Top Story: Samsung Galaxy S4 Debuts . . . Literally
Last night in NYC, Samsung unveiled latest offering, what it calls a “Life Companion for a richer, simpler, and fuller life.” In a move polar opposite to its biggest rival, Apple, Samsung launched the Galaxy S4 at “UNPACKED 2013,” an extravaganza attended by 6,000 at Radio City Music Hall featuring live music and actors in a stage show. Time Square was also packed and 500,000 watched the event live online.
A bit much, right? Especially because the cool new features of the S4 will sell itself. The S4 features:
- Very similar look and feel to its predecessor, with a thinner body, with a slightly larger 5-inch screen.
- 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel forward-facing camera. Features dual-camera function – you can capture video from both cameras at the same time.
- “Smart Scroll” feature allows you to scroll through websites by tilting your phone.
- “Smart Pause” feature allows you to control the screen (wait for it) – WITH YOUR EYES. This feature can stop and start video play based on whether or not you’re looking at the screen.
- “S Translate” feature helps you translate your email or text messages into one of nine different languages, using text or voice translation. The feature can translate from both speech-to-text and text-to-speech.
- Temperature and humidity sensors.
Pretty innovative stuff. We’re really looking forward to having one in the office! And, even more excited to see Apple’s response.
Under the Radar: Death of Google Reader: Alternatives?
Say bye to the Google Reader. This week, Google announced their decision to discontinue the reigning web-feed content aggregator as of this July. “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined,” Google Senior Vice President Urs Holzle said in a post on the Google blog.
This is just one in an array of changes from Google’s massive “spring cleaning” movement, which started in 2011. “It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change — it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago,” Holzle wrote. “To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus — otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact.”
The announcement sent the internet into an uproar. Devastated users who rely on the service to pull together their favorite web content into one place turned to their Twitter and blogs to chastise Google’s decision. Within hours, several online petitions to save the Reader acquired thousands of signatures. More than 50,000 petitioners joined forces on petition site Change.org to sign “Google: Keep Google Reader Running.”
Even the Hitler meme, which circulates during tough times, came out to exert his frustration. “Why on Earth do they need to destroy all things good?” Hitler says at one point. “How dare they take away Google Reader. I have over 300 feeds in there. Have they any idea how much effort I’ve put in?”
Devastating as it is, the death of the Google Reader does drive users to test out alternatives. Rival content aggregator Flipboard was quick to offer a tablet or mobile solution, pointing out that users can directly import their Google Reader content into its platform.
Feedly is another popular choice, also offering seamless switch-over from Reader.
How do you feel about Google’s decision to nix the Reader? Will you make the switch to an alternative news aggregator? Try out these alternatives, and let us know what you think.
Tool of the Week: Pinterest Analytics
We all know that Pinterest is now one of the best sources for referral traffic, but we often want to know more about how exactly it’s driving out business. For instance, what content on our website or blog are people pinning the most? And how successful are those pins when they land on Pinterest? Pinterest has finally launched their own analytics dashboard that can help prove the platform’s results. While it’s not nearly perfect, it’s a great start and is integrated into the platform, which makes it extremely easy to use.
You must have a Pinterest-verified website in order to start using the analytics dashboard. Once you do, you’ll be able to get information about what Pinterest users are pinning from your website or blog, how many other users are seeing these pins, and, most importantly, how many people are actually visiting your website from Pinterest.
Not only does will this help you produce Pinterest reports for yourself or your clients, but it will help you get a good understanding of what content is most popular on your site… So, you can produce more of it!
According to the Pinterest Blog, they’ll likely be launching new analytics metrics soon, which means we’ll be able to put together even more extensive reports. We think this is an incredibly smart move on Pinterest’s part as they’ll actually be able to prove their value to businesses. What do you think of Pinterest’s new analytics tool?
Around the Hub: A Social Media Eulogy for Wes Welker
When Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) first broke the news that Wes Welker was meeting with the Broncos, and followed it up with the fact that he agreed to terms, I was in shock. I went from confusion to anger, back to confusion, and finally to resolved sadness.
What was interesting to watch though, was the extremely varied responses and views on him leaving that could be found throughout social media. I has assumed, wrongly, that like myself, everyone would be saddened by him leaving, and frustrated with the patriots for not matching what seemed like a fair contract (2 years, 12 mil). While in fact, some people were happy he left, whether because they were mad at him for thinking of leaving, or still held a grudge for the Super Bowl drop he had against the Giants. The responses on Facebook to a post by the Boston Herald show perfectly the contrasting opinions of Bostonians.
Some have even went as far as to start burning his jersey, or simply cutting the price from $80 to $25. The only thing we have really been able to discover is that loved or hated, Wes Welker was a polarizing figure in New England, and will not be soon forgotten.