Qnary Roundup: Mobile American Idol, Tinder Updates and More

Each week, the Qnary team hosts a Friday morning meeting where we discuss the most interesting issues in social media today. Here, we recap those for you.

Ex-Beats Music CEO’s New App “Chosen” Is A Mobile-First American Idol

Sing, yodel, or shred guitar into your phone, and get famous. That’s the idea behind performance competition platform Chosen, founded by former Gracenote, MOG, and Beats Music CEO David Hyman. The startup’s been in stealth since its formation late last year, but Hyman agreed to give me the first details about what Chosen’s actually up to. First off, Chosen’s just raised $5 million led by DCM to reimagine American Idol, X-Factor, and The Voice for a mobile generation with a launch in Q1 2015.

With Chosen, “We want to see guitar solo competitions, Swiss yodeling competitions, and violin concerto competitions,” Hyman tells me. “There’s a long tail of content that is unbelievably popular. An insane amount of content is consumed through YouTube that would never be on TV.” (via TechCrunch)

Twitter tries to make it easier to tweet, looks more like Facebook

Another day, another tweak to the Twitter service intended to bring more users into the conversation.

This time it's the "what's happening?" box familiar to all users of Twitter.com. Previously located on the left hand side, between your profile box and the list of trends, this box — the main method of tweeting on Twitter.com — has moved to the top of your timeline.

If the location looks familiar, that's because it's exactly the same as the location of Facebook's status question at the top of its news feed. Facebook's question: "What's on your mind?" (via Mashable)

Mobile Fashion App Strut Is Like Tinder For Discovering And Sharing New Outfits

Strut is centered around the idea of helping users discover new apparel via mobile that they might want to buy. It does this by presenting them with 50 new pieces of clothing each morning, with a Tinder-like mechanism for swiping left on items they don’t like and swiping right on those they do.

It uses machine learning to refine the items it presents to users and improves its targeting over time. The idea is that Strut will get to know their tastes better and provide clothing options more to their liking the longer that they use the app.

If Strut were just about helping users to find new clothes, the app wouldn’t be that interesting. What makes it fun is the ability to create outfits around those finds and sharing them with others as part of some collaborative social fashion mashup.

In addition to swiping right or left, users can also swipe up. That enables them to build a whole ensemble of clothing around the item. Find a shirt you like? Strut will show you a series of different pants, shoes, and jackets that you can match it up with. Once you create an outfit you can share it with your feed. (via TechCrunch)

Google’s Maps App For iOS And Android Gets Material Design And Uber Estimates

Google has updated Maps to keep with the visual theme introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which it calls material design. The new mobile apps now feature bold headers of solid flat colors and animations that evoke pieces of paper sliding over one another. The apps also offer new features, including reservations you can make at restaurants through the app via OpenTable, and both time and price estimates for the Uber transport method introduced in May

The update will roll out over the next few days, so don’t be disappointed if you aren’t seeing it right away. Based on the previews supplied by the company, the visual overhaul here is as pleasant and well-executed as is the rest of Android 5.0. The additional features are also very helpful, with reservation integration eliminating the additional step of having to open a separate app or web page in order to book a table once you’ve used Google to see what’s available around you.

The deepening of the Uber partnership is particularly interesting – it will admittedly help anyone who uses the transport service to get around, but it also means Google is getting even cozier with a company that is also a portfolio member in its investment arm, Google Ventures. Building Uber time and price right into the Maps app gives it a considerable advantage over other means of private transit, including standard taxi services. (via TechCrunch)

How Much Would You Pay For An “Undo” Button On Tinder?

Tinder is moving forward with a testing plan for Tinder Plus, a new paid version of the app that brings premium features to users and finally starts a revenue stream for the growing IAC-owned dating company.

With the paid version, users will have access to two new central features of the app, Undo and Passport. Undo lets people go back on the person they just swiped left on, a highly common accident, and Passport lets people search outside their geographic region.

“The most-requested feature we get is a button to go back and have a second chance with people that users swipe left on,” said Tinder co-founder Sean Rad. “Everyone has wanted it from the beginning. It’s absolutely at the top of the list.”

Tinder Plus simply unlocks that feature, letting users have the modern-day “missed connections” experience they’ve been craving. But it does it in a smart way, as the update will prominently feature a big yellow “Undo” button right on the home screen, whether you’re a paid user or not.

This means that the button will be there to go back and find that long-lost love, but it will only work if you cough up the cash. Another button will also appear on the home page, to the far right, called Passport. This will let people search for other matches outside of their general location, and toggle between those locations easily. (via TechCrunch)

Google Just Released a Brand New Google Calendar App

Google unveiled a new Google Calendar app Monday, featuring enhanced convenience and a new layout, according to a blog post. The new app is available now on the latest Android operating system, while an update for older versions of Android as well as for iPhone is in the works.

One of the biggest changes in the new Google Calendar app is that e-mails will integrate seamlessly into the calendar. If you get an e-mail confirmation for a flight, hotel reservation or any other scheduling notification, Google Calendar will automatically pull in the details, so you no longer have to flip between apps or screens to copy and paste the details. Events also will be updated in real time, so if your flight gets delayed, for example, Google Calendar just might know about it before you.

Another convenient addition is a feature called Assists, which is like Google Search’s auto-complete, only that it provides suggestions as you type in names, places and events, like “Central Park” or “Birthday dinner."

The finishing touch is a new layout called Schedule View, which adds illustrations, photos and maps to your events if you only have a second to glance at your calendar. (via TIME)