2012 has been a big year for the Internet and the legislation which governs it. In January, the Internet took a stand against SOPA and PIPA by striking, shutting down major websites including Reddit and Wikipedia in protest.
The issues have largely centred around the US where SOPA and PIPA were born, especially with this year’s elections taking place. However, Internet freedom has remained a popular political topic around the EU where similar legislation has been up for debate and protested. It’s now a hot topic again, with the ITU treaty proposal causing more controversy over the governance of the internet just as the year is winding down. (more…)
Instagram was one of those iPhone apps that was easy to use, gave you a way to share your precious moments with others, and quickly gathered an impressive fan base that couldn’t quit sharing their love for the app. In fact, just last April, Instagram was so hot, that Facebook decided to buy the company for $1 billion. Now talk about a pay day; that is unbelievable for company that just produced a simple camera app for the iPhone.
But, if you are an avid Instagram user, you always knew that something was missing. The fact that they made it so hard for you to access your pics on the web and to interact and see other friend’s Instagram photos was just a little strange to me. Before they sold to Facebook, I had always thought that they were sitting on a gold mine if they could successfully launch the web side of their app. Well, the day has finally arrived when we can now look at our pics online and have the ability to interact with others. I want to briefly show you around the new profiles on the web as well as talk about what could possibly lie ahead for the future of this app.
Twitter is a social network a lot of us use on a daily basis. I could easily Facebook, because Twitter is the network for me. However, its recent activity has not gone unnoticed and the San Francisco-based company has recieved a lot of controversial attention over its practice with developers.
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the recent attention Twitter has been getting and looking at what it means for us, the users and consumers of third-party apps. (more…)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of Twitter’s new restrictions on third-party developers. If so, you’re probably also aware of other actions Twitter has been taking which put the users on the losing end, such as shutting down the “find my friends” API for Instagram and Tumblr. Consequently, technologically-inclined users have been increasingly vocal about their disapproval of the microblogging company.
As a general result of this, App.net (ADN) was formed. Led by Dalton Caldwell, ADN offers something Twitter isn’t: to let the user be the customer, not the product. This is based on a simple principle: users and developers pay ADN to use the service, and ADN does its best to serve their interests, not those of advertisers. I believed in the cause and contributed $50 to the Kickstarter-esque project early on.
App.net’s funding was successful. It’s taken weeks of using it before I’ve really started to follow my Timeline, all thanks to Netbot’s defibrillate shock that revitalized ADN. However, I’m started to have second thoughts as to whether the service is a good idea after all.
And just in time, another option came along: Tent.io.
When searching through app stores, there are always little things that catch my eye: the app’s name, icon, and interface design. These are the things that will get me to actually check into an app and possibly start using it. If one of these are lacking, I will brush the app aside and keep browsing for better apps.
These features, in my opinion, are not actually the most valuable. After all, if an app has an odd name or icon, but still works great, it’d still be a good application. The thing is, an app needs to make a good first impression. If it doesn’t catch my eye, I likely won’t ever try the app out in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the first things every application needs to make a good first impression, and then deliver on that initial promise of excellence.
In my last post, I wrote about how you can use the internet for TV and cut cable if you really wanted to. To be perfectly honest, it was a post that I had been wanting to write for a really long time, but I felt that I had to wait for the right time. The reason being is that if I were to write that post when I first started the experiement almost two years ago, it would have been very different that it is now. When it comes to options for watching TV online, the difference between now and then is like night and day. The TV industry is starting to recognize that the web has become a viable player in all of this and that they’d better get on board.
Using the internet for TV doesn’t mean you have to watch TV on your computer only, though. There’s many different devices that promise to bring internet video to your TV, but two stand out from the others: the Apple TV, and the Roku line up of streaming devices. The reason why I chose to go with these two is because they are head and shoulders ahead in this area, and as we look forward will probably be the two main competitors for this space. If you are anything like me, you want to get the one that will give you the most bang for your buck. Hopefully, I am able to provide you with enough information that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
There’s too many social networks to keep up with today, but two largely dominate the space: Facebook and Twitter. For years, Myspace was the social force to be reckoned with, but once Facebook began rising in popularity, it quickly became relegated to being a niche network. Facebook and Twitter have managed to be a social duopoly of sorts, coexisting and growing at the same time, largely because they target different types of social behavior.
As Twitter matured, and needed to find a business model, they’ve seemed to lose the open path that brought them their initial success. Developers fear that 3rd party Twitter apps, once the bread-and-butter of Twitter, will be cut off in favor of the official apps.
That fear has led to Dalton Caldwell’s fight to build App.net, a new paid social network designed to recreate the magic of the open Twitter experience, and take it further than anyone could dream of today. (more…)
A couple of months back, Facebook shook the world with their billion dollar Instagram acquisition, days before going public. As if that didn’t cause enough furore, Facebook’s stocks tanked soon after going public, inviting sharp criticisms from all ends. It sounds too much like the .com bubble of the late ’90′s, the last time the early world of web apps messed up our economy.
Some people even started predicting doom and the end of the world as we know it. Okay, I made that up. But I can’t quite make peace with the fact that Instagram, a company which had only been around for a year and a half now, and made zero profit, is worth a billion dollars.
Outrageous, one might say! But knowing Zuckerberg’s working style and Facebook’s history, I believe there must be some reason behind this seemingly irrational move. In this article, we’ll try to understand how product valuation works, what is an economic bubble, and more importantly, why Instagram.
Given the recent rise in popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, with quick, short messages between users like those popularized by SMS messages, some believe that e-mail may be dying out. After all, it’s so much easier to type in a person’s name, write out whatever it is off your chest and hit “Send”. You don’t have to worry if the email address is correct or up-to-date, and you can be pretty much guaranteed that they will have seen it, even if you don’t get a reply straight away.
It’s pretty surprising to say, but even today, 12% of the American and 39% of the European population still don’t have access to the Internet, according to the latest penetration figures for 2011. As those users, and the kids growing up today, come online, it would seem that they’ll adopt to using social networks by default, skipping email entirely and hastening its demise. But I believe that e-mail certainly isn’t dying out – in fact it’s more popular than ever.
Native apps, or web apps? Which ones are truly better?
That’s one of the most important questions developers could ask themselves today, with native apps surging in popularity, while people still spend more time than ever using web apps like Facebook and Gmail.
Our own Jacob Penderworth recently got fed up with the infrequent updates to Twitter’s native Mac app, and decided to switch to using the Twitter web app in Fluid by default instead. He lists what frustrated him with native apps, why Twitter’s web app is much better now, and why he chose to use Twitter in Fluid instead of as another tab in his browser. It’s an interesting insight into how web apps truly can be better than native apps, especially when the native apps are merely a way to show data from the web app.