Video: Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 920

As you might know, Windows Phone 8 is scheduled to hit the market sometime next month. In the meantime, you can learn a lot about this new OS by checking out Nokia’s latest hardware: the Lumia 920. Take a look at this great hands-on video:

uTest - Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Infographic: Building a Mobile App vs. a Web App

It’s a decision all companies are making- should I build a mobile app, a web app or both? Mobile apps have obvious advantages in speed and availability. In fact, according to an infographic on tnooz, native mobile apps completely trump web apps in terms of how much time users spend with each. Check out the infographic here:

8 Awesome Apps for Drivers

Bullitt MustangThis weekend I’ll be heading to a Ford Mustang show where my partner will be showing off his awesome Bullitt edition Mustang. Since I clearly have cars on the mind (I’m a fledgling gear head myself) I thought it’d be a good day to recap the best of the best car apps.

GasBuddy
Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone
This awesome app helps you find the cheapest gas around.

RepairPal
Android, iOS
Keep a record of your repair history,  get a sneak peek at local shop prices and connect to roadside assistance anytime.

iWrecked
Android, iPhone
This app will help you document the damage if you happen to get into an accident. It provides checklists to make sure you cover everything, enables you to create PDF crash reports and has a photo feature for image documentation. Plus it lets you connect to nearby help, like 911, your insurance agent and a taxi company if you need a lift.

FuelLog
Android
Keep a running log of mileage, fuel cost and consumption and maintenance. Over time you can pull up stats like average cost per month, yearly mileage and average cost per mileage.

Read more …

Survey Says: 42% of Companies Not Testing Mobile Apps

Despite all the press and attention that mobile apps are getting these days, the number of companies actually developing and testing them is surprisingly low. At least according to the SD Times, which is always a great source for facts like this. Here’s one survey question-and-answer from Alan Zeichick. Take a look:

Is your company developing and testing apps for mobile devices?

  • No,  not developing/testing for mobile application development: 42.1%
  • Yes, mobile  software for iPhone/iPad: 36.6%
  • Yes, mobile software for Android devices:  33.2%
  • Yes, mobile software in HTML5: 30.2%
  • Yes, mobile software for  Windows Phone: 22.8%
  • Yes, mobile software for BlackBerry devices:  16.3%
  • Don’t know: 5.4%
  • Yes, software for other devices: 3.5%

What answer would you give for your company? Let us know in the comment section.

Smartphones Embraced Faster Than PC and Web

SmartphonesIt may seem like the modern smartphone has been around forever, but the iPhone hit the market a mere five years ago. In half a decade it became harder to find someone without a smartphone than it is to find someone sporting a iPhone or Android. Widespread smartphone adoption happened so quickly, in fact, that it outpaced PC adoption at the height of the personal computer boom of the 1980s AND Internet adoption in the ’90s. From CNet:

Research firm Flurry Analytics today announced that iOS and Android adoption is ten times greater than PC adoption at that technology’s rapid-growth phase in the 1980s. The mobile platforms have amassed users twice as quickly as the Web during its go-go period in the 1990s, and three times faster than recent social networks. …

“Year-over-year, Flurry calculates that net active devices in the U.S. grew by approximately 30 million, while China saw more than 100 million new active devices enter the market,” Flurry said today in a statement. “At this rate, China’s active installed base could overtake the United States as early as the 2012 Holiday season.” …

Read more …

The World’s Top 10 Most Popular Social Networking Apps

What are the world’s most popular social networking apps – and do they vary from country to country? Mobile Analytics firm, Distimo, recently did a report which assessed the most popular social networking iPhone apps by downloads. They also did a comparison of this year’s and last year’s download trends.

According to the report, Facebook has dropped in downloads since 2010-2011 when numbers were very high. This could be because the app has already been adopted by so many people, and during the 2011-2012 time frame people haven’t re-downloaded the app. LINE, Viber and WeChat turned out to be the most popular downloaded app in several countries.

According to the study covered by Sarah Perez of TechCrunch:

“…from July 2011 to June 2012, Facebook’s dominance was not as apparent. While it was still the most popular social networking app by far, other social networking apps had taken over in some countries. LINE was the most popular app based on downloads in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, while Viber took off to become the most popular app in Spain and Australia. In China and Hong Kong, WeChat was downloaded the most, and in South Korea, KakaoTalk was the most popular, as it was the year before.

