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The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management October 31, 2009

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The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management

Ever scratch your head and wonder why you can use your favorite application for free? How can a business actually make money (and stay in business) when they offer their product for free? When does it make sense for a company to offer a free version of a product that competes with their own for-a-fee version of the same product? By Scott Sehlhorst

Read an interesting article about this business model on:  The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management — World’s most popular product management training by Pragmatic Marketing, 60,000 have attended..


AIR 2.0 Coming Soon: Multitouch, Audio Recording, Less Memory October 31, 2009

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Microblogging clients, media players, news tickers and more built on Adobe’s popular Rich Internet App framework AIR will soon become a lot more powerful and efficient.

Version 2.0 of AIR will hit Adobe Labs later this year and be available for everyone in the first half of 2010, the company said this week. A good list of new features were blogged about by Adobe’s Christian Cantrell yesterday and below are a few of our favorites.

mlbair.jpgAIR has a whole lot of potential but a number of shortcomings have mitigated the impact it’s made to date, especially the fact that AIR apps tend to be memory hogs. To see what kinds of apps are being built in AIR, check out the now mothballed but still useful 3rd party site RefreshingApps or the official Adobe AIR showcase.

Here’s what we can look forward to for AIR 2.0.

Multitouch and Gestures

Mac users with multitouch hardware can already perform multitouch actions in AIR apps today, but this feature will be available for Windows users in the next version of AIR. Both Windows 7 and Mac users will get new support for gestures like press and tap, pan, zoom, swipe and rotate.

Think the design-savvy developers of the AIR world can come up with some awesome things to do with these new gestures? We suspect they will.

Local Audio Encoding

“Access audio data directly from the microphone,” Cantrell writes, “You used to have to send the data to a server and access it from there, but now you can do it entirely on the client.” With this increase in efficiency, we expect to see more AIR apps utilize audio. An AIR podcast recording app? That’s an obvious idea, we’ll see what else people come up with.

Improved Memory Use

AIR apps are memory expensive, that’s probably the single biggest complaint about them. Cantrell says that AIR 2.0 will have lower CPU utilization when idle and lower memory consumption in general. That’s great news. If Adobe can really pull this off and make dramatic cuts to AIR’s memory requirement then AIR apps are going to see a big increase in adoption.

The New York Times for example, one of the most new-media capable old-school institutions in the US, recently asked its staff to stop using the AIR app Tweetdeck because it’s such a memory hog. That’s probably one of the reasons why Times staff appears to be posting to Twitter less these days.

AIR apps can offer a compelling user experience outside the browser but across computing platforms. We’ve had high hopes for AIR for a long time. These and other improvements could help AIR deliver on more of that promise.

Hopefully 2.0 won’t be too long in coming.

via AIR 2.0 Coming Soon: Multitouch, Audio Recording, Less Memory.

Android Market App Rankings – Huh? October 30, 2009

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
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You’ve made an app that you like and put it on the market. It goes on a tear and starts climbing the charts. You find that you have 10,000 downloads, a 4 star rating, and that your app is ranked number 20 in its category. Sounds great.

Then you check the 15th ranked app, it has 5,000 downloads and a 3 star rating.

Huh? What is going on here? I am not sure if anyone knows the Google Market formula except Google. In an ideal world, the market ranking system could not be gamed. If that is the case, then I think it would be great to know the ranking criteria. If there is a chance the market can be manipulated, then it might be better to keep the rankings a mystery.

So what might go into the Market Ranking? […]

via Android Market App Rankings – Huh? | AndroidGuys

Google’s Music Strategy – Search to Buy October 30, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
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In a very democratic fashion, Google announced partnership with most of the major online music services yesterday, to allow music searchers to “find and discover” music. Check out my colleague Mark Mulligan’s post on Google’s relevance to digital music from last week. The note worthy point about Google’s execution is how carefully it nudges searchers to buy music and not just stream it for free. The two main partners, Lala and iLike, that are getting premium placement by the play button, allow only limited streaming of the song. iLike lets you stream only some songs full length for the first time. After that users can only listen to 30 second sample of the song or buy an MP3. Lala also allows one free listen per song and then offers 10 cent Web singles or full MP3s.

