All Articles Tagged "mobile app"
The first time I can remember taking a survey was in grade school when I was asked — on a scale from one to ten — how cute I thought a boy was. Nowadays, with technology people aren’t holding these ranking sessions in the back of a classroom or in their best friend’s basement, but right on the Internet for the whole world to see.
The new app LuLu has been created to allow women to anonymously rank men on their looks, style of dress, and other traits. Any woman can sync her Facebook account with the app and rank any of the men she is associated with on the site. The creators brag that the site is for girls only (NO BOYS ALLOWED), and that immature mantra is reflected in the content of the app.
The primary purpose seems to be for laughs and entertainment, but these women aren’t creating reviews for entertainers; these are reviews of ordinary guys. This is a platform for any girl 17 or older to state her thoughts about any guy she knows.
Other dating apps seem to have a positive agenda, but this one makes me skeptical. In my opinion, only a girl that is upset with an ex or looking to thwart a guy from dating other girls would take the time to rank and make comments on an app. If she dated a guy that was so great, she’d still be dating him. Moreover, she wouldn’t want anyone else to have him by telling everyone how great he is on an app.
The reviews from the ladies who have downloaded and tinkered with Lulu reveal that there is a lot of male bashing going on here. Some girls plead with the makers to take the app down, while others warn potential users of all the negativity waiting inside. Of course there are some that rave about how cool the app is, but that might be the same girl making false comments about your brother.
The worst part is, according to Mediabistro’s AppNewser blog, is that the men being reviewed have no way to refute any of the comments and cannot clear their good names. They only have access to view the reviews and nothing else.
I’m sure some scorned guy will soon be interested in making a copycat app just for men. (Reddit is known for pages publishing revealing photos of women without their consent, so certainly, it already happens to women in varying forms.) Hopefully the girls (and women) making hateful comments about men on LuLu can dish it as well as take it.
No matter what you are looking to do there is generally an app that can assist you. And more and more, this is applying to your love life.
A new app has been released in major markets called “Let’s Date” that takes online dating to the next level. Users sync their Facebook profile, answer a few questions to create a dating card, and then you’re all set up to find a date. You can start browsing other dating cards, make date requests, and receive date requests from others who’ve signed up for the app. If you’re not interested just hit “No Thanks” to let him down easy. If you are interested hit “Let’s Date,” and you can chat with each other directly.
So far the app has four out of five stars at the iPhone App Store and according to The Washington Post, the Los Angeles-based company that created the app, Science Inc, has set up over 25,000 people on dates. Oh, and did I mention that the app was free!
So now, not only can you get directions and check your account balance using the apps on your phone, you can also find your next date for the weekend.
When online dating first started it was very taboo. However now Match.com claims that one in five relationships start online. So maybe app dating will become the next most popular way to find love. Or will it be that the more impersonal your initial interaction, the more frogs you will have to kiss to find your prince?
I’m sure that soon other companies will jump on board to follow this idea and there will be a lot more app options to find your next boo thang right from your mobile phone.
Facebook has just enhanced its capabilities, allowing users to do even more communicating via the social network. Facebook has just debuted an update for its iPhone and iPad app that lets you send each other recorded voice messages.
The LA Times explains how to use it: “To access the feature, select name, tap the ‘+’ sign and select the mic icon. Hold down the red record button that appears and begin speaking.” Just release the button when you’ve finished talking. And to erase the message, slide your finger away from the record icon.
The app allows users to also record videos. Select the “Photo” tab atop the app, tapping the camera icon at the bottom left of the screen and then switching the toggle from photo to video, which also at the bottom left of the screen. Previously, users had to record video outside of the Facebook app, explains the paper.
According to Inside Facebook, users can also hide posts from their News Feeds. Tap a three dot icon on the top right of the post they want to hide and then select the option “Hide.” Download the update from the Apple App Store.
The Times reports that Facebook hasn´t announced if it will be releasing a similar update for its Android app.
Does this sounds like something you’d use?
Oh you BlackBerry… Trying so hard but still in so much trouble.
Research in Motion has renamed its app store BlackBerry World, dropping the App from between the two words. According to Mashable, it’s a rebranding by the company that seeks to acknowledge the music and video content that it will offer with the new BlackBerry 10 mobile platform that’s just days from launch.
According to ZDNet, the BlackBerry 10 aims to bring “excitement” back to the mobile world, with “leaked” images showing a new interface with a new design. The video in the story (it’s in German with a few subtitles) talks up some of the things that the speaker says are improvements upon the iPhone, but it looks a lot like the iPhone as well. The advancements will likely convince those that are still fans of the BlackBerry to upgrade. But the key to regaining market share will be convincing those that have moved on to Android or Apple devices to switch.
