Archive for the ‘Mobile Applications’ Category

Farewell my friend, we’ve had a long ride,
you saw me through while stressed out I cried,

I’ve shed those tears in your blue gaze,
while you stuck there with me in the roughest of days,

When I was ambitious and opened too much,
I knew you’d come through- like a ready-made crutch,

Our relationship has had its ups and downs,
you’ve seen me smile and endured my frowns,

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When I started this course I called myself a smartphone novice. Now, I won’t go as far as call myself a pro at this point, but I now know a heck of a lot more about mobile technology and smartphone application development than probably about 98% of the population. So for that, I must thank my dedicated MCDM instructor, Kathy Gill.

When I first started this course I wanted to know what made a successful app versus a failure. I found out that it’s all about creating a unique product that solves a common need. Even if there are other competing apps out there just like yours, you have to figure out what you can do better; you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, just make it smoother. Simplicity and a user friendly interface are also key attributes to a successful mobile application. Nobody wants to be digging through layers or icons to try and figure out how to complete a task. You app must have Barney-style navigation (in other words something Barney viewers could figure out).

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Smart phones are becoming somewhat of an essential in the real estate industry. From appraisers to borrowers the newest smart phone applications have something everyone can utilize to make their day easier. Here are my favorite real estate smart phone applications:

1. Name: Realtor.com

Purpose: Instantly access over 4 million homes in the palm of your hand. This is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS.

Summary: View houses for sale around your current location (uses GPS) or by address finder. This includes photos, property details, pricing, open house times and dates. Home sales are updated throughout the day so price reductions and new market additions can be seen here first. In addition, users can rank their favorites and return to them at a later date. (more…)

I read an article last week on TheWeek.com that wireless moguls AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are working with Visa and Mastercard with plans to replace plastic credit cards with a smart phone (specifically the iPhone). The headline caught my eye, and I couldn’t help but wonder the cliche “what will they think of next?”

The idea of the smart phone replacing a tangible monetary asset is definitely not a new one, but my question is, is it really worth all the effort? I mean how much more convenient is it to be able to scan your cell phone rather than your credit card? I couldn’t help but think of a trip I took to Texas back in April. I was in line to get on my flight and the young techie in front of me proudly took out his iPhone while the rest of us cavemen had printed tickets. I thought, “how neat, and convenient, I want an iPhone.” That was, until it wouldn’t scan. The technology was supposed to be fully compatible with any kind of terminal scanning system, but no matter how many times the clerk tried, the scanner wouldn’t accept the ticket. She finally got frustrated enough to usher him on the plane without the scan, as the rest of us tapped our toes with our reliably scannable tickets.

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Since I got my MyTouch Droid in December I have gradually become more and more reliant on it. This is has been a huge transition for me. You see I didn’t get a cell phone until I was a freshman in college. Up until that point it seemed as though I got by just fine; I just had to be sure I was where I said I was going to be when I said I was going to be there. I didn’t need cell access for my daily life, but eventually decided to get one because using calling cards to call home from Pullman become too expensive.

Now, here I am, 7 years later and I can’t imagine leaving home without my cell. What happened to me? What has happened to society? The cell phone has changed life as we know it, and smart phone technology is only adding to our mobile dependence. We used to think that speaking on the phone in public was rude, texting at dinner was unheard of and checking email while at the beach was absolutely insane. Now these activities go unnoticed. They may be rude, but as a whole, it seems we don’t really care.

So here I am left wondering, is our dependence a good thing? While I can’t deny that I appreciate the great functionalities of my smart phone, I have to admit it has made me lazy, and detached in times when I should have been fully engaged with interpersonal interaction.

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Mobile App Name: Google Maps Navigation

URL: http://www.google.com/mobile/navigation/

Why I love this App: my travel life depends on it. Last month I went on a business trip to Los Angeles where I had to visit numerous banks and credit unions throughout the city and surrounding areas. My life depended on this application. Before I discovered this app I used to waste time on Mapquest or Google Maps plotting out my trips and printing maps with lists of directions. This process works fine in places I am familiar with (although inconvenient and a waste of resources). But when I’m traveling alone and don’t have someone to read the directions to me in an area I’m unfamiliar with, grabbing my list of directions makes navigating even more difficult. This is not so with Google Maps Navigation. Not only am I more confident visiting a new region, I also feel safer with this app as my sidekick. The lady on the app even reads the directions to me! I love it, Mapquest better watch out.

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