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10 Reasons Mobile is Important at Retail

The use of mobile devices exploded around the holiday’s last year. Between the new iPhone release and families exchanging new mobile phones and tablets as holiday gifts, the use of mobile devices rose to unprecedented amounts. As we know, more apps have been downloaded than ever before and the world is now more active via mobile devices. Not only are people excited to use their new mobile phones as toys and communication tools, but they’re taking them everywhere they go and using their devices in new ways, such as research tools.

PEW American & Internet Life Project studied adult cell phone owners who use their devices while shopping and here are their top 10 findings:

• Cell owners ages 18-49 are significantly more likely to use their phone for online product reviews
• 33% of adult cell owners used their phone specifically for online information while inside a physical store
• 24% of cell owners used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store
• 49% of 18-29 year olds called a friend for advice about a purchase
• 50% of household incomes over $50,000 used cell phones for product reviews and advice
• 38% of 18-29 year olds used their phones for real-time price matching.
• 1 in 5 mobile price matches made their most recent purchase from an online store, rather than a physical location
• 5% of all cell owners who purchased a product online this holiday season after looking up its price online from a physical store
• 9% of all cell owners searched for the price of a product they found in a physical store but ultimately purchased it at that store
• 63% of 18-29 year olds used their used their phone for real-time product reviews and advice

With this kind of information now available, retailers will need to step up their mobile marketing strategy. Besides offering better customer service, retailers have to provide more product information and transparent price options elsewhere because this seems to be what their customers want. As mainstream America begins using smartphones more and more, we will continue to see an entirely new way of using our phones.

Want more information on where the mobile industry is headed? Visit the PicDial blog to learn more about mobile and social trends and how it affects you. You can also find more information by following us on Twitter or by tuning into our Facebook page.

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Facebook: Become A Fan Of PicDial

PicDial makes any mobile address book “Socially Aware and Socially Alive”. Tell us what you think of the app? Join our Facebook page, and become a fan today. And don’t forget to spread the word!

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This Will Be The Most Mobile and Social Olympics Ever

The Olympic Games in London have begun and this year has already proved that this will be the most mobile and social Olympics ever. The Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics had more tweets in one day than the entire 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Besides the multitude of Twitter and Facebook status updates, the 2012 Olympics will be available instantly anywhere and everywhere on your mobile phone or tablet by NBC and their partners. If you’re home you can watch the Olympics on one of the many television channels or on your personal computer.

For the first time ever, the Olympics will have every event aired live – somewhere. If an event is not aired live on TV, it will be streamed live to your mobile phone, tablet or PC. This makes a lot of sense since smartphone use has grown almost 500%(!) since the 2008 Olympic Games.

Smartphone use wasn’t the only technology yet to boom during the 2008 Olympics. There has also been a major increase in social networking since the last Summer Olympics. For example; in 2008 there were only 90 million Facebook accounts, now there are 900 million accounts. With social networking we are now able to converse, debate and rave about different events during the Olympics with friends and strangers in ways we never could before.

Already we’ve seen people on Facebook and Twitter sharing results of live events they’re streaming on their mobile phones or tablets before they’re on television. While the spoilers are upsetting some people others aren’t so upset, especially if they’re out enjoying the day and night.

The infographic below (click to enlarge) will show you a slew of ways that this year’s Olympics will be more mobile and social than ever before.

With such drastic changes in media (social and traditional) it’s difficult to imagine how we’ll interact and view the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but we can’t wait to find out.

Everything in life continues to become more mobile and social and the Olympics shouldn’t be any different. A great way to keep up to date with how your friends are enjoying the Olympics is with PicDial. Whenever your friend’s call or text their most recent Facebook status updates will appear with their full screen caller ID or popup text notification. You can download PicDial from our website.

Photo: Mashable 

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Beware of Email From Faceboook, It May Carry Malware

Facebook is integral to the PicDial app. PicDial allows you to integrate Facebook photos into your mobile experience with Full Screen Caller ID that use Facebook photos and Popup Text Notification with your friend’s Facebook photos. So, when we see a security warning for Facebook we make sure we pass it on as soon as possible.

