Jul 29 AT 1:29 PM Clark Wimberly 60 Comments

Adding a user picture to your And Me Account and other awesome things

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Each time we push an update here, we get a handful of questions from users asking about changes, where things have gone, etc. But there is one question we’ve been asked (and have answered) so repeatedly over the years that we figured it was finally time for a blog post.

Setting your And Me Account user picture

While we’ve got an amazingly awesome set of default Android icons, the best option is setting a custom user picture, an option we’ve made available through Gravatar. Why use a third party, you ask? Because we hate signing up for a new site each day and having to upload a picture. Not only is it an extra step at registration, but then you’re left with dozens of instances to update when you want to change your picture.

Sometimes I forget some folks might not be aware of Gravatar’s awesomeness. I’ve been building on WordPress for years, where it’s been the standard for universal user pictures. The process works like this:

  • you sign up at Gravatar.com
  • you upload a photo
  • blogs like Android and Me can automatically grab your picture

You’ve only got to sign up once, and it takes about 30 seconds. Then you’ll start seeing your face all over the place. You can even link extra email addresses to your Gravatar account to cover all your bases.

On the new site, we use Gravatar to source all user pictures. We use them in the comment threads. We use them for the author pictures. We use them in the sidebar with the top rated comments. And it’s not just us, setting your picture once at Gravatar will allow any blog you have an account with to automatically source the picture. Change it once? All sites updated.

A slight peak into the future

I mentioned it in our latest update post, but we’ve got big plans for our And Me Accounts. Right now we’re definitely in a transition phase, but we wanted to start rolling out features as we had them ready.

Currently, your And Me Account does little more than allow you to comment and keep score from a single account. Soon, you’ll be given a full user profile page that displays your name, picture, score, phone, carrier, recent comments, etc. Right now you can only score points from leaving a comment or someone up-voting one of your comments, but soon we’ll roll out all sorts of new point mechanics. We’ve got double point weekends, point-unlockable content, prizes reserved for user groups with certain point totals, etc. To get things started, any And Me Account that leaves a comment on this post will get double points.

We hope you guys will be happy with the user-centric features we’ll be pushing in the coming weeks. We feel we’ve finally got some of the kinks ironed out of this whole blogging thing and it’s time to focus on you, the loyal reader. If you’ve still not registered, you can do so here.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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