Monthly Archives: December 2014

Apple Pay Is Coming To UK In The First Half of 2015

Apple Pay coming to UK in 2015

The news on The Telegraph says that, major banks of UK are close to an agreement with Apple to bring the Apple Pay service to the country in the first half of 2015.

UK banks seems to be impressed by the early results of Apple Pay in the US, after the service achieved great numbers compared to any other mobile wallets so far. However, the banks are concerned about the customer information which Apple is collecting through the Apple Pay service.

“Negotiations between the Silicon Valley giant and at least one of the biggest banks have proved tricky, however, because of wrangling over the terms, including what data Apple will be able to access, according to sources.
It is understood the bank is uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers. Some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry.”

Early in December, Apple Pay was on the headlines in UK financial industry news, after the Cupertino company posted a job listing for a “Apple Pay Intern” in the UK. Now, it is clear that Apple Pay is becoming a reality for Europe and this will start from UK.

As Modirates.com, we believe that, this will speed up the process to bring up Apple Pay to the UAE also. UAE should definitely be the first country in Middle East to allow Apple Pay transactions and we hope it will be easier to convince the UAE Banks to be ready for Apple Pay after their British colleagues implement it in the UK.

Iran Is Working On A Different Solution On Internet Censorship

Iran Internet Censorship

Iran has not been applying some smart solutions about internet censorship so far. Users are able to have either a full access or no access to a internet site in the country. It seems like, this “black or white” approach has been reconsidered by the government and they decided to work on a smarter solution to have more flexibility on Internet Censorship.

With this new approach, government will be able to censor the content, which is defined as “inappropriate” or “element of crime”. The new system is not live yet but there are rumors saying that it is being tested on the popular social media platform Instagram currently and will be tested on the other social platforms in the near future.

As Modirates.com, we are against all types of censoring on internet. We think that, this is good news  for Iran and will be at least a step forward towards having more freedom in terms of internet access. This is also supporting Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani’s comment about the importance of internet access for the future of his country.

UAEPedia Is Launched With A New Design and A Mobile App

UAEPedia

UAEPedia, UAE’s first online website directory, now have a fresh new design and a new mobile application (available in the UAE mGovernment App Store). The directory is focusing on emirates based e-commerce websites, business, personal, professional and all other type websites since 2007.

“UAEPedia represents a national platform for information concerning our homeland: its history, heritage and cultural and political figures, while housing countless informational channels. We have developed this encyclopaedia to promote patriotism towards our nation and its leadership,” said H. E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, UAE mGovernment.

Stressing the importance of preserving the Arabic language and making information available online in Arabic, Al Mansoori said, “The UAEPedia comes in line with our ongoing efforts to support Arabic content and the creation of an electronic record that conveys the UAE’s message to the world. Each contributor would have a responsibility with regard to their role in building the UAEPedia and to ensure constant flow of accurate information about our beloved nation.”

Gift Something Smart For The New Year’s Eve

Still trying to choose something as a gift for the new year’s eve? As Modirates.com, of course we will suggest something smart for you as a gift for your loved ones. Even, you can choose one of them for yourself and tell someone to gift it for you:)

Buy A Smart Phone: iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or LG G3

iphone 6 plus note 4 g3

This year, if you want to buy a really great smartphone, we suggest 3 models for you, iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3. We will not compare these devices in terms of their specs, but we can say, if you want a stable phone, easy menu and great working apps on it with a beautiful design, go for an iPhone. If you don’t like iPhone, than for the Android devices, 2 devices are recommended for you, Galaxy Note 4 or LG G3.

iPhone 6 Plus: AED 2,599 – AED 3,399

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: AED 1,999 -AED 2,399

LG G3: AED 1,199 – AED 1,399

Buy A Tablet: iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

ipad-air-2-galaxy-tab-s-10-5

With the bigger screen sizes we have on the phones, tablets re not attractive anymore for most of the people. But don’t forget, most of them are offering more powerful devices and increased experience for games, reading content and surfing on the web compared to the phones. If you want to buy a tablet, your first choice should definitely be an iPad. We suggest you to go for iPad Air 2 as it has a bigger screen than iPad Mini, with a higher resolution. If you have a big size phone, iPad Mini or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is not recommended because of their smaller screen size. Also, compared to Android Tablets, there are more applications in Apple App Store compared to Google Play. but if you want to have more freedom with your tablet, than pick a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5.

