Uberdownloads Blog
A Digital Disposable Camera?

Thought the disposable camera died out in the Great Analog Extinction along with VCRs and tape decks? Think again.

The disposable camera—or at least the idea of it—is back. And this time, it’s in digital form.

For those who might not know, disposable cameras were neat devices that housed a roll of film and a simple camera. When your film was filled with shots of you and your friends and family, you simply took it to a film developer and voila! All your memories were preserved forever.

Sounds pretty complex, right? Nowadays, taking a picture is literally as easy as 1-2-3.

Well two app companies—Hipstamatic and Dotti—are trying to capture the old novelty and marry it with new technology.

Hipstamatic Disposable, the latest app from the clever lens filter photographers, allows users to purchase “rolls” of 24 exposures. When 24 digital images have been shot, they can be “developed”. Or in today’s lingo, downloaded to your computer or shared to social media sites like Facebook.

Hipstamatic offers a 9-pack of 24-exposure “cameras” for USD $0.99—not terribly expensive. Along with the purchase, you get 2 disposable camera lens filters with the free app that allows you to take the pictures.

Dotti Disposable app works in a similar way, but this app offers you actual printed and physical delivery of your shots. After filling up the 12-shot “rolls”, you can send 4×6 photos through the mail to the person you want, or even yourself.

Dotti Disposable is USD $4.99—still a good price considering the actual printing and delivery of photos. Dotti does lack the lens filters that Hipstamatic offers, but Dotti Disposable is available for the both Android and iOS.

While both of these apps offer a cool flashback to a time when capturing the perfect picture took a bit of work, it remains to be seen if they will actually take off as a concept.

What do you think? Are disposable cameras coming back in digital form?

Facebook Timeline Has Arrived

The much-anticipated Facebook Timeline is now available to all of the social networking site’s members.

Facebook’s new Timeline profiles were introduced 3 months ago at the company’s annual conference, but was limited to a select group in its initial release.

Now the site’s 800 million users have access to Facebook Timeline—if they decide to activate it. Soon, Facebook will turn on Timeline for everybody who didn’t already activate the feature with an alert at the top of their profile.

What is Facebook Timeline? Think of it as a “digital scrapbook” of all your Facebook activity since birth. (Yes, birth!)

Of course, you didn’t come out of the womb with a Facebook account. But Timeline does highlight important events—such as births, anniversaries and other life milestones—that you have added to your profile.

And, if you’ve ever wondered “What was I thinking on this day in 2006?”, Timeline can answer that question for you. On the right, a year-by-year navigation allows visitors to your profile to easily skip to certain months or years to view what was happening at that time.

Perhaps the most striking new feature of Facebook Timeline is the addition of the “Cover photo”, a large screen-wide photo that appears at the top of each Timeline profile.

These cover photos give a chance of creativity and customization that wasn’t always available before. Check out some innovative Timeline designs.

Facebook says that the idea behind Timeline is to chronicle someone’s life and its major events over many years instead of the social network’s current profile pages, which tend to emphasize the here and now.

Inevitably, users will put up all kinds of fuss over the recent changes. But overall, the Timeline does a great job of getting users excited about using Facebook again. The customization of their profile is likened to building their profile when they first joined.

What challenges and effects it will have on social media has yet to be seen, however. With the present less prominent in Timeline, one has to wonder if viral videos and social media will have the same oomph they once did.

What do you think—has Facebook Timeline changed the social media game?

Android Market Hits 10B Downloads

The Android Market is holding a major sale—and it has nothing to do with the holidays.

To celebrate hitting 10 billion app downloads (yes, billion with a B), Google will offer several top apps for Android devices for a mere USD $0.10 for 10 days!

The sale started on Dec. 6 when Google announced the milestone achievement and will continue until Dec. 16. Check the Android Market daily for new apps announced as part of the celebration sale.

Hitting the 10 billion download mark is quite a feat for the 3-year old market place. In July, Google stated that only 6 billion downloads had been recorded.

Google estimates the app store is seeing a growth rate of 1 billion app downloads a month—an incredibly fast rate of growth even in this age of media and technology.

