Category Archives: Mobile

Instagram for Android is hereWell the time for rumors and speculation is over. They said it would be done in the “near future” and today, they’ve made it happen. Android users rejoice because now you’re going to be able to use the top photo-sharing app out in the marketplace on your phones without fear of being shunned by your iPhone peers simply because the app never was made available for the Android platform. That’s right, Instagram has finally come to the Android platform.

A couple of weeks ago, news broke that Instgram was moving ever so close to their goal of releasing an app for the Android that they set up a landing page that interested users could sign up and receive an email notification to tell them of the release. Well surprise! The app is now in Google Play (formerly the Android marketplace), but alas, no one seems to have received that helpful email notification telling them of its launch. I suppose the “early adopters” have leaked the word on Twitter and Facebook (that’s where I found out) and an email will go to the masses a little later on to inform them–maybe this is a way to make sure the enormous amount of people who are on Android don’t flood the marketplace and shut it down because of the demand. The Verge reports that when Instagram started accepting notification sign-ups, the service received over 430,000 responses. This isn’t bad, but definitely pales in comparison to the amount of iPhone users that the service already has (~30 million). So in order for this to have been worth something to Instagram, more people have got to start downloading the app.

Instagram for Android is free to download, but when I went to search for “Instagram” or “Instagram for Android”, I found it a bit difficult to see in my search results. Luckily, I had my Google account logged onto my desktop and installed it through the computer instead of through the phone. Now I’m able to check it out in all its photo-glory. The release of this version helps Instagram close the loop on one of their hopes for the app. As their founder, Kevin Systrom told VentureBeat:

We’re really excited about Instagram for Android as the next big step for our company…this release brings us closer to the idea that we can help every person on earth share their lives and discover the world through a series of beautiful images.

I’d say that Instagram has very much help accomplish that idea.

Research in Motion's BlackberryBefore the invention of the iPhone and the creation of the Android device, the market leader for smartphones was Research in Motion. Through it’s main product, the Blackberry, companies and individuals could tap into their emails, make phone calls, and use numerous apps and games right from the palm of their hands. It was all the rage and everyone had to have them. Now focus on today’s market and the entire landscape has shifted away from RIM’s grasp and focus: Only 5% of US smartphone buyers chose to get a Blackberry. Why is that? It’s because more and more apps and appeal is being given to the competitors from Apple and Google. What’s worse is that for those 5% of consumers who actually bought a Blackberry, most are probably not even satisfied with their phone.

So why did they buy them? Probably for a variety of reasons…the physical keyboard, perhaps? Or maybe it’s because it’s compatible with their work email client? Maybe they don’t like the fact that potential malware could be in apps that they’ve heard is plaguing Android devices? Or lastly, maybe it’s because they don’t want to give themselves up to the Apple fanaticism? Whatever the reasoning is, there are still those people out there who wish to purchase a Blackberry…now the question is why is Blackberry still doing so poorly? Some might speculate that the phone manufacturer isn’t keeping up with the times or maybe that there’s just not enough demand for mobile apps to come out. Think about the latest and greatest mobile apps that have emerged recently, whether it’s Path or Instagram or even a proximity app like Highlight–all of which are available on iOS or even Android devices, but would they ever develop for Blackberry? At last month’s PandoMonthly event, Path founder Dave Morin explicitly said that they’d never develop for Blackberry (Windows Phone is a possibility, however).

Mobile platformsHave you ever wanted to build your very own mobile application? Are you having trouble trying to figure out the server-side backend functionality? Well don’t waste precious time on that–a new startup has emerged out of it’s “beta” phase to help you out. It’s called Parse and it was started in June 2011 as a service designed to “provide cloud service for mobile developers. It makes it dead simple to add a backend to your iOS or Android app.”  With over 10,000 developers already signed up with Parse, the goal for the company is to be, quite frankly, considered the “Heroku of Mobile“.

A Y Combinator-funded company, Parse was founded by startup veterans, including co-founders Ilya Sukhar, James Yu, Tikhon Bernstam, and Kevin Lacker. Just within their first year, Parse has raised over $7 million in funding from angel investors like Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Yuri Milner, Garry Tan, Don Dodge, SV Angel, and many others, in addition to a Series A round covered by Ignition Partners. With all this funding, what problem is Parse really trying to solve? Well according to Mr. Bernstam, a co-founder, many mobile app developers just aren’t “deeply familiar” with the server-side code that you need to manage things like databases, user authentication, notifications, and even other common features. Parse hopes to cut through all that angst and just let developers push out their mobile apps a lot quicker by simply leveraging the service’s extensive library of resources.

Instagram Android sign-up beginsThe hit mobile application Instagram is moving one-step closer to making their app available to millions of potential new users. As first announced by The Verge, Instagram has launched a brand new page on their website designed to help people be notified when the long-awaited Android version is launched and made available.

We first got wind of Instagram’s plan to roll out an Android app around the time of South by Southwest where co-founder Kevin Systrom indicated that it was “coming soon”. There’s still no Android app available right now, but this is another key milestone for those who have been keeping track of the missing Instagram Android app saga. Right now, the company has amassed a loyal following of over 27 million registered users and has made some interesting news of late, including the large partnership with another popular iOS app, Hipstamatic. And with only four employees and a pretty impressive growth spurt over the past two years, it’s amazing that the app has kept being so popular throughout its entire existence.

Right now, interested people who want to be kept in the loop about the expected launch of Android can do so on Instagram’s website. Basically it’s an email newsletter-type sign up and by encouraging others to sign up, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be the first or at least move up your spot for notification–it’s a fair and level playing field right now. So make sure you sign up today!

Eventbrite's At The Door Card ReaderIf you’ve ever had to register for a party or an event, chances are that you’ve had to sign up using Eventbrite. Nearly anyone who’s anyone that has hosted an event has used the ticket service. Perhaps the ticketing powerhouse that will surely rival any of its nearest competitors, Eventbrite is a juggernaut eager to help make buying tickets easy and social. The four-year-old San Francisco-based company is always on the lookout to try and find ways to improve the event registration space, and today, they’ve just unveiled what could be the crown jewel for all event planners.

Known as the At The Door Card Reader, this device will be especially helpful for those planners who are pre-charge their attendees to come by, but also understand that on game day, there will be those stragglers who realize they didn’t register and will try and get in at the door. Well, normally the person at the door will have to charge the fee, but what if the attendee doesn’t have enough cash? Then they’ll need to get cash and what if you don’t have exact change? Believe me, it could wind up being a total mess. You probably don’t want to deal with that headache–instead, just use what most people probably have on them: a credit or debit card. And that’s exactly where the At The Door Card Reader comes in. Through the use of this card reader, you can easily sell more tickets and merchandise and track those sales right through transactions done with the card reader.