Like Foursqure, Apple’s new app update will allow users to perform location based check-ins. Unlike Foursquare, Apple’s new app will actually be useful. The service in question, dubbed Concierge, allows iOS users to wirelessly check in at Apple Store locations and enter into a queue for service. Concierge is a dedicated app on Apple Store employee devices, while the service has been added to Apple’s already available Apple Store app for customers. Customers will receive push notifications asking if they would like to check in upon entering an Apple Store location. The service then provides information such as wait time and position in queue. While Concierge won’t do much to shorten wait times at Apple’s crowded retail store, at least iOS users will now get a better idea of what they’re in for. More →
Fresh out of Google Labs is yet another application that Google can add to its growing Android library and embed on future phones. This time we have Google Shopper, a shopping application that utilizes Google’s online shopping data and allows Android users to search this vast repository using text, voice, barcodes, and photo scans of book and media cover art. Once your product of interest has been identified, detailed, and priced, it can be saved to your history, added to your favorites, and shared with your friends using the obligatory social networking integration. Android owners can snag the application from the Android market for free and use it as an excuse to go to the mall and spend some hard earned cash. Though we’re not exactly sure why this wasn’t just incorporated into Google’s Goggles application — seems pretty redundant to us.
[Via Android and Me]
Guest post by a “connect” in the wireless industry.
Absolutely dread going to your location wireless provider’s store and having to be social? If it’s one of your worst nightmares, hopefully this will help you change that. Here are a few tips that might help you get a better deal on a phone and keep the hurt off your wallet. After all, if you’re like us… you’ll be buying a new phone every 6 months anyways. More →
The Rockefeller Institute, a research group tied to SUNY, said that sales taxes took a 6.1 percent dive in Q4 of 2008 and Q1 of this year was even worse. Given the current state of the economy of course, this is hardly a surprise. Beyond the obvious reasoning behind the decline — people are losing jobs, making less money and spending less money — the drop may be bad news on another front as it could finally spell the end for the free rides afforded by online shopping. The idea of requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on out-of-state sales has been tossed around over and over again but according to the New York Post, this time around it might just stick. A bill is expected to go before congress as soon as this week that would require online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock, and even the online auction house eBay to collect sales tax on behalf of the state to which items are delivered. This spells certain aggravation for consumers who enjoy saving cash by ordering online and even more so for Internet retailers who will have to implement the new policy.
In New York State where an online sales tax bill was passed last Summer, Web retailers are already in the midst of fighting the new policy. New York’s law now requires any online retailer that advertises on New York-based web sites to collect sales tax when shipping to New York. Amazon and Overstock have both pulled all advertising from websites based in New York in protest.
Black Friday is behind us now, thankfully, but that doesn’t mean the savings are going to stop any time soon. Electronics retail stores are hurting just like everyone else in today’s troubled times and as such, expect huge deals from the big boys in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Along those lines, Best Buy and Circuit City have both made their Cyber Monday deals available beginning today and it might be the perfect time to take a huge bite out of your holiday shopping. Special deals at both retailers can be found through COB tomorrow, although don’t be too upset if you can’t find the time to head down to your local store or even browse the sale sections online. There will be plenty more deals to come in December as retailers do everything in their power to get you to fork over some cash, even if it means watching their profit margins dwindle.
Read (Best Buy)
Read (Circuit City)
Most of us are pretty happy now that Black Friday is behind us. We get to sit back and relax once again, waiting for the inevitable reports of how this was the worst retail Black Friday ever thanks to the current economic slump. It’s not a good thing, but at least we can drive around again without worrying about being rear-ended by a crazed shopper hunting down a $20 DVD player. The weekend deals still continue however, and T-Mobile is running a sweet one through the end of the day tomorrow. If part of your holiday plan was to snag a new handset and service for yourself or friend / family member, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Open a new 2-year contract before the end of the day tomorrow and T-Mobile will hook you up with your choice of one of three free handsets. The first two, the Motorola RIZR and the Nokia 6263, are only options for online shoppers. The cream of the crop, the Morotola MOTOZINE ZN5, is available both online and in stores. The ZN5 is T-Mobile’s most capable camera phone and comes packing a 5 megapixel Kodak camera with a xenon flash. It’s normally available for a reasonable $99 but free beats a hundred every day of the week. Click through or head down to your local T-Mobile store before COB tomorrow and get some high-quality shots of your holiday gatherings this year instead of those terrible 1.3 megapixel blur-fests you usually end up with.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell’s plan to produce a new line of MP3 players around its Zing media software has been delayed indefinitely. Though the MP3 players, expected to hit the shelves this holiday season, have been put on hold, the development of the Zing media software continues. Zing software will take iTunes head on and promises to allow for access to media content from a variety of different sources and with a variety of different devices. Think iTunes open and unlocked. The project is headed up by Tim Bucher, a former Apple engineering executive, who will have an uphill battle in garnering industry support for this ambitious project as Dell’s prior track record in the MP3 marketplace is rather poor. Remember Dell’s DJ Ditty? Need we say more? With new MP3 players being removed from Dell’s already abysmal fall lineup, Michael Dell may be muttering “bah humbug” instead of “t’is the season” once the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.