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Apr 5th 2012

Larry Sadler Takes Us on a Tour of AOL's NYC Offices


Larry Sadler understands how a physical space can inspire creativity and reflect a culture of collaboration. As Senior Facilities Manager, Larry incorporates these attributes into the overall design and layout of AOL's headquarters and Patch's New York City offices, overseeing the day-to-day operations as well as the holistic design and implementation of new renovations.

An AOLer for over fifteen years, Larry started his career with the company as a community action team consultant, our version of an online police officer, working out of AOL's Oklahoma City call center. During Larry's long career at AOL he transitioned to the Facilities team to manage global call center facility operations and oversee multiple major construction and renovation projects. Larry slowly began to shift his role from global call center operations to International operations, supporting AOL locations in China, France, Germany, India, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In this role, he continued to oversee operations and project management before relocating to New York City to manage AOL's headquarters and other New York City facilities in January 2010.

When discussing AOL's office designs, Larry cites that his goal is always to create an environment of collaboration that reflects AOL's values and incorporates its branding. Integrating functional meeting spaces to host a variety of onsite events, branding open spaces with AOL Artists' canvases and showcasing the products and services that AOL produces in common areas for visitors are all ways that Larry integrates AOL's culture into a creative work space.

Never one to back down from a challenge, shortly after the acquisition of The Huffington Post, Larry and his team had only two weekends to support the renovation of the 5th floor and accommodate the new The Huffington Post Media Group. It was a difficult and complex process, given the time constraint, to actually implement and execute the design and ensure that the space would be fully operational for the new HPMG team. A little over a year later, Larry and his team are now working on different ways to continue to improve the space. "We are now in the process of reevaluating the newsroom to make it feel homier. Our goal is to make the space more functional, collaborative and comfortable for the entire 5th floor teams."

As AOL continues to change and grow, Larry and his team are also focused on reducing office costs by looking for the most energy efficient solutions. "The [AOL Headquarters] building was designed as a LEED gold certified building, so the electrical and mechanical systems in place are already designed for efficiencies. We've made sure to maintain the infrastructure and implement those systems into all of our new work and construction."

Outside of work Larry enjoys riding motorcycles on the open road. Every year, he rides about 3,000 miles in two weeks with friends and families, taking the back roads of the country while enjoying the beautiful mountains and scenery. This year's destinations include Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and Monument Valley, Utah. Besides his motorcycle, Larry also cannot live without his iPad, despite his hesitancy to adopt the product when it first came out. "I never wanted an iPad, and now I live by it. It effects everything I do, I'm completely dependent. Whether I'm reviewing plans, or marking them up during a walk through, I just can't live without my iPad."

(Photos by Gino DePinto and Noam Galai.)

Feb 16th 2012

Introducing Our New iPad Site


Today we've unveiled AOL's brand-new iPad site! We've optimized the entire experience to make it super tablet-friendly. Check it out by going to aol.com on your iPad and then tell us what you think.

This new design provides an easy and fun way to browse through more of AOL's best content including top news, local and entertainment headlines.

WHAT'S NEW:
  • AOL Mail – Tap on the Mail icon at the top of the page to quickly go to your AOL Mail account. Or, sign in to the page itself to get a dedicated mail preview section so that you can see up to 20 previews of your latest unread messages. You can swipe to review your mail, tap on previews to open messages, tap on the compose icon to open compose view, and tap on the header to open your inbox.
  • Apps – Tap on the Apps icon at the top of the page to visit our Mobile Desktop Tablets page and view all available AOL Apps and Mobile Web channels. You'll also find AOL Apps promoted further down the page as well.
  • Top News – View top news headlines with images. Swipe to see all headlines, tap an item to read the full article, and tap on the header to open Huffington Post Front Page to see all articles.
  • Video – Swipe to see featured videos and tap to to play selected videos. Once the video experience is open, you can play that video or tap on additional featured videos below.
  • AOL Music MP3 of the Day – Swipe this section to preview the latest 20 days of AOL Music's MP3 of the Day. Tap play to listen to selection. It will play in-line with continuous play of all 20 MP3s.
  • Moviefone – Swipe see all listings of movies now playing in theaters. If location is set, you will see movie times for nearest theater and movie trailer.

