Why Mobile is a Whole New Thing & How to Do It Right



From WSJ AcceleratorsNibzNotes39

If you are still thinking that mobile app and web development are a niche or future priority, you need to adapt to today’s reality, and fast.  According to Pew Internet, 31% of American mobile Internet users say that’s the primary way they access the web.

We’ve now reached that critical inflection point where more people access the Internet from mobile devices than computers.

As with any platform shift, today’s mobile revolution means major implications and big opportunities for businesses. The problem is that too many companies have underestimated the radical change that mobile brings about. They think of mobile as simply an extension of the Web, rather than an entirely new platform, and they look at the smartphone as just a smaller computer with a lot less memory and processing power.


Mobile Startups Raise $3.8B in VC Financing in 2013



Q3 of 2013 posted the largest quarter in financing for the mobile sector ever, CB Insights reported this week. Venture capitalists invested $1.12 billion dollars across 150 deals in that quarter, and Q4 didn’t see a significant decrease in investment. Across all 4 quarters of 2013, VCs poured $3.8 billion dollars into the mobile industry.

That money isn’t just going to finance the next consumer app, either. (Though $190 million did go to consumer apps.) With 2013 being the year we all woke up to Internet threats, startups working on security took the largest portion of that funding (10%). Travel was the next hottest sub-industry, but the money spreads out a good bit after that. Payments, customer relationship management, and business intelligence/analytics were all sub-industries that pulled in big VC money last year.

Unfortunately, the money wasn’t as spread out over geography as it was over industries. San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Mountain View pulled in a combined $1.36 billion dollars. The next closest region was New York/Brooklyn with a combined $269 million.

What does this mean for startups everywhere else? Well, obviously, there’s money to be had out there. With some projections placing smartphone sales in the billions this year, and fewer companies than we thought going mobile first, it’s safe to say the market isn’t going anywhere.

Companies dealing in mobile security will probably still be attractive to investors in 2014. After all, black hat hackers and the NSA aren’t going anywhere.

Check out the whole report from CB Insights here.


Shopify Kicks Off 2014 by Going Mobile

shopify mobile

Yesterday Canada-based Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Mobile.

The new app allows merchants to manage their store from their phone. From posting products through the app to completing the sale, the idea is to allow merchants to manage their store from anywhere.

The app isn’t just for small merchants, either. It’s fully integrated with Shopify POS, which allows physical stores to use the service. The new Shopify Mobile will give retailers the ability to modify descriptions and inventory in-store, as well as become a second register on busy days.

“With Shopify Mobile we’ve completely overhauled our popular iOS app and baked in some exciting new features that are going to help you increase sales–right from the palm of your hand,” the company says on its blog. “This is an important step forwards toward creating a commerce platform that enables our merchants to sell their products anywhere, whether it’s online, in the store, or on the go.”

(For those who are interested, the Android app is coming soon.)

Shopify already powers thousands of online stores, allowing merchants access to all the tools they need to design and market their digital storefront. The platform can be used by small at-home businesses or large companies looking to go online. Merchants can choose from a variety of plans, starting at $14/month for someone who is just exploring e-commerce. Some of Shopify’s largest customers include Tesla Motors, Gatorade, and Amnesty International.

This blending of small sellers and big commerce is what makes Shopify such a valuable company. And, investors definitely see the benefits. Last month they announced a $100 million Series C round, which added OMERS Ventures and Insight Venture Partners to previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Georgian Partners, and Felicis Ventures.

The growth of mobile is all the buzz, but there hasn’t been much evidence that startups are actually developing for the platform. With startups like Shopify launching big on mobile now, the move from desktop may actually becoming more of a reality.

Mobile Makes It Big In The 3rd Quarter


By now most of us are aware that the future of the Internet is in mobile. According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of Americans have a cell phone. Well over half of them use their phones to access the Internet, and a full 34% use their phones for Internet access more often than they do a desktop or laptop. Worldwide, it is estimated there are already more than 1 billion smartphones in use, and that number’s growing.

That’s the definition of a big market.

That market explains why mobile had its biggest quarter of fundraising ever. CB Insights is reporting that venture deals to mobile companies passed $1 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2013. Exactly a year ago, in the third quarter of 2012, mobile deals almost hit a billion before seeing a sudden drop in the first quarter of this year. Since then, deal flow rose steadily to the $1.12 billion dollars invested in the last 3 months.

