Browse Google+ on the desktop with Tab for Google+

Cross-posted from 9to5google.com

Want to get your Game on in the new Google Games?

Tab for Google+ is an app available on the Mac App Store that brings Google+’s web functionality to the Mac desktop. The app is available for free and offers just about every feature plus.google.com offers — except Hangouts. Upon logging in via your Google account, you’ll be greeted with the main sections of the app: Streams, Photos, Circles, Profile and Notifications.

The sections follow suit with the functionality of the website. Streams and Photos curates content from the people you’re following. Circles allows you to see your list of circles and the content coming in from each specific one. Lastly, Notifications let’s you know what’s going on with your account.

Of course, this application won’t replace Google+’s website, rather it’s just a nice app that sits in your applications bar to view while you work. Perhaps if the website is more your thing, check out Google+ for Mac which is essentially just a browser window. We’re hearing the developer is working to make it native though. Check out another screenshot after the break:

Download Tab for Google+ Download Google+ for Mac

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New in OS X Lion: “Network Link Conditioner” utility lets you simulate internet and bandwidth conditions

What is it? Network Link Conditioner is a new utility in OS X Lion (via the free Xcode 4.1 app) that will allow you to simulate less than desirable network conditions, such as a bad 3G connection or Edge with “Good Connectivity”. This is an especially useful utility for those developing apps and sites that highly rely on network connectivity, whether it’s a multiplayer game or just an animation heavy web app.
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Vudu avoids Apple’s revenue sharing model with iPad compatible web app

Walmart has just announced their Vudu movie streaming service is now available to iPad users via a web app (opposed to an iOS app), which effectively allows the company to go behind Apple’s back rather than partake in their App Store revenue sharing model. The app also works on other iOS devices, but hasn’t yet been optimized for the smaller screen. They’ve also announced their iTunes competitor, mp3.walmart.com, will be closing indefinitely starting August 28, 2011. However, the announcement notes the Walmart Soundcheck music streaming service will remain available, making us wonder if they have plans on implementing an iPad-specific version much like they’ve done with Vudu…

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen content providers trying to avoid sharing profits with Apple. In fact, just yesterday we told you about the new Kindle Cloud Reader app that is accessible via the web, much the same as Vudu. While not sharing revenue is an obvious benefit of bypassing the App Store, TechCrunch points out there are many other advantages as well.

For instance, by avoiding the App Store’s restrictions, Vudu will be able to push out new updates whenever they see fit, rather than having to wait for Apple’s approval. It seems like more and more developers have been pushed away from the traditional iOS app model due to stringent approval policies and the unpredictability of Apple’s ever-changing process.

The real question is.. do these web apps compare to the experience offered by native apps?

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Kindle goes cloud with Kindle Cloud Reader, works great on the iPad

Screenshot of web app courtesy of @drbuk

As reported by TechCrunch, Amazon has released a new Kindle Cloud Reader service. The service allows users of both Macs and PCs running either Safari or Google Chrome to read their Kindle books online. Better yet, the service works on iPad’s Mobile Safari. A feature that owners of WiFi-only iPads will enjoy is page caching for offline reading.

Notably, this is a great solution for Amazon to work around Apple’s in-app-purchase requirements for applications that offer purchases. In fact, what better way to spur Web innovation than to force people out of the store?  Good job Apple!

Full Press release follows:

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Facebook releases Messenger app for iPhone

Facebook has released Facebook Messenger which is an extension of Facebook’s Messages service and will allow you to send a text message to your phone’s contacts and a Facebook message to your Facebook contacts.  Bonus: You get to send pictures as well.

The app obviously competes with Apple’s iMessage, Blackberry messenger and all of the other silo-ed messaging apps out there but with a user base of 700 million+, it is well positioned to be a contender.

Messenger is available in both the iTunes App Store and Android Market and is based off the Beluga technology which the company recently acquired.  With all the Google+ noise of late we’ve forgotten about Facebook’s assault on mobile.  They’re back.

Update: Oh, and there is video conferencing hidden in the app.

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Boxee releases iPad app that features Mac to iPad video streaming

Boxee has just released a free iPad app that allows users to stream almost any video type from their computer. Streaming features aside, the app is focused at helping users find content to watch online from their friends and what’s popular. Sharing is done through the Friends tab, which is a queue of everything your friends are sharing through Boxee’s social service. There is a also a Popular tab showing what the world can’t get enough of.

The social features are cool, but we really love the Watch Later bookmark you can use to bookmark videos from around the web. The bookmark takes an Instapaper approach and will queue up the videos on your iPad for viewing later. To go along with their Boxee Box, you can also send a video that you were watching on your iPad to your big screen — almost Air Play like.

Check it out in the App Store.

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