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mobile news

Meter Parking paid with phone

http://grossepointe.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/new-mobile-parking-app-available-for-meters-in-the-city-of-grosse-pointe

Traditionally, those who parked in cities usually needed to find a parking meter spot, and carry change wherever they went.  Parkmobile USA has provided a mobile application that uses a person’s smartphone to pay for parking meters electronically.  Users are able to pay for parking through the application, without having to carry around change, or worry about running back to the meter to refill it.  This allows for a more precise measurement and usability for both the city and residents.

Another cool feature, is that the city is able to put discounts on parking meters during certain days, giving a once unmarketable activity a new market.  The city of Grosse Point is using it as an incentive to download the application, get people to visit the city on certain days, and gather data on busy parking times and events.  This is just another way how a seemingly insignificant mobile application idea, can be used to reach and gather data on a much larger scale.

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mobile news

Terms of Service – Facebook Messenger goes too far

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-fiorella/the-insidiousness-of-face_b_4365645.html

When users download and install any mobile application, they must always accept the Terms of Service.  It happens so often now, that most people do not even read the text, and just click the check box and move on.  What most users fail to realize is that when accepting the Terms of Service in mobile applications, they give the developers permissions to their phones hardware and user’s personal information.

The Facebook messenger application is an example of a mobile application that asks for “excessive” permissions in their terms of service, and with over 1 million downloads, has been skipped over by most users.  Some examples of how the Messenger Application takes advantage of users is being able to record audio and video, call and text contacts, and reads personal contacts and data.  The application does not even need to be opened.  The reason for this is because it is a free application and probably makes money off selling personal data, or using it in some way to profit/market.

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mobile news

Bitcoin provides mobile app for live streaming (POV)

http://www.4-traders.com/CHANCELLOR-GROUP-INC-14350606/news/Chancellor-Group-Inc–Bitcoin-Enabled-Mobile-App-for-Wearable-Point-Of-View-POV-Video-Released-to-17568526/

Bitcoin has developed another application, but this time it utilizes Point-Of-View (POV) video to give users the ability to live stream video.  It was released in the Apple App Store, and is free with the option for in app purchases, for exclusive content.

This mobile application will give users the ability to follow someone using a POV video device, such as a GoPro or Google Glass, on their mobile device. It will most likely be utilized by celebrities and sport athletes to provide exciting live streaming video to fans.

While it sounds silly now, it makes sense considering where technology is going, and how user interaction and communication is moving from text to video.  Although, I foresee issues with privacy and the availability of video recording hardware.  This application may have been released too early, and could have bad consequences, especially with security and privacy.

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mobile news

Datanator Application allows for cross-platform cloud

New Datanator Sync app for mobile data

The Datanator mobile application by Lollaksi, syncs mobile data (texts, calendar, contacts, documents, video, and images) across different operating systems.  It allows user to manage and back up content on all of their mobile devices, including Apple, Android, and Blackberry devices.  This means when you take a picture on your iPhone, you will be able to access it from your Windows tablet.  It is essentially a cloud based application, such as drop box, but works cross platform.

This is the only application that provides this service, making it first to the market and unique.  Many users have differing operating systems depending on the platform, for example iPhone (iOS) and a Windows Tablet.  Without this application, the formatting and viewing of data is skewed and takes time to correct.  This application backs up users personal information, so it has been designed to be secure.  There is also an option to pay monthly for extra features and to add more devices.

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mobile news

DNR releases application for Deer Hunting Season

http://host.madison.com/news/local/dnr-launches-free-mobile-app-just-in-time-for-gun/article_2fae36b3-8332-5fe7-a6c7-ad83791827fd.html

The Department of Natural Resources has created a mobile application for deer hunters to be able to share location, pictures, and safety alerts.  The application gives deer hunters a way to communicate for multiple reasons, including safety and social entertainment.  The application will feature news released by the Department of Natural Resources and rules and regulations pertaining to hunting season.

What stuck out to me in this application is the fact that there must have been a need for it to have been created.  It surprised me that deer hunters would use a mobile device while hunting, to give their location.  It just goes to show how technology is being used in scenarios where before would have been odd or unusual.  Mobile applications have “enhanced” the hunting experience and provided a benefit that would not have been possible without the use of mobile devices.  There will be an application coming spring of 2014 that will provide similar features for fishing.

