As of November 22nd Google will no longer offer their Gmail app on BlackBerry smart phones. They are also removing the application from the Blackberry app world marketplace so it is no longer available to be downloaded.
For those who already have the app, it will not disappear or stop wording and users can continue to use the service as usual, there will just be no Google customer support team to assist with issues.
Google claim these changes are being implemented to provide a great Gmail experience in the smart phone browser.
BlackBerry users are currently accessing their emails is through the BlackBerry application software and the improvement lies in Google being able to deliver updates through their own platform straight to users.
As the new BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry 7OS systems use webkit browsers this provides a better experience than previous models and allows Google to update their system more directly instead of relying on the BlackBerry application standards.
This comes after a three day outage last month that left millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, North and South America.
What do you think? Should Google allow users to choose between a browser or an app, or is it okay for them to make this change because they know best?
With systems such as PayPal and internet banking we are all used to being able to shop online without a physical credit card in hand. But imagine walking into your local convenience store, petrol station, or even department store without your wallet, or even credit card in sight and paying with your smart phone.
Through use of near field communication (NFC) technology this is exactly what Google have envisioned and created. The Google wallet.
NCF simplifies transactions and data exchanges through a wireless technology that allows information to be passed between two devices, typically a smart phone and payment terminal, in close proximity.
Google has harnessed the power of near field communication and partnered with US bank Citi to enable customers to make payments in store by tapping their smart phones against terminals. Customers are required to register their Citi credit card details with their smart phone, or opt to create a Google prepaid account and register other credit cards to top up their ‘card’. Once account details have been registered and confirmed customers are able to start shopping at PayPass affiliated stores – wallet-less.
The search engine giant has released Google wallet in the US with companies such as Coca Cola, Foot Locker, and Radio Shack to name a few, who offer support for the services. The vision for Google wallet is that it will eventually be available in all stores worldwide and will be able to store loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets and even your keys! – it will ultimately replace your entire wallet
There is, however, a down side: this technology is not yet available in Australia.
But we are not far behind. We currently use ‘tap and go’ payment terminals which allow certain credit cards to make payments under $100 without the need to swipe and verify – simply by tapping them against a terminal.
This technology has paved the way for Google wallet to be easily introduced into the Australian market. Although at this stage Google has no official time frame for introducing the product into the country.
Smart Phone Image Courtesy of flickr
Google has teamed up with IPSOS research to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the boom in smart phone popularity. And the results? Australians have the highest smart phone usage second only to Singapore.
Although not usually known for our technological advancement or consumption 37 per cent of us are using smart phones. We are now more likely to conduct activities such as social networking, internet banking, viewing Google maps, and even real estate searches through mobile phones compared to our British and American counterparts.
Not only do more Australians use smart phones, but we also use more apps each, with the average person having 17 unpaid, and 8 paid applications on their phones. This is compared to 23 applications on American and British phones.
The study has also found that our usage is on the rise with this boom in smart phone consumption being relatively new as participants claimed their smart phone was the first they’d purchased, or they’d purchased it within the last three to six months.
One of the most interesting facts the research has unveiled is that smart phone users are shopping from their phones. Over a quarter of Australians have gone shopping and purchased an item with a smart phone at one point. PayPal recorded in 2010 their mobile phone transactions increased by 25 per cent every month. This is clearly a huge market on the rise – yet 80 per cent of websites are not optimised for mobile phone browsing.
This is a massive gap between demand and supply that needs to be filled. There is a huge call for website owners, especially of ecommerce stores, to have mobile friendly websites. Not only do websites need to be optimised for mobile phone usage – the importance of search engine optimisation is just as prevalent on mobile phones as it is on PC’s.
It is essential for ecommerce store owners to have their websites optimised for mobile phone usage, and also for search engine optimisation – as once your website can be used on a mobile phone; it also needs to be found.
With this boom in smart phone usage it will not be long before all websites have mobile phone compatibility, but those who merge onto this new platform first using SEO best practise will reap the benefits far earlier.