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Data jam threat to UK mobile networks

November 16th, 2012 No comments

Steps need to be taken now to head off a looming “capacity crunch” on the UK’s mobile networks, says regulator Ofcom.

As more people use broadband-connected smartphones and tablets, the amount of data Britons consume on the move each month has hit 20 million gigabytes.

The main reason for the data explosion is users’ love of video, TV and films while on the move.

Without swift action, mobile networks will gradually grind to a halt, warned the agency.

If current trends play out, said Ofcom, demand for mobile data would grow by 80 times by 2030.

To cope with the data tsunami Ofcom has drawn up plans to release more radio spectrum and make the industry’s use of existing spectrum more efficient.

The 700MHz frequency band, currently used by digital terrestrial television, will be opened up to mobile services by 2018 as part of a global plan to harmonise frequencies for mobile users.

Digital television will eventually migrate to the 600MHz frequency under Ofcom’s plans.

‘Migration’

Consumers worried that this will mean new set-top box equipment and yet more upheaval need not be alarmed, said Ofcom.

“This will not be a new digital switch over; all it will need is a simple retune,” said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive. “It’s a migration.”

Initial industry concerns about the migration plans had “substantially diminished”, he added.

By making better use of the UK’s existing 16,000 wi-fi hotspots, which are significantly underused at the moment, and introducing new transmission and compression technologies, Ofcom believes there will be plenty of new capacity to cope with the expected increase in mobile data usage.

The mobile industry is currently collaborating on a new wi-fi protocol called PassPoint which will allow consumers to use one sign-in to join any public wi-fi network, wherever they happen to be.

Ofcom hopes this will encourage more mobile users to make use of the existing public wi-fi network and help lighten the load on mobile networks.

“The overall outcome for the UK, the economy, and consumers is a positive one,” said Mr Richards. “The public cost of this will be utterly marginal, but there will be a massive benefit to the public.”

Categories: mobile Tags:

Mobile is second tech priority for CIOs according to Gartner.

October 24th, 2012 1 comment

Orlando, Fla.–Mobile technology was identified as the number two tech priority for chief information officers, ahead of cloud computing, according to a survey of 2,336 CIOs conducted by Gartner.

The number one priority was analytics and business intelligence, followed by mobile technology, cloud computing, collaboration technologies, and virtualization, Nick Jones, a mobility analyst with Gartner, told an audience at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo.

The Gartner analyst noted that the mobile market will be driven by companies, such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), that “could care less” about the enterprise market. “Sort of a scary thought,” he added.

Jones predicted that mobile technology would be the number one technology priority for CIOs in the near future.

According to Gartner estimates, shipments of Android tablets will exceed shipments of iOS tablets by the end of 2014.

“As tablets become more affordable and more capable, look for new opportunities to use them,” he advised the audience.

Jones predicted that BlackBerrys would make up a declining share of the smartphone market, dropping from around 5 percent this year, to around 2 percent in 2016.

Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management at RIM, took issue with Jones’ prediction. “Our smartphone business at RIM has remained steady. In certain regions we’ve seen growth and in other regions we’ve lost customers. Overall, our enterprise business has remained steady,” he told FierceMobileIT.

According to Jones, the Windows Phone will surge from below 10 percent of the smartphone market this year to over 20 percent in 2016.

The Gartner analyst predicted that tablet prices will fall through 2013 as volumes increase and vendors look for ways to compete with Apple. Apple and Android will be the dominant tablet platforms, making up over 80 percent of the market by 2015. The majority of media tablets will be around 10 inches.

Network operators have regained their interest in Wi-Fi recently as a way to offload traffic from cellular networks where demand will exceed supply until LTE can be deployed, Jones said.

Some of the fastest growing uses of wireless are related to machines and include ZigBee, Bluetooth LE and Dash 7, he said. Low-power wireless technologies such as ZigBee will be particularly useful for “Internet of things” applications, he added.

Jones recommended that IT departments identify new ways to provide, manage, and secure mobile devices and applications to deal with the challenges of BYOD, and define mobile strategies to cover business-to-consumer, business-to-business and business-to-employee domains.

