Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 4 Biggest Stories in Tech, Social Media & Business This Morning”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 4 Biggest Stories in Tech, Social Media & Business This Morning”


The 4 Biggest Stories in Tech, Social Media & Business This Morning

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 05:06 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. We're keeping our eyes on four particular stories of interest today.

Apple Unveils iCloud, iOS 5 & More

At its developer conference Monday, Apple announced its much-anticipated iCloud service; that the next version of Mac OS X, Lion, will be out in July for $29.99; that its next-generation mobile software, iOS 5, will be deeply integrated with Twitter, offer wireless syncing, its own messaging service and newsstand, and more.

Rep. Weiner Admits to Tweeting Lewd Picture

Admitting that he had "not been honest with myself, my family and my constituents," Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed at a press conference Monday that he sent a lewd photo via Twitter and that he had since lied about his account being hacked.

HTC Reports Strong May Sales

HTC says it generated $1.42 billion in sales in May, which is more than double than the same month in 2010 and a solid improvement from April's $1.35 billion.

Xbox Live Getting Live TV, YouTube & Voice Search

Microsoft unveiled a redesigned version of Xbox Live at E3 Monday, one that includes more voice commands, YouTube integration and live television.

Further News

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

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Pawngo Launches Internet Pawnshop for the Upper Classes

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 05:03 AM PDT


People have been pawning their jewels and wares for cash for hundreds of years. Pawngo launches Tuesday as a new alternative to the brick-and-mortar pawnshop, targeting a more well-to-do clientele in need of big-ticket loans.

Pawngo lets online denizens use their valuables as collateral to secure short-term loans for up to $250,000 — and all without leaving the comfort of their own homes. The startup has loaned more than $1.3 million to beta testers prior to its launch.

“Our system lets you use the items you already own to get a loan that won't get you into trouble down the road,” Pawngo co-founder and CEO Todd Hills says.

Would-be pawners describe the items they’d like to pawn, upload photos and enter their contact information. Pawngo follows up with a loan offer or estimate for buying the item in a few hours, using real-time and historic pricing data to determine resale value. Should the user accept the offer, he then prints the prepaid FedEx shipping label and sends the item to Pawngo for confirmation. After that, Pawngo wires the funds to the user’s bank account.

The startup issues what it calls “short-term, low-interest” loans — up to six months at 3% to 6% interest — from $250 to $100,000. It stores and insures all the items in its care and returns them to the user once the loan is paid off.

By taking the pawnshop off the streets and on to the web, Pawngo hopes to lessen the stigma associated with walking into a sketchy pawnshop. The idea would appeal to an audience who would otherwise avoid pawning their collectables.

Pawngo comes from Lightbank, the investment vehicle of Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, and online pawnbroker Internet Pawn. It’s raised $2.3 million in funding across Series A and B rounds.

More About: lightbank, pawngo, startup

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HTC Blows Away Predictions, Reports May Sales of $1.42 Billion

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 02:57 AM PDT


If you still need proof that Android as a platform is a good choice for phone and tablet manufacturers, you needn’t look much farther than the success story of Taiwanese company HTC.

HTC said its sales for May reached $1.42 billion, which is more than double than the same month in 2010 and a solid improvement from April’s $1.35 billion, Reuters reports.

HTC entered the smartphone arena with Windows Mobile devices (the company currently also produces Windows Phone 7 smartphones), but its sales really took off in 2009 when it shifted its focus on Android-based smartphones. Recently, HTC posted its Q1 2011 earnings, reporting 9.7 million units shipped, a 192% year-over-year increase, and revenues of $3.63 billion, a 174% year-over-year increase.

The company’s own Q2 predictions forecast a 103 – 113% year-over-year increase in shipments and a 97% year-over-year increase in revenue.

HTC’s first tablet, the Android-based flyer, has recently hit the U.S. market, and the company plans to launch several high-end Android-based smartphones in the near future, including the HTC Sensation and the HTC Evo 3D.

[HTC via Reuters]

More About: android, htc, smartphones, tablets

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Apple Blesses Twitter, Makes It the Social Network on iOS Devices

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:20 PM PDT


Jack Dorsey may have trouble defining Twitter, the information network he helped to create, but Apple seems less confused.

The highly valued technology company has built Twitter into iOS 5, essentially making it the default social graph and social network on Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

“We hear from a lot of our customers on iPhone, and iPad and iPod Touch that they love Twitter, so we want to make it even easier for all of our customers to use Twitter on iOS products,” Scott Forstall said during the WWDC 2011 keynote.

When iOS 5 is released this fall, device users will able to sign in to their Twitter accounts once and then tweet with a single tap from Apple’s applications — Camera, Photos, Safari, Contacts, YouTube and Maps — and third-party applications that support the single sign-on capability.


Twitter: The Social Network On iOS Devices


Apple launched a music social network in iTunes called Ping in September of last year. At launch, Ping had Facebook integration, but a disagreement between the two companies resulted in Facebook integration being removed, much to the detriment of Ping’s success.

But Apple’s complicated relationship history with Facebook paved the way for its new intimate romance with Twitter.

Facebook is in no way integrated in iOS 5, nor is its familiar blue logo is nowhere to be found in Apple’s promotional materials. Twitter, by contrast, is everywhere. It will soon be the social layer of iOS, enabling users to turn individual actions such as snapping a photo or reading an article into instant social activities.

“Building Twitter into iOS 5 truly creates the easiest way to share everything that's happening in your world. Take a picture, tap “Tweet,’”Dorsey said of the news. “Tweeting has never been simpler.”

The implications are vast. Twitter will essentially become the default social network for iOS users. It’s as if Apple reached down in a God-like fashion, grabbed Twitter with its almighty hand and lifted it up to the social networking heavens.

Facebook’s social graph may reign supreme today — many consider Facebook to own the social graph — but Apple will play a huge role in equalizing the playing field.

Look no further than the Contacts integration as proof. iOS users who perform the single sign-on with Twitter can automatically have their contact records updated with the Twitter avatars and usernames of their Twitter friends.

“Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends' Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest,” Apple explains. “You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you're tweeting from.”

If you want your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to become an instantly social device, use Twitter, so sayeth the almighty Apple. Never before has Twitter’s value proposition sounded so simple.


Twitter in iOS 5





Tweet From Safari, YouTube & Maps





Tweet a Photo




More About: apple, facebook, iOS 5, twitter, WWDC 2011

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Google, Facebook, Mozilla & Others Rev Up for IPv6

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 10:38 PM PDT


Tuesday is World IPv6 Day, and Google is leading the charge to test and adopt the new Internet Protocol.

IPv6 is the web’s solution to “the Internet is running out of addresses” dilemma that’s been floating around for a few months.

In January, Google, the Internet Society, and several other web companies announced World IPv6 Day, when each organization would enable IPv6 addresses on their websites for a 24-hour period. Now, that list of organizations has grown to more than 400 tech companies, including Facebook, Mozilla, Bing, YouTube and many others.

These companies’ services have been tweaked, upgraded and prepared for the IPv6 changes. The 24-hour test period will allow the above organizations to ensure bug-free IPv6 support.

Most users won’t likely notice the test, says Google. The company estimates that around .05% of systems involved, especially home network equipment such as routers, may not revert to IPv4 after the tests. Affected users might find some of the aforementioned sites slow or unresponsive.

IPv6 is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol and is the successor to IPv4. Both protocols provide the unique IP addresses necessary for Internet-connected devices to communicate. However, IPv6 utilizes 128-bit Internet addresses. IPv4 and IPv6 run as parallel networks, so exchanging data between these protocols requires special gateways.

image courtesy of iStockphoto user ahlobystov.

More About: Google, IPv4, IPv6

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PlayStation Vita: First Impressions [PHOTOS]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 10:09 PM PDT


Sony’s next-generation handheld gaming system, the PlayStation Vita, has finally made its official debut. How does it stack up against Apple, Nintendo and the rest of the competition?

We had an extended chance to play with the PlayStation Vita at Sony’s E3 press conference in Los Angeles. After going topsy-turvy while shooting robots in Little Deviants and shooting baddies in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, we have a few thoughts on Sony’s new gaming system and where it fits into the gaming ecosystem.

Here are our first impressions of the PlayStation Vita:

  • The Vita feels big but light in your hands. It’s significantly bigger than an iPhone or even a Droid X or an HTC Evo, but it’s easy to carry. The casing is made of plastic, so it doesn’t have the nice feel of glass or aluminum, but this doesn’t actually detract from the Vita experience.
  • The controls are nice. The analog sticks are smooth, and we had no problem with the touchscreen controls. The killer feature, though, is the touch interface on the back of the device, which opens up a ton of new gaming possibilities. Apple should take notice.
  • The screen resolution is killer. We loved playing games on the device. We could definitely watch movies on this thing.
  • LittleBIG Planet for Vita has some fun game play. Unlike some of the other games we played, it really knows how to combine the analog and touchscreen controls for a seamless experience.
  • The tennis game we played though can be played with just touchscreen controls or just analog controls. Sure, you can use both, but there’s no point. Games need to figure out how to integrate the two control inputs.
  • The $249 price tag will scare some people off, but it’s affordable for a handheld gaming system of this quality. Still, only true gamers will be dropping money for this, especially when the so many high-quality smartphones with gaming capabilities are on the market.
  • The front- and back-facing cameras make for some interesting augmented reality gameplay. Little Deviants is a good example of how to make augmented reality gaming work, though you won’t want to play that game on the train or the bus station.
  • The biggest question: Is the Vita better than the Nintendo 3DS? While Nintendo’s implementation of 3D on the portable is actually pretty good, the Vita feels like a system with more power. If you’re a more casual gamer, you’ll want the 3DS, and if you’re more on the hardcore side, you should get the Vita.
  • Does the Vita bring enough to the table to warrant getting it if you already have a smartphone? It’s all about paying for a deeper gaming experience. The Vita isn’t cheap, and its games will cost more than the standard mobile game. What you get in return are games with greater gameplay and more replay value. Once again, this is a device the hardcore gaming crowd will love, but we don’t think there’s enough to get the casual gaming crowd interested.

