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Google launches Photovine app for Apple's iPhone, not Android

July 14, 2011 |  7:18 pm

Photovine

Google quietly launched yet another new social networking effort this week -- a new photo-sharing app called Photovine for the Apple iPhone.

Yes, the iPhone. Which runs Apple's iOS, the smartphone operating system nemesis of Google's Android.

The app allows users to take a photo from their phone and share it to friends in the app, sort of like the popular app Instagram. The big difference with Photovine, however, is that photos can be shared into a pool of other pictures centering around user-created topics called "vines."

In a teaser video posted to the YouTube, which is also owned by Google, a Photovine user takes a picture of a Pomeranian puppy (which looks a lot like the Facebook-famous Boo) and creates a vine of photos called "warm and fuzzy."

Others using the app in the video see the cute dog photo and share their own riff on the warm and fuzzy theme, including a cuddling couple sitting in a San Francisco park and later a guy at a swimming pool snapping a shot of a friend with a hairy chest and tiny blue trunks.

Photovine, which hit Apple's App Store on Thursday, is so far nowhere to be found in the Android Market. In fact, on Photovine's website and in the teaser video that hypes the service, the Google logo and name are also nowhere to be found.

On the Photovine website's Privacy Notice page, it reads "Photovine is offered by Slide (part of Google Inc. ...)."

Despite the lack of noticable Google branding anywhere, Photovine is following in the Google tradition by starting off in an invitation-only testing mode; a move also made with the popular Gmail email service and the growing Google+ social network launched about two weeks ago.

The invitation-only tactic means that not all iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad owners can doanload the Photovine app yet. But the app will eventually make its way to the public -- or at least that's the plan.

An email sent to those who request an invitation, as I did, from the "Photovine Team" places potential users on a wait list.

Google officials were unavailable Thursday to comment on when the app would be opened up to the public or if it would make its way to Android.

"We'll be slowly rolling-out invites starting later this month," says the waiting-list email, which has no mention of Google. "We're very excited about Photovine and can't wait for you to join us! Thanks again for signing up and for your patience while we distribute invites."

Check out the Photovine teaser video below.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot from the Photovine teaser video. Credit: Photovine / YouTube / Google

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