Like a fine wine, PhoneDog just gets better with age. Unless you're under the legal drinking age in your respective country. In that case, substitute for pizza. Because everyone loves cold pizza.
Some time ago, we sat down with the intention of making PhoneDog.com even better. We've always prided ourselves in being one of the few news outlets in this ever-changing mobile space that allows you to truly engage in the content. From Facebook to Twitter to site comments to the random fan shoutouts that I'll do in videos, our goal was to figure out how to do it even better and give you even more of a voice.
It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome you to the new PhoneDog. If you've been on the site recently, you've likely noticed some of the changes. Gone is the old header, replaced with a new (vibrant blue!) one, complete with top picks, trending topics, and priority articles. On top of it ensuring that you receive the most important content first, the new architecture gives us the ability to change things much faster; a crucial feature in this crazy Internet news business. That means you get access to more content, right as it's happening.
Outside of the header, I'm incredibly impressed with the improvements we've made to the mobile side. Thanks to your input, we've redesigned the page to be much more friendly to that little thing you carry in your pocket (that IS what we cover after all, right?). You won't get the watered down experience that you would from an app or a dedicated mobile site; all of the content that you love from the main page can be had on mobile as well, resized perfectly for reading on the go.
We're also making it easier for you to get involved in the content and join the conversation. If you're someone who loves to comment and let your voice be heard, I'd strongly suggest you check out our Reactions Page at http://www.phonedog.com/reactions. It'll show you the hottest articles on the site at the time, and will give you the opportunity to throw your opinion into the ring, regardless of your thoughts on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and that hot new phone that HTC just launched.
Before I go further, I have to give credit where it's due. I get to work with some of the best, most hard-working people in the world, some of which are behind the scenes. You may never see their faces, but they make PhoneDog's backend run each and every day, among so many other things. So, a huge shout-out to Andre and Rebecca for all they do.
We're all mobile geeks around here, so far be it from me to deprive you of our full changelog (sorry, you can't root it). Here's what we've done to improve the site:
- New lighter and brighter colors on the site header
- A totally re-designed website architecture based on responsive design that allows the site to load beautifully on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers alike. Further enhancements are forthcoming to improve functionality on mobile devices
- New "Hot Picks" links that are changed throughout the day to highlight individual articles, announcements for live shows, Facebook Q&As and giveaways/sweepstakes alerts
- A new Trending Topics navigational area that provides users quick access to the most relevant categories of content
- Four featured must view articles or videos posted to the homepage
- Faster load times across all browsers
- A PhoneDog Fans "Reactions" page to view the most engaging discussions taking place: http://www.phonedog.com/reactions/
- A "You may also like" recommended article section on the bottom right of the page
- Easier to read blog posts with improved spacing
- Redesigned device hub pages for improved access to content, specs, and user reviews. (Ex. /products/apple-iphone-4s-64gb-black/)
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Absolutely love a particular feature? Or perhaps there are things you'd like to see changed? Let me know in the comments section below.
Welcome to the new PhoneDog. Make yourself at home. We're glad to have you.