The top 10 aggregated over these countries were (in order): Facebook, Instagram, Viber, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LINE, Google+, WeChat and Windows Live Messenger. You’ll notice that Facebook actually owns several slots in the top 10 there: it offers Facebook Messenger and it acquired Instagram as well.

Read more …

For Travel Apps, Native is Beating Mobile Web

Google Maps AppThe war between native apps and mobile web is likely to rage for a while. But for right now, native apps are leaving mobile websites in the dust in the travel category. According to a recent study by Nielsen, users looking for travel related info turn to native apps 95% of the time. From TechCrunch:

According to figures out today from Nielsen, 95% of all mobile traffic for travel-related content comes from native mobile apps — specifically on iOS and Android platforms. Mobile web — and traffic on operating systems that are not Android and iOS, for that matter — accounts for only 5% of visits.

It’s hard to judge those figures at face value though, considering the Google Maps app accounts for an overwhelming majority of usage (78 million app users). Since iOS and Android account for almost all of those users it will be interesting to see what happens to the native app numbers when the iPhone stops featuring a Google Maps icon.

But in the meantime, here are the top 10 native travel apps and the number of unique visitors for each:

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Top 5 Apps for Taking Better Photos

Photos. You take them and proceed to share them on your social networks, email them, text them, and show them to your friends and family. But nowadays, cameras are almost obsolete. The most popular way to capture a moment is to snap away on your mobile device. However, there are better ways to take photos than just using your phone’s built in camera application. Here are 5 native apps for taking better, more enhanced photos:

  • HDR FX: This app lets you add any of 42 different filters to your photos and recommends certain ones to you.
  • Action Snap: This app is great for taking action shots. It automatically takes between 4-9 pictures depending on what you prefer. You can also set a timer.
  • Camera+: This app features a 6x zoom, and lets you add filters, borders, effects and more.
  • Diptic: Diptic lets you select multiple pictures and turn them into a collage.
  • Instagram: Most of us use it and love it – but if you don’t have it, Instagram is a social network app for sharing your photos and adjusting filters.

What’s your favorite photo app? Share with us in the comments section.

Lost in Walmart? There’s an App For That (coming soon)

Big Box retailers have always been great for their variety and quantity of products. No complaints there. What they lacked, apparently, was the ability to offer consumers an easier way to navigate the store and find exactly what they were looking for. Thanks to some indoor navigation apps, that’s likely to change.

Here’s USA Today with the story:

Big-box retailers are developing indoor navigation tools to help shoppers find what they want. Some, including Target and Walgreens, have stored floor layout plans in smartphone apps. Walmart and Home Depot apps now can display aisle numbers for searched items…

…they’re betting that item locators will help customers shop more efficiently and, as a result, buy more. About 20% of retail sales are lost because shoppers can’t find items, estimates Nathan Pettyjohn, CEO of Aisle411, an app with 9,000 store maps. A locator also can attract customers who need only an item or two and would avoid a big-box store, lest they waste time.

Some efforts underway:

Walgreens. The chain partnered with Aisle411 to list store layouts in the Aisle411 app. Customers can make shopping lists and the items are spotted on their store’s map. Next month, Walgreens will embed the feature in its own app, says Abhi Dhar, chief technology officer.

Walmart. In May, Walmart’s app began showing the aisle number for a majority of items. And this year it is expanding last year’s Black Friday test of paper store maps locating popular items to add digital maps for Black Friday in the app.

Read more …

Recycle Your iPhone 4S and Apple Will Give You Up to $345

Do you really want the iPhone 5 but can’t afford it? Apple will buy your 4S from you, for up to a $345 Apple Gift Card. Apple is very hush-hush about when the iPhone 5 will be released, but TechCrunch sited this announcement as a major hint that the iPhone 5 is on its way. $345 to trade in your 4S is a pretty good deal – but this is not your only option.

There are other companies offering to buy your phone for up to $500 dollars. As reported on 9to5mac:

  • Amazon- Trade your phone in for up to a $500 Amazon Gift Card.
  • eBay- Sell your device for up to $381.
  • NextWorth- NextWorth is very similar to Amazon in price trade in value.
  • GameStop- Get up to $345 cash or store credit for your trade in.
  • Best Buy- Swap your iPhone for a $336 value.
  • RadioShack- RadioShack offers in-store or online options for exchanging your iPhone but there may be a fee.

See the full list here.

Have you heard of any other good iPhone buy-backs or trade deals? Let us know in the comments section.