Communication Design, Design, Digital Media

Snap inc. Introduces Spectacles!

Snapchat does what it does best and alleviates their users use of the platform. They are introducing sunglasses that takes snaps, called spectacles!

Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories.

We’ve created one of the smallest wireless video cameras in the world, capable of taking a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge, and we integrated it seamlessly into a fun pair of sunglasses – available in 3 different colors!

Spectacles are K.I.S.S!

Sunglasses with camera, storage and battery. Brilliant. I appreciate how simple & single-purpose the product is. You don’t have to use your phone but you can still snap.

Can’t wait to find out how this will turnout for the platform.

Curious about K.I.S.S. ? follow through here.

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Digital Media

Dark Sky’s hyperlocal weather app is now available on the web

Four-year-old mobile weather app Dark Sky is mostly known for two things: its beautifully rendered radar maps and startlingly accurate hyperlocal weather predictions. The latter was Dark Sky’s killer feature by far, and used your smartphone’s GPS to let you know exactly when and how long you’d get rained on. With notifications like “Heavy rain starting in 12 min.” it can be a lifesaver in rainy regions or places prone to sudden thunderstorms. Now those same features, along with a suite of new maps and visualizations, are available on your desktop via DarkSky.net.

Source: Dark Sky’s hyperlocal weather app is now available on the web

You can embed these maps too! Below is London’s hyperlocal wind map. Neato!

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Communication Design, Digital Media

Responsive emails!

responsive

 

Hurray for the responsive emails, now we can set-up device-aware campaigns to Gmail accounts.

When you send emails, your recipients might read them on a computer, tablet, or phone—or more likely, all three. However your message might look different on all these devices. Later this month, you’ll be able to use CSS media queries with Gmail and Inbox by Gmail to ensure that your message is formatted the way you intended, whether it’s viewed on a computer, a phone in portrait mode, or a tablet in landscape mode. You’ll be able to change styles based on width, rotation, and resolution, allowing for more responsive formatting to optimize your email for every device.

Source: Google Apps Developer Blog: Your emails, optimized for every screen with responsive design

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Digital Media

Twitter’s New Stategy Statement is Irrelevant

Twitter:

Reach the largest daily audience in the world by connecting everyone to their world via our information sharing and distribution platform products and be one of the top revenue generating Internet companies in the world.

John Gruber

That’s 220 characters. If any company should be able to fit its strategy into a single tweet, it’s Twitter. So clunky. Worrisome that they can’t express themselves clearly.
I can just see the argument. “Let’s call them platforms.” “No, products.” “Platforms!” “Products!” “Wait, I’ve got it: platform products.”

I agree to every word of it. Also by forcefully inserting the “revenue generating” part to attract investors, they appeare desperate. If you are a business that generates revenue you will be out there.

It is sad to see that a platform I relied on for relevancy is alienating itself to their founding principles.

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Digital Media

Why Whatsapp grew the way it did?

Great insight to why whatsapp grew on OmMaliks WhatsApp is Different

A reader emailed and point out that WhatsApp initial success was because it “spent time building for platforms that were not sexy – Blackberry, j2me, Early android OS”

Developing apps for all the niche platforms given them the privilege to app markets with little competition in their field. And after those markets disappeared the users moved to more popular platforms such as iOS and Android. Absolute win for Whatsapp.

and it “grew internationally once SMS fees started creeping up and first set of cheap prepaid data plans showed up.” Since Whatsapp uses very little bandwidth, “carriers started taking notice and instead of pitching full data packages, started unbundling data and started offering WhatsApp packages.” Reliance in India being a prime example, mostly as a result of growing penetration within each country. These were usually promoted very heavily within each country. At one point, people in india were paying 15 rupees per month for unlimited WhatsApp instead of spending more on data.

Having defined a realistic price on the service allowed WhatsApp to disrupt based solely on price. This carried the market with them to a cheaper price point allowing local carriers to promote them to their users.

See how many users they have in relation to their employee numbers and be astonished on OmMalik’s page.

Apart from that, this one is truly a unique story of user acquisition.

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Digital Media

Source

Google has been promoting the use of WebP, the still image derivative of its WebM video codec. Mozilla has also been looking at the issue, but the open source browser organization has come up with a different conclusion: we don’t need a new image format, we just need to make better JPEGs.

To that end, the group has released its own JPEG compression library, mozjpeg 2.0, which reduces file sizes by around five percent compared to the widely used libjpeg-turbo.

mozjpeg is free and permissively licensed, so Mozilla is hoping that it will see widespread adoption by those creating JPEG images.

As for why Mozilla isn’t interested in WebP even though Google promotes it as superior, it all depends on how you measure image quality. All lossy compression formats contain errors relative to the original image, due to the data that is lost. The thing that makes comparing lossy formats hard is that not all errors are equal; the human visual system is more attuned to some kinds of error and less so to others. For example, it’s more sensitive to errors in brightness than errors in color.

Simple is good, if libjpeg-turbo is working towards better human perception, who needs a new image format?

We don’t need new image formats: WebP vs Jpg

Aside