Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here’s What Facebook Timeline Looks Like

Screen Shot 2011-09-22 at 11.00.09 AM
Facebook has just used their keynote at f8 to unveil a major new feature: Timeline. It’s your Profile re-imagined in a more visual way. “It’s the heart of your Facebook experience, completely re-thought from the ground up,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted.
The focus is on three key things:
  • all your stories
  • all your apps
  • a new way to express who you are
So what does it look like? Check it out below.

 UpdateAnd here’s a bit of backstory.
Today at Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off a huge change to the service: Timeline. It’s the Profile reborn, and it looks great. Later, Facebook’s head of product Chris Cox took the stage to talk about the feature’s inception.
Cox largely credits two people: Nicholas Feltonand Sam Lessin.
Cox waxed poetic about Felton’s history. He gushed about Felton’s Feltron Annual Reports, which stared in 2005. “14 pages. One year. One book,” Cox noted. It was all about organizing the years of his life in a beautiful, visual way. “It was hard to call it anything other than what it really was — art,” Cox continued.
“We had one reaction: we have to try to hire this guy.”
And Facebook did just that. When they bought Felton’s startup Daytum this past April, Felton and co-founder Ryan Case moved from New York to Palo Alto to help weave their data analysis instincts into the future of the Facebook Profile.
Cox then turned his attention to Lessin. Facebook also acquired his startup, Drop.io, last year in order to get him. He had one job: to re-imagine the Profile. Lessin noted that “the single biggest lost opportunity in the history of human story telling” was the way the Profile was laid out when he joined. He printed out all of the information he had shared on his profile since he joined Facebook in 2004 to prove his point. It stretched across Facebook’s entire office.
Cox noted that when they accidentally launched a product called “Memories” this past summer for a few hours, the reaction was huge. This was a taste of what was to come with Timeline. “We tucked that away, and kept working,” Cox said.
Today, the work is complete — though Timeline will be slowly rolling out over the next couple of months to everyone, there will be a beta of it starting today. Facebook’s recent focus on design, and their moves to acquire as much top-tier design talent is possible is now evident.
“We’re a culture of builders. Now let’s go build something awesome,” Cox said in closing. 

Facebook Unveils Timeline: The Story Of Your Life On A Single Page

Today at Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to unveil the next evolution of the service. The first major change? The Profile.
Zuckerberg noted that the original Profile was sort of like the last five minutes of your life. The updated Proile from 2008 extended that to show what was sort of like the last 15 minutes or your life. The new Profile unveiled today is “the rest,” Zuckerberg noted. He calls this feature Timeline.
“It’s the heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up,” Zuckerberg says, noting that they’ve been working on it all year. “Timeline is the story of your life.”
What Zuckerberg showed was a beautiful new Profile that is much more visual than anything Facebook has done before. To be honest, it looks a bit like a really nice Tumblr blog. It has three main parts:
  • all your stories
  • all your apps
  • a new way to express who you are
And it goes all the way back to when you were born.
Trying to display all of this content was a major design challenge, Zuckerberg noted. How do you do it all on a single page? Well, all of your recent content is shown in a new grid-view. But as you go back in time, it’s more about summarizing your content to display the most important content. The farther back you go, the less you see — it’s just the key moments. “This is the magic of how Timeline works,” Zuckerberg said.
And it works on mobile too. While Zuckerberg mainly showed off how Timeline looks on the web, he also showed it on the smaller iPhone screen. It’s the same idea, just more condensed.
“We wanted to design a place that feels like your home,” Zuckerberg said.
Undoubtedly, this will roll-out over time (over the next couple of months, CTO Bret Taylor says). You can learn more about Timeline here.

Launch Date:January 2, 2004
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original idea for the term...

How To Enable Facebook Timeline Right This Second

This morning Facebook announced Timeline, a crazy (and kind of creepy) omnibus look at everything that has ever happened in your Facebook lifespan. It’s like a story book of your life — or at least the online, documented parts.
Facebook said that Timeline would be on the way for everyone sometime in the coming weeks… which is great and all, for everyone else. You’re the type of person who reads TechCrunch, and are thus likely the type of person who likes their new and shiny things right now.
That’s okay. We can make it happen.
Fortunately, enabling Timeline a bit early isn’t too difficult — but it’s not at all straight forward, either.
You see, Facebook is enabling Timeline early for open graph developers. You, too, can be an open graph developer — even if you’re just looking to dabble.
A few things to note:
- You probably don’t want to do this unless you’re actually a developer. Expect bugs.
- Only you will see your timeline at first (unless you decide otherwise), but it will automatically go public after a few days. My timeline was automatically hard-set to go public on September 29th.
- It seems that if you login into Facebook on another machine, Timeline gets disabled automatically on all of your machines. With that said, it seems you can get back to your timeline (but ONLY after following the steps below) by navigating to http://www.facebook.com/YOURUSERNAMEHERE?sk=timeline
- You’ll need to have a “verified” account for one of the steps, which means you need a credit card or phone number attached to the account.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Log into Facebook
2. Enable developer mode, if you haven’t already. To do this, type “developer” into the Facebook search box, click the first result (it should be an app made by Facebook with a few hundred thousand users), and add the app.
3. Jump into the developer app (if Facebook doesn’t put you there automatically, it should be in your left-hand tool bar)
4. Create a new app (don’t worry — you wont actually be submitting this for anyone else to see/use). Give your shiny new app any display name and namespace you see fit. Read through and agree to the Platform Privacy agreement. This is the step you need to be verified for.
5. Ensure you’re in your new app’s main settings screen. You should see your app’s name near the top of the page
6. Look for the “Open Graph” header, and click the “Get Started using open graph” link.
Create a test action for your app, like “read” a “book”, or “eat” a “sandwich”
7. This should drop you into an action type configuration page. Change a few of the default settings (I changed the past tense of “read” to “redd” — again, only you can see this unless you try and submit your application to the public directory), and click through all three pages of settings
8. Wait 2-3 minutes
9. Go back to your Facebook homescreen. An invite to try Timeline should be waiting at the top of the page
And you’re done! We’ve seen this work quite a few times now, so it should work without a hitch for just about anyone.

