IT Digest: jQuery 2.0 Released, Google Glass, Dive into Mobile, Twitter Music and Much More!
What is the freshest news from the world of informational technologies? Find out in our weekly digest from the 19th of April.
Top Seven News
Finally the most awaited gadget from Google became public. Let's get acquainted with the incoming news: Google Glass unboxing completed with video, some videos shot by the first owners of Google Glass, Google Glass tech specs, Googel Glass User Interface manual. Developers are not forgotten as well: Developing for Google Glass: Mirror API, HTML5 and how to change your mind, Using Glass HTML templates.
Dive Into Mobile conference organized by the Wall Street Journal and AllthingsDigital was held in New York. Among the prominent IT stars, attended the conference there were the heads of Google, Mozilla, Waze, WhatsApp and other companies. Dive Into Mobile speakers list. Short reports on the days: Dive Into Mobile, day one, Dive Into Mobile, day two + an interview with Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.
Last week Twitter announced its own music service and now it became public.
We continue to fight for the performance on the client side of the project. Two useful articles will help us in it: Front-end performance for web designers and front-end developers by Gary Roberts and Preventing the performance hit from custom fonts by Chris Coyier.
- Firefox OS phones will be available next week — GeeksPhone, a Spanish start-up company and producer of smartphones is going to put up for online sale two Firefox OS smartphones, called KEON and PEAK correspondingly. So it's not necessary to wait for their official sales scheduled for June 2013 anymore! Both devices are equipped with 512 MB RAM and 4GB of flash, mainly differ with processors, batteries and screens.
- Twitter Music became live on Thursday — Twitter released its new music app on Thursday. As expected, it's a music discovery service that helps users to find new music based on what's popular in general, what's popular among your friends and what's trending on Twitter. The songs themselves are supplied by Rdio, Spotify and iTunes. Note that Rdio and Spotify subscribers have ability to link their services and play full tracks and playlists directly from the Twitter Music app.
- UCP fund buys 48 % of Russian social network VKontakte — private investment group United Capital Partners proclaimed on Wednesday the purchase of 48 percent stake in VKontakte, Russia's largest social network. Just a day before police investigators raided the company's headquarter in St. Petersburg. It is rumoured representatives financial investors V. Mirilashvili and L. Leviyev sold their 48 % stakes to the fund managed by Ilya Shcherbovich, a board member at oil major Rosneft. The cost of the stake sale was not revealed yet, but according Nick Robinson, an IT analyst at Renaissance Capital VKontakte was valued at as much as $1.5 billion in 2010 and more than 190 million registered users. Since then the company continues its rapid growth becoming just more and more popular.
- YouTube celebrates 57 years of VCR With analog mode on its videos — the 57th anniversary of the first video cassette recorder is being celebrated by Google on Monday, April 15th, with a VHS tape icon in the bottom-right corner of videos hosted by the service. The company even gave its users a chance to feel a kind of nostalgia. Clicking the VHS icon they could enjoy the static and fuzzy motion of the VHS era. according to Wikipedia the first VCR was the Ampex VRX-1000, launched in 1956. Early VCRs were huge monsters completely different from the compact VHS units appeared in 80s-90s of the previous century.
- What Android tabs are the most popular in the world? — according to Animonica, a cross-platform app publisher of party products for Android devices the most popular Android-tabs have 7-inch display with Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 on the top. The 10.1-inch tabs are the second and just after them there are various non-standards with 7.7, 8.9 and 9.4-inch display. After such statistics no one should e surprised with popularity of smartphones that have 5-6 inches display.
- Nearly half of Facebook home ratings are one-star — Facebook's new Android launcher debuted last Friday as expected, but users in Google's Play Store appear to be completely unsatisfied with the app. Home's rating on Google Play currently stands at 2.4 stars out of five, and by far the most common rating for the app is not more than one star, the lowest possible score, making up 1,817, or less than 50 % of the 3,850 total user reviews.
- Facebook is testing its Cyrillic logo — according to press service of Facebook the largest social network in the world started testing the version of its logo for Russian users. Customers who appeared to be in the test group can see the logo of Facebook written in Cyrillic in the upper left corner of the social network. The innovation will not affect the other elements of the user interface.