PlayStation Vita





PlayStation Vita





AT&T Is PlayStation Vita's 3G Partner





PlayStation Vita





PlayStation Vita





LittleBIG Planet





Street Fighter X Tekken





PlayStation Vita





PlayStation Vita





PlayStation Vita Station




More About: e3, NGP, playstation, PlayStation Vita, sony

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4 Social Video Lessons Brands Can Learn From Hollywood

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 08:50 PM PDT


Chris Schreiber is director of marketing at social video advertising company Sharethrough. A leading expert on social content strategy, Chris will be co-presenting a two-hour workshop on viral video later this month at the Cannes Lions festival, entitled “Making Videos Go Viral: Creative, Social, and Technological Techniques.”

Summer blockbuster season is upon us, and we’re already starting to see some truly innovative social video campaigns coming out of Hollywood. In many ways, movie studios are leading the charge when it comes to social video advertising, using groundbreaking interactive features, creative distribution strategies and original content to successfully drive huge amounts of viewership and sharing. Brands looking to up their social video game will benefit from closely watching Hollywood’s creative approach to online video marketing.

Here are four things that brands can learn from Hollywood when it comes to social video.


1. Think Content, Not Ads


Getting people to watch and share your content requires some fundamental shifts in how marketers think about video advertising. Sharing has to be the starting point when developing content. Hollywood gets it: Great content is their currency. This is one reason why movie trailers were shared 184% more than the industry average for brand video content over the last quarter, as measured by Sharethrough's distribution network.

For example, to promote the new Muppets movie, Disney released a short original video called “Green With Envy,” a parody of the Rom-Com genre. It has more than 1.4 million views on YouTube alone.


2. Mix It Up


While television and much of online video advertising inventory is limited to 15 or 30-second videos, social video advertising allows for distribution of video content of varied lengths and styles. Hollywood is taking full advantage of the flexibility of this medium to mix in “red band” (read: racy or R-rated) trailers, long-form trailers, interactive videos and viral videos along with their standard trailers to keep things interesting.

For example, a recent red-band trailer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo did a fantastic job of stirring up buzz. The shaky camera — evoking a sense that the video is a bootleg — added to the intrigue and exclusivity. Many in the marketing and film worlds have expressed their belief that this “bootleg” was created by Sony as part of a campaign intended to go viral. If that’s the case, they’ve even gone so far as to remove it from YouTube on copyright grounds.

Another great example of non-standard content is an amazing interactive YouTube video page for Kung Fu Panda 2, featuring a mix of fun videos of Jack Black and the animated main character, Po. The page's videos have generated millions of views and nearly 4 million Likes on their Facebook page.

Brands should look to mirror this approach and come up with different versions of the same themed content to reach different audiences and prevent fatigue.


3. Look for Social Distribution


In the old model of TV advertising, demographics ruled. Now, film marketers are going one step further in search of an audience with social influence that is most likely to watch and share their content. For example, Hollywood was early to experiment with the distribution of movie trailers in social games on Facebook, and they are trailblazing the emerging trans-media distribution world. Integrating brand video content into social media is critical to maximize sharing.

With the launch of Facebook’s recent program that enables brands to distribute their videos into over 300 social games (and provides Facebook Credits to users who watch them), any brand marketer can take a page from Hollywood’s play book and get their content in front of hundreds of millions of socially active consumers.

Another good example of cross-media promotion was the addition of an ad for the film Super 8 as a playable level inside the hit video game Portal 2. Game review site Kotaku released a YouTube video about the trailer, which has generated hundreds of thousands of views to go along with the millions of people who played the game.


4. Use Social Analytics to Test Content


Movie marketers were some of the first to embrace social metrics such as “sharethrough rate” — the rate at which a video is shared — in order to quantify success. Data collected from sharethrough rates now help movie studios make informed decisions about which trailers to use for online advertising campaigns, which demographics to include in campaign targeting and even potential markets for film releases. Brands are also beginning to use social metrics as a proxy for the overall success of their campaigns. They should look to further use sharing data to optimize their creative assets and distribution strategies, as well as test new markets for their products.


More About: business, Hollywood, MARKETING, social media, trending, video, viral

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Wristband + iOS App = Silent Alarm System

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 08:07 PM PDT


The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: LARK

Quick Pitch: LARK is a silent "un-alarm" clock, sleep sensor and personal sleep coach designed by sleep experts.

Genius Idea: Wake up in silence.


A few years ago, Julia Hu was sleep deprived. She was attending MIT for grad school and had recently moved in with her boyfriend. Each morning, he would unintentionally wake her when his alarm would go off an hour-and-a-half before she needed to be up.

Hu’s sleep deprivation inspired her to use her engineering education to create a product that could make the world happier and healthier through better sleep.

One week ago, Hu’s mission came to fruition with the release of LARK, a wireless wristband, device dock, online portal and iOS silent alarm system.

Sleepers don the wristband at night; it wirelessly talks to the iOS application to track your sleep patterns across thousands of data points as you sleep. You’ll wake up to a gentle nudge from the vibration of the wristband, and be greeted with data on how well you slept and how often you awoke in the night.

“Our goal is to help people realize how critical sleep is to their health and well-being,” Hu says.

Hu, LARK’s CEO and founder, spent more than 1.5 years developing the patent-pending system with a team of sleep scientists and fellow classmates. The business was moved to Palo Alto, incubated and later backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The self-motivated types can buy the basic package for $129, but those that need a little more encouragement and sleep development will need to shell out an additional $60. For $189, LARK Pro buyers get the seven-day sleep assessment and Personal Sleep Coach to track their sleep goals and change their bad habits.

“Giving people an understanding of how they sleep naturally motivates them to sleep better,” says Hu. “Competitive feelings arise, so people will make small adjustments and later see the effects of these behaviors on their sleep. We think you can be personally coached to better sleep,” she asserts.

LARK, available for purchase online, will also be sold in every Apple store in North America beginning June 14.


Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark


Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: Alarm Clock, bizspark, iOS app, LARK, lightspeed venture partners, spark-of-genius, startup, technology

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Say Hello to PlayStation Vita, Sony’s Next PSP

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 07:05 PM PDT


Sony has just lifted the curtain on the PlayStation Vita, the company’s next-generation portable gaming device.

The device, originally codenamed “NGP,” made its debut at Sony’s E3 press conference in Los Angeles. The device looks exactly like the prototypes that leaked earlier this year.

The PSP’s successor includes a high-resolution, 5-inch OLED touchscreen (960 x 544 pixels), two analog sticks, rear touch controls, 6-axis motion sensors and dual front- and back-facing cameras. The device is supposed to run a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor.

The Vita also comes with 3G and WiFi connectivity. AT&T will be the Vita’s exclusive 3G launch partner (much to the disappointment of the audience).

The PlayStation Vita hits the market sometime during this year’s holiday season. It will cost $249 for the Wi-Fi version and $299 for the 3G version. Some of the titles in development for the Vita include LitteBIG Planet, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Street Fighter X Tekken and Ruin.

More About: NGP, playstation, PlayStation NGP, PlayStation Vita, PSP, sony, sony playstation

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Sony’s E3 Announcements: 3D, PlayStation Move & More [LIVE VIDEO]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 05:54 PM PDT

Sony has kicked off its E3 press conference with a message for its customers: “You are the lifeblood of the company.”

During its E3 event, Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton addressed the PlayStation Network hack controversy. He thanked third-party developers and retailers for their support since the original PlayStation. “You gave us retail space when the PlayStation brand wasn’t even there,” he said.

To consumers, Tretton had one simple message: “You are the lifeblood of the company. Without you, there is no PlayStation.”

The press conference is live right now. Check out all the action in the livestream we’ve embedded.

More About: e3, gaming, playstation 3, playstation network, PS3, PSN, sony

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HANDS-ON: iTunes in the Cloud [PICS]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 05:05 PM PDT


At WWDC on Monday, Apple officially unveiled its much anticipated iTunes in the Cloud feature.

The feature will be part of iCloud, which will formally launch alongside iOS 5 this fall, but users can get a taste of some of features today.

iTunes in the Cloud allows users to access songs, albums, music videos, apps and books that were previously purchased but that don’t exist locally on a user’s device. That means if you don’t have a copy of an album on your iPhone or iPad but you really want to hear your favorite song, you can just redownload the track from your account free of charge rather than having to sync with your Mac or PC.