“One billion is a pretty big number by any measurement. However, when it’s describing the speed at which something is growing, it’s simply amazing,” wrote Eric Chu, director of Android Developer Ecosystem, in a recent blog post.

In comparison, Apple announced in July that its AppStore—which is also 3-years old—had passed more than 15 billion downloads.

What apps and goodies have you downloaded from the Android Market lately?

Apple’s New NYC Store Opens To Fanfare

New York City is full of tourist attractions—the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building … the Grand Central Station Apple store?

Apple’s latest branch has just opened in Grand Central Station, perhaps one of the most-visited and well-known transportation hubs in the U.S.

While there is no lack of Apple stores in the Big Apple—4 others exist in Manhattan alone—this one is set to become Apple’s flagship New York store. And the Grand Central Station Apple store is certainly deserving of the title.

Unlike other apple stores, the Grand Central location is designed using less of that glass window look that other Apple stores have become known for—it actually integrates itself into the station’s more classic look.

Situated atop the east and northeast balconies right inside the actual station, shoppers can get a view of the main concourse below, usually bustling with commuters and tourists coming in and out of New York.

The Grand Central Apple store is just the latest in a chain of more than 360 Apple stores in 11 countries, but it’s reception was likely the warmest a retail store could receive upon opening.

Throngs of enthusiasts flooded Grand Central Station in anticipation of its grand opening. And one thing was abundantly clear—Apple fans are there for the experience.

It seems that waiting in line for the latest release from the Apple empire has become something of ritual amongst enthusiasts. Some reports have people flying in from California, taking time off work or school, and waiting in line as early as Thursday for this golden opportunity.

Others may dismiss these die-hard Apple fans as crazed individuals, but it seems a certain community has built in the long, patient hours beforehand. Fans regularly talk about the bonds they’ve created while waiting for the latest that Apple has to offer.

While it’s clear that this latest Apple installment is a success, one can only wonder what impact it will have to the already busy Grand Central Station.

Android Social Networking Gets Upgrade

Android users can rejoice at two new app updates that should make their social networking a little easier.

Facebook for Android gets a much-needed facelift. Touting a new user interface, users should now be able to zip around through photos, messages, and their News Feed with ease.

Facebook for Android’s biggest improvement over previous version is its main navigation. Without having to switch to another screen, you can see friend requests, messages, and notifications at the top of your main screen.

Photos have also been improved, showing tags, captions, comments and Likes. Facebook also claims that photos and albums are “up to 2 times faster than the previous Android app.”

Overall, the look and feel of the Facebook for Android app is similar to Facebook for iPhone, including the new left-hand slide-out panel menu that gives you quick access to all of Facebook’s features.

Google+ followed suit, with a new version of Google+ for Android available in the Android Market today.

Google+ for Android features the new Search icon that lets you quickly find posts or people on Google+ right from the app’s main dashboard.

The Google+ for Android update also includes a neat feature that lets you see who’s online and who’s currently typing in response to Messenger conversations.

Other improvements include higher-resolution photo uploads, the ability to +1 photos and comments, and support for Instant Upload for videos. Google+ for Android’s update also brings numerous bug and stability fixes.

Angry Birds: Wreck The Halls Debuts

Are you ready for some festive feathered fury?

Angry Birds: Wreck The Halls made its debut today—just in time to distract us from all our holiday preparations.

Wreck The Halls features 25 levels filled with birds donned in holiday apparel, flinging themselves at pigs, Christmas lights and decorations alike. The newest Angry Bird is also set to make his debut at some point in the game.

Similar to last year’s holiday version, one level will be available to users daily, starting today. (Yes, that means you’ll have to update daily to get your fix!) Each level promises to bring new challenges of gingerbread cookies, bells, twinkling lights, candy canes, and of course, pigs!

On Day 25, otherwise known as Christmas Day, you’ll meet up with the Big Pig, giving you one last chance to launch an avian attack on the holly-jolly hogs.

Wreck The Halls also features the Mighty Eagle—the angriest bird of all—to annihilate your pig enemies in one fell swoop and allowing users to skip over levels easily.

Angry Birds: Wreck The Halls is available through the iTunes store for your iPhone and iPad, and through the Android Market for your Droid devices.