Facebook rolling out new location-sharing feature for iPhone called Nearby Friends

Facebook Nearby Friends

Facebook announced today it will be rolling out a new social feature to its mobile app called Nearby Friends. The feature allows Facebook users to occasionally receive notifications when common friends are in similar locations similar to features offered by Foursquare and Apple’s Find My Friends service.

If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up. For example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward.

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MLB At Bat mobile apps adding Chromecast support today for Premium subscribers

Chromecast-MLB

Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen: Read more

RunKeeper launches friendly fitness app “Breeze” for iPhone 5s users

FitnessKeeper, the makers of the GPS tracking and fitness monitoring app RunKeeper, is out with a new activity monitoring app called Breeze. Breeze is simple: it takes advantage of the M7 co-processor on the iPhone 5s that measures steps taken and presents the data in a clean, approachable user interface. Using that data, Breeze reminds you each morning how many steps you took the previous day so you start out motivated. Its activity monitor presents total steps taken each day and summarizes the number of steps and hours spent moving in total.
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A&E and History Channel add live TV stream in iOS apps

A&E Networks has just updated iOS apps for two of its most popular TV channels, A&E and History, with the ability to watch live TV on both iPhone and iPad. The apps, which previously provided full episodes and clips on-demand to users in the US, will now provide a live stream of what’s playing on the TV channels. The live TV feature, however, will require a cable subscription.  Read more

Pioneer says CarPlay firmware update for existing 2014 in-dash systems coming this summer

Pioneer, CarPlay

Following reports yesterday that car electronics manufacturer Alpine was planning to launch aftermarket CarPlay units in the fall, Pioneer issued a press release today confirming a firmware update for existing in-dash systems. Pioneer will be bringing Apple’s new CarPlay system to existing vehicles using the company’s five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers this summer through a firmware update.

Utilizing large, in-dash Pioneer LCD displays, CarPlay featuring Siri® voice control, gives iPhone users the features while allowing them to stay focused on the road. With CarPlay, consumers with iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 can use Siri to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation and listen to their music, podcasts and iTunes RadioSM. For more information about CarPlay, visit www.apple.com/ios/carplay.

As for what vehicles and in-dash systems it will support, it sounds like it will be limited to 2014 editions of the in-dash receivers mentioned above. For the US, those include the following: Read more

Condé Nast’s Epicurious teams up with inMarket for in-store iBeacon experience

Today, Condé Nast’s Epicurious becomes the latest to take advantage of iBeacons in-store by teaming up with inMarket to beam location-based notifications and offers to shoppers in retail environments. I previously wrote about inMarket,  an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers (mostly grocery stores), when it announced Zatarain’s would become the first consumer packaged goods brand to use the platform. The company was using inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform to beam notifications and offers directly to shopper’s smartphones when in proximity of one of inMarket’s in-store iBeacons. Today the company is announcing its biggest news yet after recently expanding into New York, Boston, and Miami with the addition of Condé Nast’s Epicurious as the first major app partner to take advantage of the M2M iBeacon platform.  Read more