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Will Google Plus be a success ?
Friday, 15 July 2011 20:23
Google Plus logo

Two weeks after Google Plus has been released, time has come to review it and see what this new social network can bring to an already crowded market. Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Viadeo and many others have been running for a couple of years and all have substantial market share in their respective fields of activity.

The question is: how can Google enter this market successfully ? Needless to say that there is no known magical answer to this, every body has his own theory, based on his own experiences and observations.

At first glance, Google Plus seems to have everything needed to succeed: a quite innovative contact management mechanism (called circles) that permits to sort contacts rather precisely (professional contacts, close friends, acquaintance and so on...), a permission management system that takes advantage of this: so for instance you can publish a feed for your friends only. Also the user profile can be different for contacts in different circles, giving users the ability to fully control who can see what.

An instant messaging service is included, a video conference service, a "Wall" to publish feeds that can also be filtered based on circles, so that you can decide to only see your professional contacts' feeds for instance. Google Plus is also connected to Picasa, so that users can manage their photo album and import their already existing one. It is also connected with Google's search engine, by means of the +1 button appearing on each query result.

From a technical point if view, the site is remarkable as we are used to from Google. Pages load instantly, user interfaces are easy to use, easy to read and uncluttered. The only negative point so far is that you really need a large screen in order to use the circle configuration page decently.

Google Plus is then the perfect competitor of Twitter, Facebook, Viadeo, Flickr and many more which might be its pitfall. Concretely, Twitter is an interest based social network, Facebook is a friendship social network (with a fuzzy definition of friendship, granted), Viadeo is a professional social network. The problem with Google is that it has no strategic positioning in this market. This might make people unwilling to use it just because they don't know what it is made for. They might prefer to stay on their current networks just because they know what each is made for.

Image source

Fall 2011 : iOS 5 release
Friday, 01 July 2011 00:00

The new Apple's operating system iOS 5 will be available this fall. According to Apple it « includes more than 200 new features for your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch ». Key features are described on its website.

The major update done by iOS 5 is undoubtedly the «Notification center » that gathers all notifications in one single place. You just have to swipe down from the top of the screen to let it appears (probably inspired from Android).

From a user view point, all notifications will be recorded and accessible: so that new ones will no longer replace the old ones, neither pop up in front of a running application : it will appear unobtrusively at the top of the screen and disappear shortly after. In addition each new notification will be visible from the lock screen to ease the way to get to its apps.

This is a good news for developers since users will certainly be less reluctant to activate their apps notifications. They will also be able to keep track of them all. Developers can be sure that their notifications will be seen.



Another important new feature : iCloud. It will be available with iOS 5 and directly integrated into each apps. iCloud will automatically and freely sync all your Apple devices. In other words, the content of your iPhone will be the same in your iPad, iPod touch or Mac. It will be stored in Apple's cloud. Each user have 5GB of free storage for his custom data (excluding music and apps) which can be extended.

Apple iCloud logo

For users iCloud looks useful since it is said that half of iPhone users never sync their phone (except for activation). In case of restoring, your device will recover your apps datas from the cloud.

For developers an API will help them to integrate iCloud into their apps. This means that any iOS/Mac OS developer can now implement synchronization feature for their multi platform applications without spending any money to develop the cloud part.

Taking advantage of social networks in your mobile apps
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00

With an amazingly high amount of users and an ever growing popularity, social networks have become a real asset in many business strategies. How to create a buzz for your brand ? How to provide a better user experience ? These are the questions social networks help answering.

Social networks


Social networks might look strange if one consider their number, their fast evolution, how different they look from one another and their specific vocabulary. Hopefully for editors and developers, social networks get really interesting when integrated into third party applications and web services, which is why most of them provide libraries to easily interact with them.

The popular Facebook and Twitter allow third party developers to use their authentication mechanism in new application or web services, thus, users won't need anymore to create many account on many different web site, they can use their favorite social network account to login anywhere on the web.

Social networks are also an source of inspiration for new features to include in your product. Some examples are the Arcad Fire's video clip using HTML 5 or the Orange's boule de neige campaign that personalize media contents using information taken from your social network.

Social networks can be a valuable tools for communication. They are the places where "buzzes" happen. For a company, being active on a social network is a very efficient way to manage its own reputation.

Illustration from webdeez.eu



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