Monthly Archive for May, 2011Page 4 of 14

UPDATED: GroupMe Group Messaging App Updated to Version 2.0

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UPDATE: GroupMe will be releasing this latest build, which includes a few new updates, to the public from their website. The link is live and you can go to it now: bit.ly/grpme2030. You can read about it on their blog too.

Recently GroupMe, the popular group messaging app, was updated to version 2.0. For those who don’t know, GroupMe, one of the popular SxSW-launched apps, allows you to start a group, add your friends, and get a free phone number for it. Text the number and everyone gets your message, like a text chat room. Call it and you’re all instantly on a conference call. New features include:

  • In-app chat. Send messages over your data connection, entirely within the app. Text as much as you want without hitting your SMS balance.
  • Push notifications. You will get messages as soon as GroupMe receives them. BlackBerry notifications appear in your inbox when you receive new messages.
  • Photo-sharing. Take and share photos with your groups right within the app.
  • An improved, fresh user interface.

Check out the free GroupMe version 2.0 Beta in App World.

South African Youth Name BlackBerry As Country’s Leading Smartphone Brand

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While BlackBerry the brand has been getting a lot of flack for not being cool in North America, it’s getting a lot of love from the youth in South Africa. BlackBerry was named as the ‘Coolest Brand Overall’ in the Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey Awards. BlackBerry also took top honours in the ‘Coolest Cellphone’, ‘Coolest High-Tech Gadget’ categories and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was named ‘Best Cellphone Application’.

This must be a great boost to company morale considering South Africa has been leading what’s cool in North America recently with music from artists like Die Antwoord (above) and Jack Parow. Apparently the smartphones of choice are in the lower price range including the 8520.

It’s clear that while the mainstream media is focused on a small sample of North America, journalists would do best to go into other regions to get the full story.

Smartheart Launching Personal Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Free App

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At TC Disrupt we learned SHL Telemedicine is coming to market with a new medical gadget called Smartheart. The device is a lightweight personal electrocardiogram (or ECG) that allows you to monitor your heart in realtime. The Smartheart gadget comes with a free app, available on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, that connects to the ECG wirelessly. With the Smartheart device on and running, the app will record your results and email them to your physician. The app can monitor degradations in the health of your heart, as well as identify an irregular or abnormal heart condition and send an alert to the user in realtime.
Continue reading ‘Smartheart Launching Personal Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Free App’

France Telecom CEO on RIM: Not Actually Declining But Needs to Fix Quality Problems

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France Telecom is the 3rd largest carrier in Europe and has over 216 million customers spread over mobile, fixed line, internet, digital television and IT services. Its CEO is Stephane Richard, and in a recent interview with All Things D, he had a few things to say about RIM. First, which speaks volumes to the media’s perception of RIM that doesn’t jive particularly well with the numbers, Stephane says “[RIM] is not really declining. It’s still popular in Europe.” Stephane also continues by saying that RIM has had quality issues and that in order to stay the course and remain competitive, it needs to address these quality problems. This would probably be a fair judgement as RIM has had a few devices such as the Storm that had many quality concerns and its old trackball hardware which caused many to be frustrated with their device. Here is the exact quote:
Continue reading ‘France Telecom CEO on RIM: Not Actually Declining But Needs to Fix Quality Problems’

ZAGAT Restaurant Guide Launches New BlackBerry App

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ZAGAT is a popular restaurant guide that has released a new BlackBerry app that’s optimized for OS 6 and touchscreen interfaces. The app is going for a really strange price point and market since it’s priced at $9.99 and all of its competitors are free to download. Poynt, for example, offers location-based listings for restaurants and lets you dial and discover restaurants with relative ease. Yelp has a free BlackBerry app as well, and offers very helpful reviews. Perhaps ZAGAT thinks their reviews are so influential they can charge $10 for the app.

You can purchase ZAGAT for BlackBerry for $10 in App World or get more information from mobile.zagat.com/blackberry.

As part of the launch, ZAGAT is offering consumers the chance to win dinner for two! The first 500 people to Tweet “Download a free trial of Zagat for BlackBerry! http://zagat.bz/mFrVMW #ZagatBB” will be entered to win dinner for 2 at their favorite Zagat-Rated restaurant (valued at $200).