New Facebook Layout

24 07 2008
I’m sure many of you have heard already, but Facebook has announced the new layout and users can already preview it. Logging in the regular way will take you to your old layout, but typing in www.new.facebook.com will let you log in using the new layout (I found that clicking this link does not work, you have to actually type it in.)

Old News Feed Page:

New News Feed Page:

Old Profile:

New Profile:

Besides the aesthetics, there are other differences. The news feed pages actully didn’t change that much. The biggest things that I picked out are that your friends’ status updates are not in the main feed anymore, they now have their own section on the right hand side. There is also a spot for bookmarks, and the search tool has been moved to the top of the page (it was on the left hand side of the page before.) The most changes that I saw were in the profiles. There are yellow tool-tip like tabs that explain the new features. The Wall Filters now lets you see just the wall posts that you posted, or you can see just the ones that other people posted. Your wall, information, and photos are all on separate tabs. In this area is a ‘+’ tab which allows you to place those annoying applications in their own separate tabs too. And finally is the publisher area. This is only available when you are on the Wall tab. The publisher area is where you upload new photos, update your status, and write wall posts (to name a few.) When you switch between your wall and information tabs, your picture and friends stay in the same area. But when you switch to the pictures tabs, everything else disappears from the page. Not really sure what the logic behind that is. I went through other areas of Facebook to see what changed, but there was nothing that really stood out. But enough of me telling you what it looks like, go check it out yourself! Are there any new features that I failed to mention? Or maybe just so really big change that I didn’t notice?

UPDATE:
  • Once you switch to the new Facebook, it will stay like that every time you log in. To switch back to the old Facebook, there is a link in the upper right hand corner that says “Back to the old Facebook”. After that, you will see the old layout every time you log in.
  • To turn off the yellow tips in the new layout, there should be long yellow bar above the box where you type what you are doing right now. There should be a little downward pointing arrow that you can click. This is where you turn off the tips.
  • In the new layout, you can now import feeds from other websites.  These include: Flickr, Digg, del.icio.us, last.fm, Yelp, Picasa, Google Reader, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Pandora, hulu, and a blog or RSS feed.  If you want to do this, click the link that says “settings” next to the links for All Posts, Posts by you, and Posts by others (underneath the box where you type in what you are doing right now.)  To see all of the sites that you can import feeds from, click the more link.
  • You can now take photos using your webcam, or the built in camera on macs, using Facebook.  Click “Add Photos” and then go to the “Take Photo” tab.  After you take it make sure you hit the “Post” button, this will add it to your News Feed.
  • I didn’t notice the “Boxes” tab before, or maybe it wasn’t there a few days ago.  I’m actually not sure what exactly the point of this is.  In mine I have the applications that I have viewable in my profile.  The layout of this tab is bad, and I’m not sure why the tab is named “boxes”.
  • Again, clicking the “+” tab will add a single application into it’s own tab.  I guess this is good when you have favorite applications that you use all the time.




For real this time

11 07 2008

Alright, so now that I have made it through what Gizmodo was calling iPocalypse, I can finally give you my thoughts.
After your data is restored to your iPhone, you will get a message telling you that your phone has been activated. You will then get a message telling you how to rearrange the icons on your homescreens. The update forgets any of the rearranging that you may have done in the past, and puts all of the icons back to their default positions. For instance, I had placed my SMS in the dock instead of having mail there. But the update puts mail back in the dock and SMS back in the homscreen. Also, any other icons that you had on other homescreens move to fill up the empty space on first homescreen. Not that this is really a big deal, but it is just a little annoying. I will probably be getting rid of most of the non-default icons right now anyway because most of them now have App-equivalents.
Obviously, the App Store icon is new. Clicking it takes you to the “new” section (which still cracks me up, because they are all new for the time being”), and then there is also a “what’s hot” section. I was hoping that there would be some way for the App Store to know what I have already downloaded through iTunes, but there wasn’t, so I guess that has to be done through sync.

Sidenote:
Well, on my way to go the sync, I’m running into the same iTunes error message again, and the “Accessing iTunes Store” message that goes on forever. What do I need to go to the store for? I’m already activated? I just want to sync!!!! Is this going to take another two hours? I really just want to see how it all works… I guess in the meantime, I can talk about other stuff.

