Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google Maps App Won’t be Found on iPhones Anytime Soon

Apple Maps IOS 6

Bad news for iPhone users. Google has revealed that it won’t be bringing Google Maps back to IOS anytime soon.

Apple launched its own Maps application last week, a move that was met by widespread derision for its inaccurate locations and directions, as well as its lack of public transport information.

It also seems like iPhone and iPad users will be left struggling with Apple’s Maps app, as Google has said it has no plans to bring Google Maps back to IOS. We can’t help but think this is a good move on Google’s part, as it might draw some users away from IOS to its Google Maps equipped Android operating system.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt announced the bad news, telling Reuters that the firm “hasn’t done anything yet” with regards to developing a Google Maps app for IOS 6.

“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” Schmidt added. “What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”

All hope isn’t lost, however. Here’s a guide on how to get Google Maps back on your iPhone, courtesy of our sister site, The Inquirer.

What’s more, Schmidt said that he hopes Google will remain Apple’s search partner on the iPhone, but he didn’t sound too optimistic that this will happen.

“I’m not doing any predictions. We want them to be our partner. We welcome that. I’m not going to speculate at all what they’re going to do. They can answer that question as they see fit,” he said.

Also on the subject of search partners, according to Forbes, Schmidt said Google would be “interested in working with Yahoo US. He also said nothing doing for the time being, but they would be interested. It was also mentioned to him that there is new management at Yahoo US with a Google connection [Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer]. But he played it pretty straight…. He also said they had expressed this interest to Yahoo before on a number of occasions.”

Originally posted on Search Engine Watch

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Facebook Explores Giving Kids Access

Facebook are in the process of developing technology that would allow children below 13 years to use the social networking site under parental supervision. Evidently, some children are already on through falsified birthdays, but this step could see the company tap into a new pool of users for more revenue at the expensive of privacy. The current situation puts the company in the awkward position as American federal law prohibits collecting personal data from children.

Some of the mechanisms include connecting children’s accounts to their parents’ and letting the parents decide who they can friend and what apps they can use. Facebook have also inquired with identity-verification providers about ways of getting verifiable consent from parents of children who want to use Facebook.

According to Consumer Reports, 7.5 million children are using the site, as well as five million below the age of 10. Research by Microsoft found that 36% of parents were aware that their children joined Facebook and a substantial percentage of these parents helped their kids in the effort.

Originally posted on Wall Street Journal

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Eye Candy

Geekily deli.icio.us.

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Google Chrome Becomes World’s Most Popular Web Browser

For the first time in history Google Chrome overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to become the world’s most popular web browser for a full week. Chrome had a weeklong surge in usage last week according to StatCounter. Chrome has previously overtaken IE for weekend usage but this is the first time it has had the top spot for a full week. Asia and South America contributed heavily to Chrome’s traffic boom, with Internet Explorer and Firefox remaining North America and Europe’s dominant web browsers. In India, Chrome held an 8 percent lead over Firefox, the country’s second most popular browser.

In New Zealand, Internet Explorer leads as the most popular browser but the gap between IE and Chrome has narrowed significantly since the start of the year. For a few days in April, Chrome usage did overtake that of IEs in NZ and all trends suggest Chrome is likely to be cemented as the browser of choice for NZ.

The news comes just days after Google announced plans to redesign how it displays search results. The company unveiled its new Knowledge Graph, promising it will upgrade its engines to go beyond searching for matching strings of characters, to actually understand users’ browsing habits.

Originally posted on V3.

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Semi-Permanent 2012

A couple of us were in attendance at the annual Semi-Permanent on Friday, a design conference of some of the world’s finest typographers, fashion designers and advertising creatives keen to share their ideas and lessons with the public.  The conference, now in it’s 10th year, celebrates individuals and agencies in the fields of film, fine art, illustration, digital design and more and has been hosted 29 times in five countries with over 200 speakers and 50,000 attendees.

This year’s show saw local comedian Te Radar as the MC for the day, with Special being the first speakers (and only kiwis) to take the stage. For the most part, they let the material (videos) speak for itself, the client campaigns demonstrating their steps to creative success. Being closer to our industry, it has been interesting to watch them develop from a semi-blank ad in the paper to a 20 person agency. One of their pieces was (of course) the Orcon/ Iggy Pop campaign, which I have always found controversial –  despite its success as a content generation and outstanding ad audience engagement, it didn’t lead to sales success to the point where Orcon moved to another agency. Also their rebranding of Ecostore directly contradicts the findings of my (sound, if I do say so myself) thesis on the topic… One of their lessons I thought was interesting was “turning weaknesses into strengths” demonstrated by channel Four’s rebranding as “home of not rugby” which helped lift viewership over the RWC time. Their Green Party campaign showed simplicity at its best, whilst the Smirnoff Night Projects showed how they could utilise the target audience’s own creativity to transform a campaign to a full TV show and media event. Here are their “8 special things” in its entirety:

  1. Think bigger than you are
  2. Don’t play by the rules, use deception
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Tell something interesting
  5. Back Yourself
  6. Collaborate
  7. Use the force to turn weakness into strength
  8. Have ludicrous self-belief

American designer Gmunk gave a very different presentation, almost narrative in structure with the first half covering his background leading to his achievement in being contracted to work on the recent Tron Legacy films. His journey was interesting to watch, seeing him develop from an illustrator to animator to video director and whatever he found himself in/ felt like. He had a variety of techniques and mediums  that showed his versatility while demonstrating common design elements and personality. There was also a lot of trends (e.g. geometry) appearing over some phases of his outputs. His work in Tron Legacy was much more technical in nature than some of his earlier work and served as a great reminder of how much work and thought does into a few minutes of animation. His personal site could do with a little SEO since it lacks indexable data!