In the fall, Apple will also introduce an iTunes Match service that will make it easy for users to gain cloud access to all the music they haven’t purchased on iTunes for just $25 a year. Starting today, however, users can take advantage of the larger “access your iTunes purchases” feature.

GSM iPhone 4 owners (sorry Verizon folks) and iPod touch or iPad users running iOS 4.3.1 or higher will now see a new “Purchased” tab in the iTunes app in iOS. iTunes 10.3 beta brings that functionality to the Mac or PC.

We’ve spent some time with iTunes in the Cloud and put together this gallery to show off the major features in this early preview. On the outset, we have to say we’re impressed at how easy it was to browse through our purchase history and download single tracks or complete albums at the push of a button, both on the iPhone and on the Mac.

I have a large iTunes collection, and many of my purchases are not on my MacBook Pro. Some aren’t even on my iMac but are instead archived on an old iPod video. Thanks to iTunes in the cloud, I can redownload content I purchased years ago, including bonus and exclusive track, for free.


Purchased Button




In the iTunes app in iOS 4, a new "Purchased" button now appears on the bottom of the application.

You can choose to see all music or just the songs/albums not on your current device


Recent Purchases




In addition to browsing alphabetically, you can see the most recent 50 items purchased from iTunes.


Artist View




Selecting an artist name will bring up a listing of every album or partial album you have from that artist.

iTunes includes music videos as well as songs in the mix, scrolling below the album section will show music videos

.


Download Screen




The download screen for an album gives the user the opportunity to download individual songs or the entire album in one action.


Purchased Section in iTunes




The iTunes 10.3 and 10.5 betas have a new feature in the iTunes Store sidebar, "Purchases."


Album View




Just like in iOS, users can download individual tracks or full albums at the press of a button.


Album View, Partially Downloaded




A nice touch is that iTunes recognizes if you already have some of the items from an album in your iTunes library.

In my case, I because I downloaded some of the pre-order tracks for this album on a different computer, only those tracks will be downloaded.


App Purchases and Downloads




Just like music and books, users can browse their app purchases and past downloads by device type, name or download date.

More About: apple, icloud, iOS, itunes, itunes-in-the-cloud, trending

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Texts, Tweets & To Dos: What’s New in iOS 5

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 03:59 PM PDT


The latest version of iOS 5 has finally been announced, and it has a bundle of new features — more than 200, by Apple’s count.

Several of the new features were poached from the best of Apple’s own app store, including reading queue apps like Instapaper, group messaging apps like GroupMe and photo editing apps. There’s also a lot of integration with Apple’s new cloud service iCloud.

The iOS 5 beta software won’t be available to users — at least, those who aren’t in the iOS Developer program — until this fall. At that point, it will be free to download for owners of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, or the iPod touch (third and fourth generations). We’ve highlighted the most exciting new features below.


Notification Center


With iOS 5, Apple has essentially added a personalized news feed to all of its devices. The feed, which Apple calls the “Notification Center,” can be customized to display things like the current weather, a stock ticker, new emails, texts and friend requests. The feed can be accessed by swiping the top of the screen. You’ll be able to view it while the device is lock mode, much as iOS 4 displays the time and push notifications while locked.


iMessage


iMessage is BBM for Apple products. Like BlackBerry’s once distinguishing feature, it allows you to send unlimited instant messages to other users and to see whether recipients have read them or are typing a response. The new feature allows group messaging as well as photo, video, location and contact sharing. It’s expected to put a dent into the thriving group messaging app startups. The advantage that those apps still have is the ability to instant message phones with multiple operating systems. For now, Apple’s messages can only be sent to others who are using iOS, on iPhones and iPads.


Newsstand


Newsstand is a folder that holds your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions. All purchases go directly to that folder, which displays them on a virtual newsstand, and new issues are automatically downloaded and delivered there. Your newspaper subscriptions will arrive in time for breakfast.


Reminders


Reminders is iOS 5′s to-do list app. The feature includes an option to make items location based. Your phone will, for instance, remind you to pick up the milk when you are at the grocery store. You can sync reminders with iCal, Outlook and iCloud so that a change in one program automatically updates the others.


Deep Twitter Integration


On iOS 5, you can directly tweet from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube or maps. Twitter will also work together with contacts in the operating system, making it easy to find a friend’s Twitter handles when you start typing a name. This level of integration is still notably missing for Facebook.


Camera and Photos


Apple iOS makes the iPhone a better camera. You can now open the Camera app directly from the lock screen, which makes it easier to point and click quickly. The app also has more of the features of a regular digital camera: grid lines, single-tap focus and exposure locks. The volume-up button now works as a shutter button.

Apple has also built photo-editing capabilities into its Photos app. This means you can crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye without leaving your camera roll. With iCloud, it’s also possible to automatically load new photos to your desktop, if you prefer to edit them there.


Safari


Apple’s mobile web browser now includes a feature that mimics the capabilities of popular reading queue app Instapaper. Its “Reading List” lets you save articles you want to read later. iCloud pushes these articles to all of your iOS devices, much as Instapaper’s separate desktop and mobile apps allow you to read articles that you save on the go.


Other Features Worth Noting


  • PC Free: You no longer need a computer to set up and activate an iOS device. With iCloud, you can even back up the data without tethering it to a PC or Mac.
  • Calendar: The iOS calender now has year view.
  • Game Center: Game center now has profile pictures and friend recommendations
  • Wi-Fi Sync: Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source, it will automatically back up any new media to iPhones.
  • Video Mirroring: Stream whatever is on your iPad to your Apple TV.

More About: apple, icloud, iOS 5

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7 Services That Apple Just Challenged or Changed

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 03:30 PM PDT


Apple unveiled a heaping helping of news at WWDC 2011, the Apple developers' conference, on Monday. And, as always when innovations come to light, we’ve been thinking about what preexisting services would be disrupted.

From its camera to the cloud, Apple announced some big news regarding its next product iterations. Here’s our rundown of which apps and services are likely feeling a bit threatened at present.


Facebook




Well, not exactly killed, but snubbed, for sure. Apple has added Twitter everywhere in iOS 5, so you can tweet contacts, articles, YouTube videos and many more elements, without having to do any cut-and-pasting.


Instapaper




There's a new offline reading feature called Reading List built in to Safari, which spells major trouble for services such as Read It Later, Instapaper and Readability (which Apple previously rejected). In fact, when Steve Jobs announced this feature, Instapaper creator Marco Arment tweeted in dismay.


Camera+




Apple has also beefed up its camera offering, making it easier to access, and adding a grid and editing features. This seems a challenge to pre-existing photo apps -- although Instagram and the like will likely be fine, as Apple is not adding any filters. (Note: Apple previously pulled an update of Camera+ from the app store for including the ability to use the volume button to take snaps, a feature the new camera will include.)


Blackberry Messenger




Apple unveiled iMessage, a new texting service that works between iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. You can send SMS, photos, videos and so on from your iPad now. It also offers receipts, so you know messages have been sent, and a notification that someone is typing a response — just as you would get in IM. Anyone looking to switch from Blackberry to iPhone has fewer excuses now.


MobileMe




MobileMe, Apple's previous syncing service, will be shutting down in June of 2012. Previous users will be able to move their MobileMe mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to iCloud.


Google Docs




Documents can be stored in iCloud, too.


Amazon Cloud Player & Google Music Beta




Unlike the above offerings, Apple was able to score the licenses necessary to store music in the cloud, sans uploading, with iTunes in the Cloud. It also introduced iTunes Match, which will let users to store non-iTunes music in the cloud as well.

More About: Amazon Cloud Player, apple, blackberry, camera, cloud, facebook, gallery, google-music-instant, icloud, Instapaper, itunes, itunes-match, mobileme, twitter

For more Mobile coverage:


Rep. Weiner Meant To Send Lewd Photo as Direct Message

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 02:55 PM PDT


We may have never found out about the lewd photo of Rep. Anthony Weiner had he simply avoided a rudimentary Twitter mistake: sending a direct message instead of a public @reply.

In the Monday press conference where Weiner admitted to sending the now infamous photo (confirming that it is of him), the congressman said, "Last Friday night I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I had posted to Twitter, I panicked, I took it down and said I had been hacked. I then continued to stick to that story which was a hugely regrettable mistake.”

While that's far from an uncommon mistake on Twitter -– doing so is only a matter of a couple keystrokes in some apps and the company offers a relatively long how-to in its support section –- this is certainly the biggest "DM fail" we can think of (at least in terms of resulting media circus).

That's not to say other high profile organizations haven't been embarrassed by Twitter mistakes before. Earlier this year, a Chrysler employee was terminated after dropping the f-bomb on the automaker's Twitter account, while a Red Cross social media specialist tweeted drunk on the organization's behalf on account of a HootSuite slip up.

Image courtesy of Flickr, David Boyle

More About: Anthony Weiner, twitter

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30+ Upcoming Social Media & Tech Events

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 02:34 PM PDT

social_media_events_guide1

Every week, Mashable puts together a calendar of upcoming social media and web events, parties and conferences.

