Top Apps for iOS in 2015

At the end of each year, Apple recognizes the most noteworthy new apps and games and n I tell AppStore.

This year’s list includes photography apps, communication apps, entertainment apps, and more. 

Periscope, the popular livestreaming app that Twitter acquired earlier this year, was named Apple’s App of the Year. 

According to Apple “This game-changer made sharing and watching live videos an instant obsession.”

Here’s a look at Apple’s favorite apps of 2015:

  • Periscope by Twitter Inc. (App of the Year)
  • Enlight by Lightricks Ltd. (Runner Up)
  • Robinhood – Free Stock Trading by Robinhood Markets, Inc.(Runner Up)
  • Workflow: Powerful Automation Made Simple by DeskConnect, Inc. (Most Innovative)
  • Instagram by Instagram Inc. (Best App on the iPhone 6s)
  • HBO Now by HBO
  • Hopper – Airfare Predictions by Hopper
  • Darkroom – Photo Editor by Bergen Co.
  • Lark – Personal Weight Loss Coach & 24/7 Nutritionist by LARK
  • The Everything Machine by Tinybop Inc.
  • Pacemaker by Pacemaker Music AB
  • Tandem – Language Exchange by Tripod Technology
  • Jet by
  • Timeline – News in Context by, Inc.
  • Vee for Video by Medious
  • Fit Men Cook – Healthy Recipes by Nibble Apps ltd.
  • Spark – Smart Email App for Work by Readdle
  • RefME – Citations Made Easy by RefME
  • Wildcard – Know the Day in News and Entertainment by Coopkanics Inc.
  • Paper – Notes, Photo Annotation, and Sketches by FiftyThree, Inc.
  • GIPHY CAM. The GIF Camera by Giphy Inc,
  • PRY by Tender Claws LLC
  • Reuters TV: Video News by Thomson Reuters
  • Zova by ZOVA
  • Blue Apron by Blue Apron Inc.

Case Study on value of social media: How Dell Learned to Listen

Interesting case study in Wall Street Journal on use of social media by Dell to generate new business. According to the article Dell estimated that it had generated $6.5 million of business through Twitter activities alone.

That would be nice to see how much revenue other channels have generated. I, for once, would love to know how that estimate was made. Despite all the talk, I have not seen the issue of ROI from social media been addressed properly.

And one other thing. I’d pay a lot to get a glimpse into Dell’s Social Media Listening Command Centre.

Anyway, here’s the case.

Dell was in trouble. Not only had it lost its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of PCs, but its reputation was in tatters following a court case which showed that between 2003 and 2005 it had sold millions of computers knowing them to be faulty and told staff not to be forthcoming about the problems. Also in 2005, veteran blogger and City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism teacher Jeff Jarvis published a blog article under the heading “Dell Sucks” in which he complained about the quality of the laptop he’d bought from the company and the service he’d received afterwards. Thousands of disgruntled customers brought a storm of bad publicity by adding their dissatisfied comments to his posting.

Today, the previously opaque nature of Dell’s dealings with its customers has gone. The company appears to have embraced the transparency inherent in social media – a process it started first by reaching out to critical bloggers and then by launching its own blog Direct2Dell.

Early last year Dell started to offer customer support through Facebook and Twitter using the @dellcares address. The next step, in December 2010, was the creation of the “Social Media Listening Command Centre” which tracks an average of 25,000 topic posts a day related to Dell. In 2009, Dell estimated that it had generated $6.5 million (€4.5 million) of business through its Twitter activities.

It had already established “Ideastorm” in 2007 as a place where customers could suggest new products, services or features and discuss them with Dell. Of 15,000 ideas, the company now says it has implemented over 400.

It has taken a similarly open approach with customer reviews creating a “Tag Team Facebook” app which simplifies the process of finding independent customer ratings of Dell products. There are now over 100,000 of these reviews.

Within the company, there is increasing use of social media tools. Dell chief executive, Michael Dell, last year Tweeted enthusiastically about the use of the Seesmic app for Twitter, Facebook and the cloud CRM company’s Chatter social media service.

