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theEweekly Wrap: Google Blogger, Groupon and a lost iPhone

Pimp my Blogger Google’s popular publishing service Blogger has had a makeover. Gmail, Docs and search have all had a revamp recently, but this redesign is the most dramatic yet; especially as it has been a few years since Blogger was last updated. Blogger product manager Chang Kim said in an official blog post: “We’ve rewritten the entire editing and management experience from scratch so it’s faster and more efficient for you”. So, the post editing box has been expanded, and page views and comments are visible in the Overview tab as soon as you log in.

However, the actual functionality doesn’t seem that different, and the most noticeable change is in the look and feel of the user interface. The redesign was based on user interviews and feedback – but judging by the layout and the sparse, almost-monochrome interface, it seems what users really want is very close to WordPress, Blogger’s main competitor. Many users can now switch to the new interface by logging into their Blogger account.

Groupon grumbles It seems the bubble may have burst for group buying service Groupon. Stats from HitWise showed that traffic had fallen by a huge 50 per cent over the summer, perhaps due to the launch of rival services including Google Offers and Living Social, which saw its traffic climb 27 per cent over the same period. Meanwhile, the ASA revealed that out of all the complaints it receives about voucher sites, half relate to Groupon. 32 adverts have been banned for being misleading, for not having enough of the product/service for the number of deals available, or for imposing an unrealistic time limit on a deal.

Another voucher scheme also came under fire on Wednesday, this time one run by the Department of Health. The Change4Life voucher booklet aimed to combat obesity by offering discounts on healthy foods. However, the Children’s Food Campaign group criticised the plan by revealing that to qualify for the £50 of savings, the consumer would have to spend over £275. They also pointed out that in most cases an own-brand product would be cheaper than the branded version even after applying discount.

Prototype panic History has repeated itself in the run-up to the release of the iPhone 5. According to CNET, an Apple employee was apparently testing a prototype of the new device in a Mexican bar in San Francisco, when suddenly, they lost it. Unfortunate, seeing as Apple described the device as ‘priceless’, but perhaps suspiciously unfortunate as the same thing happened to an iPhone 4 prototype in April last year. That device was sold to Gizmodo technology blog for $5,000, with images leaked online ahead of the official launch.

Apple enlisted the San Francisco police to help track the device, CNET reports, which led them to a family home where the inhabitants denied all knowledge of the phone. It was later reportedly sold on Craigslist for $200. However, Apple has the ability to remotely turn off the device, as it apparently did to last year’s lost prototype, so it’s unlikely the buyer will be happy with their purchase. Whether or not you believe CNET’s report, or that Apple employees really are that careless, is up to you…

Written by Rachel Hand

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