Here are some tips on how to network, share your information and promote your event using social media:

Mashable’s Weekly Social Media and Marketing Event Guide is proudly supported by Eventbrite, the Web’s Event Marketplace.


June 5-9, 2011, San Francisco, CA: The 2011 Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech) is the world's largest educational conference for the community of executives, technologists, researchers, investors and customers who are involved with semantic technologies. The SemTech conference draws together more than 1,000 forward-thinking technology and business leaders from around the world, representing the entire marketplace of vendors, developers, researchers, start-ups, investors and customers. SemTech 2011 features five days of presentations, panels, tutorials, announcements, new company/product launches, and conversations. It’s a place for new learning, professional networking, and business development. For details and registration, visit the site. Register and use the promo code MASH to save 15%.!


June 6-8, 2011, Boston, MA: The Art & Science of Integrating Traditional & Social Media Marketing – Measure Up, is the world's most comprehensive cross-dimensional view of marketing measurement best practices. With a focus on return on investment (ROI) as it relates to the integration of traditional, online and mobile activities; specifically, social media, this event explores analytics across the entire marketing mix and incorporates those results into marketing strategies and tactics to drive higher revenue, profit and brand share. Register and use the promo code XU2308MASH and save 10%!


June 6, 2011, New York, NY: It’s time to make plans for Realtime NY 11, a full-day immersion entirely about business on the mobile, social and realtime web. Learn how innovative executives from brands like McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Delta, Citibank, IBM, and the NHL are using realtime tools to listen and respond to customers, create new opportunities and build bottom-line value. Realtime, mobile and social technologies fundamentally change how consumers and businesses interact. At The Realtime Conference you’ll see real case studies about real brands and meet the social media business pioneers who are driving real value. 10 hours of hardcore learning and networking. Plus wi-fi, power, breakfast, lunch and cocktails. Register with the promo code MASHABLE to save 20%


June 6-7,2011, New York, NY: Federated Media presents The Conversational Marketing Summit: Leading agencies, marketers, platforms and entrepreneurs come together for our industry’s most rigorous and thought-provoking annual 2-day gathering, the Conversational Marketing Summit, to benefit from a discussion about what we've learned so far and get a jump on what the future has to offer. We aim to bridge the innovations of the internet with the practice of marketing.  Please join us More information and registration details at http://www.federatedmedia.net/events – Register with promo code CmMash to save 15%!


June 7-8, 2011, Munich, Germany: a4uexpo Europe is the largest pan European Affiliate and Performance Marketing Conference. With over 1000 delegates, a diverse conference programme, a focus on quality, knowledge transfer and unparalleled networking opportunities with delegates and key industry figures from around the world, a4uexpo Europe is a must attend educational and networking event. Whether a new or established affiliate, agency, entrepreneur, search specialist, merchant or network – a4uexpo is the conference for those serious about making an impact in Affiliate and Performance Marketing. Register with the promo code MASHABLE25 and save €25 on a full conference pass for a4uexpo Europe.


June 7-8, 2011, Seattle, WA: Join the most accomplished search marketers in the world – Search Marketing Expo – SMX Advanced Seattle. Check out the full agenda, featuring two days of experts-only sessions, keynotes and the highest-level networking anywhere. Don't wait – SMX Advanced has sold out 4 years running. Register with partner code smx100mashable and you'll save $100 and secure your spot.


June 8, 2011, Singapore: With the phenomenal growth of apps worldwide, Asia is the next big market to watch out for. Planet of the Apps Asia is the leading event dedicated to mobile applications in Asia. The two day conference plus a dedicated masterclass day brings together the mobile application ecosystem in one location. The event will shine on a light on the latest innovations and showcase the latest solutions in the world of mobile applications. Be part of this definitive event and network with professionals from all around the globe.


June 14, 2011, London, UK: 20 social media experts will be speaking at the Social Media Results Conference – From Engagement To ROI. Procter & Gamble, Barclaycard, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, MTV Networks UK & Ireland, Mothercare, Lonely Planet, American Airlines, Kodak Ltd, Comic Relief, Vue Entertainment, Cisco Europe, Phones 4u Limited and many more will be discussing their real-world, actionable social media insights on how to drive the customer journey with consistently genuine interaction and fully integrated, targeted social media campaigns. Click here to download/view the conference program.


June 15-18, 2011, Nairobi, Kenya: The spotlight in AfriTech Kenya 2011 will be on "Brand building using a digital platform". It’s projected to be the largest gathering of digital media gurus and industry shapers in the African continent. The conference will be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on June 15-18, 2011. Outstanding business luminaries, philanthropists, government decision-makers and investors will be participating during this four day historic summit. For more information and to register, please visit afri-tech.com.


June 15-16, 2011, New York, NY: “Exploring the State of NOW” – The 140 Characters Conference: New York City (#140conf) will be taking place June 15-16, 2011 at the 92nd Street Y, where we will continue to explore the effects of the real-time web on both business and on people. This event is expected to be the largest worldwide gathering of people interested in the effects of the real-time Internet on both business and "we" the people. #140conf exposes you to the power the Internet has to disrupt businesses, change lives and create serendipity. You will leave with a fresh outlook on how the real time web can be used in your business or personal life to actually do something meaningful. Register TODAY and take advantage of the "Early Bird" prices.


June 16, 2011, London, UK: The Augmented Reality Summit is designed to explore this new dynamic reality and provide delegates with the perfect opportunity to uncover Augmented Reality in full and explore the opportunity's AR brings any brand or company. The AR Summit is positioned at the forefront of this exciting continually developing new industry. Whether you are a Brand, Advertiser or Agency, Technology provider or Developer looking to meet key industry figures, keep up with the latest developments, technology's & tools or simply to network with other from the world of AR – Register and use the promo code ARMASH to save 25%!


June 20-21, New York, NY: At the new ALL FOR ONE Marketing Show presented by DM Days, you'll learn how Domino's, FreshDirect, Grey New York and other top companies maximize ROI by leveraging customer insight and data to successfully integrate marketing channels. You'll walk away with concrete examples of successful campaigns from marketing experts and thought leaders. Register with the promo code DM730 and save $200!


June 20, 2011, New York, NY: Games for Change is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the only international event uniting "games for change" creators, the public, civil society, academia, the gaming industry and media. Register before April 15th and save 30%!


June 21-22, 2011, New York, NY: The Second Annual Corporate Social Media Summit is 'the' event for big business using social media. This year we have speakers from Dell, Best Buy, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Southwest Airlines and many more. They will share best practice to help your company leverage the power of social media for better marketing, customer engagement and enhance profitability. The conference is designed for corporates like you – and our agenda is based on three months of research with your peers. Download a brochure here for all the info you need. Register and use the promo code MASH11 to save 10%.


June 21-22, 2011, Los Angeles, CA: Digital Content Monitization West 2011 is a unique opportunity to find out how to drive revenue and profitability from different content and formats across a wide variety of channels. 60+ senior level speakers from will help you sort out the best short and medium term strategies for delivering revenue through digital content. With its focus on west coast industries, you’ll dig deep into how the film, music and games sectors are driving new sources of revenue. Plus the publishing, sports, TV and news sectors will provide detailed information about how to monetize rich media content. Register online at dcm-west.com and use the promo code DCM MASH for early booking discounts.


June 23 - 24, 2011, Chicago, IL:  SOCIAL CUSTOMER 2011 is a high-level executive summit that focuses on using smart social CRM programs to improve customer loyalty, enhance brand experience and increase revenue. Hear from game-changing organizations such as Chicago Bulls, Verizon, PepsiCo, Dell, Bloomberg, Rosetta Stone, H&R Block, Godiva, Dominos Pizza and more! Also hear our keynote presentation by Becky Carroll, Social Media Correspondent, NBC 7 / SAN DIEGO, Author, THE HIDDEN POWER OF YOUR CUSTOMERS. Organizations must embrace today's empowered customers, so if you are a business leader who is looking to deliver world-class experience via social networks, this event is the #1 place to be. Join the conversation and register today (Save $200 with the promo code SYX243).


June 27-29, 2011, Las Vegas, NV: The Future of Web Apps (FOWA) is coming to Vegas. After successfully running shows in Miami and London, the conference hits Vegas for the first time in June. A conference for web developers and entrepreneurs, there are 3 days of jam packed web fun including a day of workshops and 2 conference days of two tracks. As well as App Clinics and Expo Area, you can learn and network with people who have passion for the web! Register with the code FOWA_MASHABLE and receive 10% off our 2 day conference passes.


June 28-29, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Produced by AllFacebook, AF Expo is your how-to guide for Facebook marketing and development. This two-day event is your inside look at Facebook innovations and technology issues jointly impacting marketers and social developers. Packed with case studies and real-world perspectives, AF Expo offers attendees a sneak peek at the latest Facebook data, demographics and design issues. Our experts include Tamara Mendelsohn (Director of Marketing, Eventbrite), Joseph Adolf (Manager, Digital Marketing, JetBlue Airways), Mark Rose (VP Product, Visa), Clara Shih (author, The Facebook Era), and many more. Register with promo code MASH to save 15


July 14-16, 2011, Dallas, TX: The Big Design Conference is an intense day of learning within the scope of Strategy, Social Media, User Experience, Gaming, Mobile, Usability, Design, and Code Development. Experts from across the country will gather to present theories, research, experiences, and best practices to students, professionals, and executives looking to stay on the bleeding edge. Experts include Beverly Robertson (President, National Civil Rights Museum), Russ Unger (Director of UX, Happy Cog), Jeremy Johnson (Director of UX, Game Stop), Brian Sullivan (Usability Principal, Sabre), Joshua Clark (author of Tapworthy), Jared Spool (Founder, User Interface Engineering), and many more. Mashable readers receive 20% off conference registration by using the code MASHABLE during the checkout process.