- Netflix is giving up Microsoft Silverlight in favor of HTML5 — it is the company's intention to transfer to HTML5 its streaming video broadcast service used to deliver streaming video to web browsers on PC and Mac with the Microsoft Silverlight technology. Silverlight is currently used to support DRM-mechanisms (Digital Rights Management) that protects content from unauthorized copying. But it caused a lot of trouble using Netflix in Linux as users must install Wine, a special patch in conjunction with the launch of Firefox for Windows together with the official Silverlight plug-in.
- Microsoft is currently designing a touch-enabled watch — after smart watch devices from Apple and Samsung, software giant Microsoft is now rumored to design its own touch-enabled "watch-style" product for this still innovative market. According to the Wall Street Journal officials at Microsoft's Asian suppliers announced that the company requested shipments of 1.5-inch displays for internal testing earlier this year.
- Amazon to open App Store to 200 new countries — Amazon is doing its best to expand its Android Appstore to new geographical markets all around the globe although it is still impossible to purchase there its flagship Android device, called Kindle. Having launched its Android Appstore in 200 more countries Amazon informed its developers about the necessity to create applications for the company's customers in countries from Brazil, Canada, Mexico to Papua New Guinea and Vatican City.
- Eric Schmidt: Google now seeing 1.5 million Android activations a day — Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, has confirmed to the press that the company is activating 1.5 million Android devices every day. Schmidt made this remark at Dive Into Mobile conference, where he stated that Android currently has 700,000 apps available. The Executive Chairman admitted that he believes there will be not less than one billion Android phones in the world by the end of 2013.
- ASUS Transformer AiO P1801 goes on sale in the US for $1,299 — ASUS unveiled the Transformer AiO, a tablet/desktop hybrid. The Transformer AiO runs dual operating systems, Windows 8 in the desktop mode and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the tab mode. For a price of $1,299 the US buyers obtain a Windows 8 base desktop with a 3.1GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD, a DVD drive and a GeForce GT 730M. When remove the 18.4-inch LCD from its dock the user gets an enormous Tegra 3-based Android tablet running Jelly Bean.
- Dell XPS 18 is already available for pre-order — the company unveiled the Dell XPS 18 monoblock. According to the manufacturer the device combines light weight, large screen and high-speed performance in a slim body. The model with SSD-drive equipped with full HD-screen with a diagonal of 18.4 inches weighs 2.2 kg. The compact size and light weight and the 3rd generation of processors Intel Core and Windows 8 provide highly efficient performance.
- IHS iSuppli analysts believe netbooks to disappear completely by 2015 — iSuppli believes that in the next year shipments of these computers will be reduced to 264,000 units. Thus, only 3.97 million netbooks were shipped in 2013, which is 72% less than in 2012 - at that time 14.3 million netbooks were shipped, while 32.14 million were shipped in 2010. The main reason for the decreasing of net books popularity IHS iSuppli sees in the release of iPad and strong growth in popularity of various kinds of tablets.
- Leap Motion seals a Deal with HP — being the world's largest PC maker HP intends to change the way people interface with computers with its innovative motion-sensing technology. Leap Motion, a 3 year old company with 80+ employees in San Francisco, manufactures sensor units about the size of a pack of gum, which it claims can track the individual movements of 10 fingers with 1/100th of a millimeter precision. The units can plug into any computer device and allow the use of apps or software designed for motion-control sensors. According to HP officials, under the terms of the deal, HP will ship Leap Motion's sensors with its products before embedding the technology directly into HP devices.
- Google Glass unboxing completed with video — those few lucky fellows who succeeded to pre-order a Google Glass device at Goole I/O conference last year have finally managed to receive the Google Glass Explorer Edition (XE) and decided to share some photos and videos of unboxing, and even a video record of Kart Racing shot with the Google Glass itself + official manual to Glass by Google.
- Some more videos shot With Google Glass — being acquainted with the promotional videos for Google Glass, namely skydiving, ice sculpture carving, canoeing in South-East Asia we have a chance to see how videos are shot with the wearable computer in home conditions by first lucky owners of the device. Videos are captured in 720p and uploaded directly to YouTube.