Read more: Mobile is second tech priority for CIOs, Gartner finds – FierceMobileIT http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/mobile-second-tech-priority-cios-gartner-finds/2012-10-23#ixzz2AFSJRxoy

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The BlackBerry as Black Sheep

October 16th, 2012 No comments

By 

Rachel Crosby speaks about her BlackBerry phone the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative.

“I’m ashamed of it,” said Ms. Crosby, a Los Angeles sales representative who said she had stopped pulling out her BlackBerry at cocktail parties and conferences. In meetings, she says she hides her BlackBerry beneath her iPad for fear clients will see it and judge her.

The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Research in Motion may still be successful selling BlackBerrys in countries like India and Indonesia, but in the United States the company is clinging to less than 5 percent of the smartphone market — down from a dominating 50 percent just three years ago. The company’s future all depends on a much-delayed new phone coming next year; meanwhile RIM recorded a net loss of $753 million in the first half of the year compared with a profit of more than $1 billion a year earlier.

Among the latest signs of the loss of cachet: One of the first steps Marissa Mayer took as Yahoo’s newly appointed chief executive to remake the company’s stodgy image was to trade in employees’ BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids. BlackBerrys may still linger in Washington, Wall Street and the legal profession, but in Silicon Valley they are as rare as a necktie.

As the list shrinks of friends who once regularly communicated using BlackBerry’s private messaging service, called BBM, many a BlackBerry owner will not mince words about how they feel about their phone.

“I want to take a bat to it,” Ms. Crosby said, after waiting for her phone’s browser to load for the third minute, only to watch the battery die. “You can’t do anything with it. You’re supposed to, but it’s all a big lie.”

The cultural divide between BlackBerry loyalists and everyone else has only grown more extreme over the last year as companies that previously issued employees BlackBerrys — and only BlackBerrys — have started surrendering to employee demands for iPhones and Android-powered smartphones.

Goldman Sachs recently gave its employees the option to use an iPhone. Covington & Burling, a major law firm, did the same at the urging of associates. Even the White House, which used the BlackBerry for security reasons, recently started supporting the iPhone. (Some staff members suspect that decision was influenced by President Obama, who now prefers his iPad for national security briefings. A spokesman for the White House declined to comment.)

Out in the world, the insults continue. Victoria Gossage, a 28-year-old hedge fund marketer, said she recently attended a work retreat at Piping Rock Club, an upscale country club in Locust Valley, N.Y., and asked the concierge for a phone charger. “First he said, ‘Sure.’ Then he saw my phone and — in this disgusted tone — said, ‘Oh no, no, not for that.’ ”

“You get used to that kind of rejection,” she said.

“BlackBerry users are like Myspace users,” sneers Craig Robert Smith, a Los Angeles musician. “They probably still chat on AOL Instant Messenger.”

BlackBerry outcasts say that, increasingly, they suffer from shame and public humiliation as they watch their counterparts mingle on social networking apps that are not available to them, take higher-resolution photos, and effortlessly navigate streets — and the Internet — with better GPS and faster browsing. More indignity comes in having to outsource tasks like getting directions, booking travel, making restaurant reservations and looking up sports scores to their exasperated iPhone and Android-carting partners, friends and colleagues.

“I feel absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Gossage. “You’re constantly watching people do all these things on their phones and all I have going for me is my family’s group BBM chats.”

Ryan Hutto, a director at a San Francisco health information company, said he frequently depended on others, often his wife, for music playlists, navigation and sports scores. “After two or three questions, people start to get irritated,” Mr. Hutto said.

His wife, Shannon Hutto, says with a sigh: “Anytime we go anywhere, I always have to pull up the map. If we’re searching for a restaurant, I pull up the Yelp app. If we need a reservation, I pull up OpenTable. I kind of feel like his personal assistant.”

Still, a few BlackBerry users say they’re sticking with the device, mainly because of the BlackBerry’s efficient, physical keyboard. “I use my BlackBerry by choice,” said Lance Fenton, a 32-year-old investor who frequently travels and needs to send e-mails from the road. “I can’t type e-mails on touch-screen phones.”

