Locative Lab

researching locative media

Mashable: Zillow iPhone App: Using GPS to Compare Home Prices

Zillow LogoWith over 8 million visitors a month, Zillow is cream of the crop when it comes to real estate search and community. Home-buying information as detailed as cost per square feet, agent information, and the price of homes nearby is available with a couple clicks.

But what if you want to check a fact that an agent mentions while touring a home? How about checking the value of homes right where you are? Well today, all of that is now possible because Zillow has released its own iPhone App, which focuses on the iPhone’s GPS technology to give you detailed home information, no matter where you are.

Zillow iPhone Image

Zillow for the iPhone is a free application that ports a surprising amount of the functionality and information from Zillow.com. When GPS location is used, the app will pull up a map view of the area showing nearby homes with housing prices and icons to indicate the status of the house; just as it works on the Zillow website, red means the home is for sale, yellow is recently sold, and blue is “make me move,” or the price at which someone would consider moving.

Tapping on any home will give you information on its design, amenities, estimated value, and change in value over time. Photos of the homes on sale are available as well. What is not available, however, is local information – schools, parks, and statistics on the affluence and disposition of the surrounding community – all very important factors in any home buying decision. The ability to manage your own listing via the iPhone is missing as well.

Zillow opted to focus just on the purchasing end of home buying, not the selling end, for its iPhone application. That’s fine, but it does limit its usefulness for some of Zillow’s most active members. A lack of local information also diminishes its usefulness in research. But if you want the real estate lowdown on a new city or want to compare the prices in certain neighborhoods, then Zillow’s app is an ideal solution.

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Mobile Messaging 2.0: MM2.0 Roundup:- Android vs iphone

Hello and welcome to another MM2.0 roundup of the most important news, data and analysis in the world of mobile internet, media and applications, brought to you by the Airwide Solutions cru. This week its all about Android vs iphone …

Android vs iphone

So admob have their most recent mobile metrics out for the month of March and it’s all themed around Android vs iphone.  This follows the debate on platforms kicked off at the admob developer event which we covered here a couple of weeks ago.

Android continues to gain traction on the admob network…

  • The HTC Dream (G1) was the number 10 device in the US with 2.0% share in March up slightly by 0.2% and the number 4 smartphone behind only the iPhone, Blackberry Curve, and Blackberry Pearl.
  • Android accounts for 6% share of the smartphone market in the US and is level with Palm as the fourth largest smartphone OS behind iPhone, RIM, and Windows Mobile
  • Requests from the G1 increased 2.6 times from January to March following AdMob’s launch of ads in applications
  • 50% of android ad requests coming from apps – the same proportion as the iphone

… but iphone is still the top platform and continues to gain share

The latest figures on iphone from admob show that it continues to dominate the admob network, especially in the UK and US markets:

  • worldwide iphone has a 22% share of mobile browsing, up 4.2% on the month
  • top 2 worldwide handsets are iphone and ipod touch
  • iphone is taking 1/3 of admob internet traffic in the US
  • in the UK iphone accounts for 47% of all admob requests and is up a massive 13.2%!

Android and iphone comparisons

The admob data does show that Android, whilst it is growing fast, has not matched the early traction gained by the iphone and still remains much lower in overall scale:

  • In the first five months after appstore launch Android requests increased an average of 47% per month, iPhone increased an average of 88% per month.
  • In March, the iPhone had 8 times more requests in the US than Android, worldwide, Apple devices (iPhones and iPod touch) had 23 times more requests than Android

iphone sales growing at 100%+

Apple’s own recent earnings reports show that the device and the wider platform around it are still growing incredibly strongly, so we can expect it to continue to dominate the mobile internet and mobile applications space for the foreseable future – in fact, its importance is likely to increase:

  • iphone sold more than 3.79 million units worldwide in the first three months of the 2009; a 123 per cent increase on 2008
  • iPhone revenues hit $2.2 billion for the quarter
  • 37m ipod touch and iphone units sold to date
  • 1 bn iphone app store downloads to date

More android device launches could tip the balance

Of course Android isn’t standing still on the device front and this is going to help boost its share of the mobile internet market which at the moment is only driven off A SINGLE DEVICE – the HTC Dream G1.  Already, the Android G2 or HTC Magic with a full touch screen interface is set to launch on a number of carriers including Vodafone UK and it’s been getting rave reviews – Gizmodo calls it ‘close to perfection’.   Meanwhile Samsung is beginning to roll out a range of android phones.  Unlike the iphone, Android devices have a real chance of become real mass market devices across the globe, so whilst it has a long way to go Android could still overtake the iphone as the key platform for developers and mobile services providers to build for.  Watch this space.

