Monday, November 21, 2011

Four Must-Have Holiday-Survival Applications

Say hello to delicious food and family gatherings; the holiday season is here! But, before you rush off to grab your wrapping paper and winter sweaters, check your applications.

This season, your smartphone can be your best friend. Besides sharing pics on Facebook or checking email, think outside the box. What else can your smartphone do? Try step by step instructions for cooking Thanksgiving dinner or finding the least expensive gas station closest to you. Here are our top four must-have holiday applications!

Chow: Thanksgiving Dinner Coach will guide even the most amateur chef through the process of cooking the big bird (say goodbye to your mother-in-law’s endless turkey tips). The application, which is available for iPhone and Android, provides step-by-step directions with tutorials and pictures for roasting the turkey. No need to scour cookbooks, the application even supplies a shopping list and cooking times based on the size of the bird. It can’t get much better than that!

TGIBlack Friday will come in handy post-Thanksgiving feast (let someone else do the dishes, you prepared the turkey!). The application, also available on iPhone and Android, displays Black Friday shopping deals from all the top retailers. You can even build a specific list for each person in your family.

If you plan on traveling in the car over the holidays, GasBuddy will provide you a list of the least expensive gas stations nearest you. Crossing state lines can sometimes mean more than an accent change—don’t get stuck paying astronomical gas prices.

Who can forget ESPNScore Center? With so many BIG football games taking place over the holidays you don’t want to miss a beat. ESPNScore Center will send updates to your phone each time your favorite team scores a touchdown, just make sure the Missus doesn’t catch you checking it during her family’s holiday party.

Happy Holidays! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more holiday application updates.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Android tops iPhone with 45 percent of US smartphone sales

The iPhone 4S and its new personal assistant, Siri, have dominated headlines since its premiere in September. The public’s on going love affair with the phone would suggest that it holds the top spot in smartphone sales. But surprising, new research from ComScore shows that Google’s Android mobile operating system is the queen bee of smartphones. With 45 percent of the smartphone market, Android tops the iPhone by almost 28 percent (the iPhone sits at a comfortable 17 percent). These statistics might be unexpected but there are several things to consider when analyzing these numbers.

For one, Apple’s iOS operating system only functions on the iPhone. It cannot be legally transferred to another handset. Since the iPhone is the only device to host iOS, it naturally decreases the percentage of its market share.

On the other hand, Android is available on multiple smartphones. From the ever-popular Samsung Galaxy to the new Motorola Razr, the Android operating system is offered by many mobile phone makers and carriers.

Along with restrictions on operating systems, each phone premiered with different terms. Since its birth, Android was available on every top mobile phone carrier. This gave consumers more than one option. The iPhone debuted on AT&T and remained exclusively with the carrier until early this year, when Verizon started selling the device.

Things that could change this trend include:

  • The iPhone 3GS is free with a two-year contract. This could increase sales on the iPhone. While it may not be the iPhone 4S, it contributes to the total percentage of market share the operating system possesses.
  • Apple also added a new carrier. The iPhone is now available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
  • Android’s ability to keep consumers happy. The new software, Ice Cream Sandwich, is slowly making its way into the market and it will have to compete with iOS5.

The iPhone has a long way to go in order to catch up to Android, but who knows-- maybe Siri will surprise us!