RedLaser, the barcode and price comparison app that sat at the top of the best-seller list for a while, has been bought by eBay and is now free. What’s more, eBay is going to integrate the technology into its other apps:
“eBay plans to integrate RedLaser’s barcode-scanning technology into its leading iPhone applications, including its eBay Marketplace, eBay Selling, StubHub and Shopping.com applications, providing more than 10 million users with access to product information for fast and easy selling and comparison shopping. The technology is designed to help consumers find great deals online for virtually any product with a barcode, and for eBay sellers to quickly create listings by accessing pricing trends and product details for millions of items in eBay’s catalog. “
Smart move from eBay. Not only is RedLaser itself a really nice app, the technology behind it will be a good match for eBay’s core business.
I’m pretty skeptical about augmented reality applications in general, but there are some occasions when I think they’re actually quite useful. Events, for example, are a particular case where AR makes sense. The location is relatively small, but there’s usually a large amount of information surrounding particular areas within the event – seminars, press releases, and so on.
Add in an audience which actually needs to get to grips with the technology of communications, and it’s obvious why next week’s Marketing Week Live 2010 has an AR iPhone app associated with it. And judging from the pictures I’ve seen of it, it looks pretty good.
There’s the usual AR features: hold the phone up, and the app layers useful information on top of it (I’m hoping this information includes the location of bars and toilets, which are the kinds of things that journalists are always after). Perhaps more useful, though, is the image recognition function: point the app at the logo of a company on a stand, and it will recognise the company and list information that’s relevant, including the option to book a meeting with them if they’re taking meetings.
The app was put together by Yuza Mobile, and it looks like a nice piece of work, balancing out the obvious need for an app that’s a bit of a showcase for marketers of what AR can do with stuff that’s useful for people attending the show.
I’m going to be along at the show at some point (and if you’re going to be there, give me a shout) so I’ll probably be running around taking pictures of people pointing their iPhones at logos and swearing about the data connections being swamped. But kudos to MWL2010 for creating something that looks both interesting from a technology perspective and actually useful to its audience.
The first comment on Ed Sutherland’s report on Android spyware:
Anonymous commenter? Check.
Strident swearing? Check.
Pointless statement that adds nothing to the debate? Check
This guy has it all.
A fifth of Android apps expose private data:
“About 20 percent of the 48,000 apps in the Android marketplace allow a third-party application access to sensitive or private information, according to a report released on Tuesday.
And some of the apps were found to have the ability to do things like make calls and send text messages without the mobile user doing anything. For instance, 5 percent of the apps can place calls to any number and 2 percent can allow an app to send unknown SMS messages to premium numbers that incur expensive charges, security firm SMobile Systems concluded in its Android market threat report.”
Symbian is dead! All hail Meego!
“Nokia’s premier range of devices, the N Series, will bid adieu to the Symbian operating environment and go MeeGo full time after the introduction of the N8. That’s what we’ve just heard directly from the Finnish horse’s mouth”
“Nokia will naturally keep Symbian around — of course there’s a whole Symbian^4 to come — but will utilize it on more mass market devices as it seeks to push smartphones further down the product hierarchy.”
Which platform do they expect application developers to focus on? The mass-market Symbian or the more powerful Meego? If people think Android fragmentation is bad they should remember: At least Google isn’t actively trying to fragment its own platform.
I try not to get into the predictions game (partly because I’m too-often wrong) but I’m willing to bet that this little snippet from LOOPrumors is completely wrong:
“LOOPRumors received a tidbit of information today suggesting Apple is planning to develop a hybrid OS into their next iMac. The iMac should be equipped with both Mac OS X and a touch interface for iOS.”
One word: inelegant. That alone should be enough to damn this one to the bins of obscurity.
Kevin Tofel on the announcement of Android support for Flash:
The key word in Adobe’s press release today being “expected,” which appears three times. Platforms other than Android are expected to integrate and work with Flash Player. All of the latest Android handsets are expected to see Froyo, which is required for Flash Player 10.1. The production version of Flash is expected to be available as a final production release for Froyo devices. Translation: Adobe hasn’t delivered anything to most handsets today and the fate of Flash Player is increasingly out of Adobe’s hands.
Kevin is spot on in highlighting Adobe’s use of the word “expect”, but I disagree with his last sentence. The fate of Flash Player isn’t out of Adobe’s hands: in fact, the fate of a platform which relies on Flash as a development environment is out of the hands of the platform’s creator.
If you want to know why Apple wants Flash kept away from iOS, you should ask Palm:
Adobe hasn’t given any signs that it’s close to porting Flash to webOS, Palm said in an AT&T online app development seminar on Thursday. When asked about the multiple delays, a representative said that Palm didn’t ‘know what the hold-up is’ with getting it ready. Adobe itself hasn’t commented on the state of the webOS version or of other platforms.
Would Adobe keep Flash updated for iPhone? Yes – as long as it wanted to. And the moment that it didn’t want to, or had other priorities, or simply hit some problems, Apple would have the millstone of an old development platform around its neck.
Apple has been in that position before, and it wont allow itself to go there again.
UPDATE: According to what I’m going to call “informed sources”, Electronista’s report doesn’t represent what was actually said at the event. In fact, what was said was that Palm “had no update” to make – which means that it didn’t have anything to announce at that time, not that it didn’t know what the situation was, which is what Electronista is implying.
In the comments to the story, Palm’s Chuq Von Rospach posted this:
Adobe and Palm continue to work together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to WebOS as quickly as possible. At present, the integration work between the Player and WebOS is undergoing extensive testing to ensure we deliver a high quality implementation.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the point I’m making here is wrong. Having a third party who has significant levels of control over your platform is exactly what Apple is seeking to avoid with its effective ban on Flash.
Remember this report about how the iPad was a cert for Verizon?:
“The tablet will be supported by multiple [mobile] carriers,” said Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech, citing unnamed sources he said were close to the situation. “Verizon and others,” he continued. “Definitely Verizon. I’ve been told that’s a certainty.”
As I said at the time, there is more chance that Apple will expand to another US carrier which uses GSM than it will build hardware tailored to a single US network.
def dayCoder(self):: Blog Comments:
“The first post on this blog linking to an external source linked to Daring Fireball. That’s no coincidence. Had there been comments, I’d have left one alongside dozens of others that would be ignored and forgotten.
So thanks, John and Ian for indirectly and directly getting me to post stuff here that at least I’ll be able to read again sometime.”
I have posts on here dating back to 2002, and it probably would be much longer if I hadn’t initially used a weird dead end of a blogging platform. Comments? I have no idea how many are still in existence.
If you write blog posts, you own your own words. If you comment on other people’s posts, they get to decide if your words live or die.
And if you spend your time pouring your heart and sole into comments written on platforms like Google Buzz or FriendFeed… well you might as well type them out on paper, make them into paper planes, and throw them out of the window.