Responsive design is all the craze nowadays. In case you don’t know, responsive design is a website theme/layout that adapts to different screen sizes with just one code base, instead of different ones for each size. Websites such as yours truly, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, TheNextWeb have responsive designs so you can simply resize this browser window ( if you’re on a desktop/notebook computer ) or open these websites on a tablet or smartphone and even try switching between landscape/portrait modes. The design will dynamically adapt to the screen size.
The social media giant, Facebook, has announced today that it has now reached one billion active users milestone who are “actively” spending time on the website. The company achieved the milestone on September 14 at 12:45 PM PST. Facebook also announced that it now 600 million mobile users. This also means that one-seventh of the world population is already on Facebook. Continue Reading
Mozilla might be there on all major desktop platforms out there like Windows, OS X and Linux along with mobile platforms such as Android but it has yet to make a dent on iOS. The reason being that Apple doesn’t allow third party browsers to use their own rendering engines. Call it anticompetitive or not, it hasn’t yet caused an uproar like Windows RT’s exemption of third party browsers has. ( Of course, there are more details to this, but that’s a topic for another article ).
A forgotten fact is that Mozilla already has an app for iOS which syncs open tabs and bookmarks from other versions of Firefox. Not many users actually use that app though. However, Mozilla is aware of the fact that they lack presence on one of the biggest development platforms in the world and has been working to address that. At a recent presentation, Mozilla’s Product Design Strategy team showed off their efforts to make a splash on the iPad.
Called Firefox Junior, Mozilla is trying to completely reimagine the browser on tablets. They’ve went on to say that despite Safari being the best mobile browser out there, it provides a miserable experience so they went ahead and removed tabs and controls to provide a full screen browsing experience. The controls are shown on the screen but in the bottom half, on either side of it. Recent pages are shown in a rich visual manner, similar to how Opera mini shows them. A unified search/address bar is shown as well as bookmarks under the recent pages visuals. Similar to how other controls are moved to the bottom half on the sides, the refresh, forward and print buttons are also shown.
[Image credit to The Verge]
Firefox has gone one step ahead, and this is something we personally like – they added support for multiple user accounts in Firefox Junior. Each user can have their own private web history which is helpful as in most households, it’s normal for multiple users to share an iPad. The Verge, which covered this event, thinks that the browser is far from shipping to the public. It has some functionality missing such as a progress bar so it seems like Mozilla showed off work in progress. Check out the video of the presentation below:
Our take on this is that Firefox really needs to step up the game on desktop first to pull people to their browser on mobile devices. Having used Firefox for Android, I wouldn’t touch that browser again with a 10 foot stick – it was that slow and felt extremely bloated. Mozilla might be working on Firefox Junior as a preemptive tactic against Google, who is rumored to be working on Chrome for iPad as well. We also don’t see anything wrong with Safari for iPad. A number of browsers exist on iPad that do what Firefox is imagining to be different. Firefox Junior seems like a mixture of Dolphin browser, Opera Mini, Sleipnir browser and more. Hiding basic controls from the end-user isn’t a smart move.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, Firefox exists on Android tablets as well and it’s a horrendous user interface, performance and usability disaster.
Permalink: Mozilla Demonstrates Firefox Junior for iPad
Despite the rapid growth of data services and cheap data packages, users often find themselves away from an Internet connection sometimes. In some places, data packages are cheap with bad quality service and slow speeds while in places where they are fast, they are very expensive and it’s easy to run out of data limits. Luckily, it’s easy to stay in touch with friends despite such problems. Facebook lets you setup text messaging so all your notifications and messages from friends are sent to your phone via SMS.
Setting Up Facebook Text Messages/SMS
It’s very easy to get started. Go to your account settings and navigate to the Mobile tab. Add your mobile number here.
Make sure you select your country and add your phone number, without the country code.
Facebook will send you a confirmation code which you’ll have to enter here. For privacy reasons, uncheck ‘Share my phone number with my friends’. Rarely do users have a friend list where they would want to share the number with everyone. Remember to keep ‘Allow friends to text me from Facebook’ though. Click next and you’re done.
In case your mobile carrier isn’t supported by Facebook, you can suggest them to add support for them by going here.
Configuring Facebook Text Messages
Facebook provides a set of options to customize the events for which you can receive text messages as well as the timings so that Facebook doesn’t wake you up from sleep at the middle of the night. We all have those friends who message at those times. :)
You can also setup Facebook to not send you SMS when you’re online on the website. A very handy feature is subscribing to updates by particular friends or pages. This way, you can be sure that you don’t miss any update from those you care about the most.
Facebook also lets you configure whether you just want to receive messages specifically sent to your mobile or all messages that land in your inbox. It is recommended that you leave it as ‘When someone sends me a Message on web or mobile’ so that you don’t miss anything.
