The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

“You are a hoarder, and it’s a problem”

Although this is not the type of hoarding that once can actually see, Charlie Warzel claims that most people are hoarding apps and that their smartphone home screens are a mess and it’s a problem.

His solve for this? Delete your apps. All of them. Every last one of them that you can delete.

His reasoning comes from a result of when his developer version of iOS 7 had expired, causing his phone to deactivate. He then wiped out his phone and deleted all his apps. As he recalls, he took a look at his clean home screen with no twitter; no email; no contacts or push notifications and had a feeling of tranquility.

As reality set in, he realized he needed certain apps (i.e. Gmail, Twitter, Google Maps, Instagram etc.) but he only added the ones he felt he needed or really wanted taking a more lean approach. For him fewer apps meant for distractions and times that he checked his phone and the more he actually enjoyed using his phone. He suggests everyone at least try it to see what happens even if they re-download all their apps

Why I’m Curious
YOLO, FOMO are definitely good descriptors of today’s culture. People want to see and partake in every interesting moment in real time. As a result of tech + these movements, I think we are starting to see a culture that is obsessive in their activities (i.e constantly checking Facebook and or whether they got a text etc) and tools such as smartphone only enable that behavior to its fullest degree. Just like when social media first became popular and out of fear people naturally became more private, I am curious to see if there will be a movement on dialing back on not letting all the notifications rule ones life–a digital detox so to speak.


Take a Hike with Nature Valley

Nature Valley raised the bar this week with updates to its already pretty awesome Trail View website. Launched last year, the website serves as an all-encompassing, interactive trail resource. The website uses Google Maps and Street View to provide users with detailed information about trails and the National Parks in which they are located.

See video for tutorial:

The service is currently only available for Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, and Yellowstone National Parks, though with the additional trail footage and social media functionality added this week Nature Valley seems to be demonstrating a long-term commitment to the site (which could suggest future park additions…?).

Why I’m Curious?

This is a great example of a brand enhancing its customers’ experiences through technology. Not only is the site well-executed, but it performs a meaningful service for the brand’s target customer. Well done Nature Valley!

Google Maps as Persian Rugs

Dublin-based artist David Thomas Smith has taken to Google Maps for his latest project, Anthropocene. Taking cues from patterns used by Persian rug-makers, Smith composed these images using thousands of tinier images screengrabbed out of Google Maps.

From the exhibit:

“Anthropocene itself reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle.”

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Why I’m Curious?

I thought these images were really cool…and yet another example of what can be done when existing technology is used imaginatively.

Hike the Grand Canyon from your Desktop (or Tablet) with Google Maps

Google Maps has released panoramic images of the Grand Canyon to help people virtually explore the spectacular site by gazing at scenic views in full 360°.

More than 9,500 panoramas of the Grand Canyon are now available to view on Google Maps. Moving your mouse or swiping your finger guides you along any of the canyon trails, supported by beautiful, interactive images cover more than 75 miles of trails and surrounding roads.  The imagery collection was captured by the Trekker, with Google’s team carrying Android-operated 40-pound backpacks with the 15-lens camera system around the rocky terrain on foot.

Why I’m Curious

Similar to how technology is helping to democratize education, Google is democratizing travel (or experiences) with their Maps tech, which opens up the world in an exploratory way we haven’t seen before.  Allowing people to visit and navigate otherwise inaccessible places will certainly be interesting to tourism industries but also for brands in trying to bring their consumers into more immersive experiences.

via PSFK


Instagram + Google Street View = The Beat

The Beat is a new project from the Rutgers Social Media Information Lab that mashes up geo-located, hashtagged Instagram photos with the Google Street View locations from which they were taken.

The project brings the human aspect into the different locations on Google Street View. So instead of seeing the exteriors of a location through Google’s car camera technology, users can also see the human foreground in these images.

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Why I’m Curious

People are always looking for something more human to connect with, and this project provides the stories that people are looking for. Google Street Views can show the destinations, just like any travel brand can, but what’s important is to bring the story of the people who live and work in a location to life so that customers can relate to a brand through more than a pretty picture of a beach or city.

