Squawkin – Indie app of the day

What is Squawkin?

Squawkin is a new social media application that focuses more on messaging than on things like check ins or status updates. You can control the size of your messaging circles by using three different tiers and it does provide a little something different. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with no in app purchases.

Here’s how the app works. Once you sign up and get settled in, you’ll be able to start interacting with people on Squawkin. There are three tiers of communication that you can use. There is the usual private messaging which is self explanatory. Groups allows you to create a group and populate it with people you know. Then those people can interact much like a chat room. The third tier is called Crowds and that’s kind of like following something on Twitter. You follow a person or interest and you can post there to have everyone see it. Likewise, they can do the same.

Continue reading

4 Types of Apps That Never Succeed

The truth hurts: most apps fail to become a sustainable business. Imagine what it would take for you to build an app that becomes one of those four to 10 apps that a customer uses on a weekly or monthly basis.

While building a successful mobile startup is hard, there are these four types that will unfortunately never make it. Are you building one of them?

1. Apps that don’t solve a problem.

Every successful business ever built, let alone mobile apps, provides a solution to a problem that customers are willing to pay for. Some of the most successful businesses were built out of problems that the founders experienced and solved for themselves, and then went out and got product/market fit. Continue reading

Will.i.am’s New Wearable Can Call And Text Without A Phone

Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am revealed his new wearable device and company to the world in a Dreamforce keynote today.

He’s been talking about this device for a while now, referring to it as more of a fashion technology than a watch. And he’s right. The device, called the PULS, is much more than a watch.

Continue reading

mParticle Raises $1.5M, Aims To Become The Platform For Mobile Data Integration

Mobile data startup mParticle has raised $1.5 million in an additional round of seed funding.

The company, which says it previously raised $4.5 million, is working to become the data integration platform for mobile developers. In other words, instead of installing a bunch of different SDKs to collect data, app developers can just integrate with mParticle.

Continue reading

44 Apps That Turn Your Smartphone Into a Productivity Powerhouse (Infographic)

In today’s mobile landscape, where unfocused pedestrians regularly walk into walls and a majority of Americans prize their beloved gadgets above sex, smartphones have come to serve for many as dangerous agents of distraction. But when optimally harnessed, they can serve as powerful productivity tools.

From to-do lists to time management to goal-tracking to file storage, here’s a look at 44 of the best apps to help entrepreneurs systematize the unwieldy process of building a business, as compiled by British IT company Conosco.

Among our favorites? HabitRPG, a task manger that gamifies your habits and accomplishments, and Focus@will, which combines background music and neuroscience to purportedly boost productivity by up to 400 percent.

Continue reading

A Manual iPhone Camera, Finally

“Finally” is a funny word, especially when it comes to Apple. I try to avoid using it because I’m cognizant of the fact that Apple’s pacing is often a lot different than the hive mind’s idea of what it should be.

Just see how long it took to implement third-party keyboards in a way that was satisfactory security-wise for an example.

But, as the iPhone long-ago crossed the rubicon of becoming the most popular camera in the world, I think Apple has taken its extra sweet time in allowing developers — and by extension, users — access to more control over the camera that’s always with them.

iOS 8 does just that, opening up tons of controls over focus, shutter speed, manual white balance and gray card support, ISO (“film” speed), exposure compensation and more. Developers can build truly powerful, flexible photography apps for the iPhone…finally.

Continue reading

Snapchat Scores Nike’s Director Of Digital To Win Sports Partnerships

Snapchat could be the new way to experience sporting events from afar. At the very least, sports and athletics brands are jumping up and down trying to reach the young, active demographic Snapchat has captured. That’s why the ephemeral app’s latest hire has so much potential. Snapchat just poached Eric Toda, Nike’s global director of digital, to help run its business and partnerships team, a source familiar with the move confirmed to me. Snapchat is still getting back to me with more details on the hire.

Toda could get more sports venues and teams using Snapchat’s Our Story feature to create collaborative, decentralized live streams of their events. He might also assist with setting up geofilters for stadiums, and teaching brands how to make Snapchat content that feels fun and authentic, rather than like stodgy ads.

IMG_4428.JPG

The timing makes sense for Toda. Nike’s seen talent on its technological side slip away since it announced layoffs in its FuelBand division amid rumors it planned to shut down the wearable unit. Nike’s CEO went on to reveal the company would focus on software rather than hardware. Its social media chief Musa Tariq recently left for Apple, which along with Nest, Intel, Oculus and Microsoft has reportedly been courting Nike’s engineering talent.

But Nike’s loss is Snapchat’s gain. Toda’s one-year stint at Nike included work on “social media, content, licensed apparel, e-commerce, mobile applications, entertainment (video games), media, digital/retail, and content syndication.” All that should come in handy at Snapchat. Before that, he spent four-and-a-half years working on media and marketing solutions for Facebook.

Snapchat has already dipped its toes into sports, running an Our Story for the World Cup final, and signing up pro teams. It’s even made special geofilters users can overlay on their photos taken at sports stadiums or gyms like Soul Cycle.

IMG_4424.PNG

Snapchat might be the perfect social app for sports, because both are inherently ephemeral. When you talk about a game in progress on Facebook or Twitter, your post lives on forever even though the match is soon over and your content becomes irrelevant. But nothing on Snapchat sticks around longer than 24 hours. That means you can cheer when your team scores without worrying about looking dumb if they end up losing. If Toda can sell sports brands on the ability to deliver the same urgency and heat of the moment through Snapchat that people get on the field, fans might start checking the app as often as ESPN.