Hottest on the Web: Murder of Google Reader, Samsung Galaxy S IV, Adaptive Design and Much More

What is the freshest news from the world of informational technologies? Find out in our weekly digest from the 18th of March.

Top Seven News

The murder of Google Reader

During Google spring cleaning, besides a number of services, including Picasa Web Albums, the upcoming death of Google Reader was announced. Will RSS be alive without Google Reader? Let’s see: what Google Reader can be replaced with, what to do now, and who is responsible for it, a petition to support Google Reader, Google Takeout to back up user’s data, why Google Reader is powered down and what are the benefits. And after all – Google Reader still generates much more traffic than Google+.

Meet innovative plastic flagship by Samsung. Samsung Galaxy S4 full video presentation, Samsung Galaxy first impressions, Samsung Galaxy S4 full preview by the Verge, Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison, what is under the cover of Samsung Galaxy S4.

Adaptive design

Trend of adaptive design is dictated by the realities of the modern web and is not going to fade. Welcome to 55+ Great and Useful Tools for Responsive Web Design, responsive Layouts for Email, Developing a responsive, Retina-friendly web site (Part 1) + Part 2 as well as awesome examples of responsive web design. And finally responsible Considerations For Responsive Web Design.

Convenience of modern interfaces

Turn your attention to a brief history of usability. Now let’s get back to present and look at some examples of modern bad interfaces particularly focusing on the Facebook’s new interface.

History of tablet PC

Many people wrongly believe that the very first tablet PC was iPad invented by Apple in 2010, but in fact the history of tabs started not later than in 1960s. See a history of tablets timeline and read a short history of the tablet computer. If to talk about the future, Android tabs will overtake iPad sales in 2013.

We offer you a funny, but very useful website on client optimization which includes advice on how to improve its performance.

We offer you fresh news by Lea Verou, among which you can read about W3Conf, the first draft of picture elements and HTML templates, new pseudo-elements and pseudo-classes, status change of certain technologies and much more.

News:

  1. Android tablets to overtake iPad sales in 2013 — according to International Data Corp (IDC) research group Android tablet shipments are going to overtake Apple in the current year for the very first time in history of mobile OS market. Slowly but surely Apple is ceding its market shares to the close competitors from Google, Amazon and others which produce rather popular smaller and cheaper Android devices, efficiently regaining the dominance Apple obtained in 2010 with their first iPad.

  2. Google spring cleaning Part 2 — once again Google is parting with the services which failed to become popular in the past year. Thus, Google announced the closing of RSS-aggregator Google Reader and Google Voice App for Blackberry, Picasa Web Albums, Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect and other unsuccessful projects. Google explains their actions by desire to reduce the list of supported products, thereby reducing the associated costs. Users can export data from Google Reader using Google Takeout. Since its first launch of “spring cleaning” in 2011, the company has already given up 70+ products.

Farewell to Google Reader:

  1. Petition to support Google Reader — after Google announced the closing of the next set of supposed to be useless services, one of the most popular RSS-aggregators Google Reader, launched in 2005, appeared in the list. According to Google officials the service really has its casual fans, but over the years its popularity has fallen impressively. The same fans from around the world have created a petition hoping to prevent the closure of their beloved service.

  2. Google Reader best alternatives — Google Reader, one of the most used RSS readers, shutting down on July 1, 2013 makes its numerous users to look for another similar service. According to Google four months period is a sufficient time to make an appropriate choice. All user’s data can be backed up with Google Takeout. Feel free to choose one of the proposed RSS readers in the post and do not grieve over Google Reader too much.

  3. Google Reader still generates much more traffic than Google+ — according to BuzzFeed Network data aggregator that monitors a variety of partner websites with more than 300 million visitors, closing of Google Reader is completely crazy decision as the traffic generated by Google Reader is substantially more in comparison with Google+.

Samsung Galaxy S IV:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S4 specs, news, features and much more — Samsung Galaxy S4 finally released at Radio City Music Hall unveiling ceremony! Most rumors licked spread earlier appeared to be correct. The company boasts of the AMOLED screen technology, 5-inch panel with 440ppi pixel density and many other innovative features +full video of Samsung Galaxy S4 Presentation + Samsung Galaxy S4 video preview and first impressions + Samsung Galaxy S4 full preview by the Verge.

  2. Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison — after official release of Samsung Galaxy S4, the new Korean flagship among smartphones, when we know its main features, let’s compare them with the previous model to understand how better the novelty is.

