Category Archives: iPad

It’s Time for Canadian SMBs to Think Mobile

Over the past few years I have blogged often about news in the Canadian Space regarding mobile. Up until this point in time, I never stated explicitly that mobile was a necessity for SMBs in Canada but, we are at the tipping point in Canada of mobile usage (especially SmartPhone usage) and it is now very important for SMBs to start thinking mobile and most importantly make sure their content is mobile friendly.

What is mobile friendly content from a SMB? In a nutshell, it is when you can view your content on a mobile device (Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.) in a native format by which the user does not have to zoom or pinch the screen (for all your iPhone users). For this example, I am going to use my personal Dentist, Optimum Dentistry in Marda Loop to demonstrate the difference between Mobile Enhanced Content and Rendering on a Mobile Phone.

This is Rendering on a iPhone (and is not mobile enhanced content):

Home Page:
Optimum Dentistry Not Mobile Enhanced Home Page

Hours of Operations Page:
Optimum Dentistry Not Mobile Enhanced Hours of Operation Page

This is Mobile Enhanced Content:

Home Page:
Optimum Dentistry Mobile Enhanced Home Page

Hours of Operations Page:
Optimum Dentistry Mobile Enhanced Hours of Operations Page

As a user – which one your you prefer to land on?

Mobile enhanced content basically means rendering for the native device in which the user is viewing, which really means that your website designer need to put some specific code on your website that detects the users device and serves up content formatted for that device.

Normally, mobile sites will consist of less content than website. Keep in simple – a) what you do, b) hours of operations, c) map and driving directions (you can usually use the native device for this), d) what you sell. Keep all the enhanced content, flash, massive photo galleris and in some cases if you have advanced forms or e-commerce off you mobile site; devices are too small and in mobile, LESS = MORE.

To recap:

1) If you don’t own a iPhone or Blackberry, find somebody who does and type in your website URL on the phone’s browser
2) If your site looks like the first example above, it is not mobile enhanced, call your web designer and if he/she can’t help, fire them and find somebody else
3) If your site looks like the second example above, then you are good to go

What About Mobile Marketing in Canada?

Well this is where it gets very easy. There are really 2 key places that you need to be concerned about when it comes to mobile marketing in Canada. Google and YellowPages.ca. NOTE: if you are a client of YellowPages.ca, all your business listing information gets syndicated to Google (as well as MSN and Yahoo). If you want a quick snapshot of syndication in Canada, check out an old blog post titled – Directory Assistance in Canada – Paid and Free DA – Facts Every Consumer and Small Business Owner Should Know.

Both Google and YellowPages.ca are completely mobile enhanced web properties. See examples below for looking at data on Ramanda Hotel and Suites in Vancouver.

Google:
Ramada Inn and Suites in Vancouver on Google Mobile

To learn more about Google Mobile click here.

YellowPages.ca:
Ramada Inn and Suites in Vancouver on YellowPages.ca Mobile
Ramada Inn and Suites in Vancouver on YellowPages.ca Mobile

To learn more about YellowPages.ca Mobile click here.

The above are mobile web. In the application space, Google does not disclose its download numbers, but YellowPages.ca has now been downloaded over 1.8M times, which by all accounts makes it the most downloaded local application in Canada. At this point, any content that you have on YellowPages.ca is automatically ported over to YellowPages.ca Mobile + YellowPages.ca Mobile Applications, so SMBs are getting growing coverage.

In March of this year, I posted the following blog post which shows you some screenshots of the iPhone application by YellowPages.ca – New YellowPages.ca Mobile Application Available. In June, I followed up with the following post introducing the iPad application for YellowPages.ca – First Look – YellowPages.ca iPad Application which managed to become #1 within 24-hours of its launch and has consistently stayed in the top 50 downloaded applications.

Screenshot of iPad Application Search Results:
iPad Application Search Results for Calgary

Enhanced SMB Content on the iPad:
iPad Application Enhanced Business Content

Lastly, back in April I did a comparison of the top mobile applications in Canada, from a SMB perspective – the voting is still open if you want to vote for your favorite mobile interface, please do so.