Learn more about the new site and its features by reading the AOL.com Blog.

Jan 10th 2012

Mobile Advertising: Will this be the Premium Advertising Platform?


Advertisers often lump smartphones and tablets into the "mobile" category, but I think we need to focus less on their portability, and more on how these devices are used. A smartphone is constantly connected and is mostly used on the go, whereas a personal computer tends to be more stationary. Plus, people have grown accustomed to the type of ads they see on both of these devices.

A tablet, however, falls somewhere between the smartphone and the traditional web experience one has on a computer. We are still at the very early stages of understanding how consumers are using this device – only 10% of consumers own one, compared to the 44% who own smartphones and nearly 80% who own personal computers. But, Forrester Research projects that U.S. tablet sales will grow from 26 million in 2011 to more than 50 million in 2012.
So what is the right format for this advertising? Is this experience a lean-back and watch interface, or do people expect to engage with ads like never before? Are in app-ads the best way to go? Is it video?

If we look at how consumers use their tablet devices, we know that its main uses are gaming, web browsing and email, with ecommerce quickly gaining an edge. In fact, a recent study conducted by comScore and Jumptap found that 63 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase with their device.

This tells us that their experience is not unlike the traditional web browsing we've seen for years. Our research shows that tablet usage occurs mostly in the morning and evening (50% above day usage), which clearly suggests that PCs are being replaced by tablets. Additionally, tablet users sessions are significantly longer - almost 5X longer - than mobile devices, also suggesting that tablet usage is PC-like.

But what makes a tablet different is the functionality of the device. The touch screen on a tablet is very different from that which ones uses on a smartphone, and is completely different than most PCs. This needs to be the driver of advertising innovation on the tablet.

People aren't looking for a traditional 250x300, click-induced direct response ad – they want to be able to swipe and drag through ads as if they were apps themselves. We need to push ourselves to build not only the technology for a dynamic content experience on tablets, but an incredible ad experience as well.

If you're at CES today, stop by Digital Hollywood at CES at 12 pm PT to discuss this very topic.

Track I - STC7 - SmartPhone & Tablet Conference
Location: North Hall N261
iPad-Tablet-SmartPhone Advertising - the Premium Advertising Platform

Nov 15th 2011

We've Got Your Chance to Win a BMW!


From now until December 9th, you can download Editions by AOL, our beautiful daily iPad magazine, for a chance to win brand new BMW 335d.

Editions by AOL is a free daily magazine for the iPad that delivers a unique and beautiful reading experience customized for each individual user. Every morning, at a time of your choosing, you'll receive a unique 30-to-40-page magazine tailored to your interests from Fashion and Fitness to Technology and Science.

To enter the contest:
1.Download the editions app to your iPad.
2.Open Editions and swipe to page 3 for fullcontest details.
3.Enter the contest and share your tips and how to live a green life.
4.Cross your fingers and hope to win a BMW.

Editions by AOL is available for free from the App Store on iPad.

Follow Editions on Twitter @editions.

Oct 20th 2011

Editions by AOL Introduces New Features and Advertising

AOL's popular iPad magazine,Editions, was recently updated to include advertising. Starting today, the magazine will include full-page ads that mirror what readers are used to seeing in a traditional print magazine.

Each Edition will have one-to-three digital ads that appear between sections of the magazine – mirroring what a reader might see in a traditional print publication. Some of these ads will be powered by Cooliris, a digital media company that turns digital content into immersive visual experiences that increase user engagement.

In addition to ads, Editions was also updated to include integration with LinkedIn and the ability read the app in landscape mode. Users can now sign-in to their LinkedIn account through Editions, and can also share articles from their daily Edition to their LinkedIn network.

"Editions is ever-evolving – we take to heart every single piece of feedback we get from our users," said David Temkin, Head of Mobile at AOL. "Landscape mode and LinkedIn integration are two of the most requested features for the app, so we are excited to bring them to Editions and give our users exactly what they want."

Download Editions today at http://editions.com/ and follow the team on Twitter for more updates on the app twitter.com/editions.

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