During the Google sponsored Google I/O Conference, the folks behind Google Play revealed a few new things about Google’s app store. Specifically, the company revealed that people can now buy TV shows, movies and magazines directly from Google Play. Previously, users can only rent videos from Google Play.
With the new functionality of Google Play, purchases are now officially opened to users. For example, for magazines, users can buy individual magazine issues or buy a subscription to receive new issues when it is released. More →
The mobile platform is now fully realize because of the vast improvements in the power of mobile devices and reliability of mobile communication technologies. We can now truly say that we have been untethered from the traditional wired technologies and are now mobile in the truest sense of the word.
With mobile communication now at its maturity stage we can now expect to do many things that, at some point in the past, we could only do with wired solutions – like streaming content or doing mobile transactions. But with the new technologies mentioned we can now do these things and more even when we are in the middle of a place with no foreseeable cables in sight. More →
The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City has given the go-ahead for Square Mobile Payment system to conduct a pilot program.
The approved pilot program will involve 30 NYC taxicabs (the city has a total of 13,237 taxis) and will run for one whole year. The taxis under the program will be installed with iPads in the backseat, replacing the Creative Mobile and Verifone Taxi TVs. Aside from the iPad, the drivers will also access an iPhone that is installed within their easy reach. The iPhone will help in processing credit cards, looking at traffic data and other types of information. More →
Google has been consistently coming out with a lot of new products that have met with a lot of success. One of the most ambitious Google projects to be unveiled to the public is Google Wallet, which could be considered a highly effective payment platform using smartphones. So how does Google Wallet work?
Google Wallet uses an embedded near-field communications or NFC chip that allows users to use their credit cards, debit cards, coupons, store loyalty cards and other payment or discount products without having to physically use the card. With the use of the NFC chip, all the user needs to do is to use their smartphone and tap it onto a payment receiver to initiate and complete the transaction. Bigtime brands like Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have already thrown their support for Google Wallet and will become part of the whole Google Wallet system. More →
Amazon is the oldest and largest online retailer in the US. It initially started life in the mid 90′s selling books but now sells a variety of products from DVD’s to toys and even furniture. Below is a graphical representation of their growth and success over the last 15 years.
Are we now looking at the future of credit card payment solution? I mean, does the Square credit card app which is now available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices the future of mobile commerce? Â It could possibly be, depending on the success of Square’s credit card payment system which just got out into the open, ready to offer an alternative payment solution not just for small entrepreneurs but big businesses as well.
How Does Square Work?
First, how does Square work really? What do you need to start accepting credit card payments using your iPhone and iPod Touches, iPad or Android devices. Of course you need any of those devices. Then you also need Square’s credit card swiper which you attach to your device’s headphone jack. The credit card swiper is free and even comes with an online dashboard to let you keep track of what you’ve sold.
Once connected to the device, you can now swipe the credit card, and the application will process the transaction. Â After swiping you let the customer sign the transaction using a finger. Customers can opt to add a tip before entering their phone number or email address. Transaction receipts are delivered via SMS or email on the customer’s mobile device.
“With Square the goal is to get people in immediately, and make the transaction as smooth and simple as possible,” says Jack Dorsey, the brains behind Square and the cofounder and chairman of Twitter.
Will Â It Take Off?
Right now, there are around 1,000 users who are testing the Square card swipers. Dorsey hopes to distribute it to millions more in three months. Some people are actually using the system now out of the pilot program.
The band Spoon for instance is using the Square app for selling their merchandise while on the road. Tipping Point is currently using 25 iPod Touches for taking donations at fundraising events.
Democratic congressional candidate Â for New York, Reshma Saujani has been using Square to accept donations for her campaign.
Surely, Square’s credit card app is taking off. But it’s success will still depend on customer acceptance. It’s going to be a change of mindset which is pretty hard to achieve.
Through the years, eBay has proven itself as a very viable e-commerce site providing consumers with fast and reliable platform for both selling and buying consumer goods. But that’s just eBay’s web interface.
Today, eBay is taking its selling business on mobile, specifically on the iPhone with the release of two new apps – eBay.com global marketplace and the new Â eBayClassifieds.com site. Â Both these iPhone apps allows you to take photos of an item that you want to sell, upload it to Ebay.com or EbayClassifieds and wait until someone notice and buys it. Â A pretty simple and quick way of transacting sales online, with the help of the iPhone.
â€œThe eBay Selling app makes it easy for sellers to bring even greater value and selection to eBay and offer more great deals for buyers. Whether selling or shopping, weâ€™ve put the worldâ€™s largest online marketplace in the palm of your hand, and weâ€™ve introduced a great new option for consumers who prefer to sell and buy in a trusted, family friendly local classifieds format,â€ said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces.
