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February 24 2014

February 05 2014

The New Link for the Mobile Ad Era

Being able to easily link to content inside mobile apps could make them easier to use and also boost the mobile ad industry.

In the beginning there was the Web, a thicket of virtual pages connected by hyperlinks that enabled blogging to flourish and companies like Google to make piles of money by directing people where advertisers wanted them to go. Today mobile apps increasingly rule our free time and require us to dive into separate, walled-off digital containers that don't link up.

That's now changing as ad technology startups, together with established companies such as Google and Facebook, seek to reinvent the hyperlink. They're rolling out technology that makes it easy to put links into a mobile app, Web page, or email that with a single tap take a person to a specific section of another app installed on the device. Read more...

More about Google, Facebook, Advertising, Twitter, and Mobile Apps

January 30 2014

Nintendo Mulling Mobile Apps as Part of Recovery Plan

Nintendo is considering mobile apps as part of a way to spur recovery after a slump in Wii U sales — but that doesn't mean you'll be able to play Mario games on your smartphone anytime soon.

In a presentation to Nintendo investors on Wednesday, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said the company is looking to build relationships with its customers through "smart devices" instead of letting the customer relationship remain walled off on each console.

In the past, Nintendo's online IDs for customers have been limited to their consoles, such as the Wii, Wii U, 3DS or DS handhelds. Now, Iwata said, the company is trying to connect all the devices, as well as continue that relationship with consumers on their mobile devices. This cloud connection behind a unified identity is something that companies such as Microsoft, Sony and Apple have already figured out — so Nintendo is playing catch-up. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Nintendo, Mobile Gaming, and Mobile Apps

January 20 2014

5 Ways to Decide if Your Business Needs a Mobile App

In the digital era, a mobile presence is critical for businesses to attract, retain and communicate with customers

With so many consumers now using their mobile devices to interact with businesses, it is imperative that companies are properly set up to meet customers' needs. The questions many business owners ask when deciding whether to go mobile is whether to create a dedicated app for their brand or develop a website that is mobile-friendly.

Michael LaVista, CEO and founder of Web application development firm Caxy, outlines five steps to take when choosing which way to go:

  • Unless the product uses a phone feature — such as the accelerometer, GPS, contacts or push notifications — then you don't necessarily need a mobile phone app.

  • If a business is determined to take advantage of the phone's capabilities, then it must consider its audience when designing a mobile app. If a business's budget is limited, it may need to choose just one platform, such as iOS, Android, Windows or Blackberry. This might require some market research about which devices a business's customers typically own. There are some tools, such as PhoneGap, that allow businesses to develop for multiple platforms at once, but there are trade-offs with those. Read more...

More about Mobile Apps, Business, Apps Software, and Mobile

January 15 2014

Mobile-App Use Increased 115% in 2013

If you used mobile apps more often last year than in any previous year, you're not alone. Mobile-app use increased 115% in 2013, according to Flurry Analytics.

The largest surge was in use of messaging and social apps, up 203% in 2013. News and magazine apps saw the smallest increase of just 31%

Statista's chart, below, shows relative increases in different app categories in 2013.

2014_01_14_App_UseHave something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

More about Mobile Application, Mobile Apps, Tech, and Apps Software

December 11 2013

Twitter Adds Photos to DMs and Other News You Need to Know

Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. In the latest round of NSA news, The Washington Post reports the agency sometimes uses Internet cookies to find its targetsTwitter introduced some new features in its latest app update for iOS and Android, notably the ability to send and receive photos within DMs. And AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said it’s not financially viable for mobile carriers to continue subsidizing expensive smartphones. Read more...

More about Twitter, Att, Mobile Apps, First To Know Series, and Tech

October 12 2013

5 Tech Tools For Pet Lovers

Remember the robot that walks a bunch of dogs in the movie I, Robot? How awesome would that be—for both the owner and the dogs? I mean, we do have iOS apps for animals now, but Hollywood has trained me to expect more.

Just because dog-walking robots don’t yet exist, there’s no reason pets should be underdogs when it comes to technology. Naturally, I went looking for some cool pet tech and doggonit, I found some! (Now, if only iRobot made a Roomba-like automatic pooper scooper.)

A Fitness Tracker For Your Dog

For humans, there’s Fitbit. For dogs, there’s Whistle, a sleek fitness monitor that attaches to your canine’s collar.

Whistle tracks activities like walks, playtime, sleep and even swims (yes, it’s waterproof). Whistle can even track who your dog has been hanging out with (friends or family, for instance).

As with human activity trackers, you can set goals and easily view activity in a sleek dashboard. If your dog exhibits any behavioral changes, Whistle can alert you so you can check it out. Another great feature? The ability to auto-generate reports for your vet.

Play With Your Pet Via Smartphone

Petcube, currently a Kickstarter project that looks to have an excellent chance of reaching its funding goal, consists of three awesome components: a wide-angle HD camera, a microphone and speakers and, of course, a laser pointer. This means that while the cat—in this case, the human, meaning you—is away, the mice (your cats or dogs) will play. So will the cat. I mean, you.

