Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apple's iPhone 3.0: Green Applications and Incentives to Innovate

The new iPhone 3.0 was released by Apple (AAPL) yesterday and it is a good example of the way technology is contributing to the convergence of commerce and environmental interest.

According to Jeremy Liew, managing director at venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, the App Store has generated about $318 million in sales since its debut a year ago, and with the launch of 3.0, "Apple could dramatically increase its revenues," Liew said.

Software developers are seeing the value of Apple's new in-app purchasing feature that comes with iPhone 3.0. That is because software developers make 70% of an application's (app's) purchase price while Apple takes 30%. This provides a powerful incentive for developers to design apps for the iPhone. Apple may have made designers take notice but other companies, including Nokia (NOK), Research In Motion (RIMM), and Palm (PALM) are also working to attract developers and this competition is driving innovation that benefits consumers.

Like other digital devices the new iPhone 3.0 facilitates Greener communications. But beyond reducing the need for paper and ink what makes the iPhone Green is the abundance of environmentally helpful apps. And now with the launch of 3.0's in-app purchasing feature there is even greater access to even more apps.

There are numerous Green apps for the iPhone. These apps provide everything from locations of eco-friendly retailers to tools that assess your carbon footprint. Here is a partial list of Green iPhone apps, all of which can be downloaded for free or for a nominal charge ($2.99 - $5.99) at the App Store.

Good Guide (free): This app assists you in making Greener buying decisions. It is the mobile version of the Good Guide website that rates and recommends several Green and sustainable products. This app enables consumers to use their buying power to support the environment.
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Carbon Tracker (free): A GPS-enabled carbon footprint application that allows the users to calculate the carbon footprint from daily commuting and business trips. Users can also set maximum emission goals and monitor their progress. Ideal for companies that encourage their employees to find less emission intensive ways of getting to work and traveling.
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MeterRead ($2.99): Logs your electric meter’s reading and by tracking your usage you can work on increasing your efficiency. You can log your readings and use them to predict your electrical consumption and your upcoming bill.
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Carcare (free): This fuel efficiency app also tracks your car's maintenance requirements.
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GreenMeter ($5.99): Tracks your car's fuel and power usage characteristics using an accelerometer to determine the drag and resistance of your car and your driving habits. Monitoring real-time MPG helps tune your driving for better efficiencies and lower emissions.
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Shopgreen (free): This app calculates the amount of CO2 you have saved. You also have access to discounts at local participating retailers.
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3rdWhale Mobile (free): This location-based app connects you to the best green businesses in your area thereby minimizing emissions required for transportation. You can get directions whether traveling by car, foot, or bicycle. It offers you 6 categories of search.
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Yowza! (free): Location application that provides coupons for local retailers. You can use the digital coupon right on your phone’s screen rather than wasting paper.
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ECOcal (free): An ecosystem calendar that shows what's going on in the natural world at a particular time in the year. It includes fine illustrations and interesting facts about the universe and the earth's flora and fauna.
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A Real Tree: By purchasing this app you contribute to education on reforestation of different countries around the globe.
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There are thousands of apps and many provide Green tips, tools, information and resources. With the incentives being offered to software developers, we can expect many more Green apps in the months and years to come. Led by devices like the iPhone, digital media will continue to drive the transition to a Greener world.

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3 comments:

Sarvesh Bagla said...

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Andrew Mackenzie said...

I have another app to add to your list. Sun Tracker provides a complete solar site assessment tool on your iPhone. if anyone tries it, please post your feedback.

I hope it encourages more people to go solar!

You can find it at:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-tracker/id322987219?mt=8

Andrew Mackenzie said...

I have another app to add to your list. Sun Tracker provides a complete solar site assessment tool on your iPhone. if anyone tries it, please post your feedback.

I hope it encourages more people to go solar!

You can find it at:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-tracker/id322987219?mt=8