"Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to check cashers, payday lenders, and other predatory businesses—just for the right to use their own money," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a press release. “Mobile Money shifts the balance of power for T-Mobile customers and keeps more money in their pockets.”
Top: Toucher Pro is the ultimate multitasking (and timesaving) app. Using a small pop-up interface, you can access a customizable list of shortcuts to your apps, system settings, or, really, anything you choose.
Bottom: Web Md’s mobile app recently received a full make over and now comes with a handy glossary of often misunderstood medical terms. With the app you can look up any ailment that’s bothering you (just take a deep breath and realize that a headache doesn’t mean you have a brain tumor), and find the best local clinic to get checked out.
NPR got a pretty massive homepage redesign today, optimizing for mobile and offering a highly curated list of stories. The goal is to help readers find and then dive deeper into the content they love.
WhatsApp has launched a bold new service that may make some far bigger rivals nervous: voice messaging.
Starting today, WhatsApp users can record voice snippets and send them to each other in a kind of audio telegram that may be more meaningful than the plain text messages and simple video sharing the app has served up until now.
Simultaneously the app’s makers have revealed that it now has 300 million users worldwide—equating to about one in every 20-ish people on the planet.
Facebook may be based in Silicon Valley, but its fastest-growing user base is in countries like Indonesia, India, and Nigeria.
“Snapchat is doing a really awesome job of creating new behaviors that you wouldn’t expect… I’m not sure I have many [other] examples [of startups getting mobile right].”
As part of our #Unplug series we asked, “What do you miss (if anything) about life before the digital age?” Here are some of our favorite responses:
- "The art of conversation, mystique and actually getting to know a person at a natural rate than via online presence… and of course privacy…” —Bree Williams
- "Peacefulness and serenity." —Henry Johns
- "The happy ignorance of not knowing how genuinely crazy some of my friends and family are.” —Todd Wilson
- "People actually having to work to stalk you." —Daisuke Iwamura
- "Wonder. Before the Internet you would wonder about everything. Now you can just look it up." —Matthew Green
Here, a few more things we miss about life before the digital age
After Apple booted Google Maps from iOS last year, Daniel Graf led the development of a beautiful, refreshed mapping experience that shot to number one in the iTunes store and kicked Apple’s ass on its own turf. Here’s how Graf made it happen—in his own words:
“We have a very successful Android version of Google Maps, so the easiest thing to do was to say, this is super-successful, users love it, so why don’t we just port it over to iOS? But I wanted to challenge the team. While the Android version is a great product, you can also tell it’s been around for a while. You have to access everything via menus—it’s not really best-use-case driven anymore. I said, let’s take a step back—what if we could start from scratch and forget anything we’ve ever done? We have the foundation—the Google data, the mapping data, the local business data, the imagery, the navigation algorithms—it’s a dream to start with.”
What happens when a generation of women have the world and all its knowledge at their fingertips? They mobilize.
Here’s the first story:
Women rule mobile
With new tools, practices and freedoms—-unattached to any specific location—the women that are a part of the Mobilizing series are examples of what happens when a generation of women literally have the world and all its knowledge at their fingertips, in their pockets, and on their kitchen tables: they change the game. We’ll tell you how.
[Image: Flickr user Garryknight]
Here’s what we have to say about Facebook Home:
Facebook’s Bold New Vision For Social Smartphones
Facebook Home Breaks The Fourth Wall Of Mobile Design
5 Ways To Thrive During Marketing’s Seismic Shift To Mobile
During SXSW, major brands convened to discuss how to move forward with mobile. Urban Airship’s Scott Kveton outlines the key trends and strategies that emerged and provides examples of brands adding value via mobile.
What is increasingly clear is that mobile will confound the cookie-cutter campaign creator, bother the bulk emailer, and annoy broad-audience advertisers. Brands that rely on traditional, one-way mass media must completely re-engineer their approach for mobile, because when customers perceive marketing as an interruption, they take immediate action to tune you out.
- Find your value in your customers’ lives.
- Engage each customer in the key moments of their day.
- Deliver value based on location.
- Allow customers to personalize their experience to gain relevance.
- Don’t sell to your customers: entertain, engage, and delight them.
Google’s high-profile, $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which closed yesterday, has set the tech world abuzz with speculation on Google’s first steps as it enters the hardware business: They’re going to do a 180-revival of Motorola! No, Motorola is doomed! No, they’re going to shutter Android! Google’s second, much quieter acquisition this week, of San Francisco industrial design studio Mike & Maaike, answers most of those questions.
The navy is using 4G mobile technology to battle Somali pirates. I hope they get more reliable service than I do!
The Navy’s 4G system will be used for multiple purposes. According to industry journalMilitary Intelligence Technology, one sample use for 4G could be helicopters transmitting sensor data to Marines in small boats preparing to board vessels infiltrated by pirates or terrorists. Marines and sailors in the Expeditionary Force will be provided with custom Android handsets equipped with a basic whiteboarding app in addition to standard voice/data/camera capabilities. The Android handsets can be used to transmit non-classified information only; Naval Air Systems Command is working with the NSA to create a solution that will allow the phones to transmit classified data.