are Google and Facebook splintering the social web?

Facebook is making changes that are designed to give users more control over how they share information, and to compete with Google+. But will these changes make people less likely to share content on these networks — and how will that affect the social web?

Facebook pushes privacy with sweeping redesign

Facebook is poised to roll out a sweeping new redesign that places a significantly stronger emphasis on user privacy. The new features, which Facebook says have been in development long before the launch of Google+, will start to appear to web app users on Thursday.

How Google+ is like Twitter — but not in a good way

Many of the issues that users of Google+ are likely to be irritated by are the same kinds of problems that Twitter also faces — including the issue of noise in the stream and the discovery problem, neither of which is an easy problem to solve.

YouTube Hangouts: Google’s secret weapon for Facebook

Google+ has already seen some heavy traction, attracting more than 25 million users since launch. Its next big growth spurt might not come from the “+ tab” that runs atop Google services like Gmail but instead from the massive audience of people that watch videos on YouTube.

Is Google+ starting to get on Facebook’s nerves?

Google’s launch of social games for Google+ seems to have struck a nerve at Facebook, with one executive dismissing the offering as an inconsequential copycat effort. That and other moves make it clear the competition is keeping Facebook awake at night, which is a good thing.

Maybe a little social-media fatigue isn’t such a bad idea

As Google+ tries to compete with Facebook and Twitter, the prospect of social-media fatigue becomes a real possibility — and some argue that we are spending so much time amusing ourselves on these services we don’t have time for the real world. But is that true?

Google+ for iOS gets iPad, iPod touch and iOS 5 support

Google released a relatively small update to its Google+ app for iOS on Monday. It doesn’t introduce any extraordinary new features, but does add compatibility with the iPad and iPod touch, and fixes bugs in iOS 5. There are also some additions to the Huddle feature.

Where to watch Lollapalooza live online

The Lollapalooza festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend. We are all invited to join in on the fun through an online live stream that will feature close to 30 of the festival’s live performances, including performances by Ween, Coldplay and the Arctic Monkeys.

Oops! TouchTunes funding details leaked on Google+

Music streaming company TouchTunes is said to have secured $45 million in Series E funding at a $300 million valuation. Although those are some pretty impressive figures, the news is perhaps most notable for how it’s been made public — through an apparently accidental email address typo.

Look Ma, now the Alive Web is an infographic

Alive Web — you know the web that goes beyond web pages and events to occurrences and interactions – is something that has been on my mind. Rounds, a video app com startup has come up with an Alive Web infographic from their perspective. Check it out!

Nice timing: Facebook debuts “Facebook for Business”

Facebook has launched Facebook for Business, a step-by-step online guide aimed at helping small businesses use the social networking site. The timing is interesting, as it comes just a week after Google began shutting off all company profiles on its Google+ social network.

Google+ and the loss of online anonymity

As it rolls out its Google+ social network, Google has been cracking down on its requirement that users have “real” names, just as Facebook has — but are we losing something valuable as a society as a result of this stamping out of online anonymity?

Why changing Twitter’s 140-character limit is a dumb idea

Maybe it’s the influence of Google+, but suddenly everyone seems to be talking about what’s wrong with Twitter. First, blogger Robert Scoble said it was “boring,” and now Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo says it needs to lose the 140-character limit. Both are missing the point.

Why Larry Page thinks Google+ will win

Google+ has gained 10 million users in the few weeks since its launch, but it has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook. So why is Google CEO Larry Page convinced Google+ will be a major competitor in the social space?

What will users do when ads hit their Twitter stream?

According to multiple reports, Twitter is close to launching in-stream advertising, including a self-serve platform that will allow companies to inject ads into the network in real time. But how will users react to this intrusion? Forrester Research’s CEO says the move is a big mistake.

Google’s Q2 by the numbers: all the other stuff

Google released its second-quarter financials on Thursday, hitting its first quarter with more than $9 billion in revenue. But on a call with financial analysts, it gave a whole bunch of nonfinancial metrics for how its various businesses are growing.

Does Google+ solve the privacy problem or make it worse?

