Category Archives: Mobile

I admit, I’m nostalgic. I’ll watch old re-runs of Happy Days and pine over a bit of the simplicity. Part of that simplicity is simply walking up to a jukebox and putting in a quarter, selecting your song. Now, I’m actually too young to remember doing that in a soda shop. But I’m pretty sure I’ve played with smaller versions on tables in old diners, truck stops, and of course, in the bowling alley where my parents spent their Saturday nights while I was a kid.

There’s something just fun about a jukebox- flipping through the songs, seeing which are new, which are old, and which make you laugh.

I can’t decide if a new app I’ve come across today makes me happy or sad. You certainly no longer have to get out of your seat to do anything in this world (Wall-E anyone?). At the same time, there’s a bit of a power trip attached to this app as well.

TouchTunes allows you to control the juke box in your local hangout – from your phone.

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Basically, the app controls fda warning electronic cigarette a TouchTunes juke box, which is located in over 60,000 locations. The app found plenty of installations, all within .3 miles of my San Francisco apartment. Somehow, I’ve just never noticed the juke boxes.

The first step is to check in at any Touch Tunes location. From there, you add money (no juke box is free) to your Touch Tunes wallet and drop some credits into the juke box, electronically. From there, you can choose the music you want play, searching by song and/or artist. You can even compete with other users to become the “House DJ”, although I’d think the person who puts the most credits in would get that designation.  The cost to play a song depends on the song itself and the location in which you are playing it. The more you buy, the more you earn – TouchTunes awards you credits when you buy credits. I haven’t experienced this yet – I need to get out there and visit a juke box first, I suppose.

The TouchTunes app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

The US Constitution doesn’t say anything about an implicit “right to privacy” although the Supremes have been quite vocal since the 70′s trying to figure it out for us. As we begin to rely on our mobile devices for more and more of our everyday living, both privacy and security become more and more important. How much of your financial data is easily accessible to anyone that can hack your 4-digit unlock code? With the ubiquity of social networking, what you disclose to others is also becoming hard to control. It’s hard now not to disclose what you’re doing, photos of where you’ve been and chats with your friends. All of that info is now in the cloud, just one Anonymous hack away. Your digital past is also your digital future.

To your rescue is a series of apps and services that promise to keep everything you do under wraps — if you want. Some services like Snapchat promise to eviscerate your status updates the moment they’re viewed. If only Anthony Weiner had this app before he tweeted away his Electronic Cigarette political future! With Snapchat you can take photos or short videos and then decide how long your friends can view them. After 10 seconds or less, they disappear forever (at least we think they do). Snapchat has exploded over the last year with 100 million photos and videos exchanged every day. Facebook even jumped on the bandwagon for a bit with their own app, Poke, which failed to take off.

Other apps like Gryphn, Wickr and Burn Note also promise to give you more control over what you share and for how long. They all promise deeper levels of security and privacy. Temporary social media allows users to be more spontaneous and authentic. Think of it as the hallway conversations you have with your friends, or the “in-passing” remarks you make to your neighbors… dialoge that’s important, but doesn’t need to be part of your digital record for all eternity. Now, you can potentially breathe a little easier knowing there’s a way to control some of what you’re broadcasting. Or, you could just log off, I guess.

With smartphones and gadgets like Google Glass grabbing all the headlines, what some of us realize is the vast wasteland of bad reality shows, over-hyped sports events, and sensational specials we call TV is about to undergo a transformation that will forever end the viewing experience as you know it. And although tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft have been fiddling around with their idea of how to change TV for a few years now, it’s the big networks and pay television providers that are finally making some decisions to move TV land forward. What’s driving this change? Three biggies:

1. Viewers’ increasing multi-screen behavior — now their TV is just one screen in a world of many. People often watch TV while multi-tasking with their tablet or smartphone. More and more, people want to carry their TV shows with them, and continue watching from different locations.

2. TV execs have realized that you will actually pay for digital content. Paywalls on some online news sites such as the New York Times and revenue on iTunes and other digital marketplaces have shown the money guys that you will actually hand over your hard-earned dough for content. So, they will soon end free broadcast TV. You can start the death countdown now. Viewership on broadcast TV is at its lowest ever Pokies, down from 69% in 1993 to 42% this year, according to Nielsen.

3. Small startups like Aereo have begun to offer free access to broadcast TV over the Internet, and are winning court cases to stay alive.