Unlike that previous paragraph, the Petcube makes a lot of sense. I'm always curious what my pets do when I’m gone. Now I can see for myself and share the best photos and videos of my pet’s shenanigans online.

Talk To And Reward Your Pet Via Smartphone

PetziConnect, which blew past its own crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo, has many similarities to the Petcube. It can take HD photos and videos of your animals and it will let you have a conversation (inasmuch as that is possible) with your pet via two-way audio.

The biggest difference here is that the PetziConnect forgoes a laser pointer for a treat dispenser. Additionally, the PetziConnect plugs directly into a wall outlet, so it isn’t as mobile as the Petcube. Which one is the best fit for you may depend on what excites your pet the most: chasing a red dot or receiving a treat.

Digital Pet ID Tags

If you are still using a regular old “dumb” pet tag, it’s time to get with the times. The PetHub embeds a QR code on the back of a normal metal engraved dog tag that others can scan should they find your lost pet.

Here’s what’s cool: when a person scans your pet’s tag with their phone, it will display your pet's profile and information—plus, and this is the great part, it'll immediately notify you, too. Perhaps this will help cut down on pet piracy (finding someone’s lost pet and not returning it). I mean, who can resist scanning a QR code on a pet tag to see what you might learn?

Find An Awesome Dog Sitter Near You

DogVacay is like Airbnb, but for dogs. Next time you leave town and need someone to watch your pooch for awhile, don’t just drop Fido off at the nearest kennel. Instead, browse hosts online, read reviews, pick the perfect place, schedule it andhit the road with peace of mind.

That last part is important, and DogVacay takes it seriously by hand-approving all sitters (because even humans need to get vetted) and offering comprehensive protection. Additionally, each host must pass an online training course, for what it's worth. Does your usual boarding location offer a 100% guarantee?

Lead image via Flickr user WB - CMH

Tags: mobile apps

September 28 2013

10 Nearly Impossible Mobile Games

Mobile gaming has come a long way since the endless days of Tetris on your Nokia brick phone.

Now, some gaming apps rival the inventiveness and difficulty of top-tier console games, and we're not complaining. If you're looking for more of a challenge in your mobile gaming experience, look no further than this gallery of the 10 most challenging examples out there.

Be warned: some of these games walk a very fine line between challenging and flat-out impossible. If you're a gamer with anger management issues, you might want to wrap your phone in bubble wrap before you get started. Read more...

More about Games, Features, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Apps, and Puzzles

September 08 2013

Instagram Reaches 150 Million Monthly Active Users

Instagram now has 150 million monthly active users with more than 60% of them residing outside of the United States. At last tally in June, the app had 130 million monthly active users. In February, the company reached the 100 million monthly active-users milestone

"Whether it’s documenting protests in Egypt, sharing the trip of a lifetime across the United States or snapping #petselfiez, this community continues to surprise us every day with your creativity, sense of adventure and unique perspectives on the world," Instagram said in a statement announcing the new statistics on Sunday

More about Facebook, Apps, Social Media, Photography, and Mobile Apps

August 23 2013

App Aims to Seriously Spice Up Your Sex Life

A new online dating app is looking to cut the talk and get you between the sheets. But it may be too forward for most tastes.

Pure is a no-strings-attached iOS service resembling Craigslist's casual encounter channel; a hook-up tool that lets you browse who's around and what they want.

The app, currently awaiting App Store approval, let's you request like-minded partners based on location. You designate your gender and your desired partner's and whether you're willing to host or travel. Nearby potentials pop up and if you both click and say you're interested, you're shown geo-coordinates and can chat. There are no profiles to flip through like Tinder. If your match is unrequited, it disappears. Read more...

More about Startup, Apps, Sex, Online Sex, and Mobile Apps

June 17 2013

8 Social Networks for Fitness Freaks

Motivation plays an essential role in exercising. Without it, working out just becomes...working.

If you don't have a partner to push you through your lifting routines — "One more set, bro, you got this!" — consider these eight social networks instead. They're designed to keep track of your workouts, count your calories and, above all, push you to go above and beyond your wellness goals. Happiness guaranteed.

GIF courtesy of Photobucket

Are there any good ones that we forgot to include? Tell us which websites help you stay in shape Read more...

More about Social Networks, Lists, Photos, Features, and Mobile Apps

June 13 2013

King's 'Pet Rescue Saga' Launches on Mobile

LOS ANGELES — King.com launched its third game on mobile Thursday, Pet Rescue Saga. Following the success of games like Bubble Witch and Candy Crush Saga, the Facebook favorite is arriving on both iPhone and Android.

Currently one of the top 10 games on Facebook, Pet Rescue Saga prompts players to destroy colored boxes on screen by placing three or more of the same color into groups — in order to rescue pets trapped within the multicolored block structure.