Given the $1 billion dollar sale of Instagram to Facebook, you might expect social or photos to have raised the most money. They did garner 4% and 3% each, which is nothing to sneeze at, with numbers that big. However, the biggest winners this quarter were customer relationship management, business analytics, and mobile payments. These three combined garnered 1/5 of all the deals closed.

Who are the VC’s doling out this money? CB Insights looked at mobile deals for the whole year, and 500 Startups comes out on top as the most active mobile investor with 20 deals closed so far this year. Andreesen Horowitz and Google Ventures round out the top three.

This quarter marks the first time mobile deals surpassed those for healthcare. However, mobile-focused healthcare startups still netted 4% of that $1.12 billion.

Our phones and tablets have already become less like novelty devices and more like sturdy workhorse for our work and personal lives. This quarter may mark the first time VC financing reaches $1 billion, but we’re guessing it won’t be the last.

Read the whole CB Insights report and tell us what you think.

Business Insider’s Ignition Mobile: Henry Blodget On How We Use Mobile


Business Insider’s Ignition Mobile conference kicked off this morning in San Francisco. To kick off the general session, Business Insider’s CEO and Editor In Chief, Henry Blodget ran through 105 slides in just under 15 minutes, basically providing an overview of what’s going on in the mobile industry’s to date.

Is this relevant to startups, and startups everywhere else?

Of course it is. Mobile is the fastest growing technology space in history. Mobile is now outpacing traditional PC sales, and most people have not one, not two but three or more screens.

Mobile usage is increasing ten fold. Gaming, music, social, video and of course search are dominating mobile.

Mobile, specifically tablets have increased in the bedroom. Consumers are consuming content on their iPads laying in bed more so than watching tv.

Mobile is giving advertisers a much more holistic approach, but Blodget warns that mobile is extremely intimate and advertisers with intrusive ads are going to lose. Blodget sees value across a variety of opportunities for new mobile apps and mobile startups.

Check out the video below:

The pivoting features when creating the next rockstar mobile app

Appscend, Developer's Corner, Guest Post, startup devs,mobileOr if we’d rephrase it, how long would it take before a user would give you a hug because he had a good experience with your app? Why? Besides having a great app in terms of users and success, hugs are less expensive than bandages.

We talked about what mistakes you can make when developing a mobile application. But it would be presumptuous to just point out mistakes. Now we’re going to focus on what you should never loose sight of if you want your mobile app to become the next app rockstar.

We’re going to highlight on what makes an app a great mobile app that people actually like, what can make it a viral app, what features are sine qua non and how it can grow beyond its limitations and get a lot of users patting you on the back.

1. This cannot be stated enough….UX, user experience, la experiencia del usuario, you get the picture

Think about Angry Birds. Yes , I know, everybody keeps beating the drum on how that game took over the world.

Even so, whether intentional or no, it really hit the nail in the head when it came to psychological impact and reasons. Why do people play that game? Let’s analyze it for a moment.

As people, we like to destroy things in games, and it’s no wonder why games in which you throw birds at entrenched nasty pigs ( and scream evilly and cute) would be addictive. The micro-physics in Angry Birds creates a unique user experience each time you catapult those frowny birds into everything. What mobile app mechanic can we learn from this example?

Simply put, when developing an app, create the possibility for the user to customize his own experience as much as possible. If it’s a social app, then let them customize colors, icon sizes, buttons, etc. If you’re gunning for a business app, then you should focus on what content the user deems to be relevant : such as choosing preferences over certain information providers (like newspapers, business blogs, etc.) so they won’t have to check each bit of info one at a time. ”

Make a user feel like he can play with the app in more ways than just tapping a few buttons and closing it. In doing so, you gain a greater level of user engagement and retention. Make it fun and easy or in other words, make creation a part of the user experience. It’s their app at the end of the day and making it feel even more personalized will go a long way for them to remember you.

2. Push notifications = a light tap on your shoulder to improve the day

Push notifications. They can mean anything from alerts, products, offers, updates, beeps, images, anything.

They are essential to the success and survival of a mobile application. From getting certain discounts or new updates on an app, PN’s can remind your users that your app either is still there or that you can ease their day.

For example, a way Foursquare created and maintained user loyalty was through push alerts. When a user was 10 check-ins away from becoming mayor of a certain location, it would provide an incentive to continue using the app.

