Monthly Archives: June 2009

eWallet for iPhone OS 3.0 is Out!

ewi_bignGood news! It only took three weeks (ack!) but the eWallet update is approved! The point of the update was to tweak a few things that cropped up after 3.0 was released. As you probably know, Apple is retesting every app under 3.0 so we wanted to make sure that there were no problems. Even the things we did fix are so minor I bet most folks never would have seen them (like a funky keyboard appearance where is popped up instead of slid up with animation.)

Oh – and since it will surely come up – yes, we have plans underway to include some of the new 3.0 OS features in eWallet. As some of you already know, I am not a fan of predicting release dates but suffice it to say there will be updates that embrace 3.0 in the future!

If you already own eWallet you can get it through the usual Application Upgrade process on your phone or in iTunes. If you don’t own eWallet yet, you definitely want to get a copy! It’s a fantastic application! You can check it out here.

1 Million Apps = 7 Free Apps per Person

I’m glad Palm is giving the Pre everything they’ve got but I gotta tell you, I’m a little worried. Current estimates place the sales at around 150K units sold. Not bad, but that’s around 1/2 of what the original iPhone did in two days two years ago. (Although it’s pretty close to the Android sales numbers.) meanwhile, the SDK still isn’t out, and the hints we’ve seen of it suggests that we could face some pretty powerful development limits.

The latest announcement of a million downloads is nice and all, but considering the apps are free, that means each of the 150K users have downloaded 7 free apps. The most impressive thing about this is that Palm is actually doing a pretty darn good job of convincing the tech blog sites that this is a big deal.

To put this in perspective, Apple has over 2,700,000 downloads each DAY for the past year*. And many of these are paid apps.

It might be hard to believe but really, I DO want Palm to succeed at this. I’m just disappointed because I’m just not feeling confident that they will. I’d LOVE to see another strong handheld in the market – it’s good for business! I just feel like maybe we’re seeing more of the same problems that have plagued the company for the past few years.

* To address something I am sure will come up, reports indicated that Apple sold 2.2 Million apps (free AND paid) during their release weekend so the overall average isn’t far off.

Desperate Marketing

stacy There are certain marketing techniques that just scream desperation. They move the retailer from “dignified and disappointed” to “creepy stalker.” It’s something that could happen to any retailer, us included, in tough economic times. When times get tough people start tossing around all sorts of ideas, searching for something – anything – to change their fortunes. Fortunately, I like to think we’ve avoided this so far, but I ran across one painful example of this yesterday.

Read on after the jump for the whole story… Continue reading

eWallet for BlackBerry Update

I’m excited to announced that we just released a new version of eWallet for BlackBerry with our good friends over at WebIS. This latest release is a free upgrade for current eWallet for BlackBerry customers. It addresses a few minor bugs but also adds a number of great features.

UPDATE: This upgrade will change the version of both the eWallet sync add-in for Blackberry Desktop Manager, and the Blackberry version, to The desktop eWallet does not change – it will stay at

One of my favorite features is the updated UI with focus on the touch interface of the BlackBerry Storm. Here’s a screenshot showing a little of what this new version has to offer:

Other features include:

  • A new Quick Search that makes it easy to find the info you’re looking for.
  • Easier first time synching so that new users can get synching faster.
  • Support for landscape mode.
  • Improved scroll speeds, category behavior, and more.

If you are an existing BlackBerry user you definitely want this upgrade. We’ll be notifying all BlackBerry users soon and will provide you with download links!

eWallet for iPhone OS 3.0 Awaiting Approval

I figured I’d drop a quick post about this. Over a week ago we sent a new version of eWallet with minor OS 3.0 compatibility updates to Apple. As you might have guessed we’re still waiting on approval. I’m sure they’ll get to it soon. In the meantime there isn’t anything about eWallet that doesn’t work ion 3.0. There are just a couple of oddities we smoothed out. For example, in one screen the keyboard *pops* into view as opposed to sliding into view. This new update lets it slide again. That sort of thing.

Anyhow, we’ll let you know (as will Apple)

iTunes Gift Card Blocking Workaround

gcI’ve seen some complaints online recently about people no longer being able to buy iTunes Gift Cards to be sent by email, or that iTunes Gift Card amounts are now being limited. In fact, our account is one of the ones affected by this: our company iTunes account suddenly became unable to buy Gift Cards on iTunes. We get the message:

This account is not currently eligible to purchase Gift Certificates. However, you can purchase iTunes Gift Cards from the Apple Oline Store at or in Apple Retail stores.

