• Stop Playing With The Router And Drive
    It was about an hour into the four-hour Thanksgiving Eve drive home to family when it became clear Dad was on his way to yet another epic techno-fail. "Do you want me to drive?" my wife asked. "I'm just saying, I don't think you are supposed to be driving while adjusting a router. I can drive and you can play with the flashing thingie all you want." The ordinarily tedious Thanksgiving drive from northern Delaware to northern Jersey to visit both of our clans was supposed to be a grand experiment in mobile connectivity. Not graced with the latest in-car …
  • UltraViolet Lurches Toward All-Access Hollywood
    "You bought the Harry Potter DVD? You don't even like Harry Potter," my wife reminds me -- because apparently I must have forgotten this fact? "Work," I say. In fact, no one in my family even wanted to watch again the underwhelming "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" when I brought it home on Blu-ray. But I had to buy it. It was that or "Green Lantern." I had limited choices when I wanted to test the new UltraViolet system of giving movie disc buyers multiplatform access to its movies.
  • Google's Trojan App
    Well, if the tablet users won't move from Apple to Android, then Google might as well bring its app suite to the iPad. The company issued a major rebuild of its core app for the iPad yesterday that could well challenge Apple and Safari's own control of the Web surfing experience on the device -- and more. From the basic search experience to site previewing and app integration, the new app is a serious play to capture the tablet mindshare Google seems unable to achieve on Android.
  • Branded Apps Need to Get Their 'Stories' Straight First
    "Look, honey, I made you into a Heineken Christmas card." Actually, I'd used the company's new holiday app to plant a Halloween photo of my wife into the Heineken Star logo, so it was a ghoulish Christmas card. "Ew. What is the point?" "That's what I'm trying to figure out."
  • Warming Up The Old Mobile TV Tubes
    Mobile storytelling may be catching on in my family. Well, I mean mobile stories by my daughter and wife that don't involve tales of my purported gadget zaniness and QR-snapping excesses. My wife still marvels at the fact that we sat one evening last winter in the living room watching the full first episode of "Saturday Night Live" (with George Carlin), which first ran during our respective teens years, on the iPhone.
  • Mobile Is the Web We Really Always Wanted All Along
    One of the critical aspects of mobile media, especially tablet-based apps and sites, is their astounding levels of engagement. I will forever recall when Conde Nast's Director of Editorial Operations Rick Levine first shared with me the early stats on tablet magazine app usage months after the iPad first launched. I went back and asked him to confirm that indeed the time spent metrics for these early apps like GQ on iPad really were approaching the hour+-per-issue engagements the magazine industry historically had seen in print. They were true, he assured me and I was not the only one who …
  • Publishers Claim Mobile 'Confidence' -- But Don't Get Cocky, Kid
    While you may not be able to tell by browsing major media brand URLs with your smart phone, 85% of newspapers, magazines and b2b publishers surveyed by the Audit Bureau of Circulation claim they have mobile content of some kind already deployed. The auditing organization for many of the top periodicals says in its new report that the publishing field is maturing rapidly in its adoption of mobile. That 85% of mobile-aware content providers is up from 76% last year, ABC says. I will chalk it up to the sample size (171), but media's mobile savvy is not quite as …
  • Content + Context + Cat Equals Applebee's QR Success
    We finally found a QR code campaign my wife can get behind. Just add a cat. To get Mobile Insider newbies up to speed, my inarguably better half has become the nemesis of mobile 2D codes, because she has to play my wingman during my regular code hunts for meaningful campaigns. She watches my back as I block busy mall routes and appear to be a crazy person snapping cell phone pictures of random walls and signage. The cat that caught her eye this time is for what is hands down the most creative and effective use of mobile codes …
  • A QR Thing: Stuck In Macy's Backstage Door
    "Don't break the Martha Stewart dishes," my wife yell-whispers as I reach across a display in Macy's, phone outstretched, waiting for the QR app to recognize the oh-so-distant code. "You're about to impale yourself on a wooden spoon," she warns. "They have the damned code printed so small and placed so far away, my phone needs a telephoto lens to grab it," I complain. "You're attracting attention," she notes. "I think I pulled something," I mention, figuring that tapping a note of sympathy might mollify her during another one of these embarrassing QR hunts. She is starting to cast apologetic …
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