Channel roundup – essential intelligence on the latest developments from the world’s leading digital networks and channels
Apple reveals new features for iOS8 at WWDC
At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite were previewed to the world during the opening keynote. Only developers will be able to put to trial the beta version of the software until the open beta program starts up this summer, with full release scheduled for autumn this year. Here’s a brief rundown of the key features:
• HomeKit – working with smart devices in the home, HomeKit will enable users to control household fittings such as lighting and doors direct from their smartphone
• Photos – better lighting and contrast editing as well as the launch of iCloud Photo Library (this will store all users’ photos across all their devices automatically, including edits)
• Messages – new audio and video controls to make recordings and sending multimedia files more efficient, plus an update to group messages, creating a similar experience to WhatsApp
• Family Sharing – allows families to share calendars, reminders, photos and locations. In a move which should please parents, it also allows them to remotely monitor and approve downloads and purchases made by their children.
• iCloud Drive – this will work in the same way as other services such as Dropbox (users can upload files to the Cloud and then access them from any device)
• Health – allows users’ various fitness and movement tracking apps (eg Nike Fuelband) to talk to each other and sync data in one place
• App store – a host of new search features, including a trending bar and related search options. Videos can also be added to app preview screens
• Touch ID – the fingerprint scanner is now available to third-party developers, allowing banking and other apps to use it to authorise transactions and other features from users’ devices in the future.
Myspace tries to woo users with old photos
The once-popular social network is reaching out to former users with emails that include potentially embarrassing photos which they uploaded to the site in the past, using the line ‘The good, the bad and the what were you thinking…’ and a link to their profile. It’s a smart move, says Mashable’s Kurt Wagner: ‘Few things get your attention like the reminder that a tech company still has your decade-old photos on file’.
Weibo to open up Weibo Payment
Chinese microblogging giant Weibo has announced that its Weibo Payment, launched back in January, will now be opened up for third parties. This will enable third parties to streamline the payment process on Weibo, improving user experience and increasing conversions within a seamless transaction.
Foursquare moves away from check-ins
Foursquare wants to shift from conventional location-based networking to a more ambient, data-driven platform, says CEO Dennis Crowley. Ultimately, Foursquare will no longer be an app dominated by a check-in button – instead, the company is turning its flagship application into a Yelp-like location recommendation service.