Author Archives: Quixey

Apps for the Endless Summer

June 6th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Favorite Apps - (0 Comments)

Summer is nearly upon us. Kids are thrilled that school’s almost out, adults are yearning for the freedom of their kids’ lives once more, and everyone’s excited for the possibilities that summer’s warm weather provides. Although activities like camping, hiking, biking, hitting the beach, and visiting water parks are staples of a great summer, we can always use a little help enhancing the fun! Here are a few apps to help you hang onto the endless summer:

Sun Shield

Sun Shield, available for Android and iOS, is exactly what it sounds like — an app to help you be safe about the time you spend under the sun. It’s features are incredibly in depth, however. It informs you of the strength of UV rays at your location, the safest hours to be outside, and suggestions for the strength of SPF sunscreen you should use. It also includes the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Assessment, used by dermatologists, to classify your skin type and give personalized best practices for sitting under the sun and avoiding the threat of skin cancer. With Sun Shield, you shouldn’t have to worry about turning into a lobster at the end of a beach day ever again.

Backpacker GPS Trails

Planning to go off the map for your next camping trip? Download BackPacker GPS Trails before you do, available on iOS. The GPS-enabled app allows you to view maps and hiking trails free from the boundaries of cell and data signals, track your progress, and plan trips ahead of time by mapping out routes. Backpacker GPS Trails also includes a digital compass and the ability to save coordinates of your location, wherever that may be. You can even submit your trails to the Backpacker community, and it may be picked for publishing by the editors of the Backpacker Magazine. Who knows, if you love it enough, maybe the app could help you kick off an adventure writing and photography career!

Grill-It!

For the griller in all of us, Grill-It! is an app dedicated to helping you throw an awesome backyard barbeque. Available on Android and iOS, the app is constantly updated with new recipes, browseable by category and searchable by key ingredients like spices, sauces, and more. Each recipe includes professional photos that challenge you to make your creation look as delicious as the pros do, and detailed instructions for for grilling procedure. If you’re looking to impress family and friends with a perfectly grilled meal, this is the app for you.

            

There are plenty of apps available out there to give your summer an extra kick. What others have you come across? We love suggestions, so send them to victor@quixey.com if you have any!

Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends Report was presented at the D11 conference in California yesterday, and with it came a slew of interesting statistics about worldwide technology trends. After sifting through the presentation’s 117 slides (and seeing a picture of our front entrance on slide 90!), we picked out a few of the points we feel are the most relevant. They include:

  • There are 2.4 Billion Internet users around the world, growing at a rate of 8% year over year.

  • Meeker sees a $20 Billion opportunity for ad spend in the US, noting that overall time spent on the Internet is 4% higher than ad spend, and overall time spent on mobile is 9% higher than ad spend.

  • 80% of the top 10 global Internet properties are based in the US, but 81% of users are outside of the US.

  • 500 Million photos are uploaded and shared every day — over 300 Million of them from Facebook.

  • The global average of users who say they share everything or “most things” online is 24%.

  • Mobile traffic as a percentage of total traffic is growing by 1.5x every year, currently sitting at 15%.

  • There are 1.5 Billion smartphone subscribers worldwide, with 31% growth, 21% overall penetration expected for 2013.

  • Although there are 1.5 Billion smartphone users, there are 5 Billion global mobile phone users — signaling that smartphones are still in early stage growth.

  • Wearable technology such as Google Glass and Pebble Watches are coming to market quicker than technology cycles of the past half-century have lasted. The duration of each cycle, including mainframe computing, mini computing, personal computing, desktop Internet computing, and mobile internet computing, has lasted roughly 10 years. Wearable tech is appearing 4-5 years earlier than this pattern.

  • The total number of iOS and Android users in China surpassed the total number of US iOS and Android users earlier this year, at around 225 Million. China also now leads the US in time spent on mobile and the Internet — 55% to 38% (as percentages of total time spent on media).

  • US government policy makes it easy for foreign high-skilled workers to go back home, but makes it very hard for skilled workers to come here. High skilled immigrants with Science, Tech, Engineering, or Mathematics degrees, are 1% of the total US population. Global competition for STEM workers is about to be very high.

  • Quixey on slide 90! “Street View from Silicon Valley”

  • Consumer confidence is at a 5 year high, but still well below the 30 year avg of 91.5 on the Consumer Confidence Index (CC1).


So what does this all mean?

Growth. Lots and Lots of Growth.

