Reflection Upon the Geolocation’s Year

As we reflect upon the year’s events , let’s talk once again about Geolocation, not as a new phenomenon but as a summary of the evolution of this service in 2010.

Among other reasons already mentioned in a previous blog post, the fact that more and more mobile devices have GPS is one of the major causes of the course taken by geolocation service in the last months of 2010.

Increased use of this service is one of the most remarkable effects: According to an article published by Mashable  last week, Foursquare, the most popular geolocation platform, has 5 million users, increasing its user base by a factor of 10 in just nine months.

The act of sharing the location has changed, it also added tastes of people, their opinions about visited places, shopping recommendations, vacation tips or tips for a nice dinner at a new and romantic restaurant.

Users use geolocation as a source of information, a service which not only encompasses “where” but also “how”, “when” and “who”.

Beyond sharing people locations, these services have also been designed to help businesses attract more customers to their stores since most of them help employers encourage engagement and promote virtual social interaction around a physical location. Slowly, companies, especially restaurants, are joining geolocation sites to implement different marketing actions, so far, only experiments waiting for the feedback from the public.

A good example is the campaign that Telepizza made in Foursquare, an action fully focused on marketing objectives.

Telepizza offered discounts on pizzas to people who did check-in at local or nearby restaurants.

What did Telepizza achieve?

1. Geo-segmentation: users who checked-in had a very high probability of being from the same neighborhood of Telepizza

2. Behavioral Segmentation: Telepizza marketing reached people who use to commonly  go out to dinner

3. Clients loyalty: Telepizza rewards every time you eat there

4. Channels desaturation: a person who buys in the store is a person who does not use the phone or the website of that store.

5. Even… stealing customers! If when I go into a store and do my check-in, I get a better deal for a pizza at another location nearby, of course I will think of leaving this restaurant and make my way to Telepizza.

So far we have appointed two players linked to the evolution of geolocation in 2010: users and businesses. The third character on stage is the developer: On the one hand, web sites are quick to offer and incorporate geolocation services into their interfaces. On the other hand, applications which include geolocation are multiplying with the same speed.

Foursquare knows that. Therefore, it has an API that allows developers to build their ideas on the foursquare platform. Developers use the API to build new check-in functionality, cool games, and interesting data visualizations.

SimpleGeo deserves special mention here.

SimpleGeo defines itself as a service which makes it easy for developers to create location-aware applications. SimpleGeo provides relevant contextual information such as geographic boundaries, weather, and demographics for a specific location. It offers a free database of business listings and points of interest (POIs) that enables real-time community collaboration. It provides api clients in Objective-C, Android, Java, Python.

According to TechCrunch , ” SimpleGeo wants to help make business data freely available for anyone to use, which would be a gigantic shift in how location … apps could be built more cheaply.

Thus, throughout this year, geolocation has become increasingly popular among ordinary users, being an attractive market niche for companies and developers.

As mobile technology continues to impose the idea of being “always connected”, geolocation will gain strength and prominence as a new form of social interaction.

In a previous blog post we tell you about another interesting and new use of geolocation, connected to art, which is still developing and has remained outside the commercial world.

Top 5 most curious and interesting uses of iPad in 2010

Throughout the year I’ve been collecting articles about unusual uses that some technology fans have given to the iPad, one of the most beautiful of Apple’s toys.

Despite the limitations that many people attribute to this tablet, some creative users could use it in a very original way.

In this blog post we will share with you the Top 5 most curious iPad uses in 2010, the year of its launch.

1- The latest Gorillaz album was done in an iPad.

Gorillaz mentor, Damon Albarn, developed “The Fall” during his tour through the United States. Albarn, also lead singer of Blur, only needed 32 days and his iPad to create the 15 tracks included in the new Gorillaz album, which can be downloaded from the band’s website.

Albarn, who normally work 4 years on each album, is really happy with this new experience. He said that this is a completely different album ever and called it “a daily route”, because it is closely linked to the places the band visited during its American tour.

It would be interesting to know which applications were used by Albarn for this last album. Any ideas?

2- iPads used at University of Madrid

The Open University of Madrid and Vodafone Spain Foundation is working on a pilot project on the use of new technologies in the distance learning mode.

For that reason the project managers gave an iPad to 50 of their students. The device’s uses were monitored for one semester by researchers, who are now performing a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the experiment. They expect that the results give answers to several issues, such as the degree of student’s satisfaction, the possibility of eliminating paper and the development of specific technological applications to facilitate the student’s learning process.

