Tag Archives: Mashable

2015 is The Year of Mobile and 5 other predictions

crystal-ball

Around this time of year, you’re going to be inundated with “resolution” and “prediction” posts, with folks proselytizing on their views of tech trends for the upcoming year.

Your boy is no better.

But unlike these other jokers at Mashable, Techcrunch, Gawker, et al., who spend time researching, interviewing experts and reviewing industry reports, I simply comb through their work, cherry-picking the tastiest tidbits and regurgitating their work as my original thought.

I kid, I kid.

But seriously.

The end of the year provides a great opportunity to review the wins, hits or misses or the previous year and reliably forecast what may happen in the year ahead.

There have been a number of interesting developments over the past year, which give me confidence to say that 2015 will be the year of mobile.

For example, there are more mobile devices than people on the earth.

Let that sink in for a moment.

That’s significant, especially if all of these people are browsing from their mobile devices.

Even if only half of them utilize their mobile devices as the primary means for getting online, brands that aren’t mobile-enabled are going to see their bounce rates increase and revenues decline, as folks abandon them for sites that are mobile optimized.

But rather than talk about how mobile will impact brands generally, here are my top five mobile predictions for 2015.

1. Mobile payments are going to take off. With Apple Pay already being adopted by 220,000 vendors, the mobile payment trend is undoubtedly going to grow. Apply Pay joins other established mobile payment solutions, like Google Wallet and PayPal, and newcomers, like LevelUp and Paydiant, as well as a host of others scoping the mobile payment space, including Square and Swipely. With folks taking privacy and security seriously, e-commerce sites and mobile applications that allow users to avoid the necessity of having to manually input payment details over insecure wifi networks, will undoubtedly be the preferred method for completing online transactions.

This year, I predict mobile payments becoming a standard.

2.  Mobile sites will proliferate this year. As brands start to realize that customers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, getting in on this action will be a critical strategy to engagement. Last year, the average person spent almost 3 hours a day on their mobile devices. That’s more time than they spend online, and this trend will likely continue. With streaming services offering television-like abilities, mobile may eventually outpace tv. But at a very basic level, this year brands will acknowledge that the failure to have a mobile site (either mobile enabled or fully responsive) is a distinct competitive disadvantage.

I predict the number of mobile sites will invariably grow at a tremendous pace this year.

3. Widespread adoption of auto-fill. Retailers bemoan cart abandonment as the bane of their existence. Over 68% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned. The holy grail for online shopping involves seeing shoppers through checkout. But for mobile shoppers, there is nothing more frustrating than having to complete payment and shipping forms on their mobile device. Payment options like PayPal or Amazon One-Click save users from filling out many of the fields required to complete their online purchases, but too few online vendors are set up with streamlined payment processes. And while a fine tuned checkout doesn’t necessarily equate to fewer abandoned carts, it couldn’t hurt!

Auto fill is a simple and easily implemented solution, that can occur at the browser or native (device) level, which will enable users to quickly and securely complete online forms, typically with one click, dramatically reducing the amount of time (and frustration) required to complete payment or shipping information (or forms of any kind). Google Chrome has already implemented the ability to auto fill forms in both full HTML and mobile web browsers, and many of the mobile payment solutions described above, also include the ability to complete non-payment forms as well.

I predict widespread adoption of mobile autofill solutions, as more players enter the space and users become more conversant with these types of platforms.

4. Mobile loyalty programs will grow. Nearly every retailer I frequent has some sort of rewards program. Stores like Anthropologie, Sephora, CVS, Modell’s, Target, and ShopRite all have rewards programs tied to a keychain or wallet-sized reward card that patrons can present at checkout to earn points or qualify for rewards. But 2015 will see an increasing number taking advantage of Passbook or eliminating cards in favor of mobile loyalty or punch cards. Instead of having to present a loyalty card, users will simply whip out their cell phones flash a QR code and transmit their rewards or loyalty account info, similar to how Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts’ mobile rewards work.

I predict that 2015 will see more brands taking advantage of the convenience of mobile loyalty and release Passbook-like offerings of their own.