“Engaging in honest, direct conversations with customers and stakeholders is a part of who we are, who we’ve always been,” Mr. Dell says.

“The social web amplifies our opportunity to listen and learn and invest ourselves in two-way dialogue, enabling us to become a better company with more to offer the people who depend on us.”


Microsoft eyeing Skype

Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire Skype, which revolutionized telephone calls over the Internet, for $8.5 billion, including the assumption of debt, according to people involved in the transaction.

A deal is expected to be announced on Tuesday morning, these people said, although they cautioned that negotiations could still fall apart.

The acquisition would be Microsoft’s largest ever and it is the software giant’s effort to gain a foothold in the world of voice and video communications. Microsoft would be able leverage Skype’s more than 600 million registered users into using its other Internet products like Bing, its search engine, which competes with Google. It may also be used to bolster Microsoft’s fledging mobile telephone offering, which lags far behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. And Skype is likely to integrated into Microsoft’s flagship product, Office, as a way for business users to better collaborate.


Business Still Thinks Social Media Is A Fad. I wonder why

Here is a fun graphic that tells the tale about social media, created by Angela Nielsen, of One Lily Creative Agency, a full-service web and print design company.

Angela blogs, “Almost every day I talk with business owners who think social media is a fad, and if they just hold out long enough that it will go away. Or others that think social media is only used for sharing pictures of grandchildren and telling the world what you made for dinner. In a time where people are using their Blackberry to check-in at a client meeting, their iphone to record a video from a seminar and post it on Facebook, or CEO’s reaching out to connections on LinkedIn to find a new employee – social media is now more business than ever.”

Myself, I observe that business is too “business” to notice that its customers, and their own meatware selves, have adopted and become accustomed to an online, mobile, and social blend of communicating and interacting. In other words, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to do this as an individual, but to think my business might adopt this – what are you, a nutcase? Do you work in marketing?

While business yawns about the lack of an ROI model for a channel it does not invest in, half of the 600 million Facebook users log on every day, spending 700 billion minutes per month – absolutely NOT thinking about the businesses NOT interested in them.

If ROI meant “return on interest,” the revenue would be zip. Oh yeah, for the yawning businesses, it actually is zip.

As Angela furthers points out: “If you aren’t using social media to connect with your audience, you can bet your competition is. If you need proof in the pudding or know someone who needs it, take a look at the following infographic illustrating the reach of social media.”

Amen, sister. ‘Nuff said. Check out Angela’s full post here.

CategoriesDigital Marketinge-Media

RIM and its problem

Research In Motion’s PlayBook hit stores April 19 and is the first tablet computer targeted at business users. And yet, surprisingly, RIM shares fell by 10 per cent or so several weeks earlier following the combined announcement of a 32-per-cent increase in profits and the PlayBook availability. Why is this?

Somehow I am not surprised.

RIM Playbook in for success?

At its heart, marketing is all about matching products to markets. If you can’t articulate your value or define your target audience, no matter how much you spend, any success you have is going to be an accident.

Defining your value and target market is one of the most challenging aspects of bringing new products to market. And even when firms take the time to do this research, you can see them “losing the plot” during the launch. This usually takes the form of companies getting so mesmerized by a competitive product that they end up positioning against the competition instead of positioning to their target market.

This is clearly happening with the launch of RIM’s new PlayBook tablet.

RIM plans on selling 70 per cent of its PlayBooks to enterprise customers, and yet its launch has fallen into the trap of focusing on how it stacks up against a competitor, rather than on the value it brings to the target market.

As a businessperson, the first question I have about any system is what it runs. Can I run my existing applications on it, or will I have to change my whole application suite? And I’m not getting those answers from RIM at the moment.

Instead, its early positioning focuses on browser speed, Adobe Flash support and HTML5 performance, which are only marginally relevant to the main value proposition of “enterprise-readiness.”


Lessons from GoDaddy mishap

Domain registration company GoDaddy came under heavy criticism from animal rights activists after its CEO Bob Parsons posted a video online where he hunts elephants in Zimbabwe.