iPad Air 2: AED 1,899 – AED 2,399

iPad Mini 3: AED 1,499 – AED 1,999

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5: AED 1,599 – AED 2,118

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0: AED 848 – AED 1,099

Buy a Wearable Device: Jawbone UP24, Sony SmartWatch 3, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear S

LG_G_Watch_vs_motorola_moto_360_vs_samsung_gear_live

Wearable devices are getting more popular and you can expect them to increase their popularity after Apple Watch hits the market. But if you think that you don’t want to wait Apple Watch (or you are not an Apple user), than go and buy some other options. We suggest 4 options for you, 1 wristband and 3 smart watches. If you are happy with your current watch but just need something to track your movement, Jawbone 24 is just for you. It doesn’t have a screen but this makes it look more stylish than any other wristbands. If you want to have a more complex product, than go for a watch with different applications. We strongly suggest Motorola Moto 360 to benefit from a true smart watch with your Android design. Moto 360 has a great design, a well engineered device working on the pure Android Wear operating system. Your other option is Sony Smart Watch 3. but if you are a Samsung user, than go and select directly to a Samsung Gear S which will be the most ideal one for your smartphone.

Jawbone UP24: AED 550 – AED 659

Sony Smart Watch 3: AED 899 (Not officially sale in UAE)

Motorola Moto 360: AED 1,189 – AED 1,299

Samsung Gear S: AED 1,199 – AED 1,495

Best Mobile Apps of 2014 in the UAE

Best Mobile Apps of th UAE in 2014

2014 has been the best year ever for UAE in terms of the Mobile Services. The first services related to the smart government initiative has been released in the market this year. Smart Government initiative also encouraged the private sector and startup ecosystem in the country and as a result, many new services become available for the end users.

As Modirates.com, we choose 10 applications as the best mobile apps of 2014 in the UAE. These services are selected from different categories and rated by the benefit, innovation and the user experience point of view.

mDubai App

We wrote an article here about the mDubai application. This app is a must have application if you are living in the UAE. The application was released in the last quarter of 2014. Most probably, they have waited for the other government entities to be ready to integrate with mDubai application. mDubai covers almost everything you need from bill payments to transportation, from medical services to security services in the UAE. A real example of the smart government initiative vision.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

RTA App

One of our favorite mobile services in the UAE, RTA app covers everything you need about transportation. Read our related post from here. RTA app is a must have for any driver or for anyone using transportation in the UAE.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Emirates Airlines App

This was expected as we wrote in our article about the Emirates Airlines application. If you are a world class airlines company, you have to have a beautiful app in international standards. The app is offering the basic services you need, may be not offering anything extra yet, but we selected it for its beautiful design and user experience.

Click here for App Store

RTA Smart Drive

Another great service from RTA, which is your navigation in your mobile. The app is not only helping you to find your way in Dubai, but also helping you to save time by showing the real time traffic load, accidents and roadworks, so you can select alternatives routes in your direction. Every driver must have this application on their smart phones.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Entertainer

Read our article here about the Entertainer App, download it and select and buy your 2015 voucher now. Dining out is getting more expensive every day in Dubai. If you go out to a fine restaurant with your wife, you need to pay minimum AED300-AED400 (without beverages), which is quite high. Entertainer will help you to save minimum 25% of your bill with the wide range of offers in many locations.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Wally

If you have entertainer and decided to save some money from your purchases, than download Wally also to track your expenses in a more detailed way to control your income and spending. Read our article here about Wally, you will love using this application.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Emirates NBD Mobile Banking App

The biggest bank in the country is also offering the best mobile services in the country. This year, they have launched Shake n’ Save and mePay in addition to their various different transactions through their application. Not only that, they have been awarded 2 international awards this year (read our article here) for their mobile banking services. If you are banking with Emirates NBD, you should have the application.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Dubizzle

The most visited site in the country, the biggest e-commerce platform of the country and of course, the first place visited by anyone, before moving to Dubai. Yes, Dubizzle also launched their new, beautiful app this year. Now it is easier to find whatever you are looking for or place an add quickly and directly from your mobile whenever you want and wherever you are.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Souq.com

Another e-commerce giant has another great app for mobile devices. Download Souq.com mobile application and buy anything you want on Souq.com through this mobile app easily. Do you need another suggestion? Use this app as a reference for your in store payments also. For example, while you are shopping in Dubai Mall, search the item you want in this app, compare the process, read the reviews about the app or get more product details instantly!

