The Pekoe Group

Apple recently announced, and on Friday released the iPhone 4S. Prior to the announcement, everyone was anticipating the iPhone 5, but they won’t be disappointed for long. After looking into all of the new features and upgrades, the only element that seems to resemble the old iPhone 4 is the phone’s body.

The iPhone 4S is a whole new beast. It is supported by a new dual-core A5 chip that has it running almost twice as fast as the previous model. This means faster everything, including browsing, gaming, and streaming media. A new 8 megapixel and optics card means clearer, more vivid images. The video capture has been upgraded to 1080p and now includes image stabilization, so movies will be nearing cinema quality. This new hardware and the previously included high-resolution Retina display begs the question: what more could be wanted in a phone?

This latest iPhone is now being shipped with the new iOS 5 and iCloud. iOS 5 is Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system that is available for installation on new devices. It includes a new notification center where you can customize how you want your notifications for each app to display. The new iMessage is Apple’s answer to the BBM and with recent Blackberry Network outages there is a chance that mobile users will make the full on switch to Apple’s new system. Newsstand allows iOS 5 users to access their subscriptions all in one convenient place much like iBook. Apple’s iCloud is probably the most exciting new feature. It allows for the wireless syncing of many different files including iTunes, Photo Stream, and Documents. Also, when you download an app in one place, it will automatically download to all other compatible devices that are connected to your account.

The biggest difference between this version and the previous one is the addition of Siri. Siri is a personal assistant in your pocket. You talk to her and she will intelligently talk right back with an answer to pretty much anything. Ask her about the weather anywhere in the world and she will tell you. Dictate and send texts and emails verbally through her. Set reminders that can be based on location such as “Remind me to call my wife when I leave work,” or time like “Remind me to pick up my dry cleaning at 5.” Events can be added to your calendar and if there are scheduling conflicts Siri can let you know and move them around for you. Siri is really the personal assistant of the 21st century.

Overall, this new iPhone 4s is a supercharged, tricked out version of the iPhone 4. So much so that it might as well be called an iPhone 5. And with new features including Siri and iOS 5, this could really be a threat to both Blackberry and Android competitors. The only thing wrong with this phone is that it does not run off of the new 4G networks, but having been through dial-up internet, 3G mobile speeds don’t seem so bad.

Who says social networks today aren’t really social? Ticketmaster and Facebook have come up with a master plan to bring our real worlds and virtual worlds together in concert halls, theatres and hundreds of performance spaces across the country.

With the success of the launch of their interactive seat map last year, now utilized in more than 300 venues for over 9,000 events, Ticketmaster has officially integrated Facebook and its 800 million active users for a new feature known as seat tagging. This synergistic feature gives Facebook users the ability to share their live event plans by tagging themselves and their friends in the seats they have purchased on Ticketmaster or LiveNation, a process very similar to tagging people in a photo on Facebook.

After connecting to Facebook via the ticketing site, the seat map automatically highlights your Facebook friends attending the event. The icing on the cake is a miniature Facebook flag pinpointing the section, row and seat where each of your friends (or foe) will be sitting, making it easier than ever to choose the best seat in the house for you.

Sharing your seat tag on Facebook generates a “Check out my seats” post on your Facebook wall complete with “Like”, “Comment” and “Buy Tickets” buttons, a tactic that Ticketmaster hopes will empower concert & theatre goers of every kind to continually share their ticket-buying habits with the Facebook realm and boost ticket sales in the process.

Check out the video below for more details!

As busy urbanites who are constantly on the go, we can hardly find the time to pick up our dry cleaning, cook a healthy dinner or walk the dog, let alone carve out a few hours to catch up with old girlfriends. It’s time to throw all excuses out the window, get together a group of your favorite friends you haven’t seen in a few months and share some of the small treasures in life. 

