After an (unintentional) two weeks away, Joe is back on FatKidOnFire with his ‘Week in Tech’ recap. This is two weeks’ worth of tech news (as I didn’t get around to posting last weeks’ so combined the two) with updates from Apple, Facebook and Twitter. Find Joe on Twitter here.
Facebook now lets you reply… Properly
Two weeks ago saw the introduction of Facebook’s new ‘Replies’ feature.
Users are now be able to directly reply to a comment, making navigating the conversation thread a much simpler process. Comments will be prioritised based on engagement, the most popular getting the top spot on the feed. Negative feedback (such as spam reports) will lower the comment’s place in the thread. Facebook Pages can currently opt-in to use the new Replies system too, with Pages over 10,000 followers automatically being switched over. Pages that chose not to opt-in will be switched over on July 10th this year. More over on the Facebook blog.
Vine adds embed feature
Twitter’s awesome video-sharing app Vine now has the ability to embed your 6 second creations.
Embedded videos can be displayed either as a ‘Standard’ embed or as a ‘Postcard’ which letterboxes the video with info about the users profile and the video’s caption. This same information can be seen by rolling over the Standard embed. Check out the Vine blog to see it in action.
Apple needs to hire this guy
Australian developer/designer Jessie Head has released a concept of how app-switching in iOS could should look… And boy it looks good. While the ideas he shows aren’t necessarily new or unique, they do manage to pull off the task with a level of finesse and directness that Apple should really take note of. Seriously, this guy needs a desk with Jony Ive! Read Jessie’s blog for more.
Facebook Phone is (kind of) here
The heavily rumoured Facebook phone was revealed last Thursday – although it proved to be not quite what everyone expected. The ‘phone’ turned out to be more of fancy application in the disguise of an operating system, imaginatively named Facebook Home.
Facebook Home acts both as homescreen and app launcher, allowing users access to what’s going on with those close to them in a more integrated experience (i.e. without having to even unlock their device). Its most prominent feature is the Cover Feed – which replaces the standard Android homescreen with updates, photos and links your Facebook friends are currently sharing.
Home also has a new messaging feature being dubbed ‘Chat Heads’. Chat Heads are avatar-based message notifications (Facebook Messenger and SMS) that pop up on the side of the screen regardless of the app you are using. It is possible to reply to the message without exiting or switching apps allowing you to get back to what you were doing more quickly. Think Facebook’s version of Apple’s iMessage.
Strictly speaking, there is a Facebook phone coming in the form of the HTC First – a mid spec Android handset released in the US on the 12 of April. This will be the first handset to come preinstalled with Facebook Home and will benefit from full integration of all of your apps. Facebook Home will be launch in the US on April 12th as part of a slow rollout. The HTC First will be available in the UK exclusively on EE this Summer.
Apple’s spaceship-styled HQ is reaching astronomical prices
Apple’s plans for its new headquarters at Cupertino are apparently behind time and massively over budget. Adhering to the specific design and build plans for finishes left in place by Steve Jobs, the budget has reportedly been upped by a further $2 billion – bringing the projected total cost to a staggering $5 billion! Not that the company can’t afford it. More over at Bloomberg Businessweek.
Peace, love and respect.