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How to Use Android's Social Media functions

The Internet has evolved rapidly and become part of the lives of many, especially younger people. We always want to be connected, not just to search for information, but to share our thoughts, photos, favorite restaurants or whatever else may be on our minds at any minute with our friends. Some younger people don't even bother with emails to communicate, it's seen as too formal! Smartphones have revolutionized this, with the combination of mobility, always-on Internet, camera, GPS (for location) and apps.

In the previous chapter, Upload Photos, we looked at how you can upload a photo you've taken right away to e.g. Facebook or Google+, and add some comments to it.

We showed a list of Recommended Apps including Social apps. There are several ways to use your favorite social sites. Like we showed in the previous chapter you can start with a photo, then pick which site it should go to and add your comments.

You can also start from the social app itself, check what's happening and add your own comments, or even add a photo. For example in Facebook the camera symbol will take you to their own camera app. You can decide if you want to add your location (the left "drop" symbol).

The middle and the right screens show the Google+ app. You have the same option to include your location, but if you tap the camera icon then you'll get the right screen which enables you to chose another camera app (in the example we have the regular camera, Camera Zoom FX and Paper Camera). The rightmost icon in the middle screen allows you to go to the Gallery to select a photo or video.

Facebook app Google+ app Camera selection

Integration of Social Media into your Android device

As you've seen above you always have the Social Media apps and their own contacts etc. Google+ with its contacts are integrated in Android 4's People hub. The same goes for Skype and other apps. However, for Facebook it can be a little more complicated, since Facebook doesn't use public APIs, so Google withdrew this linkage from release 4 and onwards. Some manufacturers have done this integration in their "skins" on top of Android 4. For example Sony Xperia has heavy Facebook integration so it will be visible not just in Contacts, but also the Gallery and Calendar.

There are also apps that can help you, here are some suggestions: SyncMyPix, HaxSync - ICS Facebook Sync,

Other suggested Social Media apps

Although Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are perhaps the most common social apps, there are a number of new apps that maybe be great for you, so here it comes, in alphabetical order, with links to the Play Store entries, the descriptions are from the Play Store. Beware though that this is a very rapidly changing market, what's great one day may less popular the next day.

App Description
Friendcaster for Facebook Friendcaster for Facebook - the best Facebook experience on Android devices! Friendcaster is the #1 third party Facebook app available for Android with over 3,000,000 downloads and thousands of positive reviews.
GetGlue Check-in to movies, shows, music. Discover new favorites & see what friends like 2 million fans love GetGlue: a fun social network for entertainment.
Instagram Pick from one of several gorgeous filtered effects to breathe a new life into your mobile photos. Transform everyday moments into works of art you'll want to share with friends and family.

Seesmic (Facebook, Twitter) The best way to manage your social networks in a simple app.
SoundCloud Record, listen and share your sounds with the official SoundCloud Android app Capture and share your sounds on-the-go with the official SoundCloud app for Android. Includes a Record-button widget for the homescreen!
Untappd Untappd is a new way to socially track, rate, & share with your friends what beers you're enjoying, as well as where you're enjoying them.
WordPress Write new posts, edit content, and manage comments on your WordPress blog. WordPress for Android is an Open Source app that empowers you to write new posts, edit content, view stats, and manage comments with built-in notifications.
YouTube Most likely already installed on your Android device, but YouTube isn't just to look at videos, you can make your own and share with the world or only selected friends.