In Today’s Plastic Mobile Bagel Wednesday session, one of our Android developers was brimming with mobile news. His tastiest treat was some intel that IBM has cracked the quantum computing code. Apparently we are on the cusp of designing an actual quantum computer prototype. Whoa.

According to yesterday’s tech news, IBM has revealed that scientists at the Watson Research Center have made significant advances that could potentially lead to an actual quantum computer. Matthias Steffen, who oversees Big Blue’s experimental quantum computing group, told Wired magazine, ”What this means is that we can really start thinking about much larger systems, putting several of these quantum bits together and performing much larger error correction.”

And this is where things get a little too high tech and hectic for this writer’s digital comprehension. Instead, I’ve brought the source of this post, our Android developer, to briefly explain how quantum computing works:

AD explaining to me what QC can do: “Essentially, what quantum computing allows us to do is move past our current bit rate to hold two qubits of information (for quantum computing, it’s 0 and 1, but let’s call it yes and no). So, instead of just being able to have yes&no, with quantum computing, we can have the two variations to the power of two; yes&no, yes&yes, no&no and no&yes. This allows us to exponentially increase the processing speed of computers and moves us past classical computing and into the mystical realm of quantum mechanics.”

Amazing.

This is amazing on two levels:

1. because it is so cool, and

2. because I actually understand it!

Thank you AD.

So, the hot news for today is that the breakthrough that IBM has made has the potential to revolutionize our entire digital epoch, rocketing us into the future and who knows what plethora of possibilities.

Have more news on quantum computing? Tweet us @plasticmobile.

The Smashing Cartoons by Smashing Magazine

The Smashing Cartoons by Smashing Magazine

Hey! This is the inaugural Plastic Mobile user experience post! Every Tuesday read about other mobile groups, apps, sites and general initiatives that are as devoted to on the end-user experience as we are (or close enough, anyway).

Today, check out “Clear,” a task management app that will actually manage your tasks – NOT add to your list of tasks by making you go to great lengths just to learn how to use it!

In its short life, it has received much love through great reviews and high praises from users and mobile experts alike –  even quickly climbing to the top of the App Store’s “Top Paid” list.

The first thing you need to understand about Clear is that it is not intended to compete or replace other, more detailed and complex task management applications – MEANING, it doesn’t support recurring tasks, scheduled appointments, due dates, tagging, searching, etc.

So what the heck DOES it do?

Clear offers is a brilliantly designed UI and a simple aesthetic appeal for anyone who wants a “to-do” list app that feels as simple and natural as a pen and pad of paper – archaic or genius? We think genius.

What sets Clear apart from the pack is that there are no buttons or conventional navigation menus within the app. Every interaction in Clear is done exclusively through finger gestures.

When you first launch the application, you are greeted with a few tutorial screens that outline the finger gesture controls, navigation levels and colour-coded priority levels. Once the tutorial is complete, you are well on your way to creating and completing as many tasks as your little heart desires.

There are only three navigation levels to get familiar with:

1. The top navigation level (Menu) gives you a choice of four options: My Lists, Themes, Tips  & Tricks and Settings.

2. The second level (Lists) is where you can create and name your various to-do lists.

3. The third level (Items) is where you can create individual tasks in your various to-do lists.

The finger gestures are very easy to learn and fairly easy to remember (nooo, there are no rude ones). The most original finger gesture is “pinching,” which allows you to reverse navigate from Items to Lists and then to the Menu.

You can create a to-do item or to-do list in one of three ways: pull down gently from above an existing list, tap gently below a list or use two fingers to pull apart two items if you want to insert a new one.

To mark a task as complete, you simply swipe it to the right. And to completely remove something from your list, they take a page out of Beyonce’s book and swipe it to the left, swipe it to the left…okay, maybe not. But, remember: complete = right, delete = left.

This app may not have all the features some people look for in a task management app, but the simple, intuitive and interactive UI makes for a very pleasant user experience. It is perfect for creating simple to-do lists or shopping lists, where a more complex and cluttered app now seems frustrating and unnecessary.

