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DC Metro Transit the Android app that makes you feel at home

One of the things I love about smartphone technology is apps that make life better.  Yep, apps that make life better.  Recently I rode the Megabus overnight from Knoxville, TN to Washington, DC, and I woke up a few minutes from the end of the trip.  I had some vague instructions from a friend to metro to his apartment, but I quickly realized I had no idea on the metro schedule, the lines or even where the closest station was to the bus stop.

DC Transit ScreenshotA quick search in the Android app market yielded –  DC Metro Transit Free, an AMAZING travel app that quickly told me the closest station was a few blocks away and I had 23 minutes until my train left.  Additionally it also had a trip planner to help me figure out the best route to get from station A to station B.  Other features included real time updates, and it estimated fares which helped me figure out to put on my metro card.  Read More…

Price check on aisle…

Almost everyone has a cell phone these days.  A good number of us have smartphones and regardless if they are of the iPhone or Android variety, apps developed for them are changing how we shop.   Online2Offline (O2O) is THE nut to crack, we’ve had glimmers of hope with Google AdWords and with Facebook advertising but apps like TheFind and companies like Amazon and eBay are leading the charge to make it easy for us to do a quick price check.  Allowing shoppers to scan great buys with our phones.  Expanding our options to buy in-store or just maybe…we’ll find a better deal online.

Read the read of my thoughts about this topic on the Moxley Carmichael New Streak Blog – Holiday shopping made merrier with mobile.

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Top 9 iPhone App Favs

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I realized that I love other people’s recommendations – what iPhone apps they are using, where they are eating, what they are driving and what books they are reading.  Yet, I don’t share all of those things well with others.  So in a hat tip to those who’ve shared with me, here are my top 9 favorite iPhone apps.  I will make the disclaimer that Foursquare, Facebook and LinkedIn apps get used weekly.  But I consider them utilty players and really not all that sexy so I’m going to void their use for my top 9.

TOP 9

Dragon Dictation This app takes my speech and turns it into emails and tweets with crazy accuracy.
Twitter for iPhone I used SimplyTweet for months, but Twitter (aka Tweetie) knocks it out of the park
eBay Push notifications so I know I can swoop in a grab an auction?! Yes please!
Notifo Google SMS and @notifications at the speed of light speak my name
Logos Bible The most comprehensive bible study tool, now in my pocket
State Farm Pocket Agent Always have my insurance card with me now + how to report an accident!
Meebo Persistant chat via push. Love it.
Zillow Housing search and research made easy
Pandora My radio

Ok, I’ll throw one to the bonus round, Sleep Cycle is the closest thing to a WakeMate I’ll get since they just returned by deposit.

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What Google’s Nexus One means to your organization

January 5, 2010 is the day Google launched its first consumer physical device, the Nexus One – a phone.  In geekdom it is quite the popular topic, trending on twitter as well as the chiming of every major tech site to post review.  Here are some of the posts.  TechCrunch, GigaOM, Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo, gdgt and BGR thoughts which review the physical phone itself, the software (Android 2.1), how it compares with the iPhone and how the launch of the Nexus One wasn’t the paradigm shifting event for mobile phone salvation we expected. I promise you they all cover each of those matter far better then I can, especially since I haven’t had a loaner phone for weeks preceding the launch – nor do I have one now. Instead let’s talk about how this will affect your organization. If you’re thinking, “my organization isn’t techie at all,” then this is for you.

Increased Validity of Android - for all intents and purposes Google’s launch of the Nexus One with T-Mobile (and upcoming Verizon) will place its open source operating system Android in the hands of non-Geeks.  This is a big deal as there are far more people that will like Android because they can get free turn by turn directions on the Maps then the people who will like the Nexus One because it runs the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that facilitates maps happening in glorious bliss behind the scenes.  This will also spearhead the wave of Android phones that are coming from Motorola, HTC, LG and others in 2020.

Spread of Smartphones - because there will be more of these bad boys in the hands of non-early adopters as they upgrade with their current carriers which will spark a couple key things.  First, your website will need to become mobile friendly pronto – it will no longer be seen as an option to have a mobile optimized site.   Second, the Android app market will see a signifiant increase from the 10,000 it has today as consumer programs will come out of the woodwork like they did for iPhone and organizations like yours will begin to build and launch apps for your consumers.

Rise of the Engaged consumer – we will continue to see the rise of the always on customer.  What this means for you is that their questions, comments and concerns will come to you faster and from new locations then you’ve seen before.  Perhaps more importantly their expectation of your prescese and response will reward those who are ready with open arms to customers who want to talk.  This will also open up new channels of communication and opportunity to connect with your customers, which will be scary but will make you a better organization.

For many, a phone with Android will be the very first time they’ve used open source software as part of their daily life and with Google’s support I think we’ll see it continue to grow in market share on new devices which will drive app invovation.  By far the biggest effect you’ll see is that your customers will have smartphones and while they all won’t know how to use them, they’ll do a few things well and that will disrupt your current business practices.

A few concrete examples, if you’re a

  • national retailer – make it easy to order online via mobile
  • brand with lots of locations – make it easy to find and contact them
  • local church – show sermon notes or bible passages during services
  • non-profit – use your mobile site to showcase your work and align volunteers with places to serve near them

These are just a few ideas.  You’re bound to have a few that are key for your organization, find one or two and get the strategy mapped out.

The launch of Nexus One is the ushering of mobile data into the hands of the masses and that will rock your world in 2010.  Launch with it.

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underdog push

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I read a post over at engadget a couple weeks ago on a push email client called emoze. (Click here for the post) I don’t currently receive email on my cell phone, although free push email such as emoze certainly makes me think twice about it.

This post is not about the ability of emoze, or even that it’s free. Very interesting ideas, but this blog is mostly about, marketing. So this post will be about, their marketing at CTIA.

Check out the poster below:

emoze went head-to-head (back-to-back as the poster says) with BlackBerry in a wireless showdown. Wow! What a great idea. It’s great for a couple reasons:

  • it’s interesting idea that connects us to years of yore
  • if they lose the competition, they still get their name out
  • if they win, they have beaten the dominant mobile email service provider, that’s like beating Kleenex at being a tissue!
  • if BlackBerry had said no, or didn’t show up it could cause even more stir!
  • They’ve got nothing to lose, so they fully embraced the adage, of “go big or go home”

It creates a fun story that people can tell. I wasn’t at the event so I’m not sure how hyped up they made it. But I can only imagine the performance possibilities. I can just see people walking by and saying, “what in the world is going on over there?” Then taking out their BlackBerry and telling a bunch of people about the event they just witnessed.

It also creates an emotional bond. We want someone to win, and if we have a BlackBerry we’ll probably be rooting for them…but I’m sure many people that hate Microsoft also hate RIM for their total dominance in market and would love to see them lose, even in a little showdown like this.

I think it’s a good idea. It makes me wonder how I can do something similar?

What about you, can you do something like this?

Oh by the way…..emoze won.

have a great day!

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