Razorfish just released their 2009 Digital Outlook Report, which you can view in PDF format thanks to Docstoc.com. You should get your hands on it and promptly jump to page 68, where they run down the “Top 10 Mobile Applications to Watch.” Drumroll, please…
1. Shop Savvy (Android G1): Scan an item’s bar code and say “Fetch!” Shop Savvy will seek out that product’s best price, from both online and brick/mortar outlets. More people comparison shopping equals more price/service competition between retailers.
2. Wikitude Augmented Reality Travel Guide (Android G1): Here’s an app that doesn’t just get you there — it keeps on working once you’re actually there. Not only can you glean info on 350,000 points of interest, but if you view a particular landmark through your Android’s camera, annotations are overlaid on the landscape image. Not only can hospitality marketeers and travel publishers use the app to offer branded vacation info, but Wikitude can provide access to digital information sources and social networks at any physical location.
3. Mint (iPhone): Got your money spread hither and yon? Use Mint’s free iPhone app to gather all your financial info into the palm of your hand. Automatic updates allow real-time monitoring of your bottom line, and Mint itself can analyze your saving and spending habits to match it to an optimized list of offers from financial institutions — and then charge you for the courtesy.
4. WebMD Mobile (iPhone): Tell your smartphone where it hurts — or more precisely, the WebMD.com’s iPhone app, which includes a portable version of their Symptom Checker. With 50 million hypochondriacs…er, users…looking up medical info on WebMD, both the site and its handheld adjunct are a mobile marketing Petri dish just waiting for the pharma companies to jump in.
5. Audi A4 Driving Challenge (iPhone): A real Audi can set you back a year’s paycheck, which makes this free app — the first released by a major auto manufacturer — all the more appealing. Use the accelerometer to steer your A4 through increasingly difficult courses, then go directly to a mobile-ready version of Audi’s website to get more info (and, one would assume, some virtual sticker shock…). By adding more levels, Audi can keep users from nuking the app out of boredom, while at the same time delivering scads of localized dealer info and promotions.
6. nuTsie (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile Devices, Alltel Devices): A music-streaming app for a wide variety of smartphones, this US$19.95 program is smart enough to actually go out and grab your (or anyone else’s) iTunes playlists. By not needing physical music files, it reduces on-phone data storage to zero — and longterm, the need to actually own physical MP3’s, much less a device to play them on. (nuTsie has some iPhone apps, but right now they’re limited to themed lists of songs.)
7. vSnax (iPhone): YouTube, SchmouTube — vSnax emphasizes quality over quantity, streaming clips from premium partners such as AccuWeather.com, CBS, Ford Models, Ripe TV, VH1, Spike and GameTrailers — all amortized by pre-roll advertisements. It’s multi-view interface lets you watch a video, flip through thumbnails of other videos, hop across channels, even jump to an advert’s website, with no one feature treading on another’s toes.
8. iStanford (iPhone): Stanford University’s very own iPhone app lets students view campus maps, track campus shuttle buses in real-time, peruse university news, check their grades and course history, connect with other students, email professors, and add or drop courses. (And not just Stanford: Duke and the 300-strong family of Whipple Hill schools have similar apps.) The social networking capability alone could spell doom for Facebook on college campuses.
9. Cooliris (iPhone): Not just an app, but the app version of a suite of browser plug-ins that let you search a 3D wall of images and videos. The iPhone version lets you select a visual result and see it on its native Web page without leaving the Cooliris app — making it a legitimate alt-browser to boot. The 3D design of the interface creates more space to display information, significantly reducing screen size restrictions.
10. ShapeWriter (iPhone): Why hunt ‘n’ peck when you can play connect-the-letters? That’s the philosophy behind ShapeWriter, in which you use your finger to “draw” a line from letter to letter to create words you’d otherwise be typing in. Once you get the hang of it, tests have shown that the new interface allows users to enter text faster — and, thanks to the word selection algorithm, with far fewer typing mistakes. (Hey, it can’t be any harder than Palm’s Graffiti, can it? :> )
2009 Digital Outlook Report – Get more Information Technology