With the holiday season upon us, we tend to start thinking about how our waistlines have a nasty habit this time of year of expanding as this year comes to a close and the new one begins. Fear those Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas cookies no more- we’ve found fitness apps that will help you stay active and healthy this holiday season so you can start your new year off on the right foot.
Remember that kid in high school who was popular, seemed to have it all, and then just disappeared? Maybe they never moved out of their parents’ house or they ended up at the local McDonald’s, taking your order whenever you stopped there on your sporadic visits to your parent’s home. That’s the kid that peaked in high school, and as bad as we feel for them that their lives ended up being extraordinarily ordinary, we secretly love that it never happened to us.
Blackberry is the kid that peaked in high school.
I had a Blackberry Pearl hand-me-down from my father when I was in high school. Just to age myself a bit, this was almost seven years ago when I began using the phone. I absolutely loved that Blackberry. I used the phone until the end of its lifetime which ended with buttons missing, a track ball that wouldn’t roll smoothly anymore, and buttons that just wouldn’t click anymore. This was during the peak of Blackberry, just before the iPhone took over the world by storm. I still had friends who used Blackberry phones and we were all obsessed. The funny thing looking back is that Blackberry was and probably easily is still the phone I was most fond of and rarely complained about.
The full keyboard was revolutionary at the time. Honestly, you didn’t have to use T9 anymore and anyone who used to text on the old flip phones can attest to how incredibly annoying it was and how difficult to learn the process of texting was with a T9 keyboard. But the full keyboard on the Blackberry was amazing and especially because it was the QWERTY keyboard layout, only two keys per button was arguably way more awesome than three (sometimes four, we’re looking at you letter ‘s’).
Who cared if the camera wasn’t that great? There weren’t many other phones boasting an amazing camera. For the average Joe, we were still using Cannons and Nikons to take photos on family vacations. Remember how photography with actual cameras was still
something people did 6-7 years ago? Blackberry was taking the world by storm; “Crackberry” became a term for the phone and the dedicated user base it had built.
Before Apple created iMessage, Blackberry had BBM (Black Berry Messenger) and for those who used it, it ruled. All you needed was another Blackberry users pin and you could send them unrestricted length text messages. All around, you were just cooler by using BBM. All up until, the iPhone launched.
The first problem emerged with how small of a consumer base Blackberry was building. As for a high school student like myself at the time, I couldn’t fully utilize the features on Blackberry phones. For your every day and business needs, Blackberry phones were the “it” phone. Getting emails on your phone and being able to confidently type responses without worrying about how awful T9 was really revolutionized what you wanted to buy. Blackberry didn’t concern themselves with other target groups- they had their niche market and they were fine. No need to try to market to anyone else, you and everyone you knew that used their phones were doing plenty word of mouth advertising. Blackberry believed in
the loyalty of their consumer base.
Then the iPhone invaded. It was a well planned surprise attack. Once the iPhone caught fire you looked outdated carrying around a Blackberry- or literally anything that wasn’t an iPhone. The camera was better, the screen was better, the user face was amazing and simple to use, and Apple convinced you that you NEEDED the phone. You may not have wanted it, but man did you need it.
The big downfall Blackberry encountered, which I would consider their kiss of death, was their nonchalance about the beginnings of the iPhone. RIM, the company that owns Blackberry, was too confident in the loyalty of their consumer base. Talk about being stabbed in the back about a million times. RIM didn’t take the iPhone seriously, didn’t consider how seriously the iPhone was going to potentially dominate the market, so they didn’t prepare. Technology changes- that’s just one of the brutal ways the industry functions. Blackberry became so irrelevant so quickly it makes your head spin if you think about it too long.
Now I can’t speak for what the top guys of Blackberry were thinking, but I can only imagine it was along the lines of, “We have made a terrible mistake.” As they sat in their offices watching their market shares tank and loyal customers abandon them.