Recently we learned that there is a malware attack on some Facebook users. The malware attacks come in by email that appears to be from Facebook saying that you have been tagged in a photo. However, this email isn’t from Facebook.

The main thing to look out for with these potential malware emails is that while the email appear to be from Facebook, they really but aren’t. Most people won’t notice on a quick look, but “Facebook” is actually spelled incorrectly. You will see “Faceboook” as the spelling of the company name in the FROM section in the SPAM email. If you roll your mouse over the link you’ll see that won’t you directly to the official Facebook website.

This malware takes advantage of something called the Black hole Exploit Kit, which can automate cybercrime on your computer. If you click on the link in the email, you are not taken immediately to the real Facebook website. Instead, your browser is taken to a website hosting an iFrame script. This is when the Black hole Exploit Kit begins to work. To mask this intrusion, you’ll be redirected to the authentic Facebook site in a few seconds if you don’t log in.

This is pretty sneaky, but if you’re normally logged into Facebook this may seem strange to you. If you’re normally logged into Facebook and you’re asked to log in again, just double check the site to make sure it’s secure.

For those of you who are always logged into facebook, here is another tip: If you’re asked to log in again, always double check the site to make sure it’s secure & the correct URL.

If you don’t take the right steps to protect your computer, it’s possible that you will be infected by this malware and a cybercriminal might do wrong to you. If you’re concerned about your Facebook security keep up with this matter on Naked Security. They are still investigating this attack, and we will publish any further information on their blog.

Photo – Naked Security

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Mobile Phones Overtake PC As Primary Internet Device in China

Last month we noted that more and more people are using their smartphone as their main way to get online. Specifically, 17% of mobile phone owners in the United States now do most of their online browsing on their mobile phone rather than using a personal computer or other device.

Following the finding that more American’s are beginning to use their mobile phone as their main gateway to the internet we’ve learned that China is way ahead of the United States in this matter. According to Engadget, the Chinese government has issued a research report revealing that the mobile phone has become the most popular way to access the internet in China and has most past the PC as the most popular device to access the internet with.

40% of China has access to the internet and of the 538 million people with internet access, there were 388 million times that the internet was reached by a mobile phone. Meanwhile, PC’s were only used 380 million times to reach the internet.

Social networking is one of the most popular things to do while on mobile phones accessing the internet in China. Over 43% of all mobile phone internet users are using microblogging sites similar to Weibo in China or Twitter in the United States.

Life continues to become more mobile and the way we keep track of our friends and family continues to be with social networking. This will only continue to grow as more smartphones that are sold. Tablets may allow a bigger screen, but mobile phones are definitely changing the way people access the internet.

How long will it take for the United States to catch up with China using mobile phones as the main way to access the internet? Considering that more than half of every mobile phone being sold is a smartphone, it shouldn’t take too long.

Keep your mobile and social life in order with PicDial. PicDial brings your entire address book to life by linking your mobile phone contacts to Facebook & MySpace profiles. With PicDial you will always see your friends’ latest Facebook or MySpace profile pictures when they call. Photos & status messages are dynamically updated in your address book as they change online.

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Are You Ready To Register To Vote Via Facebook?

The state of Washington has found another way that Facebook can make our lives easier. Their secretary of state’s office last week said that it will have an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application so the registered voters could recommend their friends to do the same.

Voter registration via Facebook is being planned to start as soon as this week. Since most of us have our basic information already on Facebook, submitting the information for voter registration should further simplify the online voter registration process and offer another easy way to register to vote.

Washington state has been one of the more progressive states with getting potential voters registered. Washington is one of about 12 states that offer online registration and has had online registration since 2008.

Here’s how the process will work: You will need to agree to let Facebook access your basic information. This information will be used to fill your name and date of birth in the voter registration form. Facebook doesn’t have all of the information, so you will still need to provide your driver’s license or Washington state ID card number to continue.

Precautions to protect your privacy are already planned by the government. According to USA Today and a state representative, Facebook won’t have access to the state’s database, the Facebook page will just overlay the existing online voter application. Beyond giving Facebook permission to use names and dates of birth, voters won’t need to worry about their personal information being collected by Facebook.

