Archive for category APP
Adobe Systems ( ADBE – news – people ) Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen is counting big numbers: 4.9 trillion Web display ads will be shown this year, he says. In the last quarter of 2010, 100 million smartphones were sold worldwide. This year there’ll be 17.7 billion downloads of mobile applications, creating a paid-apps market worth $15.1 billion.
Almost every ad and app out there, along with most of the business and consumer-oriented content on the Web, is going to be tracked and responsive to some entity’s remote control. That entity, he hopes, will be Adobe.
“Everything is changing!” says Narayen during an interview at his hotel suite in Salt Lake City during a break between meetings with some of the 700 companies here for the annual customer summit run by his subsidiary, Omniture (OMTR – news – people ). Adobe bought Omniture for $1.8 billion in 2009 because the Orem, Utah software firm makes the Web’s most successful tracking tools. Its annual conference gathers people who spend 30% of all Internet ad dollars.
Narayen got blasted for paying 24% over Omniture’s share price, but it looks like a good move. Omniture’s revenue is growing 20% a year while sales of Adobe’s better-known creativity programs like Photoshop and Illustrator were repeatedly hit in the recession. Adobe’s Flash software, the standard for rendering graphics and video online, is taking a p.r. beating by Apple ( AAPL – news – people ), which refuses to use it in its phones and tablets. Yet Adobe’s stock has kept pace with Apple so far this year. Earlier this year Narayen picked up another audience-tracking tech firm, called Demdex, to further entrench his position among companies that manage, analyze and act upon what people do on the Web, particularly around selling stuff.
Narayen is building into Adobe’s content-creation tools the planning, tagging and tracking software, plus newer technology that plumbs Twitter and Facebook for information about how people, ads and products are seen. With the right analytics built in, an ad can get automatically tweaked to improve response, or maybe a new app is created because someone raved on Twitter. “It’s a huge opportunity for us, if we can step up to it.”
Adobe does not break it out, but about $1 billion of its $3.8 billion in revenue last year came from big corporate sales, the kind that would combine creative tools with some analytics. The rest of its revenue is from sales of individual software. In the near term Narayen thinks this new market is worth more than $10 billion. He envisions, further out, selling services around these insights. “We can be the mission-critical company for digital experiences and not just a products company,” he says.
Virgin America, which gets 70% of its revenue from its website, uses Adobe software to track where its passengers click to offsite so it can craft the right mix of search and display ads. Hearst uses Omniture to test how its readers click on Web stories. It tested “royal” stories and “celebrity weddings” stories, and found people were obsessing on so-called storybook weddings more than on storybook royalty. The editors ordered up more celebrity wedding stories.
Narayen could get bought or beaten along the way. IBM ( IBM– news – people ) just announced it will deploy 1,000 consultants and 1,200 salesmen into its “smarter commerce” initiative, dedicated to helping advertisers figure out the real costs and effectiveness of their online marketing. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ – news – people )’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, used his first public appearance to talk about the growing importance of data-analysis software to HP.
Google ( GOOG – news – people ) gives away a somewhat more primitive service than Omniture’s called Google Analytics, but Google retains its own file of the data people plug into it. If Google Analytics is taking business from Omniture, there is no evidence of it from the outside. The market is still growing fast.
AT&T Open Call Contest
Do you think you have the next great mobile app? Would you like an opportunity to get your content in front of a panel of AT&T staff and experts? Well now is your chance! The AT&T Developer Program is hosting its annualOpen Call Contest at CTIA Wireless 2011, Orlando, FL, on March 23 and 24, and we want to hear about your exciting new mobile application or content. This contest gives you the chance to win a share of $40,000 in prize money and get your content or application out to more than 95 million AT&T wireless customers!
Choose Your Category
Enter your mobile application or content into one of four contest categories:
Gaming Platform: AT&T now supports the OpenFeint gaming platform. We are looking for games that capitalize on this platform—challenging, competitive games that demonstrate high performance, social integration, and monetization.
HTML5: In this track, we will review innovative Web-based applications that use HTML5. We want to take advantage of the HTML5-capable browsers that are now proliferating across Smartphones and that promise to be the wave of the future.
Social Good:AT&T wants to recognize developers who are creating applications for social well-being. In this track, we are seeking applications that are sustainable, focus on disabled or mature segments, or cover anything around the social good.
Open: This category is open to all entries. We would like to see applications that use native code but, remember, we welcome all app submissions in this category.
The deadline to submit your content or application is Midnight Pacific Time, March 1. The top developers will be invited to a second round of judging and will pitch to the panel of AT&T staff and experts at CTIA Wireless in Orlando. Enter now!
Recognition and Rewards
The winner of each category will:
Be awarded the coveted AT&T Open Call Award.
Take home a $10,000 cash prize.
Get potential exclusive go-to-market and promotion opportunities.
All participants must be present at the Awards Reception on March 24 in order to win.
Want more info?