The “godfather of sampling” Swifty spoke after our lunch period, and possibly due to personality or  organisation (or lack of) it wasn’t quite as structured or as easy to follow as the others. He showed various key pieces of his work and development, but we found it a bit harder to understand his creative process and over the second half, it felt like someone was flicking through Instagram reels telling us about an event that didn’t seem nearly as interesting as the success as he has achieved in his area. Some of the references don’t seem to work with the local audience and ultimately we didn’t walk out with a sense of how he managed to achieve the success he clearly has in the field. That being said, I think I do remember collecting Garbage Pail Kids when I was younger…

Twins Andrew and Mark Moffitt, founders of the agency Moffitt: Moffitt started their creative agency only 18 months ago but have quickly made an impact on the market over there. What surprised us was their devotion and time spent to their side projects such as a poster magazine called Demo where they collaborated with photographers and up and coming artists and Mart, a gallery where they even exhibited themselves. They also had some great fashion shoots of themselves. No shame in vanity.

Our favourite speaker of the day was Sydney-based paper engineer Benja Harney who demonstrated his passion which he was able to translate exceedingly well to a commercial environment. This included a window display for Hermes, promotional material for a TV show/network and the final project shown was a pop-up-book for Kylie Minogue. He detailed all steps of his creative process for this book, including errors encountered, ending with a trip to China to visit the factory where they were handmade. Each individual piece had to be cut with a custom “knife” and it was only at this stage if he knew the design was capable of being mass-produced. At the end, audience members made paper planes, which were thrown into the centre of the auditorium which made for a very cool spectacle (messy too!). I am a huge fan of paper engineering and love seeing how the simplicity of the medium can be translated to such captivating pieces. For anyone keen, here’s one site we’re really enjoying at the moment in this area, where great designs can be made through the patterns and instructions provided.

SouthSouthWest, a branding and design agency from Melbourne reminisced about how they developed from university students to develop their own agency and created projects for Nike, BikeFest as well as a brand new cider brand. The session didn’t quite stick out as much as the others hence while I can’t recall anything else.

Alex Trochut, a designer from Spain, gave us an interesting insight into the area of typography design and we quite appreciated his description of his approach to a new brief. It was different to see how he applied geometry and design rules to develop new and intricate typography to ensure not only that it was aesthetically pleasing but it also made sense. His session started by proclaiming he was a thief (and there is no such thing as originality without references) and in discussion of his pieces, he referenced a variety of other work to demonstrate what inspired him. This helped the audience to establish connections between the source work and how he ended up with his work (after a few different trials). He definitely came across as the type to test things and see what other approaches could work. Ultimately, as he puts it “It doesn’t matter where you get things from, it’s where you take them that matters”.

Scott and Justin from Australian ad agency of the year two years running, The Monkeys, closed the show after literally getting off the plane from Sydney earlier that day. Originally from Saatchi & Saatchi, they branched off after developing an original tv series and then later became a proper creative agency (whilst also still creating new tv series on the side). Recently, they did an interesting data visualisation for GE where users would either enter two keywords (of what concerns them the most in the future) and the data could be translated into a eye-catching and always changing light show. Made us think – what kind of visualisations could we do with our search data we have? They had our favourite video of the day, repositioning the Sydney Opera House using word, sound and power to tell a story that stays with you long after the ship has sailed.

verall, we had a ton of inspiration from great people from a varied number of industries all with something interesting to share about how they got to where they are today. One key theme across all the speakers was collaboration – whether this meant working with people who were more skilled in particular areas than themselves, such as in graphic coding, data visualisation or rubber duck building or collaboration in getting leads and projects from people they have networked with. It certainly applies in our industry with people certainly making (all) the difference. Another common theme across speakers was commercialisation. The agency speakers naturally geared towards commercial outcomes but others deviated either being opposed to ‘advertising’ or accepting bankable projects and exhibitions readily. Creativity can come in many forms and its great to see such different artists using their ideas in such different and exciting ways – despite this – all creativity ultimately works to evoke feeling and emotions from those that experience them.

In a nutshell: Knowledge ≠ Power. Creative = Power!

Charlotte/Sam

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Social Sneakers

Too cool!

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Augmented Reality Sandbox

Researchers at UC Davis have been working on an AR Sandbox that allows a user to create a real-time, virtual, colored topographic map on sand surface. The technology uses a Kinect 3D camera and project to a real-time colored topographic map with contour lines in the sand surface.

You can change the topography of the sandbox creating mountains, basins and riverbeds as well as creating flowing water which adheres to the terrain configuration you’ve created. The goal for the project is to create a self-contained AR system which could be used for educational purposes, but it seems like it could have implications for entertainment purposes as well – perhaps the digital playground of the future?

 

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Real-time ‘likes’ displayed on fashion retailer’s clothes racks

Brazilian fashion retailer C&A offered a solution to a big problem among women: insecurity when shopping. A new initiative called Fashion Like allows people to ‘like’ certain items of clothing on the company’s Facebook page,with the clicks collated and displayed on the relevant clothes rack in real-time. Customers are thereby able to view the item’s online popularity in the real world to help them make their decision.

As noted by The Verge, it remains to be seen how valuable this would be to shoppers, given the trivial nature of what gets posted in Facebook and the dubious sense of taste among the masses. It does seem like a cool integration of social media technology and for the unsure, it could give a little sway to this or that top.

Thanks Brittany for the link!

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