If personal information privacy isn’t a concern this is a really simple way for people to register to vote. This will also allow registered voters to access information on candidates to vote for. Once registered, voters will also be able to access the state’s “My Vote” site with specific information on candidates and ballot measures. With this being a Presidential election year it’s a great time for a state to begin using Facebook to gain registered voters.

Unless there is a major catastrophe with Washington state using Facebook to register voters we can expect to see Facebook used much more to get voters registered in the future. Facebook voter registration will come in handy in large cities where  potential voters may not drive and won’t be registered by another easy method, getting a drivers license.

The easiest way to keep up with your friends on Facebook is with the PicDial app. PicDial allows your to see your friend’s Facebook status updates and facebook photos when they call with full screen screen caller ID. You can download your the free PicDial App from our website.

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Android Smartphone Ownership Continues To Rise

We’ve talked about smartphone ownership increasing before and we don’t expect that to slow anytime soon. While smartphones became the majority of mobile phones in the United States earlier this year, sales continue to rise. Sales of smartphones show that they are now owned by almost 55% (54.9%) of all mobile subscribers in the United States.

This growth is driven by the increasing amount of new mobile phone users choosing a smartphone instead of traditional handset-type phones. In Neilsen’s most recent tracking, two out of every three Americans who acquired a new mobile phone in the last three months chose a smartphone instead of a traditional handset-type mobile phone.

Since Android is available on so many different brands and models of smartphones, it continues to be the mobile operating system to lead the smartphone operating system market in the United States. Android is now the mobile operating system for a majority of smartphone owners (51.8%). Meanwhile, about a third (34.3%) of smartphone owners use an Apple iPhone with its iOS mobile operating system. Despite all the talk of its downfall Blackberry owners represented just over 8% of the smartphone market.

Apple’s iOs and Google’s Android now make up 90% of the mobile operating systems in use. With the future of Blackberry maker, RIM, in question it will be interesting to see if that 8% usage rate goes to one specific competitor. If Blackberry does shut down, which phone operating system will you choose?

Whether you use an iPhone or Android based smartphone you can still make it better with the free PicDial app. Use PicDial to bring your entire address book to life by linking your contacts to Facebook & MySpace profiles.

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Do You Use Your Mobile Phone As Your Main Way To Get Online?

Times are changing. We used to access the internet by a hardwired telephone line and a 56k modem. Now, just about every piece of technology we own has a way to access the internet. Furthermore, just about everything can connect to the internet without wires, like our mobile phones.

Do you use your mobile phone as your main way to access the internet? If you are, you wouldn’t be alone. More and more people are using their mobile phone as their main way to access the internet.

According to recent research by Pew Internet, a growing number of people are using their mobile phone to access the internet. In fact 17% of mobile phone owners now do most of their online browsing on their mobile phone, rather than a computer or other device. Most people use their mobile phone because of its convenience, but for some people their mobile phone is their only option for online access.

American’s are using their mobile phone more and more each day for internet browsing. As of April, 88% of all adults in the United States own a cell phone of some kind. More than half (55%) of those people use their phone to go online. This represents a notable increase from the 31% of mobile phone owners who said that they used their phone to go online as only a few years ago in April of 2009.

Like we said, times are changing and they’re changing quickly. As smartphone ownership continues to increase we can expect that the amount of people accessing the internet through their mobile phones will continue to rise – and rise rapidly. In addition, we will see marketers capitalize on the mobile marketing movement. How to optimize your website for mobile will be a very important topic for businesses to consider if they want to succeed.

Stay on top of your mobile internet integration by having PicDial installed on your mobile phone. With PicDial you can use your friends Facebook profile pictures for photo pop up texting and full screen caller ID.

 

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Facebook App Center Is Here

facebook app center

Facebook now has their very own app store soon. It may look like the Apple iTunes store or the Google Play store, but it won’t actually be competition. Instead of selling apps directly, the new Facebook App Center refers you to other app stores where you can buy them directly for your device. You will find Apple iOS and Android apps in the  Facebook App Center but you will be directed to Apple’s App Store or Google Play to actually download some of the apps.

