Month: February 2012
If you’re a fan of fine cellular phones, you might be a fan of fine automobiles. Damon Lavrinc over at AutoBlog is reporting that Mercedes Benz’s new A-Class luxury car will sport iPhone 4S Siri integration.
More intriguingly, Mercedes is the first automaker to support and integrate Apple’s Siri voice-recognition technology, allowing users to make appointments, send text messages and emails, get weather status and access all their songs through voice commands.
Of course, the top of the line products are almost always the first to sport integration with cool new technology, but it is only a matter of time until you’re using your stock Kia to make appointments and send emails with your voice. It’s the friggin’ future, you guys!
While Siri may be seen by some as more of a novelty than a vital piece of technology, this is pretty much the perfect use case for voice control. You can’t fiddle with your screen while you’re driving, and Siri really can help you send texts or set reminders while your hands are busy. A match made in heaven.
What do you think about Mercedes Benz’s attempt to woo Apple fans? Are you sold, or is this just a song and dance at this point? Sound off in the comment section so we can hear what all of you think of this story
Source : Auto Blog
Following its launch in the U.S. back in January, CloudOn has finally arrived in the U.K., allowing British users to access Microsoft Office applications on their iPad. The free app lets you view, edit, and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on your tablet, which can then be saved directly to your Dropbox account.
You can also access the documents have already have stored in Dropbox and edit these, too. You must have a Dropbox account to use the service, but it’s completely free.
The app provides you with a “WorkSpace” with Microsoft Office running in the cloud. Here are just a few of its features:
- Use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your iPad to create or edit documents.
- Rename, delete and manage documents with your Dropbox account
- Display, edit or create charts, change formatting, spell check, insert comments, into any Word, Excel or PowerPoint files
- Track changes while reviewing Word documents
- Use pivot tables and insert formulas in Excel workbooks
- Display and edit animation or transitions in PowerPoint presentations
- Present in full PowerPoint mode (not in PDF)
- Open files directly from your iPad email accounts or Dropbox account
- Automatically save documents to avoid losing changes
If you’re a frequent Microsoft Office user, then this is a must-have iPad app. Until Microsoft releases an official iOS version of its Office suite, this is the best alternative on an iOS device.
Courtesy : Cultofmac, cloudon
Alex Goldfayn’s new book is called Evangelist Marketing: What Apple Amazon and Netflix Understand About Their Customers (That Your Company Probably Doesn’t). He is CEO of the Evangelist Marketing Institute, a marketing consultancy with clients that include T-Mobile, TiVo and Logitech.
You remember, don’t you? The emails magically appeared while you weren’t looking. That blinking light turned us into addicts. And that keyboard — copied often, but never matched.
It was the BlackBerry, the glorious, beloved, and life-changing BlackBerry. It made us feel good, and it never let us down.
Today, sadly, it is buried under it, and industry insiders everywhere wonder whether RIM will survive.
What happened? Harmful strategy. Unforced errors. And, mostly, really bad marketing. On this, RIM is in good company in the consumer electronics industry, where so many manufacturers market poorly. But few have made so many marketing mistakes so quickly.
Here are seven marketing lessons from RIM’s dark and difficult journey.
1. Make Great Products
Consumer electronics success begins with excellent products. The BlackBerry was once perceived as the very best smartphone — or, at least, “emailing phone” — available. It was exciting, emotional and it made people feel good. RIM sold BlackBerries on the strength of word-of-mouth recommendations. BlackBerries were aspirational, and people wanted to own one because friends and colleagues were so passionate about them.
Now, fast-forward to today.
Consider the excitement and energy around the iPhone and all those Android handsets. RIM enjoys none of that today. Not one percent of it. In part, it’s because it stopped making good smartphones in favor of a poorly received tablet called the PlayBook.
Successful marketing begins with having a tremendous product or service to market. Nothing happens without this.
2. Build on Strengths Instead of Improving on Weaknesses
I’m constantly telling clients that they should build on strengths instead of trying to improve their weak areas. For RIM, the BlackBerry was a great strength, and they all but abandoned its development and marketing for a year or longer to create the tablet. RIM did this to try to prevent the world from passing it by in the tablet space — which it did anyway. Tragically, as a result of diverting talent, attention, resources, investment and innovation from the BlackBerry to the Playbook, the consumer smartphone world has also passed RIM by.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. If you focus on developing weaknesses, your strengths will atrophy due to neglect. If you want to market well, identify your strengths — products, services, techniques, approaches, relationships — and exploit them relentlessly. This technique overcomes nearly all weaknesses.
3. Gravity Pushes Backwards
If you’ve attained a measure of success, you must continue innovating your products, services and your marketing just to maintain your position. Because you can bet the competition is innovating aggressively, and they’ll pass you by in three seconds if you stop doing the things that brought you success. RIM not only stopped releasing new BlackBerries while focusing on its PlayBook, it basically stopped talking to its customers about them for an extended period. We’ve seen this story before with Palm and many others. Gravity pushes backwards in business. Consistent and aggressive innovation is required not only to attain success, but to maintain it.