Parsons defends himself by saying that he only hunted those species that they destroy farm crops and could potentially cause starvation of local farmers and their families.

Several human rights groups decided to call it quits with GoDaddy with PETA reportedly closing their account with GoDaddy.

Among the few benefiting from GoDaddy’s misstep are its competitors, such as, that is offering a transfer of domain names from GoDaddy for $4.99 of which 20 percent will go to Clever!

Now, I’ve never been a fan of GoDaddy’s. Their prices are not so good (com domain for $12 and up when you can buy one from Google for $10), their customer support is responsive but not that all that helpful, and the glorious hosting is not all that great (a total of 1 hour of downtime over the past month on one of my websites). And hey, what’s up with your hosting control panel? How can they still be using that custom made usability misfortune when there’s something called CPanel? But I digress.

In this day and age how silly can you be to post photo and video of sensitive nature to the public? Of all the people should have known that once that info gets out of control there’s no way of stopping it.

GoDaddy’s lack of valid explanation to this date is another reason for concern. Bad news these days travel with the speed of wild fire. The longer you wait the more work you will have to do later dealing with the consequences.

As I said, I am not a big fun of GoDaddy, but this whole situation certainly does not make me want to recommend it to my clients. I’d rather choose instead.

CategoriesDigital Marketinge-Mediae-Technology

How do develop an awesome mobile app

Every computer science kid these days seems to have some kind of ‘app idea’. I’m sure you have one too. But how do you know if your idea is going to fly? Is there any way of trying to idea out against some sanity checks before investing time and money into development. - good example of Information, Communication, and Localization components implemented in one app

I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff online on the topic. But here’s my 5 cents. The tip comes from professor Umar Ruhi who teaches Mobile Marketing class at the University of Ottawa.

At one of the classes Umar introduced a C-L-I-P components framework for mobile commerce. The framework describes theoretical approach to functionalities of a mobile app helps developers decide which features should be added or eliminated on the stage of conceptualizing.

C-L-I-P stands for Communication, Locatabiltiy, Information, Payment. According to Ruhi’s assumption, a combination of any three of these components will boost your app’s chances for success on the market. So what are those components?

Communication has to do with the kind of communication channel your apps will be using: text, voice, video, data, one-way, two-way, wireless, browsing. A good practical example will be an ability to send an email, chat or fill in a form or leave comments. Skype’s mobile app, or any other app that allows sending emails straight from its interface are the examples.

Locatability. Will your app know where you are and what sort of environment you’re in? Can it adapt itself to these settings? I.e. provide text-only version if the connection is bad, or offer a list of nearby restaurants if I am looking for a place to eat. To cut it short, the app should make use of inbuilt GPS-capability or any other location-determining functionality of your device (BlueTooth, WiFi triangulation, etc.) Square, Facebook (places), Google Latitude.

Information. Does your application provide access to unique set of data or presents data in an original way? Any database-driven functionality will be a good example. News apps will fit here too. App examples:, ZooCasa, Realtor, Reuters, Metro.

Payment. Is there a way to pay or receive payment using a particular device or application? This feature may be embedded into device/application itself or there should be some sort of convenient way to make use of another payment provider to enable commercial transactions. PayPal, ZoomPass or ScotiaBank mobile app are good example of this component being implemented.

Most of the apps I’ve mentioned have at least this functionality. As I previously said, this framework may come handy when app is being conceptualized or maybe used to identify the direction for adding new features.

Apple’s App Store is an excellent example of almost all four components being implemented. It provides a way for users to communicate with developers and other users by leaving comments and rating the apps. You can also register in the store through your iPhone by filling out the registration form; its location component is somewhat weaker and is based on your registration information (food for thought, Apple). Yet, it’s enough to allow the app to offer specific products for specific markets.

Its information component is huge and consists of humongous database of apps with searching and filtering capabilities;

and last but not least the payment module linked to your credit card which transforms Apple App Store into a standalone, fully functional money making machine.