Update: SingTel ILoveDeals for HSBC and Standard Chartered

The long awaited update with HSBC and Standard Chartered support has finally arrived in the App Store today!

Existing users: Tap on  then select the Updates tab to update your app.

New users: Click here to download the new version from the App Store!

What’s New in v 1.5:

Now supports HSBC and Standard Chartered offers and deals.

It was not stated in the release notes, but Twitter was removed from the app. Facebook Connect remains.

ILoveDeals locates your credit card dining offers on the go!

Singapore’s largest telecom provider, SingTel, has whipped up a pretty neat app – ILoveDeals.

First launched in July 2010, ILoveDeals is a credit card dining app which gives you quick access to all the offers offered by various credit cards in Singapore. Very handy if you own more than one credit card from different banks.

You can browse offers/merchants by Location, Restaurants, and Cuisines, or have a quick look at what’s around you using the built-in augmented reality feature, or try the advanced Search section! The best part is, while browsing through offers, you can quickly filter them by the credit cards that are relevant to you, or choose to configure your cards right from the start. While you’re on a merchant, simply switch between the credit card selectors to toggle the offer view for each card, and share the offers via social networks (Twitter & Facebook)!

Browse offers by Location

Relative positions in map view

Quick view of offers around you via Augmented Reality

Save your favorite merchants for quick access

Select your credit cards to view most relevant offers

No new major updates just yet, but the app has gained popularity significantly over the last week – ranking #1 against all the Lifestyle apps, and #2 in the Overall category on the Singapore regional App Store.

Why the sudden surge of popularity? It may have something to do with SingTel’s recent Contest to draw customers to this app:

SingTel ILoveDeals Download & Win Contest (iPhone 4/Samsung Galaxy S/Nokia N8/BlackBerry Torch) - Source: http://whatsonsg.tumblr.com

Current iPhone version carries offers from Citibank, DBS, POSB, UOB, and OCBC. Seeing that the Android support for HSBC and Standard Chartered has already been added, I’m guessing that an iPhone update is on the way. ;)

How to Track & Recover your Lost iPhone

I’m sure that a number of us have *somehow* lost our mobile phones before – we might have left it on a cafeteria table, in a cab, or at a cashier counter etc. What was your reaction when that happened (after you tried looking everywhere and know that you clearly lost it)? Maybe: “Crap. Now I need to get a new phone,” and you would just ring up your mobile service provider to inform them about the lost so they can temporarily suspend your line just in case someone else tries to abuse it.

What if you had lost an iPhone? Did you/Would you have reacted differently?

I did, and I was totally devastated – almost like a mental breakdown! How I wished I had been able to call up Apple and say “Hey I just lost my iPhone, can you track it down for me please?”

Losing an iPhone was just different from losing other phones. The price of acquiring another one is often a concern for most. Moreover, the iPhone has been more than just a mobile phone – at times it’s like a mini computer, a notebook, a photo album (of memories), a street directory, an encyclopedia, and so on.

If you lose your iPhone, DO NOT FREAK OUT YET, because there are some extremely handy apps that you could use to track it, and get it back.

MobileMe
Price: 60-day Free Trial, $99 per year (individual), $149 per year (family pack)

Features: Tracks the approximate location of your iPhone by GPS or Wi-Fi. Displays notification messages on the iPhone.
Comment: Probably the best and most trusted in this list – MobileMe works for iPhone, iPad, Macs and PCs by Apple itself. It’s a one-stop solution to data mobilization and security.

Sign up

Find My iPhone
Price: Free

Apple has recently launched this app to help iPhone/iPad owners locate their lost iPhones/iPads more easily when they are on the go. The app is free but you will need a MobileMe subscription detailed as above.

Features: Locates your iPhone/iPad on a map. Display a message and play a sound (at full volume even if device was set to silent). Remotely lock your device or choose to permanently wipe all personal data on the device.
Comment: You need to install this on another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch – not your own device that you are trying to find. Great only if you have access to more than one of these devices for this to work.

Download

Undercover
Price: $4.99

Features: Logs your iPhone’s location and IP via an Undercover account. Displays message to finder. Also works with iPad.
Comment: This app needs to be launched in order to transmit location details. Luckily, you can remotely launch the app on your lost device by using push notifications. Or with iOS 4.0 multitasking capability, this app could be a lot more effective.

