Hands on with Color, the social app of the moment

color exampleAre you sick of Color already? Maybe just the deluge of puns involving the app’s name that are sure to continue hitting your news feed? It’s not even out of its infancy and already it’s taking over. Based on the idea of creating a social network that is entirely location-based and contains nothing more than various photo-streams, Color is making headlines for its potential to unite strangers as well as the ever-trending mobile, social, and location platforms. And of course, it’s also being heralded as the straw that broke privacy’s back. With all the fanfare surrounding the digital world’s game-changing new app, we had to give it a shot.

color screenshotUI impressions

Let’s address some of the more objective aspects of Color. Right off the bat, Color isn’t an entirely intuitive experience. The initial setup has a familiar, businesslike feel to it: You fill out a simple form (anyone else find catharsis in filling out forms?) asking your first name and for a self-portrait. And then it gets sort of isolating – albeit, most of this can be attributed to the fact that Color hasn’t found a wide audience yet. Even still, the UI is a cluttered, busy experience – and a wordless one at that. It’s all symbols and images, without accompanying user explanation. For example, choosing an individual image from the photo stream courtesy of anyone within your 150 foot radius yields three graphics. It took awhile to determine what each did and while Color’s clearly going for a minimalist approach, it’s done that and some – to the point of mild confusion and occasional annoyance.

All that said, some of Color’s randomness is a coup for the app. It’s more like a bulletin board of images than a neatly stacked pile, which has a certain aesthetic appeal to it. UI issue will probably be some of the first kinks Color works out in its already promised upgrade.

Too soon, Color…too soon

Now, it’s important to get this criticism out of the way because it doesn’t have very strong legs to stand on: Not enough people are using this yet for it to work like it’s supposed to. Over the course of 24 hours, our photo stream was limited to the same handful of users in our proximity…and one of them works down the hall. It would be interesting (and yeah, sort of creepy) to see the goings-on of various strangers in your vicinity, but not if it’s the same five people. Especially since they’re all within the same office building or apartment complex. The idea of seeing someone in the elevator who says “Hey I recognize you from Color!” is pretty harrowing.

Of course, if this thing really takes off like it’s supposed to and lives up to its $41 million potential, the rotating faces and photos would get exponentially more interesting.

Color me impressed

The one thing this app’s developers have nailed is the technology. It utilizes a patent-pending Multi-lens function which uses proximity algorithms to find other smartphones in your area using the app. Since that’s the entire idea Color is based on, of course it should work, but it was still impressive seeing photos of the view from the opposite side of our office’s tower.

Take away

Color’s potential seems huge. At the very least, it’s an intriguing concept, and at most we’ll have to agree it’s a revolutionary (albeit creepy) one. If you felt pretentious uploading your mundane images to Facebook and Twitter, at least in those cases you’re being judged by people of your choice. With Color, you don’t have a ton of control over who sees what – and whether or not that’s a good thing is a matter of opinion.

Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Gaming

Pro Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players react to Joker gameplay reveal

Joker's gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed and professional players are sharing their thoughts on social media. We also reached out to a pro player to get her first impressions and fears based on what she's seen.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Social Media

Your Facebook newsfeed is getting a spring cleaning, and so is Messenger

Hows that newsfeed looking? Facebook has shared an update on efforts to clean up the newsfeed, as well as what tools are coming next. Facebook has new Trust Indicators, while Messenger gains badges for verified accounts.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.