It was once an upper-middle-class status symbol like no other in the smartly accessorized home of the American 1940s, 50s and 60s. That long shelf of dark-spined volumes from Encyclopedia Britannica spoke to your commitment to your children's education, to serious thought, to even more serious conspicuous consumption. And now the full contents of the encyclopedia, all 80,000 articles, is available for a mere $1.99 a month on the iPhone.
While decidedly less crowded and rambunctious, yesterday's Cyber Monday proved to be just as noisy and hype-filled as last week's shopping Super Bowl of a Black Friday. The emails were flying into inboxes all weekend, and anyone who subscribed to mobile alerts also got bombarded with the specials. And lo and behold, even our president got into the act. "Get 10% off $10 or more today in the Obama 2012 store using the discount code MONDAY10%" read the SMS message I got on my phone on Monday afternoon.
This holiday weekend an old media favorite rocketed to the top of a new media chart, as Loud Crow Interactive and Peanuts Worldwide's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" ($6.99) digital book app topped the entertainment bestsellers in the iTunes iPad App Store. The hybrid experience combines the audio track from the famous 1965 TV special with interactive storybook features and narration from the original voice of Charlie Brown in the early specials, Peter Robbins.
ABI Research is already predicting that the big players in smartphone operating systems, Google and Apple, are going to be important forces in the market despite the carriers, or mobile network operators (MNOs) trying to dominate the market. The company says that the MNOs may have a majority share of the NFC and mobile wallet field in the short run, but Google and Apple will cut into market share between 2012 and 2016.
Veterans of the digital space will remember back in the day that lame-brained guy who holed himself up in his house with his connected PC for a year to demonstrate he could live on Internet alone. He was interviewed for a while by all the morning shock jocks, had dot-com sponsors and even hosted a webcast concert in his home at one point. It devolved into silliness after a while. It was a stunt to prove the maturity of the Internet economy. This was the first thing that came to mind when an old buddy of Mediapost's -- Ben Gaddis, …
The shopping apps keep coming as Black Friday approaches. From price predictors in the new Decide.com app to multiple 2D code readers in the Lucky magazine Shopper app, everyone has a bit of a gimmick now. Rolling out with less fanfare -- and beta written all over it -- is the very interesting Flow app in the iOS App Store from Amazon's A9.
The cell phone has the ability to hijack a customer from a retailer just as surely as if a rival salesperson were skulking a store looking to poach customers. The war for retail mindshare is now going on inside the store itself, as just about any good third-party app can tell you of a better price or source for the product you are considering with a simple UPC scan.
TV star, partygoer, bestselling scribe Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has become an icon of something in our culture, and as soon as I figure out what that is, I will write a follow-up blog post. For now, the pint-sized "Jersey Shore" star is just spinning the joke off in countless directions while she still can. MTV already has a Snooki iOS app that lets you superimpose the reality TV starlet's face on your own photos.
Without the usual Apple fanfare about reinventing something or other "as we know it," the long-promised iTunes Match music service rolled out in an update to the iTunes library and player software on Monday. This $25-a-year service amends the iCloud infrastructure that the company introduced with iOS 5.
Truth be told: my coffee drinking is legendary. In the mornings when I speed-drink the wake-up mug to the OMMA shows where the coffee urn is conveniently situated right where this emcee can grab it quickly without veering far from the hand mike, I am devoted to the glorious bean. If I get to 9 a.m. without a few hundred milligrams of caffeine in the bloodstream, I may start hallucinating.But now Starbucks is letting visions of sugarplum fairies dance before my eyes even while I am downing my high-test fuel.