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

DEWA

We just published this article for DEWA digital services. DEWA is another active government entity in terms of producing smart services, this is why we have this in our list here. You can do your DEWA transactions easily in multiple mobile platforms.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Du and Microsoft Agree On Carrier Billing For Windows Store Purchases

Microsoft and Du partnership

Du and Microsoft announced their new partnership about providing the carrier billing option for Windows Store purchases. With this partnership, Du subscribers, who has a Windows phone or Windows tablet, will be able to buy Windows Store applications and games without providing any credit card information. The amount of the purchase will be reflected to their monthly bills.

As Modirates.com, we believe that this is an important milestone in terms of mobile-micro payments. We believe that, Etisalat and Du should offer more carrier billing option for micro payments with the other companies to create the mobile payment awareness in the UAE.

DEWA Commercial Customers Can Do Their Transactions Online and Mobile

dewa online and mobile services

DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) customers can do their transactions on DEWA web site and DEWA Mobile Apps easily and securely, thanks to their new digital initiatives in line with the Smart Government vision in Dubai.

They published a press release on Gulf News, especially highlighting their focus on their commercial customers, saying that they have enabled their services like move-in, final bill request, updating customer information, and customer enquiries on their web side and smart phone applications in multiple platforms.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dewa, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, urged Dewa customers in general, and commercial consumers in particular, to avail of the utility’s electronic and smart services to save their time and effort. Dewa’s smart transformation, he said, is a continuation of its electronic development to achieve customer satisfaction and happiness by providing our services round the clock. We encourage our customers to use Dewa’s e-services and download its Smart App.

In addition to saving customers’ time and effort, electronic and smart services help save the environment. Dewa has used its smart services to promote sustainable development. It is the first government organisation to highlight the impact of using smart services on the environment. Dewa’s customers conducted 3.3 million transactions in 2013 through its website and smart app. This helped eliminate the emission of 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that could have resulted from customers travelling to and from Dewa offices.

As Modirates.com, we believe that this is just another great news from one of the biggest Government entities in the UAE to boost digital transactions. As we highlighted in our earlier  articles, number of services, especially on mobile is increasing in UAE. (Take a look at our article about mDubai App here) Also, many online and mobile banking services are available for managing bills in the UAE which are making our life easier.

Still Discussing The Potential of Mobile?

dubao app development

I was reading an article on Gulf News this morning which took my attention with its header “Working On Apps That Can Be The Next Big Thing“. You can find the full article below, which highlights how the local players are trying to reach a level in global competition.

But before the article, as Modirates.com, we want to list some suggestions for the companies in UAE, who wants to reach a global level in App development and mobile business. Today there are certain facts which are preventing the mobile initiatives to compete with the world class services but we believe UAE has the potential to tackle them if they really try to understand the suggestions listed below:

Try to investigate the details:

Today, many professionals in the UAE are just “talking” about mobile in terms of the topics. Yes, really, they are just talking about the topics as they read from the newsletters, press releases or from what they heard verbally from someone else. Very few are really experiencing, trying to look at the details of the mobile services to understand what they are doing, where the ideas are coming from, what kind of a needs they are covering etc.. Mobile is all about experience. If you cannot understand it by experiencing it personally, the talks you make around the service doesn’t mean anything. So, try to investigate the details.

Keep your confidence in a level:

UAE people has a huge confidence. The economic power, the lifestyle and the social conditions in the country is creating a huge confidence on the people living in this country. This is a great thing unless you loose your control. If you are talking about a business, which is quite new all around the world, your general high confidence turns into ego, nothing else.. If you are talking about mobile, your ego becomes your biggest enemy to prevent you to do your business perfectly. So, try to keep your confidence in a level, get on board the right people to work with you to achieve what you want to do with your mobile initiative.

Guidance through the right examples:

Mobile needs a huge technical effort, combining with a huge know-how to create the right infrastructure and systems around your initiative. You can have hardworking engineers in your team but this is not enough if they don’t have the know-how to merge with their effort. Know-how is created with experience and following up the right examples as well as learning from the worst ones. If you keep on taking the worst examples as your guide, your apps will never have a place in the global competition. So, try to work with the right people, who has a knowledge about how to create the best mobile solution and understands which are the best examples for your business.

First Understand the Local Needs

Don’t forget, all the apps are born from the local needs. People create ideas to solve their own problems first. So try to understand the local problems first. Ask this question, is that a problem or need for anyone else around me? What about people in my neighborhood? If you got similar answers, than most probably, you will reach a huge audience that will help you to be recognized globally.

Here is the article on Gulf News:

It may be some time before the UAE’s mobile apps or online games marketplace throws up a King Digital Entertainment (the name behind the still insanely popular Candy Crush Saga) or a Rovio Entertainment (which created a flutter with Angry Birds). Or even think Uber to get inspired.