  3. What is under the cover of Samsung Galaxy S4 — in accordance with the latest design trends all new devices are immediately disassembled into pieces to see what is hidden inside. This time internal parts of long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S4 are shown to public.

Other news:

  1. Google Now can be added to Chrome browser soon — Google Now, a digital personal assistant has proved to be one of the most interesting recent innovations to the Android OS. Nowadays there are persistent rumors, started since January 2013 that the feature is going to be integrated into the Chrome web browser soon. Moreover developer Francis Beaufort found out an unknown before notification centre in Chromium for Windows, the open source browser on which the final version of Chrome is based. The unveiled centre appeared to be a way of bringing Google Now’s maps to the desktop and the first trial to bring the service to the desktop.

  2. Google search is far from ideal yet, but has enormous potential — the idea that the Google search technology has already come to a head is far from the truth. According to Google CFO Patrick Pichette, during a Q&A session held at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecom conference in San Francisco the company still has fresh ideas and hidden tricks how to improve its search behavior. At the end of his speech he added that the technology is “still in its infancy.”

  3. New Google web site offers help to hacking victims — recently Google launched a web assistant for those whose websites were roughly hacked by unknown trespassers. The new website contains helpful posts and videos created to help websites owners to identify, analyze and recover from hacks. The mandatory level of knowledge required to perform a given task in the particular stage is described for each step. In addition, the website provides links to content that helps fulfill a particular stage of defense or recovery – they will be especially useful for users with insufficient experience in webmastering.

  4. Fujitsu and NEC join Samsung to launch Tizen phones next year — Samsung is well positioned in the market of mobile electronics thanks to the fact that the company can design not only smartphones, but individual components, produce and assemble ready-to-work devices. Therefore, the South Korean manufacturer can’t have any problems with the development of smartphones on Tizen, its own mobile OS. But for successful promotion of new products the company needs business partners. As it has become known today the first two collaborators will be Fujitsu and NEC. Two smartphone makers, less known on the North American and European mobile markets, have officially announced that in 2014 they will be launching new smartphones running exactly on Tizen.

  5. Microsoft Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 in progress — Microsoft has just released Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 to the end user, but according to recent job posting ads the company is looking for a few more skilful developers to work on Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9. In addition to the proposed vacancies, it became known that one of the employees of iSoftStone has already worked on Windows Phone 9 development, namely, on deployment of XAP/APPX apps.

  6. Dropbox Desktop Client Updated with improved file sharing, real-time notifications for incoming folders — on Tuesday, March 12 Dropbox officially released an update for its Mac client, offering its customers a redesigned drop-down interface and improved file sharing capabilities. With Dropbox v. 2.0 users can share files using a link from the Desktop menu. File sharing notifications are sent out in real time, to the desktop application and the iOS app.

  7. Likendin is rumored to buy Pulse for up to $100 million — LinkedIn refused to announce in public how much it paid for news reading app Pulse, but it’s thought to be between $50 million and $100 million. Pulse started up as an iPad app that aggregated a user’s favorite news and media web sites and displayed them in a highly visual magazine format. The startup has since rolled its service out to other mobile platforms and to the web, claiming 20 million users around the globe who read 10 million stories per a day. The purchase is supposed to be useful for LinkedIn, which has concentrated its investment in content, recommending short stories into users’ news feeds and sending out a daily email.

  8. Pinterest Web Analytics to track popular content — a new analytics tool by Pinterest allows businesses to track how many people pinned content from their websites, the number of people who visited their web sites from Pinterest, the number of views each pin has. Nowadays the feature is available for free for the companies with verified websites. The other features Pinterest may unveil later this year include “tips” for users based on what they have already added to their boards. The company also plans to launch international websites in 2013.

  9. Yandex shares worth over $600 million are to be sold soon — one of the most popular search giant Yandex announced the sale of about 7.4 percent of the company’s shares worth a total of $600 million. According to Yandex 24.25 million shares would be offered by BC&B Holdings B.V., a stockholder on behalf of Baring Vostok funds and by Belka Holdings Ltd. According to the Reuters estimate based on the freshest price of $25.03 per a share, the stake worth is about $607 million.

  10. Seagate became the first company to reach 2 billion HDD shipped — Seagate announced to become the first HDD maker to ship 2 billion product units. According to Seagate officials their products are in significant demand for storage on mobile devices, for cloud infrastructures, social media companies, business apps and consumer markets. It took 29 years for the company to reach 1 billion units shipped, but only four years to ship its second billion of HHDs. Nowadays Seagate looks forward to cross the three billion record.

