iPhone History

In a scant few hours now, we’ll dive into chapter five in one of the most compelling stories of our digital-dominated era: The Life And Times of the iPhone. So for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, and even those of you who have (hands up if you remember the ROKR iTunes phone), here’s a recap — courtesy of Thinglink, a startup that makes interactive photos and ads.

Hover over the infographic to reveal pictures, videos and links from iPhone history. (The launch date of each phone is at the top of its screen.) Take note of the chips used in each iteration, and find out more about the real genius behind the iPhone’s design. Wax nostalgic in the comments about your favorite moments. And get ready for a whole new chapter Tuesday morning, whether it’s the iPhone 5, the 4S or both.

iPhone 5: Will You Upgrade?

The iPhone 5 is on the way, and millions of people are asking themselves, is it time to upgrade? This infographic will point you in the right direction.

Let’s take a look at the current state of the iPhone 4 and its predecessors, how many apps users have installed, how much they’re using the iPhone and what new features they’d like to see in the next one. That should give us a good idea about whether we should upgrade, and why.

This elaborate infographic is part 1 of a three-part series that will lead us up to the launch of the iPhone 5, which is likely to be announced on Oct. 4. Developed by AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) and research firm PaidViewpoint along with Mashable, the survey asked 1,000 U.S. iPhone owners aged 18 years and older an extensive series of questions.

The result? A comprehensive set of data that pointed to their intentions to upgrade early to the iPhone 5 and a whole lot more:

 

4.7 Million LinkedIn Users Are Employed by Small Businesses

There are more paths to a good job than the usual four years of college and an internship at a big firm. As the infographic below shows, a fair number of people on LinkedInare veterans of the military services or graduates of community colleges.

For the former, operations and information technology have been the most fertile fields, while community college grads tend to wind up in business or computer science.

The data also show opportunities outside of big business: Some 4.7 million LinkedIn members — out of roughly 100 million in total — are employed by small businesses. It’s unclear how many of those are new to their positions, but many LinkedIn members have moved around of late. According to the company, there have been 7.4 million job changes since 2009.

What do you think? Are four-year degrees overrated? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook’s Navigation Bar Update

Many Facebook users (us included) noticed that the top navigation bar is now locked on top of the screen even if you scroll the page down. This behavior is new: Before, the top navigation bar would scroll up with the page, and now it’s visible all the time.

This subtle change lets users always access some of the most important features on Facebook: friend requests, messages, notifications and search on the left side, as well as home and profile anchor buttons and account settings on the right.

For comparison, Twitter uses a similar floating design for its navigation bar, which is also always visible on top.

Inside Facebook thinks this may be the first stage in a much bigger redesign, which is to be unveiled at Facebook’s F8 conference. If they’re right, Facebook is looking to lock the ads on the right side of the screen to be always visible, too, which would surely increase the click-through rates but would also make the page a bit more crowded.

Has the new, locked top navigation bar gone live for you? How do you like it? Please, share your opinions in the comments.

Twitter to Launch Ads in the UK in October

Twitter is finalizing deals with partners and is on course to launch ads in the UK in October, according to a recent report.

Twitter has been talking with brands for several months, Marketing Magazine says, citing agency sources. O2, Vodafone, Sky and Sony will be the first to take advantage of Twitter’s promoted tweets, trends and accounts.

While the details of the deals are unknown, one source claims Twitter is currently selling ad bundles and asking for six figure investments.

According to another source, Twitter may also sell regional ads in addition to country-specific promotions.

Twitter started offering ads in the U.S. in April 2010 and has been slowly expanding the program ever since.

This summer, Twitter started showing promoted tweets in users’ streams, but only to users who actually follow the brand sending the tweets. Last week, All Things D said Twitter plans to expand that idea by showing ads based on users’ interests, regardless of whether they follow a certain brand.

Facebook Use May Lead to Psychological Disorders in Teens

Increasing research on social media’s effects on human interaction has revealed the development of antisocial behavior, narcissism and a slew of other character flaws and negative by-products.

Overdosing on Facebook may lead to the development of such psychological disorders in teens, according to a recent study conducted by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University.

In a presentation titled “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids” at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Rosen presented his findings based on a number of computer-based surveys distributed to 1,000 urban adolescents and his 15-minute observations of 300 teens in the act of studying.

Some of the negative side effects of Facebook use for teens that Rosen cited include:

  • Development of narcissism in teens who often use Facebook;
  • Presence of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies, in teens who have a strong Facebook presence;
  • Increased absence from school and likelihood of developing stomach aches, sleeping problems, anxiety and depression, in teens who “overdose” in technology on a daily basis, including Facebook and video games;
  • Lower grades for middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period;
  • Lower reading retention rates for students who most frequently had Facebook open on their computers during the 15-minute study period.