Motherhood Out Loud – Whether you’re a mom or not, you’ve definitely been a daughter and that’s reason enough to round up a group of girlfriends and go see Motherhood Out Loud, now playing at 59E59 Theaters. You’ll laugh, cry and leave the theatre feeling a deep sense of understanding for every mother figure you’ve encountered in your life after watching this strong ensemble cast explore the various stages of motherhood, from childbirth to dealing with teenage angst to adjusting to an empty nest. Save on your tickets by clicking here or just mention  code MOLPKG at the box office. And in case the name of the theatre didn’t clue you in, you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from Bloomingdales—sounds like the perfect opportunity to indulge in a little pre-theatre shopping spree!

Kithless in Paradise – Revel in the troubles of the well-to-do by catching Kithless in Paradise, a rollicking new show now playing through October 9th at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row. This entertaining comedy focuses on the life-long friendship between three married couples and the secrets that spill forth when they all find themselves together at a chi-chi dinner party. You can save $20 on your tickets when you click here or mention code TRKITHLESS but you’ll need to do it quickly – the show closes on Sunday!

Have to Have – Ever think to yourself that your happily betrothed friends have all the fun? Well, Have to Have might not have the power to make a princess-cut diamond appear on your left hand but it does let you create “a registry for your life,” an online wish list of all your shopping must-haves that you can share with your family and friends or use to organize all of the online merch you’re hankering for. That new friend-of-a-friend you met at a party this summer might just become your bestie when she buys you a chic accessory you just have to have for your birthday. Major bonus – when an item on your list goes on sale, you get an email notification so bid farewell to buyer’s remorse!

Poco – As every New Yorker knows, brunch is an institution, and one can never have too many delicious brunch spots up their sleeve. Poco, tucked away on a trendy corner in the East Village, is a brunch lover’s dream – cozy atmosphere, inventive Spanish-inspired cuisine and unlimited drinks included with the purchase of your entrée! Their rich Lobster Mac and Cheese, made with manchego, parmesan and asiago cheeses and topped with panko bread crumbs, is to die for.

Netflix, everyone’s favorite DVD-delivery and movie streaming site, has been a popular target for critics recently. The 60% price increase was tough to swallow but just when the press starts to move past that, they announce the Qwikster spinoff. But price complaints & qualms about the new name aside, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made a critical error before announcing the change – he didn’t lock down the new brand’s online presence. They took care of the domain, of course, and has a nice splash page up to show off the new logo along with the promise of some XBox & popcorn, but they neglected a fairly popular site called Twitter. The @Qwikster username was already taken by a Mr. Jason Castillo who enjoys tweeting about soccer and was using an icon of a drug-using Sesame Street character when the announcement went out. It’s been a nightmare situation for Netflix, but it can serve as a very useful reminder for the rest of us.

When you announce a show, start a company or rebrand a service, don’t take chances – register everything. Take a few minutes and create accounts with the name everywhere you can think of. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the big three, but don’t overlook Meetup, LinkedIn and the fast-growing Google+. You may never wind up using them, but 20 minutes can save you from being the next #QwiksterGate and all the usernames are free. Domains are a little trickier, but at $9.99 a pop, it’s a fairly inexpensive way to protect yourself. If you can’t decide between www.(ShowName) and www.(ShowName), it’s better to bite the bullet and buy both. It’s true you’ll only use one, but you won’t have to overpay an opportunistic buyer who heard about your show and decided they should profit from it. We’d like to think those kinds of people aren’t out there, but the sad truth is that they are.

Google has recently come out with some nerdy news to tickle any techies’ fancy — Adwords Editor Version 9.5.1 has just arrived! Okay - this news may not seem that exciting upon first glance, but the future of online advertising hinges on these seemingly mundane updates. Each updated feature helps to advance advertising across cyberspace one small step at a time. Don’t worry if the name “Adwords Editor Version 9.5.1” seems a bit esoteric and reminds you of a random Computer Science course you were required to take in college; we’re offering a snapshot of how this update is actually relevant to you! 

Background downloads - Save time! Now you can work on multiple accounts at once with this new feature. The improved downloading and uploading features allow you to update five unique client campaigns simultaneously. The time that this feature saves you will allow you to spend more time working on ad texts and your overall strategy. 