The key words of push alerts are : targeted, context, geo-points, geo-location, timezones. Unlike ads where often you can shoot blindly and hope for a catch, push notifications mean you know your niche and if you do it right, you’re going to expand it.

3. Contact points, friend invite, developer and customer feedback = visibility and friendliness

In the App Store or Play Store, you’re going to find apps by the bucket. So how exactly is that shiny piece of code you wrote going to attract any attention?

Simple. The user knows who developed it, who published it and what to expect. Reviews are golden. This should be done with simplicity unlike web browsers, where you have to create an account (a uselessly tedious business) to post a comment or a review. A one tap, one touch contact point (i.e. address, mail, phone number, forum) where you tell the developer or the company of that specific app what it’s all about.

Without contact points, the user will feel isolated with his app, which is quite the opposite of what a mobile phone means. Your app philosophy should emulate this concept.

Also, don’t forget about social one touch sharing, like Facebook, where you like the app and want to share it with your friends or invite them.  Another useful trait is bug reporting from users. Although the chances of encountering a bug on a mobile app is rarer than a few years ago, it’s a great way to quickly correct mistakes through on time feedback.

4. Social integration – if you want your app to be known it has to support social interaction

People like to talk about their mobile phones, that’s a given. What they can do, how they pay their bills and don’t have to wait in line, how they filmed their cat doing a back flip and so on.

We’re going back to the Angry Birds analogy. So what was one of the leading causes for the proliferation of this game? Social interaction.

Among many other of its traits, one of the things that made the game such an immersive experience was interaction and competition. You could play the game and see the ranking of your friends on Facebook for example. And that really made users want reach the top rankings and use the app more

Gamifying your app is a must. If you make it fun for users then you’ll set the stage for a memorable experience. Monetizing an app is nearly impossible if the app is a headache to use or it’s simply too complex without any reason. It’s all about psychology and the things we tend to remember were those bits of info encapsulated in fun emotions.

Again, it’s about simplicity that has infinite ramifications. One tap sharing and fun comments from users to their social companions is the most powerful form of communication that leads to brand visibility and retention.

,,Extremely useful for understanding user experience : 48 psychological facts you should know”

According to Susan Weinschenk, synchronous activity bonds the group. Your mobile app will be popular if it supports features such as interactive ratings or reviews (either through smart push notifications or an easy to scroll comment bar, either from friends or experts). Buzzword: Interactivity = popularity.

5. Cross-platform compatibility

Or one code to rule them all.  It means that a program developed as cross-platform is fully capable of operating on any mobile phone regardless of what operating system that phone is running.

Application development frameworks offer the beauty of code reusability. A magnificent and useful app such as Google Maps would have been a hell to program for one OS at time.

They don’t just cut down development costs and time pressing situations, but they offer the advantage of updating the app as quick as possible. Thus you can ensure you can deliver content /updates to your app faster and users will have higher retention and appreciation. If the app you’re going for is a native one, then having cross platform tools will give you a boost in ensuring fast delivery for updates and changes.

6. If less is more, then great apps mean a dialectic of simple and brilliant implementations

Great mobile apps are very task-focused. A nice analogy would be the classical saying ,,Do you want the short version or the long version of the story?”. With mobile apps the same truth applies. The hardest part in any area is to make something simple.

It’s quite easy and tempting to fall into the mindset of ,,Yeah, we need a button for that, and a scroll for that one, 50 side scrolling screens and so on.” But tablets and smartphones aren’t desktops. Quite the opposite of what people were saying at the dawn of smartphones, which was ,, A computer in the palm of your hand”. It’s a little more than that.

Because the screens are small , you need clear buttons and a precise functionality. Here’s a good example of rules for a clean and simple design.

A stunning app is one that incorporates complex ramifications in a few simple buttons and touches and not dozens of buttons for just one thing. Don’t rush when mulling over complexity and needs. Think about the old military saying. ,,Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. Just what do we mean with it? Well, the nature of mobile, being on the run and everything. Even though people spend more time on their mobile than on their desktops, one of the reasons for this is clever and fluid simplicity.

7. Analytics are the backbone of where your app is going

Besides finding out how many users actively use your apps, other bits of info can be the turnpoint in knowing what to add or what to cut out in your app. Analytics can be combined with smart push notifications to deliver the most relevant content where it matters and when it matters.