Try out Clear for yourself and tweet us your thoughts @plasticmobile.

comScore's report on mobile

A hot-off-the-press comScore report presents the 2012 Mobile Future in Focus – and things are looking good for mobile!

ComScore examines last year’s mobile landscape through “an exploration of key trends driving smartphone adoption growth, mobile media use in categories such as social networking and retail, mobile ecosystem dynamics, and shifts in multi-device digital media consumption.”

From a proliferation of public WiFi access, an insurgence of app usage in health and commerce to the ongoing battle for top mobile platform – now led by Apple and Android – the report shows that mobile has been the hot topic in tech since early last year.

The report is lengthy and covers those myriad avenues of mobile influence, but one thing is consistent across mobile usage and industries: as mobile continues to grow as a part of core comprehensive marketing strategies, it becomes increasingly important for brands to understand how current trends are shaping the mobile environment – and how the mobile space is shaping future trends.

The report does highlight a few interesting emerging trends, one of which is mobile’s advancement of social media users to interact with brands in the commerce arena.

The study found that, by the end of last year, nearly one in every five mobile (smartphone) users scanned product barcodes and one in eight compared prices on their phone while shopping in an actual brick-and-mortar location.

As mobile retail usage grows retailers are faced with the challenge of understanding how audiences interact with their mobile devices while shopping to take advantage of any opportunities to increase customer conversation and conversion.

Of course, gender behaviours varied – as they are want to do – when it came to mobile commerce. Males preferred to do product research on-the-go, while females were more likely to use their devices to share their shopping experience socially (ahem, Pinterest?). The latter finding is interesting considering we think 2012 will showcase and interesting menage a trois for the mobile + commerce + social media equation.

What do you think? Will mobile and social media continue to change the way we browse and buy from retailers? Tweet us @plasticmobile with your thoughts, comments and general mobile musings.

Mobile Marketer says AIR MILES is building loyalty through mobile

The AIR MILES App continues to receive lots of love from our media pals and all the users who are finding themselves “addicted” to the app’s Check-in Challenge.

Most recently, a write-up in Mobile Marketer notes that AIR MILES is building loyalty through the redesigned iPhone and Android app. As our President and COO, Melody Adhami, states in the article, mobile is a natural choice for any organization with a substantial user base because it’s the best way to connect intimately with users. Read the whole article here.

For more on the AIR MILES, read any of the articles listed below or download the Android or iPhone app and try it out yourself.

Bank Nerds

148 Apps

Apps Tube

Tech Vibes

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Eye for Travel

Yahoo! Finance

Reuters

TD Waterhouse

Every Wednesday the team here at Plastic Mobile gets together in our think tank to munch on yummy bagels and share the latest mobile gossip. This week we changed it up a bit and dined on pancakes in honour of Shrove Tuesday. One thing stayed the same, though; we had a lot of mobile news to talk about with our mouthes full.

This week, the hot topic was the TELUS Nokia’s Lumia 800, which is scheduled to launch in a couple of weeks – speculation suggest as soon as March 5th!

Why all the hype? Well, aside from the fact that it has been”‘coming soon” since it was announced back at the beginning of the year, the Nokia Lumia 800 will be only the second Windows phone in Canada. It also promises to be a considerable step up from the 710 available at Rogers, with faster browsing, a powerful processor, HTML 5 and Internet Explorer 9.

Sadly, that’s all we know for now, but our Plastic Mobile team is keeping our ears to the ground, so we’ll post an update if we hear anything else. Stay tuned!

With Forrester predicting Facebook and Amazon as 2012′s major mobile players, another ComScore study speculates on the rise and expansion of overall social networking. And we ponder the relationship between the two…

Social platforms are still in the early stages, growing and evolving almost faster than they can be tracked. Social in general continues to gain ground as a dominant source of online content, accounting for 16.6 percent of minutes spent on the web towards the end of 2011. ComScore’s recent report on social networks showed that, while leader Facebook continues to dominate the arena (three out of four US users are Facebookers), relative newcomers like TumblrPinterest and Google+ are also climbing the popularity pole.