Item status and disapproval notifications - 
 You no longer have to guess why your ad texts were disapproved or waste time filtering through Google Adwords’ policies and guidelines to understand why. Now you can simply mouse-over your disapproved ad texts and see a detailed explanation of why your ads were not approved the first time around. 

Compare and Contrast - 
Detailed analytics give you the gusto that you need to improve your campaigns. Armed with detailed information, you can make better decisions about how to improve your optimization. This new update allows you to segment results using unlimited filters at the same time: you can now see CTR, clicks, and impression analytics all within one graph. 

Location Extensions - Unlike the rest, this update is pretty self-explanatory! Now you can extend your ads (within Adwords Editor) to include location information that will lead directly to Google Maps. Although this capability was previously offered in Google Adwords accounts, it was not offered within the editor itself. 

There are a myriad of new features that are included in Adwords Editor Version 9.5.1, and we have hit upon the most prominent. If this small taste has just left you hungry for more nerdy knowledge, click here to read about all of the features being ushered in!

Download the editor for free here!

There are many iPad apps that are meant to help people sketch-out ideas and work on-the-go but not many of them actually do this well. After using many of these apps, we have settled on two effective apps that we use regularly: Autodesk Sketchbook and FTPOnTheGo.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is a sketching app that is used to jot down design ideas. It allows for the use of layers, shapes, undo, redo, and object resizing. Adobe has also come out with an alternative app, Ideas, which has a cleaner layout and works nicer in many ways. However, Autodesk Sketchbook has more versatility and this cannot be overlooked. Using Sketchbook, we have sketched-out everything from full-fledged websites to small logos. Our favorite feature is the fact that we can create an object on the canvas and later go back and edit it depending on the other elements that we have created.

FTPOnTheGo is a must for anyone who works in web design. It is an FTP client, an html editor, and a browser that supports many different document types, including Word, Excel, Power Point, and PDFs. It can even zip and unzip files within the program itself and has the capability to move entire folders and edit multiple files at once. There is also a basic image editor: photos can be captured, resized, and cropped and then uploaded to the internet. Our favorite feature, find and replace, is something that we honestly don’t think we could live without. This is the end-all, be-all web development tool for the ipad!

Are you interested in learning more about these great apps? Read more about FTPOnTheGo Pro and Autodesk Sketchbook on Itunes.

In today’s iPhone and Android-dominated world, the power and possibilities of every product, service and form of entertainment available have been harnessed and stored for purchase from virtual marketplaces, now an integral feature on our handheld devices. These tiny colorful icons known as mobile apps have proven themselves capable of changing the way we work and play with nothing more than the tap of a finger. 

Need to make a last-minute reservation at your favorite Manhattan hotspot? With OpenTable for iPhone or Android, users can make free restaurant reservations at more than 15,000 OpenTable-enabled restaurants in New York City as well as the rest of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. If you are looking to uncover new culinary gems in your city, the OpenTable app allows you to search restaurants nearest to your location, see table availability in real-time and map out the results with an interactive, location-based map.

Ready to take window shopping to the next level? Want! for iPhone is a photo sharing app designed to capture the things people covet most and share them with the world via a mobile photo wish list. The app enables users to follow other people and their wants, and organizes wants by tags such as music, movies, clothes, and cars. Every user generates their own personal catalog of things that they want, and the app will compile most wanted lists across different vectors including location, person and tag.

Eager to try on an extraordinary new career? Say hello to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! iSword app, an interactive app allowing users to sharpen their skills as virtual sword swallowers. Available for iPhone and iTouch devices, iSword is the world’s first sword swallowing app, employing the device’s camera for a one-of-a-kind sword swallowing simulation. On your journey to becoming a sword swallowing virtuoso, explore spreads from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Strikingly True annual, experience epic tales of past sword swallowers and stay up-to-date on listings information for all Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions.