In Conclusion …. 3 Tips for Canadian SMBs on Mobile Thinking

1) Make sure your content is mobile enhanced on your website URL (talk to your web design company)

2) Make sure your content is distributed in YellowPages.ca and Google (this will give you the majority of coverage and at this point is included in both offerings, no need to pay extra)

3) In your analytics, track the number of mobile views (you will probably be surprised at the increasing number of your customers who are accessing your basic business data via mobile).

Overtime as the mobile space heats up, this simplified strategy will change, but for now, keep it simple, prep your content and start to monitor usage.

Health Benefits of the iPad

I was having a good discussion last week with @sebprovencher and during this discussion we ended up spending a few minutes talking about the iPad and the future of tablet computing. During this conversation I was explaining my personal usage of my iPad and how, since I have started using one, my desktop/laptop usage has declined dramatically. This decrease in usage has lessened the soreness in my wrists and forearms. The iPad is making me use my computer less and this seems to be helping.

iPad 3G

I have been using a computer since 1981 and if I do some back of the napkin math, I have probably spent upwards of 50K hours in front of a computer. Although I have never developed carpal tunnel, there is no doubt that my computer usage has caused soreness. A person tries to do all the right things, ergonomic keyboards, mice, proper posture, right chair, right desk, etc. but still soreness develops.

Carpal Tunnel

I have always contested that the keyboard and mouse (although revolutionary) are not the best interfaces and not the most user friendly devices for novices getting into the computing. I think touch is more human friendly.

Since getting my iPad, I try to do as much as possible using this interface. In doing so, I have probably decreased by keyboard usage upwards of 40% which is helping my wrists and forearms. Here are the top 5 things that I use my iPad for;

1) Ingestion of News – A lot of my work revolves around spotting trends, therefore I ingest a lot of news on a daily basis from a variety of sources
2) Email – Outlook Exchange access gives me direct access to my corporate and personal email
3) Social – Big part of my usage is related to social media, twitter, facebook, etc. in which the iPad is my primary window into those worlds
4) Presentation – My iPad is becoming my defacto tool for presentations (display of files to other people) as well as my main tool for watching presentations (Goto or WebEx)
5) Entertainment – Music, Video and some gaming for sure

Although I could never replace my laptops (I use 3 on a daily basis for different purposes), I am glad that I am getting a health benefit from using my iPad; my wrists and forearms are thanking me.

What do you think?

YellowPages.ca iPad App – #1 Free App in Canada in less than 24-hours

Yesterday I posted an article on the first look of the new YellowPages.ca iPad application, see the screenshots new YellowPages.ca iPad applicationhere or download the application from iTunes.

#1 Featured Free iPad Application - YellowPages.ca

In less than 24-hours, we have moved to the #1 free application in Canada. Will be interesting to see how long we stay in that position.

I did a post last year on the reasons for the success of the YellowPages.ca iPhone application, when we hit 1/2 million downloads (we are now over 1M) and I think those reasons are still valid today – what do you think.

NOTE: here is the link to the press release on the 1M download mark – YellowPages.ca™ Mobile App for Smart Phone Hits Milestone With One Million Downloads Over 30,000 Downloads Each Week!

First Look – YellowPages.ca iPad Application

Quick update this morning (Tuesday, June 15, 2010) – less than 24-hours, the YellowPages.ca iPad application hits #2 top free iPad app in Canada,

Top Free Featured iPad Application in Canada

Here is a first look at the new iPad application for YellowPages.ca by Yellow Pages Group.

As far as I can tell this is the first directory application in Canada and one of the first directory applications for the iPad by a major IYP.

What are do you think of the application?

Home Page of the Application (Vertical View)
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Home Page of the Application (Horizontal View)
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Search Results for Hotels NearMe – I was at the Yellow Pages offices in Calgary
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Selected Country Inn and Suites – I can see from the listings, they have a video (content is king)
Country Inn and Suites in Calgary iPad


Looking at some Photos
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


I like this business, what about adding it to my favorites
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Hotels in Near Me search (vertical view)
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Looking at the results (vertical view)
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Country Inn and Suites (vertical view – all the content in one easy view – very cool)
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


What you Favorite a Business you add a new icon to the home page
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad


Reverse Lookup Screen
Find a Canadian Business on your iPad