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mobile news

ESPN releases new Sportscenter Mobile Application

http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/21/espn-launches-new-sportscenter-app-reminds-mobile-users-of-its-dominance-in-sports-news-and-analysis/

ESPN has launched a new SportsCenter Mobile application that provides users with news, highlights, in-depth analysis, and everything else that usually comes from websites and/or television.  It is a very complete application that brings sports news to users via mobile devices, and even allows the user to customize the news they see.  With this application, you are able to pick the leagues and teams that interest you most, and make following specific news more easily.  This means less time sifting through random articles that are not as interesting to the user, but still gives the user up to date information on the broader view of sports.  This is possible due to the different tabs, such as watching live sports or just a scoreboard of all sports currently being played.

What makes this article interesting, is that ESPN’s SportsCenter application was not the first to the market, nor can it be said the best and most innovative application as well.  ESPN is purely dominating the category of sports news applications due to their brand name.  Their popularity in TV and Web news, has translated to Mobile Applications where they are the leading provider for sports news.  Hence, we can say that mobile applications are part of a bigger scheme of marketing and popularity outside of mobile devices, when it comes to user downloads.

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mobile news

Blippy application integrates GIFs to chat

Blippy Is Reborn As A Dead Simple Mobile App For Finding Ridiculous Gifs

Blippy is an application that has been remade to give users an easy way to find GIFs and add them to their chat/instant messages.  GIFs are growing in popularity, especially since the rise of video in memes.  Blippy even allows you to add text on top of the GIF so that you can customize it.  Soon users will be able to create their own GIFs from video recordings on their mobile device.

A GIF is a short video that is repeated, and is usually used to describe a situation or feeling, much better than words or a picture can.  These GIFs are usually of low quality, and are from popular movie scenes or youtube videos… etc.  Blippy is taking advantage of what is already popular on the internet, and transitioning it to mobile.  I think Blippy can do much better by allowing more customization to the GIFs, and by making it easy and simple to apply it to current instant messaging.

 

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mobile news

Shelby.tv creates app for video discovery

Shelby.tv Rises From The Ashes With An iPhone App For Mobile Video Discovery

Shelby.tv used to be a start up that had an application for video discovery, but was then removed and given up on.  Video discovery, about a year ago, did not mean much in terms of social media and mobile application features.  But photos and images began to take off as a way of communicating with other mobile devices.  And in turn, videos are now a primary source of not just entertainment, but communication between mobile application users.  Shelby.tv then decided to put $2.2 million into creating a video discovery application that recommends videos and gives you the ability to share them with your friends through the application or social media.  The recommendations are gathered through your interests, your friends’ interests, and what you have watched in the past.

A neat feature that this application provides is that to watch a new video, you swipe in a direction, and the old video is saved at the point you quit watching.  This sounds like it would take a lot of buffering, but it caches and saves information on your phone to make this possible.

 

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mobile news

The new era of Video editing applications

http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/08/welcome-to-the-new-era-of-the-video-making-mobile-app/

Video editing on smart phones has been around for a while, but the effectiveness and usability have always been poor.  Until recently, video was too difficult and time consuming to be considered a better option that pictures or text.  But due to the recent trend, of short 6 second videos, created by Vine, society has accepted and thrived on video.  Smart phones now have better video recorders and the network required to send and receive video is more viable.  Even with this, applications are beginning to add new features and customizable options to editing video from the source.  Mobile applications centered around videos face a challenge of taking something that is stereotyped as difficult and professional, and making it user friendly and simple.  A great example of this is Instagram, where nearly anyone can now take photos and add a filter, making them look impressive or skillfully done.  On a different note, now that Vine has broken the awkward video barrier in society, many new applications focused on sharing and editing video are bound to arise, and with that changes in how users utilize their smart phones and communicate, are bound to change as well.

