Why it’s high-time for businesses to think seriously about going mobile?

Posted by avijit.bajpai on December 8, 2010

You might’ve heard a lot about mobile optimization of your website, or even the opportunities that exist in the smartphone apps business. This whole smartphone stuff and getting your business site optimized for this might appear geeky in the first place. It even looks burdensome at times. If this is the case, you have to come out of these frosty clouds of misconceptions and exploit these powerful handheld devices to strengthen your business. Besides, with some new stats in our hand, you’d perhaps love doing this.

Smartphone adoption in some of the leading European markets, including that of UK, has already surpassed 60 million, and it’s all geared up to overtake PCs as the most preferred web access device, a research from the analytics firm Sequence claims. This flourishing market brings in an ocean of opportunities for businesses of all sizes. This would help businesses in maintaining personalized contacts with their potential customers and influencing their buying decisions.

If these staggering numbers aren’t substantial enough to persuade you to go mobile, then another research from Accenture might let you change your mind. According to the survey, 73 percent of the respondents prefer using smartphones for handling their routine chore at stores. That’s not just it, as around 71 percent of the people rely on their smartphones to check out stores with some desired item in stock.

Evidently, smartphones have ushered in a big transformation in the way businesses are being done. They have become instruments to help businesses interact with their customers and influence their decisions. These gadgets have become channels that are in any way insane to ignore. With a large number of businesses going mobile, the focus would largely be on serving users with practical, branded, or entertaining content to keep them engaged. And engagement is the catch-word in today’s marketing lexicon. So, just don’t be left out of the wave, and start endeavoring before its too late.

In-Game Purchases to Steer Mobile Gaming Revenues Go Past $11 Bn, Juniper Study

Posted by avijit.bajpai on December 1, 2010

In what comes as a shocker for those nerdy industry enthusiasts who initially shrugged off the kooky world of mobile gaming, a recent research study has pitched that the mobile gaming revenues will surpass the staggering $11bn mark by the end of 2015. And most of the revenue percentage will be driven by in-game purchases, popularly known as ‘freemium apps’ among developer folks.

This exciting study, conducted by UK-based research major Juniper Research, purports that the flourishing idea of in-game purchases would surpass the revenues from traditional pay-per-download games in as early as 2013. Apple iOS-powered devices will be among prime key drivers of this lustrous growth, the study touted. Apple has asserted earlier that it would let the developers bring games that are free to download but backed by in-game purchases. Gaming outfits like Ngmoco, which was acquired by the Japanese gaming firm DeNA for around $400mn, would propel the adoption of freemium model games. This striking model involves doling out free-to-download games that are supported with host of incremental add-ons, such as clothes, levels, weapons, and other such stuffs.

The study iterated that in spite of tremendous growth potential in the guise in-app purchases, ‘discoverability’ of apps on these heavily crowded app stores would remain a point of concern for developers. Users too would find it difficult to sift through these walloping numbers of applications on app stores to reach out to the real jewels, the study concluded. Outpouring of applications on these app stores has made the marketing conundrum for developers even trickier, and innovation in marketing tactics, not in creativity, appears to be the need of the hour.

Android App Development – A Primer

Posted by avijit.bajpai on November 25, 2010

With more than a humongous 200,000 applications and over a billion downloads, Apple’s App Store has been the uncrowned king of the app domain so far. However the equation has changed, only a bit though, ever since Google’s Android mobile platform has come to the fore. Apparently, having familiarity with the qualms and grudges developers have had with the App Store, Google has that what can be called as ‘the second-mover advantage’ with its Android Marketplace. In fact, Android app development has surfaced as a crowning event in the mobile industry. It’s open source nature has attracted hoards of developers and mobile platforms, so much so that it has went on to become a highly sough-after platform for developers.

It’s not just the open source character, but the features and functionalities too have been pivotal in grabbing the eyeballs of developers and publishers. It’s equipped with all the essential features that would facilitate developers in creating marvelous applications for smartphone users. In addition to being a mobile platform, Android is also a Linux Kernel-based operating system.