The mobile version of the game will launch with 72 levels, with more to follow in future updates. Read more...

More about Facebook, King, Mobile Apps, Zynga, and E3

September 03 2012

How Mobile Tech Is Changing Travel [INFOGRAPHIC]

For many travelers, skipping town for a bit is also a perfect excuse to get some mental distance from their omnipresent mobile devices. But the desire for digital distance comes with a layer of irony -- those mobile devices are increasingly what make travel possible in the first place.

People rely more than ever on mobile technology to find and book travel reservations. A slew of stats from the Internet travel giant Expedia show just how much people plan their trips while already on the go.

More than 65% of people who book a hotel room within 24 hours of checking in do so from a mobile device, according to Expedia. More than 15% of travelers who book a flight 24 hours or less in adva…
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More About: Mobile, apps, mobile apps, travel

August 29 2012

6 Fantastic To-Do Apps for Getting Organized

From executing projects at work to remembering to pick up a new toothbrush on your way home, there are so many little things that need to get done each day. But the age-old answer to this problem -- the to-do list -- can be a challenge in itself. Crumpled up pieces of paper and half-written lists are bound to get lost or trashed, and that doesn't do much for productivity or task management.

Thankfully, there are many great options to bring your to-do list into the digital age. These apps offer features such as mobile updating, push notifications, and calendar integration that can kick your productivity into high gear.

Not sure which app makes the most sense for you? Not a problem. Ch…
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More About: contributor, features, mobile apps, productivity

August 28 2012

August 22 2012

Get There Faster With These 4 Traffic Apps

Sitting in traffic may seem like a necessary evil, but several app developers are devoted to making driving suck less. Commuting was once a lonely experience with drivers victimized by conditions outside their control. But what if cars on the road could move in harmony rather than like a tidal wave?

Mobile phone technology makes it possible to communicate with the people around you -- passively and indirectly -- therefore allowing everyone to move efficiently together. In addition to helping drivers avoid roadblocks, traffic apps are discovering interesting data around driving and commuting that can in turn inspire cities to create better infrastructures. Here, we've rounded up four a…
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More About: Global Innovation Series, Mobile, features, mashable, mobile apps, navigation, traffic

August 21 2012

5 Rock-Worthy iOS Apps for Guitarists

Thanks to the continuing evolution of the iOS as a music-creation platform, guitarists have several choices for bringing digital effects and pedals on the go with them.

A guitarist can literally plug right into their iPhone or iPad and begin shredding along with presets modeled after the legends of rock, or custom rigs of their own. Here are five key apps to get any rocker started.

More About: contributor, features, iOS apps, mobile apps

August 18 2012

5 Ways to Pay for Dinner With Your Phone

mobile payments
Mobile payment transactions are predicted to reach $1.3 trillion per year by 2017, and the restaurant industry appears ripe to scarf down a hefty chunk of that money flying around electronically.

But while news about the mobile payments space has intensified lately -- Square's deal with Starbucks, Discover's nod to Google Wallet and Dunkin' Donuts's new gifting/payment app -- pay-by-phone services have yet to hit mainstream status as many consumers are still confused about their options.

To help clear confusion, here are five ways you may start paying for your next dinner with your phone.

Order Meals With Digital Delivery and Takeout Services

Food delivery apps and websites su…
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More About: Food, Google, Pay With Square, Payment Services, Seamless, Squar, TheLevelUp, dwolla, eccomerce, google wallet, grubhub, levelup, mobile apps, mobile payments, paypal, venmo

August 16 2012

Food Network’s ‘On the Road’ App Dishes Restaurant Tips for Trips

A new mobile app from Food Network will go head-to-head with other restaurant-discovery services starting Thursday.

The "On the Road" app allows people to find food venues featured on Food Network shows, or eateries recommended and owned by its slew of chefs such as Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri.

The app for iPhone and iPad, which has a badge-centric reward system akin to Foursquare or GetGlue, ultimately helps users plan food outings for their road trips or decide on nearby places to eat where they currently reside.

"We've been seeing demand on the website for this for years," Bob Madden, Food Network's GM and SVP of digital food category, told Mashable during a demo. "It's a fun way…
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More About: Food, apps, food-network, mobile apps, restaurants, travel

August 15 2012

10 Essential Tablet Apps for Business

It's not just customers who are drifting away from their laptops and desktops to do everything on mobile devices. More and more, entrepreneurs are cutting the bulky power cord and conducting business on the go. Thanks to tablets and the ever-growing selection of mobile apps that's easy to do.

We asked 10 successful entrepreneurs to share the apps that boost their business productivity. Here are their top picks.

1. Sign With RightSignature
I absolutely love the RightSignature iPad app. It's imperative to my business operations and easy to use. RightSignature enables a business owner to easily customize and send out legal documents, and then have the executed contracts in one place…
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More About: Apple iPad, applet tablet, contributor, features, mobile apps

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