Archives for April 2009

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April 22, 2009

How to promote your iphone app

app_store.jpg Mobile analytics firm Flurry has info on ways to promote your iphone app or game on the appstore. [via Mobile Messaging]

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.

emily | 8:26 PM | permalink

EU assembly adopts new price curbs on phone calls

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.

quotemarksright.jpgOperators 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 5:53 PM | permalink

Developer Runs Boston Marathon Dressed as an iPhone

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.

[via Switched]

Related: - Why a Giant iPhone is Running a Marathon

emily | 1:21 PM | permalink

Career Bloggers Soon to Outnumber Attorneys in US?

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.

quotemarksright.jpgIt 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Switched]

emily | 1:16 PM | permalink

Smash Technologies livens up Text Messaging

smashlogo.jpg 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.

quotemarksright.jpgSmash Technologies is providing a technology platform that lets software developers create new text applications on top of texting, to bring more sophistication.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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
-- Transactions
-- Targeted, tailored information delivery
-- Tracking each user's activity and choices through sessions ("cookies for mobile")
-- And more

emily | 12:52 PM | permalink

April 21, 2009

Scientist updates Twitter using only his mind

A scientist has updated his status on Twitter, using only his mind. The Telegraph reports.

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.

emily | 9:26 PM | permalink

Text-Message Commentary Coming to the Movies?

2009.04.20_walkoff.jpg

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.

quotemarksright.jpgDuring a screening of "Zoolander," audience members could heckle the movie via text, then watch as their comments appeared onscreen with the film:

The system works this way: Audience members text to a central number, which runs their comments through software. The MuVChat software then displays the texts in a three-line configuration at the bottom of the screen, like a vertical ticker, as the movie plays. Sitting in the projector booth with a standard computer, Heald uses a profanity screening program and can, on the fly, filter comments and ban abusive users.

Most viewers make about 40 comments per movie, Heald said, and not all of them are snarky. Just as often, people will play "Name That Tune" when the soundtrack swells or ask other members of the audience to bring them popcorn.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 10:00 AM | permalink

Criminals offer huge sum for flawed mobile

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.

[via TechWorld]

emily | 9:57 AM | permalink

Google, AT&T, Twitter executives visiting Iraq

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.

quotemarksright.jpg"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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:53 AM | permalink

A personal experience in submitting iPhone apps to the Apple Store

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.

[via FingerGaming]

emily | 8:32 AM | permalink

L.A Times releases iPhone apps for news, sports

LATimesReader.pngLATimesSport.png 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.

emily | 8:18 AM | permalink

"Vote for God, vote for BJP" SMS causes furore in Kanpur

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.

quotemarksright.jpgCongress 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.

BJP candidate Satish Mahan refuted the allegations saying no such SMS has been issued by the party or its workers.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 7:59 AM | permalink

Broadway In Chicago Is First Theater To Launch iPhone App

broadwayinchicago.png Broadway In Chicago, who brings 1.7 million theatergoers to Chicago's Downtown Theatre District annually, is the first theater organization to launch an iPhone application. Broadwayworld.com reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Watch video demo.

emily | 7:50 AM | permalink

New iPhone ad targets small business

appleadsmallbusiness.jpg

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]

quotemarksright.jpg“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.

The new ad, entitled “Office” and available for viewing on Apple’s Web site, shows how small business users can use the iPhone to process credit card transactions using Inner Fence’s Credit Card Terminal application; print a shipping label for a package using Print & Share; and check on the status of a delivery with FedEx Mobile.quotesmarksleft.jpg


emily | 7:42 AM | permalink

April 20, 2009

Ondo Concept Phone Twists and Bends to Edit Music

69570-1.jpg

Spotted on Mobiledia, the Ondo, a new concept music phone that physically twists and bends to edit music on the go.

emily | 6:41 PM | permalink

Mashable gets an app

mashable.png 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.

Application features:

-- View the current front-page headlines in one clean, quick-loading interface.
-- At a glance, know which articles you have and haven't seen.
-- Open articles directly within the app - no need to painfully load Safari. Even open links within the articles themselves without ever leaving the application.

emily | 9:41 AM | permalink

U.S. military enlists iPod Touch and iPhone for battlefield

ipod%201.jpg Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone are proving to be a valuable tool to members of the U.S. military, according to a report in Newsweek via News.com.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.

Making sense of the reams of data from satellites, drones and ground sensors cries out for a handheld device that is both versatile and easy to use. With their intuitive interfaces, Apple devices—the iPod Touch and, to a lesser extent, the iPhone—are becoming the handhelds of choice.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Image and related article from Medill Reports Washington.

emily | 7:25 AM | permalink

April 19, 2009

Mobile phone fraud leads to prize fight

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.

quotemarksright.jpgFour 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.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell has called upon existing mobile phone users to, "lock their phones in the same way they would lock their cars and lock their homes."

