Архив метки: Kevin Rose

WinZip iOS App Tops 500K Downloads In 8 Days

Screen shot 2012-02-21 at 5.58.56 PM

The WinZip iOS app, which lets you crack open .zip files from your iDevice, has only spent a short time on the App Store (and by short, I mean, like, a week). But there’s already plenty to brag about.

The app saw over 30,000 downloads on Day One, and nearly 150,000 on Day Two. As of last night, WinZip has blown by the 500,000 download hurdle with approximately 512,000 installs.

Let’s put this into some perspective, yes?

Social to-do app Any.DO saw over 500,000 downloads in its first thirty days of availability on the Android Market. Meanwhile, Kevin Rose’s micro-recommendation app Oink clocked in at 100k downloads in its first three weeks or so on iOS.

Who knew Apple loyalists needed a way to open .zip files so desperately? (Other than WinZip, of course.)

I spoke with WinZip president Patrick Nichols to see just how these crazy numbers came to be, and surprisingly there wasn’t much to it.

“It was really organic,” said Nichols. “The reality is that we just wanted to build a good application and get the word out.”

And apparently it worked: 500,000-strong on the download front, and more to come. Nichols said that an Android version of the app will be available around spring.

WinZip iOS App Tops 500K Downloads In 8 Days

Shopzilla Founder Launches Cheers: The “Like Button” For The World Around You


The “toast” is an age-old, time-honored tradition, where we raise a glass to pay tribute to — and express our goodwill towards — friends, loved ones, and sometimes even our fellow man. They are even known to be meaningfully punctuated with by a good drinking song or two. And now, thanks to BizRate.com and Shopzilla Founder Farhad Mohit, there is, as they say, an app for that expression of goodwill. Yes, “cheers” is no longer simply a word that accompanies toasts — or the place where everyone knows your name — it’s also the “world’s first positivity app,” for the iPhone.

What am I talking about? Chee.rs, a free iPhone app that launches today on the App Store, was conceived with a simple, altruistic sentiment in mind: To help people express love and appreciation for just about anything and from just about anywhere. While that may sound a little bit sappy, this is meant to be a serious business.

The Cheers founder sold Shopzilla in 2005 for $569 million and went on to start DotSpots and Gri.pe (both of which are TechCrunch Disrupt companies). DotSpots hit the deadpool, but Mohit went on to create Cheerful, Inc, bringing Gripe and Cheers together under one roof, behind an impressive team from Google, StumbleUpon, and more.

The Cheers founder tells us that the app is meant to be the “Like button” for the world around you, except that it has the potential to be more meaningful because it allows you to create, control, and give voice to each “cheer.” Yes, there are now over 500,000 iPhone apps, and, no, we’re not aware of any apps that celebrate love and appreciation via mobile sharing.

So how does Cheers work? When you come across something in your daily wanderings that makes you want to express your love or appreciation (in socially appropriate ways, of course), you open the app, snap a picture, add some appreciative text, and share your cheer. While users are not required to be positive in their messages, nor are they required to snap a photo, the design of the app is tailored toward the inclusion of images. Both positivity and photo sharing are “highly encouraged,” the founder says.

Once a user shares their cheer, they can blast it out on Facebook, Twitter, via email, and on the Web, watching as it spreads across their social circles. Friends and other users can “like” the post or comment and reciprocate. Creating a Cheer takes less than 30 seconds, and users can create Cheers around people, places, or things, as Mohit says that he wants to keep the use case as broad as possible, to encourage engagement and sharing of restaurants, movies, books, friends, pets, and so on. The app also contains its own user rating system: In other words, the more you cheer, the more “Cheerfluence” you accrue, allowing other users to track the extent of your social cheerleading.

There’s been a lot of talk in the mobile space centering around serendipity, and the potential that location-based mobile services have to help you find something you’ll enjoy even when you’re not looking for it. While Cheers has the requisite location layer baked in, it’s not an explicitly location-based service.

But it still has some of those elements of serendipity, as Mohit cited the example of sharing a Cheers about a particular person, which was then commented on by an old friend. Through this Cheers, he was able to reconnect with that person. In that way, Cheers intends to connect people, and facilitate discovery of things you’re likely to enjoy based on affirmations of similar interests and experiences.

Those checking out the app may also notice that the app looks similar, design-wise, to some other popular social and discovery-based mobile apps. Kevin Rose’s Oink comes to mind. Mohit says that Cheers was co-developed in tandem with Oink, but the real inspiration came from Instagram’s model of photo sharing.

The more jaded among us may find reason to scoff at all this mobile love fest. Maybe it’s the approach of Valentine’s Day, but I think there’s something to be said for lowering the barriers to sharing appreciation for our favorite people, events, and entertainment in an environment dedicated to making tributes.

Cheers is still very early in its development, as Mohit says that there’s plenty left to be done in terms of better taping into Facebook “likes,” increasing activity on app itself, the ability to link to other Cheers, better browsing, and upgrades to the camera functionality, including flash. These are all things slated for future upgrades, along with developing apps for other mobile platforms.