After Aereo got a reprieve from a federal judge, News Corp is now considering going to cable only. And now, Intel is trying to design a new online TV service that will let you control more of your viewing experience.

The coming transformation of TV promises to offer you:

–De-bundling so you don’t have to pay huge monthly fees for just the few channels you actually watch.

–Easier discoverability through better interfaces

–Smarter content relevant to your viewing history

–Easier and more affordable subscription options

Of course, everyone is waiting for what Apple will do with its rumored TV. Will they just make hardware, or are they going full-on with hardware and content?

What all this says is there is no business model for TV right now. Programmers are unwilling to hand-over rights for online TV because they don’t know what to charge for it. But they know they don’t want to end up like the music industry when Napster came along, so they’re scrambling. Either way, you win. TV will transform based on the way you want to consume it. Stay tuned!

For what seems like months, there have been rumors of the Facebook phone. But up until now, it’s proved as elusive as a jackalope or Bigfoot.

But thanks in part to Android Police and 9to5Google, we now have a lot more information about the device, which Facebook is set to announce at a press event on Thursday. (If you want a better technical understanding of just how Facebook is skinning Android, definitely head over to the Android Police post.)

From what I can gather, Facebook is not creating a new fork of Android, which is what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire. Instead, like Motorola and others, they are skinning Android specifically for their device. The phone, by HTC, was code-named the Myst. It’s now being released as the “First”, which fits in with HTC’s “The One” product line. The phone will be heavily skinned by Facebook and when you turn it on, Facebook is the first screen you see. The new version of Facebook, for this phone in particular, will rely heavily on Facebook’s social graph.

This will be Facebook’s first real foray into the consumer marketplace. With that comes a need for advertising to the general public, which isn’t something Facebook has ever really done. To compete in the over-saturated mobile market (not to mention the Android market itself), Facebook will have to Buy Viagra really pony up some ad dollars to make an impact in the marketplace – or it will just be another phone.

Personally, I want Facebook to explain to me why I NEED a Facebook phone. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I want to be even more plugged into a social network. In fact, I’ve given serious thought to getting out. Facebook is no longer the go-to place for the younger generation. They’re on Twitter and Instagram, with Dad and Grandma hanging out on Facebook.

Aside from Facebook’s need to market this phone to consumers, there are some other interesting ??? to come out of this development. Facebook is currently a fantastic place to advertise your products (assuming your consumers are on the network) and it’s made a huge impact in how digital advertisers approach campaigns. What effect will a Facebook phone, with deeper integration of the social network, have on mobile marketing, which is still a fledgling effort?

Next, I have to wonder about Google. I love that Google’s Android system is so open, allowing developers to do a lot of what they can’t accomplish with iOS. But will that open-ness backfire on Google if Facebook’s phone can become a serious competitor?

Just some thoughts. We’ll keep you updated on the actual specs, retail info, and pricing of the phone after Thursday’s announcement.

, via Wikimedia Commons”]

By Glogger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL

In just a short time, wearable computing has taken off. Several devices are now flooding the market. The first phase seems to be health-related with Nike’s Fuel Band, Jawbone’s Up and Fit Bit all competing for the fitness geeks. What’s driving the craze? Well, it’s a quick convergence of three things:

– Affordable sensors

– Innovation in manufacturing

– “Always-on” connectivity with smartphones

Although it seems like wearable computing is an overnight sensation, it has actually taken a long time for this technology to come to fruition. Over the last five years, patents, manufacturing, and design have evolved so affordable devices could come to market. There’s a lot of high-tech in these devices — they are full-blown computers that are waterproof, hypoallergenic, and built to take the Generic Cialis hits that come from being worn on active bodies.

These devices are indeed complete systems as well: the wearable sensors, the software app for your smartphone, and the data stored in the cloud all combine to provide you information you’re most interested in: calories burned, miles walked/ran, hours slept, etc.

Who’s buying these devices? It seems interest cuts across gender and socioeconomic lines. Everyone is interested in their health, and knowing they can get relevant data on their activity is a major ROI on why people are jumping on the bandwagon. It helps to have the devices priced at less than $200 too.

Face it, wearable computing will go far beyond tracking your treadmill runs… soon, you’ll be wearing devices that offer you what that little computer you hold in your hand all day does… can anyone say Google Glass?

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