  11. Facebook working on incorporating the hashtag — according to the Wall Street Journal Facebook is going to incorporate the hashtag, the symbol of rival Twitter, into the social networking website’s service. Such step would enable Facebook to index conversations, making it easier for users to follow and take part in conversations on specific topics. The hashtag helped Twitter turn into a major social networking destination.

Browsers:

  1. Font Inspector and — Fonts panel became active in the Firefox Inspector exposing information about the @font-faces used in the web page, such as: Font name, font family, its location, a preview (variable), @font-face code. Two new elements were also implemented:
  2. Web Browser Racing: Chrome 25, Firefox 19 and IE10 — with Internet Explorer 10 finally available to Windows 7 users, Firefox and Chrome are doing their best implementing new standards support and more speed. The time has come for another Browser race! But frankly speaking all modern browsers are so good and powerful that choosing a winner can be rather difficult.

  3. QupZilla v.1.4.0 based on Qt and WebKit launched — after a half of a year development QupZilla v.1.4.0 multiplatform web-browser is released, built with Qt and WebKit browser engine. The main goal of the project is to create QupZilla as a full browser that supports best features of Firefox, Opera and Chrome, but consuming significantly less resources. QupZilla source code is licensed under GPLv3. Binaries are available for most Linux distributions, as well as for Windows, OS/2, and Haiku OS.

  4. Firefox is equipped with its own HTML5 video play speed modifiers — now Firefox users can fully enjoy a changing playback rate option embedded right into the latest version of the browser and compatible with any HTML5 player allowing users to watch long videos more quickly if necessary.

  5. Microsoft enables Adobe Flash Player in IE10 — Rob Mauceri, group program manager for Internet Explorer announced that starting from March 12, Flash content runs by default when users visit appropriate websites. The announcement is a bit confusing because Flash can still be blocked – even by Microsoft itself. Probably, the real changes have happened in Microsoft’s procedures associated with compatibility view (CV) list of Internet Explorer 10, which specifies how a Web site’s code is handled.

  6. Mozilla is not going to develop Firefox for iOS — Jay Sullivan, the not-for-profit’s vice president of product development of Mozilla Corp, states that the company won’t develop a version of Firefox for iOS, while Apple doesn’t change their policy concerning the distribution of third-party browsers. At the moment development of alternative browsers for iOS doesn’t have any sense since Apple imposes significant limitations to use third-party JavaScript-engines and sophisticated rendering.

  7. The dangers of cross-browser testing with IE9′s Browser Modes — Browser Modes, Internet Explorer 9 innovative feature of IE9 Developer Tools is used to facilitate cross-browser testing by emulating how a site would render in previous version of the browser, namely v.7 and v.8. But in reality these emulated Browser Modes bring more disadvantages because their behavior is very different from the versions mentioned above. Let’s take a look at an example of web fonts: the difference is so crucial that the look and feel of a webpage and web fonts in those older versions can be confusing for a user.

Amazing Websites’ Design:

  1. ultraagency.pl — a website with custom geometry.
  2. spacemilkshake.com — an interactive website with parallax animation.
  3. mydream — a website with custom navigation and designer illustrations.
  4. thomasfersen.fr — a one-page website with non-standard elements.
  5. hexaedro.eu — an unusual website, built on hexagons.
  6. czk.fr — a website with navigation, based on timeline.
  7. nouvelleoctavia.fr — an automobile website of new generation with scrolling in the deep.
  8. When responsive web design is bad for SEO.

Design It:

  1. Why is Chinese web design so bad?
  2. Zuckerberg’s sister has a private photo go public.
  3. Teens are bored with Facebook 2013.
  4. A brief history of usability.
  5. Some bad interface examples.
  6. First glance at New York Times redesign.
  7. The future of minimalist web design.
  8. Landing page redesign thoughts.
  9. Useful Photoshop add-ons.
  10. Icons and infographics by Anton Egorov.
  11. Awesome examples of responsive web design.
  12. Beautiful examples of iPhone application website designs.
  13. Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials roundup + 7 of the best Photoshop tutorials created in February 2013.
  14. Reflections on Web design trends in 2013.
  15. An updated version of the honest logos.
  16. 50 cute fresh animal logos.
  17. Facebook new UI and its effect on youth.