5. Wearables will change the mobile landscape. In the not-too-distant past, when you thought “wearables” a massive virtual reality helmet was probably all that came to mind. But with Oculus Rift making wearable headsets more like goggles, and less like NFL helmets, the concepts is more palatable. The definition of wearables has extended from virtual reality headsets, to Google Glass to fitness devices like the Nike FuelBand, the Fitbit tracker, the Apple Watch and Android smart watches. Wearables will open a whole host of smart applications, devoted to health and fitness, as well as medical diagnostics.

I predict that wearables will have a breakout year in 2015, driven primarily by the Apple Watch, but supported by advances in Android wearables, the proliferation of 3D and augmented reality applications adding rich virtual layers to users’ real life experiences.

What are your mobile predictions for 2015? Feel free to comment and share!

Happy New Year!

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The iPhone 6 got me so excited I peed myself.

To pee or not to pee

It’s true.

I know I usually title my posts with outrageous statements sometimes, in an effort to distinguish myself from the blogging fray.

But a trace amount of urine actually escaped my urethra as I waited excitedly for the start of Apple’s September 8th announcements.

To be precise, I didn’t exactly pee on myself.

I was trying to hold in my pee.

It was a matter of not missing the live stream or relieving myself.

Ultimately, my desire to avoid soiling myself further won out and I was able to dry the small spot of wetness on my trousers with the hand dryer.

I kid. I kid.

But I (like millions of other fanboys and girls) watched as Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

If you’re an Android user, technologically daft or live under a rock, and Apple products don’t give you a rise in your nether regions, stop reading now.

If however, new Apple products give you wood, cause spontaneous orgasm or premature ejaculation, read on.

I can’t front, I’ve been jealous of all those Android users with their tv phones.

When the GS3, the Note, the S5, and all those large form Android Phablets came out, I was green with envy.

While I can’t stand the “commonness” of Android devices or the randomness of features which are on certain phones and absent from others, I do dig how much content you can consume on their large(r) screens.

Of course, I was happy when the 5 dropped and we gained those 100 or so extra pixels at the bottom of the screen, but the 5/5s was still kinda wack, when compared with the Android tv phones.

And ‘yes’, I mocked Android users as they pulled out their massive screens from their suitcases pockets.

Sure, I maligned them for lugging around phones larger than their heads.

But I was really just masking my pain.

I wanted a massive tv phone to lug around too.

But one made by Apple, with a reliable OS that I trusted.

Not some open source foolishness cobbled together by sweaty geeks huddled together in a cave.

If I was going to lug around a tv phone in my pocket, it was going to be a sleek, elegant, uber thin Apple tv phone.

My every commute was filled with angst, as the Android horde pulled out their tv phones, watching House of Cards, or True Blood, 30 Rock or Amy Schumer on crystal clear HD screens, and I pulled out my monocle to read on my not-a-tv-phone iPhone 5s.

Sure, I had the latest and greatest Apple had to offer, and I was happy with it.

But I often found myself unconsciously peering over the shoulders of Android users, giggling at their screens, before catching (and cursing) myself for the lapse.

As much as I despised Android, the lure of their large screens was hard to resist.

Why didn’t Apple make such a glorious device?

WHY!!!!???

But like Zeus’ mighty lightning bolts forged by the Cyclops, Apple has forged not one, but two mighty iPhones to beat back the savages.

With the arrival of the large form phones, Apple is squarely in competition with Android.

Soon, I will be the one envied by the Android horde, as I unsheath my iPhone 6 Plus (you know I’m going large – and it’s not to mask any inadequacies!)

No longer will I be looking over shoulders, staring at the screens of savages.

They shall spy on me!

I’m sorry, was I frothing at the mouth just now?

Anywho…

Now, I’d love to give you my hands on review of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

But, alas, my invite from Cupertino must have been lost in the mail (umm, Apple, get your mail room in order).

So, rather than regurgitate someone else’s hands on assessment of the wonders of Apple’s latest devices, check Mashable, whose write ups and videos are pretty good.

In fact, they’ve got a really good side-by-side comparison between Apple and the others.

Not to worry.

I’ll have the 6 Plus as soon as it’s released, and you’ll have my hands-on assessment straight from the source.

Until then, I’ll be wearing diapers.

