Archives for April 2009
April 22, 2009
Now that there’s over 30,000 apps in total, and 6000 games on the appstore it’s become more and more important for developers to actively promote their offering. Flurry offer a number of suggestions including:
-- Free trials: According to Flurry one of the “strongest marketing plays” available to developers on the app store is to offer a free version with an upgrade path to paid.
-- Cross Selling: In a similar way, launching multiple free or paid apps and cross promoting between them is another approach that Flurry recommend.
-- Keywords: Using keywords in your app description ensures that an app or game will get more traffic on the appstore via searches.
Image from Wired Blog.
Using a mobile phone to send text messages or surf the Web by laptop will be up to 60 percent cheaper for travelers in the European Union under price curbs adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
Operators will be allowed to charge customers a maximum of 11 euro cents (14 U.S. cents) per roamed text (SMS) message, excluding sales tax, compared with current prices of about 28 cents.
Jason Jacobs, creator of RunKeeper (an iPhone app for runners to track distance, speed, and other data) dressed as his app and ran in The Boston Marathon to promote it.
Related: - Why a Giant iPhone is Running a Marathon
As more and more major newspapers fold, in the face of dwindling advertisers and subscribers, bloggers are usurping their roles in record numbers. According to The Wall Street Journal, over 20 million people now blog in the United States. Of those, 1.7 million earn money doing so, while 450,000 primarily earn their livings through the blogged word.
Those statistics indicate that there are now more professional bloggers than there are computer programmers or firefighters and career bloggers now also rival attorneys in number.
It takes about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year. Bloggers can get $75 to $200 for a good post, and some even serve as "spokesbloggers" -- paid by advertisers to blog about products. As a job with zero commuting, blogging could be one of the most environmentally friendly jobs around -- but it can also be quite profitable. For sites at the top, the returns can be substantial. At some point the value of the Huffington Post will no doubt pass the value of the Washington Post.
Well-known investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has led a $1.35 million first round of investment in Smash Technologies, a company that is creating newer, slicker ways to use text messaging. The New York Times reports.
Smash Technologies is providing a technology platform that lets software developers create new text applications on top of texting, to bring more sophistication.
In their own words:
Most texting applications today offer very limited functionality and therefore value, much like the early days of the Internet. Some companies have waded into the waters with simple, single-text call to actions, like text-in for voting, coupon codes, or to receive an alert. But text apps can be so much more!
SMaSh lets text apps deliver enhanced functionality and interactions that drive real value for both business and mobile users alike:
-- Menu choices that can be navigated
April 21, 2009
Adam Wilson posted the 17-character message using a brain-computer interface (BCI) that he is helping to build for people whose minds function but whose bodies do not work.
Thought movie hecklers were annoying? Well, if a new project takes off nationwide, prepare to be uber-annoyed by heckling via texting/Twittering projected directly onto the movie screen. MuVChat creator Rien Heald describes his Frankenstein-like creation to the Chicago Tribune as "a mash-up of 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' and Twitter." Switched reports.
During a screening of "Zoolander," audience members could heckle the movie via text, then watch as their comments appeared onscreen with the film:
Criminals are willing to pay thousands of euros for a discontinued Nokia mobile phone with a software problem that can be exploited to hack into online bank accounts, according to a fraud investigator in the Netherlands.
News.com reports on U.S. State Department Spokesman Wood's media briefing on a "New Media Technology" Delegation To Travel to Iraq which will include executives from Google, AT&T, Twitter, and other high-tech companies to explore how technology may help fight corruption and build a more accountable society.
"As Iraqis think about how to integrate new technology as a tool for smart power, we view this as an opportunity to invite the American technology industry to be part of this creative genesis," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
LuckyWheel developer Oliver Drobnik has posted an interesting summary of his personal experience in submitting iPhone content to the iTunes App Store, revealing a number of difficulties and setbacks he faced along the way.
You can now get your daily dose of L.A. Times news on your iPhone, thanks to two new free applications.
The L.A. Times News Reader offers the latest news and information for those in and around Los Angeles.
The L.A. Times Sports Reader gives sports fanatics an intuitive, user friendly app that highlights the top stories in Chicago sports with score updates of your favorite teams.
Full review in The Los Angeles Times.
No politician has used SMS in an election campaign quite this way. In India, an SMS with the text 'vote for BJP, vote for God' doing the rounds in the Lok Sabha constituency has caused a furor, with Congress threatening to complain to the Election Commision, reports the Business Standard.
Congress candidate and Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal alleged that it was a ploy by the BJP party to play the religious card in every election but the public could not be fooled by them.
The Broadway in Chicago app allows users to find out what is playing at any Broadway In Chicago theater, directions to the theaters and where to eat and stay while downtown in Chicago's Theater District. Users may also check performance times, purchase tickets and preview video from some of the most popular shows on Chicago stages.
Watch video demo.
One of Apple’s new iPhone ads targets small businesses by showing them how they can use iPhone apps to process credit card transactions, print shipping labels and check on the delivery of an order. [via MacWorld]
“There’s an app for that” has become the standard refrain in a series of television advertisements that Apple runs during prime-time hours on commercial television.
April 20, 2009
Spotted on Mobiledia, the Ondo, a new concept music phone that physically twists and bends to edit music on the go.