What really sealed the fate of Blackberry and turned it into the brunt of all jokes today was not adapting their software to be downloadable on Android or Apple products. Blackberry essentially refused to give into their rivals to keep their company alive. I mean, after the kind of attack they suffered with the iPhone release, I think they valued their pride over continuing a successful business platform. Because they ultimately missed their window to adapt their software to be available cross platform, Blackberry was swallowed whole by the technology shift. They were left behind, licking their wounds as their market shares tanked drastically. Today, Blackberry has made their software available on all the main platforms but no one cares. The last time I heard of anyone using a Blackberry was about three years ago, when my friend was trying to hold out hope.
My friend bought one of the touch screen Blackberry’s the company struggled to release a few years after the whirlwind of iPhone. The phone was terrible to say the least. It was littered with random glitches, the phone would freeze quite often, and she would complain she felt left out because she didn’t have an iPhone. Her phone completely quit on her about three months into their estranged relationship, and she jumped ship to join team iPhone. Her hopes of a better Blackberry days had died, along with her phone.
Although I personally did not join team iPhone, smartphones that mimicked the iPhone were quickly making their debuts and I ditched team Blackberry as soon as I graduated high school. Thus ended my great relationship with my Blackberry Pearl and it joined the depths of all other discarded Blackberry’s.
Let’s revisit our high school analogy. I attribute the iPhone’s takeover to high school graduation. As if Blackberry crossing the stage to receive their diploma was all the time they needed to lag just enough for the iPhone to swoop in and convert almost their entire user base. And then, just like that, Blackberry became the laughing stock of the mobile world as their stocks plummeted.
Try going into a mobile phone store today to buy a Blackberry. I’ll bet you’re not going to find one. The stores today are dominated by iPhone vs. Android. I’m pretty sure if you asked a sales associate if they had Blackberry you would have to google a photo and say, “I want to see this phone right here.” The looks people get when they try to buy Blackberry phones must be hilarious. You can’t download the prominent apps that lead the market today onto your Blackberry phone. This puts you behind. Makes kids feel left out in their social groups. Makes you the brunt of all bad Blackberry jokes in the office.
So now Blackberry is trying to launch the Blackberry Passport 2 (Surprise, I didn’t even know there was a Passport 1) and having it run Android Lollipop (or maybe Marshmallow depending on how long the launch takes). They’re still keeping the keyboard off the screen which I find to be a critical design flaw. The technology has evolved to on screen keyboards, so I feel that’ll be a tough sell to resort people back to this type of screen change. Then there are rumors about “Venice”, which will try to rock the design of the very undesirable slide out keyboard. Blackberry is definitely trying, but it’s unfortunate it took them this long to decide to bring their A game.
But the market is competitive, and unless Blackberry is prepared to create a phone that will blow Google and iPhones completely out of the water, they don’t stand a chance. If they had competed with iPhone from the beginning, they may have stood a fair chance in remaining relevant. Perhaps they could be like Brittney Spears- recovering from a 2007 meltdown and coming back years later with a revamped image and public persona. It could happen.
So what have we learned from the downfall of Blackberry? Don’t be stubborn- accept that in the technologically dominated world we live in now that if you don’t keep up or stay one step ahead of your competitors, you become irrelevant. You have to keep an open mind in order to keep your business alive and thriving.
Though as we all learned from that kid who peaked in high school, the further away your glory years are, the less chance you have of recreating them.
Yesterday Apple held their event to let you know exactly what to expect in the new wave of Apple releases- we’re talking from the new Apple Pencil to the iPhone 6s Plus.
So should you try to crawl into your attic space to find your long lost sleeping bag to wait with the other thousands of people who want to be some of the first to own the latest iPhone?
Pinterest is one the rise. According to research recently done by Pew, roughly “31% of Internet users have an account with the service”, which although that may not sound like a lot- that’s 31% of all internet users you may not be reaching with your current internet marketing.