Owing to its open-source attribute, developers can perform operating system level customizations with tremendous ease and at a reasonable cost. It further tenders support for Java, enabling developers to build applications using Java and its own signature Android Framework. Amongst its various useful features, some of the most notable ones are:
Support for GSM, CDMA, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, UMTS, and EV-DO, to enable sending and receiving of data across netwoorks.
Comprehensive libraries comprising a wide range of 2D and 3D graphics, along with broad array of libraries for host of audio, video, and image files, including JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, MIDI, MPEG 4, AMR, AMR WB, H.263, H.264, MP3, AAC, to name a few.
Feature-sets for video camera, touchscreen devices, GPS applications, magnetometer, accelerometer, etc.
SQLite for storing data, P2P through Google Talk, and Interprocess Communication (IPC) messaging system.

Android’s software development kit, commonly known as Android SDK, consists of robust tools and applications to help developers design the user interface, as well as debug the application. The kit involves applications for diverse versions of Android platform, such as Android 1.0, Android 1.5 and the likes. Goggle has leveraged its various applications and services to empower its SDK with innumerable tools and applications. Some of the core applications incorporated in Android SDK suite are, a full-fledged email client compatible with Gmail, Google Map application, an SMS program, a fully-featured web browser and music player, an image viewer, an Android Marketplace client, among many other things.

iPad for businesses — A whole new ball-game

Posted by avijit.bajpai on November 24, 2010

Apple’s blockbuster tablet computing gizmo, dubbed as iPad, has already been creating waves among technology enthusiasts. The revolutionary gadget has found its way to more than three million hands since it made its debut last summer. It has changed the way people carry their entertainment options.

However, during its initial phases, a majority of industry experts claimed that the device would remain confine to entertainment only, and pose scepticism about its utility in the business domains. But all their assumptions and doubts went wrong over the time. Today a number of notable business groups are embracing iPads to change the way they do business. Among them, automobile giant Hyundai stands as the forerunner. Back in April, the automaker bundled the iPad free with its luxury sedan Equus for a limited period. The free iPad included company’s user-manual among other stuffs. Quite an interactive way of communicating with customers, isn’t it. Not only this, there’s a budget airline, named Jetstar Airways, using the device for in-flight entertainment. Travelers have to pay $10 as rent for this though.

Along with these, there are several other businesses that are either adopting, or planning to bring in iPad within their organizational framework. What’s there in iPad that is grabbing the eyeballs of entrepreneurs? Is it the popular “cool-quotient” you can always associate with the Apple products? Or, the device is really that useful? Well, let’s figure it out.

The foremost reason business people are preferring iPads over laptops is its light-weight. iPad weighs considerably less than laptops. People traveling for conventions and workshops find the iPad extremely useful. As these events have networking as their prime purpose, people can’t sit glued to their laptops. This is where iPad comes very handy.

Along with its light-weight attribute, the size of the device too make the businessmen tick it. It’s about the size of a magazine and can easily be slipped into small bags. The size further makes it easier for people to work with it while on the go. They  can check data, analyze statistics, read business magazines, or whatever they are pleased to do. Spreadsheets and word applications of the iPad further add to its appeal for the business people.

Sales professionals who travel frequently to client offices to give presentations also find iPad a useful gadget. In addition to these, there are several other things an iPad can do to simplify the way professionals perform their daily business chores. There’s absolutely no need to lug around with all the required stuffs, like newspapers, magazines, documents, etc that you carry in your briefcase when you have iPad for your rescue.

Amazon Bringing Kindle Book-Lending Soon

Posted by avijit.bajpai on October 25, 2010

After a few shaky moves in the beginning, the online shopping giant Amazon seems poised to tread the accelerator paddle in the electronic-reader space to create a niche for itself. Actually, it’s Amazon that can be credited for introducing electronic-reader gizmos to the industry. It’s Kindle e-reader device has already become some sort of a revolution, with a number of big names in electronics and publishing have stepped in to follow the suite.

In a move to thrash its competitors, Amazon has announced a startling new “lending the ebook” feature to its Kindle app for the smartphones. Primarily aimed at Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reader application, which already boasts such a functionality, Amazon would enable its Kindle app users to lend their e-books to their friends. However, such a lending would remain valid for a period of 14-days….(good enough to wind up even some of the bulkier classics, i guess). However, like in traditional lending, the person who’d lent the e-book wouldn’t be able to access the same piece during the lending period. So technically, it can’t be called “sharing”, as some bloggers have been preferring it to say. The feature would be applicable for the Kindle e-reader device as well as for the Kindle app users on iPhone and iPod, the company noted.