Mashable, a prolific social media blog on the web, is now available as an app. It's doesn't appear to be made or sponsored by anyone on the Mashable team - but you can view all their headlines in a glance.
-- View the current front-page headlines in one clean, quick-loading interface.
The U.S. military in the past would give a soldier an electronic handheld device, made at great expense specially for the battlefield, with the latest software. But translation is only one of many software applications soldiers now need. The future of "networked warfare" requires each soldier to be linked electronically to other troops as well as to weapons systems and intelligence sources.
Read full article.
Image and related article from Medill Reports Washington.
April 19, 2009
Engineers are to compete for funds to develop fraud-proof mobile phones to herald the way for their use as electronic wallets, reports The Observer.
Four out of five phones in use in the UK contain data which can be used by criminals to access bank accounts, steal identity or sell on personal data, yet only four in 10 people lock their mobiles using a PIN.
Read full article.
engadget:mobile has found a patent for a Samsung phone with a scent strip. An idea that will surely appeal to cosmetics companies and their perfume divisions.
A fragrant strip is embedded either in the slide mechanism for sliders or in the hinge on clamshells; every time the phone is opened, friction against the strip releases the fresh scent.
A round up of iPhone apps featured the last couple of weeks in textually blogs:
The first government directory apps.
ATM Hunter locates nearest ATMs worldwide.
AppIncubator. Submit your ideas and have an app built.
Comic Strips from Dilbert, Foxtrot, Calvin and Hobbes, B.C and more.
iNap@work lets you get away with napping at your desk.
Dictionary.com delivers reference content from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com
iRotaryDialer turns your iPhone into a rotary phone.
The Wall Street Journal offers free content - unlike online.
AT&T Virtual Receptionist comes with a toll-free number.
A Special Phone helps the visually impaired to use the iPhone.
Latest market news and analysis from The Street.com.
Corbeau lets you write/send mock threatening messages.
50,000 pictures of shoes. A girl's best friend app.
Yahoo! Messenger to IM your family and friends.
Match.com launches a dating app.
Put your knowledge to the test with the Jeopardy game show app.
Watch the Today Show on your iPhone.
Zoom in and out in real-time when taking pictures with Camera Zoom.
Nine Inch Nails app so fans can interact and receive streaming content.
Diddy launches Last Train to Paris, a pre-album release app.
Mobile phones are being used to diagnose and treat crop diseases that cause massive losses to farmers. The East African reports.
An initiative in two districts of Uganda, has community knowledge workers sending text messages to farmers in a given locality.
Boston-based entrepreneur Jason Jacobs is running the Boston marathon dressed as a giant iPhone, thanks to undergrads from Emerson College who are taking part in a social media class.
April 18, 2009
According to The Hindu, many rubber farmers and dealers in Kerala are tracking the prices of the commodity real time, helped by a service by the Rubber Board which through SMSes updates the farmers with rates in the global as well as domestic markets.
The Rubber Board provides the update of both national and international rates of natural rubber through SMS throughout the country at rupees two per SMS.
April 17, 2009
Comic strips include Dilbert, Foxtrot, Calvin and Hobbes, B.C., Wizard of Id and Pickles with more to come down the road.
In their own words: The Comics fetches the latest comic strips for you from different feeds like feedproxy.google.com and others. If the comic strip is not directly in the feed, then we automatically display the webpage that the feed references. The Comics does not have any built in advertisements though the displayed webpages may have them. The Comics not only shows you today's comics, but the last couple of days too.
The iNap@Work app creates random common office sounds that let everyone around you understand that you're hard at work - when you are really taking a nap.
In their own words: Simply adjust the settings and head off to dreamland- your coworkers will never know. All theyll notice coming from your work area is pure productivity- theyll hear you typing away on the Johnson report, clicking your mouse as you navigate spreadsheets, and rustling your TPS reports.
Do you have a great idea for an iPhone app but not the coding skills to actually build it? Well, there's an app for that. The AppIncubator iPhone App from MEDL Mobile lets you submit your ideas which the company's development team will then build into apps for you. [via ReadWriteWeb]
In their own words: - Using the simple interface, you can submit your ideas directly to the incubator. If it passes a series of tests and reviews, we’ll pay one of our development teams to build it. Then we’ll promote and market the application. And we’ll share the profits with you.
We make our decisions based upon five factors: Originality. Functionality. Simplicity. Revenue Opportunity. And Fun.
David Beckham is to feature in a new global ad campaign for Motorola inspired by 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Terminator.
The campaign, to launch the new Aura phone, breaks internationally from the end of April.
[via The Guardian]
Bits Blog reports that Oprah has joined Twitter.
The woman who can single-handedly send a new product or book flying off the shelves has just joined Twitter. She has not yet written a tweet, but more than 30,000 followers have already signed up to follow her every 140-character thought, and the number is growing. Rumor has it she will write her first tweet on Friday, when she is dedicating her show to Twitter.
The race between Ashton Kutcher and CNN to become the first Twitter user to get 1,000,000 followers is nearing the end and both sides are stepping up their game. CNN went live on TV to promote their own account, trying to best Kutcher and Kutcher has responded by going live on Ustream.tv to try and push himself over the top.
In addition to the directory of departments and services available, there's also a second app available called the Utah Professional License Lookup, allowing a quick and convenient way to check on the professional license status of doctors, nurses, contractors, accountants, and any other professional offering services that require state licensure.