Download

iHound
Price: $2.99

Features: Locate your device using GPS and Wi-Fi via an iHound account. Remotely sets loud alarms on your lost iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and send push notifications. Automatically opens app when alarm is cancelled on idle mode.
Comment: This app too needs to be running in order to transmit location details.

Download

TapTrace
Price: $1.99

Features: Remotely send a message to your lost iPhone/iPad. Location info is transmitted to a TapTrace account when the message is viewed.
Comment: One of the cheapest options. Although does not actively track the location of the lost device, it’s still better than having none at all.

Download

iLocalis
Price: Free, Premium features available through donations

Features: Track and share location of your iPhone. Remotely control your iPhone to send SMS text messages or call to check if the SIM has been replaced via an iLocalis account. Remotely backup, lock, or wipe personal data.
Comment: Jailbreak iPhone required. Possibly the best free option if you have a jailbreak iPhone.

Download

Mobile Spy
Price: $99.97 per year

Features: Monitor all call, mobile web, text message activities, GPS locations, and more. Works with most smartphones, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.
Comment: You will need a jailbreak iPhone in order to use this. This software secretly logs all activities on the mobile, so use with care and avoid privacy infringement!

Buy

I found my iPhone at last. :) My best app was “Honesty”. Someone actually decided to return the phone to me! But one can’t always be that lucky. So take the precautions. Keep it in your bag or pocket if you know you will be focusing on something else. Have one of these apps installed, so in case putting it away safely doesn’t work, you know you still have Plan B.

Happy iPhone-ing! ;)

R.T

[Mashable] iPhone Twitter Client for the Hello Kitty Fans

For a long time, we’ve been overwhelmed with the number of Twitter clients (apps) out there for our picks – TweetDeck, Twitterrific, Twittelator, Echofon, Seesmic, and Tweetie (now known as Twitter for the iPhone), just to name a few popular ones. Well, I guess that doesn’t stop developers from giving birth to even more Twitter clients. Here’s one more for a niche market – Twitter for the Hello Kitty fans! Thanks to Mashable for sharing this interesting app. :)

Image Source: Mashable

Image Source: Mashable

Image Source: Mashable

Image Source: Mashable

Some features highlight…

  • Basic Twitter functions and interface works just like Tweetie
  • Embeddable deco-images – these are basically animated Hello Kitty icons viewed natively in the app or via a hyperlink for other users
  • Customizable gesture controls – eg. swipe right for @reply (default)
  • Changeable app backgrounds
  • Supports both English and Japanese

Get the app?

Search for ”Hello Kitty on Tappit” in the AppStore or click here. The app costs US$3.99.

Read original article on Mashable.

R.T

Mobilizing Local Search [Case Study]

Sometimes, we really have to just stop and appreciate the way technology is changing how we live, even molding an industry into something better. First, came the Internet; Now, it’s mobile. Let us have a look at a solid case study – Local Search.

Technology changes People

When it comes to local search – checking up business listings – “Yellow Pages” has always been our first choice. We even used to go to designated locations to collect our free phonebooks. (Yes, I still remember doing that.) And there was the digital CD version for those more tech-savvied and preferred to work with computers. Subsequently, more of us dropped out of those media and we turned to the World Wide Web – local directory websites, Google etc. Today, if you still tell me to go to http://www.blahblahblah.com to find a place I want to go to – well – I would say that “It’s time to move on.”

Not that the Internet no longer works, but because it lacks a very important element in how users behave when they are searching – some kind of personalization. Think back to when you were still using the phonebook. What did Yellow Pages look like? Plain text business listings sorted by categories and mostly text-based ads of selected merchants. To use it, you need to know at least the type of business (category) you want to look for. Looking at the list, keep flipping the pages and shortlist a few perhaps by their location. Then pick up your phone and call one by one to enquire info. Are those that you’ve shortlisted good? Actually you have no idea. You simply hope for the best.

Mobile molds Industries

With Internet directories, it was basically the same story – you need to have an idea of what you want to search for to search for it (in Google, you need to type in a keyword to start a search). User reviews are only accessible after you have searched for something specific.

With mobile? If you just go to the App Store today and download a local search app, there’s a 90% chance that the app has a “Nearby” feature. What does that do? It allows you to search for anything available around you (in proximity order). 85% chance that each merchant also has a star rating (from users). Click on any of the listings and you can view user comments about that merchant.

In the past, information was also harder to acquire so a lot of competition was centralized on how comprehensive the database is. Now, while content is still important, directories (apps) try to differentiate themselves by creating unique local search experiences for the users. More and more features are added to make the apps more personable and search efficient.

