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Tech Friday – social video, rising mobile, and changing faith practices

Virginia Baptist technology, website, internet, online blog

Welcome back to another edition of Tech Friday! This space is meant to help trigger ideas and help locate technology resources for our churches. We hope you’ll find an article or two that is useful for you and/or your church.

Have a church tech idea that you would like to see covered and explored? Read any interesting tech articles that you’d like to share? Drop our web minister, Nathan White, a line.

Check out past Tech Fridays here.

Have Our Phones Changed the Way We Pray?
[Relevant Magazine]

…As I integrate more and more social media into my daily routine, I find it increasingly difficult to clear my thoughts and focus on one subject, and I doubt I’m the only one who struggles with this. Twitter feeds and Tumblr dashboards condition us to engage in multiple conversations at once. Instagram trains our minds to rapidly jump from one subject to the next in less than a few seconds.

Our brains effectively adapt to process the most common forms of sensory perception they receive, so this begs the question: Are our phones and social media killing our patience? Are they changing our conversations with one another and with God?

[Read the full article]

Social Video Network Keek Passes 45M Users, Adding Over 24M Users Since Vine’s Launch
[Tech Crunch]

Social video is on the rise – pay attention:

Toronto-based social video network Keek has seen some tremendous growth recently, adding on 24 million users in just four months to bring its network to a total reach of 45 million registered members. The platform’s growth is perhaps most interesting in that nearly half of it has taken place since the launch of Twitter’s Vine video-focused mobile social networking app….

[Read the full article]

Pew: Almost 60% of Americans now own smartphones
[BGR]

Speaking of on the rise, don’t forget about mobile:

A new study has found for the first time ever that the majority of Americans now own smartphones. According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of Americans who are 18 and older now own smartphones, up from 46% in February of 2012, while overall cell phone penetration has grown from 88% in 2012 to 91%. The number of Americans who own either an iPhone or an Android smartphone was found to have “grown dramatically” since 2011….

[Read the full post with links to the study]

This is what iOS 7 looks like
[BGR]

If half a dozen reports from several well-sourced reporters are to be believed, Apple has a huge redesign coming in iOS 7. Gone are the textures that have characterized iOS for six years now, replaced by a flatter user interface that will still maintain the overall feel of the operating system. While much remains a mystery, we already know what several redesigned elements in iOS 7 look like — not from a leak or a bunch of rumors, but because Apple has already shown them to us….

[Read the full post and see the screenshots]

The New Google Maps Is A Social Network In Disguise
[Forbes]

The new version of Google Maps, which debuted at Google I/O and will be rolling out via an invitation system in the coming weeks, is another leap forward for the cartographical gold standard. The design is cleaner and all screens—desktop, Android and iOS—now benefit from Google Now cards that pop up in appropriate contexts.

But just under the radar is the most ambitious attempt so far to make the Google+ social network relevant. Google has been on a mad integration binge of late, slapping plus signs on interfaces with abandon, but users find it hard to know why to bother. Matt Asay asks tartly on ReadWrite, “If Google+ Is So Good, Why Does Google Force It On Us?” Asay has a point, particularly about the obtrusive mating of Zagat and Google+ Local, but forcing is not quite the right verb….

[Read the full article]