3- An iPad received a presidential autograph

At a political meeting in Seattle WA, Sylvester Cann IV, using the Adobe Ideas aplication, wrote: “Mr. President, sign my iPad ”. Just that was what Barack Obama did, who found the idea great.

Then John shared with everybody the scribbles that President Obama did on his iPad, under the wary eye of the Secret Service.

You can see it here!

4- The iPad in the operating room

Japanese and technology have a strange relationship which is often related more to abuse than use.

A group of doctors from the Kobe University used an iPad as a screen during a surgery. When we see on this video one of the doctors using the zoom feature of the device (despite the film wrap and latex gloves it works great!) we can easily wonder if the presence of the tablet in that room is because of medical purposes or just the simple doctor’s pleasure.

5- iPads to draw portraits

David Newman became increasingly popular because of his presence in technology events, drawing attendees’ portraits.

Newman impressed people with his art in events such as the conference of Pius Twitter, DevCamp PayPal and several Google’s events. To achieve these stunning portraits, this artist only needs an Autodesk’s Sketchbook ProPogo stylus and loads of creativity.

HOW TO Start Developing iPhone Web Apps?

In recent times, one of the hot topics discussed on the blogosphere is the advantages and disadvantages of developing websites for smartphones instead of applications. During the Tangelo Startup House, Tangelo developed a  web application adapted to be displayed in Retina Display, HTML5 and CSS3. Twitday was met with widespread approval from the beginning. So much so that before its publication, our new website began to have its first visitors.

With this post we want to share with you some tips that helped us in developing our first WebApp for iPhone.

So do you want to develop your first web application?

First of all keep in mind iPhone’s Safari Browser support HTML5 and CSS3. For this reason, you need to know the latest technology available and the iPhone touch API, as well.

Using frameworks will help you if you are doing it for the first time. However, we really prefer to do all the actions manually because then it is much easier to find the code and make changes, if necessary.

These links are very useful to learn about the innovations in the mobile browser: Safari Dev Center, Surfin- Safari, HTML5 presentation. With this in mind you can start building your website. You can do everything manually or by using a frameworks.

The most popular frameworks are:

  • JQTouch: It is quite easy to start developing webapps, but if we put a lot of content on our website it        starts getting cluttered.
  • Sencha Touch: It is a powerful tool based on the ExtJS library. This tool is highly recommended
  • JQuery Mobile: (NEW) This library is very similar to JQTouch.

Tools and Tips to help you to develop a webbapp for iPhone

  • IPhone Simulator: To work with the iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) you will need to register you as an iPhone developer and install the iPhone SDK. Once you have installed it, you will find the iPhone simulator in it.
  • Console: ( to debug our pages) Once enable you can use this feature with a single javascript call: i.e. console.log(‘message’)
  • Viewport: By default, Safari on the iPhone will render your page as if it were a desktop browser on a big screen, with 980 pixels width available for the web content. Then it will scale down the content so that it fits the small screen. As a result, the user sees your page with miniscule, illegible letters and must zoom in to see the interesting parts. You must declare the viewport meta element. It sets the width to the maximum device width. You will might follow:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1, user-scalable=no” />

  • Home Screen Icon: When a user adds your page to the Home screen, the iPhone uses a screenshot of your page as an icon. But you can improve it providing your own icon. The icon must be a 57×57 png file.
  • <link rel=”apple-touch-icon” href=”icon.png” />

  • Offline: You might declare the cache manifest to allow users to access to your WebApp without an internet connection. The cache manifest gets the static content you want for offline WebApps . To enable this you might add the manifest attributte to html tag and create a file .manifest with all content wich you want to store.
  • Hide address bar: To hide the address bar you might add this JavaScrip code. Simply scroll the page one pixel down, using window.scrollTo. If your page is too short to be scrollable, you can add an additional meta element to make it scrollable:
  • windows.onload = function() {

    window.scrollTo(0, 1) }

  • Special links: If your Web has a phone number you can select it by touch and call the number without typing it out. Phone numbers automatically become links provided, of course, that they have a phone number format. But if you want to create the phone links manually, you can use the phone’s prefix (URI scheme), for example:
  • <a href=”tel:800555123″>Call 800-555-123</a>

    If an SMS text is more your style, use the sms: scheme to launch the iPhone’s text message application.

    <a href=”sms:800555123″>Send SMS</a>

    Or mail to

    <a href=”mailto:example@itangelo.com”>Questions?</a>

    Images (Retina display):

    You can define multiple Style Sheets, allowing each device to use the appropriate one. This way you make good use of the capabilities of each device.