 

 

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mobile news

Mobile application game boosts French Fry Company

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/selling-french-fries-with-a-mobile-app/?_r=0

Scott Nelowet is a president of a fast growing French Fry company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He started making French Fries at a vegan food festival, and has taken the simple and over done idea to a very profitable level.  The difference between his company and many other French Fry vendors is not just the flavors of his fries, but how he branded the company.  A huge component to the popularity and growth of his French Fry company was his investment in a mobile application game.  The game focused on the different flavors of French Fries available from his company, and even rewarded players with free stuff.  The application forced people to visit the website and learn more about the company before being able to receive free food or shirts.  This even gathered the attention of the players’ parents and had caused many of them to take part in a franchise.  The company is now worth over $2 million and it can be attributed to an application that cost $14,000 to develop.

 

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mobile news

Coach’s eye Application used to improve soccer players

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10377051/Ex-professional-footballer-uses-Coachs-Eye-app-to-train-future-stars.html

There is an application called “Coach’s Eye” that is giving soccer coaches the ability to slow down and highlight video taken of players, in order to help them improve and practice technique.  This application uses the camera on a mobile phone or tablet to capture the players movements.  Once video is taken, it can then be edited (in app) by the coach.  A coach can then edit the video to highlight, circle, color, slow down, and pinpoint errors in technique.  The player is able to rewatch the video, and have in app commentary (from the coach) describing ways to fix it.  This is important because most soccer players are visual learners, and having the ability to rewatch videos of themselves will help improve their technique.  This application is just another example of how tablets and smart phones can be used outside of business environments, while mixing entertainment and work.

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mobile news

Crowdsourcing App created to fill DNA Database

Crowdsourcing behind SAP mobile app for DNA project

A company called SAP is currently creating and has released an early version of a mobile application that uses DNA to “barcode” living things.  These DNA barcodes will be stored in a database, that will utilize crowdsourcing in order to have an international reach.  Before this idea was soley in the scientific community, but now can be used and downloaded by a much wider audience.  The users will send in a picture with GPS location, of specimens they have taken, that will then be used by the researchers.  The users are titled “citizen scientists” and will help with the work needed to barcode living specimens around the world.  As a reward, they citizen scientists will receive details on the specimens they have sent in.  The goal is to have all the worlds living specimens identified and stored in this database.  This is an example of how mobile technology can advance other areas of technology and science.

 

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mobile news

CID warns against “MyPay” application – security breach

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly referred to as CID, has issued a warning to those who use

Defense Finance Accounting Services.  Users have been accessing their accounts through a 3rd party application called “MyPay”, and it is targeting Army personnel and retirees, to retrieve account information and logins.  The application has been downloaded by up to 50,000 military employees and was being used to access accounts from their mobile device.  It has not been reported that “MyPay” has taken any money, but the CID does not want users to use non-sanctioned applications to access Department of Defense Financial information.
The key to this article is that while “MyPay” was convenient and a good idea for those using Defense Finance Accounting Services, it also compromised military regulations.  The military has a more strict governance of access to information, but military personnel would like the convenience of accessing information on the go.  This was offered by a 3rd party, probably better than the military’s option, and users downloaded and used that instead.  The government needs to produce better “sanctioned” applications in order to please users and be more secure, because if not, the users will access the information through “better” applications.

http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/article/20131024/NEWS/131029568

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mobile news

Bitstrips become #1 Free App in all stores – Comic Social Media

Bitstrips is a new mobile application that connects with Facebook to give users the ability to create comics based on them and their friends.  It is very easy to use, and only requires some creativity.  It takes avatars and virtual personas to a new level, by creating one tile comics to show status updates and events that you would like to share with your friends.  You are able to add friends and their created avatars to your comics and even put word/thought bubbles that could include a quote or funny thought.  It is extremely easy to use, but according to some users the application has a habit of closing or crashing.  It is obvious there is a lot of potential in Bitstrips, but in order for it to work it will need to be reliable.  Another interesting aspect of this application is that it is free, and has no advertisement.  Yet it is growing at an extremely fast rate, and with an overall happiness and continued use of the application.  I can see this application becoming very popular because of the ability to create funny and more expressive status updates to Facebook, but it may be too much work for some that would rather post a sentence or two without having to create a whole comic.

http://www.refinery29.com/2013/10/56123/bitstrips-app

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mobile news

SumAll app gives users the ability to analyze 30+ Data Sources

http://marketingland.com/new-mobile-app-from-sumall-lets-users-see-30-data-analytics-sources-on-a-single-screen-62054

The new SumAll mobile application shows all the marketing data available all onto one screen.  This application is available on both iOS and Android, and has been an analytic solutions provider on the web.  The application is able to show over 30 social actions on one screen, and uses a chart to display the information.  Some of these social sources are Amazon, Ebay, and Paypal, all of which you are able to track money spent, page visits, and followers.  The application has seen a huge amount of growth in the month or so it has been available, and tracks over $4 Billion in commerce data.