Mr. Fenton said he could not wrap his head around iPhone fever. “I constantly ask people, ‘What is so great about it?’ and they have these nonsensical answers,” he said. “Someone told me I’m missing out on some app that maps their ski runs. I ski four days a year. On the road, I don’t need a ski app.”

RIM’s most recent efforts to hold on to loyal customers, as well as software developers building apps for its next generation of phones scheduled to be available next year, have elicited universal cringes. In a recent promotional video, Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice president for developer relations, is shown belting out a rock song titled “Devs, BlackBerry Is Going to Keep on Loving You,” a riff on the 1981 power ballad by REO Speedwagon “Keep on Loving You.”

“This is the sign of a desperate company,” said Nick Mindel, a 26-year-old investment analyst. “Come on, BlackBerry, I always had some faith, but you just lost a customer. Frankly, I don’t think they can afford to lose many more.”

After eight years with a BlackBerry, Mr. Mindel said he just joined the wait list for the iPhone 5. When it arrives, he said, “I’m considering removing my BlackBerry battery, pouring in cement, and using the BlackBerry as an actual paperweight.”

Bank of America tests QR code mobile-payment service

September 27th, 2012 No comments

 

The latest company to get into the mobile-payment market, the bank is using QR codes that let customers use a smartphone to scan pictures and make their payments.

 

Bank of America is testing a new mobile-payment service that lets customers use their Apple or Google smartphones to scan pictures to pay for things.

The bank is testing technology developed by a company called Paydiant. The solution uses Quick Response or QR codes. The way it works is that users use their smartphones to scan the QR code, which unlocks the users’ bank information stored in Bank of America’s network to complete the transaction.

The QR codes could be displayed at the register in a store when a customer is checking out, or a restaurant could print the code on the check, allowing patrons to scan their bills right at the table and pay without ever handing over a credit card or cash.

Because the technology doesn’t require any special hardware on the device, it can be used with any smartphone running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android software.

This is different from other mobile-payment technologies, including the one Google and the carrier consortium Isis have adopted as part of their mobile-payment effort. Google and Isis use Near Field Communications technology, which is short-range wireless technology that lets users pay for things by tapping their devices to a payment terminal.

This technology requires that an NFC chip be on the device as well as at the payment terminal. Because there hasn’t yet been a critical mass of smartphone or payment terminals equipped with the technology, NFC has gotten off to a slow start. In fact, the technology’s future has come into question recently since the newly released Apple iPhone 5 doesn’t support it.

In the past, Bank of America tested NFC mobile-payment services. In an interview with Reuters, a representative from the bank declined to comment on whether the bank is still considering using NFC technology.

Bank of America launched the QR code mobile-payment service at five merchants in Charlotte, N.C., this week. The test will run for the next three months. So far, the testing program is closed to the bank’s employees, a Reuters article reports.

Smartphones supported for the trial include newer Apple iPhones as well asGoogle Android smartphones. There was no indication that other smartphones, such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone smartphones or RIM’s BlackBerry devices, would also be included.

Categories: e-commerce, mobile, QR Codes Houston Tags:

QR Haters… See Passbook App in IOS 6

September 21st, 2012 No comments

I’m cautiously optimistic about Apple’s Passbook mobile wallet application. Though it currently lacks features and sufficient support from participating businesses, enterprises may want to start thinking about developing apps. Passbook has a lot of promise for companies in a number of industry sectors.

Although the heart of Passbook is mobile payments, it’s also for storing digital loyalty cards, gift cards, discount coupons, tickets to sporting events and movies, boarding passes for airlines, and passes for buses, subways, and railways — which increases its potential enterprise appeal.

Passbook is one of the major new features of Apple’s iOS 6 operating system, which was released Wednesday. It works on the iPhone and iPod touch, but not the iPad — perhaps because few people will want to haul around an iPad to pay for purchases or show loyalty cards.

So far, Passbook is missing at least two major mobile payment capabilities. It lacks near-field communication (NFC) for tapping an iPhone and iPod on a point-of-sale terminal. Also, credit and debit cards can’t be added.