As demonstrated in Meeker’s report, the number of Internet users around the world continues to increase. What may be most intriguing about the growth seen recently in Internet and mobile is that much of it is still early stage — witness the fact that there are only 1.5 Billion smartphone users compared to 5 Billion overall mobile phone users. Dependent on this growth are the opportunities for advertising and monetization, which are even behind what’s currently possible. This is clearly only the beginning of a massive economic shift, affecting not only the technology industry but indeed many of the industries it touches.

Acceleration of Technology/Innovation Cycles

What may be even more shocking still from this growth is the acceleration we’re seeing. The appearance of Google Glass and similar wearable tech in the earlier part of this decade points to an increasing turnover rate of technology. It remains to be seen whether or not Glass becomes a mainstream device capable of unseating smartphones and tablets, but even if it doesn’t, the path has already been opened for technology to integrate closer and closer with the human body. If innovation picks up this quickly, the Singularity may come around sooner than we think.

International Shifting

The US is still the technology capital of the world, but developing markets are progressing quickly, and China has already begun to pass the US in key Internet and mobile statistics. Of course, in areas such as China and India, where the potential userbases are significantly larger than that of the US, this trend is inevitable. The skilled employer-sought talent dispersed around the world, however, is what will truly define dominance within the technology industry. Pay attention to legislation surrounding US immigration reform — it could have massive repercussions for the global tech landscape.

Are there any other takeaways you found from Meeker’s report? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Send them to victor@quixey.com.

Functional Search™ Technical Overview

May 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Technology - (0 Comments)

CTO Liron Shapira gives a deep dive into Quixey’s Functional Search™ technology at a Bay Area Search meetup.

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The Quixey Tweet Awards Are Back – Edition 2!

April 26th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Tweet Awards - (0 Comments)

Time for another batch of the Quixey Tweet Awards. We’re appreciative of all our partners, friends, and fans of Quixey who spread word about us on Twitter, so we wanted to give a shout out to a few of them!

The “Novel Idea” Award:

 

The Quixey Challenge Mention Award:

 

The COOL Award:

 

The Categorical Award:

 

The International Love Award:

 

The Local Love Award:

 

We love all the support and appreciation sent our way via Twitter, and can’t wait to show everyone what’s coming up this summer! Stay tuned and keep the conversation going!

Life Changing Apps: Health and Fitness

April 18th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Life-Changing Apps - (1 Comments)

As we all know, sometimes it’s difficult to find motivation to exercise. There’s simply no arguing with the facts — the couch is just a more comfortable place. Luckily for us, there are apps that can help us from sinking too far in! Here are a few of our favorites for being active and keeping a healthy lifestyle:

Fitbit

Fitbit, available on iOS and Android, allows users to track food intake, activity, weight, water, sleep, and most importantly, see the big picture when it comes to how daily choices affect your health. The app connects to a variety of wireless trackers, as well as an Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Wearing one of the wireless trackers allows you to track your activity and sleep patterns, while the Smart Scale helps you monitor your weight and set goals. All the devices connect to the Fitbit mobile app to provide you with reports on your activity and areas of need with respect to health.

Nike+ FuelBand

The Nike+ FuelBand connects with an iOS app to provide users with a gamified method of staying on top of their fitness. Similar to Fitbit, it comes in a wearable wristband that tracks your daily activity, including running, walking, dancing, and all sorts of daily activities. Opening the app allows you to see your progress and receive achievements and rewards as you do more. It also connects through Facebook, Twitter, and Path, allowing users to easily share their accomplishments and encourage better fitness amongst friends and family.

Amiigo

Amiigo combines a tracking wristband and shoe clip with its Android or iOS mobile app to monitor exactly what kind of activity the wearer is doing. For example, the sensors can identify whether you’re using the elliptical, running, swimming, doing bicep curls, squats. etc. Amiigo correlates these activities with heart rate and blood oxygen saturation to give a complete physiological breakdown of your activities. Overall, Amiigo can identify and track hundreds of different exercises, as well as reps, intensity, and more.

Have you come across any other great fitness apps? If so, we’d love to hear about them! Tweet at @Quixey to let us know!

A snippet from a talk by Christian Rohrer, McAfee’s Chief Design Officer in Consumer and Mobile, on the importance of user research in experience design.

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Quixey Teams Up With DuckDuckGo

March 14th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Quixey News - (0 Comments)

Today we’re proud to announce our partnership with DuckDuckGo! We’re now powering app search for the alternative search engine that brings privacy, less spam, and immediate solutions to its users via the “instant answers” box at the top of its SERP.

