Tag Archives: apps

Hailo Toronto to Shut Down

RIP

It’s heartbreak hotel over here in Emma-land. Earlier today, Hailo announced that they would be shutting down North American operations. At the time, Toronto office lead Justin Raymond said he would be asking for a licensing deal with the parent company.

Well, Hailo just announced they would not be giving Hailo Toronto a license to continue operations in Toronto.

A representative for Hailo says the company is shutting down all markets completely, and won’t be striking a licensing deal in Toronto.

This is a tragedy. I’ve been a vocal fan of the Hailo app since it arrived on the scene in Toronto in 2012. I remember writing a blog post announcing their launch and how excited I was to try it out.

It’s been one of my go-to apps over the years, and I’ve been so proud to support a company I’ve believed in. In comparison, I’ve been a big critic of Uber, primarily for what I believe to be their shady business practices and I will refuse to support them here in Toronto, even though they are the only viable option left.

To me, this opens up a huge whitespace in the market that a new app could easily fill. I hope they come soon, because “winter is coming” and I get cold walking home. To Hailo Toronto employees: I’m so sorry. You’ve always been nothing short of awesome. I hope you can find solace in the fact that you had many, many fans.

Zulu Alpha Kilo Launches Kringl – The Proof of Santa Video App

Something we’ve been busy working on for the past several weeks here at Zulu Alpha Kilo is our holiday card. But this year, it’s not a card but an app! Say what? You may ask. Well, let me elaborate…

Kringl is an iOS and Android video application that helps you prove to your kids that Santa Claus is real. 

kringlebanner_900

I am so honoured to have been a part of the making of Kringl with the amazingly hard working team here at Zulu and with our partners at Thinking Box.

How it works is that you can film a location in your home, choose from several of our Santa scenes, and in seconds you’ll have footage of Kris Kringle eating cookies by your Christmas tree (or doing something else!). So simply put: You can recreate the magical story of Santa for your kids.  

Along with creating this app, Zulu has partnered with Make-A-Wish Canada and all proceeds raised will benefit Make-A-Wish. If you wish to do so, there is a button in the app that will bring you to a donation page where you can help keep the magic alive for other deserving children.

It’s a great little app and I’m proud to have had a small part in helping to bring some Holiday cheer to the world.  We’ve also created this adorable little video that showcases Kringl:

To find the download links or get more information, you can go to KringlApp.com.

Thanks to the whole Zulu Alpha Kilo and Thinking Box team for pulling this together in what felt like overnight! And to Zak specifically for believing in this vision.

 

Bejeweled – Or How an App Stole My Heart

Ok, so lately I’ve had a major crush. HUGE. I can’t stop thinking about this crush. When I close my eyes, I see my crush. I can’t help it. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thought on my mind as I drift to sleep.

I – what? A boy?! Ha. Hahaha. No, no, dear friends. I’m clearly talking about only the best game ever out there on Facebook: Pop Cap’s BEJWEWLED BLITZ!

So I’ve played a lot. Obssesively, one might say. I have the 2nd highest score of my “friends group” in this application and I’ve been trying my hardest to beat silly Katie for aaaaages now. I’m not going to even try to count how many hours I’ve spent looking at this application. But I will say: it’s a lot. And I’ve been wondering: What is Bejweled doing with all these minutes?

I think these are lost minutes. Sure, I know now that Pop Cap is the creator. That’s been drilled into my head by the opening credits. But beyond that, what are they doing to gain an advantage over other applications? Eventually, I fear, I will lose interest. And then I will drift away. And what is Pop Cap left with? An ex-user who used their application for free for many hours and then walked away. What did Pop Cap benefit from that?

There is a small link to Bejeweled 2 at the bottom of the end credits. Is this what their aim is? To get users to buy Bejeweled 2 $19.99? Becaue unless you visit the site, I had no idea the software was even for sale. I think they should really ramp up that marketing message because unless you accidentally clicked on the link (which I’ve done, many times, and then immediately closed the window without even looking at the content), how will you know about this?

On the other hand, I do like what they’re doing here:

bejeweled

See at the bottom there? The more you and your friends play, the better prizes you could possibly win? Every week, the game starts anew. I like this for three reasons:

  1. I like free things. A lot.
  2. It makes me want to invite as many friends as possible so the chances of winning the better prizes is larger.
  3. It appeals to my competitive streak to see my progress right there. If I only play 600,000 points worth of games in the next 4 days, I could win a laptop! Holy smokes, right?!

And so when I log in today to play the ever-addicting game, I see this:

bejeweled2

Eeee! I can’t wait! I want way more awesome. I want to go to that place. (As Liz Lemon would say.)

I’ll let you know if the way more awesome Bejeweled Blitz is an improvement over the current one. And if they do anything useful with all those minutes I’m throwing their way.

So what do you think? Any applications on Facebook that are doing some things right? Or maybe some that are wasting away good opportunities? Please share your thoughts in the comments!