Foursquare the location based social network game is just about to release a new version of their iPhone application. The new application will feature a revamped interface, a brand new user tab, and a new checkin history view.
Looking at the images from Foursquare 1.6, the first thing you’ll notice is that the interface has been totally revamped. The colors, icons and menu layout are all completely restyled and rearranged in a much more appealing manner.
According to hated-by-Jason Calacanis, comScore, 30.8% of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, which is 8.3 points more from one year ago. Facebook grew 112% in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347% jump.
11.1% of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser – an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year. Unsurprisingly, much of this growth has been driven by smartphone owners – while 30.8% of smartphone users accessed social networking sites, only 6.8% of feature phone users did so.
In the same period, Facebook was accessed by 25.1 million, MySpace by 11.4 million and Twitter by 4.7 million mobile users. Best of all, these figures don’t include access of the social networking services by the nearly 6 million users who do so exclusively through mobile applications.
Since Vlingo first introduced its voice control app for the BlackBerry more than a year and a half ago, smartphones and voice-to-speech technology have evolved quite a bit. Today, the company has launched a pretty major update to its iPhone app, adding the ability to send e-mail and SMS messages, plus a redesigned new interface.
When Vlingo was first released for the iPhone back in December 2008, the voice-to-text market was still pretty small for mobile devices. Sure, Google’s iPhone app introduced voice search, but the market in general was pretty small.
That’s not the case anymore. Dragon Search, Dragon Dictation, Bing for the iPhone and Siri are all recent voice-to-text applications that can offer some of the similar functionality as Vlingo. The big difference is that Vlingo lets you do more from within a single application.
You don’t have to open up a new or different app to do a web search, send an e-mail or SMS or update Twitter or Facebook, you can do it all within one app.
Check out this video that Vlingo put together to show off the new features in Vlingo for iPhone:
The interface for Vlingo has been totally revamped and it is now much more streamlined and easier to select what you want to do. Moreover, corrections work better too.
Bing joins Google and Yahoo as an option for doing voice-activated web searches — and you can select your default search engine but still search using another search engine if you so choose. Just say “Bing movie times Alice in Wonderland Atlanta” for instance.
SMS and E-mail
SMS and e-mail have long been part of the BlackBerry application but are just now coming to Vlingo for iPhone. The implementation is solid. You can create a text or e-mail by speaking the message type and then your contact name — Vlingo uses your address book to find your contacts. So I could say, “Email Grant, Subject Dinner, Message Pick something up” and an e-mail would be created with those parameters.
The voice recognition is pretty good — in my own tests, Dragon’s apps still set the standard — but I was able to do much of what I needed on Vlingo with little correction.
I spoke with Hadley Harris, the VP of consumer business at Vlingo and he told me that the application gets better as you go. As it starts to learn your voice and your accent, the applications accuracy rate improves. Moreover, Vlingo can tap into its entire network of users to learn new words or names.
While Facebook and Twitter updates, maps and web searches remain free in Vlingo for iPhone, if you want to use the new e-mail or SMS feature, you need to purchase it via an in-app upgrade. The features are $6.99 individually or $9.99 if you buy both together. That’s not bad when you consider how much you can do with the app — though we do wish a more generic “to-do” feature also existed for making quick notes.
You can download Vlingo for the iPhone for free and try out the included features to see if you want to then upgrade to e-mail and SMS. Hadley told me that an Android version of Vlingo is also in the works.
Voice-to-text apps are improving at a startling rate and Vlingo is unique in its convergence of multiple functions into one application.
Do you use any voice-to-text apps? Let us know!
It’s official: iPad’s launching in the US on April 3, with the 3G model coming later in the month. Pre-orders start next week, March 12. It’s just about on time.
April 3, interestingly, is a Saturday, and exactly 59 66 days after the iPad launch, placing it just outside the 60 availability window Jobs promised for the non-3G model. Apple’s still not setting an exact date for the 3G model, promising late April, meaning it stay within the 90-day cocoon. Pre-orders start a week from today.
For folks uh-broad—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK—both vanilla Wi-Fi and 3G models are launching simultaneously in “late April.”
While we now know it’s April 3, what we’re still wondering about D-Day: How many native iPad apps are launching with it? Will there be lines? (Well, probably.) But will there be shortages, as some analysts have suggested? Also, Apple says iPad will be available through “select Authorized Retailers.” Does that mean Best Buy will get in on the launch action?
So, raise your hand if you’re waiting for the 3G model!