While this comes as a big news for the e-book worms, not all 720,000 titles on Amazon would come with this borrowing feature. The company asserted that the integration of the feature would solely depend on discretion of rights holders and publishers. Meanwhile, after incorporating the much-awaited lending feature, there’s one more frontier where Amazon needs to work upon – “libraries”. Incidentally, both of its prominent rivals, Sony e-Reader and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, enable users to access e-books embedded with digital rights management software systems from some of the popular library systems. But, Amazon uses its signature e-book format which is incompatible with these systems.
Nonetheless, bringing the lending feature to its Kindle device and app is itself a remarkable move from Amazon, and many such customer-oriented moves seems to be there in the offing.

iPad Will Make The PC Industry Run For Its Money, Says Gartner

Posted by avijit.bajpai on October 20, 2010
Apple has the reputation of bringing ground-breaking gadgets that have went on to become big game changers in the IT and entertainment industry. Previously, the company did it with cutting-edge gizmos like iPod and iPhone, and now the electronics giant appears all set to recreate the same magic with its tablet computing avatar, popularly called iPad. However, the device made its appearance among much brouhaha, with a section of industry enthusiasts even expressed doubts on the utility of such a device, particularly when the IT space was swayed by cheap and handy netbooks. In fact, the credit crunch further tilted the bar in favor of these small computing screens. Nonetheless, Apple remained unfazed during the shaky times, and above all, it stuck to its instincts. Its persistence eventually bore fruits in the guise of iPad, which is now reportedly exerting heavy pressure on the PC industry.
According to a recent research note from Gartner, as many as 19.4 million units of tablet computing gadgets would be sold in the year 2010. And there are no points for guessing who’d have the lion’s share in this. The research note further anticipated a substantial rise in tablet PC sales in the coming years, with the sales figure expected to reach 54.7 miliion in 2011, 103.4 million in 201, and a mammoth 208 million in 2014. The research report from Gartner is further corroborated by findings from another survey major IDC. The two research companies claimed that the niche created by the iPad has led some consumers to think twice before buying new PCs. This has caused a considerable plunge in PC sales this year.
Besides, it’s not only the PC segment which would bear the brunt, but the advent of iPad would also impact the sales of other mobile gadgets, such as e-readers and mininotebooks. Incidentally, Apple has sold a whopping 3.3 million units of iPad during the first three months of its launch, whereas the figure further rose to 5 million units in the following quarter, according to sources. This could be taken as an overture to the kind of success iPad could achieve in the foreseeable future.
Although iPad is expected to give a hard time to PC and mobile devices segment, low-end consumer notebooks running an open-source OS, say Android, would suffer the least from the new trendy swings, says Gartner. In addition, the research firm went on to say that 7-inch tablets could even impact the smartphone section.
Now, it’d be interesting to see how Apple deal with the situation caused by the arrival iPad, as it is also posing some significant threat to its Mac range of PCs and MacBook notebooks. Whether it will throw its weight exclusively behind iPad, or spruce up the MacBook range to keep its usefulness intact is yet to be seen.

Apple has the reputation of bringing ground-breaking gadgets that have went on to become big game changers in the IT and entertainment industry. Previously, the company did it with cutting-edge gizmos like iPod and iPhone, and now the electronics giant appears all set to recreate the same magic with its tablet computing avatar, popularly called iPad. However, the device made its appearance among much brouhaha, with a section of industry enthusiasts even expressed doubts on the utility of such a device, particularly when the IT space was swayed by cheap and handy netbooks. In fact, the credit crunch further tilted the bar in favor of these small computing screens. Nonetheless, Apple remained unfazed during the shaky times, and above all, it stuck to its instincts. Its persistence eventually bore fruits in the guise of iPad, which is now reportedly exerting heavy pressure on the PC industry.

According to a recent research note from Gartner, as many as 19.4 million units of tablet computing gadgets would be sold in the year 2010. And there are no points for guessing who’d have the lion’s share in this. The research note further anticipated a substantial rise in tablet PC sales in the coming years, with the sales figure expected to reach 54.7 miliion in 2011, 103.4 million in 201, and a mammoth 208 million in 2014. The research report from Gartner is further corroborated by findings from another survey major IDC. The two research companies claimed that the niche created by the iPad has led some consumers to think twice before buying new PCs. This has caused a considerable plunge in PC sales this year.