The lack of NFC could slow the adoption of mobile payments in the US. However, Apple integrates technologies it believes already are mature or will mature. The jury’s still out on NFC.

Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple added credit/debit cards to Passbook in the future.

Instead of credit/debit cards and NFC, Passbook employs QR codes for virtual cards. QR codes can be scanned on, for example, an airline boarding pass, a loyalty card, and a gift card. Two or three dozen applications are available for Passbook, such as StubHub for tickets for sporting events, concerts, and plays; Fandango for movie tickets; Ticketmaster; MLB.com (Major League Baseball); Target; United Airlines; and Sephora.

Apple isn’t the only company to recognize the evolution that’s occurring from using a mobile device “merely” for payments to a “digital wallet.” Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 will include a Wallet Hub that’s similar to Passbook. Google is expanding its Wallet to include similar capabilities as Passbook. This makes sense because the more functionality that’s included, the more likely companies will participate, and the more likely Americans (and others) will use it.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the success of Passbook for a few reasons. Thanks to the availability of iOS 6, enterprises that create apps have access to millions of iPhone and iPod users right now. What’s more, many iPhone users are early adopters who aren’t afraid of testing a new wallet application. In contrast, Android operating system upgrades take longer to be released and tested across all handsets and devices. One day after iOS 6 was released, it was on 15 percent of Apple devices.

For enterprises looking to offer Passbook apps without spending the resources to develop their own, some companies are already obliging. Branding Brand is one of these. This firm developed Sephora’s Passbook “Beauty Insider” app and says some 20,000 users have downloaded it.

Still, relatively few companies have developed applications for Passbook. Also, some of the employees of companies with Passbook apps don’t have any idea that an app exists or what to do with it. In addition, Passbook has some problems, as users have discovered.

Most importantly, mobile payments are not only esoteric for the majority of Americans, but also are sometimes less convenient than just swiping a credit card through a terminal or handing a loyalty card or paper coupon to a cashier.

Despite all the problems, I’m a fan of digital wallets and believe they will eventually become mainstream, especially as companies look to address consumer demand. As a consumer, I don’t want to carry multiple credit cards in my wallet, numerous little loyalty cards on my keychain, boarding passes in my coat pocket, and subway cards in my pants pocket. I want to get rid of all that plastic and paper. I want everything to be on my phone, secured with a PIN, and remotely wiped if lost. I want loyalty points to be added automatically to purchases. I want to receive location-based/geo-fenced discount coupons transmitted automatically to my phone as I walk near a shop.

Passbook is just one of many mobile payment/mobile wallet systems that are commercially available, undergoing trials, or still in beta, such as Isis, the Merchant Customer Exchange,Lemon, and Groupon. It’s a real mess right now as companies jockey for position, but many large companies already are participating. Enterprises need to stay abreast of developments and seriously consider whether to develop an app for Passbook.

Categories: Apple, e-commerce, mobile, QR Codes Houston Tags:

ATT, Verizon roll as iPhone sales sink

July 24th, 2012 No comments

LAS VEGAS (CNNMoney) — A curious trend has developed in recent quarters: When iPhone sales fall, business improves for AT&T and Verizon.

The second quarter was no exception, as AT&T’s (TFortune 500) and Verizon’s (VZFortune 500) combined iPhone sales fell 15% from the previous quarter … and both companies posted record high profit margins.

What gives?

Carriers pay heavy up-front subsidies to bring the cost of most smartphones down to $200 for their customers. Apple (APPL) commands the highest subsidies for the iPhone. Since many potential iPhone customers are now in a holding pattern, waiting for the next iPhone to debut, iPhone sales have steadily declined since last fall.

As iPhone sales slump, the amount of money AT&T and Verizon pay Apple up front has fallen, improving their margins.

AT&T said Tuesday that it activated 3.7 million iPhones during the second quarter, down from 4.3 million in the first quarter. Ma Bell activated 9.4 million when the iPhone 4S first went on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011.

This follows Verizon’s announcement last week that it had sold 2.7 million iPhones this past quarter. That’s down from 3.2 million in the first quarter and 4.2 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

Accordingly, Verizon’s wireless margins rose to 49%, from 46% in the previous quarter and 42% in the fourth quarter of 2011. AT&T’s wireless margins were 45%, up from 42% in the first quarter and 38% in the fourth quarter.