- Google Glass tech specs — Google created a web page with the basic technical specifications of Google Glass including fit, display resolution, camera, audio, connectivity, storage, battery capacity, charger and the device compatibility. The absence of 802.11n in the specification looks rather strange as well as the absence of GPS module. Along with the technical specifications the Mirror API documentation for developers was also posted.
- User Interface manual — Google Glass provides its users an innovative type of interface bringing new opportunities and design innovations. The post provides a dozen of basic useful items created while developing Google Glass and now shared with present and future customers with detailed instructions how to create their service easily.
- Dive Into Mobile, day one — the conference organized by Wall Street Journal and AllthingsDigital within a series of D Conferences was launched in New York, 15 April, 2013. The interviews of day one covered everything from driving directions to the future of mobile OS, including interview with Walt Mossberg and Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, talk by Waze CEO Noam Bardin, Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter and many others.
- Dive Into Mobile, day two — the second day of the Dive Into Mobile conference on April 16 started early and contained a wide range of various high tech topics for discussion. At 8:30 the first guest Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, appeared on the stage. Then there were such known person as Terry Myerson from Windows Phone team, Eric Schmidt with the report on Android, Jan Koum, a head of WhatsApp Inc., Michael Sippey, a vice of Twitter and others.
- Dive Into Mobile speakers list — a list of speakers' interactive profiles who were taking part in Dive Into Mobile conference 2013 with their short biographies and personal achievements in mobile technologies.
- Gary Kovacs, Mozilla CEO: the boundary between the application and the web page no longer exists — according to Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs interviewed by Walt Mossberg at Dive Into Mobile conference, Firefox OS is going to be launched in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela not later than in summer 2013. Thus, Mozilla suggests a conclusion that the company is still focusing on a number of emerging markets for its launch. Moreover, Kovacs said that the rollout plan would work a beta test and once the OS ecosystem had been built up more, Firefox OS would launch in the US. Sprint was already sent on record stating it would be available to support the new platform.
- Google to roll out new Chrome safeguard against malicious extensions — on Wednesday Google announced it has added new measures to warn users when they are about to download software that could try to change to change how the browser handles extensions. This time, the company is focusing on extensions that are abusing enterprise options or manipulating Chrome preferences. Last December, Google already disabled silent extension installations by default. According to today's announcement, enabling this protection mechanism “resulted in noticeable performance improvements in Chrome and improved user experience”.
- Rockmelt is shutting down its social browser and launching the new service — according to Rockmelt representatives they are ceasing to support its socially-inclined desktop browser not later than in a few months. The decision was made due to the fact that keeping up with the permanent updates for Chromium, the Rockmelt browser based on, appeared to be too costly. In turn, the company announced Rockmelt for Web, a portal that may serve to aggregate content from the favorite websites, social nets, RSS feeds. The obtained content can be commented, sent to social networks, broadcasted to friends. At the moment it is an invite-only beta, though users of the browser and iOS app have already been invited to the party.
- Adobe has joined the development of Blink, a WebKit fork by Google — Adobe previously participated in the development of the WebKit engine announced its intention to join the development of Blink, a fork WebKit, created by Google for more intensive promotion of Chrome/Chromium technologies. A little earlier Opera also joined the development of Blink. The company plans to use the engine as a basis for future releases of its mobile and desktop browsers.
- Typing Club, Type Scout, Nitro Type, Z-Type — a set of apps for those who use Google Chrome browser that allows users to learn fast typing. The applications have a system of authorization and progress tracking as well as provide users with free ability to learn high speed typing with 10 fingers-method.
- The recent changes in the world of browsers: tendencies and further expectations — the author of the post highlights the latest one month period that appeared to be enriched with various technological innovations from Opera, Microsoft and Google. The author describes the recent events both graphically and unveiling its main items in detail.
Amazing Websites' Design:
- 7billionworld.com — 7 billion people on the same page.
- intothearctic.gp — a cool website about Arctic by Greenpeace.
- weareeli.dk — non-standard approach to website navigation.
- pillandpillow.com — a creative approach to portfolio development.
- thebuildfilm.com — an interactive website – movie.
- moto.oakley.com — a website - presentation with lots of parallax and animations.
- toyota.com/onlythename — a car website-slider with a full-page video.
