iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5), iPod touch (3rd, 4th, 5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.1 or later. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Age Rating: 4+
This isn’t Myspace’s first foray into mobile, but it is the company’s best attempt by far. The old Myspace iOS app wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t exactly stand out. Its stream and discovery tabs were visually similar to Twitter’s iPhone app.
The new app is a mobile representation of the desktop version’s design: heavy on the black and white with large, colourful images. It’s one of the better-looking social apps on the market. I tested a beta version of the app just before it debuted on Wednesday in the App Store, and I have to say, if Myspace keeps up the commitment to carving out its creative niche and continues to add mobile features like a GIF creator (!) and free radio, users may return.
“We started with the beta site, and our goal was to start to get people on the platform and interact with them,” says Ali Tahmasbi, Myspace’s vice president of product. “User testing and surveys we’ve been sending out have helped us form a strategy on how the mobile app should work.”
How it works
I tested a beta version of the app that closely resembles the final product. Its functions don’t much deviate from the standard social networking features: swipe to see the menu bar on the left side of the screen and toggle between your profile, stream (where you see your friends’ activity, similar to Facebook’s News Feed or Twitter’s timeline), notifications and messages. The menu bar also lets you search for people or artists, or discover new people within a certain radius or find new radio stations to listen to.
When you sign up for the New Myspace, you can select what kind of profile you have: fan, musician, photographer, writer etc. You can search for people by category (say, musicians who live within 10 kilometres of you) or by name (to find your friends).
Mobile Myspace’s best feature: music
Myspace has a huge amount of music, and always has, but creating a centralised database for users to cherry-pick songs from was never a priority. The new Myspace makes it easy to find specific artists, albums, songs or radio stations. You can listen to playlists curated by your favourite artists, or you can create a playlist yourself for others to listen to. The stations continue to play as you click around in the app, and even when you close it. There are no ads, and the music selection is fresher than what Pandora has on tap. The only downside is the limitation on song-skipping, but that’s to be expected.
Myspace Radio has flown under the radar as a desktop feature, but may emerge as a competitor to Pandora and other streaming start-ups.
One word: GIFs
Yahoo realised that animated GIFs rule the internet, which is why – OK, maybe just a small part – the company purchased GIF-tastic Tumblr last month.
The Myspace app features a plus sign that hangs out at the bottom of the screen. That’s the content creation button. You can create a text update, post a photo or make a GIF. It’ll be interesting to see what Myspace users make of the GIFs – the format can be a creative restriction, like Vine.
“I really feel users are going to get in there and define where this goes,” Tahmasbi says. “That creativity is going to help us see what the possibilities are.”
The Myspace iOS app and a mobile redesign debut on Wednesday, with other mobile platforms in the works.
by Caitlin McGarry, Techhive