Restart to Safari
MacRumors reports an interesting feature in Mac OS X Lion called Restart to Safari. This feature is reminiscent of Google’s Chromebook, which cuts away your operating system and puts all the focus on accessing the Internet via a web browser. In Apple’s case, though, the motivations are different. They are probably not planning to dump Mac OS X in favor of providing a lightweight, browser-only interface.
This feature seems to be part of the “Find My Mac” feature set which allows users to get access to the internet. Though the premise appears to be to give your Mac a chance to phone home, the feature seems very useful for day to day use.
Updates to Google Sync for iOS
Google Sync is the technology that keeps your phone’s native mail and calendar apps in sync with your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. Google has released 3 updates for Google Sync that should make some iPhone and iPad users more productive:
- Now, you will be able to search all your emails in Gmail, not just the ones stored locally in your iOS Mail app.
- Accept, decline or edit calendar events from the iOS calendar app.
- Send email from the address you want. Many of us manage multiple addresses and Gmail’s “Send Mail as” feature was not available on your iOS device. Now, you can keep things more consistent as the iOS mail app will respect those settings.
Lady Gaga and 50 Cent All About Bre.ad
Bre.ad is a custom link shortener funded by Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter. There are many…many link shorteners already out there, but Bre.ad seems focused on big brands and those looking to promote themselves. Promoting online requires strategy. There is a delicate balance between promoting your own stuff and helping others to shine. Bre.ad sort of allows you to do both at the same time. Clicking a Bre.ad link takes you to a splash page where you spend five seconds reading a custom message and viewing a branded image before being forwarded to the actual destination. Sounds annoying as all get-out, but Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, and Pepsi have all already signed on. With most users not willing to wait any more than a few seconds for a site to load, it will be interesting to see how Bre.ad does.
Facebook Moves in Against Apple and Photo Sharing
Two major leaks from Facebook this week. The first is a photo sharing app which has the potential to completely change the game. Photo sharing is a hot area right now with apps like Instagram and PicPlz exploding. Facebook, still quite popular for sharing photos with friends, apparently has no plans to be left behind. Their leaked photo sharing app seems to do way more than just share photos, building on features from Color, Path, and even Path’s new side project, With. Check out TC for a healthy helping of screenshots from the mobile app.
Facebook has made a commitment to support HTML5, which powered their recent upgrade of the mobile Facebook site and is likely behind the upcoming photo sharing app. Development using HTML5 also happens to be one of the ways to get around Apple’s lockdown. One could distribute apps across most mobile platforms using HTML5 web apps. Facebook’s Project Spartan is allegedly going to do just that, and more. Instead of simply using HTML5 support in the Safari mobile browser to bypass Apple’s App Store, they are rumored to be planning a full on attack by distributing mobile apps and games through the mobile browser. I have long been a supporter of HTML5 as a mobile development platform as it gives the developer full control, but I never thought Facebook would leverage it in this way.