- theartofraw.g-star.com — a one-page full-screen, easy to navigate website.
- onnit.com/lucid-dreaming — animation + scrolling effects.
- finch15.com — a dynamically changing logo.
- firstmenonthemoon.com —Apollo 11 lunar landing experience.
- UX Process, Models & Other Diagrams.
- Designing for the reading experience.
- Space inspired web designs.
- New GitHub Logo.
- USAToday.com: Redesigning one of America's most popular news sites.
- Circular elements in website design – best practice.
- Retro vectors.
- Good User Interface UX rules.
- Understanding smart objects via copy.
- Use Photoshop and Illustrator to create guitar string typography.
- The creative photo retouching of Filtre Studio.
- Showcase of beautiful iPhone spp UI concept designs.
- 14 of the best Photoshop tutorials created in March.
- 20 latest Photoshop tutorials to improve your skills.
- 32 beautifully designed newsletter subscription form PSD.
- 25 amazing search box PSD designs.
- 25 Websites with surreal art and illustrations.
- Beautiful examples of flat icons design.
- A collection of 25 free and attractive vector frames.
- 25 delicious and inspirational cheese logos.
- 23 examples of 3D logo design inspiration.
- 5 ultimate Photoshop plug-ins for photographers.
- Easily test iOS icon designs on your home screen.
A Bunch of Design Freebies:
- A Collection of 25 free and attractive vector frames.
- WIRED 1.0 — a wireframe kit for sketch app.
- Black and White Textures.
- Watercolor Stained Paper Textures + Free Flat Icon Set PSD.
- 2000 Free Photoshop patterns.
- iPad and iPhone 5 wireframe freebie.
- 9 free push notification PSD files.
- Free PSD files for designers.
- Fonts: Press style, Dottie Daze, Futura Custom, Langdon, defeated.
- 10 free online tools to create professional resumes.
- Responsive web design test tool.
- FlexyBoxes — flexbox playground and code generator.
- forecast.io — new generation weather forecast.
- coffitivity — mixes music with the sounds of a cafe, creating a kind of specific atmosphere.
- moot.it — a platform to create forums.
- pltts.me — quickly search for the appropriate color palette.
- kippt.com — online library to create your own collection of products.
- todocat.com — the most correct list of deals.
- CSS Factory.
- Cute CSS3-only animals.
- 30 addictively engrossing HTML5 games.
- Northern Lights in 360 degrees.
- Using SVG.
- Speed up your website using prefetching by Jon Fox.
- 50 time-saving web design – developer tools.
- 5 more Sublime Text tweaks & tips.
- Sublime Text 2 is a refined text editor that's a pleasure to use.
- Testing in a privileged context: Shipping your own Gaia apps.
- bootstrap-wysiwyg — tiny wysiwyg rich text editor for Bootstrap.
- Mozilla TowTruck: experimental web collaboration project.
- Adventures in Responsive Navigation.
- How we built a Photoshop extension with HTML, CSS, and JS.
- Preventing the performance hit from custom fonts.
- Developing for Google Glass: Mirror API, HTML5 and how to change your mind.
- Sprite Animations.
- Web Payments with PaySwarm.
- WebRTC Update.
- Never say WordPress when selling a Web Design project.
- Slide and Push Menus.
- hgroup removed from HTML 5.1.
- Setting up Sublime Text 2.
- Reconciling SVG and Icon Fonts.
- Hack your maps.
- Responsive Retrofitting.
- An introduction to programming type systems.
- Animating flexboxes: the lowdown.
- A preview of WordPress 3.6.
- A fullscreen background slideshow with autoplay functionality.
- Responsive full width grid.
- Slide and Push menus.
- Top CSS frameworks for responsive web design.
- Using CSS transitions.
- List of Pseudo-Elements to style form controls.
- A continuous CSS3 animation.
- How to turn your icons into a web font.
- CSS is easy.
- shame.css - just a joke or a good idea?
- Hover is dead, long live hover.
- CSS Paint Times and Page Render Weight.
- Experimenting with Swiss Style In CSS.
- CSS FilterLab: a Visual Playground for Custom Filters.
- SVG filters.
- Designing a modern email.
- SVG icons animated with CSS.
- Docking inspector for responsive design testing.