Both carriers’ wireless profit margins soared past Wall Street analysts’ expectations. AT&T even topped higher expectations, as analysts revised their forecasts following Verizon’s stellar quarter.

But telecom analysts think that trend is about to reverse course. With a highly anticipated 4G-LTE iPhone expected to launch in October, wireless margins will probably plummet in the fourth quarter.

“We forecast a large drop-off in margins in the fourth quarter as a result of the expected launch of an iconic LTE device,” said Kevin Smithen, analyst at Macquarie.

Apple is set to reveal its quarterly financial report, including its iPhone sales numbers, after the market closes on Tuesday. The tech giant gave a slightly disappointing iPhone outlook in April, suggesting that it would likely sell fewer smartphones in the second quarter than it did in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, AT&T and Verizon both reported lower than expected iPhone activations, but Apple soared past sales forecasts due to a strong launch in China. This past quarter, however, there were no significant iPhone launches globally.

A good quarter for wireless

Both Verizon and AT&T gained steam, as the number of smartphone users grew. Smartphone customers pay more for their service, helping to boost carriers’ key “average revenue per user” metric. Verizon’s ARPU rose 4% year-over-year to a record $56.13. AT&T’s ARPU rose 2% to $64.93.

Overall, the news was slightly better for Verizon than for AT&T in some key areas. Verizon added 888,000 wireless customers under contract, compared to just 320,000 for AT&T.

Verizon reported a profit of $4.3 billion, up 19% from last year. Its sales totaled $28.6 billion, up 4%.

AT&T said its earnings for the second quarter were $3.9 billion, up 9% from last year. Revenue clocked in at $31.2 billion, essentially flat with year-ago results.

Sprint (SFortune 500), the third nationwide iPhone provider, is expected to give its quarterly financial report on Wednesday. To top of page

Categories: android, Apple, mobile Tags:

Enterprises Get Serious About Mobile App Testing

June 5th, 2012 No comments

With mobility now a necessity, the software testing space is now making accommodations to ensure enterprises can extend their applications to run on devices, according to an analyst report being released on Tuesday.

enterprise apps storel

The Enterprise App Store: 10 Must-Have Features

Voke’s Market Mover Array Report on software testing platforms says an explosion of mobile testing companies focusing on enterprise applications is a “clear indicator of the enterprise’s need to deliver quality software to a plethora of mobile devices.” Mobile testing vendors, the report states, will ultimately be acquired by traditional testing vendors. But for now, innovation “must be allowed to flourish.” Keynote Systems’ acquisition of DeviceAnywhere last fall represents this shift in the market; meanwhile, innovation in mobile testing also is occurring from companies including Experitest, Parasoft, Perfecto Mobile, and Soasta, according to the report.

[ Keynote recently was lauded at the Software & Information Industry Association Codie Awards. | To get more analysis of the software development space, subscribe to InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

“What we’re seeing [with mobile applications] is every organization now has to have some sort of mobile strategy, and that mobile strategy has to already fit in with what they’re doing with their existing apps,” said analyst Theresa Lanowitz, a co-author of the report and founder of Voke. “There’s very little tolerance for a mobile application that does not work from a functional perspective as well as from a performance perspective.” Software testers, she said, really need to look for commercially available tools to manage “that complex grid of what they’re going to test.”

Mobile application testing is becoming more commonplace and has been moving to the cloud, she said. Keynote DeviceAnywhere’s Test Center Developer, for example, provides online access to any mobile device, network, and operating system worldwide. Perfecto Mobile has a similar SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform with its MobileCloud platform.

Overall, software testing has to be done earlier in the application development lifecycle, to make sure defects do not leave the development phase, Lanowitz said. Companies like Electric Cloud and Microsoft are offering capabilities to apprise developers of what exactly is going on with their software builds.

Voke’s report found the software testing market “currently in a renaissance,” in terms of testing professionals and vendor innovation. Market leaders could face challenges from innovators tackling emerging technology like the cloud, mobile, device software, and infrastructure as well from innovations delivering simple solutions to classic and age-old problems by leveraging virtualization. Vendors solving problems of entrenched testing tools also could pose a challenge.