Last option, which can help prevent overload of incoming text messages is configuring the number of daily messages that can be sent. Facebook sets this as unlimited by default which is how it should be as restricting the number would mean that you could miss important messages or notifications from Facebook.
An alternate method for receiving messages via SMS is through Gmail. As long as your friends have your mobile number, they can send you instant messages via SMS as long as they don’t exceed their daily SMS credit quota. Here’s how it works: every time you send an SMS message, your credit ( initially 50 ) decreases by one. When you receive a response to your message in chat, you get 5 credits back. Maximum amount of credit can only be 50 per day. Of course, responding to the messages is charged through your carrier’s SMS rates just like with Facebook text message so make sure you don’t go overboard and get charged with a high bill as a result.
Apple introduced the personal hotspot capability in iOS 4 for iPhone but due to carrier’s stubborn ness, they don’t allow this due to reasons that would never make sense to us. With fast Internet speeds, tethering connections with other devices is a big usage demand since, well, if you pay for Internet, you should be allowed to use it as you want to.
iTether was an old App Store app that allowed iPhone users to share their connection but it was quickly taken down by Apple as it was against their policies. This was a blessing for users who couldn’t use the Personal Hotspot feature on their iPhones due to carrier restrictions. Luckily, a new HTML5 app by Tether has been released in the wild that lets users tether their 3G data connections with either a Mac or PC. This comes with a price of $30 per year although as a special launch pricing, it’s being offered for $15 per year for the first week.
Unfortunately, you can’t user Tether as a WiFi hotspot solution like Personal Hotspot but for something that can be setup in 5 minutes to work with a Mac or PC, it’s a blessing.
Once you’ve bought a subscription, here’s how you can get Tether up and running on your iPhone and Mac/PC:
Run Tether and setup a name for your network. You can either setup a password for the network or even keep it blank.
Click the Settings icon on iOS and click Wi-Fi. Select the tether.com:SSIDNAME network and enter the password if you created the network with one.
Open the Safari on iOS and go to http://tether.com/web. If you have an account, login and follow the on screen instructions. The webpage will establish a connection between your iPhone and computer. You should now be able to use Internet on you computer.
If WSJ’s sources are correct, we could all be witnesses for one of the biggest IPO fillings for a US technology company in history. With more than 800 million users, Facebook’s value is estimated at anywhere between $80 to $100 billion and it’s highly expected that the company could raise up to $10 billion in it’s initial public offering.
Since a lot of years, analysts have been waiting for Facebook to file for IPO. Meanwhile, Facebook didn’t do so as Mark Zuckerburg didn’t want employees to care about stocks but about great products. It’s valuation as well as users kept on sky rocketing, leaving behind the competition in dust and becoming one of the most valued and sought after companies on the Internet. Microsoft had bought 1.6% shares on Facebook back in 2007, at a price of $240 million, which boosted the overall estimated value of Facebook to $15 billion. Some rough calculations show that if Facebook is valued at $75 billion after IPO, Microsoft’s shares would be worth around $1.2 billion. Not a bad investment.
Facebook was started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and has turned out to be such a dream success that entrepreneurs can’t even imagine it. Aged 27 now, Zuckerburg’s worth over $17.5 billion and is considered the youngest billionaire in the world. As a CEO of Facebook, his shares in the company are %24 as of 2010 so his own worth is bound to increase tremendously if the IPO is to go through.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the first time that rumors are being strongly heard about Facebook going public. But Facebook has also halted trading in secondary markets for a few days which is giving more power to these rumors. Stakes are so high that valuation below $75 billion could be termed as disappointing.
Could Facebook manage to pull off a $10 billion IPO? Sounds difficult but highly likely considering, well, it’s Facebook.
Facebook has updated their Messenger app for iPhone and iPod Touch with support for iOS 5 and turned it into more of a chat/messaging app hybrid. It was initially just a simple messaging app but has now gained status indicators to show which contacts are online and which are on mobile. During a conversation, typing indicator is also shown making it essentially a stand alone Facebook chat app as well as a quick way to access your inbox.
While composing new messages, friends you contact frequently are shown at the top before rest of the online contacts list making it easier to stay in touch with whom it really matters.
Here’s the complete change log of Facebook Messenger app version 1.5:
• Support for iOS 5
• Ability to see who’s online and who’s mobile
• Ability to see when the other person is typing
• A faster way to compose new messages to the people you message most
• Various performance improvements
• Support for 12 additional languages
Weirdly, Facebook Messenger’s website still shows it as coming soon even though it’s available since some time now for both iOS and Android. Let’s see when they’ll add on video chat to this app.
Facebook Messenger app can be download from iTunes/App Store from here.