Apple Issues Invitations for October 4th iPhone Media Event

Confirming earlier reports, Apple today issued media invitations for a special iPhone event to be held next Tuesday, October 4th at the company's Town Hall auditorium at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. 

As noted by The Loop, invitations for the event carry the tagline "Let's talk iPhone" and depict iOS icons for Calendar, Clock, Maps, and Phone. 

Apple is of course widely expected to introduce its next-generation hardware (whether it be iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or both) at the event, and is expected to also be including a minor update to its iPod line. iOS 5 and iCloud are also expected to be topics of discussion at the event, while other reports have indicated that Facebook may launch its iPad app at the event.

Lost Foxconn iPhone May Have Been Source of Teardrop iPhone 5 Case Designs

M.I.C gadget reports that it has heard from a small iPhone accessory shop in Shenzhen, China that Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn had lost a prototype of Apple's redesigned iPhone 5 carrying the tapered teardrop form factor seen in a number of case designs over the past few months. 

Mockup of tapered iPhone 5 based on leaked case designs

While the sourcing on the report is certainly questionable, the detailed account is an interesting read and it would not be the first time that a mobile phone accessory vendor has been involved in leaked iPhone prototypes.
The missing prototype is said to have been enclosed in a case to disguise it as a current-generation iPhone 4–which brings to mind the iPhone 4 prototype acquired by Gizmodo that was camouflaged as an iPhone 3GS. How Apple achieved that with the iPhone 5 supposedly wider and longer than the current iPhone 4 is a point to ponder. 

It is said to be a test model with a finalized iPhone 5 chassis featuring the tear-drop design. However, the interesting thing about it is that it apparently houses what we assume to be slightly modified iPhone 4 electronics with components such as the A4 chip and even the same amount of memory.
The report goes on to note that an outside party had paid a Foxconn employee to deliver the prototype device, which was reportedly then sold to a case manufacturer for approximately $3,100. 

It is unclear when the alleged loss of the prototype occurred, although reports of the tapered design extend back to least April and a design document showing the form factor appeared by late July. Since that time, numerous case manufacturers have released cases for the new form factor, but actual evidence of the device in the form of parts leaks has yet to surface. 

Not all Apple prototypes make it into production, with the 2009 iPod touch with camera being a notable example of a design that made it quite far through the prototyping process before Apple decided to remove the camera. There has been considerable debate about whether Apple will be launching this redesigned teardrop form factor for the iPhone, as evidence from leaked parts has so far only shown an "iPhone 4S" design based on the iPhone 4. 

Daring Fireball's John Gruber hints in his link to news of the media event invitations that there may in fact be only one new device introduced next week, which would presumably be the more conservative iPhone 4S design.
Something tells me there’s only one new iPhone.
The comment is far from confirmation, but Gruber has in the past offered accurate information on Apple's plans and has on occasion coyly hinted at such knowledge in his comments.

Apple to Discontinue iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle?

TUAW claims that Apple may be planning on discontinuing the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle devices this year.
It seems that the "product transition" Apple mentioned on the last earnings call could very well be within the iPod line. Specifically, if you want to buy an iPod shuffle or iPod classic from Apple, you should do it sooner rather than later. We've heard those two iPods are getting the axe this year.
They go on to say that they see "few changes" coming for the iPod touch, except for a white model. That portion of the report mirrors our own from last week, which detailed the introduction of a white iPod Touch model, but little else in the way of changes. The iPod nano appears to be safe for the time being and may see a minor improvement as well next week. 

The iPod as a product line has been making up a smaller and smaller percentage of Apple's revenue over the past few years with the growth of the iPhone. Apple does not break out the iPod touch out of those sales, but the touch likely represents a large portion of the remaining iPod sales. The last official word about the iPod Classic came from Steve Jobs over a year ago, in which he said in an email that they had no plans on discontinuing the iPod Classic at that time. Now, a year later, it may be coming, if TUAW's source is to be believed.