If it’s broken…

November 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let’s fix it!  There are two things in my quest to go paperless which irritate me to no end: paper checks and receipts.  Both are broken. Rather than rehashing why I think they are broken, I’m going to share what Seth Godin has to say on the matter because not only is this video entertaining, but it is full of insights.  I was reminded of this brilliant video today after reading an interesting post from Bank Innovation titled “iPhone5, NFC, and the payments experience: scenarios and implications“.  I completely agree with the points the author makes there regarding the receipt that Square provides, and I think we’ll continue to see useful integration of social media in the payments experience.  Bling is connecting payments and social with their new FanConnect platform, and Facebook Places has opened up a check-in experience within Facebook.  I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before rewards are instant and in the form of Facebook credits.

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Location in the background

June 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

With the new iPhone 4G comes iOS and the ability to run applications simultaneously including location aware applications like Foursquare.  You could opt-in to check in and/or out of a location without pulling out your phone and going through all the technical motions now required by (albeit snazzy) apps like Foursquare.  Imagine this:  You’ve selected which venues you’d like automatic checkins for.  For those locations, you can further choose to accept promotions and mobile coupons, socialize your shopping experience, and accept promotions from nearby vendors offering similar merchandise.  The list is endless, as is the development opportunities, and they extend way past shopping.  Again, Apple is leading the way in providing the means for pervasive marketing and opening the doors for innovation in location aware applications.  Expect to see others follow.

iPad Love

June 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Every good invention replaces something.  Apple claims this device to be revolutionary.  I happen to agree.  Here’s what my iPad has replaced so far:

  • Paper books.  I love reading on my iPad – bookmarking and search are awesome.  The Kindle app has a feature to show the most highlighted text in a book.  I expect to see more more social features like this with iBooks and Kindle; possibly integrating with Facebook and Twitter.  I expect to see integration of industry specific dictionaries.  Think text books… My kids will not use the paper variety when they get to college.  Also, cookbooks (think inline instruction videos) and religious texts.
  • <nerd alert> My book light.  Yeah, I travel with one.  It stinks when the battery runs out or I forget it.  I can adjust the brightness of the “book” I’m reading.
  • My Blackberry calendar.  Ok, so I don’t have an iPhone.  Yet.  I’ve set up my iPad calendar to sync with my Google calendars.  It is color coded, and it is beautiful.  In a sense, it replaced my old Franklin Covey paper planner as well.
  • Newspapers.  Being a tree hugger, I always felt bad about the papers I didn’t read, so I haven’t subscribed in years.  I get most of my news online.  An app called Fluent News aggregates news in one beautifully crafted UI with the abilities to turn down sources you don’t like.  There are also apps like Instapaper and Feeddler which allow you to take online content from blogs and websites with you whether you have an internet connection or not.
  • Magazines.  From here on out, I’ll take the digital version.  An app called Zinio showcases how awesome magazines becomes when you can integrate such things as video and interactive maps.  Check out the free National Geographic that comes with the download and you’ll understand.  I expect to see a lot of growth and innovation in this area.
  • Paper notes.  Still walking around with that unsearchable, unsortable paper notebook at work?  There’s an app (actually a few) for that.  Start with Evernote.
  • Leisure use of my laptop.  My IBM Thinkpad lost some sexy points when iPad walked in.  I also watched my husband fall out of love with his netbook.  My kids (ages 7, 5, and 3) all don’t get why the “screen doesn’t work”.  Oh, and boot time.  Lame.  Browsing is faster and email is more fun.  The Apple ads told you that though…
  • Simple picture frames and digital picture frames.  I love to see and share pictures of my kids.  I’m not scrapbook-inclined.  I can take all my awesome digital photos with me in a format that looks sleek on my desk and fits in my purse.  I’m looking for a good MOV to MP4 converter so I can take my little videos of my kids with me too.  There’s this really cute one where my 3 year old is watching the sunset at the beach…
  • My tv.  Well, mostly.  I have old tvs – not the fancy HD sort.  My iPad HD screen (albeit smaller) is so clear, and I can stream Netflix and ABC shows instantly.  My kids and I have huddled around the screen to watch a show we had ordered via our cable provider’s on demand services but later could not find.  It’s just SO much easier (and we all know how bad the UX is on cable – can we at least get a decent search???).
  • Simple clock and radio.  The speaker is decent, and there’s a little app called Night Stand HD that has a sleek UI, and it integrates with the included iPod.  I wake up to my favorite song 🙂
  • A trip to the bank.  I pay my babysitter every week using the PayPal Bump and Pay app for iPhone.  Simple, fast, and free.

I’ve loved sharing my iPad with my children.   My 7 and 5 year olds love the Alice,  Toy Story, and Cat in the Hat apps.  The Toy Story app by Disney really showcases the possibilities that exist for innovation and tailoring to the young user for books.  My 3 year old loves to go through the letter flashcards in the Letters A to Z app.  She can scroll through, shrink, and zoom the pictures like a pro too with very little instruction.

Is there anything that it doesn’t do?  Out of the box, it doesn’t do multitasking – I can’t have more than one app up at a time except for iPod.  That stinks.  My friend and fellow geek @jsnyng though, has shown me the light and power of jailbreaking, and that will solve that issue.  Make a phone call and take pictures.  Some people really get wound up about this one.  I say, “big deal”.  I don’t need my iPad to do everything.  Word is though, that Webex supports VOIP although I haven’t tried it.

So, I’ve just scratched the surface here on what iPad can do and why I’m fanatic about it.  It’s a whole new canvas for developers and designers, and it’s been quite a ride to watch as new apps surface and gain popularity.  I think we’ve just begun to see the possibilities on this beautiful device.

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