Going Mobile

Going Mobile

‘Designated Texter’ Campaign Launches for Those Physically Incapable of Not Texting While Driving

(Photo: Mike Luckovich/Frugal Cafe)

Do you enjoy rolling the window down while driving to catch the breeze in your hair? Hooking your iPhone up to the car stereo so you can enjoy the complex musical stylings of 2 Chainz? What about prioritizing sending a text message over other people’s safety?

If so, you’re in luck: the “designated texter” campaign, launched in Florida, could help you send your undoubtedly very important text and not accidentally kill anybody in a car accident. It’s a win/win! Read More

Going Mobile

Verizon Waives Two Weeks of Voice and Text Charges for Sandy Victims

(Photo: Twitter/swissmiss)

Anyone in the New York/New Jersey region knows how hard it was to make a call or send a text message in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Simply dialing up your parents to let them know you were okay resulted in many a frustrating dropped call, “mobile network not available” message or weird busy signal. Not to mention that those who lost power were left without a way to charge their typically omnipresent communication devices. Read More

Going Mobile

As Rumors About a $2B Valuation Swirl, Airbnb Sees Mobile Traffic Double

Mr. Vilcsak and what we have to presume is a fake mustache. (Photo: Twitter)

Despite New York’s recent crackdown on illegal hoteliers–which has put the tech-friendly city at odds with successful travel startups–Airbnb has continued to grow at an impressive rate. The San Francisco-based room rental company is reportedly seeking a fresh $100M round at a valuation of $2-3B, an astronomical number given the company’s run-ins with local ordinances and apartment-ruining nightmares.

But despite those minor setbacks, Airbnb has continued to see a significant uptick in travelers who opt to use its services instead of sketchy hostels or expensive hotels. One of the ways in which the company has managed to secure market dominance is by building out a robust mobile experience that caters to the immediacy necessary to on-the-go planning. Read More

Going Mobile

With Two New Execs and Lofty Expansion Plans, Onswipe’s on Its Way Up

Mr. Baptiste (

The first sound we heard upon ringing the doorbell at the Onswipe offices just off of Union Square was the pitter-pattering of puppy footsteps. “Is that a dog?” we asked aloud to the well-dressed man who was also waiting to be let into the office. Sure enough, an Onswipe employee opened the door and a scruffy white dog excitedly greeted us.

Once we were in the loft-like offices, out came TechStars alum Jason Baptiste, Onswipe’s colorful founder, who after introducing himself made the dog (named Johnny) sit and shake. Johnny refused to do a spin though. “He’ll do anything if you have food,” acknowledged Mr. Baptiste, wearing a dapper grey suit and pink tie.

We were at Onswipe to discuss the company’s recent growth, which has been on an impressively upward swing since February. Onswipe’s staff has quadrupled to 25 in the last year, with plans to grow to 48 employees by year’s end. The company also recently added two new executive level positions: former VP of AOL Video Richard Bloom as its first COO, and former VP of sales at Jumptap Jared Hand as its first CRO. Read More

Going Mobile

Governor Cuomo Introduces New Traffic Tracking Mobile App for When Google Maps Isn’t Sufficient

So mad. (Photo: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Betabeat has recently gotten into the habit of pulling up Google Maps’ traffic layer to see just how backed up the West Side Highway is when we stay long enough at the office to rationalize grabbing a cab back to Brooklyn. It usually works like a charm, and by using it we manage to avoid the all-red avenues, ratcheting down our fare.

But for those who prefer their traffic information state-sponsored, yesterday Governor Cuomo introduced a New York state mobile traffic app that can keep you up to date on jams in real time. Read More

Going Mobile

Usablenet is the Biggest Mobile Company You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Mr. Taylor (

New York-based Usablenet is the largest provider of mobile and multiplatform services for brands, powering the mobile presences of 75 of the top 300 retailers–so why have we never heard of them?

Usablenet was founded way back in the dark ages, after the 90’s dotcom boom but far before the current one, in 2000. Its original business was focused on making websites more accessible for the visually impaired, which typically boiled down to translating complicated website designs into sleeker, simpler formats that were easier to read. But when smartphones began their prodigious rise, Usablenet wised up quick and used what they’d learned from making websites for the visually impaired to begin building simple mobile sites for clients. They began doing so as early as 2006–way before ‘mobile’ became a buzzword–with just a three person team situated in a 6th-floor walkup on the Lower East Side. Read More