Apple has just released Safari 5.1 with lots of new features and is now available for download for both Mac OS X and Windows users. New features include Multi-touch gestures, Reading List and full screen browsing. There are some new Privacy and security features that have also been introduced. Complete official release of new features in Safari 5.1 is given below:
Whenever you come across something interesting on the web, save it to Reading List. Then when you have more time to read articles, watch videos, or shop, your link-filled Reading List is ready and waiting. You can browse through the entire list or see just your unread pages. And Safari Reader lets you see it all in a clean, uncluttered space free from blinking, annoying ads.
Multi-Touch Gestures [Lion]
Multi-Touch is built into Safari on OS X Lion, so you can tap, scroll, and swipe your way around the web. And it’s just as smooth, natural, and fun on the Mac as it is on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
Full-Screen Browsing [Lion]
You’ll be even more immersed in the web when you see it full screen with OS X Lion. Web pages take up every inch of your display so there’s nothing to distract you from what’s onscreen. You can open many web pages full screen – dedicate one page for Twitter feeds, one for video, and another for browsing, for example – and swipe back and forth between them. Or open just one web page full screen while other open pages stay the original Safari window size. And it’s just as easy to switch from full-screen browsing back to your desktop.
Some websites you visit can leave data on your computer. The new Privacy pane in Safari preferences shows what kind of data websites are storing and lets you remove it. You can also customize cookie settings and choose whether websites can request your location information.
Sandboxing is a security feature that helps prevent websites from tampering with your computer. All the web content and applications you use in Safari on Lion are sandboxed, so websites can’t use exploits to access your system. If a website contains malicious code intended to capture personal data or take control of your computer, sandboxing automatically blocks it to keep your computer and your information safe.
Safari makes sure your information is kept private. Whenever you come across a web form, Safari automatically detects it and lets you choose to use AutoFill to complete the form with information from your Address Book. No information is ever added to a form automatically unless you say it’s OK.
When you launch Safari on Lion or restart your Mac, Safari automatically restores the open windows and tabs from your last browsing session. So you can continue right where you left off. On Snow Leopard and Windows, you can choose to have Safari automatically restore your windows in the General pane of Safari preferences.
Downloads Popover [Lion]
It’s even easier to keep track of your downloads with the new Downloads popover in Safari on Lion. When you download a file, an arrow button appears to the right of the Smart Search Field and shows you its progress. Click the button to see the popover and everything you’ve downloaded. You can drag downloads to the desktop or clear them from the popover.
When you use Find, you can now choose whether to search for text that either contains or starts with the word or phrase you type in the search field. Click the magnifying glass in the Find search field to switch between the two options.
Better Graphics [Lion]
You’ll see games in all their glory – especially the ones that use the HTML5 Canvas element. Hardware acceleration for HTML5 Canvas means even faster, smoother graphics. And that means more responsive games and web applications – just as the developers intended.
Internet Account Setup
When you first log in to your Google, Yahoo!, or AOL accounts in Safari on Lion, Safari asks if you want to use these accounts with Mail, iCal, iChat, and Address Book. So you’re off to a quick, convenient start.
New Process Architecture
Everything you do in Safari is more stable and responsive. The new process architecture divides the heavy lifting for smoother sailing. One process handles everything coming from or going to the web, while the other manages interactions with the Safari interface – such as creating a bookmark or searching your history. Now an unresponsive website won’t affect Safari, so you can keep browsing and browsing.
Spotify, the online music service, has finally landed in the US. The unlimited music service let’s you stream your favorite music via the internet using either a free (desktop only) or an ad-free paid account which gives you additional access to high quality music via your mobile devices.
With Spotify Premium, you can easily build your custom playlists and even share them with your friends. For now, only the free ad-supported service has been activated. In near future, Spotify Premium $9.99 per month subscription will let users stream ad-free music to mobile devices, share playlists and cache music for offline playback. A $4.99 intermediate plan will remove ads from the stream, but it doesn’t support streaming to the company’s mobile apps, which are already available for iOS devices in the App Store and for Android devices in the Android Market.
Here is a little promo video of Spotify:
Facebook has planned a "surprise event" on July 6 as announced by Mark Zuckerberg, the company CEO while addressing the press earlier. He tipped off the journalists that an "awesome" product will be launched at the event so "Please join us for an event at Facebook" on 6th of July. Wondering what the new product might be? Well, a source reveals its the in-browser video chat feature!
According to TechCrunch:
"Facebook will launch a new video chat product, powered by Skype, that works in browser. The product has been built on Skype and will include a desktop component. There’s very deep integration between the products, and from the user’s perspective, the product will be an in browser experience."
Facebook and Skype have been closely working together in the past and if this feature goes public as expected, Skype will gain a substantial number of users from over 750 million registered Facebook members.