Twitter held the no. 2 spot in the category as of December, drawing 37.5 million unique visitors and surpassing its biggest competition from 2011, LinkedIn, whose audience clocked in at 33.5 million at the end of last year.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there isn’t healthy competition brewing out there. According to ComScore’s findings, in the past six months Google+ has reached 20.7 million US visitors, while Tumblr hit 18.8 million. The network we find the most impressive/interesting is Pinterest, which has managed to draw 8 million unique visitors – mostly women! – without the clout of a gargantuan network of products such as Google’s.

And where does mobile fit into all of this?  Plastic Mobile of course sees it as a key resource to all platforms, and a crucial leveraging point for those looking to get a leg up on the competition. Melody Adhami, our President and resident mobile guru weighs in: “all of the social networks should be paying attention to mobile because it is a) where their audience is spending most of their time and b) an obvious way to reach that audience on an intimate and consistent level – meaning, those networks who can remain relevant in the mobile space will win more ‘facetime’ with their customers. Now, that doesn’t mean just offering a mobile friendly version of their site. It means taking advantage of the inherent features of the phone and the way people are using mobile to make sure users are accessing your social brand vs. your competitor’s on mobile.”

And according to an article in the New York Times, it seems other industry leaders are in agreement: “Mobile is the new face of engagement,” says Ted Schadler, principal analyst at Forrester. “Businesses should stop thinking about it as a small Web site on a tiny computer, and start thinking about mobile as being deeply embedded systems of engagement. That turns out to have huge implications.”

What do you think? Who will be the next big social network powerhouse in 2012? Will Facebook maintain it’s dominance, or will Twitter close the gap? Or will both of them lose out to Google+, or the underdog with girl power, Pinterest? And, more importantly (to us, at least), how will mobile tie into the social media battle for total world domination (or something)?

Tweet us with your favourite network, mobile 2 cents or just general musings about social networks and their future bearing on our LIVES!

Source: Twitter Bots

As the first-ever Dx3 Forum came to a close, Plastic Mobile caught up with mobile’s favourite TV personality, Amber Mac from App Central.

Amber was kind enough to give us a quick and dirty minute (that’s just a figure of speech – this video is as squeaky clean as they come) on her thoughts on the inaugural Dx3, and what’s in story for mobile.

We actually managed to keep this one to just about 60 seconds! Enjoy!

AIR MILES in the top 10 apps on the iPhone App Store

With the recent launch of the new, re-designed Air Miles mobile application for iPhone and Android devices, and Plastic Mobile headquarters is still buzzing with excitement. While Air Miles collectors are mastering the check-in challenge making it a huge success, we’re finding it tough to keep up with our check-ins. We’re clearly not the only ones addicted to the game and enjoying the improved mobile application!

We hit a major milestone yesterday with Air Miles, claiming the  #1 Lifestyle application and is now throned as the 9th among the Top 25 in the App Store and still climbing! The Facebook App Store page even dedicated a post to us!

Check it out here and be sure to like it and share it with your friends.

The loyalty mobile application, the first of its kind in Canada, allows you to get on-the-go access to AIR MILES Reward Program. Get access to your account balance and information, browse the complete dream rewards catalogue, get up to date in-store bonus offers at sponsor locations through in app LBS, and double your earnings with the Check-in challenge.

Its been a full 3 weeks since Dx3 Canada wrapped up and the buzz around the event still remains. Although we miss all the excitement from participating, we’ve been thrilled to see all the takeaways from Canada’s first ever digital trade show.

One such takeaway? Custom mobile solutions are serving as a channel of engagement and communication between brands and their customers.

Watch Sparksheet, an award-winning multiplatform magazine, as they question Melody Adhami president and COO of Plastic Mobile, at Dx3 on the direction and successes of mobile commerce.

This Mobile Snippet is a shout out to our pals over at BNOTIONS, who gave us a cameo in their Dx3 footage. Such a sweet treat on this sweet day!

Plastic Mobile will be celebrating with a special Valentine’s day lunch – heart shaped pizzas ordered on our Pizza Pizza ordering app from Pizza Pizza, our OTHER valentine sweetheart (now boys, don’t fight!).

Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

Courtesy of our sensational team here at Plastic Mobile, a new and completely redesigned AIR MILES App is now available for iPhone and Android.

As the first coalition loyalty application of its kind in Canada, AIR MILES’ mobile app version 2.0 was announced today.

The coolest new feature? Definitely the Check-in Challenge (on now until April 30, 2012). The Check-in Challenge is the first ever AIR MILES mobile game that ranks the number of Check-ins Collectors do at AIR MILES Sponsor locations against other Collectors each month. At the end of the month, the top 50 Collectors with the highest number of Check-ins will get a Check-in Bonus2x the reward miles they earned that month at the Sponsors they Checked in at.

Collectors with Android and iPhone devices can now also get on-the-go access to AIR MILES Reward Program information such as account balances, improved browsing of the complete dream rewards catalogue and in-store bonus offers at sponsor locations based on GPS.

“We really wanted to enhance the user experience with the new AIR MILES app. By simplifying the process and adding the Check-in Challenge gaming feature, we believe collectors will not only find the app more useful in their day-to-day, but also enjoy the experience of earning more rewards,” said Melody Adhami, Plastic Mobile’s President and COO.

For complete app intel, visit our made-for-media page, complete with a video, photos and all the answers to your questions (we hope!).

Or, download the new AIR MILES App on Android or upgrade or download the app on the App Store to see just what we are talking about.

We’re all a Twitter about the new app, so tweet us and tell us what you think @plasticmobile.

Securing over 1000 unique daily visitors, the user-friendly, app-esque Royal LePage mobile website is proving enormously useful as users realize the benefits to having real estate information right at their finger tips.

The analytics show that the mobile website continues to grow its unique visitors each month, with traffic on the mobile website up 50%, compared to the desktop, which has stayed consistent.

The Royal LePage mobile website is the latest and greatest mobile tool for home buyers and sellers alike, and we’re so excited to see that users are loving it as much as we do.

This evening at 8pm and 10pm, catch Amber Mac on App Central as she demonstrates why the Pizza Pizza app has been such a resounding success. Don’t miss TV’s leading authority on mobile walks viewers through the amazingly visual and simple pizza ordering process in just a few simple taps.

Pizza Pizza’s ordering app has been so successful, that we’ve started theorizing the whys? So far, most of us agree that it’s the incomparable UX that is the foundation for its much love.
We can’t wait to watch our app in action so stay tuned in, or just download it yourself for a more intimate demonstration in Pizza Pizza ordering.

We all new the day would come, though no one was ever able to predict when. But, it seems Mark Zuckerberg finally got tired of everyone speculating about the value of the Book, and decided to put a price tag on it himself: $5 billion! Not too shabby.

The new speculation, of course, is does that dollar figure over-value the social networking phenomenon, or will it follow the path of the Google’s before it and prove everyone that Zuckerberg and team were actually airing on the side of conservative? Only time will tell!

The decision to go public may have been prompted by the expectation that Facebook will probably hit its 1 billionth users this year, and that they turned a tidy profit of $1 billion last year. Another very interesting fact to come of the filing for an IPO, is that about 80% of the Facebook fan fare is based outside of North America. Weird? We at Plastic Mobile were positively baffled by this stat, since no one we know isn’t sharing, posting and chatting on Facebook – except for one guy. But, he still uses Explorer as his web browser.

One final tid bit of interest we read in PCWorld stated Zuckerberg is not only chairman and CEO, but he has also included a clause to allow him to name his successor if he is still the company’s controller upon his death: “In the event that Mr. Zuckerberg controls our company at the time of his death,” Facebook’s S-1 filing says. “Control may be transferred to a person or entity that he designates as his successor.” Reports from The New York Post and Bloomberg Businessweek suggested that analysts found this mighty strange, but one thing is for certain; Mark Zuckerberg is, and will remain, Facebook’s reigning king.

We’re standing by to learn more about the over-under value debate and to see where this major moves takes the world of Zuckerberg, err, Facebook.