In this episode we open up the HTC First smartphone, the first phone to ship with Facebook Home as the default launcher. Facebook Home turns your phone into a device that is hyper connected to Facebook, including lock screen slideshows of recent updates from your friends, and direct access to Facebook and Facebook Messenger from the lock screen as well. The HTC First reminds us of a flatter iPhone 3GS, or to be more current, looks a lot like the leaks of the upcoming budget-friendly iPhone. It originally debuted at $99 with 2-year contract, but now sells for $0.99 instead after lukewarm reception.
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Take a gander behind the curtain of how Facebook designers created the Facebook Home launcher for Android. The forty-five minute video essay shows the evolutionary process of cover feed, chat heads, and the premise of mimicking the real world experience with a software operating system not based on apps, but focused rather on people.
On May 8th, the designers behind Facebook Home (Justin Stahl, Francis Luu, Joey Flynn and Mac Tyler) presented a behind-the-scenes look at their work at the Bluxome Street Winery for a small crowd. In this four-part talk, they discuss how they combined their high-level goals with an iterative process and interactive design tools such as Quartz Composer to bring the first version of Home to launch.
Several big named tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are publicly requesting that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allow them to transparently publish more information regarding the controversial data mining operations and surveillance programs held by US government agencies.
Dubbed SpyGate, the legitimate controversy has made headlines over legislation of section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the FISA amendment ACT. Not to mention the whistleblower saga that has ensued after former NSA employee and current on the run globetrotter, Eric Snowden, leaked details about the covert operation infamously known as Prism. Many of the allegations summarized in the massive leak state that the US government has backdoor access to the servers of many leading private industry companies and direct access to major US telecommunication carriers. With such access, the government collects and monitors millions of American's information not limited to just metadata. Many private companies have signed a petition of transparency that includes Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Skype and many others. Below is the petition letter in its entirety.
Read More | The Next Web
The ever so popular photo filtering social app Instagram has gone version 3.5 and introduces the "Photo of You" feature. Basically, it's a photo tagging feature borrowed from their parent company, Facebook. So, narcissists of the world rejoice as a new section will be dedicated in your profile to photos of a very important person, you guessed it, you!
What's New in Version 3.5
- Introducing Photos of You! Add people to your photos & share who's with you
- Send us feedback about bugs & errors using the new "Report a Problem" feature
- Privacy settings can now be found on your Profile screen under Edit Your Profile.
Read More | Instagram
Facebook has updated its iOS app to version 6.0 and has introduced two new features that are from the Facebook Home experience: Chat heads and stickers. Basically, chat heads are avatar icons of Facebook friends. They take up a small part of the screen whenever a user is messaging another Facebook friend, no matter where the user happens to be in the app. We assume that the goal is for it to be a frictionless experience when communicating with others friends; rather than having the chat feature limited to silos or in sections within the app. Along with the update, Facebook added a sticker feature, like emoticons, while messaging, seemingly aimed at teens and adults who might never publicly admit that they like the feature. Facebook for the iPad also sees a News Feed redesign that is cleaner with a bolder, more legible typeface. Gear Live tip: users might have to delete the old version first, or reboot the iDevice, in order to activate these new features now since Facebook is slowly rolling the feature out to users. Facebook 6.0 for iOS is now available in the App Store.
Read More | Facebook for iOS
Facebook Home is now available for download on Google Play, as promised last week at the Facebook Home announcement event. If you're the owner of an HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, or Samsung Galaxy Note II, you are good to go and can download and apply Facebook's launcher right away. You can also pick up the HTC First, which ships with Facebook Home built right in. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 will also be capable of running Facebook Home.
As a reminder, Facebook Home is a replacement lock screen, home screen, and chat experience for compatible Android smartphones, bringing pictures feeds to the forefront, and the new Chat Heads feature that will allow you to stay manage Facebook messages in a much more efficient way.
Read More | Facebook Home
"It's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy, and all of our care, and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it." - Tim Cook, Apple CEO
The same statement rings true for Google. If others are reaping the rewards, and little to nothing is left for oneself, then what's the point? If a product does not meet the expectations set before it, then developing for it doesn't make much sense. If any given product is not self-sustainable, then it is not cost effective and eventually becomes a burden to the maker--even if users appear to enjoy using it. Make no mistake about it, Google is in the business of making money, and everything else is secondary (including good will.)
Google's co-founder and now recently-minted CEO, Larry Page, bought Android in 2005. He also brought along Andy Rubin, one of its creators, over to Google, who recently renounced his post as Senior Vice President of mobile Digital Content. Basically, the guy who was leading Android. It has been said that Sergey Brin, the other tandem co-founder, was not enthusiastic about the purchase. Former Google CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, now Chairman at Google had a similar reaction. These somewhat pessimistic receptions were also shared by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering. However, he recanted these thoughts at Google I/O 2010.
Read More | YouTube
We told you all about today's unveiling of Facebook Home and the HTC First, and now Facebook has made the video recording of the announcement available for your viewing pleasure. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on his A-game in this one. Check out the full video after the break.
During today's Facebook Home announcement, HTC and AT&T announced the HTC First, a new smartphone set to launch in just over a week that was built from the ground up to run Facebook Home as its main interface. Aside from being the, um, first phone to launch with Facebook Home built-in, it'll also be the first smartphone to ship with Instagram pre-installed (although the Samsung Galaxy Camera does, too, but it isn't technically a phone.) The phone itself is a beautifully simple device from a design perspective, and on the inside runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor keeping things humming along, and status updates flowing across the 4.3-inch display. It also runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, which Ralph de la Vega made sure to pimp as the fastest LTE network in the country. You'll be able to pick up the HTC First on April 12 (hey, the same day that the iPhone 5 hits T-Mobile!) for $99.99 in the US, and you'll have a choice of four colors: black, white, sky blue, or red.
Read More | HTC First
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