Archive for the ‘web apps’ Category

Log in infinitum

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Fascinating article by Eric Stromberg on the trend to keep Web users logged in, and logged in infinitely (borrowing from mobile).

Everyone is making logging out a 2-click process to reduce log outs “All these services aim to be platforms, and step one is keeping users logged in.”

Readability: an open letter to Apple

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Richard Ziade, on Apple’s rejection of Readability’s iOS application:

We’re obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language [cited in the App Store Review Guidelines, section 11.2]. By including “functionality, or services,” it’s clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content. Readability’s model is unique in that 70% of our service fees go directly to writers and publishers. If we implemented In App purchasing, your 30% cut drastically undermines a key premise of how Readability works.

Translation: you’re greedy.

Google’s shot across Apple’s bow: One Pass

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Literally one day after Apple announced their new subscription model, leaving many content publishers and application developers howling over Apple’s fee structure, today Google revealed a subscription model of their own: One Pass.  Talk about flawless timing.

Google’s blog post about the service says One Pass is:

“…a service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.

Importantly, the service helps publishers authenticate existing subscribers so that readers don’t have to re-subscribe in order to access their content on new devices.

With Google One Pass, publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them—offering subscriptions, metered access, “freemium” content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps. The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content. We take care of the rest, including payments technology handled via Google Checkout.”

Cnet has the scoop on the real detail that has everyone excited, however.  The money part:

“Google’s rival service offers two big differences from Apple’s: content providers will get to keep 90 percent of revenue from One Pass sales and publishers will retain control of consumer data.”

This compares to Apple’s 30% cut from purchases from within the App Store – a significant difference.

When One Pass becomes available in more countries, it will surely become an obvious choice for many developers.

Trip Advisor acquires EveryTrail

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Trip Advisor acquired EveryTrail today – see press release below.  EveryTrail, based in Palo Alto, is “a GPS travel community and interactive trip sharing service.”

These guys have been on my “radar” since I first heard about them in late 2009.  They originally focused on GPS location data being imported into their community-based trail-sharing site, which seemed niche at best.  But EveryTrail soon expanded to GPS/location capable smartphones (therefore, Compete showing them with only 41K uniques should be taken with a grain of salt).

EveryTrail partnered with Fodors last summer to release EveryTrail Guides, which are interactive travel itineraries available for purchase online via ET’s iPhone app.

“While there is a plethora of travel information online, it can be a challenge to keep this information organized and portable when traveling. EveryTrail’s Guides aim to solve that problem by partnering with travel content creators, such as Fodors, offer these customized travel guides to consumers than can be easily accessed from a mobile device.”

It was an interesting pivot for them, as they were originally all about recording and sharing GPS data and discussing one’s hike/trail/whatever.  I played with the iPhone tracking app during some of my cycling routes, not the Guides.

No word on the acquisition price at this time.

Google whiteboards its way to the future

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Google DrawingsIf you ever need to create a semi-decent flowchart (woo hoo!) or perform a similar white-boarding exercise with your colleagues, Google Docs now allows you to do this a bit more seamlessly with Google Drawings.

The nice thing about this is that you can chat with everyone you’ve invited to view the Drawing. That being said, the phone (or video chat) seems to be a more practical form of communication when discussing images.

In addition, Google revamped the entire Google Docs foundation, “all built with an even greater focus on speed and collaboration.” What this means is document collaborators should see edits in real-time now, which is a huge advancement for the suite.

As Google Docs relentlessly marches deeper into Microsoft Office’s territory, the smart people in Redmond seem more and more oddly out of step with their static desktop apps.

If Google were to take the same approach to data creation and syncing as, say, Evernote (offline and online), the game would already be over.