Yes, the sport is over 150 years old with a 78 year old commissioner. Yes, they are resistant to new technology like video replay or pitch location tracking. Yes, they were much slower than rival sports leagues like the NHL and NBA to take advantage of new media sources like Youtube.
Major League Baseball does not have a reputation as cutting edge or trend setting, which is why their big investment in mobile back in 2009 came as a surprise. Despite the leagues luddite reputation though, MLB’s At Bat app has been the best sports app out there for years, and it continues to get better.
How has MLB’s investment paid off? With over six million viewers through their mobile app during yesterdays open day games across the league. It’s safe to say they hit a home run with At Bat.
On top of the impressive viewing statistics, their strong mobile presence helps MLB connect with younger fans, something they have been struggling to do in recent years.
What other companies are breaking ground with their mobile strategy? Let us know @PlasticMobile
The official launch of the new Galaxy SIV is this Thursday. Despite Samsung doing a remarkable job keeping the juiciest details (including what it looks like) from leaking, nothing can stop the rumor mill from spinning.
The Launch of Samsung’s flagship phone is big news in mobile and has been the talk of the office lately. We rounded up some choice rumours for your consideration. Keep in mind that this is all speculation and we will not know until tomorrow if any of this is true.
- Eye-tracking tech, so when you are looking at your phone it will be looking back at you. The GSIV will track your eye movements and scroll pages for you when you are at the bottom of the screen. Useful, yes. Creepy, perhaps.
- Eight-core processor with a separate eight-core graphics processing unit and 2gb of RAM. The top of the line hardware rumoured to be inside the GSIV will make it the fasted phone on the market. This could lead to battery issues unless. . .
- 4.99inch, 440ppi, Green PHOLED display. Screen technology has not evolved nearly as fast as the rest of the industry. This rumoured new tech will increase screen efficiency by up to 33% wile providing a sharper image than the Super AMOLED screen currently found in the GSIII
- 13 megapixedl rear facing 3D camera. 3D has had a hard time getting off the ground. Could putting a 3D camera on what promised to be a hugely popular phone be the catalyst it need? This seems like an odd match, but Samsung makes 3D televisions and has a hard time selling them so this dark horse rumour may be more credible than it looks. Very interesting.
Are you looking forward to the Galaxy SIV launch? What features do you hope to see in the new GSIV? Let us know on Twitter @PlasticMobile
Apple kicks off its annual 12 Days of iTunes Giveaway! From December 26th to January 6th, Apple will be giving away free media on iTunes! Gifts include rare singles, exclusive live tracks, music videos and classic TV programs. Not all of the gift giveaways will appeal to everybody, but there is likely to be something of interest for the typical consumer (I mean who doesn’t love free media?).
So the question really is: why is Apple being so generous? The crafty design behind this generous promo is a sneaky way to encourage new Apple users to understand how to use their downloading services on their new iPhone or iPad. Smart thinking, Apple. The digital giant also wanted to voice a little altruism, thanking it’s many loyal users for their years of fanatical love.
Gifts can be redeemed either through iTunes, or through the 12 Days of Christmas app. If you’re like us and have a hard time committing to a daily check, register for push notifications on the app so that you can be alerted when a new freebie is available for downloading.
Just a reminder – as soon as the day is over, so is the offer! Don’t miss out on some great stuff still up for grabs, get the app here!
Late last night Barack Obama was re-elected as President of the United States, coming out of the fierce race that is now being called “the Twitter Election.” The moniker is apt for this election, as voters took to their mobile devices and social media channels to engage with politicians and the voting process.
During the electoral frenzy, voters used their smartphones to engage with Facebook and Twitter in at polling stations on Facebook and hordes took to Twitter to support their candidates and advise others to get out and vote.
But this kind of mobile social media use does not only highlight the voting spirit of the American people. It also helps us understand voter demographics. Facebook hosted a page on it’s “Stories” platform that encouraged voters to “Check In” at their polling station and displayed Facebook voter’s demographics on its interactive mapping page.
The presence of the election on Facebook via check ins and status updates and the massive response on Twitter postings rallying for Obama or Romney and encouraging voting was simply put: massive. In fact, Obama’s victory tweet, “Four more years,” garnered the most re-tweets in twitter history and the picture below of the President and First Lady hugging is now the most “liked” photo on Facebook to date. Initiatives from candidates to have a mobile and social media presence and the overwhelming response from the public to take to these platforms showcases just how important new mobile technologies are. Not only do they advertise candidates and get people to vote, but mobile connectivity also promotes a national voting collective and brings the nation together. Yay Mobile!
