Some Useful iPhone Apps

1 December 09

A fellow futurethinker finally got an iPhone this past holiday weekend, bring the firm average back up to a respectable 75% adoption level.  Given the latest post, Do We Really Need an App for That?, I thought I’d try to list out some apps I actually do need and use fairly often, as a starting point for the new iPhone in the office.  This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, but merely a list of some apps I currently use that could be useful for others.  Here goes:

  • Remote: Great for controlling your iTunes without having to be at the computer — you just need to be connected to the same wireless network.
  • Air Mouse: even better for controlling your entire computer without having to be there.  Your iPhone is turned into a either a mouse or a trackpad.
  • WorkSnug: For the mobile worker, the never-ending search for your ‘third place’, complete with WiFi and coffee, is over with this app that uses augmented reality.  So far it only works in London, but they’re going to launch it in NYC and San Francisco soon, I hope.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Do We Really Need an App for That?

30 November 09

We live in what the Huffington Post calls an evolving “Clickocracy,” one nation, under Google, with email and viral video for all. There’s no question that the ever-expanding universe of technological innovation pushes all of us to seek out the next big innovations of our own. Some organizations, however, are better at embracing new innovations than others.

Take, for example, the now ubiquitous iPhone App. When Apple launched its App Store back in 2007, it invited pretty much anyone to submit applications for the device using a toolkit of neat technologies. Some organizations have gone on to create genuinely useful, innovation applications for this platform. Like the popular website Yelp, whose app not only allows users to easily find and read reviews of nearby brick-and-mortar business, but nudges into the world of augmented reality by allowing users to hold their iPhone cameras up to a business storefront and instantly see ratings and reviews of that location without having to type a thing. For every App like Yelp, which takes full advantage of the iPhone’s interface and feature set and adds value to Yelp’s core offering, there are ten more that are, to put it mildly, completely useless. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Search Wiki

20 November 08

A few months ago, we wrote a post about the future of Web search. Specifically, we talked about a new feature that Google was experimenting with at the time. Well, that experiment has now hit prime time and Google has announced its “Search Wiki” offering officially.

From the official Google Blog:

Today we’re launching SearchWiki, a way for you to customize search by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results. With just a single click you can move the results you like to the top or add a new site. You can also write notes attached to a particular site and remove results that you don’t feel belong. These modifications will be shown to you every time you do the same search in the future. SearchWiki is available to signed-in Google users. We store your changes in your Google Account. If you are wondering if you are signed in, you can always check by noting if your username appears in the upper right-hand side of the page. Read the rest of this entry »

MTV Brings Back the Music (Online)

5 November 08

mtv music

“It’s like ‘Music to My Eyes.'” So begins the FAQ on MTV’s recently launched MTV Music site.

The site is an easy-to-navigate trove of nearly every music video ever to play on the network. Unlike MTV’s main Website, MTV Music isn’t cluttered with reality-TV updates, and celebrity gossip. The site is dedicated to allowing visitors to easily search for high-quality music videos from nearly any artist or band. Read the rest of this entry »

Google’s Shiny Browser (beta)

8 October 08

Google released a beta version of its new browser, Google Chrome, a few weeks ago. Some of us here at futurethink have been using it since its launch, so we thought we’d put together some first impressions and thoughts. 

But first, some background. Chrome launched at the beginning of September, and was publicized with the launch of a little comic book that details its birth and development. The comic is an entertaining read, if, of course, you have any interest in how a Web browser works. If not, here’s the abridged version (and an overview of some of Chrome’s key features): Read the rest of this entry »

Digging Politics

9 September 08

Here at futurethink, we’ve tried to stay pretty quiet about the upcoming presidential election. But we recently caught wind of something that’s just too good not to blog about. 

A couple of Obama supporters recently launched a new site called OhBoyObama!. According to the site: 

OhBoyObama! is the unofficial campaign think-tank. Created by Obama supporters for the purpose of giving the Obama grassroots a platform to submit and vote on ideas to better the 2008 general election campaign of Barack Obama. All supporters are welcome to participate. Just register a new account and submit a “scoop” or start voting. Read the rest of this entry »

Innovation and Media

2 September 08

After a relaxing, relatively-unplugged holiday weekend, I started the day off with a couple of good reads to get the innovation juices flowing. First, an article from the New York Times (brought to my attention via that new LinkedIn widget) on how Google is jumping through hoops these days to cozy up with advertising agencies and pacify their fears about Google’s (imminent?) plans to take over the world. Here’s the cliff noted version:

Ad agencies are unsure what to make of Google because the search company is about a lot more than search these days. Every day, Google continues to launch, acquire, and refine new Web properties that compete with “old media” and the advertising models that support it. Many agencies fear that Google is ultimately trying to make inroads into the agency world in order to steal clients by offering a whole new suite of media planning services. Google claims it has no such plans in the works. While Google may very well have no plans of competing with agencies, the agencies have every right to be scared.  Read the rest of this entry »