A Bunch of Design Freebies:

  1. Simple Icons — 100 PNG icons in eleven sizes, from 16px to 4096px.
  2. Flat UI Free — PSD&HTML User Interface Kit.
  3. PSD toggle switches and Search Box PSD templates.
  4. Freebie Release: 10 business card PSD templates.
  5. Map markers in PSD.
  6. Flat UI blog templates.
  7. Abstract mockup backgrounds + High-res concrete textures.
  8. A pretty big iOS 6 template for Sketch.
  9. Corporate identity Photoshop mock-up in Psd.
  10. 25 PSDs of website templates + Corporate creative template.
  11. A collection of high quality vector splatter.
  12. Handy icons vol.2.
  13. Supergrass – free font.

Services:

  1. HSL color picker.
  2. Genericons — GPL, flexible icon font for blogs.
  3. Voke — instant CSS and PHP search.

Demo:

  1. The ‘root element’ parallax technique.
  2. WEBRtc Experiment — responding to voice.

Development:

  1. Environmental design with the device API.
  2. 55+ great and useful tools for responsive web design.
  3. How to optimize your website for mobile traffic.
  4. Truly responsive images on your WordPress website.
  5. The definitive front-end performance guide.
  6. Antwort- responsive Layouts for e-mail.
  7. Hot in web standards: January/February 2013.
  8. Chrome developer tools: Mobile Emulation.
  9. Preboot — a comprehensive and flexible collection of LESS utilities.
  10. Accelerated rendering in Chrome: the Layer Model.
  11. New tools for web design and development: February 2013.
  12. W3Conf 2013: a summary.
  13. Touch and Mouse.
  14. MP3 player with HTML5.
  15. Visualizing shadow DOM concepts.
  16. 10 popular metro bootstraps.
  17. Front-end developer interview questions.
  18. CSS animations off the UI thread.
  19. Firefox OS simulator – previewing version 3.0.
  20. News from the developers of WebM video format concerning their agreements with MPEG LA.
  21. SimCity UI code + DRM.
  22. Improving UX through Front-end performance.
  23. The latest issue of Appliness, a free digital magazine containing an interview of Lea Verou, the W3C champion.
  24. Developing a responsive, Retina-friendly web site (Part 2) + Part 1.
  25. Responsible considerations for responsive web design.
  26. Twitter Bootstrap 3: new release preview – Mobile first.

CSS:

  1. Cutting edge CSS3 typography techniques.
  2. Resolution independence with SVG.
  3. The lengths of CSS by Chris Coyier.
  4. CSS – OOCSS, SMACSS and more…
  5. Modular CSS with Media Queries and Sass.
  6. An interview with Eric Meyer.
  7. Finer grained control of hyphenation with CSS4 Text.
  8. Learn CSS Layout – for CSS beginners.
  9. Simple Grid.

JavaScripts:

  1. Improve your code with smart JavaScript techniques and patterns.
  2. Abba – JavaScript a/b testing.
  3. JResponsive — super-smooth transition layout for jQuery.
  4. Validatr/Home — cross browser HTML5 form validation.
  5. Exploring jQuery Queues.
  6. jQuery Nested — for a complete gap free, multi column grid layout.
  7. Candy — a JavaScript-based multi-user chat client.
  8. How to create a password strength meter.
  9. MagicSuggest — auto-suggest combo with bootstrap theme using jQuery.
  10. Node v0.10.0 release.
  11. How to use the fullscreen API.

Fun & Entertainment:

  1. The Friendster autopsy: how a social network dies.
  2. The talking shoe by Google.
  3. A short history of the tablet computer + History of tablets timeline.
  4. Movie sales increased with shutdown of piracy web sites.
  5. Upcoming Facebook phone (HTC Myst) full specs confirmed.
  6. Anyone can be a pool shark when this projector calls the shots.
  7. New York Times app demoed on Google Glass + Google Glass demo in SXSW.
  8. Microsoft Office 365 review.
  9. A glimpse into Google’s brain, hidden in a spreadsheet app.
  10. Growth of mobile search “like seeing my second child grow” says Google Search chief at SXSW conference.
  11. Developers! Facebook really wants your lifestyle apps.
  12. Farewell to Harlem Shake. Oprah and the yelling goat.
  13. The image toaster – 6×6 pixel image of the day on your toast.

About the Author:

Alex Korovin
Alex Korovin, Senior Front-end Developer at Zfort Group.
Alex is a Team Lead of front-end developers at Zfort Group. He is a skillful web designer and front-end developer. Alex is passionate about technologies, travelling, photography, football, foreign languages and his family.

 

About the Author:

Alex Smolyaninov
Alex Smolyaninov, Senior Front-end Developer at Zfort Group.
Alex is a senior front-end developer with strong experience in the web standards, CSS/HTML and everything that is connected with those. His hobbies coincide with his work. In his free time he writes his own blog.

 



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