Microsoft really nailed the smartphone homescreen. In my opinion, it really is the best of all mobile platforms: not only can you add lots of apps, but you also can at a glance get useful information without opening any app. Now if only the apps quality was better…
Last February, Flickr celebrated its 10th birthday. I missed the mark as I wasn’t a user back then, but I recently started using it here to embed pictures on my posts.
Tumblr is a great tool for writing, but it’s not very good to share photos or videos. I like using Flickr is better because you can embed slideshows on your posts, that people can easily share. Also, you can see how many people checked your pictures if you care.
But I’m surprised Flickr isn’t better better integrated with Tumblr. The 2 services are owned by Yahoo!, even if Tumblr is still run indepently. But an obious synergy would be the ability to to link your 2 accounts to easily embed your own Flickr pictures on Tumblr posts.
Following the rise of Instagram on mobile and the absorption of Picasa into Google+, Flickr is a bit lost in the social media landscape. On Google’s Play Store, the Android app hasn’t passed the 5M downloads mark. Obviously, it’s still mainly used on the desktop, and some features like “Flickr mail” clearly remind us the web roots of the service.
I still think Yahoo! made a good job revamping the service last year, the home page sure looks good. Also, Yahoo! seems to have great ambitions in media these days, at least enough to build a YouTube competitor in we read the rumors. I guess they’re not ready to let Facebook or Google own photo sharing too, and competition is always good.
If you don’t use Facebook or Twitter, you probably won’t miss anything earth shattering. But not being on LinkedIn can feel like a career suicide: it may be the only social network worth being on it (with the often mocked Google+), because it’s basically a worldwide database of résumés. But after filling your profile, you don’t really need to use the service every day.
The website isn’t a joy to use anyway. First, the home page is a messy. It’s pretty hard to understand how it works. Sometimes it will show you the latest news, another time news from 2 weeks ago… I still don’t konw how to get a simple chronological news feed of posts only from my contacts and brands I follow. Even if I check the news feed several times a day, I’m pretty sure I’m missing a lot of things.
Personal profiles look also bland: you cannot set banner pics like on other social networks, those are only for brand pages. Moreover, you can’t even view public profiles for members on mobile.
The job offerings on the home page are often irrelevant. LinkedIn knows I’m neither an engineer nor a student, but I still see internships or engineering jobs in that section, why?
Private messaging is so uninuitive I’m afraid to use it: I don’t know if messages will arrive in the LinkedIn inbox of my contacts, in their personal email inbox or both. I’m guess I’m not alone to have no problem reaching “Inbox zero” on Linkedin.
The social networking aspect is also quite dull. Most of my contacts share articles without adding any value, what’s the point? The posts with most comments seem to be the automatic ones like birthday reminders, or the posts created when you modify your profile to announce your new job.
Finally, there is no “like” button on the web, juste a share on “LinkedIn button”. You can’t just add something you like to your profile without spamming your friends every time.
A few positive things though: the service is useful as an up to date address book. You can also sometimes find interesting job offers you may have missed if the company doesn’t make a good job communicating about them. And finally, I’ve found the curated news of LinkedIn Pulse to be quite good even if I’ve never customized anything.
Anyway, as I’ve never posted anything on LinkedIn, I still dream to erase my profile but can’t resolve to do it… but I may definitively do if Google+ rises as the next big professionnal network.
One of the most interesting feature of the app is the new search engine: you can now search personal profiles, and not just random users but also brands. We’ll probably see a lot of brands create their profile and some playlists, even if there’s still not special profiles for brands like the “pages” on Facebook or Google+.
Some brands like coca-cola already seem to have a “verified account” kind of badge, but again it’s not easy to see how to get that badge. A true “Spotify for brands” is not here yet…
Anyway, it’s now another opportunity for brands to try to be cool on social media.
Gregg Keizer for Computerworld:
Microsoft has adopted a strategy strikingly similar to that of its arch rival, which essentially gives away its Android mobile operating system, a key reason why Android now powers the majority of new devices shipped each month. (…) It also marked Microsoft’s flat-out admission that it could not make money in using its decades-old business model of selling licenses to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ODMs (original device manufacturers), but had to hunt for a new revenue generator, which it has described as “devices and services.”
Microsoft acknowledged today that the technology landscape has changed, and that in order to be competitive against Google they needed to drop their old licensing model.
I’m not sure though that it will woo phone manufacturers: even if Windows Phone is free, how would they be able to stand out next to the soon-to-be-acquired Nokia? And the OS still lacks some features and key apps anyway (YouTube is still nowhere to be seen after all these years).
Free Windows is a bigger deal for tablets: Windows tablets have a lot more to offer compared to their Android or iOS siblings, like true multitasking and the still useful legacy apps. But Microsoft still needs to fix the messy, schizophrenic Windows 8, and it seems that they now what to do.
La semaine dernière, Curiouser a pu assister à deux événements parisiens où l’impression 3D était à l’honneur. Cela nous a permis de réfléchir sur les futurs u
Just wrote my first post for the Curiouser blog…
Some shots of 3D printed objects, Makerbots and Google’s Project Tango prototype at Le Fab Shop event in Paris Pavillon de l’Arsenal.
Brief hands-on time with a Google Project Tango prototype at an event about 3D printing in Paris Pavillon de l’Arsenal. Thanks to Le Fab Shop and their guest Omar Soubra, lucky owner of the prototype and one of the first men to dare a 3D selfie.
Microsoft today finally released Office on the iPad, but it also made free the Office Mobile apps on iOS and Android. I think the second point is a really big deal.