This article, “Enterprises get serious about mobile app testing,” was originally published atInfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about application development in InfoWorld’s Application Development Channel.

Categories: mobile, mobile applications Tags:

Mobile Phone Shoppers Show Growing Preference for Text Marketing

May 20th, 2012 No comments
One in five respondents has made an online purchase on a mobile phone

The maturation of the mobile phone market has put a powerful shopping tool in the hands of an ever-growing number of consumers. And recent research shows that they are taking full advantage of it.

According to a February 2012 survey of online US adult mobile phone owners commissioned by advertising company Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive, one in five mobile phone owners has made a purchase online via their device. Unsurprisingly, smartphone owners were more likely to make mobile purchases than feature phone owners. But the poll also revealed that consumers were most often using mobile phones to facilitate their in-person shopping—half of smartphone users said they had used a phone-based GPS or mapping tool to find a store’s brick-and-mortar location.

Overall, US consumers are steadily embracing the idea of making purchases on their mobile phones. The survey found that the percentage of people who thought it was at least somewhat important to be able to make a purchase on their mobile phone had climbed to 38% in 2012, compared with 30% in 2010. But despite those gains, the vast majority of respondents, 62%, still said it wasn’t important at all for them to be able to make purchases on their mobile phones.

The number of shoppers interested in receiving promotional texts has also climbed in recent years. As of February 2012, 31% of US mobile phone owners who did not already receive SMS message-based marketing said they were at least somewhat interested in such messages. And 10% said they were extremely interested in SMS messages. Those marketers who can formulate well-crafted mobile offers for those seeking them will likely drive both mcommerce, as well as in-store sales.

eMarketer estimates that mobile phone penetration will reach 76.8% of the US population in 2012. By 2016, smartphones users are expected to account for 74% of all US mobile phone users.
Article originally published on emarketer.com
Categories: e-commerce, mobile Tags:

Yamaha Sees Huge Growth in Traffic to Mobile Sites

May 10th, 2012 No comments

By Chantal Tode

May 10, 2012

YamahaThe Yamaha mobile site

Yamaha saw its mobile traffic jump 300 percent in a year after launching two HTML5-based mobile sites for its watercraft vehicles.

The recreational vehicle manufacturer wanted to create a unique mobile experience that would engage consumers, drive interest and sales for its Waverunners and boats while also enhancing brand perception. The company settled on creating two HTML5-based mobile sites to showcase products in an innovative way that would mirror the brand’s own high-quality engineering and reach the broadest audience possible.

“Giving users a really unique experience on the mobile Web – that contributed to the growth of the site and people staying on the site a lot longer over time,” said Naushad Huda, CEO of Xtopoly, Santa Ana, CA. “It has to do with how deep the site is and how easy it is to explore and go through the site.

“Whether consumers are out and about or not, we want to make sure that the experience is a rich-enough experience that they get the information they want through the rich media and social interactions on the site,” he said.

Streamlined interface
Yamaha worked with mobile interactive agency Xtopoly to create the mobile sites.

The mobile Web sites were part of a holistic marketing effort intended to create a seamless, consistent experience for consumers no matter what platform they use to access the brand.

The goals for the site include educating consumers about the products whenever and wherever they want while showing off Yamaha’s cutting-edge technology in watercraft.

The sites, www.yahamaboats.mobi and www.waverunner.mobi, feature touch technology, animation and a lot of rich media.

The streamlined interface is optimized to perform like an app while device and feature detection technology is used to dynamically deliver an experience that is optimized for each device.

The sites are a departure from the standard vertical design seen in mobile sites that have stacked navigation menus. Instead, the sites use animation and dynamic movement in navigation menus that feature pop-up boxes to maximize screen space.

Menu items includes a section showcasing the different models, links to YouTube, Facebook or to tweet as well as the latest news and events from Yamaha.

Cutting-edge marketing
Yamaha has been testing the mobile waters for several years. It started with SMS campaigns three-and-a-half years ago and created its first mobile optimized site in 2010.