Besides, it’s not only the PC segment which would bear the brunt, but the advent of iPad would also impact the sales of other mobile gadgets, such as e-readers and mininotebooks. Incidentally, Apple has sold a whopping 3.3 million units of iPad during the first three months of its launch, whereas the figure further rose to 5 million units in the following quarter, according to sources. This could be taken as an overture to the kind of success iPad could achieve in the foreseeable future.

Although iPad is expected to give a hard time to PC and mobile devices segment, low-end consumer notebooks running an open-source OS, say Android, would suffer the least from the new trendy swings, says Gartner. In addition, the research firm went on to say that 7-inch tablets could even impact the smartphone section.

Now, it’d be interesting to see how Apple deal with the situation caused by the arrival iPad, as it is also posing some significant threat to its Mac range of PCs and MacBook notebooks. Whether it will throw its weight exclusively behind iPad, or spruce up the MacBook range to keep its usefulness intact is yet to be seen.

Google TV vs Apple TV – Here Begins The Big Set-Top Box Smack Down

Posted by avijit.bajpai on October 18, 2010

With the Google’s highly anticipated Google TV platform seems all geared up to hit the market sometime soon, IT experts and enthusiasts have understandably been busy pitting it against its closest rival – Apple TV. In fact, the all new Google TV comes high on the heels of a significant overhaul of Apple TV. This would perhaps give Google a cut above Apple. Like the search heavyweight did in smartphone space with Android, here too it will have benefit of being the ‘second-mover’.

Apparently, the preliminary aim of both the platform is to dish up videos on demand. The only difference being the manner in which they do so. Both platforms are designed to offer TV shows, music, movies, and other multimedia stuffs. These are the junctions where the Internet meets Television to present something of high entertainment value. Herein we run you down through some of the differences between the two platforms. The foremost thing in the Internet TV space is content. All goes in vain if the platform you opted fails to offer you the content you have been looking for. Apple TV brings you the content of providers with whom Apple has partnership agreements. Just go through the iTunes Store to find out if your favorite show features in there. Besides, the new advanced version of Apple TV comes with in-built Netflix and YouTube app, giving you the access to anything that’s uploaded on Netflix.

On the other hand, as of now, Google’s repository of ready shows isn’t as wide as that of Apple. It has already announced deals with Time Warner media subsidiaries, such as HBO, CNN, TNT, and TBS, as well as deals with CNBC. However, content from other media biggies is yet to come on-board. During the launch, Google TV will seemingly serve up content from third-party apps, such as Netflix, Amazon video-on-demand, or Sony Qriocity.

Google is counting high on apps segment of its new platform. Perceptibly, it intends to recreate the kind of success it has been enjoying with Android Apps marketplace. Being an open-source platform, Google TV presents a notable opportunity to developers. Its partnership with Pandora and NBA simply adds up to its appeal. Apple, as we know, doesn’t like sharing much with the open-source developers. Apple isn’t inviting developers to write apps for its Apple TV software, neither it is considering YouTube, Flickr, and Netflix as apps.

A stark difference between the two lies in recording TV shows. While Apple don’t allow its users to record TV shows for anytime viewing, Google do it for the users on DISH network. So, these are the key points, among various subtle others, that can help you draw a parallel between the two. Both are undoubtedly great platforms available with their characteristic offerings, so go through the reviews to check which one suits your needs to the best.

Marathi Abhimaan Geet by ZenAge Studios launched as iPhone App

Posted by pooja.vohra on May 4, 2010

ZenAge Studios has achieved another feat by successfully launching official iPhone App of Marathi Abhimaan Geet at iTunes store.

Amitabh Bachchan himself has appreciated it in conversation with music director of this song Kaushal S. Inamdar. “You have brought so many singers together in one song in such a beautiful way. How you could do it? You have done a marvelous job.”

It is probably the biggest song in the world, with amazing statistics-

3 Cities
10 Studios
13 Sound Engineers
65 Musicians
112 Established Singers
356 Chorus Singers
2000 People who pledged active support.

