Linguistics of the Smartphone

Thanks to iOS5, Emoji May Soon Become the International Language of Love (and Ninjas and Crying and Eyerolls)

Screen shot 2011-12-07 at 9.48.05 AM

If you’ve ever stumbled across the Betabeat tumblr, you know just how integral we consider animated emoticons to the practice of good journalism. Our Skype chats are littered them. In the New York Times today, emoji aficionado Jenna Wortham explores how the Japanese import is catching on internationally in no small part due to iOS5. Read More


Foursquare’s Alex Rainert Talks iOS 5: The Technology Has Finally Caught Up With Our Vision

This will go great with our Sonar

The newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system rolled out today, and foursquare is leveraging the new technology to launch Radar, the first passive feature the company has ever released.

“Up till now, you had to open the app to learn what was going on around you. A lot of times you had to check in before you saw what friends were in your area,” said Alex Rainert, foursquare’s head of product. “Now we can deliver users information that is contextual and relevant without them having to do anything at all.”

So for example if a foursquare user is in a new part of their city and walks close to a restaurant on their “To Do” list, the phone can ping them with an alert. During a night on the town, the Radar feature can sense when a group of friends has checked in close to a user and give them a heads up. Read More

Tao of Steve

A Shortlist of Everyone Steve Jobs Pissed Off Yesterday

via Huffington Post

Apple’s WWDC keynote address yesterday seemed like a study in Newton’s law: the tech version. For every glorified new product or feature announcement, there was an equal and opposite wave of anger and frustration from competitors who suddenly found themselves up against a behemoth that doesn’t play well with others–or from Apple developers who found themselves cast outside the walled garden. The piecemeal rollouts (glaring absent an iPhone 5 update) may not have seemed like much individually, but arrows were slung high and low, hitting companies big and small. Without further ado, here’s the angry mob Steve Jobs left in his wake. Read More

The Tao of Steve

Apple’s Instapaper-Killer Sent Marco Arment on an Emotional Roller-Coaster


We witnessed something on Twitter today that one rarely finds in 140 characters: raw, human emotions. Lots of them. All jumbled and up and in conflict with one another, coming from every which way. It was sort of like watching the cycle of grief in real-time.  Join us, if you will, down the rabbit hole of  Instapaper founder Marco Arment’s Twitter feed as he heard Steve Jobs & Co. announce what sounded an awful lot like the death knell of Instapaper. Read More