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Juice Wireless launches Mirror apps for iPhone

Mobile social networking and multimedia technology provider Juice Wireless Inc. has released two new humorous iPhone applications: Mirror and Vanity Mirror.

Juice Wireless is promoting these as a new class of "vainglorious applications" that transform consumers' iPhone screens into a hand-held mirror. The apps use a complex proprietary algorithm that turns the screen black for maximum reflection, while offering a choice of mirror frames.

"Our developers have invested time in getting to know the iPhone STK, and there are a couple of big projects we've been working on for the iPhone that use functions such as dragging on the touchscreen, GPS and the accelerometer," said Amir Hosseinpour, CEO of Juice Wireless, Los Angeles. "We thought, 'Why don't we turn these projects into fun ideas -- standalone, fun apps?'

"If you look at what's really performing well in the App Store, it's silly apps, throwaway fun apps that you show your friends in a bar or other social setting," he said. "They have no utility other than to make people laugh."

For example, Mr. Hosseinpour said that two of the most downloaded apps from the App Store are iFart and iBeer.

"Out of the top ten apps for the iPhone, something like seven out of 10 are silly apps, so for us, the strategy is to learn about the iPhone and give our team the opportunity to take to market with apps that take very little time to build," Mr. Hosseinpour said. "We want to tap into the phenomenon of the App Store and learn from the fact that throwaway fun apps tend to outperform more serious apps."

Juice Wireless spent almost 8 months developing technology to put a black background on iPhone screens.

The Vanity Mirror is geared toward females, with more feminine frame designs, while the Mirror app is unisex. Juice Wireless is targeting consumers of all ages.

Each app comes with 9 unique frames, letting consumers check themselves out within the design of their choice.

Whether they want a "Sleek & Contemporary" look with Mirror or the "Glamour & Glitz" of the more feminine Vanity Mirror, consumers can get close-at-hand assurance that they are looking their finest.

Juice Wireless says that the apps can be used to spot spinach in your teeth before that big meeting or smudged lipstick before a big date.

Juice Wireless has launched a blog about Mirror and Vanity Mirror.

Mirror and Vanity Mirror are available for $0.99 from the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch or at Apple iTunes online.

Juice Wireless's JuiceCaster service is available from carriers worldwide.

It lets consumers broadcast mobile video, pictures, audio and text to their favorite online social networks, blogs and to other mobile phones.

An official "Top 10 Most Downloaded Paid Social Networking" app in 2008, Juice Wireless's Flutter app brings picture messaging to the iPhone.

Juice Wireless says that it will be coming out with more new apps over the next couple of weeks.

While these apps are being sold via a pay-per-download model, Juice Wireless says that it plans to implement mobile advertising into future apps.

"In the future some of our apps will be ad-supported, although currently there is massive gravitation toward the 99-cent pay-per-download model -- that's where consumers' expectations seems to be," Mr. Hosseinpour said. "The ultimate threshold would be free, ad-supported apps, which would make a phenomenal difference, but it only makes sense if you can integrate ads into the experience.

"In this case, advertising wouldn't fit into the user experience," he said. "Ads really work if they fit in seamlessly as consumers navigate from screen to screen."

As with many App Store vendors, Juice Wireless is keeping its marketing costs low by relying on word of mouth and viral buzz.

"We have a blog called Mirrorapp.blogspot.com, and we're targeting iPhone bloggers and review sites, which create viral effects," Mr. Hosseinpour said. "When you go into a bar and observe people using an iPhone, it becomes a group attraction, with people sharing photos, playing games and using apps.

"Mirror and Vanity Mirror are something you show a bunch of people, then they'll go and get it and show to their friends," he said.