Get contest details and rules, and submit your application or content now at http://developer.att.com/opencall
The AT&T Developer Program Team
Rahul Sood was working in a Calgary rug store when fate beckoned in 1991. A friendly customer saw him fixing a computer by the front desk, and suggested he take his skills into the PC business.
Sood borrowed $1,500 on a MasterCard and started Voodoo PC, buying high-end parts and building powerful workstation computers for clients in the local oil and gas industry. It didn’t take long for him to find a more appropriate niche: In the early days Sood and friends stayed up until 2 a.m. playing graphics-rich video games on the office computers, so it felt natural when Voodoo began building eye-catching rigs for fellow video game enthusiasts.
Now Sood is a key player in Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) push to create breakthrough new computer designs to push it further ahead of its rivals. Since HP acquired Voodoo in 2006, Sood and his team have been working to bring Voodoo’s artistic, high-performance culture to HP’s mass-market audience. HP’s latest efforts, which will be unveiled on June 10, could begin to establish the company as a provider of beautiful technology gear – an image that consumers had traditionally associated with competitors like Apple (AAPL) and Sony (SNE).
“Voodoo inside HP is very much akin to the acquisition of Lamborghini into Audi,” says Sood, a car buff who races in his spare time. “In the new Lamborghinis the quality is 100 times better, and in Audis, the styling has gotten more aggressive – it’s a win-win situation for both companies.”
HP’s moves are about more than looks. The PC wars have changed. In the 90s, victory meant building PCs cheaper and faster. Michael Dell (DELL) defined the era by establishing a build-to-order process at his Texas plants, tightly managing parts and inventory, then cutting prices to bleed his rivals. Since then, Dell’s competitors have largely neutralized its cost advantage, so today victory is more likely to mean building innovative PCs and selling them in a high-class environment. (Dell has responded by focusing more on retail sales, and courting gamers through its Alienware unit.)
That’s why HP has already been putting more focus on aesthetics. When PC unit chief Todd Bradley arrived at HP three years ago, he observed that business laptops had all the flair of military tanks and challenged his team to radically redesign them.
Since then, HP’s entire line of machines has begun dramatic changes. Many laptops now come with stylish, eye-catching engravings. A quirky touch-sensitive computer won raves from Martha Stewart, and a muscle-car desktop excited video-game enthusiasts with its precisely-engineered parts. The company even worked with the Pasadena College of Art to rethink computer packaging. A marketing makeover completes the package, with commercials featuring celebrities like rapper Jay-Z and snowboarder Shaun White. (By way of contrast, a recent Dell ad featured Burt Reynolds.)
Yes, HP has come a long way. In the spring of 2005, when Bradley first sat down with CEO Mark Hurd to talk about joining the company, HP was still struggling to digest its acquisition of Compaq and still trailed Dell in the marketplace. Over breakfast at the Stanford Park Hotel in Palo Alto, the two men talked about how to streamline the PC division and make it a winner. “I really believed in our ability to drive innovation into the core PC space,” Bradley says. “It was an interesting opportunity to change the way people viewed computing, and make it personal.”
Weeks later Bradley joined the company, and began to deliver. He quickly brought in a new leadership team and standardized the basic skeletons of HP’s computers to simplify manufacturing and speed innovation. Profit margins have steadily risen from less than 1 percent the year before Bradley took over to more than 5 percent now.
Now that Bradley has the mechanics down, more attention has shifted to marketing. Aside from the design of the PC lineup, his team is also working on a novel retail strategy.
I got a peek at the retail part a few weeks ago. During a conference for its reseller partners, HP built a mockup of its store-in-a-store concept in a room at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. The most impressive thing about the setup was how well everything worked together; computers, printers, displays and other items sat on polished white surfaces, organized by how they might be used. The packaging matched, too – from printer cartridges to laptops, everything sported a black background accented by bright colors.
Versions of the retail space will begin appearing in stores this summer and fall. Micro Center, a U.S. electronics chain, will test the concept ahead of the holiday season; and HP will set up a boutique in Harrod’s, the upscale department store in London, this summer. The stores will include specially trained workers, promotions to draw people inside, and a commitment to continually improving the experience based on customer feedback.
For Satjiv Chahil, who heads up marketing for the PC division, it’s a reflection of how computing has gone mainstream. These days electronics stores aren’t really competing with each other – they’re up against chic fashion shops like Hollister, Louis Vuitton and Miss Sixty, competing for disposable income. “The purchasing power that people have is going to go somewhere,” Chahil says, and he has a point. Visit the mall, even during tough economic times, and you’re sure to see plenty of money being thrown around. Why shouldn’t HP get more of it?
“They’ve taken a stronger look at the experience of shopping for their product, versus just having their product available at multiple outlets,” says Kevin Jones, vice president of merchandising at Micro Center, who has been working with HP on the in-store concept. “This is about getting the cool factor into the PC product.”
That’s a tall order, since few computer makers have managed to make a strong case for why their machines are better than the competition – and in an economic slowdown, it can be harder to entice consumers to buy. But with it’s number-one global position, the backing of HP’s huge research labs and new ideas coming in from folks like Sood, HP may be better positioned than any other company to define the battlefield in the new PC wars.