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Best of the Best. The Webby Awards.

The Webby AwardsDid you catch the Webbys?

You know, the annual award show that celebrates excellence in the internet?

Well not excellence in the internet, but excellence of the internet.

Actually, it’s not just of the internet.

It’s websites really.

And interactive advertising and media.

Also online film and video.

Oh yeah, and mobile apps too.

And social web, I think.

Let’s try this again.

The Webby Award honors exceptional work on websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, mobile apps and social web.

The New York Times calls The Webbys “the Internet’s highest honor.”

I think this means it’s a big deal.

In it’s 17th year, The Webbys brings together some of the most innovative and creative minds to pay homage and acknowledge some of the tremendous work being done in the online, social media and interactive space.

For we geeks, it’s like the Oscars of the online and interactive world.

Win a Webby and you are somebody.

This year’s Special Achievement honorees include Steve White (“JIF” not “GIF”) Frank Ocean, Kevin Spacey, Grimes, Obama for America 2012, Chris Kluwe and Tribal DDB Worldwide, among others.

And nominees ranged from Funny or Die to The Onion, Mashable to Tumblr, Google to Ted Ed – and everything in between.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Webby Awards, it’s all good.

It is a thing of geekdom.

And unless you’re into the internet, mobile, apps, advertising or social media, you probably don’t care.

And that’s cool.

But if you’re interested, The Webby’s gives out over a hundred awards each year, to the best and brightest among us.

Yes. I included myself in the running for “best and brightest.”

Don’t trip.

Each year, two awards are giving out  in various categories: The Webby Award and the People’s Voice Award.

Winners of The Webby Award is selected by the members of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

While the People’s Voice Award winners are selected by the people, via online voting.

Now if you visit the site, you will be overwhelmed.

There are over one hundred different categories and the page of the website listing the winners and nominees scrolls endlessly.

So here are my faves:

Mobile Advertising

Best Use of Social Media

Media Streaming

Best User Experience Tumblr

Web Services and Applications

There were infinitely more categories and winners.

And as I was going through them all, I realized that it was better to simply give you the link to check out the full site, winners and nominees for yourself.

I know, I know.

I originally said that you’d be overwhelmed if you visited the site.

But I was getting overwhelmed, and we can’t have that.

I’m just saying.

There are loads of videos, memes, and content galore, so give yourself a chunk of time to go in.

It’s taken me two days to get this out, just because I took such a deep dive.

And I couldn’t figure out what to write about.

It was all so compelling.

Especially all the mobile stuff.

Nerdy right?

Whatev.

So, if you want to know what the most amazing web, online, social media and interactive stuff of 2012 was, peep The Webby Awards site.

If not, kick rocks!

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Not Up on Pinterest? You Should be Ashamed!

Get up on it! If you're not already.

I just heard a story about a web developer working on a project, who didn’t know what Pinterest was.

My immediate reaction was horror, as the two year old social photo sharing site has over 11.7 million unique monthly visits.

To be fair to the developer, I take for granted how much the landscape of social media changes and how quickly one can lose track of what’s out there.

Although some dismiss Pinterest as a niche community (it’s mostly a female audience), the reality is that this audience is cohesive and MASSIVE.

You ignore Pinterest to your own demise.

The developer (from the story) definitely lost the client.

I felt bad.

Scanning my in box today, I came across this article in Mashable, discussing Pinterest’s value to brands looking to connect with consumers.

Another, on the PRDaily blog, discussed the record pace at which Pinterest’s monthly daily views eclipsed the 10 million mark.

Clearly, interest in Pinterest is spiking, because it’s audience is also.

And folks who are paying attention, aren’t trying to miss this social media boat.

Truth be told, someone else put me on to Pinterest.

So I can’t even act like MY trend spotting lens is so deftly honed.

But I am kinda tight. Don’t get it twisted!

Having spent time on Pinterest, it’s very visual nature should be intriguing to any brand that understands the eyes are the keys to the soul wallet.

With numbers like Pinterest’s that’s a lot of souls wallets.

If you’ve never heard of if, I’d suggest you hustle on over there and take a gander.

There’s loads of interesting content being pinned and lots of dialogues around that content.