They are also a boon when taking the pulse of in-app purchases and polishing monetization strategies.

The key traits of mobile app analytics are:

  •   Acquisition and user metrics such as downloads and new user   
  •   Engagement metrics such as retention, crashes and conversions     
  •   Outcome metrics such as app sales and in-app purchases

We could mention other traits a great mobile app should have but that is dependent on the nature of the app itself. QR code scanners are useful in retail and shopping. In-app ads are starting to become a little more refined but then again, this is solely linked to what you want to do with your app and if ads are going to be your main monetization plan. Other things we could highlight would be GPS coupons (repeated visits to a certain place give customers a bonus or discount), loyalty points and promotions.

A viral app has the possibility of creating an online community by itself if it’s done right.

And there we have it. Now these are just the main elements when designing an app that has the possibility of becoming viral. In the end it comes down to basic psychology and user experience. The pivotal features you need to always consider is how your app can spread through social media. To give a soul to an app means to make it interactive and unbound.

And the most coolest trait is that your app will do most of the heavy lifting and actually market itself, leaving you with a lot of monetization options rather than picking a niche and crossing your fingers. Elements such as customer points, badges, in-app money, rewards, they all gamify and create more engagement, fun experience and all round good user reaction.

Unless you’re putting one time apps intentionally, all of these will lead to your own app success story.

This is a guest post by Appscend (http://www.appscend.com) — the all-in-one cross-mobile performance based application platform. Appscend offers its customers the fastest cross platform development technology available on the market today together with a complete list of backend technologies that ensure application & user management, a powerful push notifications platform as well as app analytics, ad-integration, in-app purchases and over-the-air distribution services.

Google Has Added Amber Alerts To Maps and Search

Google,Amber alert,mobile,techSomehow in the hubbub of activity surrounding Halloween and the Presidential election we missed some great news out of the GooglePlex. Google has teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Google Public Alerts Platform, to send out Amber alerts, when and where they are relevant to you.  Of course Amber alerts are the alerts used to help bring children back home safely.

Google wrote on the official Google Blog:

If you’re using Google Search or Maps on desktop and mobile you’ll see an AMBER Alert if you search for related information in a particular location where a child has recently been abducted and an alert was issued. You’ll also see an alert if you conduct a targeted search for the situation. By increasing the availability of these alerts through our services, we hope that more people will assist in the search for children featured in AMBER Alerts and that the rates of safe recovery will rise.

AMBER Alerts will provide information about the abducted child and any other details about the case as they become available. Additional details could include the make and model of the vehicle he/she was abducted in or information about the alleged abductor.

Source: Google Blog

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children

The big everywhere else thing 


Android Prepared Me For The iPad 4th Generation

iPad,Apple,Tech,Android,MobileTuesday was a big day for Apple. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took pride in announcing that it would be a big day for Apple when he took the stage at their standing room only press event in California Tuesday morning. A big day it was.

Apple announced a new 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display and a bunch of great bells and whistles, two new iMacs, two new Mac Mini’s, a new full sized iPad and the new iPad mini.

Many people who went out and purchased a “The New iPad” this past spring felt a little stung by Phil Shiller’s announcement that they were unveiling a new “4th Generation iPad” while on stage Tuesday morning. From the way they choreographed the announcement it could have been the iPad mini that Shiller was touting just about until the very end. However it wasn’t.

Apple has decided to release a new 10″ version of the iPad alongside the new iPad mini. The 4th generation iPad will feature a A6x processor which is rumored to be twice as fast as the previous processor. Like it’s immediate predecessor “The New iPad” this new, new iPad will feature a retina display and it will also incorporate the new “lightning” connector which is becoming standard for Apple devices.

But why re-up the iPad just six months after “The New iPad” release? There were many factors involved in that decision and both journalists and analysts have been hypothesizing about it for the past 36 hours straight.

The reasons that make sense include:

Apple wanted to put the iPad and the iPad mini on the same schedule, just ahead of the holiday rush.

Apple wanted to put the A6x processor into a full sized iPad but it wasn’t ready in the spring.

Apple wanted to hurry up and get the “lightning” connector into the iPad but wanted to wait until it had hit the iPhone 5 first.

Apple wants to speed up it’s iteration/production cycle to thwart off competition.