But local tech startups believe that, given the right opportunities and an increasingly receptive audience, they too can create a sustainable business model built around an app. “There are gaps in the UAE mobile apps space that we believe that a local business has a better chance to fill than an imported idea,” said Karim Aly, CEO and Co-founder of Task Spotting, which recently went live with an app by the same name.

“Our company developed a revenue generating model built around a mobile app and went to market with it. We are starting to see the results by generating enough traction through the Task Spotting app since we went live in June.”

What the app does is be a bridge between retailers/service firms and their consumers, allowing the former to gain real-time info on how they are perceived and a lot more besides. Essentially, the app seeks to do away with the more time-consuming process how retail audits are typically done, using third-party research firms calling on likely respondents for their views.

“Any business using the Task Spotting app could reach out to its core consumer network – even on a daily basis – and gain valuable insights,” said Aly. “As for our company, our model is built around the app itself – we are not aspiring to be a generic software developer. That was never the plan.”

The company, which launched operations with the founders putting in $200,000, is now tapping outside funding support to part-finance its move into new markets, with Saudi Arabia being the next logical one. New investors will be from within the GCC, Aly said.

There are many prospective apps makers lining up for their own launches. Zena Habi, Managing Partner at Fitnesso2.com, plans to launch the ‘Zena’ fitness/wellness app – done with the Arab woman in mind – in January. “It’s the first in the Arabic language with Middle Eastern diet plans,” said Habi. “The plan is to get health-conscious people to use the app as one of their go-to sources by engaging and driving awareness.”

The mobile apps development market is still in its relative infancy in the region. Creating Arabised versions can instantly give developers an edge in seeding their offering across a wider footprint. The Task Spotting app, for instance, comes with bilingual capability, which would ease its acceptance into any new market the founders would want to get into.

There could be more support coming apps developers’ way in the form of “connected societies” that many of the GCC governments are aiming for. This immediately creates scale and ideal from a developer’s pespective.

“Practically every organization irrespective of what they represent – governments, banking, utilities or private enterprises – are gearing up to make the consumer experience friendlier and even fun,” said Ajit Appachu, General Manager at Horizonn Information Systems, a tech services firm.

“The idea of personalized service has shifted to the devices with most trying their best to bring the human element into the apps.”

And that, as any app maker with a point to prove, gives them enough space to come up with something that can enhance the user experience. If that happens, making it commercial viable is just a download away.

Plan Your Conference Agenda for 2015

Potsdamer Konferenz, Konferenztisch

If you are a professional, an entrepreneur or an investor, you should spend some of your time in international conferences during the entire year. But it is always hard to find a complete list of events all together to choose the best events to schedule and plan your or your team’s year with conferences.

Turkish popular internet site Webrazzi has published a list of conferences and events for 2015. The list includes great events internationally so we wanted to share with you.

Plan your conference agenda for 2015 from today!

plan your conferences for 2015

JANUARY

International Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, USA – 6-9, Jan

DLD14, Munich, Germany – 18-20, Jan

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland – 21-24, Jan

nacue Student Enterprise Conference, Liverpool, UK – 31, January- 1, February

FEBRUARY

Netexplo Forum, Paris, France – 4-5, February

The Lift Conference, Geneva, Switzerland – 4-6, February

8th Crunchies Awards, San Francisco, USA – 5, February

Finovate Europe, London, UK – 10-11, February

Tech Chill Baltics, Riga, Latvia – 10, February

Social Media Week, in different cities at the same time – 23-27, February

Polar Bear Pitching, Oulu, Finland – 25, February

Future Everything Festival, Manchester, UK – 26-28, February

Webrazzi E-Ticaret, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

Startup Turkey, Antalya, Turkey – 26-28, February

MARCH

Startup AddVenture, Cairo (Egypt), Dubai (UAE) – 2-4, March

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain – 2-5, March

Failcon Dutch Edition, Amsterdam, Netherlands – 4, March

SXSW Interactive, Austin, USA – 13-17, March

TED Conference, Vancouver, Canada – 16-20, March

ArabNet Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon – 17-19, March

CeBIT, Hanover, Germany – 16-20, March

The Guardian Changing Media Summit, London, UK – 18-19, March

Webrazzi Dijital, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

EU Future Internet Assembly, Rome, Italy – 18, March

Fast Growth Forum, London, UK – 24-25, March

APRIL

DEMO Traction, San Francisco, USA – 22, April

MIPCube, Cannes, France – 13-16, April

Webrazzi Mobil, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

Big Data Week, in different cities at the same time – 20-26, April

Craft Conference, Budapest, Hungary- 22-24, April

The Next Web Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands – 23-24, April