Its fans say Google+ improves on Facebook in terms of privacy protections, because it allows you to filter people into groups or “Circles.” But is this really a big improvement? Not everyone is convinced it is — some argue that it actually makes things worse.

Hey Google — being social is not an engineering problem

Comments from some prominent ex-Googlers seem to show the company still sees social networking as an engineering problem. While it’s nice the web giant is paying attention to social behavior at all, can it ever understand social networks if it just sees them as data-producing engines?

How Google+ is built

If you’re curious about the technology behind Google+, you’re in luck. The project’s technical lead, Google engineer Joseph Smarr, is currently hosting an online question and answer session about the service, sharing details about the social platform’s development, technology, and plans for the future.

Get your hands off that contact info, says Facebook

Facebook has shut down a service from Open-Xchange that allowed users to export the email addresses of their contacts, which makes the Germany company the latest to run afoul of the social network’s ongoing attempts to maintain control over the information of its users.

Google makes a QR code turnaround with new M&A deal

When Google discontinued support for QR codes in its Places product earlier this year, many saw it as an early death knell for the barcode scanning technology. But Google’s latest acquisition is evidence that the company may not be completely abandoning QR technology just yet.

Next up for Google Plus Hangouts: Sign language support

Deaf and hard of hearing users may soon get more use out of Google’s much-hyped new group video chat service Hangouts, thanks to a field test that looks at ways to add support for American Sign Language. Initial feedback from hearing-impaired users is enthusiastic.

Is Google+ a bigger threat to Twitter than it is to Facebook?

A lot of the attention on Google+ has focused on whether it’s a “Facebook killer,” but it’s actually more likely to become a competitor for Twitter than Facebook. Is the Google network just benefitting from “shiny new object” syndrome, or could it pose a real threat?

Android This Week: Droid 3; better Google Talk; Google Plus

Motorola’s Droid 3 hits the Verizon network and looks to be a worthy addition to the Droid line. Google Talk for Honeycomb tablets are gaining video stabilization while the Google+ app is winner for Android users. A new Labs feature adds downloadable maps on Android smartphones.

The social web still has a lot of room to grow

The web may be more social now than ever before, but according to a recent study, there’s still a lot more room to grow. Fewer than half of the world’s top websites link to Facebook or Twitter on their front pages, according to a new research.

Google Hangouts has already become a meme

Leonado DiCaprio, Dexter Morgan and your mom are only some of the people who are using Google’s new and much-hyped video chatting feature Hangouts, if we can believe screenshots taken by users of the service. But of course, the question is: Can we?

UK startup defends Huddle name against Google — again

The new Google+ social product includes a group chat application named “Huddle.” At least one company is particularly nonplussed with the app: Huddle, a London-based startup that provides cloud-based communication software. But this is not the first time Google has stepped on Huddle’s brand name turf.

Are we becoming slaves to the “like” button?

A Wall Street Journal article argues that the proliferation of “like” buttons, retweets and other online voting encourages conformity in online behavior, and that we don’t reveal our “true selves” online because we are afraid of being voted down by the crowd. But is this true?

The technology behind Google+ Hangouts

Google’s new Hangouts video chat service is one of the most interesting features of its Google+ project. A look behind the tech curtain reveals that Google has big plans for Hangouts, using cutting edge technology to make it run natively on a wide range of devices.

Using Google+ on Android works, Huddle less so

I’ve been playing with Google+ on my Android handset to get a sense of what it has to offer. The verdict: Google made some thoughtful decisions for mobile users for the Google+ service overall, but Huddle isn’t as intuitive as other group texting platforms.

Google+ has great features — now it just needs people

Google’s new social network offers a nice collection of features and a great design, but none of these things is enough to create a social network that people want to keep using — that requires a critical mass of users, and Facebook is leading that particular race.

Why Google+ won’t hurt Facebook, but Skype will hate it

Google launched its much awaited and highly anticipated social networking platform today. Dubbed Google+, the service may take its cue from social networking giant Facebook, but in reality it is about the harsh reality of Google saving and enhancing its core franchise — Google Search.