It could have been anything but it’s Apple and as we’ve seen Apple does thing their own way.  Being an early adopter though, a speed up in the Apple cycle could prove to be costly not only to myself but to many early adopters.

Personally, the verdict on the iPad 4th generation isn’t in just yet for me. I’m not sure if it’s a significant enough upgrade to actually warrant the change from “The New iPad” to this iPad 4th generation other than the fact that it’s the latest model.  If you’ve read this piece here at nibletz.com then you know that I’ve been an Apple computer guy my entire life. I usually sit out a cycle when upgrading Macbooks and iMacs. Typically I take an iMac upgrade, and skip the next, the year I skip the iMac upgrade is the year that I do the Macbook upgrade.

The problem this time around is that it’s technically MacBook upgrade year but the iMac looks so great. Also, I upgraded my MacBook three months ago under Best Buy Black Tie protection. I had decided to get a MacBook Air because of our extremely tough travel schedule but the trackpad went out multiple times for multiple replacements and of course, after the second time the trackpad was rendered useless Best Buy gave me a credit. I then got the newest 2012 13″ MBP.

An upgrade on all fronts could prove to be a very costly endeavor.

I do know this though, after running a high profile Android website for three years and testing or using over 200 Android devices in that time, I was very well prepared for Apple canibalizing “The New iPad”


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Is This The iPad Killer You’ve Been Looking For? Microsoft Reveals Surface Pricing

With our deep roots in mobile technology we’re not quite sure what to think of the Microsoft Surface series of tablets or the next iteration of Windows, Windows 8. Sure it’s going to be a Microsoft game changer, but are they trying to come in and change a party that’s been going on for the last five years?

Microsoft is betting a great deal on the fact that people will come back to the Windows brand on the desktop, the laptop the tablet and the smartphone. They’ve lost a tremendous amount of ground in the mobile sector and have taken their time bringing a tablet to market. Hopefully, they’ve used that time wisely and they’re ready to compete with Apple’s iPad and the onslaught of Android tablets available everywhere.

Microsoft has been working hard on making Windows the same experience across multiple screens. Windows 8 integrates well across desktops, laptops, tablets and with Windows Phone 8, phones. They’re hoping to capture a lot more of the mobile market than they have with past versions.

Now, after nearly four months of being completely in the dark about pricing and final specs, Microsoft has revealed what you want to know.

The baseline Surface tablet will set you back $499. This includes 32gb of memory but no fancy shmancy Touch Cover. A $100 more will get you the 32gb model with the Touch Cover. The 64gb Surface tablet will set you back $699 and that will also include the Touch Cover.

Here are other specs that Microsoft revealed today:

  • 1366×768 10.6-inch screen with five-point multitouch,
  • 9.4mm thick
  • weighs 1.5 pounds
  • Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (1.4GHz Cortex A9 part coupled with a 520MHz NVIDIA GPU,)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32 or 64gb of flash memory
  • Bluetooth 4
  • microSDXC slot
  • mini-HDMI port
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • Preview versions of Office 2013 apps

The Surface is priced competitively with the iPad and several Android based tablets from computer manufacturers like the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx.

The Surface Tablets are available for preorder now and will be shipped October 26th. Microsoft is reporting that on launch day the Surface tablet will be available at Microsoft branded stores across the country and 34 pop up stores in malls across the country. While Windows 8 will be widely available on October 26th, including at Best Buy and Walmart, there is no word on when the Surface tablets will make it to Microsoft’s retail partners.


Source: Arstechnica

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Best Buy To Combat “Showrooming” With Online Price Matching


Although the details are still being worked out, Best Buy has vowed to stay competitive this holiday season by price matching online offering from top rates sites like Amazon.com.

There’s a new phenomena in retail that’s stemmed directly from online sales, dubbed “showrooming”. Showrooming is when customers walk into their neighborhood electronics big box store to touch and feel products they will ultimately purchase online because of pricing. Until now, Best Buy would not match prices found online at sites like Amazon.

Amazon, while a huge operation in itself, still doesn’t have nearly the overhead that a brick and mortar retail chain like Best Buy or HH Gregg have.

Not only that, but while Best Buy will go into the black during the holiday season, the cost of business increases drastically. Best Buy more than doubles their in-store work force, and has to contend with an onslaught of returns after Christmas.