There is another new icon – Contacts. Which is nice because now you don’t have to go through the phone icon in order to view your contacts. Search in contacts is great and will be a total time saver! But I recall that tapping the top of whatever screen you are on would take you to the top. For example, if you were in the ‘V’s of your contacts, tapping the top where it says ‘All Contacts’ would take you back up to the ‘A’s. But, this doesn’t seem to work, so is this is just a feature if you bought the new phone?
Update: I realized that you actually click up top where the time is shown, and that will take you to the top.
The Calendar has a change too. When you are tap a day that has an appointment, it would usually just show you the start time and the title of the event, and you had to click on it to see anymore information. Now, underneath the title is the location of the event.
One of my biggest pet peeves with maps was that it gave you the option to view traffic. But in my area, it never worked. If I scrolled over to the next big city it was fine. I never really understood this because I don’t live in a small town… but that’s a topic for another day. But now maps tells you if traffic is unavailable. The area you tap to change views and see traffic has changed a little bit, but it’s probably just for aesthetics, not functionality. When looking for current location, you now get a message stating that maps would like to use your current location, and asks you to deny or allow. Interesting too, that bus stops and the direction the street goes are now shown in map and hybrid views.
Because the phone is now “location aware”, camera also asks if you want it to know your current location. This is awesome, because I can now see how it ties into Apps like WHERE and Whrrl.
None of my alarms were restored after updating. Not that big of a deal, but still would have been nice if I didn’t have to reset all of them.
Calculator in vertical mode looks a little different, and as we know, turning it horizontally will put it into scientific mode.
Settings has a couple of changes as well. Support for MobileMe to sync everything in the “Fetch New Data” area. Mail, Contacts, and Calendars is all in one area now. And any applications that have settings will now show up in Settings (for example, SmugShot has a spot in there.)
I think that’s all, I think I’m going to watch guided tour again, because I honestly don’t remember all of the changes that were going to be made. And if I do remember them, then I can’t remember how to do them.
What I would have liked to see:
An option to set an alarm to go off everyday, without having to manually select every day. I think there should be an option that literally says “Every day”.
Traffic in more areas. Why doesn’t Reno get traffic, it’s not that small!

Need a break… back later with thoughts on Apps

Ok, I’m back…
I downloaded several Apps, so here is what I think of them as I go setup and play around with them:
Facebook:
Friend’s profiles look exactly like what you would see in the iPhone’s contacts area. Tapping on a physical address opens Maps, tapping a phone number immediately calls the person instead of asking if you want to call, and tapping an email address opens Mail.
I think the Facebook App is setup very nicely and is very easy to use.
Myspace:
Very cool! MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the online mobile version. You can do pretty much everything on the App that you can on the actual website. You can also search for people by their name now, instead of just an email address. I love it! But the only thing that I noticed after playing with it for a while is that it doesn’t tell you that you have new comments.
Twitterific:
Right off the bat asks you if you want it to know your current location. Again, this is because it is now “location aware”. You then get a message asking if you want to setup an account (ie. for people who already have an account… kind of misleading.) The alert noise honestly scared me when it first happened… not sure if I will keep it.
Whrrl:
Easy setup of new account. May take some getting used to when actually using. We’ll see…
Update: I did end up getting rid of this App.
WHERE:
Very slow to load. There are a lot different thing integrated into this though, and it seems like it is better setup that Whrrl to be honest. They are pretty similar in what they are aiming to do. But I thought I’d get both and decide what I liked best. Using WHERE will probably eliminate my need for the Yelp! App. I can honestly see myself getting a lot of use out of this App and I’m really excited to use it!
Yelp!:
Like I just said, WHERE will probably eliminate my need for the Yelp! App, but may as well take a look at it anyway. However, I can see where it could useful when looking for something specific. Maybe I’ll keep it on there for now and see if it meets a need.
Evernote:
I think this is an awesome concept. But how much would I use it on my phone? Especially with out a way to select text? I could definitely see myself using it on my desktop. So maybe I’ll hold off on this until I use it on my computer.
Jott:
I didn’t have a Jott account before, so I had to register for one. Annoying thing: you have to tap in the middle of the text box in order to use it… weird. After registering, you are sent a SMS in order to validate your account, this takes a while. Waiting….. Waiting….. Still waiting….. Ok, well, since Evernote also has the ability to do voice notes, I got rid of Jott. Never did get that text message…
I know some of this is kind of scattered brained. But I hope it helps someone.

Later in the day I ended up adding a couple more applications. I haven’t had the time to try them out yet, but if I feel that you’d benefit from what I have to say, I’ll write a blog.