Twitter also proved itself as a crucial news source for the election. In many cases, major news outlets tweeted results from states instantaneously, and many people found out whether the Democrats or the Republicans had won states and the entire election itself on Twitter before the news hit TV.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, mobile devices also allowed American citizens to text to find polling stations and, in the most affected parts of New Jersey, residents could even vote by texting. Wow.
We think that this mobile election will set a precedence with elections all over the globe.
Did you make your voice heard with mobile and social media during this election? Let us know what you think by writing a comment or tweeting @plasticmobile.
If you weren’t satisfied with Apple’s iPhone 5 launch last month then gear up for the debut of Samsung’s new Galaxy 3 III Mini tomorrow.
Timing for Samsung’s miniature release couldn’t be any better. Amidst a continual cavalcade of problems surrounding the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S III has gained ground and cache in the mobile world. While Apple is handling scratches and product delays, Samsung will usher in the newest member to its family tree.
If the GS III has been criticized for anything it was its 4.8 inch screen. Now a moot point as the iPhone 5 features a 4.8 inch screen, the GS III mini would fix this issue outright. It will provide the same specs that the larger version provides while giving customers an option for a smaller body and price point.
Samsung is not the only smart device that is diversifying. Apple’s newest additions, the rumoured iPad Mini or an updated iPad 4, will be uncovered later this month. With both companies opening up their lines to larger and smaller devices, digital consumers will be able to use smart technology in new and interesting ways.
Tech developments this fall have been game changing for the mobile industry. The introduction of Passbook, Samsung’s moment in the sun and the upcoming size additions will revolutionize the way that consumers interact with smart devices in the home, when shopping or on the go.
When the iPhone 5 finally launched last month Apple and Android fans alike rejoiced.
Apple supporters eagerly bought out its entire stock at break-neck speeds, soaking up the benefits of a modified redesign and added capabilities. Android fans laughed, pointing out that they’ve already been enjoying these capabilities for some time and carried on basking in the warm glow of their wider screen and multitasking powers.
Since its launch, the iPhone 5 continues to be massively popular but certain flaws in physical and design updates have trickled into the light. Issues with the new Google-independant Maps app have users in an uproar as 3D views and street maps leave off important landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and do not give travel times for walking, biking or public transportation. The improved camera on the iPhone 5 was also touted to be bigger (smaller) and better, but delivers only a slimmer look, minimal resolution gain and a purple glare from direct light sources.
These mistakes have opened Apple up to a world of scrutiny never before faced. Comparisons between the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy III GS flood worldwide online and print forums, causing the user respect metre to rise for Android devices. Apple’s response to accusations and complaints have been both apologetic and defensive and are in turn being simultaneously applauded and ridiculed by the media.
While Apple is redesigning the Maps app and teaching us how to take photos on our phones let’s keep something in mind:
Despite its flaws, the iPhone 5 is still great. Most of its new features are great. Like Passbook, which will implicate enormous change in the way we use phones for personal convenience and retail capabilities. But, with its mistakes and anticlimactic product arrival, two things have become abundantly apparent: Steve Jobs is greatly missed, and Apple is, after all, just like any other company.
Since this round of iPhone was not Apple’s best foot forward, we can only expect that the next version iPhone will be amazing next time around. But, only time will tell.
Yesterday, Twitter unveiled its new app for the iPad. A Twitter redesign should be about helping users post hilarious status updates or share what they had for dinner. But in reality, Twitter’s new app is all business.
At our weekly Bagel Wednesday meeting, there were a number of comments made on this latest design effort.
Well, the app is very different than its earlier iPad versions, it is very similar to its sister iPhone app. Twitter’s iPad update features additions like a header on profile pages and a live-stream feed layout. While these designs are new for Twitter, they seem a little familiar. In fact, you might have seen them on Facebook Timeline.
Another added feature is Photostream, which allows users to browse photos easily by tapping on a photo and swiping left or right through the rest of their posted photos. While it’s a breeze to tap through photos, tapping through the rest of the interface is labourious and overcomplicated. Pinching gestures have been eliminated and the user has to tap through to open and close a number of windows. Just one tap won’t get you to a profile anymore – expand the tweet and tap again. The app has also eliminated the ability to browse the web while looking at the Twitter timeline and lists are hard to access.
Although the platform update does share UI with the rest of the Twitter app family, it seems like Twitter has taken away a lot of functions from the user. So what is improved by this update? Twitter’s autonomy.