The Facebook app store isn’t as much of a “store” as it is set to be more of an app “showcase”. In addition to selling apps built for use with Facebook, the app store includes apps that use Facebook to login. These are not apps to be used on Facebook, but rather apps that you use Facebook to login with.

The really good news is that regardless what phone operating system or computer operating system you have you’ll be able to buy apps from Facebook or find apps through Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook will have an app store. When Facebook first launched Facebook apps in 2007, there was a dedicated area where you could browse apps from third-party developers. Right now you can find existing Facebook apps through the same search bar that you use to find people, groups or events.

Facebook’s new App Center launched on the web at Facebook.com as well as within your iOS and Android Facebook apps. While this sounds really cool, you may be a little confused by the use of the word “app” so many times. If you’d like even more information on the Facebook App store, you can find a detailed FAQ on Mashable.

The new app store will make it easier for Facebook users to find and use apps that integrate with Facebook such as PicDial. PicDial integrates Facebook with your mobile phone. You can get PicDial from your favorite app store or on our website.

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Internet Speeds Keeping Up With Technology

internet connection

Global internet speed increased almost 20% for the year in 2011. Internet speed in the United States was up almost 15% for the year according to “The State of the Internet” study by Akamai.

South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong had the fastest internet speeds in the world last year as Asia easily lead the way with the three countries that have the fastest internet speed. European countries made up the rest of the top 10 countries with the fastest internet speed in the world. The United States had the thirteenth fastest internet speed in the world last year.

Digging deeper into the countries we look at the cities with the fastest internet speed. The top six cities with the fastest internet speed last year were in South Korea, with Taegu being the city with the fastest internet connection speed in the world. 38 of the next 44 fastest cities were in Japan. The city with the fastest internet connection last year that wasn’t in Asia was Umea, Sweden.

Average connection speeds saw major growth over the year. The lowest rate of growth unsurprisingly, was seen in Africa, where broadband internet us is relatively low. Africa has also been known to cut or limited Internet connectivity in some countries in attempts to control political uprisings.

On the other side of internet speed growth is South America. South America saw the largest rate of growth in internet speeds thanks to their increased use and access to broadband connections.

In the United States, Boston was the city with the fastest internet speed last year. Even though Boston was the fastest country in America it was only the 51st fastest city in the world when it comes to internet speed. Even though Boston is the city with the fastest internet connection, Massachusetts was only the 7th fastest state in America, overall. The state with the fastest internet connection speed in America was Delaware, which is followed closely by New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Every day our lives move further online. Whether we’re watching a movie that streams directly to our TV or if we’re playing a game with people from all over the world we’re going to continue to become more demanding with our internet needs. It’s good to see that internet speeds are increasing as we need it.

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PicDial is the world's first service to make your phones address book socially aware. This mobile phone application, available across multiple platforms, has combined dynamic picture caller ID and social media status updates to make the users' phone come to life.

With PicDial, users experience full screen Facebook and MySpace profile pictures and status messages of contacts on ones cell phone during every call.

With no effort required, PicDial automatically retrieves these social networking elements and constantly updates any profile picture or status message changes that friends of the caller may make. PicDial also lets you choose the Caller ID photo others see when you call them. Select a photo from your cell phone, or have it updated whenever you change your social profile picture.

The app's Favorites Screen provides photo dialing for your closest friends, letting you call or text by tapping a friend's picture. These images are dynamically updated from your favorite social media sites, so you can see what your friends are doing at a glance.

Back Up: Once you have PicDial setup on your mobile phone, all of your contacts are securely backed-up on PicDial servers. If you lose your cell phone or lose your contacts in any way, they can be securely accessible via the PicDial website.

Created and developed by IQzone Inc., PicDial is one of the most universal mobile applications in the world, as it is offered by AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile, Cellular South, Cellcom, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, nTelos, US Cellular, and nearly every other major wireless carrier in the United States. PicDial works on smartphones such as iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and also phones manufactured by Apple, Google, HTC, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Nokia, LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Pantech. PicDial is also located in various app stores including the iPhone App Store, Blackberry App World, Android Market, VCast App Store, GetJar, and Mobango.