Perhaps conceding that it has done better in the area of software than design, there’s word that RIM might be willing to license the software to devices produced by other companies.
“But before doing anything drastic, [RIM CEO Thorsten] Heins said, the company will wait to see how the company’s own devices running BlackBerry 10 perform in the market,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Are you interested in the new BlackBerry 10 device? Would you be more interested if the insides of the BlackBerry were in another device?
If it seems like everyone and their mother has created a smartphone app, you may be right. Add LL Cool J to the list. The veteran rapper recently debuted his new recording app the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The MyConnect Studio app is a platform to allow musicians to collaborate from different locations via their electronic devices, reports EUR. LL even gave a demonstration at CES during which he recorded a song live with an engineer based in New York City on a Sony VAIO Tap 20!, according to the Windows Experience Blog.
When it becomes available, the app will be launched on the Windows 8 operating system. “Windows 8 allows us to do it across multiple devices,” LL explained to ESPN’s Jenn Brown at CES. “Now we can do it in mobile in touch screen. We don’t have to configure our app for every device you have. It’s like one size fits all.”
There is a lot of other LL news lately. The hip-hop artist/actor just turned 45 earlier this month; he has signed on to perform at the upcoming Essence Festival, and he is readying his much-anticipated comeback album, Authentic Hip Hop.
An age-old problem for consumers and the beauty industry is the lack of products being created that match the variety and depth of skin tones and complexions that exist.
In 2012, after years of research and testing, Asmau Ahmed, a trained engineer, launched Plum Perfect, a mobile and web-based application that operates as the ultimate personal shopper, picking out beauty products that are a perfect match for you every single time.
Ahmed wasn’t the only one that noticed this void. A few months after she launched Plum Perfect, Pantone launched their 110-shade SkinTone guide and partnered with Sephora on a foundation matching system, further underscoring the need for this type of technology on the market.
I recently caught up with Ahmed to get the inside scoop on Plum Perfect and to learn more about the company’s expansion beyond beauty products into the fashion and home categories.
Madame Noire: How would you describe Plum Perfect to someone who has never heard of it before?
Asmau Ahmed: Ultimately, Plum Perfect is designed to increase the excitement and customization of [shopping for beauty products]. We personalize the shopping experience online and in-store, by guaranteeing the right color match for every unique woman. Our application allows for any user to customize her matched colors by price, product type, color, brand or look (ie. natural, glam, wear to work).
You can take a photo of your face and Plum Perfect will instantly determine your unique color signature and search across products and retailers to present you with the perfect makeup finds.
[We will also] launch our fashion application that will use the same technology to read the color of a dress and recommend the perfect purse to accessorize. The launch of fashion will be essential to both men and women – no more guessing which tie will work with that shirt!
MN: When did you launch Plum Perfect?
AA: May 2012. But, I’ve spent many years building the technology, filing patents etc. Since our launch, we’ve experienced 350 percent growth in new users and 150 percent growth in returning visitors.
MN: How many retailers/brands have signed up for this platform?
AA: Over 20 top brands and retailers are part of the Plum Perfect network. We expect this technology to be an online game changer for our preferred retail partners, with reach into beauty, fashion, and home décor.
MN: How long did it take you to convince your first retail/brand partner to sign up? Was it an easy or hard sell?
AA: Once I figured out the key was to show a demo of what we’ve built and its capabilities, it was an easy sell. We have a number of different ways that we can partner with brands and retailers. One exciting new initiative is Beauty Sampling 2.0. where we use technology and each person’s unique color signature to recommend colors and products that she will love AND use. [Madame Noire readers] can register at PlumPerfect.com to be notified when this program goes live!
As a small business in America in 2012, the potential for growth in revenue and brand awareness is increasing due to the deluge of interactive business tools like mobile applications. For example, we recently covered, the new Around the Way app, which directs users to black-owned businesses in their area. “For any small business listed, the app could be literally sending customers through the door,” we noted.
Small businesses that jump onto the mobile app bandwagon also hope to take advantage of the different ways that technology allows customers to interact with them and their products, from scanning product barcodes in stores to receiving more information to offering discounts and coupons on a consumer’s favorite products. This increasingly effective way to interact with businesses also increases the pressure for small businesses to create their own applications. But before you begin to step out into the complex world of mobile app creation, consider the implications of the process.
“For the most part, creating an app is not cheap, and it’s also not easy,” Jared Hendler, digital media strategist and executive creative director at PR firm MWW Group, says. In his role at MWW, Hendler oversees the company’s digital marketing/social media group and visual branding practice.