Launching a competition offering £400,000 in development money for engineering new ways of preventing fraud Campbell added: "We are very aware that new technology brings with it new risks of crime but we are very much on the front foot with regard to this. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:39 PM | permalink

Future Samsung phones to blast you with freshness?

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.

quotemarksright.jpgA 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 4:51 PM | permalink

Weekly round up of iPhone apps featured in textually blogs

A round up of iPhone apps featured the last couple of weeks in textually blogs:

TEXTUALLY

big_icon_32607.png big_icon_32608.png The first government directory apps.

ATMmastercardapp.pngATM Hunter locates nearest ATMs worldwide.

appincubator.jpgAppIncubator. Submit your ideas and have an app built.

big_icon_35750.pngComic Strips from Dilbert, Foxtrot, Calvin and Hobbes, B.C and more.

big_icon_33985.pngiNap@work lets you get away with napping at your desk.

big_icon_32706.pngDictionary.com delivers reference content from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com

big_icon_30951.png iRotaryDialer turns your iPhone into a rotary phone.

wsjapp.pngThe Wall Street Journal offers free content - unlike online.

ATTVirtualreceptionist.png AT&T Virtual Receptionist comes with a toll-free number.

aspecialphoneapp.jpg A Special Phone helps the visually impaired to use the iPhone.

309954057_bt.jpgLatest market news and analysis from The Street.com.

corbeau.png Corbeau lets you write/send mock threatening messages.

big_icon_33221.png 50,000 pictures of shoes. A girl's best friend app.

big_icon_32706.pngYahoo! Messenger to IM your family and friends.

match.comapp.png Match.com launches a dating app.

WATCHING TV ONLINE

jeopardy.pngPut your knowledge to the test with the Jeopardy game show app.

big_icon_36035.png Watch the Today Show on your iPhone.


PICTUREPHONING

big_icon_35895.png Zoom in and out in real-time when taking pictures with Camera Zoom.


RINGTONIA

big_icon_35107.pngNine Inch Nails app so fans can interact and receive streaming content.

lasttraintoparis.jpg Diddy launches Last Train to Paris, a pre-album release app.

emily | 3:25 PM | permalink

Treating crop diseases via mobile phone

Mobile phones are being used to diagnose and treat crop diseases that cause massive losses to farmers. The East African reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAn initiative in two districts of Uganda, has community knowledge workers sending text messages to farmers in a given locality.

The information may include how to arrest the diseases, and where to buy uncontaminated seeds, as well tips on how to improve soil quality to increase yields.

“We have trained the workers on how to use mobile phones to get information to the farmers. They offer agricultural tips and advise through the phones on what to do and not to do to control the diseases,” said Whitney Gantt of Grameen Foundation, a global anti-poverty organisation.

Many small scale farmers in Africa still rely on little more than their instincts and past experience to decide which crops to plant.

They lack access to information specific to their farm areas including type of soil, fertilisers, best seeds, climatic conditions as well as market prices.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 3:07 PM | permalink

Why a Giant iPhone is Running a Marathon

runkeeperoutfit.gif

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.

[Mashable]

emily | 10:19 AM | permalink

April 18, 2009

Kerala farmers adopt SMS service to know rubber prices

rubber_plantation.jpg 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.

quotemarksright.jpg 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.

"On an average 300-400 SMSes are received on a daily basis from around Kerala," a senior Board official said. quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:04 AM | permalink

April 17, 2009

Dilbert, B.C., Calvin and Hobbes on The Comics app

big_icon_35750.png Comic strips on your iPhone thanks to the recently released Comics app by Tweedle Works.

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.

dilbert%2420screenshot.jpg

emily | 9:47 PM | permalink

iPhone app lets you get away with napping at work

big_icon_33985.png 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.

[via VentureBeat]

emily | 7:04 PM | permalink

AppIncubator app

appincubator.jpg 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.

emily | 6:56 PM | permalink

David Beckham turns Schwarzenegger in The Terminator-style Motorola ad

beckham460.jpg

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]

emily | 9:35 AM | permalink

Twitter Gets the Oprah Treatment

OprahTwitter.jpg

Bits Blog reports that Oprah has joined Twitter.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 9:02 AM | permalink

Ashton Kutcher is first to reach 1 million followers in Twitter contest with CNN.

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.

According to congratulatory posts on both Ashton Kutcher's and CNN's Twitter accounts about an hour ago, Ashton Kutcher is the first account to reach 1MM followers.

[via News.com]

emily | 8:55 AM | permalink

Should Governments Build iPhone Apps During a Recession?

big_icon_32607.png big_icon_32608.png Utah.Gov is the first iPhone app by a state government and it is pretty impressive. ReadWriteWeb reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn 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.

... There's something about seeing governments spend money on an iPhone app that seems a little questionable though, especially at a time like this. The iPhone is also a very locked-down, proprietary system that is far from universally accessible. A universally accessible web interface could be more appropriate.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:14 AM | permalink

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