Posts tagged with ‘mobile apps’

iPhone Tracks User Locations. So What?

Last week it was revealed that iPhone users might have had their locations tracked by Apple. People are up in arms over what is obviously a major violation in privacy.

Wake up, people. Google reads your mail. Apple tracks your locations. Facebook tracks your user habits. It’s all to sell you stuff.

While I agree it’s a bit unnerving to have a major corporation documenting your every move, let’s get realistic. Apple, Google, and Facebook are relatively uninterested in what you are ACTUALLY doing. In fact, most user information is tracked for the sole purpose of selling you products you will likely be interested in. Emailing about Spiderman posters? Google will target advertisements selling you superhero paraphernalia. Suddenly “liking” parenting websites on Facebook? You may notice Facebook ads for diapers and other baby gear.

Yes, it’s creepy and it borders on unethical. But can you blame them? It’s becoming easier and easier to ignore advertisements on television, radio, and other mainstream forms of media where we were once bombarded with products and services. I’m not condoning Apple’s transparency failure in tracking user’s locations, but I’m not surprised and you shouldn’t be either.

Check In With Your Customers

Mobile phones have definitely changed the way we communicate. Beyond the actual voice calls, we text, email and interact online from our phones. With smart phones now the norm (even my wife has one), people have access to information at all times. How does this affect your business?

Now business owners have to contend with customers being able to spread the word instantly. Naturally, this is a double-edged sword. If you give a customer a great service, the world will find out in a second. The same applies if the customer has the opposite experience. It’s an important thing to think about when marketing your business, because  you want to take advantage of the customer’s ability the spread the good news quickly. Even if you get a bad review, often times you can turn that into a positive by directly addressing the situation.

Mobile phone applications like Foursquare, Yelp and even Facebook offer check-in functions. People can check-in once they’ve arrived at your business and make comments. It not only informs their friends of their location, but it’s also free advertising for your business. Many businesses offer specials to “regulars” who check-in.

Check-in’s and other types of location based apps are prevalent on mobile platforms. If you want to grow your business, you must learn to harness this technology. Because, like it or not, people will continue to rely on their mobile phones to guide them through the world around them.

Dream Twitter App for Windows Mobile

After trying out a handful of Twitter apps, I decided that there just isn’t one out there that does exactly what I want. Having been a part of a development team, and hearing users say we were missing the boat sometimes, I thought I would tell anyone interested what I’d like to see in a Twitter app for a Windows Mobile device. If you build it, let me know!

1) An immediately accessible line on my Today Page, where I could text my Tweet and get it live with no hassle, just like Twit Today (bravo on this, Dale Lane!)

2) A compact yet beautiful stream browser with avatars, an easy way to @ someone’s specific Tweet, and even integrate with TwitPic, like ceTwit, although the UI on that one needs a sprucing, imho.

3) The familiar “Older” button from the Twitter site, for going back in the stream a ways. Of all the apps I tested, NONE had this, and I cannot imagine that it would be that hard to do.

For mobile use, this is about all I really want. Account management, follow/unfollow, etc. is not all that important to me.

Thanks in advance!

(Update: I just found pocketwit and it has pretty much THE BEST interface design of all of them I found. Avatars, twitpic support with access to camera and image browser, GPS updating. And a Sa-weeet kinetic interface! Kudos and thanks!)