Iphone and Android not the only game in town – Opera Mini browser showing explosive growth

It’s worth noting amongst all the android and iphone stuff that other phones are also driving a lot of growth in the world of mobile internet and mobile applications.  Opera has also released data from its own mobile research report, based on the opera mini browser showing that usage of the app is up a massive 157% year on year. In March 2009, more than 23 million people used Opera Mini, a 12.1% increase month on month and 157% increase year on year.  8.6 billion pages were viewed in March 2009 up 17.4% month on month and 255% year on year.  So don’t forget, it’s not all about the iphone!

and finally… free mobile market maps

First Partner is an interesting looking market research and product development company.   Anyway they have released some nice free stuff on their site which is well worth downloading – a couple of “market maps’ which provide a graphical view of the mobile marketing and mobile enterprise value chains and industry structures.

That’s it for this week see you next time for another MM 2.0 Roundup :-)

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Textually.org: Zillow iPhone app tells you how much that house you just passed costs

Zillow iPhone app allows you to view real estate information on every home around you — as you move.

Walk or drive through a neighborhood and see estimated home values, homes for sale, recently sold homes.

GPS technology pinpoints your location and then displays real-time real estate information and data as you go. You can also search any neighborhood, regardless of your location.

Zillow has at least some data on 95 percent of the homes in the country, including photos and contact information for 3.4 million for-sale listings.

Watch the video demo and read The New York Times‘s review.

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Texts From Last Night collects drunken text messages


Something I missed. Two friends actually opened a website last February called Texts From Last Night (TFLN), that collect drunken text messages.

[via TrendHunter]


LG’s Cellphone Prevents Drunk Dialing

Trying To stop Drunken calls

«Intexicated»: Texting under the influence

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Depositing checks with your phone

NCRCheckDeposit.png NCR is now allowing customers to deposit checks anywhere they get reception on their data-enabled mobile phones, reports Gizmodo.

quotemarksright.jpgYour phone’s camera, which must be at least 2-megapixels, acts as a scanner that captures an image of the check. APTRA then uses Mitek Systems‘ advanced recognition and image quality technologies to validate all data before transmitting those images directly to your financial institution or online banking web site.

The biggest win is that APTRA provides users with an extra level of convenience. Imagine, no more having to drop paper checks in the ATM, waiting in line at the bank during the crowded lunch hour rush or worse yet, tearing your hair out because you arrived five minutes after close. This is also a cost-effective way for financial institutions to manage customer checking, thereby helping to improve customer satisfaction and grow revenue.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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MIT’s Sixth Sense @ TED

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First Android netbook to cost about $250

The first netbook computer running the Google Inc.-backed Android mobile operating system on a low-cost ARM chip could become available to customers within three months, the maker’s co-founder said this week.

The Alpha 680, designed by Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies Co. Ltd., is going through final testing now.

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Mashable: Hey iPhone Users, Android Isn’t Dead Yet!

Google Android LogoIt’s tough not to be caught up in the hype of the iPhone, the device that captured the attention and imagination of consumers and developers alike. This week, the iPhone reached 1 billion applications downloaded, an astounding and mind-boggling number.

However, an iPhone rival reached its own milestone this week; T-Mobile has now sold over 1 million G1 smartphones running on the Android OS. This follows reports earlier this week of Android’s double-digit growth. Android has its own application store, and added paid apps earlier this year.

The stats don’t compare favorably to the iPhone: it took the G1 six months to reach the milestone, while the iPhone sold 500,000 units in its first week. Nonetheless, 1 million phones is not an insignificant number: could it make a difference?

The state of the Android application platform

The Google Android application platform has a lot of similarities to the iPhone, but is still unique in a few ways. One of the primary ones: Android apps can run in the background, making it easier to develop applications with IM capabilities and push notifications. This is a big issue that the new iPhone 3.0 OS is trying to address.

