A new Myspace app launched today, featuring a complete redesign and pushing forward with several new ways to interact with other users on the social network. Of course many of you are probably making jokes about Myspace right now, and perhaps you're referring to MySpace or my______, each legacies of a company which was bought in 2011 by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for US$35 million.
Since then Myspace has been undergoing a major overhaul and a refocusing on its social roots. The new app reflects this, and makes discovery a huge part of the experience. When you first sign up via the app, you are required to "connect" to five people -- none of whom you are likely to know. I have to admit it was a little weird to connect with five people whom I'd never met or seen or heard of, but in the interest of science I did it anyway. You can also log in via Twitter or Facebook.
Note that these connections can be asymmetrical, so it's more like I'm subscribing to someone's stream on Facebook. Let's face it, if you're on a social network are you really concerning yourself too much with privacy to begin with?
Once in the app you'll see an interface that is part Flickr (gorgeous tile-based photo browsing), part Facebook (social subscriptions), part Tumblr (animated GIFs) and part Path (attractive design with excellent interaction models). Myspace has taken some of the better features from those mobile experiences and produced a light but effective solution for browsing photos and seeing connections.
Of course, at the very beginning there was music. I remember being a heavy MySpace user (note the camel case, indicating the olden times), and music was a huge part of the experience. OK the other part of the experience was glittery pages hacked together -- but thankfully that nonsense has been abandoned for a streamlined profile page featuring photos. Yes, you can also make animated GIFs right in the app as well, which some might see as the new sparkly unicorn dancing on your profile page, but it's really a lot more fun than it sounds. If you enjoyed Stilly, you'll love this feature.
If you're looking to find new music, the new Myspace app is very compelling. I can browse my connections, see the connections those people are making, then go to a profile and right up top there are two buttons: one to connect, and one to play their music playlist. That's actually quite awesome. I was very quickly able to see what cool photos a person had, how many connections, their website, location, etc.
As you can see in the photo above, the two circles indicating a connection are everywhere. Once you connect (to music or a person) the two circles merge. It's a nice touch with a huge impact, because Myspace, by constantly pushing these connections, is getting back to its roots of connecting artists with people and providing a powerful discovery mechanism in the process. Say what you will about the network, this is a powerful way to discover new music and people.
While it remains to be seen if this will revitalize Myspace, I can attest to the power of this connection process. Within moments of joining I discovered a person in Los Angeles through one of my connections, then discovered Die Antwoord, an artist I'd never heard of but now I'm seeking out more of their music! That's powerful stuff, but we'll see if it's the magnet of users Myspace hopes it will be.
The new Myspace app is free, and I encourage you to try it out. Animated GIFs aside, there's a real effort to connect people and artists, and I think this is one of the better apps I've seen that does exactly that.
"The magic of Myspace has always been at the intersection of creative expression, community, promotion, and discovery," said Myspace CEO Tim Vanderhook. "Myspace aims to power a new ecosystem catering directly to the creative community, enabling artists to manage their digital presence, build an audience, upload and distribute their content, and learn from data all on a single platform."
The entirely new platform was developed by a creative team of artists, designers, and developers, and refined by community feedback during the site's beta. One feature developed as a response to high demand by the community is a tool that allows people to create and share animated GIFs as simply and intuitively as taking and posting pictures.
The new Myspace also offers a persistent player, which anchors everything in music. Accessing 53 million songs from the world's largest digital music library, the player delivers faster streaming and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality for a superior music experience.
The mobile app's My Radio feature allows people to create and program their own radio stations, which can be streamed for free on an unlimited basis. Stations can be produced by anyone, giving each member the opportunity to play the role of DJ and promote the music they love to the broader community.
Myspace also delivers its community Insights, an analytics suite that offers a set of visualized data reports telling artists how big their audience is, which fans are most influential, and what's resonating with them.
Committed to promoting its community, the new Myspace dedicates a highly visible home page to highlighting members and their content. The site's Discover feature drives connection and collaboration by allowing members to filter searches by account type, such as musician, photographer, writer, or even developer.
Starting today, the new Myspace is officially available at www.myspace.com. Profiles from Classic Myspace have been upgraded to the new platform, so that members can log in using Classic Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter account credentials and access their content and connections easily.
The mobile app is available exclusively for iOS devices at www.AppStore.com/. A mobile-optimized version of the new Myspace is available for non-iOS consumers as well.
Myspace (myspace.com) is a place where people come to connect, discover, and share. Showcasing artists and their work, the site gives people access to 53 million tracks and videos-the world's largest digital music library. With roots in music and social, the platform is built to empower all artists-from musicians and designers to writers and photographers-helping them connect with audiences, collaborators, and partners to achieve their goals. Through an open design, compelling editorial features, and analytics-based recommendations, Myspace fosters a creative community of people who connect around mutual affinity and inspiration for the purpose of shaping, sharing, and discovering what's next.
