ARO Mobile – Finally “truly intelligent” smart phone software…

Here’s an idea my friends and I have been kicking around for a while… turns out another bunch of (well-funded, well-connected) people have been secretly working on this in the meantime….

So what is Aro? Currently, it’s a piece of software that runs on top of Google’s mobile Android OS. But it’s not just another layer like some of those awful skins that OEMs design for Android. Instead, it weaves itself into the OS and uses AI and machine intelligence to make sense of what you’re doing with your phone. It natively ties into your email, phone, calendar, address book, and browser to make them potentially much more useful to you when you’re on the go.

Maybe someone sent you an email mentioning an address, the Aro system can recognize that and with the click of a button give you all kinds of actions you can do with it. The same is true with names — of both people and companies. And dozens of other things.

Read more at Techcrunch

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David Beach's Blog: Developing for Android

Like it or not, Android is huge. Creating an open source mobile platform was one of the smarter things Google has done. It's too bad that they haven't done that great of a job doing it. Android has succeeded despite Google. In fact it's safe to say that Android is successful for one primary reason. The iPhone is only available on AT&T. If the iPhone was on Verizon a year ago. Android would be no where near as popular. But since this has yet to happen, Android has become a huge market that isn't going away.

via David Beach’s Blog: Developing for Android.

Android will be huge, especially in international markets such as China.  Time to start cranking out some Android apps!

GDC 2010: Ngmoco's Neil Young on how freemium will change the App Store world

interesting article on freemium model for mobile app development

He and his company decided that an app was a trade with customers — customers would pay money to have the company fill out their free time. And that’s how the company attached itself to the concept of DAUs.

DAUs, explained Young, are “daily active uniques” — all of the people who log into an app to play with it daily, the number of unique users per given day. The company is also interested in dollars (actually cents) per DAU, or the average number of cents earned per daily user. 250,000 users may play your free app every day, but only 2% may actually pay for it using in-app purchases. If that money total equals $5000, Young said that's like 2,000 users (the average number of downloads for the top list of paid apps at the time) buying your app for $2.50. In short, you don’t need to have a paid app at all — you just need to monetize usage for that 2%.

via GDC 2010: Ngmoco’s Neil Young on how freemium will change the App Store world.

China: GMIC And CHINICT Tech Conferences In Beijing: Learnings From China

Great article on techcrunch about a Beijing tech conference; was in town a month ago, too bad I missed it, would have been great to attend:

After exploring the mobile and Internet landscapes in Shanghai and Beijing, the GeeksOnAPlane (GOAP) group (30+ techies mostly from the Silicon Valley) continued their Asian field trip to Korea today. In Beijing, the GOAP attended two of China’s largest tech conferences: CHINICT, “the largest conference on China tech innovation” (which was livestreamed on TechCrunch), and the “Global Mobile Internet Conference” (GMIC), both of which are held in the city every year.

The GOAP got in touch with and gained unfiltered insight from dozens and dozens of local entrepreneurs, VCs and industry observers during the conferences and the events that took place around them. What follows are just a few learnings and impressions the GOAP group picked up during their China web crash course in Beijing (the size of the tech landscape is summarized in my previous post).

GeeksOnAPlane at the GMIC And CHINICT Tech Conferences In Beijing: Learnings From China.

How Zappos was Born: Place Bets on Passionate People – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review

Thought this was a great quote describing “bootstrapping” (quite literally too) at Zappos…

Nick talked about the progress that the website had made over the past few weeks. They were already getting $2,000 worth of orders a week, and the numbers were growing. They weren’t making any money, because anytime an order was placed, Nick would run to the local shoe store, buy the item, and then ship it out to the customer. Nick wanted to put up the website just to prove that people would actually be willing to buy shoes online

via How Zappos was Born: Place Bets on Passionate People – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review.