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The Companion Web: Why We Want to Use Our Phone to Control Our Tablet

Every time a baby is born, five new mobile devices are activated and an angel gets its wings.

The devices don’t belong to the baby. . . it’s just a way of showing you how crazy this whole mobile device movement has become.

The web developers of the world are doing their best to create sites and apps and tools that take advantage of each device’s best features but when it comes to connecting one to the other, we’re slacking. That’s why Microsoft is championing “The Companion Web.” It’s all about using one device to raise the entertainment or educational value of whatever you’re doing on another device.

Second screen TV apps like Viggle are already doing this to some extent, but Microsoft wants to take it a step further.

New Google Maps Available to All

The newest version of Google Maps was an invite only affair until yesterday. Now anyone can opt-in to get the new map experience.

If you haven’t seen what this latest version looks like and does here is the video from May that Google put together.

And for you iOS users out there 9 to 5 Mac reports

In line with last week’s expectations of an updated Google Maps app, Google has begun rolling out version 2.0 of Google Maps for iOS today. Most notably, the new application includes support for the large touch screens found on the iPad and iPad mini.

Of course, not everyone in the comments section of this post is happy (shocker!) as the update requires iOS 6. You can read more about it here at the Google Lat Long blog.

Forget Sharknado, Mobile Warming is Coming Your Way

doomed7You can try to deny it but the facts make it so – humans are causing global mobile warming and believe me, you do not want to get caught out in the cold.

The folks at WompMobile take this threat to our internet existence very seriously. . . actually, they’re not taking it very serious at all and that’s why its so brilliant.

WompMobile is a start-up that wants to help businesses optimize their websites for mobile. It’s a noble cause because there’s nothing worse than browsing a broken website when you’re trying to buy  neon yellow, designer shoes with a 6-inch heel on your iPhone.

Good Review on Yelp? Order Lunch While You’re Still on the Page

You’re at the office and you’re hungry but you’re tired of the same old places. You go on Yelp to look for a new place to eat. (Not where I’d go, but apparently it’s where some people go.) You find Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar and wow, they have terrific reviews. Gotta try it – now here’s the make it or break it moment – you place your lunch order right there on the page so it’s ready when you arrive to pick it up.

Without that order system, you might head out thinking you’re going to go to Harry’s but end up at the Greek place that’s two blocks closer. Bad news for Harry.

yelp ordering system

Vine Gives Instagram the What For with Their Biggest Update Ever

The battle for social mobile (somobile? socible?) dominance continued this week with a fancy new upgrade for Vine. They’re calling it their “biggest update yet” and the timing can’t be a coincidence. Can it?

It was only a few weeks ago that Instagram announced the addition of video to their social / mobile service. I tried it and didn’t like it as much a I like Vine, but why have two apps when you can filter photos and do stop motion animation with just one?

vine update

 

I’m happy to report that Vine didn’t counter by adding retro photo filters to their app. They’re sticking with what they do best but expanding on ways to share the Vines you make.

Foursquare Adds Group Check-In Feature

check-in-friends-steps‘Celebration dinner with Kathie, George, Mike, Sam, Dean, Jason and Renaldo.’

Foursquare check-in done! Now, I have to sit and wait while everyone else takes out their phone, opens Foursquare and checks in. How boring. If only there was a way to check all of us in at the same time, we could be looking into each other’s eyes now instead of staring down at our phones.

Oh great Foursquare genie, won’t you help me please!

Voila! It is done. Foursquare just added the “I’m with. . . ” button to the bottom of the check-in screen. Now, all you have to do is click that button, then search for each of your friends, click, then he gets a notice asking for his permission to let you check him in and you’re done. Wow, that was. .  not really any faster than before.  . . .

How Mobile Restaurant Advertising Differs from the Rest of the Pack

smart restaurant issue

What time is it? It’s S.M.A.R.T report time!

Today we have a special edition for all you hungry folks who skipped lunch so you could go home early on a Friday. (I’m eating as I type this, so there’s a theme.)

First, let’s look at the general state of mobile marketing in Q1 2013.

Telecom took the top slot for spending with an increase of 102% over last year. That was followed by Entertainment, Finance and Retail.

When looking at vertical growth, Sports knocked it out of the ballpark with a spend that grew by 600%. No, that extra zero wasn’t a typo. Millennial (my favorite word today) Media says a lot of this was due to a trend toward creating branded apps for teams and sports organizations. I downloaded the NHL app at the start of the year to follow the Stanley Cup action, so I did my part.