Archive for the ‘Iphone News’ Category

If you check-in more than once a week, you need Checkin King.
With one app check-in to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, and Gowalla with Checkin King. Here is what the press is saying about Checkin King:
“Checkin King makes checking in to any or all of those services as easy as one click.” – Phandroid
“How to check in to multiple location services with one click” – CNET
“43 Best New Android Apps” –
Another great way to encourage fans to check in at your establishment is to post a QR Code sticker on your business entrance.  You can order stickers for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Plus, Yelp and more by clicking here

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Hi everybody! Who else out there uses short URLs when making QR codes that direct to websites? I’m sure a lot of you have come across the tip that writing less information into your codes keeps them simpler and easier to scan, especially at a small size. However, I haven’t seen anyone say ‘*make sure you leave ‘http://’ in front of the URL that you generate your QR code with!*’. Maybe that’s because it seems super obvious – after all, it’s the prefix that allows a URL to be read as a hyper link in the first place. But browsers are changing, and so are QR scanners. I use Google chrome, which did away with the once-ubiquitous prefix altogether. 

So let’s say I want to make a QR code that directs to a web page and I copy the URL from my address bar in Chrome and paste it into any QR generator. Or let’s say I am trying to keep my code small and I shorten my URL at, where ‘http://’ is left off as well (see link section /below/ the generator). Then I test my code with Barcode Scanner and other Android QR readers and it totally works! So I think ‘Great! I don’t even need ‘http://’! That’s 7 less characters in my code!’ Or maybe I don’t even notice I left it off…

Long story short, I’ve done all of the above and I had no idea it was a mistake until I asked a coworker of mine to test some sample QR stickers I had ordered for our company. I’d personally tested lots of readers on my Droid, but she had an iPhone, so I was curious. She downloaded the first free scanner that came up in the iPhone app store,* QR Reader for iPhone*, and it scanned my code as plain text on a notepad, without even the capability to copy and paste it into a browser (p.s. short URLs look REALLY stupid this way)! And I repeat, THIS IS THE FIRST FREE QR SCANNER THAT COMES UP IN THE IPHONE APP STORE, so I imagine it must make up almost half of the scanners in use today. 

She downloaded another one and it worked just fine, but what I learned is that there is still software out there that needs ‘http://’ in order to recognize a link. Most programs fill it in on their own, and I assume that is the direction things are going, but we’re not there yet. So don’t make the same mistake I did and end up potentially losing half of your audience! Double-check that 
http://; is part of your code before you even make it! If someone goes 
to the trouble to scan your code and all they get is “ “,
written on a plain text notepad, I have a feeling you’re not going to 
get the result you want.

Sarah Weis is an artist and Creative Director of i^3 hypermedia, a 
digital production and post-production studio in Chicago.


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Thanks to the appearance of more and more smart phones, social media is becoming accessible to us at all hours of the day. Below are some social media stats about mobile social media.  The statistics may surprise you. This new way to access social media is growing rapidly.

1. On average mobile users are more active in social media than non-mobile users.

Minutes spent on social networking per day accessed by mobile device or desktop
Social Network Mobile Internet PC Internet
Facebook 45.2 32.4
Bebo (AOL) 39.6 22
MySpace 8.2 7.5
Twitter 19.6 7.2
Source: GSMA/ComScore, January 2010 via: mobiThinking

2. In the U.S. Facebook and Twitter are in the top ten most visited mobile destinations.

3. Ages 35-54 are the most likely to be using social media via mobile device.

4. The average mobile social media user is on 2.7 hours a day.

5.  In 2010 30% of smart phone users accessed social media via their phone browsers.

6.  That’s 22.5% up from the previous year.

7. Total social network access from mobile phones rose to 11.1%. This is a 6.5% rise from 2009

8. In the past year, twitter via mobile browser has increased 347%

9. Facebook has also seen a significant increase in traffic via mobile phones.  The total percent increase is 112%

10. This means that over 150 million Facebook users are using their phones to view their profile.

11. An average of 30% of tweets come from mobile devices

12.  Even by the end of 2009, 11% of the mobile social media users switched to smart phones.

13. Consumers download 2.4 billion mobile applications from app stores via their phones.

Looking Ahead…

1. This year companies plan to increase social media spending on mobile by  10%.

2. Touchscreens will be included in over 60 percent of mobile devices shipped in Western Europe and North America in 2011.

3. It is estimated that total spending on mobile advertising will reach $11-$20 billion. This is up from $6.5 billion in 2010.

4. In 2011, mobile photo sharing will become even more popular.

5. Facebook will dominate the mobile traffic in 2011.

6.  31% of US mobile phone owners have a smartphone as of December 2010, and you can expect smartphones to become the majority by the end of 2011.

7. US sales of smartphones to grow from 67 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011

8. Mobile Phones will overtake PCs as the number one way to access social networks by 2013.

9.  It’s estimated that the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will surpass 1.82 billion units by 2013

10. What consumers and advertisers spend on mobile media will rise from just under $75 billion at the end of 2010 to just over $138.7 billion by 2015.

11. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow 40-fold over the next five years!


