Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:42 pm PT (03:42 pm ET)
Apps: Facebook takes on Snapchat, Snapchat debuts group stories, Automatic adds fuel trackingApple's iOS ecosystem played host to a trio of interesting updates Tuesday, with Facebook officially releasing its answer to Snapchat — which itself showed off a new location-based group photo album feature — while "quantified car" app Automatic received a redesign and a new fuel reporting feature.
Like Snapchat, Facebook's Slingshot allows users to capture and annotate photos or videos and send them to friends for one-time-viewing. Unlike Snapchat, however, friends must respond with a shot of their own before they can see the one they have received.
Annotation options include drawing with a simple pen tool or adding text, and the app can automatically append users' location if enabled. Additionally, Slingshot does not make use of a user's Facebook credentials, instead prompting new users to create an account based on their phone number.
Slingshot version 1.0.1 is available now as a free, 10.2-megabyte download from the App Store.
Snapchat's new Our Story feature is a group-based version of the My Story feed made available last fall. With Our Story, any Snapchat users that are at the same event can add their snaps to the feed, creating a localized, shared stream.
Snapchat will debut the new feature at this weekend's Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas with an official "Our EDC Story" stream. Users can add to the stream by sending their snaps to the "Our EDC Story" user, though location services must be turned on first.
Our Story is already enabled in Snapchat and no update is required, but version 7.0.3 of the messenger is available now as a free, 20.2-megabyte download from the App Store.
Users of Automatic's popular adapter that hooks a vehicle's onboard diagnostic system to an iOS device will find an all-new design for the hardware's companion app that adds a number of new features. Most notable is a new fuel level tracker that can track their vehicle's consumption over time or even send a push notification when fuel gets low, though it only works with a specific subset of Automatic's supported vehicles thanks to differences in the onboard computers.
Additionally, Automatic now allows drivers to adjust the speed that must be reached before they are warned about fast driving. Previously, the level was preset at 70 miles per hour.
Automatic version 2.0 is available now as a free, 17.2-megabyte download from the App Store.
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