With the majority of mobile users coming from an iOS or Android device, Yamaha decided to provide these smartphone users with a richer experience that would take advantage of some of the features inherent to smartphones and which consumers have become accustomed to, such as the ability to swipe to move things around.

Because the new mobile sites are HTML5 based and can be relatively easily updated, Yamaha will save costs in future content and revisions.

“The consumer’s experience with Yamaha should always be cutting edge and a mobile site really speaks to that story, that Yamaha is a cutting-edge brand with its products and its marketing efforts show that,” Mr. Huda said.

Associate Editor Chantal Tode covers advertising, messaging, legal/privacy and database/CRM. Reach her at chantal@mobilemarketer.com.

Categories: mobile, mobile website Tags:

The 12 Best Free Mobile Apps for Commuters, 2012 Edition

April 23rd, 2012 No comments

Many of us spend hours getting from one place to another every day. Your smartphone can help you cut down on your travel time, or at least make the most of it.

For example, Waze is a popular tool that aims to help you spend less time in traffic. The app automatically reads the GPS location and speed of every person using Waze, and reports that data back to other users who might be traveling in the same direction. Users can also report accidents, heavy traffic, and police speed traps, and you can ping users on Waze to get real-time updates. You can find the app for iOS and Androidphones, and a beta version is available for BlackBerry handsets.

Trapster is another iOSAndroid, and BlackBerry app that pools information from drivers to help other drivers. Users report on police speed traps, enforcement cameras, and road hazards so that you can scan your potential route and avoid dangers. Android-only app Scanner Radio is also useful for avoiding traffic accidents and road snarls. Using the app, you can listen in on hundreds of police and public-transportation dispatches, so you can find out where the toughest traffic jams are. (Alternatively, if you’re driving through a particularly boring stretch of road, you can use the app to pretend that you’re a hard-boiled rogue officer with an axe to grind against the system.)

NextBusOf course, if you’re a public-transit rider, you have your own set of headaches. When will the bus come? Is the subway broken?NextBus has a fantastic website that’s also optimized for use in a mobile browser, and it gives updated arrival times for transit lines in 31 regions of the United States and Canada. No download required–just go straight to nextbus.com in your phone’s mobile browser. It even uses your phone’s GPS function to locate the nearest bus stops.

When you do get on the bus, you might wish to pass some time chatting with your friends. The Imo app for iOS and Androidsyncs with your contacts on AIM, Facebook chat, Google Talk, MSN, and more, and is an easy way to keep in contact with people on lots of instant messenger services. If voice messages are more your style, Voxer for Android and iOS lets you send audio messages over a data signal, so you don’t waste precious voice minutes on short calls.

PulseAnother great Android and iOS app to check before you leave the house is WeatherBug, which gives you all the standard weather-app fare but also updates information based on your location. For other news, check outZite (for AndroidiOS, and WebOS), which builds you a personalized magazine based on topics of your choosing, or on what you’ve clicked through your Twitter account. Pulse is another beautiful resource for current news if you have an iOSdevice or an Android phone. This app gathers streams from many of your favorite websites based on category, and then updates the stories in each stream every time you open the app. Reading stories on Pulse means you don’t have to deal with annoying ads or the sometimes awful layout of websites not optimized for mobile browsers.

If you spend a lot of time sending text messages from your Android phone on your commute (not while you drive, of course), you may want to back up those text messages on your phone’s external SD Card so that you don’t lose them and can take them with you to your next phone. SMS Backup and Restore will do the job easily, and doesn’t require you to root your phone. If you want to send a file to your Android phone from your computer before you run out the door, use the Software Data Cable app to transfer a file without a USB cable; note, however, that you will need an FTP client to transfer files over the wireless network you’re connected to.

Lookout Mobile SecurityFinally, no commuter who uses his or her phone heavily should be without a security app. Lookout Mobile Security is a highly trusted name in mobile malware protection for iOS and Androiddevices, and if you’re an Android user you can use the app to remotely lock and wipe your phone if it is lost or stolen. Lookout can back up data and scan your device for malware automatically, too.

By Megan GeussPCWorld

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