UPDATE: We’re getting reports that Disco is still available in the US Android Market although it’s definitely absent in the UK where it was definitely accessible yesterday. We’ve waiting for clarification from Google about what the situation is.

Google’s Slide subsidiary has pushed out the Photovine app we’ve been seemingly talking about for weeks, but at the same time, its group messaging app Disco appears to have been pulled from the Android Market.

Slide has been teasing us with an app called Photovine for weeks now. First it emerged that Google had registered the trademark and .com domain name; then a splash page emerged teasing a few more details, before the ability to register for an invite was added to the site, along with a demo video.

Now the app has hit the Apple App Store, but not the Android Market, seeming to confirm our suspicions that Photovine is, at least for now, an iPhone-only offering. Why would Google do this? Well, Slide is seemingly autonomous in what it does, pushing out experimental apps like Disco and Pool Party with little reference to Google’s ‘official’ social efforts like Google+.

Photovine is free to download but is invite only, so unless you’ve got an invite yet (I signed up over 24 hours ago and am yet to receive one) it will be little more than a pretty little icon on your iDevice’s screen.

Meanwhile, Disco – a Slide-built group messaging app which was previously available for Android and iOS – is now only available for iOS. It was certainly available on the Android Market yesterday – we linked to it in our Photovine story, but now it’s gone. Has it been pulled due to the recent introduction of the Google+ Android app with its Huddle group messaging feature? That would certainly make sense and explain why it’s still available on the US Apple App Store (it’s always been US-only on iOS), where Google+ is yet to arrive. We’re investigating further and will let you know what we discover.

Photovine vs Piictu

Meanwhile, back in the land of Photovine, a number of people have noted a similarity between Google/Slide’s app and an app already available from another developer, Piictu. There’s no denying that the interface is very similar, and Piictu is similarly based upon image sharing around ad-hoc themes, however, was there any direct copying? We’re in no position to say, but it’s certainly a similarity that hasn’t passed Piictu co-founder Jonathan Slimak by.

Compare for yourself, in the image below, via UXBoy.

photovine piictu Googles Photovine now available for iOS, but Disco group messaging app for Android disappears

Screen shot 2011 07 14 at 15.21.37 Googles Photovine now available for iOS, but Disco group messaging app for Android disappears