Conceptualized in 2005 at a Mumbai Festival to start a sane movement for Marathi as a language that had to spring from the common-folk. All the Marathi speaking people were invited to come together and stand together to sow seeds of self-respect among the Marathi speaking people themselves. As a movement, it involved participation of thousands of people who have contributed to participate in this movement for Marathi.

Mobile application of song is launching on 50th Anniversary of Maharashtra, on the Maharashtra Day. Great experience is delivered through this app in Marathi Language -

1. Manogat – Audio recording by music director Kaushal Inamdar created exclusively for this iPhone App.

2. Mayaboli – Text of the poem by Kavivarya Suresh Bhat.

3. Marathi Abhimaan Geet Audio and complete listing of singers. Featuring singers like Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharan.

4. Instrumental version Audio and complete listing of all artists.

5. Exclusive photographs taken during the making of this song.

6. Facebook Connect to express your thoughts right from within the App.

And much more. A MUST HAVE App not only for Marathi speakers but for all who love their own mother-tongue language.

In Music Director Kaushal’s words this app is a great compliment that we have paid to the song. Vocal, instrumental versions, behind the scene photos, lyrics and an exclusive audio Manogat recorded just for this app. Great collectors item and a must-have app for music lovers.

The Marathi Abhiman Geet – World Map Google Application http://marathi.zenagestudios.com is also launched. Put your name & comments on world map if you have listened to this mega song which has been recorded by hundreds of singers!!

Palm Offers $1 Million in Cash Win to Developers

Posted by pooja.vohra on May 3, 2010

If you have some creative and innovative app idea that you are raring to bring to life, this is the time to do it on Palm OS and get a chance to win a million dollars. Palm’s App Catalog has brought this compelling way to get developers to make winning apps.

Palm’s Hot Apps Program is set up to reward the developer, or developers, of the most downloaded applications available in the Catalog. The Palm Hot Apps Program will reward developers of the hottest webOS applications with a total of $1 million! The top rewards of $100,000 will go to developers as follows:

  • The developer of the free webOS application that’s downloaded will receive $100,000.
  • The developer of the paid-for webOS app that generates the most revenue will also receive $100,000.

The good news doesn’t end there. Developers of other top free and paid apps can also receive cash awards. If you’re a developer of other top paid or free apps, the next 20 in each category will win $10,000 each. Beyond that, if you’re the developer of the next 200 in the categories, you’ll win $1,000.

Palm has also launched a new microsite called Palm Hot Apps. This is a leader board for their Hot Apps promotion. Since this is a competition Palm will constantly update site that shows who’s winning right now and who might be winning in the future.
If you are interested in mobile app development in general or just a Palm enthusiast, you’ll definitely want to check out the site. The competition is still wide open. If you want to build something cool and compete and are not a developer, don’t loose heart, Apps Factories like Zen Age Studios can bring your ideas to reality for you.

Chant Yourself Healthy

Posted by pooja.vohra on April 24, 2010

Chanting is an ancient and universal practice. The continuous recitation of chants is used in meditation and religious or ritual ceremonies. Some call chanting a way of altering the consciousness and raising psychic power, others believe it connects them with the divine. That singing promotes respiratory fitness by strengthening the lungs and increasing oxygen levels in the blood is a well-established fact. But recent clinical research reveals that the health benefits of singing or chanting go much further. Chanting has been shown to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression and promote a sense of well-being.

Chanting in particular is becoming increasingly recognized by medical science. A new study by medical experts shows that you can actually chant yourself healthy.  Following a research in the US, natural medicine expert Dr. Robert Schneider reportedly said “The clinical significant reductions in depression without drugs or psychotherapy in these studies suggest that transcendental meditation programme may improve mental and associated physical health in older high risk subjects.” Transcendental Meditation technique involves the daily chanting of a mantra.

Dr Sanford Nidich, of Maharishi University of Management ‘The findings of these studies have important implications for improving mental health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.’

Dr Alan Watkins, a senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London, revealed that teaching people to control their breathing and applying the musical structure of chanting can help their emotional state.

He said: “We have recently carried out research that demonstrates that the regular breathing and musical structure of chanting can have a significant and positive physiological impact.”

Chanting can lift the believer towards the higher self. In the recitation of chants, the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you power and strength. Different sounds have different effects on human psyche.

Chanting has rightfully been hailed as antidote to high blood pressure and depression.