Archive for December, 2009

SMS ticket for the bus available in February

As of the 1st of February 2010, passengers travelling by bus in Flanders will be able to buy their ticket by SMS.  Public transport company De Lijn has worked out a SMS payment system, but unfortunately only with Proximus.  Negociations with Mobistar and Base are being held but not yet finished.

To buy the ticket, you just send a SMS to the shortcode 4884.   If your bus ride lasts 60 minutes or less, you send the code DL at a tariff of 1,30 Euro; for 120 minutes you send DL120 and you pay 2,10 Euro.  The confirmation SMS that is received, counts as your bus ticket.  De Lijn claims the SMS ticket is about 28% cheaper than the ticket bought from the bus driver.

Best selling mobile apps are functional

The mobile apps for iPhone that are the most popular in the US are mostly functional and relevant.
Here are some of them:

Kraft iFood Assistant: this app offers over 7.000 recipes and the matching shopping list. Users pay $ 0,99 per recipe.

Amazon Remembers: this application allows you to take a picture of a product that you’ve found anywhere and Amazon will try to link it to a product in their stock.

Pandora Radio: Live streaming personalised radio station, currently the most popular app in the US

Pizzahut: this app makes optimal use of the possibilities of the iPhone.  When ordering with your mobile, you just shake the device to order extra sauce.

Playboy iPhone app: shockingly tame

Men’s entertainment giant Playboy Enterprises International released its first official Playboy application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, promising video clips, wallpapers and monthly magazine features but sidestepping the more risqué content on which founder Hugh Hefner’s legacy rests.
While the App Store restricts downloads to users aged 17 and older, the application description states “This app does not contain any fully nude content,” adhering to Apple’s policies against explicit sexual content.
Instead, users are literally buying the Playboy app for the articles, including interviews, party jokes, Q&A’s, fashion tips and the long-running Playboy Advisor column. As for exclusive content, the app includes Playmate video previews and free Rabbit Head wallpapers.
Source: FierceMobile

Mobistar plans app store for September 2010

Telecom operator Mobistar is planning to launch a mobile applications store in Belgium by September 2010. 
Mother company Orange presented such an app store for France and Great Britain earlier this month.  Today, this Application Shop boosts 5000 applications, a number that should further grow next year.  Access to the shop will be pre-installed on Orange and Mobistar mobile devices.

According to Thiery Gaillet, Product Manager at Orange, each country can autonomously decide which applications are offered in the store.  This way, the accent can be put on certain categories.  This can also be customised by device.  This way an  Android device will offer a different catalogue than a Blackberry device.  Orange aims to offer “quality, rather than quantity”, a clear stab at the Apple App Store, which always brags with its large number of available apps. 

Another difference is that mobile users can pay for their apps through their mobile subscription, without the need of their credit card or a personal registration.

Nu.nl : more pageviews for App than for Web

Dutch news site Nu.nl reports a shift of web traffic from their mobile website to their mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

In November, the traffic on the Nu.nl mobile site saw a 20% decrease to 20 million pageviews.  However, traffic on their mobile applications saw a rise.  The iPhone app is by far the most popular; numbers for Android are still rather insignificant. 

In the Netherlands, about 2,5 million people log onto the Internet via their mobile phone every month.  About half of all mobile phones sold with a subscription is a smartphone.

More info here

Twitter inventor Dorsey proposes mobile payment system

Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey has proposed his new mobile payment system ‘Square’ at the LeWeb09 event.

Square uses a small device which can be plugged into the headset connection of your iPhone, allowing your mobile device to turn into a credit card reader.  Zip your credit card through the small sweeper and it transmits the encrypted data via WiFi or 3G to the Square systems, where the actual payment takes place.  Via your touch screen you can add your signature.  Afterwards, a confirmation of the payment is received by mail and by SMS.

See it in action here:

Apple counts down 2009’s top-selling iPhone apps

Apple unveiled iTunes Rewind 2009, a new iTunes storefront feature spotlighting the year’s top-selling iPhone applications and media downloads as well as editors’ selections for the Best of 2009.
According to iTunes Rewind 2009, which encompasses only premium applications for iPhone and iPod touch, Electronic Arts’ The Sims 3 was the App Store’s bestselling game over the past year – Gameloft’s The Oregon Trail followed in second, with EA’s Need for Speed Undercover, Madden NFL 10 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour rounding out the top five.
Navigon AG’s MobileNavigator North America, priced at $89.99, is the top-selling app of 2009, trailed in descending order by MLB.com At Bat, Pinger’s Textfree Unlimited, TomTom U.S. and Canada and Shotzoom Software’s Golfshot: Golf GPS.

More info here