A little research (links here and here) makes it clear that

  • Other developers and users are seeing this as well
  • Apple is acknowledging it, but not yet publicly providing very specific info or resetting the affected accounts
  • It looks very much like it’s an anti-fraud action by Apple

Now, before everyone leaps to the wrong conclusion, I’m completely in favor of this. I’ve seen plenty of credit card fraud, and whatever anyone can do to fight it has my complete support.

So, to help out anyone who’s affected by this and hasn’t figured out what to do about it yet, here’s our simple workaround that Julie figured out.

  1. Go to the nearby drugstore and buy iTunes Gift Cards
  2. Email the codes on them to whoever you need to

I hope Apple will be able to come up with a solution that lets us go back to doing everything online, and I’m definitely still hoping that Apple will implement “Gift this App” for iTunes apps. But meanwhile, the above works fine.

Twittering from WWDC!

Marc at WWDCHey everyone! Marc asked me to write a quick little post on his behalf, to let you know that he’s at the WWDC this week – and he’s twittering (tweeting??) all about it.

Marc has been twittering like crazy since he got there – so there’s a whole lot to read:

I’m sure there will be more to come so keep an eye out for his updates all week. And if you’re at WWDC – try to find Marc (that’s his photo with this post) and say hi!

Winners: the ideal device

12 YearsIt looks like you guys had a lot of fun with our contest over the weekend – there were so many creative ideas for mobile devices, I can tell that this is something you’ve all thought about on your own for some time! Now, if only we could find someone to build these devices for you….

Well, in the meantime, while you wait for your dream devices to become reality, how about I announce the winners? Yeah, I thought you’d like that idea. The first place winner of a $50 Amazon or iTunes gift card is: spmwinkel, who cleverly posted a wish for every letter of the alphabet. Great thinking!

Our runners-up, who each receive a $25 Amazon or iTunes gift card, are: Doug, Philip Ferris, and HKK. Winners, I’ll be contacting you via email to find out which store you’d like your gift card from. If you don’t get that email later today, reply to this post to let me know.

And to the winners of the other contests last week – I’ll be sending out the gift cards this morning, so let me know if you don’t get your email!

This officially concludes our special anniversary celebration – we will now return to our regular blog broadcasting. Thanks to everyone for playing along – I hope you enjoyed our 12th anniversary as much as we did. See you next year for lucky 13!

Contest Three: Finish this sentence….

12 YearsThis is it: the final contest in our week-long anniversary party. What will it be? Well, with the weekend coming up, we didn’t want to make you work too hard, because I hear it’s supposed to be sunny and I know you’ve got lots of gardening and stuff to do. So all you have to do is finish this sentence:

My ideal mobile device would….

That’s it – easy as pie! You can be honest, you can be imaginitive, or you can be both. For example, I sometimes honestly wish my computer would sprout arms and legs and start cleaning the house like Rosie on The Jetsons. (I get to cheat and say ‘computer’ because I don’t have any mobile devices of my own.)

So here’s your chance to tell us about the cool gadget ideas you’ve had. Maybe you’ve wished your phone could send music via Bluetooth to your hearing aid. Or you’ve always dreamt of being able to say “beam me up, HTC Advantage” and get teleported to work, avoiding the stress of rush hour.

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Winners: Kickin’ it old school

12 YearsYesterday’s contest took us all for a walk down memory lane – and does anyone else find it strange that two of the comments were from people living in Zimbabwe when they were 12? One of those weird little coincidences, for sure.

Anyway, on to what you really want to know: the winners! There were a lot of great stories that reminded some of us here of our own childhoods. But, unfortunately, not everyone can win, so we finally settled on our four favorites.

The first place winner of a $50 Amazon or iTunes gift card is Robbie – your brilliant plan to use “Pong” to (try to) win yourself a girl won us over during voting!

Our three runners-up, who each receive a $25 Amazon or iTunes gift card, are: Singh (your calculator watch was probably pretty cool back then – I remember those), Melvyn (I actually do believe about your teacher’s name; it’s one of those things that’s so awful, it has to be true), and Patrick (wow – I didn’t have to run the mile until high school, but it was still dreadful then).

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