And that makes Pinterest one of THE places to be online IMO (I can’t even help using this damn slang!)

While it’s invitation only, I haven’t run into anyone who has been turned away.

You don’t get to 11.7 million unique views a month saying ‘no’ to folks.

Several notable brands have already ‘pinned’ parking spaces on Pinterest, and they’re hoping the exposure pays off.

I’m certainly advising the folks I know to do so!

If you really want an in-depth analysis of Pinterest, TechCrunch does a great job breaking it down (to it’s very last compound) for you.

Happy pinning!

UPDATE: My girl Cara Largoza Reynoso just put me up on an infographic that was published yesterday on Social Times. It really does a good job breaking Pinterest down in an easy-to-follow graphic.

Check it out.

What's what on Pinterest.

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Enough with the Leaks! Drop The iPad 3 Already!

Is it real? Will the world have the iPad 3 soon?

A little over a year ago, I got my first iPad.

Less than 35 days after I did, Apple released the iPad 2.

Needless to say, my acquisition fell outside of the 30 day window in which Apple permitted iPad owners to exchange their iPad and upgrade to the iPad 2.

I wasn’t about to shell out any money for what I thought (at the time) were minor upgrades.

I had fallen for Apple’s chicanery in the past, and I wasn’t about to be parted with my money for a few bells and whistles.

Sure, there’s a better display, and two cameras, and a faster processor, but what does that really mean?

It wasn’t until a few months ago, that I actually used an iPad 2 for the first time.

Now I look upon my iPad with utter disgust.

How could I have been living like such a…savage…for so long?

So, it is with much anticipation that await the release the iPad 3.

And each new leak only increases that anticipation.

What leaks?

Where have you been?

For months, there has been unbridled speculation about what new features the iPad 3 would possess.

And recently, there have been credible ‘leaks’ of some of the component parts of the upcoming Apple tablet.

Here’s a short summary for you cave dwellers.

The Case

Last week, Mashable released photos of what purports to be the outer casing for the iPad 3. The images, which came from a Chinese blog, Apple Daily, are contained in a gallery which show the inside and outside of the casing. In addition, Apple Daily included a comparison of the three iPads, showing the similarities and differences of one section of the iPad. The case is rumored to be slightly larger than the iPad 2, to accommodate a larger battery, to support a more powerful processor and the LTE 4G radio.

iPad 3, I must have thee!

The Retina Display

The iPad 3 is rumored to have a 2048×1536 retina display. This rumor was apparently confirmed by MacRumors (how appropriate) last week, when they posted (what appears to be) photographs of the new ultra-high resolution retina display, which they claim to have examined under a microscope.

What does a display with twice the pixels of the current iPad mean to regular folks? Think HD on your iPad. Images will be incredible sharp and you’ll see details that you weren’t even aware were there on regular displays.

MacRumors side-by-side microscopic comparisons of the iPad displays.

The Camera

The size and configuration of the back casing also appears to fuel speculation that there will be an 8 megapixel camera (the same camera on the iPhone 4S) on the new iPad. An 8 megapixel camera on the iPad 3 will mean higher quality photographs, rivaling that of professional cameras. (Not really – but I wanted to sound dramatic).

All I can say, is that the speculation is killing me!

What I didn’t tell you about my experience with the iPad 2, was that I was seriously contemplating robbing the friend who let me rock it.

As I walked around Miami, recording video and talking with various admirers inquiring as to what I was doing (walking around holding a tablet in front of me), I thought about the various stories I could come up with as to why I was returning without the device.

But, I suspect, if I had made off with the iPad 2, the iPad 3 would drop immediately thereafter, and I’d be stymied, once again, in my efforts to possess the latest and greatest Apple device.

So, I wait, until March 7th, when Apple will allegedly announce when the iPad 3 will be available for sale.

And I will wait (not in some line outside the Apple store like some teenage concert-goer) until I can cop one for me-self.

Shoot, it’s about to be my 42nd birthday in two months.

Perhaps I can convince my network to help me raise the money to buy one, as they famously did on my 40th (love you guys!!)

But really, enough with the leaks. Drop the iPad 3 already!!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, iPad, rant, technology