Before today, Office Mobile was free on Windows Phones, and those with iPhones and Android phones needed to be Office 365 suscribers to use it. The free Office Mobile maybe was the only killer app on Windows Phone, now that’s changed.
Office Mobile is a killer app for those who don’t trust cloud-based app like Evernote, Microsoft OneNote or Google Keep. Nearly everyone thinks that their data is safe in the cloud, and that the Internet will exist forever. They’re wrong.
If you use Office Mobile, you also have to use
Skydrive Onedrive, which syncs a local copy of your files and your PC. That’s for me one big reason to trust Office more than all these other cloud-based apps.
So we’ll see if Office Mobile will climb its way up to the top of the App Store and Play Store charts. Microsoft anyway showed us today that it’s really becoming a mobile-first company, and no more a desktop/Windows-focused one.
A few years ago, social media was quite simple: you used Facebook to share with your friends, you used Flickr or Picasa to share photos, and you used Twitter for microblogging.
Now, all big social networks are copying each other: Instagram launched private messages, Facebook added mentions and hashtags, and then Twitter is less and less a microblogging platform.
The more interesting feature of today’s announcement is the ability to add up 4 photos in a tweet: before, you were limited to 140 characters and 1 photo per tweet. A picture is worth a thousand, says the old adage… what about 4 pictures?
Soon, we’ll probably see Instragram launch the photocopier (pun intended) and allow people to share multiple pictures in a post or create albums, like you can do on Face book.
Facebook just bought virtual reality company Oculus for a nice $2 Billion, and also inspired some funny memes. It will soon become “Face book”, literally…
spotify is an ambivalent product: as a free music streaming it’s very catchy, but the app itself is quite frustrating to use.
I’m quite happy to see that Spotify, as a european company, really challenges the big US players like Apple (iTunes) and Google (YouTube). Actually, if we believe the rumors Apple may be considering launching a Spotify competitor, if it’s not too late already.
Spotify’s killer app really is the unlimited free service: you can even use it on your phone on shuffle mode, even if it’s not the best experience.
But Spotify is not only a streaming service, it’s also a kind of social network, where you can follow artists, your friends, and even public playlists. But there are many little things that make the service frustrating to use.
First, the music collection is a mess: for some artists (David Bowie is a good example), you can find many versions of the same album… Why not just keeping the “super deluxe remastered whatever” version? And you can’t sort albums by name, to at least bring together different versions of the same album.
I also like the fact that you can follow artists to be notified when new material is available, but does your “music graph” needs to be public? Like on Twitter, you can’t hide who you follow neither your followers. But music is a quite intimate thing, and you may not want to share your tastes with everybody.
The social networking features are also hard to understand: if you connect your Spotify account to your Facebook account, you can easily find your Facebook friends on Spotify. But if you don’t use Facebook, you can’t search other people on Spotify. If you use the web app, you can still find your friends by guessing the url of their profiles… but who would do that?
As I don’t use Facebook, I’ve also never been able to use the Spotify Inbox, or changing my profile picture, neither other things I may have missed.
Not so long ago, you were forced to use Facebook Connect to use Spotify, until Spotify dropped that restriction in August 2012. I may not be the only one to be pleased if Spotify would continue to decrease its dependency on big ol’ Facebook.
Among all these caricatures, it seems to me that the least ridiculous person may be the Google+ user. In fact, you don’t even sell much of your soul to Google when you use Google+, it’s still the only ad-free major social network today. It also has the cleanest interface, when Facebook has become more cluttered than ever, even after removing the ads with a tool like Adblock.
And there are still 2 kinds of social networks: the web-based ones whose content can be crawled by search engines, and the 100% mobile ones which are used for personal stuff because brands don’t use them yet… except for Snapchat.
If Spotify aims to be the OS of music, then Steam could shoot at becoming the OS of gaming. Steam is digital distribution done right: buy once, play (almost) everywhere, as the software is available on PC, Mac and Linux.
The tech press talks a lot about how tablets and smartphones are slowly killing the PC, but according to Bloomberg.com, gaming is not a dying business, thanks to Steam PC:
Valve captures 75 percent of the global market for digital PC games through its Steam store, researcher IHS Screen Digest has estimated. While the company doesn’t disclose sales, digital distribution of PC games this year will comprise $5.5 billion of the $21.4 billion computer games market, according to DFC Intelligence, another researcher. IHS estimates Valve generated $1.1 billion in 2012 from full-game downloads.
And the Steam ecosystem is growing, as reported by Wired.com last April:
Last week, Valve announced that 65 million people were now active users of Steam, its gaming umbrella service for personal computers. That’s a number on par with the installed bases of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s a whole lot of gamers buying and playing the over 3,000 games on the service, from blockbusters like BioShock Infinite to one-man indie projects like Retro City Rampage and everything in between.
But what about mobile? With the Steam Boxes and the Linux-based Steam OS, Valve focus right now seems to be the living room, a crowded and maybe declining market. It’s also interesting to see that even if Valve has developed a Linux client and the Linux-based Steam OS, it has not developed a true Android client… though Android is also based on Linux and Android PCs already exist.
Google’s Android is not yet on TVs, but it’s already ubiquitous and has the ambition to become the OS for everything. Steam has to be on Android if it doesn’t want Google to become the OS of gaming.
Tumblr just introduced a new kind of post: you can now dial a free number to post a short audio note to your blog. I can’t see much people using the feature (Twitter also allows to tweet via SMS though), but anybody who remembers the 90’s may have some fun and nostalgia watching this video.