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Echofon Twitter client for Firefox redesigned and updated for Firefox 4

With the recent release of Firefox 4, Echofon has just put out a major update of its Twitter extension for Firefox, featuring a new design and takes full advantage of Mozilla's latest browser. Echofon can now be used as a Firefox sidebar or pulled out into a separate window, and it now includes inline photo viewing and an all-around nicer UI for your tweet stream.

Some cool Echofon desktop features have made their way into the Firefox extension this time around, too. It supports muting of users, hashtags, and even specific Twitter clients, as well as saved searches (with a handy new tabbed interface). The very useful conversation view has also been added, allowing you to keep up with @reply chatter more easily.

Echofon for Firefox plans to support real-time tweet streaming through Twitter's user streams API, but that's still pending approval from Twitter. This update is still in Beta, so it might have some issues, but the Firefox extension is now giving standalone Echofon desktop apps a run for their money.

Zipcar Android app expected to arrive soon

android zipcar app arrivingWhen it comes to car-sharing service Zipcar, iPhone users get to have all the fun. But Android users -- who have thus far been relegated to using the mobile website for car reservations -- are about to get in on the app action. Zipcar has confirmed via Twitter that Android users can expect an app, and more details will be released soon.

There's no expected released date for the app, yet. There's also no word on whether the Android version of Zipcar will have the iPhone app's most futuristic feature: unlocking your borrowed car from your phone. Android users will just have to sit tight for the moment and try not to drool on those shared car seats.

Evernote Chrome extension gets quick clipping and snippets

evernote chrome extension
Evernote's Chrome extension might not be quite as powerful a tool as Evernote's Mac and PC apps, but it does make a great addition to any note-capturing addict's browser toolbox. The latest update adds common Evernote actions to Chrome's right-click menu, making grabbing a clipping or starting a new note even more convenient. "Clip this page," "clip selection" and "clip image" are now just a right-click away.

Evernote for Chrome has also gained the familiar "snippet view" from Evernote's desktop and mobile apps. To browse the compact snippet versions of all your notes, click the Evernote icon in the toolbar. For extra note-browsing efficiency, there's even a tab that shows your saved notes from the site you're currently viewing.

Smaller tweaks include speed improvements and background clipping. Yep, clipping now happens in the background, so you don't have to wait til your clip is saved before you leave a page.

Serious Evernote junkies will probably still want to feed their addiction with a desktop app, but the Chrome extension is great for work computers and other situations where it's not practical to install desktop software. It's also just plain convenient, especially now that you can save a clip with one click!

iOS 4.3.1 update now available, mostly bugfixes

ios 4.3.1 update
Apple has released iOS 4.3.1, and it's now available via the "update" button in iTunes. 4.3.1 isn't a feature update, but it does fix a graphics glitch for the 4th-gen iPod Touch and some issues with connecting to cellular networks.

The update isn't available for Verizon iPhone users -- who are still on 4.2.6 -- but it works with all other recent devices (including the iPad 2). It apparently doesn't fix rumored battery life issues with iOS 4.3, but it's still worth updating, especially if you've had connection issues with your cell carrier.

Looking for a direct download? Grab yours from the list below!

Color location-based photo sharing app makes a big splash on iPhone and Android

Just when Instagram had reached the peak of trendiness, along comes the next big thing in mobile photo-sharing: Color. Color is an iPhone/Android app that lets you share location-tagged photos. What's new about Color is the way it builds your contacts: it shows you photos from people who are currently within 100 feet of you, whether you know them or not.

If you're around someone all the time, Color will figure out that you know that person, and start showing you more of their photos. Meanwhile, photos from the strangers who move in and out of your life will disappear as quickly as the people themselves. This "elastic" social network is supposed to encourage people to say hi to one another, while keeping the photos relevant by showing your current location.

It's an interesting play with a ton of money behind it -- the color.com domain name alone cost the startup $350,000. It's also got a big name attached: Bill Nguyen, who also founded Lala.com and sold it to Apple. Whether users are comfortable with this new, very public way of sharing photos will determine whether Color's future is bright. If it doesn't work on its own, we're sure the technology would be an attractive buy for a company like Facebook which thrives on creatively pushing the bounds of privacy.

Views.fm Dropbox viewer offers slick galleries, and adds commenting

Sharing an entire Dropbox folder can be a bit of a pain, unless it's your Public folder. Plus, Dropbox only natively displays photo galleries for your Photos folder. What's a sharing addict to do? Try Views.fm, a Dropbox viewer that lets you share any folder publicly or with selected friends, and adds great-looking galleries and comments to boot.

Views.fm connects to Dropbox, and then lets you create public or private shares of your folders. Public is self-explanatory: it gives anyone with the link the ability to browse and download the contents of the shared folder. Private shares are only accessible to people you invite via email, and you can see and edit who has access right from your Views.fm shares list. Private shares also enable comments, both on the folder itself and on the individual files.

If you want to use Views.fm as a portfolio, just share a folder full of images, and the rest is taken care of for you. Pretty slick indeed.