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The phone is quickly becoming an ally to restaurateurs looking to build visibility and customer loyalty — and ultimately drive revenue. This was evident at this year NRA Show 2010, as panels of providers and practitioners shared the merits of our increasingly mobile world. Today, cell phones are used more for data than for calls, and restaurant consumers and employees are no different.
2-D barcodes – Robert Russell, Director, Industry Solutions, Consumer Goods, Retail and Hospitality at AT&T, spoke to NRA Show attendees about the growth in the mobile space — but also about the unique possibilities of 2-D barcodes. Now that most phones are equipped with cameras (read: scanners), adding a bar code to your menu or storefront could provide significant benefits to customers. Add a barcode to your menu and a customer can take the menu and restaurant information with them on their phone. Provide the 2-D barcode on your receipt and give a customer a quick, painless and innovative way to fill out a survey on service, quality, you name it. Exciting stuff — all made available by the innovations of today’s mobile phones.
Text (SMS) Marketing – In Internet years, text message marketing has been around for a while. As the demographics of your “typical texter” has shifted, utilization of this technology has grown significantly. According to Michael Lam, principal at the Mobile Marketing and Text Message Marketing firm Opt-It, the average age of “texter” is now 38 years old. Pair that with a staggering open rate,  97% (according to Lamb) and you’ve got a hyper-effective, opt-in marketing vehicle. With location-based SMS possibilities taking shape, expect a new reality for restaurant marketers. Are your customers nearby? Would they like a special offer delivered to them in real-time?
Apps – The life of the mobile party, applications, have had a particularly significant impact on the restaurant industry. And with good reason. First, they don’t require a browser experience, which is a timely and varied experience depending the phone, platform and connection. An app provides a more intuitive experience, and restaurants/service providers can tailor and update the product offering to the unique needs of the user. Scott Jampol, senior director of consumer marketing at OpenTable said that their mobile apps have generated 3 million dines — equaling $150 million in restaurant revenue. And it’s not just about the consumer. Apps play a role in employee communication and performance. HotSchedules developed mobile apps to manage restaurant labor scheduling, but the usage yielded even more demand. Today, said HotSchedules owner Ray Pawlikowski, they are enhancing the app’s tools to help managers better communicate with employees.
Is it ironic that I use my OpenTable app to make reservations instead of just making the phone call? Perhaps. But the new mobile era is here, and early adopters will reap the rewards. Have you heard of any other ways restaurants are using mobile technologies to find new customers, drive sales or create efficiencies? We’re eager to hear your experiences.

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Posted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt on 4/3/2011

Apple uses a 30-second TV spot to sell not just a gadget, but a philosophy

GarageBand on the iPad 2. Video: Apple Inc.

“This is what we believe,” begins a gravely voiced narrator over an understated piano in the new Apple (AAPL) TV spot that debuted Saturday (and is available here and below the fold).

“Technology alone is not enough. Faster, thinner, lighter; those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical. That’s when you leap forward. That’s when you end up with something like this…”

This, of course, is the iPad 2. And although it happens to be the lightest, thinnest and fastest tablet computer on the market — at least for now — Apple is reaching here for something deeper and more universal. Something that it hopes will resonate long after the iPad 2 has lost the new-gadget glow that has would-be customers still queueing up in the early morning hours three weeks after its debut.

It’s part of a more philosophical, almost valedictory message Apple has been sending in different forms for several years, starting with remarks Tim Cook made to analysts during Steve Jobs’ 2009 medical leave and most recently by Jobs himself at the iPad 2 unveiling.

Those remarks, and the new video, below.

Tim Cook, April 21, 2009:

“What we’re about is making the best computers in the world, not making the most, and not getting to a point where we are building products … that we are not proud of. And so that first and foremost is our objective, and we believe that if we do that over the long-term that we will gain share.”

Steve Jobs, February 2, 2011:

Source: Apple Inc.

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing. And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.

And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

And we think we’re on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products.”


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Silicon Valley is looking to replace your worn-out wallet.

And some of the biggest names are looking to replace your credit and debit cards with a technology called near-field-communication (NFC) on your smartphone to make your purchases.

NFC lets devices transmit data such as payment information, loyalty points and coupons by tapping them against specially equipped cash registers.

In 2014, 340 million global mobile users will use mobile payments, with such transactions totaling $245 billion, up from $32 billion last year, according to Gartner.

The number of phones with NFC will double in 2012, from 35 million shipped this year, consultant ABI Research estimated.

A lot of companies are betting that 2011 is the year NFC takes off in the US, and are working on their own NFC payment solutions.

Here are some of the solutions being thought of by the major players:

* Google: The search giant has a leg up on the competition through its Android operating system, which already includes NFC support.

Google has reportedly entered into contract talks with Mastercard, VeriFone and Citigroup to study an NFC payment system that could launch later this year.

* Apple: The iPhone maker is thought to be adding NFC to the iPhone 5. Apple has been testing an NFC system on its corporate campus, but is still undecided on its rollout.

* AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile: Three of the major wireless networks teamed up late last year to form Isis, to enable the use of NFC technology in their phones.

* Amazon: The e-commerce giant is reportedly exploring the idea of its own mobile payment service to compete with Apple and Google.

Amazon already has Amazon Payments, and has popular apps on both iOS and Android, but it doesn’t have an NFC product.

* Microsoft: The software giant is eyeing getting into the mobile payments game.

It hopes to get NFC into its mobile OS later this year.

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