Yo, have you poked your friends with two letters today? This week saw new releases from Facebook and Intel, health and fitness apps heating up, iOS 8 feature leaks, and more. Read on for our recap, and to get the latest reviews from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
Getting the message
This is the state of apps: $1 million in funding for an app that sends one word to your contacts. After an April Fools' Day launch, the minimal Yo app burned up the Internet this week, earning both appreciation and derision. It finished the week at No. 6 on the iTunes chart (though not on Android's) and with perhaps an even surer sign of success: getting hacked. Incidentally, for the language police lamenting the silliness of the word, the OED has traced the interjection as far back as 1420, and in America, the word was popularized by the Italian-Americans of Philadelphia, which explains "Rocky."
News of Yo nearly drowned out Facebook's Slingshot launch (iOS, Android, CNET's review) -- it's currently No. 77 on the iTunes chart. The app jumped the gun last week and came out for real Tuesday. Slingshot lets you send disappearing photos and videos to your friends.
Snapchat announced a new feature this week: Our Story, which lets Snapchatters at an event share snaps to the same story. The feature debuts this weekend at the Electric Daisy Carnival, so expect a lot of bass-face selfies at the drop.
Did you like "Intel inside" as a slogan? How do you feel about "Chat funner"? The chipmaker introduced a new messaging app on Thursday called Pocket Avatars (iOS, Android), which lets you chat as an avatar, like a blowfish or a monkey.
Gmail comes standard with Android phones, but Google has now released Email as a standalone app (Android). The advantage? You can use it with Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and other email not made in Mountain View.
Fitter, happier, more productive
How's your resting heart rate? The hearts of workout nation have been beating harder for tech in 2014, with iOS health and fitness apps spiking 62% in use in the past six months. We'll see what happens when Google Fit and Apple's Health for iOS enter the arena.
TechRepublic reported this week from Health Datapalooza, where Bryan Sivak of the US Department of Health and Human Services talked about how tech is helping HHS help Americans, and Susannah Fox of Pew Research talked about how the Internet is a lifeline -- 8 of 10 people surveyed go online to get health information.
CiteWorld explains that while it's tempting to cast health products from Apple, Samsung, Google, and others as a battle for consumer interest, much depends on health IT.
Social and antisocial media
In this week's tweet beat, Twitter bought video startup SnappyTV, enabled animated GIFs in tweets (though really they're tiny videos), and brought on twitception by letting you embed a tweet within a tweet.
The World Cup has spawned a number of scam apps and fraudulent Twitter accounts. Now Malwarebytes has found a fake EA Sports Instagram account, phishing for Xbox gamers' account info by promising new characters for FIFA 14 (iOS, Android).
To better serve the developing world, Facebook has been testing its Android app in Africa and appears to be lightening load times and data consumption considerably.
Good news, bad news for music on Google this week. The good news: When you search for a song on Android, the links will now let you launch the song in whatever player you've installed -- Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, or YouTube.
The bad news: Google-owned YouTube is playing rough with indie music labels, threatening to block videos if the labels don't agree to new licensing terms. The terms apply to a forthcoming, ad-free, paid service.
Post-WWDC news continues to trickle out about iOS 8. Code divers have uncovered support for manual camera controls, and 9to5Mac says that iOS 8 will let third-party apps access Safari's AutoFill & Passwords for quick logins.
One of the coolest features announced at WWDC was Continuity, aka Handoff, the ability to swap tasks from Mac to iPhone to iPad. However, it now appears that the feature will only work if the Mac supports Bluetooth LE. Check out ZDNet's list of supported hardware.
- Access your Mac or PC from any Android device.
- Search your Twitter archive from an iPhone.
- Set up Chrome Remote Desktop for Android (video).
- Use Chrome extension All Seeing Eye to index all text in your Web history.
- Upgrade your contact history on Android with Ready beta.
- Apply top tips for Chrome on iOS.
There's an app for that? Srsly?
Smell you later? This week Paris sent New York a smell-o-gram. The forthcoming oPhone and it accompanying oSnap app let you select a photo, tag it with a scent, and send it. While it's an interesting idea to smell Grandma's pie or a fine Burgundy from afar, the possibility for abuse seems, uh, ripe.
Dozens of exciting games were announced last week at E3, but this week? Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, coming soon to iOS and Android. We shall assume it's coincidence that the app was announced on the 20th anniversary of Kim's dad helping OJ Simpson after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.