Sparrow 1.1 for Mac adds IMAP email support, Priority Inbox and more

sparrow 1.1 screenshot
Sparrow, the slick-looking alternative mail client for Mac, is no longer Gmail-only! With the release of version 1.1 -- now available in the Mac App Store -- Sparrow supports any IMAP account you've got. That includes MobileMe, Yahoo and AOL accounts, as well as any custom IMAP setups you're running on your own domains.

Sparrow 1.1 also supports one of the most-requested Gmail features: Priority Inbox. Sparrow won't make Priority Inbox magically work with your non-Gmail accounts, but Gmail users should be very happy. Other improvements include a new formatting bar, so you can customize the look of your email messages, an "unread only" section that hides all your old mail, and multitouch gestures for Macs that support them.

The update to 1.1 is free for all paid Sparrow users. The price for new Sparrow users is $9.99.

Quickshot camera app for iOS saves photos straight to Dropbox

If you upload a lot of photos from your iPhone to Dropbox, you know it's kind of a pain in the butt. Opening the Dropbox app and then individually transferring each photo takes quite some time, and there's no batch photo select option available. Quickshot with Dropbox for iOS offers a way to get the job done, though.

With Quickshot, you just select a photos folder in your Dropbox and start shooting. Your photos will be uploaded automatically. You don't even have to save the shots to your phone's camera roll if you don't want to.

Quickshot doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles as a camera, but if you prefer to shoot with a fancier app -- or use the iPhone's built-in Camera app for HDR -- you can still use Quickshot to select and batch-upload photos from your camera roll. Nice!

In the latest version, Quickshot added iPad 2 support and the ability to remove location tags from your photos before they're uploaded.

By the way, Quickshot is not to be confused with another, unrelated app called "Quick Shot - All in One Camera," so be careful if you're searching for it in the app store.

WordPress for iOS 2.7 features improved data management, better stability

WordPress for iPad and iPhone has always been usable, if somewhat clunky and unstable. Version 2.0 made huge leaps in both interface and reliability, and it's been getting a tiny bit better with each new version. Now, enter WordPress for iOS 2.7, which uses Apple's Core Data framework for even greater stability.

The post editor has been updated, and it offers easy access to tags and categories, as well as handy buttons for inserting links, images, and videos (including multiple media uploads at once). Other small-yet-important updates include pull-to-refresh for list screens and the ability to follow links in comments.

Google Search for iPhone replaces Google Mobile app

Google Mobile for iPhone has become Google Search for iPhone, and the new name comes with a new look and some additional features. There's a slick-looking new sidebar -- activated by swiping to the right -- where you can decide what kind of results you want to see, including news, images and all the other familiar Google search types.

Once you get your results, swiping down will reveal the search bar and let you change your settings. At the bottom of the screen, there's an "apps" button that offers easy access to the mobile web versions of other Google products. The microphone icon activates Voice Search, and the camera icon opens Google Goggles.

Google has made subtle improvements within the app, too, including upgrades for Goggles, Voice Search, Search With My Location and Gmail unread counts. Ubiquitous help buttons everywhere in the app will fill you in on all of the cool feature updates.

Google Search is available for free in the App Store now.

Internet Explorer 9 users get a free month of Hulu Plus

In a bit of Microsoft/Hulu cross-promotion, Hulu is offering a free month of its premium Hulu Plus streaming video service to users of Internet Explorer 9. To qualify, you just have to download IE9 and use the new taskbar pinning feature to pin Hulu.com to your Windows Taskbar. If you pin Hulu, you'll see the free Hulu Plus offer appear in your IE9 jump list starting on March 28th. Hulu is... Read more »

Google removes Gears from Chrome, prepares offline access for Google Docs

Google Gears was launched back in 2007 -- before Google Chrome, and back when web apps were still in their early stages -- as a way for web app developers to allow offline access to documents. Gears never really caught on, and was eventually replaced by standards-based solutions. Now, Google has announced that it's finally removing support for the Gears plugin from Chrome. With Google now in... Read more »

Google's Blogger platform gets a new-look Dashboard and Post Editor

Blogger, Google's popular blogging platform, is showing off a sneak peek at the next generation of its user interface. The Official Google Blog has screenshots of upcoming revamps to Blogger's Dashboard and Post Editor. There's also a video (after the break) that shows off the progress Blogger made in 2010 -- including improved stats, spam filtering, Web fonts, a template designer and zero... Read more »

Instagram adds better news feed, tilt-shift filter

Instagram, the trendiest iPhone photo sharing app in the land, is on a roll. Fresh off the launch of an API, Instagram has updated its iOS apps with an improved news feed and a tilt-shift option to add some punch to your photos. The news feed used to show only activity on your own photos -- likes, comments, and new followers. Now it has a second tab that shows what your friends are liking... Read more »

Instapaper 3.0 released for iPhone and iPad, with faster downloads and social networking

Instapaper, the popular read-it-later app for iPhone and iPad, has just updated to version 3.0. It still lets you save links anywhere to read later on your iDevice, but now it's a lot faster, and it's also got a very compelling new social element. Instapaper now has native sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinboard and Evernote. You can even add articles to the sharing queue when you're... Read more »