Google announced in a blog post today that it is acquiring social traffic company Waze. This announcement is not surprising as Google was rumored to be close to inking a deal with the Israeli startup. Google was one of many suitors reportedly courting Waze -- earlier rumors hinted at a potential deal with Apple, but that rumor was shot down. More recently, Facebook was supposedly looking to add the company to its coffers.
According to Google, Waze will remain in Israel and operate as an independent company for the time being. Google will eventually bring some of Waze's community-sourced traffic information to Google Maps and will add Google's powerful search engine capabilities to Waze. Presumably, the Waze iOS app will keep chugging along, but there is no word what will happen to Waze's contribution to Apple Maps.
Apple has updated MacBook Air with all-day battery life, fourth-generation Intel Core processors with faster graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and flash storage that is up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation. The 11-inch models feature double the storage of the previous model, and 13-inch models now start at a new lower price of $1,099. “MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we’ve set the bar even higher,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With faster flash, more powerful graphics and up to 12 hours of battery life, the new MacBook Air packs even more performance into the portable and durable design our customers love.” Apple also introduced completely redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance than the previous generation.
Apple has released a developer preview of OS X Mavericks, the 10th major release of the Mac operating system. With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac, introduces Finder Tags and Tabs, enhances multi-display support for power users, delivers new core technologies for breakthrough power efficiency and performance, and includes an all-new version of Safari. The preview release of OS X Mavericks is available to Mac Developer Program members starting Monday, and Mac users will be able to download Mavericks from the Mac App Store this fall.
Announced today by Apple, iTunes Radio is a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple, and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. “It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. Coming this fall, iTunes Radio is ad-supported and free for everyone, and iTunes Match users get iTunes Radio ad-free.
Apple today showed a sneak peek into the future of the pro desktop with a first look at the next-generation Mac Pro. It introduces a completely new pro desktop architecture and design that is optimized for performance inside and out. “With the latest Xeon processors, dual FirePro GPUs, ECC memory, PCIe-based flash and Thunderbolt 2, all built around a revolutionary thermal core, the next generation Mac Pro is the most radical Mac yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “All this performance and expandability is packed into a dramatic new design that’s one-eighth the volume, and best of all, it will be assembled here in the USA.” The next generation Mac Pro will be available later this year.
Apple today unveiled iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone. iOS 7 is completely redesigned with subtle motion, an elegant color palette, and distinct, functional layers that make it feel more alive. The typography has been refined for a cleaner, simpler look, and the use of translucency and motion makes even simple tasks more engaging. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, Safari, Siri, and much more. “With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. The iOS 7 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 7 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and iPod touch (fifth generation) this fall.
Tim Cook just said in California that multitasking in iOS 7 has just been revamped completely. iOS will now monitor your app usage even more closely than before, meaning it will have apps like Facebook pull in news and other updates in the background, getting them all ready when you grab the app. As you can see above, there's also a new panel for app controls, new options for switching apps, and Apple has placed important settings like brightness and Bluetooth controls right there on the screen.
The iPhone will now also adjust networking conditions to save battery life (so hopefully no more running out your battery while frantically trying to connect to Wi-Fi), and there's a new notification management system that looks a lot more cleaner and straightforward than the current implementation. These new features look terrific -- we'll get a look at them running in iOS 7 hopefully later this year.
Bechtel, a global engineering company based in San Francisco, is featured in a new video that highlights how it uses iPad in the field. In addition to built-in apps, Bechtel has created its own apps. One focuses on worker safety at hazardous work sites, and another lets engineers create, update, and share technical information from their device. “iPad removes what in the past has been a huge barrier for construction projects,” says Eli Walter, Bechtel’s engineering manager. “It allows innovation to get out of the office and into the field where it belongs.”
It's that time again! TUAW and MacTech will be at WWDC and would like to talk to you. From MacTech:
Once again, MacTech Magazine and TUAW are joining forces to do a series of interviews and stories on those attending the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. The interviews will explore what they think about the announcements Apple makes on Monday, what they are hearing, as well as what developers have in mind or coming.
MacTech and TUAW be doing a combination of video interviews and written stories and are currently taking requests for 10-minute appointments on June 11 at a location near Moscone West (easily walking distance). For more info go to http://www.mactech.com/WWDC-2013-Interview-Request .
"Our strong preference is principals from each company rather than public relations personnel," says Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief and publisher of MacTech. "For this event, we're looking for senior management, technical personnel, developers to talk about their reactions, and what their company has planned, or currently in the works for Apple platforms. This is an appointment request only, and does not mean that we will be able to meet you. Decision based on availability of time slots as well as topic proposed."