The app has a ways to go before it reaches the tipping point, and it remains to be seen exactly how Cheers will monetize, though there is some definite potential around enabling local businesses to tap into users who blast out Cheers for their services, or branding of users with high “Cheerfluence” scores, for example. Either way, it’s probably still worth raising a glass to sharing the love. For more, check out Cheers at home here. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Shopzilla Founder Launches Cheers: The “Like Button” For The World Around You

It’s Still Funny, But It Might Not Be A Joke: Jotly Arrives On Android


I’m beginning to think the team at Firespotter Labs are marketing geniuses. Prior to launching their new iPhone app Jotly (you know, as a joke), they released a hilarious video featuring a “fake” app by the same name. In the video, a guy goes around rating things like parking meters, hiding spots, ice cubes, and a beer in the alley that was left in the sun (F-, if you’re curious). The video was meant to be a parody of our mobile/social app obsession, and perhaps our culture’s tendency towards over-sharing. It also was strikingly similar to Kevin Rose’s Oink, which launched soon after.

But here’s the thing: Jotly is no longer a joke. The company (also the maker of Nosh), has just released the Android version of Jotly. And an API, too.

Hey, wait. That’s not a joke – two apps and an API? That’s actually a bit of work. Of course, when I asked about metrics, Firespotter Co-Founder Alex Cornell got all cagey. ”Our engineering team became so tired of us asking these questions that they stored our metrics behind a wall of riddles and booleans. And then Wikipedia decided to wuss out today and our backend server went down.”

And when I pushed, he added, “unfortunately we are prohibited from confirming almost anything serious at Jotly headquarters. It would be *off-brand* I’m told.”

Ha ha. Ha?

But Cornell did point me to the fact that as of yesterday, this guy was the suckiest (I mean, lowest ranked) user, who was rated #73,845. Today, however, that guy has climbed to #25,511. I guess the soft launch on Android has been going well, then.

There’s also the new Jotly API, so developers can build something awesome like Cat vs. Dog, for example.

With a straight face, Cornell says:

We continue to be really excited by the growing popularity of Jotly. We never expected it to be A) real, and certainly not B) popular. There was a large demand for the Android app when we launched on iOS a few months ago and we are glad that we can finally let Android users in on the joke. After all, they need something to hold them over until Instagram gets their act together.

Joke, my a**. Guys, we’ve all been played – Jotly was never a joke, only marketed as one. As a refresher, the Jotly intro video, below:

It’s Still Funny, But It Might Not Be A Joke: Jotly Arrives On Android

Any.DO Android App Downloaded 500,000 Times In 30 Days


There are not many breakout mobile apps that are Android-first, but if the last 30 days are any indication, social to-do app Any.DO has a shot at getting there. The app’s been downloaded 500,000 times in the past 30 days from the Android market, and people are downloading it at a rate of 40,000 a day. The app is not quite one of the top 100 free apps yet (it is currently No. 113), but it is moving up the ranks. (As a point of comparison, Kevin Rose’s Oink app was downloaded 100,000 times in about three weeks on the iPhone and Yelp took 7 months to reach one million downloads on Android).

Any.Do launched a month ago as a sleek to-do list with social sharing features. When we covered the launch, Sarah Perez wrote:

Like any to do list, Any.DO supports the basics, like adding tasks, marking them complete, setting priorities, etc. But it does a number of other things which make it stand out from the crowd. For example, you can create tasks using voice input, it syncs with Google tasks, and you can use gestures to manage your tasks like drag-and-drop for assigning task priorities or organizing tasks into folders or swiping to mark tasks complete. You can also shake your phone to clear off the completed tasks from the screen.

However, the most important feature is the app’s backend. This task list app is actually intelligent, offering to auto-complete entries as you type. . . . Any.DO also lets you collaborate on tasks with family, friends and colleagues, potentially displacing group texting, email threads and other more socially focused apps like Facebook or GroupMe. It can offer contact suggestions when building collaborative tasks, and for those who are not Any.DO members, the app supports communication via email and SMS.

The app has an average 4.6-star rating out of more than 4,600 ratings. The initial growth spurt was due to the inherent social sharing features of the app (virality, FTW) and promotion on the Android Market. The installs seem to be leveling off a bit, but if people keep using the app and sharing to-do lists the growth should continue.

Any.DO Android App Downloaded 500,000 Times In 30 Days

Fly Or Die: Giving Oink A Try

I’ve been writing a lot about Oink, the new mobile app from Milk, Kevin Rose’s current startup. Oink launched about ten days ago (you still need an invite to unlock all of its features), and Kevin Rose gave me a demo the day it launched. In this episode of Fly or Die, we give Oink a try.

Oink is a way to rate things in the physical world on an extremely granular layer. You can rate a #burger or a #steak in a restaurant, a #rollercoaster in an amusement park, or a #shirt in a clothing store. You identify things with hashtags and get cred topic-by-topic based on the how other people vote for the things that you’ve said are good. The hashtags are also useful for a specific hashatag that’s been rated in your vicinity.

The app could end up collecting a wealth of data about what people like in the real world. There is something very satisfying about seeing the best 25 #burgers in rank order within a 5-mile vicinity drop down on a map. And the ability to level up for any particular tag is going to be a big motivator for some users. But like any app, there will be the power taggers and everyone else (who simply consume), and the trick for Oink to be successful when it launches more broadly will be to make it appealing and easy to use for anyone straight out of the gate. It might need more structure and suggestions than the current open-ended tag the world approach.

Fly Or Die: Giving Oink A Try