This application is growing very quickly, and covers a multitude of interests.  I think the reason for such fast growth is the convenience it gives professionals who need to keep track of several social sources.  Being able to view different sources of data and compare them simultaneously is invaluable to a professional, as it saves time and helps them make decisions.

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mobile news

HMV launches new music app on iOS

http://www.itproportal.com/2013/10/18/hmv-launches-new-mobile-app/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+itproportal%2Frss+%28Latest+ITProPortal+News%29

HMV has created an application that allows for music downloads on iOS, making it equivalent to iTunes in regards to purchasing music in stores through a mobile device.  Users are able to discover music traditionally by shopping in stores, but are able to purchase the music through their mobile application, in order to build their digital collection.  Stores will have free wi-fi to give users easy access to the mobile application and songs.  HMV are hoping that by pairing traditional music shopping with the new digital music revolution, they will appeal to a group of dedicated music lovers.  Some features that stuck out to me were; the ability to scan a CD and preview the songs on it, the application will have its own library/catalog of songs, and a music identifier (like Shazam) that they can use to purchase songs they liked hearing.

This application is a great example of how to create a mobile application that goes to the user, and adds to the experiences they enjoy.  I think this will appeal to people who like the idea of “shopping” traditionally and buying music.

 

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mobile news

Google and Windows fight over youtube app

Windows Phone Has A New YouTube App—Same As The Old YouTube App

Windows has had to release a new version of their Youtube app on windows mobile devices, due to Google’s rights to Youtube.  Google states that Microsoft is violating Youtube’s Terms of Service by creating an app with its own UI for Youtube.  In response, Windows has had to release an older app as “new” which is essentially just a shortcut to the mobile version of Youtube.  This fight between Google and Microsoft has hurt Windows Mobile Users, and has left them with an error prone and at times “unusable” app.  Due to the complaints and reviews from users, both Google and Microsoft are taking the blame, and in turn hurting the market.

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mobile news

RBC recieves complaints about mobile app privacy

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rbc-hopes-to-clear-the-air-on-mobile-app-privacy-fears/article14763962/

The Royal Bank of Canada has recently released an update to their mobile banking app that required access to users’ GPS location, phone memory, and call logs/contacts.  The update has made many users upset due to the idea that RBC could sell the information received from the app.  This would be an unnecessary amount of information for the app, but RBC has stated it is “in order to provide you with the best mobile banking experience possible,”.  This goes to show how users care about their privacy, and asking for permissions to personal information can lose the trust of those users.

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mobile news

Cotap allows for text messaging without phone numbers

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2052308/cotap-launches-mobile-messaging-app-for-work-teams.htmlThe new group messaging app, Cotap, is being released to employees of companies who are looking to make texting coworkers easier.  The app utilizes email address domains to scan an employees phone and generate contacts, who they are then able to message through the app without having to know the other employees’ phone number.  The developers see this as a way of making messaging even better than texting, but in my opinion the app does not offer enough features to be worth downloading.  The groupme app brings most everything Cotap does, and more, even though you have to add users manually.  I can foresee issues with messages being sent to incorrect contacts due to email domains changing or not registering.  This app relies on an email to work for them, and hence the developers are relying on a 3rd party… bad idea.

 

 

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mobile news

Project Collaboration App “LiveHive” Analysis

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/79106.html

LiveHive is a project collaboration App that is free to download on the Google play store.  This application is essentially a way for a team to upload content to a group oriented cloud system.  This means that users do not have to worry about file extensions or requirements, but simply upload content to a “workspace” where other users can access and use the content.  The cost for 30 workspaces is 24 dollars per month, and can be used by an unlimited amount of team members.  LiveHive has its downsides as it does not allow for much else besides uploading content, for example timelines, milestones, and goals cannot be set.  It is not a replacement for project management software, but is definitely an upgrade from email based project collaboration.

