Tuesday Google introduced a new set of algorithm that is having major affects no how mobile search results appear. Sites that are not considered mobile friendly or 'responsive' will lose priority to websites that the Google (which is responsible for 80% of all web searches) deems 'mobile-friendly.' Ones that avoid animated elements like Flash and feature readable text, easy-to-click links and a responsive design (meaning it responds to what you're looking at it on. Sites that aren’t up to snuff will automatically appear higher in search results. If you're on the failing side of these requirements - you know who to call (queue superhero music).
One of The Verge's sponsors SONY recently posted an article on theverge.com showcasing "underwater apps" for their Xperia Z1S, a fully waterproof phone. Yeah, you read that right, underwater apps as in apps that respond to being submerged into water. A cringe worthy thought as we've all probably come very close to losing a phone by falling into a pool of water and then praying to a box of rice to magically suck up all the water.
SONY partnered with app developers Motim and SoftFacade along with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to develop the new technology for detecting submersion. The technology is based on sound waves similar to a submarine's sonar system. As an example, the article begins with an adorable video showcasing Goldie, one of the 6 underwater apps. SONY has also posted the source code on Github so it is open to being toyed around with.
For all the information check out the article over at theverge.com
We all studied it in grade school and never want to admit how little we actually remember. I mean, we all know generally where everything is and maybe a few pieces of trivia about a handful of places and let's be honest if we really needed to know we could always google it. Google Maps recognizes our need for a fun way to brush up on our geography and trivia skills with a straight forward game called Smarty Pins. Google asks you a random trivia question about a specific city or country, and you drop a pin on the right spot.
There are six different categories of trivia, you can choose which category you want to focus on or get a sampling of each. At the beginning of the game you start with 1,000 miles, aka points, and if you are quick at maneuvering the map and dropping your pin you can get some extra miles. If you guess wrong, Google will calculate how many miles off your answer is from the correct one. While there have been many games out there to help us learn geography, Google has created a fun time waster thats educational. So go on and test your skills, see how you do!
Spotify's Browse feature is the company's latest venture in curating the incredibly large number of playlists that are created on the app. Instead of having to look for your own beats to listen to, you can use the browse feature to search for a playlist based on theme, mood or even what kind of workout you are doing. This is similar to Songza which gives you a couple playlist options based on time of day and activity but with more of a Pandora feel. Recently Songza was bought by Google for millions of dollars in efforts to compete with Apple's acquisition of Beats by Dre.
Playlist curation can lead to billion-dollar acquisitions-see The Verge's article on how much Apple paid for Beats and million-dollar acquisitions as noted above. Remember iTunes Genius? Is that considered too old school to join the pre-made playlist party? Personally curating playlists has been a great help for me to find new music as an avid user of both Spotify and Songza I don't have to spend hours scouring the web for new music when I can just press play in the morning as I get ready, commute to work or dance around my kitchen as I cook dinner. These kinds of applications make it easy to integrate music throughout our day to day and who doesn't love some good tunes as a daily soundtrack?
Ikea has come up with an interesting marketing campaign that lives inside Instagram. In order to promote Ikea's PS 2014 Collection, their Russian division hired ad agency Instinct to build a marketing campaign within Instagram. When you click on the account name ikea_ps_2014 on your smartphone (on your browser the page won't be formatted correctly) you come to a "catalog" to search through. The different tags bring you to separate pages with more information on the products. This in app marketing idea is a little funky but definitely caught my attention.
Earlier this week the Turkois team attended Kaltura Connect : The Video Experience Conference. At the conference anyone from developers, techies, creatives and more gathered together to discuss video experiences and shaping web video for the future. The full three day conference had workshops, keynotes and discussion panels all focused on new technologies for web video.
Apple's explanation of the evolution of it's design philosophy. Pretty darn b-a utiful.