While Apple has been hugely successful in selling phones and tablets, it has little traction in social networking, which has become a major engine of activity on the Web and on mobile devices. Social media are increasingly influencing how people spend their time and money — an important consideration for Apple, which also sells applications, games, music and movies.
In his column posted today on Wired Business, Anil Dash praises the Surface tablet as a sign that Microsoft finally has decided to get ruthless in the right way: “I’m ready to embrace a big tech company that’s not afraid to get mean.”
Microsoft plans to offer devices based on Perceptive Pixel technology that uses both pen and touch to create what is equivalent to the human as the user interface.
Microsoft General Manager Jeff Han, who sold Perceptive Pixel to Microsoft earlier this year, hinted at the news with a slide in a presentation at this week’s Build conference in Redmond. It said “Devices *are* coming” along with an email contact to get access to the hardware. He did not say when the devices would be available in the market.
While he did not say it outright in his presentation, Han clearly outlined the role multi-touch will have for almost any device Microsoft develops going forward. He said the enterprise and education markets have particular promise because they can be used in meeting roooms and classrooms. Multiple peole can touch the displays, which can be be networked so people may interact remotely. This will all mean a new generation of apps that require us to think of the human as the interface. Interactions will vary for different people.
Han said in his presentation that multi-touch is the standard across the market, because touch is dead due to a number of challenges it faces, including: the “fat finger” problem (not precise enough); the “Midas touch” problem (no hover/tracking state); and the inability to discern which touch is which, a problem that makes for difficult UI choices. Further, touch is great for content manipulation but not as much for content creation.
Han said the opportunity will come with devices that integrate both the hardware and the software that enables touch and the use of a stylus.
Windows 8 allows for both touch and stylus with a Slate-style experience.
Han’s influence is spreading at Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer, in his keynote Thursday at Build, showed off an 82-inch Slate PC display that featured the Perceptive Pixel multi-touch technology that he said is “shipping.”
Han has a vision that is as much about the technology as it is about the people who use it to interact. That creates a fascinating opportunity for developers who, over the next several years, will do more to create apps that integrate with the way we sit, stand and use our arms more so than how to use machines with keyboards to type commands.
CEO Trip Adler and his team gave me a quick tour of the new features last week. The website was previously dominated by your social feed, showing you the documents uploaded and read by other users that you’re following. Now the social feed has been pushed off to the side, and in its place there’s a feed of “featured” content, which has been hand-picked by Scribd.
Chris Velazco is a mobile enthusiast and writer who studied English and Marketing at Rutgers University. Once upon a time, he was the news intern for MobileCrunch, and in between posts, he worked in wireless sales at Best Buy. After graduating, he returned to the new TechCrunch to as a full-time mobile writer. He counts advertising, running, musical theater,… → Learn More
I’m of the opinion that it is not hard to convince your client of anything, if it’s forwarded with: “this will get you more leads/make you more revenue.” However, as soon as the word “test” gets thrown in the mix, even when goals are on target, things have been known to screech to a halt. So if the client is happy with performance and you’re hitting goals, how do you convince them it’s for the better future of the account to start targeting some conversion rate optimization testing techniques? To start our August series, here’s a 5-step plan to help get your client onboard with tricky, but beneficial, CRO and testing!
Unruly, a social video distribution platform whose technology helped power viral campaigns like Evian’s Roller Babies and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, just released its results for the fiscal year ending on March 31. The company says it tripled revenue from £6.0 million to £17.6 million (at current conversion rates, that’s about $ 27 million).
Shortly after I bought my iPhone, I discovered shopping apps and after that, I never left home without it. My original favorite was Shopkick. Walk into a store, tap the bubble, get coupons and accumulate gift certificate points. Why not? I was going to shop at that store anyway, so Shopkick was a bonus. Then a weird thing happened, I let Shopkick tell me where to shop for holiday gifts. I went into stores I wouldn’t have visited otherwise and at that moment, I became the perfect user.
According to new numbers from Nielsen, 47% of American smartphone owners used a shopping app in June 2012 and they accessed these apps an average of 17 times during the month. What’s really interesting is the mix. Take a look at the top 10 shopping apps from June and I’ll meet you on the other side.
eBay is cleaning up. Not only did they snag the most users but look at the average time spent, more than an hour. The only app beating them for time was my old friend Shopkick with a whopping three hours! That’s because you open the app and have to keep it open while you’re roaming a store if you want the points to add up. Very clever.
Under eBay is Amazon, not fond of their mobile site, but I can understand why people use it. Then Groupon and LivingSocial pop in on either side of Shopkick. I didn’t even know these two had mobile apps so I’m surprised to see them so high on the list.
After that, we hit the first brick and mortar stores to make the list, Target and Walgreens. Both have shopping apps that help you find the best deals in store and online. Both allow you to refill prescriptions right from the app and Target even has voice recognition for basic items.
Coming in 8th is RedLaser. This is a bar code scanner that lets you know if you’re getting a good deal on in-store items before you buy.
OutofMilk Shopping List is an Android list maker designed to make grocery shopping easier.
Finally, is SavingStar. This is a reverse coupon site. Buy selected items and SavingStar puts the “coupon” price into your account, so instead of saving, you’re accumulating. Once you hit $ 5, you can cash out via bank, Paypal or gift certificate.
Overall, the top ten shopping apps represent a range of tools that are all designed to make shopping more efficient and less costly. And who doesn’t love saving time and money?
In part two of our series highlighting the importance of CROLP (Conversion Rate Optimization/Landing Pages), we’ll be diving into a case study of just how drastically a new landing page can improve performance and conversion rate. If Kayla’s post yesterday didn’t give you the tools to get your client or web development team on board, a look behind the scenes of one account should do the trick.