    You just have to carefully define the meta tag for the style sheet to be automatically selected as follows:

    NORMAL

    <link rel=”stylesheet” media=”only screen” href=”styles/normal.css”>

    IPHONE

    <link rel=”stylesheet” media=”only screen and (max-device-width: 480px)” href=”styles/iphone.css”>

    IPAD

    <link rel=”stylesheet” media=”only screen and (min-device-width: 481px) and (max-device-width: 1024px)” href=”styles/ipad.css”>

    IPHONE 4

    <link rel=”stylesheet” media=”only screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2)” href=”styles/ipod-4.css”  />

      Conclusion

      The advantage of developing WebApps for iPhone is that we can concentrate all our efforts into one single WebBrowser. We even have frameworks which help us to easily insert on track.

      So, what are you waiting for?

      Making iPhone applications can be more fun than making normal websites. We have many tools, tutorials and people -for example bloggers- to make it easy and help you to get it right.

      Seven Reasons Why GeoLocation Is Here To Stay

      Geolocation is here to stay. It has been adopted by the major players in the industry and is carving an independent position in the social media market. With products such as foursquare, mytown and gowalla leading the race, we’re sure to see a lot more competition in the space. So far facebook is the only one of the big social networks that is taking geolocation seriously by launching places, a service within facebook that allows people to check in to physical locations and to browse who’s around.  This is just the beginning of the geo-location fight that is sure to heat up in the upcoming months.

      In the meantime, here are seven reasons why geolocation is here to stay.
      1. Geolocation has become a fashion and cultural trend beyond early adopters.
      2. Companies have the opportunity to advertise their products and services directly and selectively.
      3. Social networks are rushing to adapt its functionality to also provide geolocation services, though some half-heartedly
      4. More and more people have GPS-enabled devices.
      5. The smartphone market is only getting bigger around the world.
      6. People’s social circle  is becoming wider and larger.
      7. Social networks are increasingly oriented towards mobile devices.

      Let’s start by defining geo-location. Geo-location is the practice of associating a digital resource with a physical location. Digital resources can be photos, videos, texts. Location information is calculated according to latitude and longitude coordinates to mark a specific location anywhere in the world. Geo-location networks and services are fast becoming a necessary tool for all smartphone users, who can not only find the location of a friend, but also physical locations such as pharmacies in their neighbourhood, parks, libraries.

      So many services to choose from. Here’s a comparison of the most popular geolocation enabled services:

      A comparison of geolocation applications and their features:

      Geo-Location Feature Comparison

      Geo-Location Feature Comparison

      Why does geolocation work?

      Let’s take foursquare. Foursquare is one of the most popular geo-location service so far. Its secret is to combine social networking with geo-location and a competitive game with a good way to advertise effectively. Foursquare’s key to success is that it converts users’ activities in a game. Every time that someone visits a store they get closer to becoming the mayor of that location which in turn can bring them preferential treatment at the location.

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      iPhone in Spanish

      Mobile Trends: Smartphone Usage and Penetration in Latin America and the United States

      iPhone in Spanish

      iPhone in Spanish

      In this post we have extracted some interesting facts about the behavior of iPhone users in the United States and Latin America.

      The Latin market promises to break records this year in sales as the overall market in 2010 in Latin America is making a recovery in technology sales.

      This is not only because of the change in the amount of sales, but also the characteristics of the products purchased. According to several studies, in 2010, sales of smartphones could reach a historic level in Latin America with approximately 11 million units -4 million more than in 2009.

      Recent studies of the TNS Global Market Research foresee a drop in sales of desktop computers and a significant increase in sales of laptop computers; for example, sales of notebooks and netbooks have risen 10% since 2009.

      In the same way, smartphones are beginning to “slip” in the lives of Latin Americans. 62% of Latin Americans are expected to change their phone in 2010, 29% more than in 2009.

      Research has shown that choosing a new device will be influenced mainly by the recommendation of a friend. The acquisition of smartphones in Latin America represents 8.6% of global sales of such technology. All of the products are sold worldwide, but they behave differently depending on the market in which they are in. Acquiring this kind of data is complicated because with smartphones, each user customizes his phone according to his own interests: the user loads only the applications that he finds interesting and these are so varied that it is nearly impossible to create detailed statistics about the use of smartphones. However, using more general categories, we can know roughly the relationship between a user and his Smartphone.