Startup Day, Stockholm, Sweden – 25, April

MAY

TechCrunch Disrupt New York, USA – TBA

LOGIN Tech Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania – 7-8, May

Heureka Conference, Berlin, Germany – 5, May

Engage Invest Exploit, Edinburgh, UK – 14, May

Webrazzi Startup, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

Latitude59, Tallinn, Estonia – 14-15, May

Cannes Film Festival, France – 13-24, May

Thinking Digital, Gateshead, UK – 19-21, May

Pioneers Festival, Vienna, Austria – 28-29, May

SparkMe, Budva, Montenegro – 31, May-1, June

JUNE

Startup Village, Moscow, Russia – 2-3, June

ArabNet Digital Summit, Dubai, UAE – TBA

midem, Cannes, France – 5-8, June

NOAH Conference, London, UK – 9-10, June

Kinnernet Europe, Avallon, France – 25-28, June

Cannes Lions, France – 21-27, June

WPP Stream Cannes, France – 23, June

International Economic Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia – 18-20, June

JULY

Tech Open Air Berlin, Germany – 15-17, July

YRS Festival of Code, UK – TBA

AUGUST

Game Developers Conference Europe, Cologne, Germany – 3-4, August

Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, USA– 31, August – 7, September

SEPTEMBER

IFA Berlin, Germany – 4-9, September

CTIA Super Mobility Week, Las Vegas, USA – 9-11, September

dm exco, Cologne, Germany – 16-17, September

Webrazzi Summit, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

OCTOBER

White Bull Summit, Barcelona, Spain – TBA

Investor Day CEE, Kiev, Ukraine – 15-16, October

Wired 2015, London, UK – TBA

TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, London, UK – TBA

NOVEMBER

Web Summit, Dublin, Ireland – TBA

SLUSH, Helsinki, Finland – TBA

Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, London, UK – TBA

AppsWorld, London, UK – TBA

Startup Awards, Bratislava, Slovakia – TBA

DECEMBER

Webrazzi Ödeme Sistemleri, İstanbul, Turkey – TBA

Startup AddVenture, Kiev, Ukraine – TBA

Stretch Conference, Budapest, Hungary – TBA

LeWeb, Paris, France – TBA

Latest Stats On Mobile As Of 2014

Mobile-Stats-Statistics-2014

Mobile continue growing faster than any other digital channel. Any business, who is regretting to move to mobile is losing huge advantage compared to the ones who do so.

The most recent numbers on mobile as of 2014 reflects the huge transformation on various sectors. Let’s look at the latest stats on mobile as of 2014.

2014-mobile-stats

  • In 2015, mobile internet users will reach to 8 billion people all over the world. 2G, 3G and 4G subscribers will be more than 9 billion people in 2018. (Source: pwc 2014)
  • Smart phone users will increase by 16.3% in 2015 and will reach to 2.04 billion people world wide. His number will reach to 2.73 billion by 2018. (Source; emarketer 2014)
  • Chine and India will be the biggest drivers of smartphone migration in the world, leading the top 25 countries, ranked by smartphone users. UAE is not in the top 25 country list according to emarketer.
  • Mobile devices are seen as the most important media source for information. 29% see smartphones as their source for information while it is 13% for tablets. In total, mobile devices are covering 42% (xAd & Telmetrics 2014)
  • 88% of shoppers research online and purchase in store, 73 % browse products in stores before buying online and 32% of shoppers are changing their mind about a purchase after researching via mobile in store (Source; Mobilemarketingwatch)
  • Mobile share of online retail transactions reached an average of 30% globally. Japan, South Korea and UK are the leading countries with 49%, 45% and 41% respectively (Source: Criteo 2014)
  • Mobile will cover $700 billion of the global revenues by 2017, as different sectors mobilize their solutions for their customers. (Digi-Capital 2014)
  • In 2015, Mobile Advertisement will cover the 10.8% of total media spending globally by reaching $64.25 billion. (Source: emarketer)
  • Mobile devices are providing more than 30% traffic of e-commerce sites. (Business Insider & Monetate 2014)

As Modirates.com, we believe that it is the right time to move to mobile in the UAE, as part of the smart city vision. Currently, UAE is not considered as a player which is recognized globally in terms of mobile solutions. Companies need to start focusing and investing more on mobile from the beginning of 2015.

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