4. Know Precisely Who Your Customer Is
RIM’s management famously disagreed on who their customer was. Then co-CEO Mike Lazaridis felt the customer was the corporation. Others, probably including his counterpart Jim Balsillie, wanted to aim BlackBerry products at consumers. If you don’t know exactly who your customer is, it is impossible to market. Language, messaging, platforms, branding and public relations change completely depending on the customers you target. So identify your customers as precisely as possible, and aim all of your marketing efforts at them.
5. Executives Set the Marketing Tone
Consider the most successful companies in consumer electronics (and two of the most successful companies in all of business): Apple and Amazon. Their chief executives set their marketing tone, and everyone follows. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the YouTube video of Steve Jobs introducing the iPad, and listen to how everybody who followed him on stage used exactly the same words.
This is no accident. The next day, thousands of articles used the same words to describe the amazing, remarkable and awesome iPad. Amazon’s Bezos is the same way. The best marketers have high-level executives setting the tone. They not only teach the rest of the company how to talk about their products and services, but the customers, the media, and the market itself. Obviously, RIM’s co-CEOs did not set this tone. They couldn’t even agree on who the customer was.
6. Avoid Unforced Errors
Most marketing problems are self-made and entirely avoidable. Consider the major developments from RIM’s recent past:
- It voluntarily stopped focusing on the BlackBerry to make a product it had no experience with.
- It could not identify its customer.
- It stopped marketing to consumers, allowing competition to roar past.
- A dramatic price increase.
- An extended period with no action to placate angry consumers.
- Spinning off something called Qwikster and then spinning it back in.
- A remarkably poor response to it all by the CEO, Reed Hastings.
None of these things happened to these companies. They did it to themselves. Don’t try to outsmart yourself. Avoid unforced errors.
7. Keep Talking to Your Customers
My work with clients often involves conducting qualitative conversations with their customers to deeply understand how they feel about what the company is doing and what the company is thinking about doing. If RIM had talked to its customers like this, it would have quickly learned that they probably weren’t particularly interested in a BlackBerry tablet without built-in email, messaging or contacts!
If you’re not talking to your customers, you’re just guessing from a conference room.
I believe RIM has enough of a corporate and government customer base to sustain it through this most difficult period. To recover, the company must precisely identify its customer, make terrific products for it, and orient all of its marketing and messaging toward it. In the meantime, we can all learn from the mistakes that brought the BlackBerry maker to this point.
You remember the Blackberry, don’t you?
Article Courtesy – Mashable
CloudFTP is a pocket size adapter that can turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server, sharing files with WiFi-enabled devices (iPad, iPhone, computer etc.). It can also automatically connect to the Internet to backup and synchronize your USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
How It Works?
CloudFTP features a powered USB port (just like on the computer) which connects and powers any USB mass storage device (USB hard drives, flash drives, card readers, digital cameras etc.)
Ad-hoc (peer-to-peer) mode
By default, CloudFTP creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless WiFi network to share the connected USB data. Users just need to join this network from their WiFi-enabled devices to access the USB storage device wirelessly by means of a HTML5 web app, dedicated iOS/Android app or FTP client. This network works independently of the Internet and other existing wireless networks
Infrastructure (Internet) mode
Alternatively, CloudFTP can also join an existing (infrastructure) wireless WiFi network to share with devices on the same network. CloudFTP will automatically connect to the Internet (if present) to backup/sync the USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and box.net.
Features at a glance
- Connects to any USB mass storage compliant device
- 2600mAh li-ion rechargeable battery powers USB port and device up to 5 hours.
- High performance, low power consumption ARM9 microprocessor
- USB data is shared over a secure wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi network
- Creates its own (ad-hoc) wireless network to share and stream media for up to 3 WiFi-enabled device (e.g. iPad, iPhone, computer) at the same time.
- Alternatively, it can join an existing (infrastructure) WiFi network to share files with other devices on the same network.
- Automatically connect to the Internet in infrastructure WiFi mode to backup and sync data with Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, box.net.
If you truly want a unique look for your phone, you have to make your own case, by yourself. That’s where iaPeel comes in.
Using their design software, for Mac or PC, and your inkjet printer, you print a custom graphic on blank, printable vinyl skins, which are themselves made in the USA.
The good news is they include three sets of skins to cover the front and back, plus three practice sheets. There is also a patented guide that makes it foolproof to install the skins.
Inkjet Printable Skins
- Design and Print at Home
- Built-in Alignment System
- No Adhesive Residue
- Scratch Protection
These skins are made using a durable vinyl material with high tech adhesive that leaves no residue. All you need is an inkjet printer to produce your own photo-quality skins. There’s even a built-in alignment system… just pull up the tabs and your device fits right inside. No more problems putting it on straight.
A nice touch is the ability to create a matching wallpaper or lockscreen image so the skin and the screen match nicely! The vinyl skin is easily removed, leaving no residue, however once it is removed do not expect to be able to reuse that skin
These skins are available for majority of devices
Source : iaPeel