TabbedOut Could Be Free – With Your Help

I’ve been a big fan of TabbedOut for a while now. TabbedOut is a mobile application (for iOS and Android, currently) that lets you open, keep track of, and close out tabs at bars and restaurants with your phone. You tie your TabbedOut account to a form of payment, and your credit card never leaves your pocket. You can even leave it at home. Check out their website for an overview of the service. It’s a fairly regional thing right now, mostly in Austin, TX… but they are growing.

Advantages: Keep your card in  your pocket. Leave the bar without waiting in line to close out. This makes bar hopping MUCH easier. Especially on a busy weekend in Austin. You can close your tab, and add tip, with the tap of a button. Otherwise, all of your tabs close automatically and apply a tip at the end of the night. TabbedOut has also partnered with a few locations for drink specials. Currently, several locations give you $1/drink on Thursdays if you use TabbedOut.

Disadvantages: The main barrier to use right now is the $1 fee that the USER gets charged, per tab. When you first sign up, you get 3 free credits, and the folks at TabbedOut have been good about periodically giving users more free credits. However, the $1 charge is always what keeps my friends from trying it out. I view the $1 charge as a convenience charge for not having to wait in line to close out, and as a type of investment in a product that I would like to see succeed and spread nation-wide to a point where they quit charging the users, and start charging the establishments a small fee, much like credit cards.

So that was a lot of lead up to what I’m really talking about here… TabbedOut has said that if they get 2,000 followers by 3/10, the service will be free nation wide during SXSW. They are currently at a little over 800 followers, so this goal is easily obtainable. I hope you’ll help by following them at @TabbedOut.

I mentioned that while free durring SXSW was a good step, it would be really great if the service was always free. They replied with a new challenge: 10,000 followers by 3/10 and the service is free, forever. Now, THAT would be great. I know that they have raised quite a bit of money from investors, so I’d hope that such a move wouldn’t close the business down, but instead cause growth across the nation as the last barrier to user adoption goes away.

So help out and follow @TabbedOut, spread the word, and maybe we can see this handy service spread across the country.

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HTC Flyer – Sketcher’s Dream?

via Engadget

HTC has announced the Flyer, a 7″ Android tablet. HTC’s first entry into the tablet market is pretty unique, in that it features a pressure sensitive stylus on top of the (now) standard capacitive screen.

If the stylus can work smoothly enough, and programs like Sketchbook Mobile can find their way onto the device optimized for the stylus input, this may be a mobile dream come true for sketchers and artists.

Via Engadget

[Update]

Engadget has posted more about the technology being used in the touch panel for the Flyer, as well as a quick video showing it in action.

Expanding Pastebot Sync

I have grown to like having a clipboard manager on my computer. It’s an application that lives in the background of your system, copying a history of whatever you copy into your clipboard, so you can go back and recall these items later. There are quite a few out, and while I’ve been using PTHPasteboard for a while, I recently started trying out ClipMenu (thanks for the tip Alan!) on my Mac.

Back in December, Tapbots released Pastebot for the iPhone, which does the exact same thing in the mobile space. Though, because you can’t “officially” run background processes on the iPhone, the application grabs whatever is in your clipboard when you launch the app. I’ve been using Pastebot on my iPhone for a little while now, and I love it. TUAW has a great writeup on what Pastebot is.

One of the killer reasons to use Pastebot is that it allows for two-way clipboard synchronization between your iPhone and your Mac when you install Pastebot Sync on your desktop system. When your phone and computer are active on the same network you can move items between your clipboards instantly. This is a GREAT way to move images and notes between systems.

However, I realized that I’m running a clipboard manager on my Mac, a clipboard manager on my iPhone, and a third tool to sync. I wonder if the developers behind Pastebot can turn Pastebot Sync into a full-fledged desktop clipboard history tool. I’d throw another $10 their way if they could deliver the complete solution: clipboard management for the desktop AND mobile phone while providing the integration to move data between the two. I basically have that functionality now, but I also feel like there’s some redundancy in the software I’m running.