Maps are available, which you can zoom and pan. One-click driving directions – no more copy and paste the address into Google Maps on your browser! Email a listing to friends or share a comment on Twitter/Facebook. And just recently, “augmented reality” on show in local search apps!

Now stop and think. How do you think mobile has impacted you and the society?

R.T

Best “Pictionary” game on iPhone

One of the reasons why I love my iPhone is the way it has revolutionized gameplay. Capacitive multi-touch screen and reactive motion sensors allow mobile gameplay to be more than just smashing your fingers on a tiny keypad.

There are many good examples on the App Store. This one that I’m going to share with you happens to be my favorite because I just looove Pictionary.

Charadium. A new ngmoco multiplayer game (same developer as We Rule), where a small (random) group of players challenge each other in a draw-and-guess style like in Pictionary.

In Charadium, players score individually. Both the drawer and guesser earn points when a word is guessed correctly. The faster the correct answer is guessed, the more points you get. You get 30secs each round to draw/guess. Highest scorer at the end of 15 rounds wins. If you draw terribly and no one gets the right answer, you get -5 points deducted. So it’s all fair play, you will want to be the best drawer and the fastest guesser!

Of course then people get competitive, they don’t want to lose points so they resort to “spelling out” the answers to the guessers. At this point, you can choose to report the player as “cheating” (using the in-game button). If two other mates also reported the same player, that player gets kicked out of the game. Scary? Hehe don’t be. You can choose to skip the word if you are not confident of drawing. You can also award players with stars to commend them of good drawings or good guesses.

Want to play with people you know? Just create a new game room and invite your friends to the challenge!

R.T

8 Mobile App Contests to help your app Get Found and Get Famous

Do you have a great app but troubled why it’s not getting downloads?

It happens, naturally as there are over 180,000 apps just on the iTunes App Store alone. It may just be that you are not doing the right things to get your app found (marketing..). It may just be that you are missing the golden opportunity – to get famous.

I won’t be discussing the marketing aspect in this post. I might do another post on that when I find time. There are, in fact, few different paths you can take to get your app found and get famous. In this post, I will be sharing one of it – the most straightforward but possibly tougher than others – mobile application contests. This list is taken from Mobclix’s post in February. I have selected the ones relevant to iPhone apps and updated their statuses. Developers should take note that some of these are geared towards brands and companies, evaluating the overall mobile campaign rather than just the app.

Before you begin:

Keeping in mind that you will be competing with many other great apps out there, you really need to consider if you have the capacity to commit to this. A couple of “prerequisites” if you are looking to take part:

  • You should have an above-average app, in terms of UI design, usability, execution of the functions – basically an app with great user experience and flow.
  • Your app concept must be unique and compelling to the users – whether it’s a brand new idea or a remake of a popular service/cultural element, or a combination of both.

Finally, pick one of the following contests (at most two) that suits the type of app you want to submit – read the contest description or mission. Study the criteria and make sure you can ace the categories with your app (at the very least, don’t fail to the technical ones). It’s also important that you do NOT try to take part in too many contests, certainly not by submitting the same app to each and every contest available. Every contest may have different sets of criteria and mission, so it’s best that you focus your time and resources on developing one winning app than juggling five that get buried among thousand other apps. You should check out past years’ winning apps for inspiration too.

Mobile App Contests for iPhone Apps:

Apple Design Awards | Apple
“The Apple Design Awards recognize technical excellence, innovation, and outstanding achievement in iPhone and Mac software development.”
Participants Commercial and Student Developers (note Sections I & II Eligibility)
Entrance fee Free
Submission dates By Mid-May (based on 2009)
Submission details TBD
Possible categories*
specific to iPhone apps
iPhone Developer Showcase, Best iPhone OS 4.0 Beta App, Best iPhone Student App (based on 2009)
Judging criteria Platform Innovation, Design & Quality, Integration & Technology Adoption, Performance Tuning & Optimization, Connectedness, Localization (note Section IV Judging)
Past winners 2009
Mobile Excellence Awards
“The Mobile Excellence Awards is the most influential and coveted industry awards program, which honors the best of the best in mobile entertainment, technology, marketing & media.”
Participants Companies and brands in mobile business, technology & marketing
Entrance fee US$200
Submission dates Opens May
Submission details Download submission form (for 2009)
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best Mobile Product or Service, Best Mobile Game, Best Mobile Music Application, Best Original Content for Mobile Entertainment, Best Community/Fan Content, Best Mobile Content Development (based on 2009)
Judging criteria Strategic Initiative, Impact of Technology, Creativity, Ease of Use and Reach, Execution and Proven Success in the Market (note Award Criteria & Guidelines)
Past winners 2009 | 2008
Open Web Awards: Social Media Edition | Mashable
“The Open Web Awards is our international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology and achievements in Social Media.”
Participants Any – Based on nominations (note Rules)
Entrance fee Free
Submission dates Oct – Nov (based on 2009)
Submission details Mashable website, TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best Facebook App, Most Creative Use of Facebook Connect, Best Location Based Mobile App, Best Mobile App, Best Mobile Based Twitter App, Best Twitter App, Best Social Network App, Best Mobile Game, Best Mobile Music App, Best Mobile Travel App (based on 2009)
Judging criteria None – Based on votes (note Rules)
Past winners 2009 | 2008
SAMMY Awards | digiday
“The SAMMY Awards honors overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in Social Advertising, Media and Marketing.”
Participants Companies and brands engaging in social media marketing
Entrance fee TBD
Submission dates By Aug (based on 2009)
Submission details Entry form + 500-700 words brief, TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best Social Branded App, Best Social Content/Entertainment App (based on 2009)
Judging criteria Not available
Past winners 2009
Mobile Marketing Awards Program | MMA
“The Mobile Marketing Association presents its annual industry awards to recognize significant contribution within the global mobile marketing industry.”
Participants Companies and brands engaging in mobile marketing
Entrance fee US$150-$250 per entry
Submission dates TBD
Submission details TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best Mobile Display Campaign (based on 2009)
Judging criteria Strategy, Execution, Creativity, Results (note Guidelines)
Past winners 2009 | 2008
The Crunchies Award | TechCrunch
“The 2009 Crunchies is our third annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year.”
Participants Companies – Based on nominations (note Rules)
Entrance fee Free
Submission dates Nov – Dec (based on 2009)
Submission details TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best Social App, Best Mobile Application, Best Time Sink Application (based on 2009)
Judging criteria None – Based on votes (note Rules)
Past winners 2009 | 2008
Best App Ever Awards | 148Apps
“This is second annual iPhone OS Application achievement awards. We started the awards last year to recognize the best, not just the best-selling iPhone apps.”
Participants Any – Based on nominations
Entrance fee Free
Submission dates By Dec (based on 2009)
Submission details TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Best App Ever, Most Innovative App, Most Useful App, Best Productivity Enhancer, Best Productivity Killer, Best Use of Bluetooth, Most Creative Use of iPhone Hardware, Best Use of Location Services, Best Visual Design, Best Educational App, Best Just for Fun Kids App, Best App for Toddlers, Best App for Pre-schoolers, Best App for Primary School Kids, Best App for Middle School Kids, Best App for High School+ Kids, Best App for Parents, Best Feel Like A Local App, Best GPS Navigation App, Best Outdoor Use App, Best Social Networking App, Best Twitter App, Best News App, Best Road Warrior App, Best Time Management App, Best Musical Instrument App, Best Musical Synthesizer App, Best Photography App, Best Photo Manipulation App, Best Artistic Expression App, Best Augmented Reality App, Most Innovative Game, Best Casual Game, Best Game Graphics, Best Game Controls, Best Use of Social Gaming Platform Game, Best Multiplayer Game, Best Retro Reborn Game, Best Action Game, Best Adventure Game, Best Arcade Game, Best Board Game, Best Card Game, Best Casino Game, Best Dice Game, Best Family Game, Best MMO Game, Best Music Game, Best Puzzle Game, Best Racing Game, Best Role Playing Game, Best Simulation Game, Best Sports Game, Best Strategy Game, Best Trivia Game, Best Word Game (based on 2009)
Judging criteria None – Based on votes
Past winners 2009 | 2008
Mobile Apps Showdown | CES
“The end game? Let the best apps rise to the top, with you as one of the judges.”
Participants Any
Entrance fee US$800
Submission deadline By 31 Nov
Submission details TBD
Possible categories*
specific to mobile apps
Lifestyles, Entertainment, Productivity, IT, Education
Judging criteria Not available – 25 semi-finalists and 10 finalists to be picked for online voting; Finalists will present at CES 2011 for live voting (note Rules)
Past winners 2009 Overall, Online voting results, Finalists

Good Luck!

R.T

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