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mobile news

Paypal App allows users to pay with picture

There is a new feature for the paypal app that allows users to upload a picture of themselves to their paypal account, and then pay for things at certain shops without having to use cash or a credit card.  The user simply “check ins” to the restaurant or store via the paypal app on their smartphone, and when it comes time to purchase the shop owner can pull up their picture on their own paypal app and have the user press “charge” on the app.  This will then charge the order put in by the shop owner to charge the person whose picture is on the app.  This is a new way of purchasing things with technology, and does a good job of combining something that people already use with something they do very often.  The only problem, in my opinion, is the steps needed to check in and then charge.  It almost seems easier to pull out my credit card and swipe.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-app-reviews/10229463/Paypal-app-review-how-a-picture-shows-the-end-of-the-PIN.html

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mobile news

Ikea’s 3D furniture app: first look

The Ikea 3D Furniture app is a new way at purchasing and testing how furniture from IKEA looks in a house.  It uses augmented reality to take furniture from an IKEA catalogue and “places” it in your house.  The app is very useful for finding if a piece of furniture fits into the area and this includes from size, to shape, to even color.  This technology isn’t brand new, but is becoming more mainstream especially when a large company like IKEA uses it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/interiorsandshopping/10247596/Ikeas-3D-furniture-app-first-look.html

 

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mobile news

‘Phablets’ overtake tablets and laptops in Asia

According to the article, the amount of people using “phablets” has grown immensely over the past few years.  The phablet is a Smartphone with a screen size of 5 to just under 7 inches, such as the Samsung Note Series.  The hype has grown so much in fact that several other companies have joined the market of phablets, providing customers with a variety of phablets that are bigger than your phone, but smaller than a tablet.  This just goes to show how people want the best of both products.  To have the programs and usability of a tablet, while still being able to carry it around in their pocket or on their belt.  This change in style of smartphones will provide developers with a new platform, that can be marketed too specifically.  With the growing amount of phablet users, apps that before were too intensive for phones but not practical on a tablet, are now feasible.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10281036/Phablets-overtake-tablets-and-laptops-in-Asia.html

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mobile news

The Cintiq Companion, a tablet for artists

The company Wacom has come out with a Windows tablet (Cintiq Companion), that has the functionality and software of a normal Windows tablet, but also a sketch/drawing program and accessories.  The tablet is very artist friendly, providing users with the ability to draw based on the pressure applied to the screen with the stylus/pen.  It also is multitouch compatible, meaning it is simple for users to rotate and zoom in on their drawing.   One downside, is that the tablet is heavier than just carrying paper and pen, but has a stable stand, that allows it to be propped up and drawn on, or just held in one hand.  All in all, this is a big step towards improving, customizing, and providing different needs for people through the use of tablets.  Showing just how ideal it is to take a tablet on the go, especially for artists who use digital media.  This can change how many artists view technology and can open up a new market of tablets, that target a different and more specific audience.

http://blog.laptopmag.com/wacom-cintiq-companion-tablet-hands-on

 

 

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mobile news

Mozilla’s ‘Phone for Apps’ initiative hits phase two

http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/05/mozilla-firefox-os-phone-for-apps-phase-two/

Mozilla are offering developers a free phone ( the Geeksphone Keon) to those who put their apps onto there Firefox OS.  They need to port their apps to HTML5 in order for it to work on Firefox OS.  It is called the “phones for apps” initiative, in hopes that it becomes a more household OS.

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mobile news

Google vs Apple App Security

http://qz.com/121185/google-is-waging-war-on-apps-that-attack-infiltrate-and-steal-from-your-phone/

This article talks about the pros and cons to having more restricted app development policies, and how that affects the amount of apps removed from the stores due to malware.  Google play has a more “welcoming” view on developing and publishing apps on the store, and because of this has allowed many apps that are harmful to users.  Whereas Apple has a more restricted view on publishing apps, although they still have their fair share of attacks.  Google is taking steps to stopping this by making it easier for users to report apps, in order to have them removed.