Retail is a seriously competitive game. Even the giants need to make use of every possible marketing advantage and every possible route to a sale. Nowadays, that includes mobile e-commerce, which is, by some distance, the platform that is seeing the fastest growth in sales and revenue.
As with all cutting-edge technologies, however, it is the big boys that have been making the most of this new retail territory, which is a shame, given the struggles many small businesses are having to cope with.
But, finally, help appears to be at hand. Dashsell, a company that has thus far concentrated on providing a simple way to list items for sale online, has now launched Shops — a beta, self-service, mobile store app builder. With plans starting from free, and with web, iOS and Android versions available, it looks ideal for the small retailer. But is this the killer platform that will open a new frontier? Or is it just another cookie-cutter app studio?
Last week, few people were surprised to see Google launching their latest Nexus 7 tablet. That was rather expected. What surprised us all was the launch of the $35 Chromecast, a HDMI dongle to steam internet video from apps and the Chrome browser to your TV. The feature set and price were interesting, of course, especially after the failure of last year's Nexus Q and Google TV. But what was more interesting, perhaps, was the Chromecast's branding — with the Chrome browser's name, not Android — especially after it was discovered that the Chromecast is powered by a stripped-down Android.
AppleInsider has published a rather interesting piece speculating that Google will eventually drop the Android brand and focus everything on Chrome. Google already makes the majority of their money from search, and Android — despite its popularity and prevalence in smartphones, tablets, and even refrigerators — has yet to make much at all. The Chrome browser, though, is more directly aligned with Google's web interests since it keeps you on the web, where Google's already monetized their services.
It seems an unlikely stretch of imagination to think that Google would drop Android now, but the lack of a new version this year does seem odd. So what do you think? Will Google focus more on Chrome going forward, or will Android continue to be an equally significant part of Google's interests?
If you constantly find your checking account empty sooner than you expect each month, you’re not alone — scores of people have trouble keeping their spending in check. While everyone has their own reasons and circumstances to deal with, the one thing we can all do to remedy our situation is track our expenses. This lets us know where our money is actually going, what we might be spending too much on, and how much we have left after scheduled expenses like rent and utility bills. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool to let you do this quickly and easily?
Indeed it would be, and that’s why we’re looking at Finance41, a lesser-known personal expense tracking app that’s built for speed and ease of use. Packing nifty features like budgets, natural language input, tags for categorization, spending analysis and support for multiple currencies, this app is great for international users and makes light work of monitoring your money.
Tablets are being used in all industries for a variety of well-deserved reasons, including in consumer-facing businesses which can utilise the interactivity that a tablet could provide to present information to customers. However, the expense of time, money and resources has always been set fairly high, perhaps high enough to push businesses away from the idea or to simply block them off from being able to even think about doing so.
Well look at that! Just after announcing it would discontinue Reader, Google has decided to release a simple note-taking service, one with the name Keep. When I first heard about it, I thought the service was aiming to compete with Pocket and Instapaper to be an official Google project that allowed you to save anything for viewing later. Something like this would have been fantastic after seeing Reader leave, but that wasn’t Google’s aim for this basic notes service.
When I say basic, I mean it, but there might be more to this little Web and Android app than meets the eye, and the mere icon invites creativity. I investigate after the break. (more…)
Web apps may be getting more popular, but that doesn’t mean they’ve fully replaced traditional apps for most of us, at least not yet. Unfortunately, the same is true for those of use that use Macs, Linux machines, or tablets: for the most part, they won’t run traditional Windows apps we’re often required to use for work, education, and more. Even on Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablets, you’ll have to leave your old PC app behind on the ARM based variants.
Seems like the cloud should have some solution for this problem. That’s where the new Nivio service comes in. It lets you run the Windows 7 desktop right in your browser, add new desktop programs to your cloud-based Windows in seconds, and access all of your files from nDrive, whether you’re using Windows online or just need to grab a file. It turns the whole PC experience into a web app, and I love it! Read on to find out why!
If you’re also an Android user, then you should definitely check out Android.AppStorm – maybe start by grabbing some great free apps!
There’s certainly no shortage of free Android apps, but a lot of these are really more like free demos: they’re ad-supported “lite” versions with accompanying paid apps, or they’re 30 day trials, or they require you to unlock extra features via in-app purchases or by paying for a monthly account.
That’s not a bad thing, of course; we shouldn’t expect all developers to give away the products of their hard work for free! But in this roundup, we’ll look exclusively at apps that don’t ask for a penny.
I’m a web developer; that’s my jam. I enjoy making websites, and I really enjoy trying new technologies, techniques, and hacks for websites. In 2012, that means making websites responsive. While the ‘Responsive Web Design’ movement started a few years ago, it’s really starting to pick up steam with better browser support for HTML5 and CSS 3 across all devices. Then, book and training form great organizations like A List Apart, and tools like jQuery Mobile and ZURB’s Foundation, make it really easy to create websites that are supported and look great across all devices.
The changing technology allows us to push websites forward into the realm of mobile without sacrificing quality, features, or content. There’s no reason mobile sites should be any more limited than their desktop counterparts today. So what does all this hubbub mean for web apps? We can’t really be sure how web apps will evolve, but I have a few ideas based on what I’ve read and some things I am personally doing.
We had a big day at AppStorm HQ yesterday, as we’ve launched an exclusive preview of two new sites that are due to kick off in the New Year. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming both Android.AppStorm and Windows.AppStorm to our growing family of sites!
Web applications can usually run on any device under the sun—Mac, Windows, iPhone, or Android—so hopefully these two new sites will appeal to quite a few of our wonderful Web.AppStorm readers! Read on for a few more details about each of the new sites…
Although it’s part of my job to stay current in the world of web apps, it’s also a passion of mine. I love the web, cloud-based computing and all the exciting possibilities it holds for the future. However, I’m not exactly enthralled with web apps on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. But, why not?
Let’s take a look into the wonderful world of mobile web apps, shall we?