Thursday, 7 June 2012

This week's guest post: iPet Memorial Lite -- an innovative solution tothe online pet memorial

As we've often said here on the Pets at Rest blog, Twitter (please follow us!) and social networking can be a wonderful thing. Not only does it allow us to spread the word about our products, but it means that every single day we connect with more people who do similar things to us; things which we both admire and think are progressing the industry in a new, exciting direction. If you didn't catch our last blog, it was with Julie who runs one of the UKs most popular pet  radio stations: Dog Cast Radio.

This week, though, it's the turn of iPet Memorial Lite -- a great new online way of sharing that special bond we all have with our pets. Using the app, which was designed and created by Bill Gulbrandsen of Harvest Integrity Systems, Inc (US), pet owners can now take the legacy of their pet with them wherever they go. In the words of Bill himself, an established developer: "I am excited about getting iPet Memorial out to people that have experienced the loss of a pet.  I think that it is an awesome way to allow people to share about that special bond between owner and pet, as well as being therapeutic in the grieving process when a pet is lost."

Presently, the app -- approved just last week for the App store -- is only available on Apple devices, although we don't see that causing too many problems (aside from me, everyone seems to be using one or have access to an ipad or iphone, right?). Seeing as I wasn't able to take a look at the app myself, I phoned Stuart Gebbie -- the owner of Pets at Rest and creator of some mighty fine memorials in granite, slate and finest Italian marble -- and asked him to do so for me and give me some feedback on what he thought.

First up, getting hold of the app is really easy. Just go to the App store and search for iPet Memorial Lite (free version). To access the paid version you'll need to purchase it as normal, and then you'll be sent a unique passcode which needs to be entered into the text field of the redeem page (get to this by clicking the Redeem button on the Featured page in the app store).

In terms of functionality, you can think of this app as having all the same qualities of a standard pet memorial. First up, you'll be able to upload a favourite photo of your pet, and secondly you'll be asked to enter all the information which would be present on a physical headstone: the name of your pet, it's birth and death date, and a number of other pieces of key information (such as special thoughts and favourite memories). As you can see by clicking the image above, Bill and co have much more in the works, including more apps for a wide range of pets.

While it's true to say that this isn't the same as having a physical headstone or memorial you can hold and touch, it's also a fact that there are a number of reasons why this should prove popular. For example, as a way of sharing memories between family members who live in different cities or even countries, this app offers benefits which a standard memorial will find difficult to compete with (although we'd love it if you'd have a look at the Pets at Rest site and see what we have to offer customers!).

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