Learn about the science of weather, from Poncho!
We’re happy to announce that Giphy have just launched their very own IFTTT channel! By automating GIF consumption and delivery with these recipes, you can get much more milage out of your favorite baby goats, lemurs, pandas, and other assorted things that aren’t necessarily animals. Check them out.
Poncho has arrived in New Jersey! While he’s sunning himself somewhere down the Shore, you, friendly New Jerseyan, can now stay up to date about the weather in the cutest/most convenient way from your choice of internet-enabled device. That means Poncho can now be used in all of NY, NJ, and MA. Whew!
Additionally, they’ve rolled out their new Hair Alert system which you can opt-in to in your Settings menu. Based on a top secret formula, you’ll get a message telling you whether or not to break out that New Jersey Devils cap to protect you from the wind/humidity.
I attended the Yo hackathon in NYC last weekend. I’ve written a bit about some theoretical reasons Yo could be interesting in the future, but it was great to see the wide variety of apps and especially how quickly the hackers built them.
The winner was YoAuth and it was one of four security apps. Several leveraged the notion of two factor authentication, specifically that access to your phone (and requisite thumbprint/pass code security) means that if you have a phone with your Yo account on it, you’re probably you.
YoAuth lets websites set up a login process where users register their Yo name with the site and can then “yo us to log in”. The surprising experience is that without touching the computer, the screen automatically changes to being logged in when you tap Yo on your phone.
Some other authentication hacks let people grant and revoke access to their applications using Yo names.
In their current versions, these are probably not quite fully secure but they provide a sign of what can be done on the platform.
Beyond authentication, another interesting app was YOCITIBIKE, which lets you Yo the citibike rack nearest to your home and work and get a Yo back if there are more than 3 open racks to park. It’s useful because when you’re stopped at a light on a bike, you want the fewest clicks to the information.
You can check out the complete list of hacks on HackerBracket. It’s worth noting that the hackathon was only three hours long. Without the Yo API, these developers would have had to build full-fledged iOS apps, which would have taken far longer.
Looking forward to seeing what else gets built over time.
Great update from Dots: 25 brand new levels (and a fun new kind of dot to change the game). The much-requested color blind mode. And the Dots team was nice enough to rebalance some levels that people have been stuck on for longer than they should be.
In a world where everyone implicitly assumes “there’s an app for that,” Yo has the potential to be a layer for all the products and services that don’t actually need — and where users don’t want — a dedicated app.
I am excited to announce that betaworks is participating in the seed round of Yo. I wanted to share a few thoughts on how I see Yo fitting into the ecosystem of services on, and beyond, phones.
Over the past year, year and a half, we at betaworks have become increasingly interested in the notification layer of the phone. This is a natural evolution and companion to our work and thinking about homescreens. It is also a critical part of the emerging mobile ecosystem. As operating systems are now starting to allow richer interactions via notifications it’s becoming the primary layer of navigation on your phone. And non-operating system owners — app developers like betaworks — are working on ways to reach our users in more useful and more contextually relevant ways.
Over the past year we have seen a handful of apps that function exclusively in the notifications layer — i.e., the content lives in the the notification, the content is the notification. At the end of May, Matt Hartman invited Or Arbel, the co-founder of Yo, to visit betaworks, and we started using the Yo app. Since then Yo has become part of our communications flow at betaworks and in my life. We Yo with co-workers alerting them that a meeting is starting, I Yo with my wife as a hi during a busy day. I Yo with friends, without any more expectation or need than a Yo back. I get Yo’s from services that I am interested in tracking without having to download their apps.
We are fascinated by these uses of simple yes/no on/off communications tools. There is no payload in Yo — no pictures, no text, just a deceptively simple on/off state that over time has the potential to become a platform. As the notification layer becomes the primary interface of alert-based information on your phone — as the OS’s allow navigation and controls in those alerts — there will emerge a new class of applications that mediate this layer for web sites, other apps and connected hardware.
Some examples. Last week Jake launched the kickstarter for Electric Objects, EO1. As of today he has close to $500k of pre-orders for the device. Now, I want a Yo account to change the picture on our EO alpha unit. We connected Digg and Product Hunt to Yo for fun. You can try URL schemes on your phone by clicking, if you have Yo installed:
Yo://PRODUCTHUNTED (alerts you when there are more than 100 votes on a Product Hunt)
Web sites and services aside, as the number of devices connected to your phone increases, the need for simple, on/off communication with those devices becomes important. Yo can provide a simple interface for those actions. A while back betaworks invested in a wonderful company called IFTTT. At the time it seemed like a simple switching protocol between web API’s; since then Linden and his team have built IFTTT into an amazing platform controlling, managing actions across web, mobile and IOT devices. Yo’s IFTTT page begins to expose the power of both the switching platform, IFTTT and a simple on/off switch, like Yo.
Today Yo has 2,000+ developers who have started working w/ the API and over 2m installs of the app. It’s a new class of apps as I outline above. And as always betaworks is excited and ready to take a plunge into a fundamentally new mobile expression and join the seed round of funding in Yo.
If you have been following the recent betaworks rebranding efforts, you know that part of the process was creating a new font for our logo. The font is derived from elements of a drawing of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. You can read the full story here.
We are very happy to say that this font is now ready and freely available to anyone to use. You can download it here.
Betafont (bet you didn’t see that name coming!) is available in three weights. We would suggest using the middle weight for larger amounts of copy and the heavier weight for headlines. The thin weight looks very sophisticated - especially when printed - but can come across a little blurred in large scale digital display.
We hope you find BetaFont useful.