You can feel it in the air, admit it—nights are now cool enough to maybe require a light sweater and you’re not cranking the AC quite as high anymore. Yup, summer is slowly but steadily drawing to a close and that’s a total bummer. Cling to the warm weather just a little while longer with some of our suggestions on how to make the best of the dying days of summer.


Hit Up The Sales. Sure, lots of the sale racks have been ravaged since they first appeared in July but look a little closer and you might find a gem or two. The Barney’s Warehouse sale is just about ready to wrap up and there’s bound to be a sassy romper left over in your size if you put your mind to it. Think you’ll have to stash your discounted threads in the back of your closet till next summer? Think again. Toss a chunky sweater over that breezy floral frock or pair those open-toed platform sandals with some cable knit tights and you’ll be ready to glide right into fall in style.


Chill on the Highline. Phase Two of this urban oasis has been open since June—have YOU checked it out? The ultimate people-watching spot, you’re as likely to encounter a family of Midwestern tourists as you are lifelong partners finally celebrating their long overdue civil union. Stretch out on a grassy knoll near 23rd Street or frolic through the wooded area quaintly dubbed Chelsea Thicket—never has shrubbery looked so good.


Rummage Through the Outdoor Markets. If you’re the kind of person who finds other people’s junk your very own personal treasure, you’ve got to check out the flea market scene in New York. Looking for some vintage flair to add to your wardrobe? Hester Street Fair is for you. Looking for some unique furniture pieces to add some character to the totally non-descript box you just moved into? Peruse the antique-only, bi-level Antiques Garage, wowing shoppers since the 1960s. Does the mere idea of any sort of shopping make your stomach growl with insatiable hunger? Look no further than indie-market Brooklyn Flea, where serious eats like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Brooklyn Soda, McClure’s Pickles and Kumquat Cupcakery set up shop every Saturday through Thanksgiving.


Imbibe al fresco. Once the snow hits the ground, you’re going to be kicking yourself for not hitting up more outdoor drinking destinations when you had the chance. Beer gardens are still all the rage and don’t fret—if you can’t muster up the motivation to trek ALL the way to Astoria to visit the one and only Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, plenty of smaller (but equally fun and beer-filled) iterations have sprung up all over the city. We like d.b.a in the East Village, Hallo Berlin in Hell’s Kitchen and Mario Battali’s latest addition his Eataly empire, La Birreria.


Soak in a piece of Irish theatre. Is there a single soul in this world who doesn’t love an Irish accent? Escape to the Emerald Isles by taking a trip to the Mint Theater Company where a truly beautiful piece of Irish theater, Temporal Powers, is playing through the first week of October. Think the deal couldn’t get any sweeter than a stage full of actors with melodious accents? They’re also serving free samples of Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey during intermission. Take it from the connoisseurs— both the play and the tipple are the real deal! Hungry or thirsty for more? Pig & Whistle, a Times Square staple for food and drinks, is offering ticket holders a 10% discount!

A few months ago, we discussed the benefits of branding your QR codes, so we thought it was time to cover the other side of that coin – mobile landing pages. You can create a targeted ad with a clear call to action that drives people to your website via your beautifully-branded quick response code, but if your content isn’t optimized for mobile users, those hits won’t convert to ticket sales. The most important thing to remember when building your mobile landing page is that your viewers are not sitting comfortably at a desk in a well-lit room. They’re out in the world, navigating your site with a touchscreen or trackpad on a screen with a resolution comparable to what desktops were rocking in the ’90s.

So what’s important when your target audience is on the go? First of all, larger navigation so they can use their thumbs instead of trying to drop a fingernail on a “Buy Tickets” link. Smartphones can do a lot more than make phone calls, but processing jQuery still isn’t their strong suit, so leave your fancy scripts at home and make sure your images are optimized. These are supposed to be quick response codes after all, which leads me to my final point: keep it simple. Focus on one or two things like generating sign-ups up for an e-blast list or promoting discounted tickets. QR code scanners aren’t as likely to flip through your photo gallery or watch a half dozen videos, so don’t try to make them – creating a streamlined experience is far more likely to result in a successful campaign.