Google Business Photos begins indoor mapping quest

– Jordan

From: Mashable:

Google wants to get all up in your business — but in a good way.

The search giant just unveiled an expansion to its Business Photos program, which aims to put indoor images of businesses on Google Maps and Google Places profiles. The program now has a clear way to hook business owners up with local photographers with its “Trusted Photographers”initiative.

If you’re interested in getting better photos of your establishment online, all you have to do is head over to the Google Business Photos page, then click on “Get Started” to see a list of photographers in your area who Google know can do the job.

Why I’m curious:

Im Curious to see where indoor mapping takes us. With increased GPS technology along with full photographs of our indoor surroundings I can see many opportunities for business to attract more consumers. For example, if I am in an airport I am unfamiliar with I can review restaurants, take a look at their pictures, and also find how close they are to my location; based on these factors I can fully inform my decision on where to I would like to eat. This technology gives consumers more control, but is also an opportunity for brands to create unique experiences to attract more people.

A World of Nirvana

A World of Nirvana is a website created as a tribute to Kurt Cobain. The online app uses Google Maps and YouTube APIs to create a catalog of Nirvana live concert footage. You can select the year you want to see videos from, between 1987 and 1994. The location of the concerts are then shown on a Google map and when you click on one of the icons, the site pulls videos of that concert from YouTube and plays it in an info window. You can also scroll through the list at the top of the page to see all of the available concert videos for that year, with the date and location Nirvana played at. The quality of the videos isn’t amazing but there is rare footage and compressed full versions, some lasting over an hour. This collection of videos is great for nostalgic fans, enhancing and simplifying their search experience so they can enjoy listening to the band in live settings around the world.

Why I’m Curious: This a really simple mash-up that shows the power in the overlay of place and content. A variety of global brands could take advantage of telling their own story this way, by heightening the inherent nostalgia here and reminding people of where they were during a particular time/place.

Veterans Day… the Google way.

Google’s been awfully busy as of late (check out their new YouTube politics page, launched in anticipation of the debates and parodies sure to come in 2012), but since it is Veterans Day, I wanted to take a moment to point out another new launch today: Google for Veterans.

GFV offers peer and family support for veterans to not only ease the transition to civilian life, but maintain connections to military past, as well. Included are a resume builder, G+ integration to reconnect veterans with each other (via hangouts and all other G+ capabilities), as well as a “tour builder.” The tour builder launch is TBD, but will enable vets to recreate their tours of duty within a 3-d model built with Google satellite maps. Pretty neat.

Official announcement can be found here.

Why I’m Curious

Google didn’t have to do this. They’re not getting paid for it, and one might assume this is something the VA would facilitate. But there are two truths: the VA is financially strapped, and veterans are in sore need of ways to connect with each other and their families. One more truth: Google has the technology and means of facilitation. Veterans and active services already connect on Facebook, but Google helps ease the transition into civilian life by acknowledging the past and moving forward. And it’s great to see large forces combine for good. It only makes sense to bring the VFW to the digital space. I’ll be interested to keep an eye on how adoption progresses, and how the VA and military might encourage use.

Google Street View for a personalized video


From Creativity Online:

An extension of DDB’s TV commercial for State Farm insurance, which features a robot wrecking havoc on a neighborhood, the website, Chaos in Your Town, asks you to put in your street address and watch as a robot tracks down your home and turns it to dust and rubble. Just like Arcade Fire’s personalized music video, the effort uses Google Street View and layers CG and live action imagery on top of it, to create chaos that may be a little too close to home for comfort.

Why I’m curious:

Everyone and their mother has been doing social media-integrated videos to create a personalized, viral sensation (, anyone?). Facebook allows this — photos, status updates, university attended, relationship status and everything else all paint a very full picture. But this State Farm initiative takes it one step further and utilizes location (which Facebook can’t, really) with Google Maps. Just one more way to personalize the experience and flesh out the picture.