The emphasis on search to buy and not search to stream free ad-supported songs is well placed. Music industry needs a viable alternative to iTunes, especially in the light of slowing iPod sales which have been the main driver of a la carte downloads. If anyone can pull that off its Google. Plus, the ad-supported streaming model is yet unproven. Youtube being the case in point.

Yahoo has had a similar partnership with Rhapsody for streaming but converting listeners to a la carte buyers is easier to do than converting them to subscribers. Lala’s 10 cent Web single is a great value proposition especially if their iPhone app is approved. iPhone users can then have a cloud-based music experience by spending only 10 cents on the song they like. Lala’s biggest hurdle now is getting those Google searchers to register and provide their credit card information.

via The Forrester Blog For Consumer Product Strategy Professionals.

Not Sure Which Twitter Lists To Follow? Listorious Has A Directory Of The Best Ones October 30, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities.
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Twitter Lists are rolling out today (although the feature is not quite turned on for everyone yet). The new feature lets users make lists of interesting people on Twitter, grouped together so that they are easy to follow.

But how do you find the best lists? Already, there is an independent directory service which is launching in tandem with Twitter Lists called Listorious. (Warning: it only fully works for people who have Twitter Lists enabled). Listorious offers a curated collection of lists across various categories such as media, humor, marketing, finance, and food. You can see the most popular lists, ranked by how many people follow them. It is also possible to search by tags, or just search lists in general.

So what are some lists you might want to check out? There’s Robert Scoble’s Most Influential In Tech list and another overlapping Tech Pundits list. I like this list of Venture Capitalists on Twitter. And of course, don’t miss out on following the entire TechCrunch Team with one click.

Listorious was developed by Gregory Galant, who is the man behind the Shorty Awards, which goes out to the “best producers of short content.” It is part of his company, Sawhorse Media.

via Not Sure Which Twitter Lists To Follow? Listorious Has A Directory Of The Best Ones.

September 2009 Mobile Metrics Report « AdMob Metrics October 30, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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This month marks the two year anniversary of the Mobile Metrics report, our monthly look inside the traffic flowing through our network. For this month’s feature we compare the top handsets in our network over the last three years.

Scanning the top US list, it is easy to see the dramatic change in devices and capabilities over the last year. In September 2008, the Motorola RAZR was the top device and the iPhone was the only touchscreen device in the Top 10. In September 2009, the list of the top 10 devices includes five with to

uchscreens, six with Wi-Fi capabilities, and six with application stores. As we discussed in our report last April, these powerful devices are responsible for a much higher percentage of mobile usage than their share of handsets sold.

However feature phones like the Samsung R450 and Motorola RAZR V3 still represent 60 percent of our ad requests in the US. The strong mobile Web usage on these feature phones is likely driven by unlimited data plans.

Key Takeaway

  1. iPhone Still the Top Smartphone Worldwide and Has Traffic to Prove It

  2. Watch Out! Android is Rising Fast

  3. Outside of U.S., Mobile Web Strong in India, Indonesia, U.K., Philippines

  4. Smartphones are Taking Over, Mobile Web Grows

via September 2009 Mobile Metrics Report « AdMob Metrics.

Official Google Blog: Announcing Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 October 28, 2009

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Today we’re excited to announce the next step for Google Maps for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices.[…]

Here are seven features that are possible because Google Maps Navigation is connected to the Internet:

The most recent map and business data
When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.

Search in plain English
Google Maps Navigation brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to your car. If you don’t know the address you’re looking for, don’t worry. Simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for you. Then press “Navigate”, and you’re on your way.

Search by voice
Typing on a phone can be difficult, especially in the car, so with Google Maps Navigation, you can say your destination instead. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like “Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle”), and navigation will start automatically.

Traffic view
Google Maps Navigation gets live traffic data over the Internet. A traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there’s a jam ahead of you, you’ll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn’t look good, you can choose an alternate route.

