Gist and Glympse Release iPhone Apps, Look to Capture More of the Mobile Market
Call it the iPhone “2G.” Two Seattle-area startups that start with the letter “G” are rolling out new iPhone apps today. OK, this would not normally make significant news for us, because new apps appear on a daily basis, but each of these cases provides an interesting update to the company’s mobile strategy, so here we go:
—Glympse has been on a tear since May, when co-founder and CEO Bryan Trussel said the Seattle-area company first started offering its location-sharing service on mobile phones. The idea of the software is that your friends and business contacts can get an immediate “glympse” of where you are on a map, automatically, for a certain amount of time that you set. Today’s announcement that Glympse is available as a free download on the iPhone is no surprise. Last week, the startup’s service was named a showcase application in Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and the company has been working on its iPhone app for some time. It’s all part of Glympse’s strategy to build a mass-consumer audience based on a free service, before working up to paid models and location-based ads.
—Gist has also been picking up steam, in a very different market. The Seattle-based company, led by founder and CEO T.A. McCann, focuses on giving consumers and business customers information about their e-mail and social-network contacts in a quick and easy way. The goal is to help people manage their relationships more efficiently, for example, by feeding them updates from all over the Web about their contacts. Gist opened up to the public last month, and McCann told me then that the company had done some optimization for the iPhone and was more broadly improving its mobile version. The new iPhone app, which is free, makes sense for busy professionals who want to scan the latest info on whoever they’re meeting next, from blogs, articles, and social media, right before their appointment. It also fits into Gist’s strategy for bridging e-mail, search, and social media in order to help people manage all that information.