Apple iPhone 4G announced by Steve Jobs today

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs just announced iPhone 4G in San Francisco.

The new iPhone is being launched with the slogan:
This changes everything. Again. – In so many ways, it’s a first!
New features are:
Video calling with FaceTime
The new iPhone 4 features two cameras – one on the front, one on the back – so you can switch back and forth during a video call.
Retina Display
According to Apple this is the highest-resolution phone screen ever.
With the new iPhone 4G third-party apps can be run simultaneously and you can switch between them instantly.
HD Video recording and editing
Shoot your videos in high definition and even in low-light settings thanks to a backside illumination sensor and built-in LED light.
5-Megapixel Camera with LED Flash
In addition to the backside sensor, the new front-facing camera makes it easy to take self-portraits.
Also new: Folders for apps and iBooks for iPhone 4.
The new iPhone 4G will be available from 24th June in the U.S. and Europe and can be pre-ordered from the 15th of June.
More information at: or watch the official Apple iPhone 4 video

Location Game Apps – New in Social Media

End of last year, Foursquare started out with its location-based game iPhone app, whereby people check into venues around town and are being rewarded with points and badges. The application scans your current location and shows you a list of venues to choose from. If the venue you are at isn’t listed, you simply add it and tag with relevant keywords, thereby creating user-generated content which earns you 5 points. You can also add tips, for example how much you liked the pasta dish at that Italian restaurant you’ve just had dinner at with your friend. Or you save some To-Dos for later when you come back. Once you are a regular at a venue, you have the chance to become their Mayor. Checking in, you decide whether you want to notify your Foursquare friends or publish the check-in on Facebook or Twitter.

Foursquare iPhone appFoursquare Blackberry app

It’s all good fun and quite popular in the U.S. Some tourist boards have already teamed up with Foursquare in order to promote their destination (see our post about: Chicago Tourist Board and Foursquare).
Recently, several new game apps have been launched using a similar concept, e.g.: Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt, Whrrl, iWassuu
There are two questions I’d like to ask:
1. What are the privacy issues with apps like this, when essentially using them your entire life becomes public? Will this concept survive once it has been abused, for example by an ex-boyfriend or boss following your every move…
2. How could these games develop commercially, especially in terms of tourism and travel?
Question 1 I would like to open up to the public and would love to hear your comments, though my feeling is that we’ve already pushed out the boat a fair bit in terms of privacy with web 2.0 and boundaries are shifting.
Question 2 I’d answer with Advertising!
Like Facebook and other social media sites and even going back to the old days of ‘simple’ search, location-based applications collect valuable data about peoples’ habits and social interaction. This in turn will enable advertisers to target their promotions more precisely than ever. That’s what we call behavioral targeting in online marketing.
Imagine a business traveler visiting London and looking for a hotel for the night. We know from his extensive use of location-based games what kind of places he likes, say up-market, design hotels and posh gourmet restaurants. No need for a budget hotel to spend advertising dollars on him…
So, while it’s all a game right now, there is huge potential for businesses to use such applications commercially in future.
That is, if they survive… What do you think?

Big iPhone hit: The Hotel Negotiator

Priceline has just landed a big hit with its new iPhone and iPod touch application, featuring William Shatner.

The Hotel Negotiator let’s you name your own price for a hotel in a certain location and of a chosen category. Using a one-page checkout, you will know instantly whether your bid has been accepted. A special treat is the Shake Down function, whereby shaking the device establishes the traveler’s location and then performs a winning bids search for hotels in the surrounding area. For those who are not in the mood for negotiation, the Hotel Negotiator also contains an option for browsing hotels on for a particular city or town.

After one week of being available, the Hotel Negotiator has already climbed to the #3 free travel application on the App Store. Priceline’s heavy marketing and PR campaign has certainly had an impact, too. The downloadable video on YouTube just being part of it:
Time will show how much revenue the free application will generate for the company since booking hotels on the fly and blind is not for everyone. However, a very well done and flashy application has certainly brought Priceline awareness and into the media and provides them with a cutting-edge image in the eyes of an ever more demanding customer.