In today’s mobile / social roundup: Google Keep officially out; Twitter celebrates 7th birthday; YouTube hits 1B unique monthly users; Google Play 4.0 preview; iOS 6.1.3 laced with another bug; and a Starbucks-Square kerfuffle.
Google Keep officially out
Earlier this week, leaks regarding an Evernote-like service from Google surfaced the web, unearthing a new app from Google, which quickly removed access to the link that hinted at its upcoming plans. Some sources claimed that the new service, Google Keep, will roll out soon, but others claimed that it might be one of those dead-end, experimental projects from Google.
Lo and behold, Google has officially announced Google Keep this week, a service that lets you jot down notes on the go on your mobile devices which you can also access and edit. You can create new notes on the web via http://drive.google.com/keep. Google stated that soon, users will be able to manage Keep directly through Google Drive. Google Keep is now available for download for Android devices on Google Play and is compatible with Android 4.0 and higher.
“With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you. Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand,” wrote Google Software Engineer Katherine Kuan.
Twitter celebrates 7th birthday
Twitter celebrates its seventh birthday today. Seven years ago, Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, tweeted the very first tweet in history – “just setting up my twttr.” Yes it was plain and simple, nothing intriguing or controversial, but it started a revolution. People found a way to voice out their opinions in just 140 characters; challenging politicians, bashing celebrities, and merely updating the world with interesting thoughts.
Twitter created a video that highlights some of the many moments that happened in people’s lives like a ferryman picking up people from the plane that landed on the Hudson river, Oprah Winfrey’s first tweet, the first tweet in space and many others.
YouTube hits 1B unique monthly users
Google announced that YouTube has hit one billion unique monthly users. What this means is that nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube, or if YouTube was a country, it would have the third largest population after China and India.
Google Play 4.0 preview
In other Google News, we may be getting a new version of its app store. Droid Life previewed a new version of Google Play for mobile devices which is believed to be version 4.0. The preview showed a new look for Google Play that’s more image-centric and has a new UI. No news yet as to when the new Google Play would officially roll out.
“It’s more Holo themed than ever, uses new fonts as category section titles, bigger images, and what I can only describe as a Google Now box-style item container. Individual pages for apps, movies, etc. are all filled with bigger images and a much cleaner design. The layouts of most pages, including search results, remain mostly the same, however, the eye candy is everywhere. Google is using text to separate sections, but then throws big beautiful images and color in your face to grab your attention,” wrote Kellex on Droid Life.
iOS 6.1.3 laced with another bug
Apple recently released iOS 6.1.3 to address the lock screen bypass bug. Though the software update fixes previous lock screen bypass bug, the update delivers a new vulnerability – this time for iPhone 4 and 4S handsets updated with the latest software.
The bug reveals a security loophole, and involves having the voice dial set to “on,” holding down the home button until the voice dial gets activated, a paper clip for ejecting the SIM tray, and you’re in. You can now access the iPhone’s phone book and gallery.
Though the Starbucks-Square payment partnership has been around for months, it seems like some Starbucks’ employees are clueless as to how the payments platform actually works. Customers wanting to pay using Square were embarrassed when barristas couldn’t process their payments, forcing them to pay with cash. Though some barristas were capable of processing the payment, their barcode readers for the Square Wallet app cannot scan the app, thus, failing to complete the transaction. In the end, the barristas had to type in the code, as one of the managers claimed they were never really trained on how to operate Square’s payment method.
Square wanted an easy way for consumers to pay for their venti iced caramel macchiato with three extra pumps of caramel, but they should have thought about the people actually operating the cashier. Square or Starbucks, or both, should’ve trained the barristas on how to actually process Square payments to save themselves from embarrassment and actually make things harder for customers.