Well it’s time again for our semi-regular mobile roundup and with this installment I’m focusing on revolutionary advancements in the mobile space. That’s right, in order to make this post, you’re going to have to be a revolutionary new mobile app.
Seeking to revolutionize how we spend our money, Google announced Google Wallet, which will allow consumers to make purchases with near field communication (NFC) and their mobile device. Currently there are some fairly major limitations to NFC payment systems, which include both supporting devices and the availability of NFC point-of-sale terminals.
As with anything, the extent to which this is embraced by consumers will determine whether or not it is successful, but if it does, it stands to change the purchasing experience in fairly dramatic ways; like giving you access to your account balance, special promotions offered by the retailer that you just walked into, or the ability to visualize how a pending purchase will affect your larger financial picture, like savings goals or that upcoming mortgage payment.
Do@ (pronounced ‘do at’) is an iPhone app that’s attempting to revolutionize the mobile search experience. How are they doing this? By abandoning the list of links that most searches return to users,which can be difficult to navigate, even on a full HTML touch screen mobile device.
Instead, Do@ uses an HTML5 engine to pull up several mobile apps, complete with much of their functionality, related to your query. Flipping between apps works much the same way as switching between Safari windows on the iPhone. I’ve played around with this a little and I must admit, with the exception of the few bugs that are typical of newly launched apps, I found the experience to be very favorable. I’m not sure if it’ll become the only app that I turn to for mobile search, but I can see myself going to it for specific types of searches.
The device that was going to revolutionize the world of textbooks has become the app that’s going to revolutionize the world of textbooks. That’s right; the Kno device has been scrapped in favor of a more widely accessible iPad app. Kno still offers students a vastly improved textbook experience, not to mention potential savings that any student can appreciate. I’ll be curious to see if they expand to other tablet platforms beyond the iPad. I like what they are trying to do with Kno, but I really hope to see them make it as widely available as possible rather than device limited.
If U2’s Bono is known for anything other than his music, it’s his activism. Keeping in line with his mission to effect social change, ONE, the nonpartisan advocacy organization that he co-founded, has released an iPhone app by the same name. In their own words, ONE is “the one app that could change the world.” Say what you will, but I admire Bono’s ambition and the sense of responsibility that he feels as someone who carries international celebrity status.
The ONE app provides instant access to information on projects that are helping to address social problems, allows you to connect via your social networks, as well as the ONE community. It allows you to mobilize others and share your actions, and the ONE app connects you directly with your member of congress, by providing active petitions that you can sign and share; letting you advocate for the disadvantaged populations of the world.
So if convenience is the obstacle that was standing in the way of your being more altruistic, well…first maybe contemplate that for a moment, but then download the ONE app.