July 27-29, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Join us at the premiere of ePharma Summit West, the sister event to The ePharma Summit, the largest, longest running and most respected digital marketing event for the Life Sciences Industry. Network and join the conversation with hundreds of fellow thought leaders from top Pharma, Biotech, Device and Health Science companies. Register as a Mashable reader with the promo code XP1656MASH and save 10%.


August 1-3, 2011, San Antonio, TX: The eduWeb Conference is the event for you to meet, share, explore, and learn from your higher education peers on topics including mobile apps, branding, web site analytics, social media strategic planning, and web development. eduWeb offers four tracks: marketing communications; design and development; social media; and information architecture. Register with the promo code 11Mash and save $50!


September 6-8, 2011, Cleveland, OH: At Content Marketing World, you'll learn how to transform your marketing department into a storytelling factory, engaging your prospects and customers in all the right channels with the right messages– including social, mobile, email, online and even print and in-person strategies. Through 24+ breakout sessions and amazing keynotes led by worldwide experts, you'll get the tools you need to be a successful content marketer. Plus, you'll experience the best of what Cleveland has to offer, starting with our opening night reception at the infamous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Register and use the promo code mash to receive $100 off the current price of a ticket.


September 11-14, 2011, Denver, CO: Come join the best and brightest of the iOS development community at 360|iDev, the first iOS developer event to be held by the developer community! Speakers include many leading community members, and app store success stories. With over 40 sessions, including hands-on training the sunday before the conference, 360|iDev offers more content than any other iOS developer event in the world. Register and use the promo code iosmash to save 20% of the ticket price.


September 12-13, 2011, Renaissance Glendale, Phoenix, AZ: The third Social Media Optimization Summit event, presented by Multifamilypro, brings together small to mid-sized business owners with an interest in putting social media to work successfully within their organizations in ways that are proven to generate results. The event offers two full days of intensive, hands-on workshops from the intermediate to advanced level, led by top social media experts. The unique "See it. Hear it. Do it." approach allows attendees to learn by doing, and begin immediately applying newly-acquired skills and knowledge while the event is underway. See what others are saying about the event and register now at optimizationsummits.com and use discount code Mashable to save $100!


September 20, 2011, Chicago, IL: Federated Media presents Signal Chicago: The Marketing in Real Time Conversation. We will be focusing on the theme of “Marketing in Real Time.” From “real time bidding” on new demand-side and exchange platforms to “real time messaging” of location-based services, marketing has time-shifted into the present tense. A new suite of tools and services have evolved which enable the marketer to have conversations with customers in real time, creating both challenges and opportunities.Please join us More information and registration details at http://www.federatedmedia.net/events – Register with promo code SIGMash to save 15%


Sept 21-22, 2011, London, UK: ad:tech London is the UK’s essential free to attend event for professionals seeking to stay ahead of the latest interactive media, advertising and marketing trends. The event unites advertisers, media owners and agencies to harness the power of digital and deliver real marketing ROI. Alongside the exhibition, there is also a conference featuring 100+ international speakers for serious digital innovators and marketers. Mashable readers can take 20% off their conference ticket price. Register online now with the promo code MASH11 at www.ad-techlondon.co.uk.


September 26-29, 2011, Kaua’i, HI: Search and Social Hawaii is an elite conference unlike any other that will provide you with the strategies and complete know how to thrive in this ever changing environment. Each day begins with morning sessions around the hottest topics. With Keynote Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay, Inc. and speakers from corporations such as Real Networks, Network Solutions, AT&T, Microsoft Bing and Logitech. Afternoons are spent in a relaxed environment including planned activities in which individual attendees can get to know speakers and each other on a more personal level continuing the discussion and building long lasting relationships. Register and use the promo code SSWootMash to save 10%.


September 29-October 1, 2011, Atlanta, GA: As pet owners, bloggers, consumer brands and those connected to the industry – including veterinarians – continue to build upon social media & marketing, pet social media education & networking is an extremely important aspect to mobilizing efforts and to address the challenges faced by pet owners. Whether you use YouTube, Twitter, Dog/Catbook or online forums to gather & share information about pets, it's increasingly important for this community to have a face-to-face forum. Established in 2009, the BarkWorld Conference & Expo is the only pet social media conference covering ALL facets of social media & pet education. Our 2011 annual conference will focus on many topics, including: how to take great photos your pet & use it online, how to build/design a blog & monetize, mobile applications, metrics/SEO, pet food demonstrations, promoting your pet/business via social media and using online forums. Join us for this 2 ½ day conference. You'll be amazed with the information you'll walk away with and the new connections you'll make; your well-trained, leashed, pet is welcome. Register with the promo code MASH2011 to receive a 25% discount.


October 1-6, Boston, MA: At DMA2011, you – and 10,000 marketing peers from around the world – will find everything you need to develop and execute the real-time integrated marketing campaigns that drive measurable bottomline results for your brand. Listen to 300+ marketing experts and gurus talk about social, mobile, mail, search, data, attribution, and more. Plus, you'll find hundreds of technologies in the Exhibit Hall, the only one of its kind in the world! Register now with the promo code AN504 and SAVE $250!


October 5-6, 2011, Seattle, WA: The first annual Seattle Interactive Conference is a two-day event celebrating the convergence of online technology, creativity, and emerging trends in one of the world’s most innovative cities. SIC brings together entrepreneurs, developers and online business professionals from throughout the U.S. and beyond for a powerful combination of in-depth presentations, networking opportunities, and uniquely Seattle social events. Attendees have the rare opportunity to explore disruptive technologies and business models with visionary thinkers and peers in areas ranging from online commerce and social media to gaming, interactive advertising, entertainment, and much more.


October 9-11, 2011, Scottsdale, AZ: Join 200 of your advertising and PR agency friends at BOLO 2011. This event champions the marketing stalwarts, showing you how to leverage today’s digital marketing trends and technologies for economic advantage. Hear from industry thought leaders such as Scott Stratton, President of UnMarketing, and Jay Baer, author of The Now Revolution. From analytics and targeting to social media and agency management, the topics are cutting-edge and chosen to help your agency stay ahead of the curve in digital. Register now with the promo code MASHABLE for 10% off.


October 17-18, 2011, New York, NY: Pivot is the only conference focused purely on how major brands, agencies, marketers and content creators can succeed by understanding, accessing and influencing the emerging Social Consumer. Hosted by Brian Solis, a noted social marketing consultant to major brands worldwide and author of Engage, the self-help handbook for winning the new marketing game, Pivot delivers two full days of unique content and experiences that illuminate the altered marketing landscape, delivered by transformational thinkers, technologists, entrepreneurs and entertainers. Register with the promo code MASH20 and save 20%!


October 26-27, 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria: The only digital industry event for Central and Eastern Europe and one of industry’s premier events in Europe. At the Webit Expo & Conference, more than 6000 people from the CE Europe’ digital ecosystem gather together. Amazing line up of world renowned international and local speakers in the conference programme and some of the top service and technology providers among the exhibitors. Webit Conference programme includes The Main Stage (inspiring keynotes from the leading digital companies in the world), Webit Dev Camp (where platform owners meet the developers of CEE), eGov Summit (regional government officials and world CEOs in discussion on e-gov, e-health, etc), The Creative Lounge (the world’s creative minds gathered together). Register with the promo code WEBMASH and save 10%!


November 3-5, 2011, Los Angeles, CA: BlogWorld & New Media is the first and only industry-wide conference, tradeshow and media event dedicated to blogging, podcasting, social media, social networking, online video, music, Internet TV and radio. BlogWorld conference attendees enjoy more than 120 cutting-edge educational sessions presented by industry leaders, while New Media Expo provides the only industry-wide new media marketplace for networking, online business and marketing resources. Social Media Business Summit, exclusive to BlogWorld, is the world's largest social media business conference where business owners, marketing executives and global brands learn strategies, tools and technologies to grow their businesses with social media. Register at blogworldexpo.com with the promo code MASH20 to save 20% off the ticket price!


November 16-18, 2011, Las Vegas, NV: The WOMMA Summit is the only word of mouth marketing conference where research and measurement integrate with online social media and offline conversations. The Summit is a year-end review of BEST and NEXT practices in word or mouth and social media marketing in addition to future trends. WOMMA Summit showcases through leadership from some of the innovative and forward thinking. Go to www.womma.org to learn more about the event and use code WOMMASummitMASH when registering for the event.


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Who Owns the Advertising Space in an Augmented Reality World?

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 02:09 PM PDT


John C. Havens is EVP of social media at Porter Novelli and the author of Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand. He speaks regularly about augmented reality and emerging technology.