Not all findings were negative, however — one of the more interesting points from Rosen’s research was the development of “virtual empathy.”

Generally, we think of empathy as an in-person activity, where hugs, facial expressions and kind words help improve a loved one’s mood. Rosen says that teens are developing the ability to show virtual empathy for distressed Facebook friends and that the empathy is actually well-received by friends, positively influencing their mood.

This virtual empathy, he says, can even spill over into the real world, teaching teens how to empathize with others in everyday life.

Phone Wars

It’s no secret how much most people are attached to their cellphones, but now TeleNav has released a survey showing just how willing Americans are to give up the finer things in life so they can still hang onto that handset.

Think about this hypothetical situation for a moment: What would you be more willing to give up so you could still have your mobile phone?

Not only does this infographic give you insight into mobile-device love, but it also helps you sort out general priorities as well. For instance, one third of the U.S. population would rather give up sex for a week than a mobile phone, but 70% were willing to give up alcohol for that phone?

Or who would’ve guessed that smartphone users had worse manners than their cellphone counterparts, with 26% of smartphone users frequently pulling out their handset at the dinner table, compared with 6% of cellphone (“featurephone”) users?

Worse (and this one’s not included in the infographic) — “Smartphone users were twice as likely as feature phone users to give up hot showers rather than their phone for one week,” according to TeleNav’s survey. Now that’s got to be love.

Google Triples the Speed of the +1 Button

The +1 button is about to get a whole lot faster, thanks to an update Google rolled out on Tuesday.

“We’ve begun to roll out out a set of changes that will make the button render up to 3x faster on your site,” software engineer David Byttow said in a blog post. “No action is required on your part, so just sit back, relax, and watch as the button loads more quickly than before.”

In addition to the speed boost, Google also introduced new code that speeds up the +1 button via an asynchronous code snippet. The code allows a web page to load with the +1 JavaScript code in parallel. The result is another improvement in page load time. The code is available on the +1 configuration page.

The +1 button is Google’s answer to Facebook’s Like Button. Since its launch, it has quickly gained adoption, and one report even claims its more widespread than the Twitter Tweet Button.

Google+ reaches 20 Million Mark in 3 Weeks

Google’s new Social Networking site Google+ has reached a massive 20 million subscribers, as almost everyone wants in on the action.  Its just been a week since Google’s Larry Page said that Google plus reached 10 million. Page noted at the time that the service remains in a “field trial” mode, and with “a lot of barriers” to use it right now, but that the company is continuing to expand how many have access to it.

Despite its massive growth in its first three weeks, a population of 20 million is just a grain of sand in comparison with Facebook’s 750 million, half of whom log in daily.

A Facebook Game for Your Inner Serial Killer

Those of you who have a need to satisfy the Dark Passenger within — and who know what that means — will find relief in “Dexter Slice of Life”, a social game for Facebook that’s based on the decadently sinister Showtime series Dexter and its vigilante serial killer.

Showtime released a trailer and screenshot for Slice of Life, developed by Ecko Code, at Comic-Con. The game will be released in September.

The game will launch on Facebook alongside the Season 6 television premiere. Players will take on the role of Dexter Morgan — the serial killer of serial killers — and they’ll be tasked with stalking victims, satisfying the dark passenger, finding evidence and completing missions. It’s the first Facebook game to offer real-time stealth gameplay.

The game will mirror the events of each new episode. In fact, “Dexter Slice of Life” players can expect to awake to updates Monday after each Sunday evening airing.

Ecko, a game publisher for more than a decade, has no intentions of disappointing Dexter fans. To that end, his team will use a variety of social media analysis tools to figure out the story lines, characters and show moments that are resonating with fans in real time. The idea, says Ecko, is to blur the lines between the show’s content and gameplay.

“This is a living, breathing narrative-based consumer product, no different than the show,” says Ecko. “[Fans] want it and expect it to be as good as the show.”

“Slice of Life,” inspired by Zynga’s social games, takes the casual genre to the next level. Ecko calls it “Cas-Core gaming” — a blend of casual (because it’s on Facebook) and hardcore games (because all the game assets are built in a 3D massively multiplayer online client).

Some trivia for non-fans: “Dexter Slice of Life” gets its name from the name of the boat the show’s lead character uses to dispose of the bodies he kills and dismembers. Something tells us this game won’t be much like your typical casual game.

Check out the game trailer above and the screenshot below, and let us know your thoughts on the soon-to-be released Facebook game.