Monthly, DuckDuckGo has been seeing over 45 million users, and more keep switching over as they realize the value of a search engine that doesn’t track their every move. The company stresses a straightforward approach to search, emphasizing privacy and simplifying the results page. Useless clutter is removed from the results page, and their “!bang” feature allows users to search thousands of sites directly through the DuckDuckGo search bar. For example, if you need Python tips, simply enter “!python” after your query to search Python documentation.

We wanted to work with DuckDuckGo because we feel the same way about the technology we’ve built — it shouldn’t throw unnecessary content your way. We’re about bringing relevant app results to users right when they search, regardless of whether they know what they’re looking for. So a search engine that avoids filter bubbles is appealing to us, because relevant doesn’t mean curated. It just means helping the user find what they’re looking for on their own.

On the DuckDuckGo SERP, all app-specific searches will now yield app results powered by Quixey in the instant answers box above regular results, such as “best iphone games for kids” and “app for finding hiking trails.” Because DuckDuckGo stresses finding answers to queries with as few clicks as possible, Quixey’s integration fits right into their simple interface. When apps powered by Quixey appear in the instant answers box, users simply click on an app to view a quick snippet about it and a direct link to download.

As we stressed in our partnership announcement with Ask.com, the web is currently transforming from static sites to apps. An assortment of blue links simply isn’t enough when searching the web today. DuckDuckGo understands the importance of getting a relevant answer to the user as quickly as possible, and this isn’t always just an article with written information. Users are often searching for function and action — a way to help them get tasks done.

That’s why we were excited at the prospect of working with DuckDuckGo — their format allows us to serve apps to more users quickly, easily, and clutter-free.

CTO Liron Shapira gave this tech talk about the Functional Web at Box headquarters in Los Altos on Feb 27, 2013.

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The Functional Web is also explained in this blog post.

Highlights From Mobile World Congress 2013

February 28th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Industry News - (0 Comments)

As Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona winds down to a close today, let’s take a look at some highlights of the event. Our BD team has been over there taking in all that the world’s biggest mobile trade show has to offer, and what an event it’s been.

Phablet Mania Continues

At this year’s MWC, second-tier manufacturers proved that the phablet phad is not yet done. Huawei’s Ascend Mate was the clear winner in size, boasting a six-inch screen, while ZTE and LG weren’t far behind with 5.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens on the new Grand Memo and Optimus Pro, respectively. This trend comes just as tablets are shrinking as well—Samsung also revealed its new Galaxy Note 8, which has an eight-inch screen to compete head to head with the iPad Mini. As phones grow, tablets shrink, and phablets continue to stick around, soon there really will be a wireless device for every size hand(s).

Firefox OS

Firefox debuted its new mobile OS at MWC this week, stating the initial goal is to power mobile phones in the developing world at no cost to manufacturers. At first glance, the web-based OS has proved to be rough around the edges, but it seems to be gaining acceptance from carriers Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom, and manufacturers such as LG, ZTE, and Huawei. Here Firefox is attempting to make the web a standard for mobile app development, potentially stacking up against free standing operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android down the road. Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla, even said the company’s goal is to “tear down the walls between apps and the web.”

GSMA Connected City

This year, the organizers of MWC put together an entire city street exhibit to demonstrate emerging technologies that will enhance our every day lives in the home, car, town, and beyond. Among the showcased products were AT&T’s Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom’s connected mobile services (public transport, energy, security, and more), and GSMA’s Aston Martin One-77 road bike with speed, atmospheric pressure, and power sensors connected to its on-board computer. One of the first exhibits of its kind, The Connected City is a great peek into how intelligent wireless connections are driving economic growth, product innovation, and more convenient lifestyles in an ever-evolving world.

With an estimated attendance of 72,000 and over 1,700 exhibitors, the above highlights really only scratch the surface of what Mobile World Congress brought to the table this year. Moving forward, we’ll be monitoring emerging stories from the aftermath of the event—if you attended and want to share something amazing that you saw, send it to us at press@quixey.com. We’d love to hear about it!

The Quixey Tweet Awards Are Back!

February 14th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Tweet Awards - (0 Comments)

Last year, we started the Quixey tweet awards to show our appreciation for the partners, friends, and fans of Quixey who supported us and spread the word about our app search technology throughout Twitter. As it’s Valentine’s Day, we can’t think of a better time to bring them back. Thanks for showing us the love, now it’s time to give it back:

The Helping a Friend Award:

The International Love Award:

The “I Can’t Believe it” Award:

The Platform-Specific Award:

The “Legendary” Award:

The Blogged-About Award:

The New Friends Award:

The Classic Tweet-Button Award:

We love all the support and appreciation sent our way via Twitter, and can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on with major upcoming announcements this year! Stay tuned and keep the conversation going!