Practically giving in on the future of the tablet as a tablet, Microsoft announced Surface Pro 3 yesterday as a laptop replacement that oh yeah, can also serve as a tablet for those “lean back” moments that may come your way during the day. But the big bosses in Redmond are really pushing their new 12″ glass as a MacBook Air killer, and not an iPad killer. Claiming that “96% of iPad users also buy a laptop” new CEO Satya Nadella and Corporate VP for Surface Computing Panos Panay did all they could do to exclaim how much better Surface Pro 3 is as a get your work done laptop than an entertainment device… which is an interesting strategy. They’re also pricing it as a laptop with the most powerful version sporting an i7 Intel chip and a 512GB SSD at almost $2000. We’ll see what this does for the folks in Washington, but I have a sneaky feeling that the folks across the land are gonna have a really big yawn on launch day with this one… More about the announcement here at Wired.
The new Twitter profile is here. We dissected it a few days ago, but at the time, only a few celebrities and new users had the option. Now it’s available to everyone.
You’ll only see the option to change your profile from the desktop version of the app. If for some reason, Twitter doesn’t prompt you to change your profile, go to Settings > Profile and you can upload your cover photo, etc, from there. Once you upload the cover photo, it prompts the change to the new look and feel.
In other words, for those of you who tweet from Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and your mobile devices, just take a moment and log into twitter.com. Once you update your cover photo, etc, several of the changes will be reflected in your profile page on the mobile app. Things like popular tweets and pinned tweets are not mobile (yet).
The perfect size for your new Twitter cover image is 1500×500. Yeah, it’s big. Twitter will resize for you and, like Facebook’s cover image, you can reposition. The cover image will then be reflected on your feed/tweet stream page as well, but tiny and behind your profile photo.
The maximum file size, by the way, is 5MB. If you upload something bigger, it will show up for a moment but it won’t stick, so be cognizant of your MBs.
On April 15, Tax Day no less, you can take your spare $1500 and you too can own Google Glass.
Normally via “invite only” and slightly harder to get, the Google Glass Explorer program is being opened up to the entire United States on Tuesday. Starting at 6 am PT / 9 am ET, you can shell out $1500 to get your own. While I personally quibble with the idea of throwing down $1500 for a beta product that will be completely changed in 1-2 years based on feedback and interaction, I do see this as a step forward from Google’s perspective. After all, the more people out there (and especially outside of the Bay area) who are wearing Google Glass, the less alien it seems to everyone else. Eventually, perhaps, seeing someone wearing Glass won’t inspire either curiosity or fear and will just be accepted. But $1500 for a beta product? I’m not so sure of that.
You can sign up now to be reminded the minute the Glass program opens to the public. You must be 18, with US residency and a US shipping address. The sale is for one day only, so get them while they last. If you do decide to be a Google Glass Explorer, then follow their list of Do’s and Don’ts. You don’t want to be a Glasshole.
Twitter is getting a lot more like Facebook. In an effort to retain users who don’t necessarily know what to do with Twitter once they sign up (ie, most people) and in order to separate the signal from the noise, Twitter is rolling out a new look and feel. Initially, only new users and occasional celebrities seem to have the new format. I found it on actor Channing Tatum’s Twitter profile.
Large cover image: Similar to Facebook, Twitter has gone for a simplified layout, including a white background and a large cover photo. I haven’t yet found the dimensions of this photo, but it’s pretty large.
Three column format: The flotsam and jetsam have now been separated into three columns. Your profile photo and bio are moved to the left-hand column. When scrolling up, your profile photo jumps into the always present menu bar.
Menu bar: A menu bar at the top of the stream allows you to view tweets, tweets with photo and video, followers and more.
Pinned tweets: You can now pin a tweet to the top. In this example, there is a pinned tweet from Feb 7, and the rest of the tweets are more recent. This is sort of an extension of your profile bio, in that you can share what you’re about in a single tweet.
Subpages: Subpages, such as Tweets with Photos and Video or Following are now displaying in a card format, which is similar in form to Pinterest. I suspect because all of this information is extremely visual, the card format is the best mode of presentation.
Popular Tweets: Tweets that are retweeted, replied to, favorited and just generate a lot of interaction appear in a larger font within your stream. Again, this is an effort to separate the signal from the noise. That said, I find the stupidest things I tweet often get the most interaction, for no discernible reason. We’ll see how this works out.
Again, the new format is slowly rolling out to everyone over the next few weeks. If you haven’t had a Twitter account before, this is the time to grab it with the new format immediately. The rest of us just have to wait.
UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE DAY
For years now, April Fool’s Day has taken on a special life across the Internet, with big companies and brands getting in on the act. Sometimes I think about the meetings and planning that went into a few of these pranks and just shake my head. Note that all the Google departments and companies have their own April Fool’s Day joke, which The NextWeb has listed for us already. Here are a few more I’ve come across today:
Last night, Google Maps announced their Pokemaster contest. Over 150 Pokemon are spread out across the world. Find all 150 and become a Pokemaster, in the running for a job at Google and a Challenge Match. I have no idea if they’ll carry through on the job thing, but I couldn’t sleep last night and found all 150 Pokemon. It’s addictive, and the Googlers who put this together have a definite sense of humor as to the placement. (Don’t forget to look on the Apple and Facebook campuses.)
TvAddict announces the Firefly reboot by Netflix (how many of us wish this one was real?)
Google AdBirds from AdWords – taking your ads to new heights (I love this one!)
Netflix new movie in the style of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”: Rotisserie Chicken
Google Plus is AutoAwesoming your photos as usual, but this time more #Hoffsome with Hasselhoff photobombs
Twitter is introducing the Twitter Helmet (like Google Glass but for tweeting)
LinkedIn is adding LinkedIn for the stars of the Internet: LinkedIn Cats
Nest teamed up with Virgin Atlantic for Total Temperature Control in your airplane seat (not a bad idea, all things considered), and Richard Branson is in on the joke
While Apple itself doesn’t seem to have released a joke yet, iFixIt has announced that they have been acquired by Apple
Tumblr has Tumblr Pro. You have to go a long way for the joke – as in watch a video and then click a button and there’s a small payoff, but I laughed.
CERN has switched to Comic Sans. Nice to know the Really Smart Folks have a sense of humor.
Julep introduces Cat Color (manicures for your kitty).
Microsoft Office (at Office.com) has re-released Clippy. Remember Clippy?
Hulu has announced spin-offs, including In the Kitchen with Hannibal.
Let me know what else you see out there as the day progresses.