Facebook and Google made big changes to their flagship apps in March.
The social networking giant launched its Snapchat clone on two separate apps, while Google made a change in Maps to help you keep track of your friends.
And new apps like Tetra, Chrome extensions like Nope, and desktop apps like Noun Project all aim to make work a little easier.
Here are the most exciting app updates and launches you may have missed in March.
The “Nope” Chrome extension will call your phone to help you avoid annoying coworkers
Created by Breather – the service that lets you rent workspaces by the hour – Nope is an incredibly simple-yet-effective way to avoid irritating coworkers. When someone comes over to your desk you don’t want to talk to, or a conversation is going on too long, subtly click a button at the top of your browser. You’ll soon get a call on your phone that you can pretend is crucially important, but is actually just a pre-recorded message.
Learn more about Nope here.
Facebook added its Snapchat clone to Messenger
Facebook launched Messenger Day, which works like Snapchat Stories by letting you post photos and videos to your profile that disappear after 24 hours. A new row of thumbnails at the top of the Messenger app will show the latest posts from your friends.
Facebook’s Snapchat clone also arrived on the main Facebook app
Facebook added its Snapchat clone to its main app in late March. With Stories, Facebook’s users can post photos and videos in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours. Special effects like location-based filters can be placed on top of content before it’s shared. And aside from the Snapchat-like filters and “masks” you can try using your camera, Facebook also added a feature called “Direct,” which lets you share photos and videos that disappear once they’re viewed. Sound familiar?
Learn more about Facebook’s new app features here.
Citizen tracks crime in your area and helps you avoid it
Last October, a new app appeared on the App Store aimed at preventing crime. Called Vigilante, the app showed users where crime was happening in real-time – and seemingly encouraged them to help stop it. But Vigilante had a short life span: The app was pulled from the App Store about 48 hours after it launched due to safety concerns.
Now, Vigilante is back on the App Store as Citizen, a crime-avoidance tool for metropolitan areas. It works by tracking your location and letting you know when there’s crime in your area.
Read more about Citizen here.
Sephora launched a new feature called Virtual Artist that virtually applies makeup using artificial intelligence
- Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
Beauty brand Sephora launched new feature on its app called Virtual Artist, which uses artificial intelligence to virtually apply makeup, teach you new makeup techniques, and show you how various looks would appear on your face.
Read more about how to use Virtual Artist here.
Google Maps will let you share your real-time location with friends
Google updated the Maps app this month with new features that let friends view each other’s location in real-time. The location-sharing feature only works if you decide to share your current location with a specific person, and you can limit how long a friend sees your location.
Find out more about how this feature works here.
Medium launched Series, a way to create and read long-form, serialized posts
In March, blogging platform Medium launched Series, a serialized reading experience within the app. Series show up on Medium’s mobile app as cards that users can tap or scroll through. Creators can add to a Series over time and readers can save their place to continue reading later.
Learn more about how Series works on Medium’s blog.
Instagram now lets you book an appointment through the app
Users can now schedule an appointment with a business directly through Instagram’s app. The new feature, which will roll out over the next few months, lets users book a hair appointment through a salon, for example, without ever having to leave the app.
Pandora launched a premium version of its app
Pandora launched a new version of the app called Pandora Premium, a subscription service that combines Pandora radio, the ability to search and play individual tracks, and the option to create playlists. Premium costs $9.99 per month.
You can read more about Pandora Premium on Pandora’s blog.
Noun Project improved its Mac app and added colored icons
- Noun Project
Noun Project, the easy-to-use icon machine, just made an update to its Mac app. Now, you can change the colors of the images, drag and drop icons, and get 100 of the too-searched icons for free.
Tetra automatically transcribes all your phone calls
The Tetra app, which launched in March, wants to eliminate the need to take notes on important phone calls. The app works by dialing into your calls and transcribing the conversation for you. You can then search through your notes on Tetra’s web app and export the notes.
BONUS: Tinder debuted a desktop version called Tinder Online
You’ll soon be able to swipe through potential Tinder matches on your computer. Tinder is currently testing an interface called “Tinder Online,” which brings the popular dating app to your web or mobile browser.
Read more about Tinder Online here.
BONUS: Apple debuted a new app that looks like a mix between Snapchat and iMovie
Apple’s new app, Clips, lets you share photos or videos up to 30 minutes in length using special filters and effects. You can then send them to your friends through iMessage, save to your camera roll, or send them to other apps, like Facebook and Instagram.
Clips will launch on the App Store in April.