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The Friday Five: App Updates and Innovation

May 2nd, 2014

May 02, 2014

This week’s Friday five is all about innovation, bringing a new twist to what we know and love. Read on to learn about some of this week’s coolest updates and inventions.

Press Play on This New York Times Update

New York Times Logo Redesign

This week, The New York Times revealed a new update. They slyly changed the "T" in the Times Old English font to incorporate a digital play button. Often tweaked but never fully changed, the logo is as recognizable as the institution in itself. This small change conveys a lot of meaning, as the Times, with its rich history, reestablishes itself as digitally focused and forward-thinking.

This tweaked logo will appear on all 14 channels in the new video hub, which includes News and Politics, International, Opinion, Times Documentaries, Business, Technology, Culture, Style, Health, Food, Travel, Sports, Real Estate and Science. We’re ready to press play on this new era of New York Times news.

Snapchat Messaging

Yesterday Snapchat released its biggest update yet. The instant picture sharing service has just added text messaging and video chatting features.  The update focuses on helping its users have conversations, rather than just one-off picture and video messages. Users can now have full-fledged conversations through the app. Simply swipe right over a contact's name from your inbox to pull up a conversation view. It also offered Snapchat a chance to update their look, streamlining the interface and user experience with a smaller more subtle type face and improved camera quality.

And, for the first time ever, Snapchat is giving users the ability to share photos not taken in the app. A button now allows users to upload images from their camera roll.

End the Battle for Elbow Room


Put an end to all your airplane misery! This latest innovation in design looks like the answer to all our flying prayers (beyond, ya know, arriving safely at our destinations). For anyone who has ever been crammed in the middle seat, wishing for some extra elbow room, Hong Kong-based designer James Lee of Paperclip Design has the solution, a double-decker arm rest. The double-decker configuration effectively puts two arm rests in the space of one, with a nice three inches of space between your arm and your neighbors. No more sharing or stabbing strangers with your pointy elbows.

But think! This design could help end the to-the-death battle for elbow room in any high-density seating area:  movie theaters, bus terminals, waiting rooms. The patented concept has won the Crystal Cabin Award, Red Dot Award, Good Design Award, and the A' Design Award and stolen our hearts.

A Handy Guidebook to The Mobile Web

Peter-Paul Koch has released “The Mobile Web Handbook.” This book serves as a guide to help you understand the array frustrating technical issues on mobile and how to best deal with them. We at MTC love Responsive Web Design, but as it becomes a convenient strategy there are bound to be bugs along the way. Weird browser bugs, inconsistent CSS/JavaScript support, performance issues, mobile fragmentation and complicated nuances such as device pixels, viewports, zooming, touch event cascade, pointer/click events and the 300ms delay, this book can help you work through it all. Fixing these issues can be quite easy — once you understand exactly why they come up. The eBook is available for $15, and the print+eBook combo for 29.90

A Stylistic History of Graphic Design

Graphic -Design -Eras

Any graphic design fan loves a good poster. Well, why not one that compiles the entire history of design styles all into one incredible chart? This poster was rigorously researched and hand-illustrated to show the progression of Graphic Design from the Victorian era into the modern digital age, and each era is depicted with its respective design elements.

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