True enough both the Ebay Selling App and Ebay Classifieds app lets you do the following:
For eBay Selling Ap – point, shoot and click to list an item from their iPhones in 60 seconds or less, research sales trends and price ranges on eBay and list similar items for sale,Â easily and clearly view the status of items for sale,Â share listings with Facebook and Twitter social networks andÂ quickly link to other eBay and PayPal iPhone apps.
For eBay Classifieds App – free ad postings in less than a minute with up to eight photos, either from the iPhoneâ€™s photo library or its camera, fast and simple search by keyword, location, price range and other attributes andÂ single-page ad view with reply, watch, and share features â€“ all while on the go.
And before I forgot, if you ordered the iPad, you’d be among the first users who will enjoy the upcoming eBay app for the iPad.
Google has just rolled out a new online service, making it officially known that the company is serious about cloud computing and business applications. The new service – Google Apps Marketplace provides products and services including installable apps that integrate with Google Apps. These installable apps features single sign-on capability and Google’s universal navigation. Â Some of these apps even integrate with domain data.
If you an enterprise network administrator utilizing Google’s many cloud server application or Google apps, the marketplace is a useful destination for finding new apps from both Google and third-party application developers. The marketplace shall serve as a one-stop-shop for all your enterprise apps need.
Currently, Google is in a deal with around 50 companies offering online business apps. And right after Google announced the Google Apps Marketplace, those companies started announcing their own applications which debut at the marketplace.
Of course, the number of companies joining this avenue is bound to grow leaps and bound. Give it a couple of days and I’m pretty sure third-party online apps developers will start jumping into the deep pit of Google’s marketing strategy.
In case you’re interested to know, some of the great apps which debut at the Google Marketplace include the following:
BatchBook Social CRM- BatchBook is a lightweight but powerful CRM that allows you to easily organize contacts, monitor social networks and track leads and deals.
Aviary Design Suite – Design tools and templates to create, modify and share images, logos, presentations, audio tracks, podcasts & more. Teams can collaborate on multimedia projects. Works directly in Google Docs!
EchoSign Electronic Signature for Google Apps – EchoSign.com, the web’s leading eSignature service, natively integrates with your Google Apps account, including Google docs, spreadsheets, etc. for instant on-line review, approval, and eSignatures.
Google Apps Marketplace seems to be a solid applications shop. Nothing fancy on the UI aspect. Just your usual plain Google theme.
Recently, Google has quietly released a new shopping app for Android phones. Available for free from the Android market, Google Shopper is a smart shopping app that lets you purchase items online by various means plus do some product searches including reviews and ratings by other consumers.
As a mobile shopping app, Google Shopper lets you scan barcodes, album art, book covers and then use those information to search for the product online. From there you can directly purchase the item using the application.
But aside from purchasing products online, you can also use the app’s search function which is powered by Google Product Search engine. You can search for product reviews, prices, specs and more. You can do these using your Android phone’s screen interface or through voice search.
The app also lets you save your shopping and search history, star your favorites, as well as share your product finds through Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other mobile services.
I downloaded the app on my Nexus One and I would have to say that it is indeed a pretty sleek-looking app. Banking on Google’s mobile infrastructure and massive product databases which it cull Â from various online sources, the app would be a good tool to have if you want to quickly find out about products you encounter everyday. Since it is a mobile app, that goes without saying that you can use this feature even while on the go.
You know the drill, right? Search for Shopper from the Android market and download the app for free.
From founding the controversial site which indexes BitTorrent files which cost him several legal cases, here comes one of the founder of the Pirate Bay with his latest projet called Flattr. Â Derived from the word play of flatter and flat rate, Flattr is a new “social micropayment” system that will consumers to flatter content creators with a flat rate.
So how does Flattr actually works? The site Neowin.net explains it as:
Dubbed a “social micropayment” system, users can contribute money into their Flattr accounts and then distribute rating clicks across various sites. These ratings, like Digg, will count up how popular a piece of content is and distribute micropayments accordingly. Consumers will simply top their account up with as little as â‚¬2 and each rating they give content creators will assign a portion of their Flattr account balance. If a user places â‚¬10 into their Flattr account and then rates 10 different pieces of content each content creator will receive â‚¬1 from that user at the end of that month.
Confusing? Actually yes. You might as well watch the attached YouTube video to understand the concept of Flattr and learn how it really works.
Flattr is currently in closed beta and will only be launching to the public in the next few weeks. Its success could probably depend on how social networking sites will perceive the new socia micropayment system. Flattr’s creator is currently talking with social networks although his plan is to maintain Flattr’s openness to everyone.
At its initial launch, Flattr will support various Â payment systems including PayPal, Payson and text messages as forms of payment. You may sign up to be able to test the system – here.