Sony Ericsson is no longer being coy about its intentions to launch a gaming-focused smartphone running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. The company unveiled an advertisement for the Xperia Play, which has been dubbed the “PlayStation phone,” during last night’s Super Bowl.
In the minute-long ad, Sony Ericsson took the wraps off the phone, which it said will be formally announced Feb. 13. The commercial shows Google’s Android robot being given fingers for gameplay. There also are images of the smartphone, which appears to have a slide-out controller panel.
The Xperia Play is expected to be the first smartphone that meets the standard’s of Sony’s PlayStation Certified license program for hardware manufacturers. That certification promises software development support and logo licensing to guarantee quality gameplay experiences across the Android device ecosystem.
Sony Ericsson has long hinted it will debut the Xperia Play and numerous leaked images and videos of the smartphone have flooded the web in recent months.
But Sony Ericsson was not the only wireless company taking advantage of the high-profile Super Bowl advertising time. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) touted its forthcoming launch of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 with a slight dig at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) in a commercial that highlights Verizon’s call quality with its “Can you hear me now?” spokesman. AT&T suffered numerous public relations setbacks due to iPhone users’ perception that the carrier had poor network quality in some areas. AT&T shot back with its own Super Bowl ad that highlighted its ability to make simultaneous voice calls and surf the web on the iPhone, which users cannot do on Verizon’s CDMA network.
Additionally, Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) took jab at Apple’s iPad with a teaser ad for its forthcoming Xoom tablet, which runs on version 3.0, or Honeycomb, of Android. The tablet, which will initially launch on Verizon’s EVDO network, will require a monthly rate plan, the ad noted: 1 GB of data for $20; 3GB for $35; 5 GB for $50 and 10 GB for $80. A Motorola spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Now you can pay for that latte with cash, credit card or mobile phone.
Starbucks (SBUX) , which tested mobile payments in select stores and Target outlets in the past year, expanded the program nationally to all its 6,800 company-owned stores starting Wednesday.
There are a handful of mobile payment experiments in operation now, including Bling Nation in Palo Alto, Calif., and Mocapay in Denver. But this is the biggest rollout to date for mobile payments, says Gwenn Bézard, analyst with the Aite Group, who follows mobile payments. Tech analysts expect substantial growth in mobile payments in coming years as more of us lead our daily lives on our phone.
“This is a more convenient way to pay,” says Starbucks Vice President Brady Brewer. “Your wallet or purse isn’t always with you, but the mobile phone is.” Customers pay using apps available on their iPhones or BlackBerrys. Download the app, and fund it with your credit card. When you reach the barista at the counter, hit the “pay” button, show the bar code, and scan it to complete the transaction. Starbucks says it’s working on an app for Android phones.
“Starbucks is using an interim technology that’s available today,” Bezard says. But he thinks the future of mobile payments will be based on a technology called near-field communications (NFC), which embeds a payment chip inside the phone.
NFC is popular in Asia, where many phones already have built-in chips, and retailers to support them. Juniper Research says $200 billion will be spent worldwide via mobile payments by 2012, up from $100 billion in 2010.Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile recently announced plans for a joint venture, Isis, to offer NFC purchasing via phones. Testing is scheduled to begin next year.
The success of its gift card sparked Starbucks’ interest in mobile payments. “Customers liked the speed of the card,” Brewer says. About one in five retail transactions are done with the card, and customers have loaded more than $1.5 billion onto them, Starbucks says.
Starbucks began testing mobile payments in 2009. To expand nationally, it had to retrofit older scanners with new ones that could accept the bar code from the apps. “We’re going to see big adoption,” Brewer says. He wouldn’t say how much the changeover cost the company.
If anyone has information at the estimated costs for starbucks to integrate this modality and upgrade their hardware and Scanners, please share. Thank You!
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Slightly more than a third of all U.S. subscribers used a downloaded mobile application in November 2010–up 1.1 percentage points over the previous three-month period–according to digital research firm comScore. In addition, 67.1 percent of subscribers used text messaging services in November, up 0.5 percentage points, and 23.5 percent accessed social networks or blogs, a 1.0 percentage point increase. comScore adds that mobile gaming attracted 22.6 percent of the U.S. wireless audience, and 15.0 percent tuned in to mobile music services.
According to comScore, about 61.5 million U.S. subscribers own smartphones as of November, up 10 percent over the preceding three-month period and a figure certain to increase even more significantly following the recent holiday season. Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry operating system continues to lead the U.S. market at 33.5 percent of subscribers, but its dominance is shrinking rapidly, decreasing 4.1 percentage points over the previous three months. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android is now in second overall at 26.0 percent market share (a 6.4 percentage points leap), edging past Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS at 25.0 percent (up 0.8 percentage points). Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone fell further off the pace in November, sliding 1.8 percentage points to capture 9.0 percent of the U.S. smartphone market.