Best Buy has gone through some major executive changes at their home office in Minnesota including the ousting of career man and former CEO Brian Dunn. Scott Durchslag is the companies new head of e-commerce, who’s been preaching price competitiveness since his arrival.

The goal with offering price matching with amazon.com is to convert those showrooming customers into actual sales.

“Once they’re in the store, they’re yours to lose,” Durchslag Business Insider.“A lot of people talk and write about the ‘showrooming’ phenomenon. It’s a symptom, not a cause. There are things that you’re not doing for the consumer that makes them not want to purchase.”

It’s unclear if the price match move will be temporary through the holidays or continue on as policy.


Source: Business Insider

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Nashville’s Griffin Technology All In On iPhone 5

While Griffin Technology hardly qualifies as a startup since it was launched in 1992, the company founded (and still remaining) in Nashville Tennessee is a driver of innovation. Griffin started out by making computer parts beginning with DB15 connectors and launching USB peripherals in 1998. However, it was the release of the original iPhone and a barrage of well designed accessories created in Nashville Tennessee that drove Griffin to “household name” status.

With the announcement of the iPhone 5 last week and the release of the device next Friday, Griffin, like the rest of us, waited with eyes glued to projectors, screens and monitors throughout their Tennessee campus, reports Nasvhille Business Journal’s Jamie McGee. Over 150 Griffin employees gathered around to watch the release of the iPhone 5, all seeing the same images that we saw thanks to live blogs and other information. They watched with pens and paper and immediately went to work on their designs.

Griffin Technology and other iPhone accessory manufacturers got a welcomed break when the last iPhone update was from the 4 to the 4S. There was no real form factor change.

“To have something happen like a complete form-factor change, like we’ve seen on the screen, means our industrial design people are going to be really, really busy for the next couple of weeks,” said Web Wester, who handles social media for Griffin told local news station WKRN.

By the next morning Griffin had a plan. About mid-morning the sent out a press release confirming that their Survivor and Protector collections along with their Reveal, Chevron, Moxy, Mustachio & Wise Eyes, Kazoo and Animal Parade lines will all be quickly updated for the new iPhone 5. The company also plans on adding some more cases to the mix as time goes on.

The iPone 5 hits Apple stores, Best Buy and carrier partner retailers on Friday. Griffin Technology hasn’t said when you’ll be able to pick up their accessories for the iPhone 5 but it should be soon. A Griffin spokesperson has also said that the power accessories the company is known for will be released for the iPhone 5 shortly. However, Apple changed the 30 pin cord design for the first time since the original iPod so those may take a little longer.

Griffin also has alumni startup founders among their ranks. The group behind Nashville Startup Evermind, a device that helps keep tabs on the elderly, all got their start at Griffin.


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Chicago Startup: WalkJogRun Keeps Track When You Walk, Jog Or Run INTERVIEW

Fitness startups are always great. Everyone wants to get fit, stay fit and monitor their fitness regimen. A startup in Chicago called WalkJogRun has a website and app that helps anyone who runs, walks, jogs, hikes and cycles, monitor their exercise, map their routes and track their progress.

As a compliment to their web and mobile app platform WalkJogRun also has a blog and podcast that provides inspiration to those using their platform. They also offer tips, as well as healthy recipes.

Whether you are a casual jogger, mall walker or you’re training for a marathon, WalkJogRun’s robust platform can cover your workout and be your walking, jogging and running companion.

The precursor to what WalkJogRun has become was originally created by co-founder Adam Howitt. Howitt was living in Atlanta and training for the PeachTree 10k when he got fed up with just doing quarter miles in the parking garage. He tells us in an interview below, that he created the first iteration of WalkJogRun in 2002.

Howitt’s co-founder Jeff Kenny redesigned Howitt’s original website as a surprise back in 2003 and then they realized that WalkJogRun could be beneficial to many running enthusiasts. This was of course, way before the fitness app boom, and GPS tracking boom that we’re currently experiencing.

The Chicago based startup has made plenty of refinements over the last 10 years to what the website and app have become today. 

We got a chance to interview WalkJogRun. Check out the interview below:

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Next Generation iPhone Strongly Rumored For September 21st Launch

Most everyone who has even a murmur of a pulse about technology knows that we are expecting the announcement of the next generation iPhone to come out of a press event Apple is holding on September 12th. We won’t even go with calling it the “iPhone 5” at this point in time because of the stunt Apple pulled with “the new iPad”. However, whatever you call it, it’s expected to be announced in a few short weeks.