Search along route
For those times when you’re already on the road and need to find a business, Google Maps Navigation searches along your route to give you results that won’t take you far from your path. You can search for a specific business by name or by type, or you can turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.

Satellite view
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop to help you get to your destination. Turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your upcoming route. Besides looking cool, satellite view can help you make sense of complicated maneuvers.

Street View
If you want to know what your next turn looks like, double-tap the map to zoom into Street View, which shows the turn as you’ll see it, with your route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, we’ll show you a picture of your destination as you approach the end of your route, so you’ll know exactly what to look for.

Since there’s nothing quite like seeing the product in action, we made this video to demonstrate a real-life example:

The first phone to have Google Maps Navigation and Android 2.0 is the Droid from Verizon. Google Maps Navigation is initially available in the United States. And like other Google Maps features, Navigation is free.

via Official Google Blog: Announcing Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0.

Google releases Android 2.0 SDK to developers October 28, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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The much anticipated Android 2.0 SDK has just been released.  It feels like it was just yesterday that Google unveiled the Android 1.6 SDK, in fact, it’s only been six weeks.  Fortunately for developers and Android users, 2.0 packs a much heavier punch.
Android 2.0 has quite a few new goodies for developers, but users will mainly notice changes within the phone’s Contacts application and camera.  A new framework within the contacts of the phone allows users to sync with multiple contact sources, similar to Web OS does on the Palm Pre.  Users will be able to pull in their friends from social networks and merge them with contacts from Outlook of Gmail.  The default camera app has been enhanced so that users can better control their images by giving them settings for color effects, white balance, rotation, and focus mode.

A few other highlights of Android 2.0 include a slightly tweaked on screen keyboard with better dictionary, multi-touch support, and the ability for Android to launch special applications when the device is placed into a car or desktop docking station.

After the break we have pulled together a detailed list of all the new Android 2.0 enhancements along with a short video clip which highlights some of the key points.

via HTC Source – Google releases Android 2.0 SDK to developers.

Will There Be an Android App Boom Soon? October 26, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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With a number of Google’s Aandroidprojectsndroid OS-based smartphones on the horizon, developers are devoting significant resources to the mobile platform, which will result in a boom in Android apps, according to reports  from two Silicon Valley startups, Flurry and AdMob. Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile metrics company, today said that it had seen an unprecedented 94 percent increase in the number of projects started by Android developers between September and October.  Flurry collects data from more than two-thirds of all Android-powered devices, and nearly 500

via Will There Be an Android App Boom Soon?.

Vodafone 360 is a Major Strategic Play for Handsets & Mobile Internet October 26, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Vodafone has just launched a major new initiative called Vodafone 360 (release, with the new 360.com website to follow). Key points:

  • Integration with social networks for an online address book and content sharing.
  • Combination mobile handset + 360.com cloud service strategy.
  • Single sign-on for customers or non-Vodafone customers. 360.com website available to both.
  • Deep handset integration: two new Linux LIMO handsets with “full fat” experience (made by Samsung). Lesser version pre-loaded onto a number of Symbian Series 60 handsets, downloads and other versions available for around 100 handsets.
  • Also includes an App store, new mobile web portal, music service, and maps service.

Ian Fogg is working on a quicktake report. But this is such a major initiative with wide ranging scope, that he is extremely curious in what others think? Specifically:

  • How well positioned are operators to implement a social strategy with such deep handset integration, compared with handset makers, or the Internet social networks themselves?
  • Was Nokia’s OVI initiative a lightning rod that distracted many from other handset maker initiatives in this space? (Like Motorola’s Motoblur, HTC Sense, Google & Android, Microsoft Myphone, or Apple’s MobileMe?)
  • Is 360 a better umbrella name than “Vodafone Live!” ?
  • Thoughts on how well 360 fits with Vodafone’s new corporate tag line, “Power to you” ?

Comment below!

via The Forrester Blog For Consumer Product Strategy Professionals.t