ENTRIES TAGGED "mobile apps"
Retailers in Passbook, chaos in the payment space, and the importance of the mobile shopping experience.
Here are the commerce stories that caught my attention this week.
Passbook’s early merchants
Apple’s iOS 6 launched last week, bringing the Passbook feature to iPhones, and merchants from all walks of industry have started jumping on board. Target was among the first to push its app update, and Sarah Perez at TechCrunch argues it will be one of the most influential merchants in making mobile wallets mainstream. Perez notes the practical nature of Target’s app, as it focuses on saving and storing mobile coupons. Mobile coupons are nothing new, of course, but Perez argues, “becoming part of a more comprehensive system — one that even pushes you reminder notifications as you walk into a store — it has the potential to actually change user behavior” (e.g. make consumers more comfortable and intimate with their phones as part of the shopping experience).
Perez also looks at startup gift card company Gyft’s new Passbook integration in a separate post. The company sells cards from more than 200 retailers, and for those with which it has a relationship, the app will allow users to check gift card balances, too. The integration also is on a per-card basis, so each card must be transferred into Gyft individually, but Perez says it’s worth the trouble: “instead of having a generic ‘Gyft’ card stored in the Passbook app, you’ll have what appears to be the individual store gift cards there, powered by Gyft.” Perez also looks at a few other startups that were agile enough to jump on board early, ahead of many major brands, including Belly and SnipSnap.
One of the more surprising of the major brands to be slow off the mark is Starbucks. Alex Heath at Cult of Mac reports that the Starbucks app will be updated by the end of the month and points out why it’s such a surprise the coffee mogul is late to the game. Not only is Starbucks mobile savvy with its Square payment integration, but “Apple originally routed Passbook in the iOS 6 developer betas to the Starbucks app in the App Store,” Heath writes.
A few of the other major brands already on board with Passbook include Walgreens, Ticketmaster, Fandango, Sephora and several Major League Baseball teams. To give Passbook a whirl in the real world, Josh Lowensohn at CNET took it to a Major League game. He writes that he was able to get into the game by having his ticket scanned off his phone but that the experience wasn’t completely paperless: “In order to give Passbook users some sort of proof of purchase, the stadium prints out a paper receipt that you need to hold on to. … The stadium also requires those with higher level tickets, to somewhere like the suite levels, to carry an extra paper ticket.”
A little rough, but it’s a start. If you want to peruse all Passbook-updated apps, AppShopper has a running list.
Greg Shackles on using C# and .NET to build apps that work across mobile platforms.
Web developer and author Greg Shackles reveals the advantages of using C# over C++ for writing mobile apps. He also explains why Android and iOS developers should give C# a serious look.
Maximiliano Firtman on mobile web development's recent leaps.
Over the last two years, mobile web development has continued its rapid evolution. In this interview, Fluent speaker and "Programming the Mobile Web" author Maximiliano Firtman discusses the short-term changes that caught his attention.
Mobile payment fragmentation, swipe-and-pay lives up to its name, and Starbucks plays with augmented reality.
Telecom's resistance hints at more mobile payment fragmentation, criminals take the "swipe" part of "swipe-and-pay" literally, and Starbucks uses augmented reality to create a viral marketer's dream. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)
Square's upgrade links location and real-time, and a new survey finds mobile users are shy about buying.
Square's Card Case adds geofencing capabilities to allow merchants to tap passers-by. Oracle's new survey finds users are becoming more comfortable about sharing location data, but they're still sheepish about transactions. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)
How a game-playing robot could help shape the future of mobile testing.
If you try to talk to Jason Huggins about Selenium, he'll probably do to you what he did to us. He'll bring his Arduino-based Angry Birds-playing testing robot to your interview and then he'll relate his invention to the larger problems of mobile application testing and cloud-based testing infrastructure.
Three commerce startups from TechCrunch Disrupt. Also, daily deals and the feature phone endure.
Three commerce startups from TechCrunch Disrupt feature alternative forms of payment for digital goods. Also, daily deals and the feature phone endure.
The who, what and how of mobile wallets. Also, Pew survey finds 1 in 4 use location services.
Three major questions about mobile wallets emerged from a recent payments conference. Also, a Pew survey finds around a quarter of Americans use the location-smart capabilities of their mobile phones.
Gamers prefer consumables, cheap Android phones catch on in Kenya, and the anatomy of good apps.
Flurry says gamers are more likely to buy goods they use than ones that last. Also, Safaricom sells buckets of $80 Android phones in Kenya, and some thoughts on what makes a good app.
The WWDC keynote clarified Apple's Post-PC vision and hinted at disruption and competition to come.
Mark Sigal says Apple's WWDC keynote was designed to deliver an awe-inspiring but chilling message: Whether you're a prospective customer, developer, channel partner, or competitor, "resistance to Apple is futile."