      Trends: The use of smartphones in the United States

      • Americans make use of this technology mainly to communicate via email and instant messaging.
      • Portals remain the second heaviest activity on mobile Internet (11.6 percent share of time), despite their double digit decline and social networking’s rise to account for 10.5 percent of the share, which means that the gap is much smaller than a year ago.
      • In order of priority, content searches remain on the list of interests followed by games, news and music.

      Trends: The use of smartphones in Latin America

      In the south, the trend and interest in smartphones has shown interesting changes:

      • Users expected this phone to have a quick and easy way to send and receive text messages.
      • The use that people give to these devices is tied to the navigation on the Internet: content and application downloads, access to social networks, searches, etc.
      • Top mobile devices in Argentina: iPhone 15%  y iPod touch 13%
      • iPhone or BlackBerry: Interestingly, Latin American entrepreneurs prefer the BlackBerry due to its applications and tools for corporate activity.

      While the iPhone offers the best internet browsing experience with an easy to use operating system and the combination of the best iPod with a great mobile phone, BlackBerry has excellent performance for mobile executives and can manage of a high volume of information; the device offers practical features that make finding and entering information easier with shortcuts and menus that go straight to the desired area.

      So far, the predictions made last year are being met, but to have more accurate data we have to wait a few more months. The interesting thing about the behavior of a product in different markets -in addition to the useful data which is fed to the same market- is the way they are tailored to each location, becoming a shared technology around the world, but with very local features and functions.

      Use of technology by U.S. born Latinos

      • Latinos born in the United States make greater use of technology compared to Latinos born in Latin America, according to the new Pew Hispanic Center poll.
      • While 72% of Latinos who were not born in the U.S. use a cell phone, this percentage rises to 80% for those born in that country.
      • In both groups, we observe that teenagers are more likely to use mobile devices.
      • Besides the fact that in Latin America, the technology is more expensive and much of the population has unsatisfied basic needs, another indicator of the difference in the use of technology is the domain of English. 84% of those who speak only English use cell phones, compared with 76% of those who are bilingual and 69% of those who speak primarily Spanish.


      Tangelo, being a company with offices in the U.S. and Latin America- is interested in knowing: what is the specific relationship between our audience and the technology offered by their mobile phones?

      Would love to hear  which functions of your smartphone you use the most.

      by @leilaergo

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      iphone jailbreak

      iPhone Jailbreak Legalization: Effects in the Market and Recent Developments

      by @leilaergo

      iphone jailbreak

      iphone jailbreak

      On July 26, 2010 in the United States, the practice known as jailbreak was finally legalized -within its territory. The process of jailbreaking allows your iPhone to have applications that are not in the Apple Store.

      The legalization of the practice of jailbreak was great news for mobile application developers. Be careful what you read! There is much confusion between the terms unlock and jailbreak. Until that day in July, the only excuse that Apple had to not allow this practice was its illegal status.

      Now, Apple can no longer base its rejection of the jailbreak on the DMCA. For this reason, Apple’s first reaction was to remind users that the company will not recognize the warranty of devices that have been manipulated in some way. That is, according to Apple, jailbreaking your iPhone is not recommended because of issues related to security and the proper functioning of the device, it is not due to illegality.

      However, no one expected that the reaction of Apple would end with this subtle message because nothing changed: the jailbreaks would remain, and Apple would continue cancelling them with subsequent software updates.

      A few days after the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple discovered that his star device had two major flaws, which generated contrary reactions in the company and users as well:

      1. Problems with signal reception: Apple did not focus on the signal reception and got away with it with the controversial advice of Jobs: ”hold your phone right”. Those who were already using the phone with its innovative Retina Display reacted negatively.
      2. A flaw in the iPhone 4 operating system allows you to run the jailbreak via web: This is new because traditionally a jailbreak had to be run on a Mac or PC, with the iPhone or device connected to it during the process. In contrast to the other failure of the device, users jumped for joy as Apple took the necessary measures to fix it as soon as possible.

      The iPhone’s operating system was updated shortly after launch. iOS 4.0.2 version fixes the flaw that allowed to perform the jailbreak of the iPhone via web; perhaps it was an unpleasant surprise for Apple, who does not like the idea of shops besides the App Store. For this very reason, the next update of Safari for iPhone could break indirectly the jailbreaking via web.

      However, the real move of Apple to defend the Apple Store did not take long: only a few days ago, Apple has filed a patent that covers several methods to identify and disable unauthorized use of electronic devices such as iPhone and IPAD. The patent filed by Apple aims primarily at taking measures for the identification of stolen devices and to protect the personal information of users stored on devices.

