friends

JDB Pocketware, developers of HandyScan, has a new Windows Phone app over in the Windows Phone Store. Social Scout is a Facebook Places app designed to help you explore what's nearby, find places, check-in and find out where your Facebook friends are.

While not developed or owned by Facebook, Social Scout taps into Facebook Places and lays out everything rather nicely across pages that show what places are nearby, where your friends have checked into, and a More Page that lists your most visited places, your check-ins, a "Feeling lucky" tile that will randomly select a restaurant for you to try, and a one touch check-in tile.

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Update: Sorry folks, appears to be U.S. (and Israel) only for now :-/

We've always wondered whether Microsoft would launch a Google Latitude service--after all, they have Bing, a nice aGPS/WiFi location finder and a solid mobile OS. So it comes as a nice surprise to see them launching "We're In" today:

"We’re In makes organizing get-togethers, carpooling and trying to find people in a crowd a breeze. Any time you want to see where your friends are—We're In can help you. It's simple, invite your friends, and when they join, they'll see your location and you'll see theirs. When the invite expires, so does the shared location – no complicated process to worry about.

We’re In is a great way to save time and frustration when planning your road trip or meeting your friend at the mall – helping you connect with your friend faster."

The best way to describe the service is it's like Latitude combined with Glympse--the former because it allows you to see where your friends are, the latter because these events "expire" meaning you're not tracking people (or being tracked yourself) for eternity. The app allows you to

  • Create a get-together invite for a group of friends
  • See where your friends are
  • Share your location with your friends in real time
  • Control your privacy - your location is only shared with the group of invitees, only for a short time slot

Interestingly, you don't use LiveID to sign up but instead your phone number. Microsoft is looking to make this platform agnostic (it's coming to other mobile OSs) and by keeping LiveID out, Microsoft seems to be keeping the entry-barrier low. That's good news if the system is to grow and catch on.

Oh and the code didn't work with our Google Voice number, just FYI.  If you want the app, here you go: link to the Marketplace.

Source: Bing Community; Thanks, Michael, for the link!

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Sharing images and web pages [How To]

Everyone loves to share, which is why there is a huge part of Windows Phone 7 that is focused on social connections and platforms. As well as engaging with your friends while on the go, you may find yourself browsing the web within Internet Explorer an feel the need to share an image you see on a website, or the web page itself.

While offline and browsing through our photo albums there is fantastic social integration with the ability to share images to your online profiles and through other services, but what about while online? Via email, you can send any image or web page straight from your browser to a recipient of your choice, which can come in handy should you be the sharing type and wish to save a good number of clicks (or in our case – presses) when sending some useful content to your contact(s).

Sending an image from a current web page is simple enough, simply press and hold on the picture you wish to share and a menu will pop up with a “share” option. Then select your desired email account to send from and an email composition window will then slide into view. If you wish to send the entire web page as opposed to just an image, press on the “…” at the bottom left of the browser and select “share”. Again, an email account selection will appear and then a composition window. 

Windows Phone 7 makes simple tasks easier and faster for people to complete and communicating in more complex ways is possible, rivaling with competing platforms. What do you share while browsing around; do you use this feature regularly?

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Prevent Facebook contacts inclusion [How To]

Have a lot of friends on Facebook? Do you have people added on your contact list that you don’t know, possibly residing in a different continent? If you don’t contact them via the social giant, why would you want them accessible on your phone?

Although Windows Phone 7 performs extremely well with integrating with Facebook, some of us just wish to have a more personal experience with our phone should our social network contact list be rather large. Many potential WP7 users are asking (and have previously asked) about turning the synchronization feature within the People hub in the OS off.

While you can’t completely turn it off without removing the Facebook account, there’s an easy and simple setting within the People configuration section that sets between “Show all my Facebook friends” and “Only add Facebook information to existing contacts”. To achieve the desired alteration, go to the following location:

Settings > Applications > People

If you’d like to have your Facebook friends added automatically again, simply reverse the change. Personally, I began kicking people off my friends list and kept my phone synchronizing everything.

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You know this was inevitable. Google, king of stage, screen, search, mail and maps, has launched Google Latitude, which is part of Google Maps. Here's what you'll get:

  • Share locations: Location sharing starts only when both you and a friend agree. Invite friends via email or easily add them from your Gmail contacts.
  • Control privacy: You can share, set, or hide your location - or turn off Google Latitude - from the privacy menu. You can also hide your location or share only a city-level location with certain friends. (Update: Still worried about your privacy? Google's got a video covering that.)
  • Share status: Create a status message and upload your photo within Latitude. It also syncs directly with Google Talk. Check your friends' status messages to see what your friends are up to.
  • Contact your friends: Quickly contact your friends with an SMS, IM, or phone call. You can also get directions to lead you to your friends.

Yes, it's yet another location-based friend finder. But this one has something like none of the others – Google and its quintuple-zillion users, and the weight of the world's largest Internet search company. Unlike other other services of this kind, Google doesn't have to go out and find the users. They're already there. And that means that Google Latitude may well become the one location-based friend finder app to rule them all.

Go get Latitude here, or head to google.com/latitude on your mobile browser. Latitude also works on your desktop and can be accessed with your iGoogle page.

Note that Google Latitude will work with Windows Mobile 5.0 and up, but not all carriers support the location-based service, as we also found out with a recent upgrade to Microsoft's Live Search.

Latitude also works with Android phones (though U.S. users have to wait for an update), most BlackBerries and most Symbian S60 devices. Support for the iPhone and iPod Touch is coming soon.

Getcher gallery of Latitude up and running on Windows Mobile after the break.

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