New Groupon update aimed at improving ease of shopping
Groupon on Friday announced a wave of new updates for not only its website, but also its iPhone, Android, and iOS apps. The new updates are meant to make it easier for Groupon customers to shop local deals, and they incorporate a number of enhancements aimed at making that possible. Among other changes, the update brings a range of new search, browse, merchandising, and location features.
Skitch app updated for use with iOS 7 only
Evernote's picture-taking communication app, Skitch, has been updated to run soley on the new iOS 7 platform. Skitch 3.0.1 lets users take photos and instantly embellish them with text, shapes, and freehand notations. Sharing marked 'snapshots' can now be facilitated by AirDrop, as well as email or SMS, and additionally users can post Skitch creations online to share with social media followers. Images can be saved to and shared from a link generated by Evernote. Available on iTunes, Skitch is free to download.
Competes more directly with services like Square
Groupon has launched a new point-of-sale app for the iPad, Breadcrumb POS. Unlike Breadcrumb Pro, which is oriented at larger, more established retailers, POS is aimed at small businesses. It nevertheless offers features such as tipping, kitchen tickets, custom items and menus, multiple tax rates and discounts, and support for a cash drawer and multiple printers.
Office of CEO founded by Chairman, Vice Chairman of board
After speculation starting nearly as soon as he was selected for the position, Andrew Mason has been ousted as CEO of group discount site Groupon by the company's board of directors. The last straw was likely the poor quarterly earnings posted yesterday for the critical holiday quarter. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have created an Office of the Chief Executive until the hunt for a new candidate is complete.
Embattled CEO likely now under more heat from the board
Groupon's fourth quarter earnings, announced today, fell well short of expectations -- with a net loss of 12 cents per share, but a street expectation of a two cent per share gain. The group deal company posted revenue of $638.8 million, and a net loss of $81.1 million. In the same time period last year, the company lost six cents per share on revenue of $492 million. After the earnings announcement, the company has lost 21.4 percent of its worth, falling $1.28 to $4.70 in higher-than-expected trading volume.
Coupon company moves into Square, OpenTable territory
Groupon has announced its first point-of-sale system for retail, Breadcrumb. The technology is iPad-only, but designed to be easily connected to hardware such as cash drawers and receipt printers. On top of handling transactions, the system also presents information on topics like sales figures, and food and labor costs.
Rewards program designed to keep vendors in line
Deal service Groupon has launched a significant update of its iOS client, v2.0. The app now uses a carousel interface intended to make it easier to find deals. Images are also displayed in larger sizes, and in better quality.
Firm sues Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn and others on same day
A new lawsuit has been filed against Apple and its iOS Developer Program for patent infringement. Delaware-based Cathas Advanced Technologies believes the iOS Developer Program infringes on two claims of a patent entitled "Web-Based Design Software for Keep-Alive Boards," according to Patently Apple. Cathas expects a “reasonable royalty” along with a payment with interest for "suffered damages."
Lumia exclusivity deals range up to a year
Nokia is continuing its push to differentiate its Lumia line of handsets from other manufacturers' Windows Phone offerings, announcing today a range of partnerships with various app makers that will see the Lumia get timed exclusives for several apps. The deals mean that apps like Groupon, AOL Entertainment Hub, and others will, for a limited time after launch, hit the Lumia before coming to any other Windows Phone handsets.
Foursquare, Groupon reach real-time ad deal
Canadian and US Foursquare users will begin seeing Groupon's daily deals in the Explore tab of the Foursquare app and on the site starting Friday, Mashable claimed. Foursquare already has similar services onboard, including LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi. Chicago area users are now getting the Groupon deals through Foursquare, with all users in Canada and the US expected to get them by Sunday.
Walker admits to three recent wrap-ups
Apple and Groupon are among the companies that have agreed to pay $25 million in total to settle patent lawsuits filed by Walker Digital, says Bloomberg. The publication cites "people with knowledge of the matter," who have refused to be named because the terms of the deals are private. They nevertheless claim that the lawsuits -- which involved roughly a dozen patents -- were resolved through a mix of licensing arrangements and some patent sales.
Adds new services for local shopping
Google has released new features for its
Google Shopper for Android app. The enhancements in version 2.0 include an improved layout, and the addition of tabs for more personalized shopping. Google also announced that it had expanded its Offers local shopping service beta test to New York and the San Francisco Bay area.
Walker Digital sues Appel, Facebook, more over web
The core company behind Priceline, Walker Digital, today sued over 100 companies in 15 patent lawsuits as a bid to profit from their work. The suit accuses industry veterans like Apple, Microsoft, and Sony, as well as relative newcomers like Facebook, Google, and Groupon, of copying various unnamed technologies. It claimed that many of these companies had shot down "meaningful negotiations" to pay royalties and forced Walker Digital to take action.
Skype to bring first ads to Windows app
Skype, the VoIP and video calling service, has announced on Monday that it will for the first bring advertising to its Windows program. The first markets to do so include the US, the UK and Germany, with early spots coming from Groupon, Nokia, Universal Pictures, and Visa. These companies will advertise daily, and users will have the option to get in touch with the ad producer through a Click & Call button.
iPad leads Oprah's favorites, may get sales kick
Oprah Winfrey potentially gave a big kick to Apple's sales with the placement of the iPad at the top of her "Favorite Things" list both for this year and for her soon-to-end TV show. Describing it as her "number one favorite thing ever," she gave out free iPads to everyone in the audience and said "words cannot describe" how she felt about its experience. The hostess is known to have been a fan since launch and both gave out iPads to staff and launched an iPad version of her magazine just last week.