      The patent also covers methods to identify devices that have been hacked, jailbreaked, unlocked or have had the SIM card removed .

      Thus, under the pretext of protecting user data against possible theft devices, Apple is looking for ways to “kill” jailbreaked devices, since there is no way of knowing whether a device has been stolen or it is jailbroken with the consent of the user.

      Around the jailbreak, a sort of “micro-scale cold war” has begun and everyone has something to say about it. So, use caution when reading because there is a lot of misinformation in the cloud, plus precipitated tips by alleged “experts” who only tend to confuse or encourage actions that often are not recommended.

      Remember that in addition to inform yourself properly, you can ask us your questions because we are a company that specializes in mobile (iPhone, Android and others) technology.

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      Twitday: Tweet Aggregator by Location

      What is Twitday?

      Twitday is a fun web app that dynamically displays tweets and location of a group of people. Twitday can be used at events like conferences, concerts or meetups. You can specify usernames, hashtags and location. People can read relevant tweets, follow new people and retweet directly from Twitday. This is an app completely devoted to a particular event.

      Our goal was to make our first website compatible with the last technological standards and with different devices: CSS3, Google Maps API, Twitter API, iPads, iPhones, desktops and especially the Retina Display of the iPhone 4.

      How does Twitday work?

      From now, you have access to Twitday from the Tangelo’s website.

      On Twitday you will find:

      • A map with the locations of each member of the a group – the Tangelo’s team for example-.
      • The tweets timeline, published by each member of the group, so you can be updated on the latest events.
      • If you prefer to follow what is published by a particular person, you will see the whole Twitter activity of that person (tweets, RT and references), and also his profile, with a single click.

      The important fact to remember is that you’ll be able to see all this information from any device, with the best image quality.

      When Twitday will be online available?

      You can start playing with TwitDay right now!

      Let us know if you’d like to use it for your event.

      How To Detect Mobile Devices and Browser Type Efficiently? [MOBILE]

      By Hernan Bruno, iPhone and Mobile Technology Expert at Tangelo.

      The question is:

      For an iPhone website, what is the most efficient way to detect the type of device that is accessing the site? Moreover, how do we provide the user the best experience by providing the appropriate content in a format that is optimized for the device?

      The challenge was to redirect all users that do not access the website with iPhone or iPod to either a desktop browser or to a very simple page that would fit most mobile devices.

      Our research indicated several ways to detect devices and do the redirection. We list them below and give an explanation of the pros and cons of each of them.

      1. CSS3
      2. Javascript
      3. Server languaje (PHP, ASP, etc)
      4. Apache .htaccess

      We tested the four methods and reached the following conclusions.

      • The first two methods are an easy way to get going fast, but they dependent on the capabilities of the device. If the device does not support CSS3 or Javascript then the redirection is not carried out. For this reason, this method is recommended in instances where you have a very good idea of the technical profile of your users.
      • When the redirection is done through Javascript, PHP or .htaccess we check the header that the browser sends when it  requests a page. At the same there is a record called HTTP_USER_AGENT that contains all device and browser information. This is valid for PC, iPhone and another devices. The HTTP_USER_AGENT is only a string containing such information.

      Here is a example string sent by Google’s Nexus One running Android 2.1.

      Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.1; en-us; Nexus One Build/ERD62) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/530.17

      • With PHP, although it is quite simple to do, it did not seem appropriate to use because PHP is not required for our particular case. We are only using pure HTML, JS and CSS. It does not seem like a good idea to add another language to the site just to address the issue.

      We chose the .htaccess option. We configured .htaccess to be responsible to control connected devices and redirect them properly.

      Let’s get down to work.  Let’s add some lines to .htaccess so that if the device accessing our website is not a iPhone or iPod then the site forwards to the http://example.net

      The lines that we have to add to do that are:

      1 – RewriteEngine on
      2 – RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^((?!iPhone).)*$
      3 – RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^((?!iPod).)*$
      4 – RewriteRule .* http://example.net/ [R]

      The explanation of these lines is as follows:

      If you want to check for other devices, all we need to do is add more rules to RewriteCond and RewriteRule in our .htaccess file with devices that need. A list of headers by device can be found here

      User experience benefits

      • Zero lag time between website versions
      • Content format optimized for device

      If you are looking for iPhone development services please contact us to +1 (800) 985-5280 or simply fill out this form.