Mobile Apps

32 stories
In pinch, use Cinch
The Cinch Polls app, a spinout of Nifti, is the easy way to get instant advice and feedback
When Nathan Sharp launched the shopping app Nifti a few years ago, he set out to solve a problem: The online shopping experience was ineffective, and it was rather impossible to monitor the random nature of prices on the Web. The company set up a way for shoppers to track the prices of individual products and get notified when they drop beneath a consumer-selected threshold. Basically, the application allows shoppers to automate deal-finding and helps makes the decision of when to buy a product for you. Now, with spinoff Cinch Polls, Sharp is not just trying to take the agony out of having to decide when to buy something, but instead, is trying to take the pain out of decision-making in general. Cinch is, in a nutshell, crowdsourced advice. Read More
Relevant Briefings
Harvard-built news aggregation app BriefMe launches in App Store
The BriefMe Team - (Left to Right) Hari Ganesan, Max Campion, Rachel Moranis. (Photo via BriefMe)
One of the biggest draws of websites such as Reddit and Hacker News is the way in which news stories are compiled and organized based on popularity. On Hacker News, for instance, a story about the latest release of a free version of a popular gaming development software might be the top-ranked article of the moment based on other users "upvoting" it. Reddit is similar in that the most popular stories are ranked in order of how important, timely, or interesting Redditors find them. A group of entrepreneurs based out of the Harvard iLab -- Max Campion, Hari Ganesan, and Rachel Moranis -- have tried to bring the same type of feature to mobile devices with a service that organizes the top news of the moment based on its overall popularity on the web. Read More
Beta Testing
Confide: Keeping your messages truly secret
Photo "Discretion" via <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-101127469/stock-photo-discretion.html?src=pp-same_artist-121080262-XJMxjV5JF9SNnTNcwQXlTw-5&ws=1">Shutterstock</a>
My mobile phone pinged me recently with an interesting, yet ominous alert: “Someone has sent you a confidential message on Confide.” To read it I had to download the app, which I'd never heard of. But I did it anyway and quickly realized I was wading into “Mission: Impossible’’-style technology territory. Read More
No more traffic?
Boston partners with Google's Waze app to improve traffic flow in the city
Waze logo added to a recent photo of the Southeast Expressway via BARRY CHIN/GLOBE STAFF
Mayor Martin Walsh made yet another move that shows just how far the city of Boston is willing to go in its quest to improve its citizens' lives by using new technologies and data collected by Internet companies, mobile application makers, and others. As traffic becomes a hot-button issue — the other major transportation problem besides the MBTA to arise as Boston has been buried by snow — the city said today that it has formed a new data-sharing partnership with real-time traffic application Waze. Read More
App your service
MobileSuites app wants to make hotel stays more convenient
From left: MobileSuites
CEO Dennis Meng, COO
Basel Fakhoury, and CTO
Bob Saris.
One of the more old-fashioned aspects of staying in a hotel is having to pull a leather binder out of a drawer and then pick up a 1980s-era phone to order room service, arrange a wake-up call, or set up a spa appointment. A Cambridge start-up, MobileSuites, wants to upgrade that part of the guest experience, letting you use your smartphone to explore the amenities and interact with the staff. After piloting the app with three hotels last year, MobileSuites says the iPhone app can now be used at about 700 hotels around the United States, including chains like Hilton, Westin, and Marriott. Read More
Taking off
Hopper launches mobile app to make saving money on flights easier and less painful
Screenshots of new Hopper app
Perhaps you've been cooped up in the house for the past 24 hours and are going stir crazy. Or maybe you're back at work, and your body is still aching from shoveling. Either way a vacation probably sounds like a good idea right now. So it's more than convenient that Cambridge-based Hopper, a company that collects data on airlines and flight costs to find customers the best deals, launched a mobile app in the Apple iOS App Store today that will send users notifications when the cheapest flights are available for the destinations they're hoping to travel to. Read More
Channeling the frustration
Mobile app Shelfie wants to let shoppers cash in on empty shelves
Grocery store shelf
Shelfie is not only an au courant name for an app, but a cool concept for these next few weeks of retail frenzy. Once you have the Android or iPhone apps, whenever there's a product you're hunting for that's out-of-stock, you use it to snap a picture of the empty shelf. The info about what's not there will be valuable to both retailers and product manufacturers, Shelfie posits. The shopper's reward? Points that can be converted into gift cards for use at places like Starbucks, Amazon, or Target. Read More
Where Brands stand on Mobile
Does your app make the grade? Applause releases report cards for travel, retail apps
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-667657p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Christian Bertrand</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>
As we head into the heaviest retail season of the year, one local company has some insight for stores that are anticipating that mobile will play a big role in sales. This morning, Framingham-based app testing software company Applause released its "State of the Retail Apps Economy" and "State of the U.S. Travel Apps Economy," two report cards that provide the first industry specific breakdowns of mobile app quality among brands. Read More