If you’re not familiar with the platform, Pinterest provides users with the ability to create “Boards”, which are places they can pin photos that they group together based off common themes. Most commonly you’ll hear about how Pinterest is great for wedding planning, since you can create boards about “My Dress”, “Dream Venue”, “Wedding Designs”, etc. So how can you use this for real estate?
As summer comes to a close, it’s important to start fall off on the right foot. We’ve been searching for some of the coolest apps that are currently out on the market and went ahead and complied a list of our three personal favorites we’ve seen. Ranging from Hootsuite for your social media, Open Home Pro for hosting your Open Houses, all the way to keeping you up to date on that latest going on with SmartNews; these three apps will keep you on your toes and ready for anything this coming season.
Managing your social media is a full time job and Hootsuite recognizes that. Hootsuite helps to simplify brand awareness over multiple social media channels. You don’t want keeping up with your social media to consume the bulk of your time, but you don’t want to disappear as a social presence. Hootsuite helps with organizing your apps and keeping track of your home screen on the application and any mentions, likes, etc that are being done on your profiles. This way you can keep track of the home feed and be updated of customer interactions with your sites so that you’re able to stay on top of everything in one seamless design. In fact, Hootsuite just announced that they have now added Instagram, which can help up your online social media game through photos.
Additionally, you can even schedule posts to send at certain times and track posts all from the simple dash. Hootsuite even allows you to monitor the analytics on your various platforms. We here at Aumnia use Hootsuite to keep track of our social media platforms in order to make sure we haven’t become a ghost to the internet. Hootsuite also has a very user friendly interface which is great for those of you who are still not so sure how social media sites work yet. The free version of Hootsuite allows you to add up to five social media sites, which for smaller businesses is ideal because it’s free and you probably don’t own more than five sites. For $8.99 you can pay to upgrade and add up to fifty media sites and you can add a team member to the account so they can also keep track and look on with you. The only thing to be careful on with Hootsuite is that some of their analytics data that they’re keeping track for you will cost money to obtain. I would still recommend trying out Hootsuite, but Google Analytics is my friend for research (Which I’ll touch on in another post soon). In any case, Hootsuite is a social media dashboard app to try and see if it helps you to personally better organize your online presence. Go here to download Hootsuite to get started.
Open Home Pro
Ditch the pen and paper of the past and say hello to your new favorite tablet application. In real estate, open houses are one of the most important ways to meet with prospective clients and bring you that much closer to closing a deal. Open Home Pro removes the need to have visitor’s write down their name and contact information as they tour through, instead providing a simple sign in process through the app that then saves all visitor’s information. After the open house, Open Home Pro even sends emails to follow up with those prospective clients that toured the home that day. There are two tabs on the page- Lisitings and Leads. With Lisitings you can view the properties that you have up; in addition to photos you can post about the home.With Leads, once you have prospective clients information the app will tell you if they’re working with another agent or not and if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. Almost sounds too good to be true, right? The app allows you to pay extra a month to upgrade to their Premium version of the app, but so far the free version works just great. The app also works great with both the iPad and Android tablets which allows everyone in the office to utilize the time saving benefits of the application. As mentioned the app is free– so take it for a trial run and let us know what you think!
Staying up to date on the latest news has never been easier thanks to SmartNews, a mobile news app that is completely customizable to what you want to know about what’s going on in the world. At the top of SmatNews are several tabs that you can customize, the only static one being top news from around the world. Examples of SmartNews tabs are World, Entertain, Lifestyle, Biz, Tech, and so forth. In addition to these broad categories, SmartNews also allows you to follow specific news sites like CNN, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and Inman. You can always add more or less tabs depending on how many sites you want to be updated on daily. Additionally, SmartNews will send you a “Morning Update”, “Midday Update”, and “Evening Update”. Apps like CNN or FOX News always have a way of sending way too many updates too often during the day- SmartNews had a customized scheduling for the three updates of the day and only sends out the top news story trending at that moment in time. Even better, SmartNews is completely free.