It’s been a remarkable few days for technology. Google’s annual developer conference last week revealed yet another Star Trek tech ; “Hot Wording” – a device that constantly listening to you, waiting for you to say trigger words before it goes and does stuff for you. ‘Google Today’ has been enhanced also – a technology that preempts what you need – such as directions, sports scores, restaurant reviews, travel info and more by crunching all your input data from the last few years, such as searches, browse behaviour and routes, for instance. Add hardware such as Glass to the mix and you’re in an artificially intelligent, fully immersive google world.
It’s hard to think that there used to be a search company bigger than Google. No, I’m not talking about Encyclopaedia Britannica, I am of course talking about Yahoo! (mustn’t forget the exclamation mark). Yahoo! this week have had all guns blazing. First, a $1.1B acquisition of tumblr – a vital perpetuation technology for mainly curating and a little creating. It’s huge, it’s very active and it’s users doing something other than facebook.
The second thing they’ve done (and this is the bit I’m very happy about) is the relaunch of Flickr (what is it with Yahoo! and them buying companies that don’t spell ‘…er’ correctly?). This comes days after a re design of Google Plus was rolled out, which, like the new Flickr uses a new breed of website layout. Both data driven, both design themselves to a degree, depending on the shape of the objects they are displaying at the time. The Flickr design in particular, is a beautiful framework for presenting billions of photos at their best. The desktop, the mobile (android) and tablet versions I’ve been playing with are all stunning – especially the brand new, never been seen before tablet version.
The design is all about the photo. A borderless design that utilises (particularly well on the tablet) lateral and horizontal, pinch and point touch gestures. All the screen real estate is used to display photos, hiding away peripheral textual info until you want it, which reveals itself through intuitive drill down. Brilliant UI for superb UX.
The app also has added a bunch of new filters and editing tools – appealing to the camera phone audience as much as the ‘traditional’ camera photographers who are the beating heart of flickr. Watching what happens with the camera phone space is interesting though, as camera phones are getting better and better, the low resolution of instagram may be is eventual downfall – the new flickr app could be described as Instagram, HD.
Pro (paying) members get unlimited space – as part of the announcement, Yahoo! have said they’re giving a TB of data space to free members as well. That sounds like a pretty good deal if you ask me. If you’ve not signed up before, there’s never been a better time. Go give it a go! (add me – dragondrop – if you do)