Look up in Times Square and you'll see the earliest version of a banner ad. Real estate developers pay massive sums to secure air rights for the empty space above buildings. Monetizing by building up (as opposed to out) in crowded areas like Manhattan, they also get to dictate what advertisements appear in the air that they control.

Augmented reality (AR) has made it possible for this same paradigm of advertising to exist via your smartphone. Multiple apps feature the ability for ads to appear on your mobile screen as miniature virtual billboards assigned to GPS coordinates. Brands can tag the real world via this “Outernet,” and if they sponsor the AR browser you're using, in essence they own the virtual air rights (VARs) for everything you see.


Eyebrawl


So what's to keep multiple brands from owning the same virtual space? Currently, nothing. Services like Tagwhat let anyone create video, photo or text messages they can attach to specific coordinates. But just like the desktop web, top AR browsers like Junaio and Layar are becoming augmented equivalents of Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Smart brands will also encourage the use of a preferred browser via value-added incentives for users. Imagine the year 2013, where the official SXSW mobile app is enhanced with AR browser Junaio. Attendees will download the app, as it's the only way to see exclusive video content available on the virtual banners behind speakers. Brands will sponsor the app, and attendees will be entertained between panels with clickable content they can share with their social graph.


Google's Vision for Goggles


Google Goggles is a paradigm shifter for how we'll all come to look at the world, and has evolved to become the dominant player in visual search. In the same way it guides your online queries, Google wants to help define what you see in the real world and monetize the process.

It's impossible to underestimate the impact of visual search. Once the general public gets used to navigating their physical environment with tools like Goggles, all of what we see and share will become searchable data. And when we combine consumer preference with predictive technology, Google will be able to serve visual experiences that benefit consumers and advertisers because of their unique specificity.

In this way, Google will own the virtual air rights within Goggles. However they decide to define this visual version of AdWords, brands will flock to invest so that their messages will come into a consumer's vision at the perfect place and time. Coupled with its new Offers technology, virtual incentives will only increase.

Like most technologies, people will only adopt Goggles when there is enough utility or value. QR codes and apps like stickybits have paved the way for people to get comfortable with “screening” the real world.


Bing Bling


Here's a sticky wicket regarding virtual air rights — who's to say ads appearing in the virtual arena need to match ads appearing in reality?

Here's an example. Bing's augmented reality maps let you see the world as if you were walking through it, versus looking at a photo from above. Picture a bus stop where in the real world you see a poster with an ad for Coke, but in Bing’s virtual version, the poster shows an ad for Pepsi.

Google filed for a patent along these lines in early 2010 that would allow it to sell ads in the Street View feature of Google Maps, potentially replacing signage that was originally photographed. And as most geeks feel the next step for AR is a wearable display (your smartphone as glasses, as seen here from company EON Reality), the importance of virtual real estate may quickly supplant actual signage for advertisers. This is especially true when virtual signage could be switched dynamically for individual eye traffic depending on a viewer's preferences.

"I like what Bing Maps has done, as it offers a glimpse into what virtual advertising may soon look like," says Gabe Greenberg, director of social and emerging media at Microsoft. "The industry might debate if consumers will want to be presented with ads in this format, but if the experience presents the ads in a way that makes sense for the augmented reality experience and the user's intention, this could be a powerful advertising tool for tomorrow's marketplace."

Microsoft's Kinect technology is also a game-changer when it comes to how ads might get served in the virtual arena. In the future, consumers may enable data collection about their behavior on the couch. In this way, they could see ads in the real world (via their AR-enabled phones) that mirror their media preferences in the living room — sort of like a more targeted version of product placement. These preferences could inhabit shop windows, billboards or posters on bus stops.


Monetizing the Matrix


"We think virtual advertising is a fascinating topic and potentially poised for high growth," says Anna Bager, vice president of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. "And just as the IAB helped define the taxonomy of web advertising via banners, we will be ready to work with industry leaders to provide a value-added vision for the virtual future. While this is an exciting new advertising medium for brands, consumers will only want messages on an opt-in basis."

Bager raises a significant point — VARs will also apply to individuals. Etiquette around privacy will evolve, so consumers will dictate if or when their data can be shared. Consumer actions in real time (aided by facial recognition tech like Viewdle) may become the stuff of Facebook Sponsored Stories 2.0. And right now, people can't opt out of Sponsored Stories. This logic muddies privacy issues as well as the question of where Facebook should be able to monetize. If Coke makes money when someone scans me in real time via augmented reality, should I get a cut? The answer will likely be yes, but Facebook might only reward me with virtual currency rather than real money.

Once these issues are sorted out, there will be multiple benefits to AR-enhanced image recognition. Here are a few:

  • At a business conference, you'll scan the room to recognize people you want to meet.
  • At a club, you'll scan the room to see who you might want to date. And forget sending them a drink — “bump” them some FarmVille cash via your NFC-enabled mobile to make a first impression.
  • At the supermarket, you'll scan shelves, to only see products that match your preferences — e.g. if your child has a peanut allergy, breakfast cereals you need to avoid will literally disappear.
  • At a retail store, brands will modify end caps and shelf talkers to adapt to your preferences.

Advertisers have put messages in our field of vision for decades. The paradigm of virtual air rights simply extends that practice via augmented reality. The life-as-product-placement model means ads will evolve to become content we choose to experience on our own terms. What's still to be worked out is who gets the rights to what.

Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author’s company.


Image courtesy of Flickr, Jason McDermott.

More About: advertising, Augmented Reality, business, MARKETING, Mobile 2.0

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Neil Young Releases 26-Year-Old Music Video for “Amber Jean”

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 01:46 PM PDT


Each Monday, Mashable highlights an exclusive new video or song. Check out all our Music Monday picks.

We usually premiere new videos on Music Monday, but this week, we have a vintage treat from the legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young.

Young’s new album, A Treasure, drops on June 14. A live album, the disc includes songs that were recorded during Young’s 1984 and 1985 U.S. tours — five tracks of which were previously unreleased.

The above video, featuring the song “Amber Jean,” is the only full-length video from the album and was filmed during the Nashville Now TV show on September 20, 1984.

Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young might be awesome, but Neil Young as Neil Young ain’t bad, either.

More About: a-treasure, music, music monday, neil young, video

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Rep. Weiner Admits Tweeting Lewd Picture

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 01:32 PM PDT


Admitting that he had “not been honest with myself, my family and my constituents,” Rep. Anthony Weiner has confessed at a press conference that he sent via Twitter the picture that has captivated Washington for the past week — and that he lied about his account being hacked.

“I regret not being honest about this,” Weiner said in a tearful statement. “I was embarrassed, I was humiliated. I was trying to protect my wife. I was trying to protect myself from shame.”

He claimed to have tweeted the picture on May 27 to Seattle student Gennette Cordova “as a joke” but then “panicked” and removed the tweet from his Twitter account. Cordova, however, doesn’t understand what joke that would be. “Am I the only one still confused?” she tweeted during the press conference.

“Once I realized I had posted it on Twitter I panicked, I took it down and said I’d been hacked,” Weiner explained.

Weiner said he has had “cursory direct message contact” with Cordova and that she was not one of the women he was having an online relationship with.

Weiner said he has had online relationships with six unnamed women on Facebook and his wife knew about them in general — but she did not know until this morning that he had lied about his Twitter account being hacked. He said he had never met the women in person and the relationships had been entirely based on conversations on the Internet, conducted from his home computer rather than a government machine. All the women had received inappropriate photos from Weiner. He claimed not to know the ages of the women and they had all claimed they were adults.

“It’s always true in social media that you are relying on those characterizations, and I took them at their characterizations,” he said.

“This was me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly and then lying about it,” Weiner said. His wife was not standing by his side, and he broke down several times when mentioning her.

Weiner insisted that he would not be resigning and would be “fighting very hard” to persuade his constituents that he should be re-elected in 2012.

More About: facebook, pictures, politics, twitter, Weiner

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TuneCore CEO: Apple Has Just Monetized Pirated Content

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 01:21 PM PDT


At WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs unveiled iTunes in the Cloud and “one more thing” goodie iTunes Match, a move that TuneCore CEO and founder Jeff Price believes will monetize piracy and reset the music industry.

iTunes in the Cloud will allow users to download any songs purchased in iTunes to all of their devices, at no extra charge (up to 5GB of music). Once the service is launched — likely Monday — any music purchased on iTunes from here will be synced automatically.

While this is all well and good — and a long time coming — the real clincher here is iTunes Match, which will automatically, and in a matter of minutes, match songs that you ripped to songs in the store and add them to your library. You won’t have to pay for each individual song, but you will have to shell out about $25 a year for the ability to have your library available.

“This puts together a model that allows people to make money off of pirated music,” says Price, pointing out that users who pirate music will end up paying for it anyway if they decide to go with iTunes Match, putting money back in the hands of rights holders.

“The gap between those two things have never been bridged before — the needs of the consumer and the rights holders,” he adds, pointing out how the service benefits both parties, while recent products like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta launched without label participation, and consequently, reimbursement.