“The biggest disadvantages of small businesses looking to create a mobile app are the costs and maintenance of the app itself. You have to keep up with the updates of each operating system,” he says. Small businesses would have to manage the upkeep of an app within each of the leading mobile OS systems, Apple, Android and the latest OS to the mobile market, Windows 8.
“When you’re creating an app, you have to create for all these different screen sizes and make sure it’s going to work on all these different devices, whether it’s Nokia or Samsung or HTC. It’s challenging,” he adds.
Another aspect a small business owner must note before tackling the mobile app process is the time that must be considered to create and maintain a full mobile application.
“The challenge with small business owners is that they wear many hats: they put in long hours, they are the marketing person and the accountant, they’re doing inventory, they are doing a lot of different things, and they’ve got to allocate a specific amount of time doing digital and social,” Hendler says.
Sian Morson, founder/CEO of Kollective Mobile and Chief Technology Officer of Around The Way App, believes that small business owners could handle the major project of creating an app, with the right knowledge to do so, or a team of those who do.
“App development is big business, and lucrative too. I’ve heard stories of small businesses owners getting burned by people who promise to deliver apps and never do, or deliver badly developed app or quite simply apps that don’t work. If a small business owner is planning to develop a company app, learn as much as possible as you can so that you can speak the language. Or find someone who does.”
Morson also comments on the costs associated with app creation, which could sometimes be too good to be true for quality development.
“It really depends on your needs and your budget. But always make sure you’re getting quality work. I would say that cost is mostly driven by functionality. If a price sounds too good to be true, as with anything else, it probably is. Apps these days, range from $5,000 and up depending on who is doing the work.”
A small business owner must also be able to put in the work of marketing themselves. One example of this is Janine Hausif, CEO of recently launched app, Around The Way, which helps consumers find local black-owned small businesses.
“The old adage ‘If you build it, they will come’ is dead and gone in today’s tech-savvy world,” Hausif says. “Now it’s ‘If you build it, you need to tell people about it or they’ll never know you exist.’ Small businesses need to create a solid, consistent brand to gain and retain consumers.”
Between the time allocated for creating and maintaining a business app to the cost associated, a mobile app for a small business might be a major undertaking and more of a disadvantage to a business that isn’t based in technology itself.
“If a small business is insistent on creating an app, those businesses that are in technology or selling services through web or social media or for development sites are the businesses that might benefit from an app,” Hendler suggests.
Although creating an app might be out of the realm for your small business, there are many options to explore when looking to interact with consumers via mobile, beginning with creating visibility of your business.
“Small businesses can find other alternatives to becoming mobile, like getting involved with apps like FourSquare and making sure your businesses are linked and listed, where consumers can check-in to the business,” Hendler advises. “Make sure your business is listed on all of the [mobile] maps and make sure you’re connected in using mobile payment options, like PayPal or Square, which is a great option for a small business.”
Sian Morson agrees.
“I don’t think that a mobile app is a necessity for all small businesses. Before small businesses owners think about creating a specific mobile app, I believe that they should explore other mobile options like local search and a mobile-optimized website. Local search is exploding right now, and the majority of people on mobile devices who conduct a local search take action. That means they will either call, or check a store’s location to see how close or far they are from it. For a small business owner, that’s gold. ”
Utilizing other mobile apps that are designed for the visibility of smaller businesses locally could also increase your visibility to consumers in the mobile world.
“Apps like Scoutmob, which empowers small businesses to offer local deals and apps like Cardagin, which a business can create loyalty programs without having to create your own infrastructure [in the mobile app world], are also great for smaller businesses. Go where the eyeballs are.”
If you are looking for something a little closer to your own platform, creating a mobile website that works on various mediums is also a great way to gain mobile exposure.
“A small business would be much better off having a mobile version of their website instead and doing something with responsive design, so their website is responsive to whatever platform is needed, whether it is a tablet or mobile phone,” Hendler recommends.
Creating experiences in the mobile realm for your consumers could begin with just more visibility, one little step closer to bigger consumer brand awareness.
“Entering the mobile space will be necessary in the very near future. Find out where you fit in that space. Prepare for it. Plan around it. Make it happen or else your existing and potential customers will lose interest,” Hausif advises small business owners.
(TG Daily) – Want to check TSA wait times, product recalls, or hydrogen fuel locations? Thanks to our government, there are now apps for that. USA.gov, the informative Web site managed by the federal government, has launched a trio of new mobile apps for the iPhone and Blackberry. Alternative Fuel Locator: Users can connect to their phone’s mobile location tracker to find the closest stations for natural gas, hydrogen, and electrical charging.