Location based applications are a great marketing tool, and more and more vendors are getting a piece of the market. I recently came across Checkpoints: “the app that pays you back.” The idea is simple, go to various stores and check in to get loyalty points. Get bonus points when you scan specific products. And redeem your points for prizes, gifts and what not.
I find this app to be beautifully designed for the iPad. I use it often to make powerful presentations on the run. For a price tag of $9.99 this little utility is worth every penny. You don’t even need to know Keynote on the mac to use it. As long as you’ve some idea on what to do (i.e. familiar with PowerPoint) you should be allright. More at the Appstore.
Forget about scribbling on napkins – now your great ideas can be saved on the Penultimate and easily shared through email. It makes it simple to scribble, draw and jot down your ideas using various ink colors and pen thickness. I still find it hard to really write on it, but that could be because I’ve thick fingers. Very good buy for just $1.99. More on the Appstore.
Analytics for the iPad
A very cool tool that brings Google Analytics to your iPad. Supports multiple accounts (very handy if you want clients data to display without having to renter usernames/passwords). Sometimes I find it a bit slow, but it still saves a lot of time when you want to access visitor analytics on a routine basis. More on the Appstore.
An excellent top-down shooter game that’s only $0.99! This is a very cool game to play when you just want to leave the business out of your iPad. Graphics is very detailed, followed by excellent music tracks. The only drawback? The game has a limited number of levels which you can master easily within an hour of play. More on Appstore.
Bluebrain did a world’s first by releasing their music album as a location based app. The idea is simple, the music changes depending on which location you are in. The app is downloadble from iTunes and only works around a park in Washington DC.
Location based in music isn’t all that new – last year we saw SoundTracker popup. A service that uses your location to find people with similar music tastes close to you. Then there is Flowd (disclaimer: one of my clients) that combines geo-aware social networking with music, events and concerts. And there’s a list of other geo-location music services, but none can compete with the simplicity of Bluebrain’s new music album.
At a recent business networking event @krusk introduced me to CardMunch – a cool mobile app that lets you take a photo of a business card and then upload it seamlessly to a transcription service. That’s were human eyes verify if the OCR picked up all the right things and push the contact information back to your iPhone app.
I just heard Canada is dropping the penny – it costs the government more to make it than its actually worth. So does this bring an end to psychological pricing – no more $9.99 offers in Canada?
How is Software Priced?
This made me wonder how software vendors are pricing their solutions. I came across some interesting trends:
Most lower-priced software use granular pricing ending with .99 or .95 cents. Most of the Mac only products have pricing down to dollar amount – e.g. Coda from Panic software at $99.
Higher-end software products are priced to the nearest dollar, usually ending in nine dollars. Surprisngly some vendors still show .00 trailing amount – which is unnecessary and looks ugly.
Software-as-a-Service vendors tend to stick with whole numbers. I think they might be afraid that SaaS pricing requires mental math (monthly price x users x bandwidth + addons, etc). So they prefer to use “math-friendly” prices.
Last but not least, have a look at the app stores from Apple, Google, RIM and Microsoft. All apps are priced with a trailing .99 cents. Most apps are sold for less than 10 dollars, so I guess at such low prices, the penny makes a difference.
Nokia N9 was announced recently, the phone designed to “swipe” with one hand. It’s arguably a step closer to Nokia’s reinvention in the market place. Its expected to come out sometime in Q3, before the iPhone5 launch.