Jobs did not mention revenue split during the conference, but the rumors say that publishers will garner 12% of the revenue, major labels will get 58% and Apple will keep 30%. Price also tells us that all bands on iTunes using TuneCore will be available on both iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match.

“Napster trained people to download music and listen to it on their computers,” he says. “This new service will help people become more comfortable with the idea of streaming their music. And that’s what resets the whole music industry. Reeducating the consumers on how to listen to music.”

In that respect, Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud could be just the thing that finally legitimizes the likes of music subscription services like Rdio, MOG and Spotify. “It’s great to see Apple bringing more awareness to online music streaming,” says a rep from Grooveshark. “We certainly don’t view iCloud as competitive to us, because the service that iCloud offers really isn’t the same as Grooveshark.”

What do you think of Price’s assertions? Is change really afoot in the music industry?

Photo courtesy of Flickr, karindalziel

More About: amazon, apple, Google, itunes-in-the-cloud, itunes-match, jeff-price, music, piracy, tunecore

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A Look Inside HP’s Social Good Machine

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:44 PM PDT

hp image

HP is launching three social good campaigns aimed at improving health tech in developing countries. Best known for its printers and laptops, the company has become an increasingly active player in international philanthropy.

Instead of throwing cash at causes, HP is trying to improve systemic problems like infrastructure and scale. It’s one thing to give a non-profit money; it’s another to help it expand its reach and efficiency at the same time. HP is doing this by tweaking its technology to help solve issues and by devoting company expertise where it is most needed.

HP’s two most recent campaigns focus on malaria detection and counterfeit drugs in Africa. HP partnered with Ping to equip workers in Botswana with smartphones to collect malaria data, notify the Ministry of Health about outbreaks, and tag data and disease surveillance with a GPS coordinate. If successful, the network of data will make up a geographic map of disease transmission in the country to speed up response time and scale up net coverage.

hp map image

The tech company is also tackling counterfeit drugs by adapting one of its own technologies. HP tracks when its parts and technology are being counterfeited. With some subtle tweaks, that same technology is being used to see when drugs and prescriptions are falsely labeled all through basic texting and SMS. The program, in partnership with mPedigree, a non-profit base in Ghana, puts a scratch-off code on each box of medicine. Buyers can then text that code to a system that returns, within 10 seconds, whether the medication is real or fake.

Finally, HP is testing a mobile health monitoring solution in Singapore. For eight weeks, 100 patients in Singapore hospitals will wear a watch-like device that transmits clinical data like 24-hour blood pressure readings and heartbeat patterns, all sent wirelessly back to the hospital.

HP’s social outreach and international philanthropy walk the fine line between corporate social responsibility and self promotion. The smartphones used to track malaria will all be HP Palm Pre’s, but the technology will actually help save lives. Its message extends to HP’s employees who are all given four hours per month to volunteer their expertise. In fact, HP has built its own web-portal complete with regional directors to pair up HP experts with non-profits and causes that need specialized help.

hp programs image

One way HP has managed to run these programs efficiently is through partnerships. The idea is to start the ball rolling on solutions and hand them off to local authorities and NGOs that can best implement them. For example, the counterfeit medicine will be powered by HP technology, but will eventually be handed off to local government for maintenance. There is some possibility that these solutions can be replicated to be sold in other regions, but the idea is more about solving problems using HP technology than turning a profit.

Sometimes, HP’s philanthropy has actually led to a new consumer product. One project aimed at creating simple access to the Internet in India resulted in HP’s DreamScreen.

It all sounds like a win-win, but what do you make of HP’s efforts? Are expertise, technology and infrastructure more important than fundraising? What do you think of HP’s philanthropic ideas? Sound off in the comments.

More About: africa, business, charity, corporate social responsibility, csr, health, HP, non-profit, social good, tech, technology

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Evernote Hits 10 Million Users

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:24 PM PDT


Note-taking platform Evernote has surpassed 10 million registered users. That number is up 67% from January when the startup reported 6 million users.

The nearly three-year-old startup now has 424,736 paying users — premium plans cost $5 per month. Seventy-five percent of its users are accessing Evernote on two or more platforms: 46% use Evernote on two devices, 18% use it on three devices, 7% use it on four devices and 4% are using the note-taking apps on five or more devices.

“Ten million users seemed like an inconceivable number when we were getting ready to launch the service into open beta less than three years ago,” founder and CEO Phil Libin says. “Well, it wasn't literally inconceivable; we actually put it on business plans and investor pitch decks and everything.”

Evernote has been undergoing a social makeover recently, adding Facebook and Twitter sharing capabilities to its web, Mac, Windows and Android apps. The startup most recently updated its Chrome browser extension with improved article clipping technology.

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Halo 4 Is Coming: Here’s the Trailer [VIDEO]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:16 PM PDT


Microsoft saved the best for last at its E3 press conference, confirming that Halo 4 is in development by unveiling the first teaser trailer for the game.

The minute-long trailer starts with a view of the nervous system and mind of Master Chief, the franchise’s star character, who quickly bursts out of a pod and jumps directly into space combat.

Halo 4 will hit store shelves sometime during holiday 2012. The franchise, which is now in its tenth year, is also debuting a remastered version of the original game, complete with updated graphics, reworked levels and new multiplayer options.

Check out the teaser for Halo 4 and let us know in the comments what you think of it.

[Video via WinRumors]

More About: halo, Halo 4, microsoft, xbox, Xbox 360

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iTunes To Finally Get Wireless Syncing With iOS 5

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:06 PM PDT


At the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple announced that users can now sync and backup their iOS devices wirelessly.

Apple has been promising some sort of wireless PC-free syncing solution for quite some time, but the company has now officially confirmed that the new feature will be introduced with iOS 5.

In iOS 5, the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will automatically find iTunes on a Wi-Fi network and automatically sync and backup apps, contacts and media. This is similar to what Google does with its Android OS, with the exception, of course, that Apple still has an actual program that users can use to monitor backups and programs.

Apple also announced that users who want to be completely PC free can perform cloud backups to the new iCloud service.

Image courtesy of thisismynext.com

More About: apple, iOS 5, itunes, wifi

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HOW TO: Optimize Text Ads for Search

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 12:00 PM PDT


The Future of Search Series is supported by SES San Francisco Conference & Expo, the leading search, social and display conference. From August 15-19, get five days of education, inspiration and conversations with marketing experts across the digital space. Save 20% with the code MASH20.

Text ads aren’t sexy. They look bland, aren’t colorful and often read like they’re being shouted by annoying salespeople. But the simple fact is that many businesses use them to drive site traffic and sales.

We spoke with Michael Gold, search engine optimization specialist and co-founder of Midtown SEO, about how marketers can optimize their text ads to make them more appealing to search engine users. Check out his tips below.


Use Groups of Related Keywords


There are a number of best practices when setting up your search campaigns, and you can use tools, such as the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, to research and choose the best keywords.

When you’ve settled on your set of keywords, create advertisements that focus on each group of related keywords. “A unique advertisement should be written for each group of closely related keywords,” Gold advises. “Those keywords that match text in the advertisement will be displayed in bold, hopefully catching the search engine users' attention.”

In the Neiman Marcus and Forever 21 ads above, the user searched for keywords “Stuart Weitzman Sandals” and “Discount Fashion,” respectively. The two retailers included these keywords in their ads, so those words are highlighted, drawing a bit more attention to them.


Create a Clear Offer


“The text in the ad should create a clear offer,” says Gold. “The search engine user should know what to expect once they click on the link. Some examples of appealing offers are a free report, a free trial, a way to request information or a way to buy a retail product.”

When showcasing a specific offer, make sure you choose an appropriate destination URL, so that the user lands on a page that describes the same details. If a particular offer, pricing plan or special is outlined in your ad, make sure that information is visible on the landing page. If users do not immediately find what they are looking for, they may leave your website out of confusion.

In the example above, search engine users are offered “40% off organic granola” by advertiser Wai Lana Yoga. Once interested users click through to the website, they immediately find an offer for 40% off Wai Lana’s Little Yogis Granola. The offer is clearly communicated in the ad, and the landing page also communicates the same deal.


Communicate an Urgent Call-to-Action


“The offer should include a call-to-action that creates a sense of urgency by using scarcity or an expiration date,” says Gold. “People are more likely to react if there is a deadline.”

The EyeBuyDirect.com ad above communicates a clear call-to-action (“Buy 1 Get 1 Free”) and reads that the sale is a limited-time offer. In the other example above, Nick’s Towing Service takes an urgent situation (the need to have a car towed) and makes contacting the company easy, noting that operators are available at all hours of the day.


Focus on a Purchase-Ready Audience


“The text and tone of the ad should focus on people who are already considering the offer or are ready to buy, not people who are doing general research or are already loyal customers,” says Gold. “This will help to cut down on paid clicks from search engine users who probably aren't interested in responding to the advertisement.”

In the Ray-Ban ad above, a simple deal on free shipping for orders over $125 is offered to push potential consumers to click and buy. This sort of offer would probably be appealing to a search engine user already on the brink of purchasing, but it may not appeal to someone at the early stages of research.


Consult with Your Social Media Team


With Twitter’s character limit and the short attention spans of Internet users, social media marketers are well-versed in conveying their messages in short form. Gold recommends that search marketers consult with their company’s social media team to get a feel for which messaging types and specific phrases appeal to their audience.