We’re not even going to speculate as to what features this next generation iPhone will have. I am personally switching, provided it has 4G/LTE, without that though, I’m sticking with a 4S. If you want to keep track of the rumors and the track records of the rumor mongerers we highly suggest you check out Cincinnati startup Tracour here.

As for the relevance of the next iPhone here at nibletz, the voice of startups everywhere else, well the design for one is of great concern to any startup in the iPhone accessory space. The brains, speed, and guts of the next iPhone also weigh heavily on the conscious of the thousands of startups who rely on iPhone apps.  And of course, because we’re smart enough to know you’ll read this piece just because of the headline.

As for the source, every major tech site is reporting off a tip that originated at TechCrunch and has been confirmed by just about every site with a connection to a middle manager at Verizon Wireless. Apparently Verizon Wireless has a vacation freeze on the 21st of September. The barely under 10 day spread from announcement to release date, fits conspicuously well within Apple’s normal pattern and routine.

It’s also heavily rumored that Apple will release a 7″ iPad at the same event. For many this is great news. The 7″ form factor fits in your pocket very nicely but aside from that I think I’m going to stick with the 10″ version myself. As Cameron will tell you, I’m quite good with the 10″ iPad keyboard.

Well I get a 7″ iPad. Probably.

Are you getting the next gen iPhone? Are you getting a 7″ iPad? Tell us below in the comments section.

Source: TechCrunch via PCWorld

Google Officially Updates Google Wallet To 4 No Wait 3 No Wait 2 Credit Card Brands

GoogleWallet,ISIS,American ExpressEarlier this week nibletz.com Co-Founder and Google extreme loyalist Cameron Wright, was bragging to me while we were on the road in Ohio, that Google Wallet was now a game-changer. He was finally excited that you could add any major credit card to Google’s NFC enabled “Google Wallet” product.

Today that is still the case however Google has come under fire by TechCrunch and SAI after it was learned, that they actually had no definitive agreement with American Express, and one other credit card carrier. They haven’t named the other credit card carrier but our sources tell us it starts with a D and ends in an R and has iscove in the middle.

While both American Express cards and the other cards are still available for use with Google Wallet either company can pull the plug at anytime. This TechCrunch story points specifically to American Express.

American Express is concerned with the transparency that Mastercard’s Pay Pass program provides to the customers. Currently Mastercard Pay Pass terminals are still the only terminals that are able to accept Google Wallet, regardless of which credit card provider your transaction goes to.

This isn’t meant to alarm anyone as Google Wallet is essentially a safe mobile commerce payment solution. American Express (and we will assume the other company as well), doesn’t like the amount of data that Mastercard Pay Pass provides.  Mastercard’s Pay Pass terminals only provide location and transaction amount back to credit card carriers outside of Mastercard.

While American Express has long been a partner of Google’s “Google Checkout” payment system, they never signed an agreement with Google specifically for Google Wallet. Earlier this year Google merged all of their payment products together under one umbrella, perhaps thinking that this merge would allow them to arbitrarily just use all four brands.

American Express’ Social Media VP Scott Minor told Chris Velazco at TechCrunch:

“We want to make sure Google’s mobile wallet product meets the standards we set for our Cardmembers in terms of transparency and clarity about transaction detail,” Minor said. “Right now, American Express does not have an agreement with Google for our cards to be used in the Google mobile wallet.”

It took a good part of  the day yesterday, but Google finally replied to Velazco’s request for a statement and said:

For many years, we’ve accepted American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover for online and mobile transactions. The latest version of Google Wallet extends these same benefits to people who choose to use the Google Wallet app to make purchases in-store. We are in active discussions with American Express and look forward to working together as partners as the world embraces digital payments.”

Google has been struggling with Google Wallet since they first launched the product via the Samsung Galaxy S and then the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. When it was released Google Wallet supported their own in-house prepaid credit card program along with Citibank MasterCards. While American Express and the “other” credit card carrier hash out the details of an agreement with Google, all four brands are still able to connect to Google Wallet and use via NFC.

We are well into the summer of 2012 and still waiting for the rollout of ISIS, the mobile payment service developed in concert with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile .At South By Southwest earlier this year ISIS indicated that they would have markets up and testing during the Summer of 2012.


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