Smartphone App Helps User Find Friends Nearby

March 22, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. newsfeed /nuz fid, nyuz/ (n.) – a series of news and information provided in social media
Example: Refreshing the browser will give the latest Twitter newsfeeds.

2. real-time /ˈriəl, ril taɪm/ (adj.) – shown or occurring immediately as the information or data are received and processed
Example: The new app gets real-time information.

3. integrate /ˈɪntɪˌgreɪt/ (v.) – to combine or put together
Example: The developers integrated classic and modern styles in the new app.

4. circle /ˈsɜrkəl/ (n.) – a group of people with close connections and similar interests
Example: The gamer’s circle is composed of IT graduates.

5. in the works /ɪn ðə wɜrks/ (idiom) – currently being prepared or developed
Example: The prototype of the soon-to-be launched gadget is in the works.


Read the text below.
An app that notifies users if their friends are nearby is now available for Apple customers.

Michael Chasen [chey-suhn], the app’s creator, announced the launch of SocialRadar last January. The app collects and analyzes newsfeeds from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare [FAWR-SKWAIRFOHR-]

Based on these newsfeeds, the program integrates and matches the location information of the user with that of his or her friends to achieve real-time connection. If a Facebook friend is online on his or her phone and has turned on its location services, the app will detect his or her location. SocialRadar can also notify the person if fellow app users are present within a few hundred meters.

According to Chasen, people with privacy concerns have nothing to worry about. SocialRadar lets users decide on whether to be public, be seen only by friends, be anonymous, or be invisible. In the trial period of the app, majority of the 500 testers preferred to be located by the public.

With this app, users can know who is near them and how they are connected with each other. In Chasen’s example, a person in a restaurant can find some friends who are also in the area by using the app.  
Aside from finding friends, SocialRadar may also be used for dating and for business. The app’s capability to widen a person’s circle also makes it an effective networking tool.

For now, SocialRadar is available only for Apple users in the U.S. However, international versions and versions that are compatible with Android gadgets and Google Glass are now in the works.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you use SocialRadar? Why or why not?
·         How do you think this app can affect social media users?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think social media sites are becoming more popular?
·         In your opinion, what are the disadvantages of using too much social networking sites?


March 22, 2014