“We usually get input on the search engine ad text from the people who handle social media for our clients, because they already know the short-form text content that resonates well with the target audience,” explains Gold.

Consulting with these short-form masters is just one more way to make your text ads more appropriate for your target audience.


Conduct Split Tests


“Experiment with multiple copies of an ad to see which gets the best results,” advises Gold. After testing a few ads, choose the one that performs best and run with it.

In the example above, L.L.Bean is currently split-testing two ads for the search term “hiking boots.”


Your Tips


The above tips provide a guide on how to optimize text ads for search. For all of the search engine marketers in the audience, please let us know which tips you’d add to the list in the comments below.


Series Supported by SES San Francisco Conference & Expo


The Future of Search Series is supported by SES San Francisco Conference & Expo. Join more than 6,000 marketers August 15-19 at the Moscone Center for five days of education, inspiration and conversations with the most important voices online. Learn about the industry’s most pressing developments — everything from Google Panda to YouTube LIVE — and every essential topic, including email, display, mobile, search, social media, video and more. Register with “MASH20″ to save 20%. Join the discussion: #SESSF.


More Search Resources from Mashable:


- How Semantic Search Is Redefining Traditional & Social Media
- The Future of Social Search
- How Google & Bing Keep Spam Out of Search
- HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Advanced Social Media Search
- 4 Winning Strategies for Social Media Optimization

Image courtesy of Flickr, Bourn Design & iStockphoto, hidesy

More About: Adwords, digital marketing, Future of Search Series, google adwords, MARKETING, online marketing, Search, search marketing, text ads

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Blackbird Blackbird’s Latest Music Video May Remind You of Your Last Relationship

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:53 AM PDT


Each Monday, Mashable highlights an exclusive new video or song. Check out all our Music Monday picks.

“Pure” is a new video from experimental electro/psych-pop band Blackbird Blackbird and director Eli Stonberg featuring love, loss and skateboarding.

Founded in San Francisco by Mikey Maramag, Blackbird Blackbird is a rather prolific band that largely flies below the radar (pun intended). Still, the band has managed to capture the ear of outlets like The Hype Machine, Pitchfork, and The Fader.

Stonberg is a similarly talented, yet still-to-be-widely-discovered director. Although he also worked with the likes of Passion Pit and Nada Surf, he is perhaps best known for the interactive coloring book video that he made for the band Au Revoir Simone’s song, “Knight of Wands,” which was a finalist for the MTV OMA for “Most Innovative Music Video.”

The song, “Pure,” comes off of Blackbird Blackbird’s EP Let’s Move On Together (the band currently has two, full-length albums).

“Pure is a song inspired by my girlfriend at the time,” says Maramag. “It’s a song about taking a leap of faith into uncharted territories or unknown pleasures. It is also inspired by the fear of falling in love and the heartache of leaving a loved one or relationship due to unexpected obstacles in life.”

Although “Pure” already has a music video, Stonberg was taken with the song, so he reached out to Maramag to execute his own spin on the visuals — a multi-shot vid of a skateboarder tooling around in the rain.

“I wanted to create an anatomical study of a skateboarder’s motions,” says Stonberg. “When a skater attempts a trick, we usually think of their front foot doing most of the work.  It slides and kicks violently to make the board spin or ollie. I was interested in what the other body parts were doing at that same moment.”

Maramag found the idea to be the perfect complement to his song about the chaotic nature of relationships. “In addition to the feeling of floating that the song gives the listener, the clips that Eli organized flow together in a complex but nonetheless visually connected sequence,” he says. “This is kind of how I imagined ‘pure’ to be: chaotic and directionless but simultaneously sequential and balanced.”

Sound like a pretty apt metaphor for love.

More About: blackbird-blackbird, eli-stonberg, music, music monday, video

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Apple’s iMessage Is Like BBM for iOS

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:41 AM PDT


Imagine being able to seamlessly message friends from any of your devices. That will be a reality with the launch of iMessage for iOS 5.

It’s like BlackBerry Messenger for iOS. iMessage will let users communicate easily between iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. This service will include text messages, photos, videos, contacts and group messaging, with intriguing new features like the ability to show delivery receipts, read receipts (shown in-line) and indicate when another person is typing. In many ways, the service is similar to iChat.

iMessage will be supported via 3G and Wi-Fi, and conversations will be synced across all of your iOS devices, so you can pick up a conversation started on your iPhone on your iPad. The service will also support iOS 5′s new push notification system, whereby texts will no longer interrupt your games or other running apps; they’ll appear unobtrusively at the top of the screen. You can swipe from the top for more details and tap the notification to go to the app.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, subjug

More About: imessage, ipad, iphone, iPod Touch, WWDC 2011

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Deep Twitter Integration Coming to iOS 5

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:25 AM PDT


Apple will be deeply integrating Twitter across iOS 5, the next major version of its OS for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Twitter integration was one of the rumored announcements leading up to WWDC, and Apple has delivered.

Users can associate a Twitter account in the iOS settings and other apps will automatically gain access to Twitter integration using the app, which means users no longer have to log in or manually add an account each time. Moreover, apps like Mail, Contacts, YouTube and Camera will all have extensive levels of Twitter integration.

Users will be able to send tweets directly from the Camera app or photo album (using Twitter’s new native photo uploading features), as well as within the YouTube app. Additionally, users can grab photographs for their contacts if the person has an associated Twitter account.

The fact that this is built-in at an OS level also means that it will make things easier for developers who want to build deeper Twitter integration into their app experiences.

Image courtesy of This is My Next

More About: apple, iOS, iOS 5, twitter

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iOS by the Numbers: 200M Devices, 25M iPads & 14B App Downloads

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:17 AM PDT


Apple has sold 25 million iPads in the first 14 months after its release, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software for Apple, revealed at the WWDC keynote.

Forstall revealed a slew of additional metrics to highlight the success of Apple devices, iOS, iBooks and iTunes. Altogether, Apple has sold more than 200 million iOS devices, which Forstall said makes the company’s mobile operating system number one ahead of Android and RIM with more than 44% of the market.

Here are some additional stats Forstall discussed:

  • Users have downloaded more than 15 billion songs from iTunes.
  • Users have downloaded/purchased more than 130 million books from iBooks.
  • There are now more than 425,000 iOS apps; 90,000 of them are specifically for the iPad.
  • Users have downloaded more than 14 billion iOS apps.
  • Apple has paid out more than $2.5 billion to iOS developers.
  • There are now 225 million people with iTunes accounts.
  • There are 50 million Game Center users.

Image courtesy of This is my next

More About: apple, Apple iPad, apps, iOS, ipad, WWDC 2011

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Xbox Live Getting Live TV, YouTube & Bing Voice Search

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:16 AM PDT


Microsoft has unveiled a redesigned version of Xbox Live — one that includes more voice commands, YouTube integration and live television.

At its annual E3 press conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft demonstrated the simplified UI, which can be navigated almost entirely through voice commands that will allow for searching through games and accessing online content.

Search on Xbox Live is now powered by Bing. Rather than typing in queries through the controller, Microsoft has opted for voice search. Bing Voice Search lets users flip through movie and game libraries. It doesn’t yet include full web search.

Microsoft also announced that it has finally integrated YouTube into Xbox Live, making it possible to view videos from the world’s largest video website. Microsoft already has Hulu Plus and Netflix on Xbox Live.

The biggest announcement though is the inclusion of live TV on Xbox Live. Thanks to Microsoft partners such as SKY in the UK, Xbox Live now live streams video content. One of Microsoft’s first partners is Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which was announced on stage by UFC President Dana White.

The new Xbox Live is scheduled to debut sometime in late summer or early fall. Stay tuned to Mashable for photos and videos from Microsoft’s press conference and E3.

More About: kinect, microsoft, xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Kinect, XBox live, youtube

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Mac OS X Lion Coming This July for $29

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:03 AM PDT


During Monday’s WWDC keynote, Apple officially unveiled Mac OS X Lion. The next major version of Mac OS X will be out in July as a Mac App Store exclusive for just $29.99.

As we’ve noted in our past previews, Mac OS X Lion will bring many of the best elements of iOS to the Mac.

Some of the highlights of Mac OS X Lion include:

  • Multitouch gestures
  • Full screen applications
  • Mission Control
  • Auto Save and Versioning
  • Launchpad
  • Auto Resume of apps
  • Mac App Store — now with in-app purchase
  • AirDrop – P2P Wi-Fi networks
  • Newly designed Apple Mail
  • Better Search

Apple is clearly pricing Mac OS X in such a way that most users will probably upgrade. Rather than selling the OS in stores, it will only be available in the Mac App Store. The 4 GB download might be excessive for some, but having installed every past version of the Lion Developer Preview, I can say it isn’t terrible. Moreover, this ensures that users can install Mac OS X Lion on every Mac they own without having to buy another license.

Mac OS X Server will now be an in-app purchase rather than a separate version.

An updated developer preview will become available later today. Will you upgrade to Mac OS X Lion? Let us know in the comments.

More About: apple, mac, mac os x lion, WWDC 2011

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