Android already has several apps popular on the iPhone, including the music analysis app Shazam, Skype, Meebo, and Last.fm. It also has a few social media apps like MySpace mobile, I Tweet!, and an unofficial Facebook app called fBook.

However, not all great iPhone apps are available on Android: one notable absentee is the popular Tweetie [iTunes link] application for Twitter.

It’s not that Android isn’t capable of running these apps, but more that it hasn’t become cost-effective for many developers to develop for the Android instead of working on a new app for the iPhone. Hitting the million-phone milestone is perhaps a small step towards that accomplishment.

What a million Android phones means

iTweet Android Image

The iPhone has dominated the application space with an iron fist. It attracts the lion’s share of developers because they can make more money on the iPhone platform. But the Android platform has a lot of possibilities with apps able to run in the background, support from Google, and a rising userbase.

Competition is generally a good thing – it forces companies to build better products and services. Phones with application platforms like Android, the iPhone, and now the BlackBerry make it far easier for entrepreneurs and developers to create richer, more social mobile experiences.

A million Android phones means some iPhone developers might pay attention to this growing market. That means more competition, and more choices for us all.

Reviews: Android, Google, Last.fm, Shazam, Skype, Twitter

Tags: android, Android Application, Google, Mobile phone, social media

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My Location now in Google Toolbar

Since its launch in Nov 2007, My Location has helped millions of people know where they are and get better local results on their mobile devices. We thought, wouldn’t it be great if laptop and desktop users could also take advantage of My Location?

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of Google Toolbar with My Location, part of a new initiative called Toolbar Labs.
Imagine searching for pizza from your computer and seeing the closest pizza places without having to enter your location. No more entering zip codes or city names in your queries — isn’t that magical? Of course, you can already do this with your phone, and searches on the computer can sometimes use an IP address to determine the city that you’re in. But now your location can be determined much more precisely on your computer (as long as you opt in) and you can get better search results.

How does this work? Google Toolbar with My Location uses information about surrounding Wi-Fi access points to estimate your location. Naturally, this means it won’t work if you’re on a computer that doesn’t have Wi-Fi (or has Wi-Fi turned off).
Along with getting more locally relevant Google search results, we also have additional goodies. Entering “maps.google.com” in your browser takes you to Google Maps automatically centered around your current location. You are one step closer to finding what you want. There is also a Google Maps gadget that uses My Location, installed in the Toolbar by default.
We take user privacy very seriously, so we make it easy for you to disable or enable the “My Location” functionality in Toolbar with just the click of a button. If you would like to know more about our privacy policy, please refer to this link.
We are really excited about this launch and hope to hear from you what you think. Let us know!

Google Toolbar with My Location is currently available only for Internet Explorer and works only within the US. You can download it from here.

Written by Venkat Malladi and Tsuwei Chen, Software Engineers, Google Mobile

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Save and share directions with My Maps

You’ve probably been there: a friend asks you for directions to your house for a party, or to that nice picnic spot you recommended, so you try to scribble some lines on the back of a napkin or you try to explain out loud that they should take the second (or is it the third?) left. It’s particularly a pain when you want to tell a bunch of people – like your entire housewarming guest list – directions. 

To make this easier — for you, and for the people you’re trying to direct! — we’ve added features that let you save, annotate, and share directions using My Maps, the personal map editor built into Google Maps.

Saving driving directions to a My Map is easy: just click the “Save to My Maps” link below the directions in the left pane. 

This opens a dialogue box where you can choose to save to an existing map, or create a new one.
Once your directions are saved, you’ll be taken into the My Maps editor, where you can edit the saved placemarks and route, as well as add new places and details to your map, like landmarks along the way.

We’ve also added a new tool that lets you draw lines along a road to get from point to point. This is accessed via a drop-down menu in the line tool by clicking and holding briefly anywhere on the button.
The tool calculates the best driving route between your line’s vertices and automatically snaps your line to the appropriate road. 
With your directions saved in My Maps, it’s easy to add notes, share with friends, embed in web sites, and invite collaborators to contribute to your map. 
So when it comes time to plan your next road trip, consider using My Maps as your planning tool — at the very least, if you hit a bump and spill coffee on your map halfway through the trip, you’ll still have a backup.

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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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