In recent months the social media giant has been cutting ties with third party image uploaders and information sharing or support sites like Twitpic, Facebook and Tweetbot. Developing apps for and sharing information with Twitter has almost all been completely shut out. Amidst these moves, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was quoted calling Facebook an “enemy,” referring to the fact that they are pitted against each other as top dog in the social media playground. But Twitter isn’t being a bully – it’s just being smart.
This year Twitter earned $132m in mobile ads, beating out Facebook who raked in only $73.9m. For both companies, survival is based on ad sales and working with small screens presents challenges on that front. By creating an app that is similar to other social media sites, it helps to prevent Tweeters from using competing apps and Twitter can declare social-media sovereignty, advertising space and the revenue.
This redesign isn’t about the user as much as it’s about Twitter. While the update is not so great for us it may be worth compromising for. Eliminating the competition and gaining revenue will allow Twitter to improve for us in the long run. Let the battle begin.
What do you think of the new app? Let us know @plasticmobile.
The iPhone 5 is finally here! Well, almost. Pre-orders can be arranged for shipping on September 21st. Nonetheless, the iPhone rumours passed around our weekly Bagel Wednesday meetings were finally quelled today as Apple released the 5 this afternoon.
The iPhone 5 specs include a longer, slimmer body made entirely of aluminum and glass – yup, it’s light (weighing in at 112 grams, the new iPhone is 20% lighter than the 4S and is 18% thinner than before with a bulk of a mere 7.6 mm). The new body allows for a number of improvements including a fifth row of apps and a wider viewing screen. Running on the new A6 processor, LTE and “ultrafast wireless,” the 5 is said to reach record-breaking speeds whether you’re running programs of surfing the web.
One of the major physical changes on the iPhone 5 is the redesigned charging cord, dubbed “lighting.” The new charger is all digital, has an adaptive interface and improved durability, is reversible and is 80% smaller. To users with old chords and docks: do not panic! Apple has said they’ll provide many adapters to facilitate the new device when you finally get your hands on one.
The new camera on the iPhone has a front-facing camera that’s now 720p with backside illumination and amazing video capturing. It’s also useful for the new easy-to-use feature called “Panorama,” which lets the user create vista photographs. Users can sweep the scene vertically or swing the phone sideways to get sprawling shots in 28 megapixel images. Three additional microphones which work together to make Facetime clearer than ever.
Apple has also given updates to apps included on the phone. iCal gives a broad five day work-week formatting and is cleaner and easier to use. Maps on the iPhone 5 has most of the same qualities, but performs them faster and easier on a cleaner and quicker interface. It now includes rotate function and notably beautiful 3D satellite imagery. Safari has also been cleaned up for the new phone and features a full screen view and iCloud capabilities that allow you to share your tabs from your computer to your phone.
There are also new additions to the iPhone app family. Photoshare is an app that allows the user to easily share just snapped photos with other Photoshare users and through social media platforms. Also included is Passbook, a ticketing app that is great for flying or attending events. It even shows up on the lock screen so you don’t have to fumble to pull up your ticket at security.
The iPhone 5 will run at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB and if that’s not in your price range, you can now grab the iPhone 4 for $0 on contract. Reservations on the iPhone begin this Friday the 14th, and shipping starts on the 21st so get in line now!
We’re excited to get our hands on one of these new devices. Let us know what your favourite new specs are @plasticmobile.
This little piece of wondrous mobile news was brought to our attention yesterday at our Bagel Wednesday meeting. Finland secured the world mobile throwing championship in Savolinna, Finland, last Saturday. The Finiish gentleman won with a record-breaking 101.46 metre toss – quite a feet!
Have some old Nokia flip phones lying around? Start practicing for next year’s championship event.
Happy mobile tossing!
At our weekly Bagel Wednesday meeting, we chatted a little bit about how useless we all are at remembering, well, anything without the help of our mobile devices. Over holey buns we discovered that a few of our team members use Checkmark, the latest reminder application, for everything from stopping for milk to remembering to eat lunch.
Our Art Director even went so far as to say that the Checkmark app is everything that Reminders should have been, allowing users to use LBS to prompt reminders and set up frequent locations (grocery store, dry cleaners, etc.) to help us make it through a day with minimal head smacking.
Also, one of our developers came across a new smart invention that he has decided he would like to have prior to doning a pair of Smart Glasses. Smart Trash is a super cool little robot that will actually catch your trash, wherever you throw it! Yup. We hear at Plastic believe your trash should come to you.