It's been a busy few weeks for the team at Friend, after a trip to Davos for the 2019 World Economic Forum last month, we are very proud to have been awarded a Red Herring Europe Top 100 Europe award! This award goes to those who are positioned to grow at an explosive rate.
Plus, we have some exciting development news to share as work continues at full speed on Friend V1.2.
Development Update — Hogne Titlestad
We are racing towards our v1.2 Final and first Long Time Support (LTS) release of Friend. This will be the first production version of the Friend OS which customers can run reliably for years into the future. But before this, we are still closing the last few bugs on Release Candidate 2, which is available on Github. RC2 is slated for release in about a week. After this, we will seek input from our testers, friends and family to do the last usability fixes.
Speaking of Github, we are seeing increased activity - and submissions from our open source team. We are soon passing 20 team members, and are receiving contributions that span low level code to usability features. The growth of our open source team will help strengthen our project, and will increase the activity surrounding Friend all over the world.
A lot of work has gone into improving the mobile applications. Working across Android and iOS versions has been difficult, but we are pushing forward. At the moment, the iOS and Android apps are pretty much on par, with the only difference being iOS’s lack of proper WebRTC, which hinders us from using the audio and video chat features in Friend Chat for iPhones and iPads when using the apps. But all in all, we believe that Friend on mobile is becoming very user friendly, and we expect to be able to please normal users in the weeks and months ahead. Users can now conveniently upload and download from their Friend disks using the apps, and they can use all of our key applications.
Apart from fixing various bugs and completing unfinished features, Friend is starting to work beautifully. I’m very proud of what our team has achieved, and I expect a lot of users will find a lot of value in our platform.
Going forward, most of our work will be related to usability and packaging. The research part of the 1.2 version branch is over. Now it’s all about tuning the user interface to make it fluid and effective for our users. We are also adding help bubbles to users who are logging into Friend for the first time, helping them find menus and important functionality.
For our customers, we are adding important white-labelling functionality, allowing administrators to customize the Friend workspace; including editing End User License Agreements, artwork and theming.
I would like to this opportunity to ask you all to take part in our testing programme; we will select up to sixty users who can participate in the first stage of testing - a number of people we can manage in terms of processing their feedback. Please send an email to email@example.com with the subject: “Want to join Friend test”, and include either your Apple ID (for iOS users) or your Google registered email address (for Android users).
As mentioned in the technical update, our open source project is getting new talent. Craig Lindholm joined as a developer, and is adding his own Friend applications to our repository. This event is underlining the benefits of running the Friend project as an open source effort; which will give us traction faster, and supplement our software catalog with amazing apps and games from the community.
We have now started forming a Friend Consortium model. This model will encompass both partners as well as strategic collaborations. The Friend Consortiums will be established in different regions, starting with the West Coast of Norway. The consortiums will help us create community events, and will spur stronger participation from our community as it grows.
We're pleased to share this interview with our CEO Arne with Thrive Global for their “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” series.
We appeared on CNBC recently to discuss why we need an alternative to the 'big tech' companies. Watch a clip here.
"Our goals and those of AI need to be aligned." Watch our CEO Arne Blix on a panel at Davos discussing how design principles can humanize AI and the need to build ethics into technology. https://youtu.be/CKFccQTAX0s
We have been writing about data, Facebook, and the commodification of users for City AM, read it here