Download Index: Android Beats iTunes But Not In Revenue

Google Play iOS app store App Annie Index App Annie's new Q1 Market Index shows Google Play beating iTunes in terms of app downloads by a significant 45 percent. However, Apple's App Store still generates 85 percent more revenue than its Google-owned rival -- though the gap is closing. App Annie said that Google Play download growth was largely driven by emerging markets, while Apple revenue growth came from China and the US. The top download market for Google Play was the US but the top revenue market was Japan. For iOS the US occupied both positions.  Currently in the US, Android controls 52.1 percent of the smartphone [...]


With Cover Buy Twitter Joins Battle Of Android Homescreens

Cover acquired by Twitter First there was Facebook Home, then Yahoo with Aviate and now Twitter with Cover. Cover is another Android launcher or intelligent homescreen. Yesterday Cover announced it was being acquired by Twitter. Terms weren't disclosed. Cover says it will be business as usual, at least for the time being. Like Aviate, Cover will show different apps in different locations, at different times of day. It's a personalization tool essentially. It's possible that the Cover team will be deployed to create more personalization and contextually relevant experiences on Twitter for mobile devices general [...]


Second Apple Patent Suit Vs. Samsung Ropes In Google

apple-google-featured If you're tired of news about smartphone-related patent litigation, you're not alone. However, there's more to come as Apple and Samsung's long-running patent feud appears no closer to resolution today than it was two years ago. The parties return to court this week for another round of patent-for-tat. The new case presents five Apple claims against Samsung and two counterclaims against Apple. Among the Apple claims against Samsung are "slide to unlock" and "tap to search" (on a map) or call a phone number. The damages sought by each side are curiously unbalanced. Apple wants a $40 roya [...]


Trying to Build Android Brand, Google Mandates “Powered By” Label

Credit: Android Central [caption id="attachment_78276" align="alignright" width="214"] Credit: Android Police[/caption] According to multiple sources last week, Google is now requiring a "powered by Android" indicator on all devices that use the Android operating system as a precondition of gaining access to Google Play. Geek.com was the first site to confirm the new mandate. The branding must be displayed as the phone boots up. There are a number of specs that indicate placement and size. The following image was obtained by Android Police. There was no explicit rationale provided. However there's consid [...]


Google Search Can Now Take Photos, Videos, On Your Android Phone

okgoogle So you want to take a quick photo or video with your Android phone? It just got a bit easier, at least for those who like to tell their phone what to do. Google updated its Android Search app today, giving voice-activated access to cell phone camera and video features. Yes, it's an incremental change, but points to the possibility of further enhancements for marketers. Here's how it works: either tap the microphone or say, "OK Google," then "take a photo" or "take a video" and the camera app launches in the preferred mode. Note that in my experience, "shoot a photo" or "shoot a vi [...]


Motorola, LG, Fossil First Brands To Launch Android Wear

Moto 360 watch Shortly after Google announced Android Wear this morning, Motorola, Fossil and LG came out with their own associated announcements. Engadget reports that LG's "G Watch" (presumably for Google) will arrive next quarter and be aggressively priced. Motorola, which was just sold by Google to Lenovo, is launching a watch called Motorola 360 (see video below). Of the two it appears to be the more interesting one -- because it's round faced. However Motorola says "Moto 360 will be available in a variety of styles globally," so there will probably also be rectangles. Fossil is also an early Andr [...]


Android Wear: Google Announces Smartwatch

google-android-wear-600 Google today announced "Android wear." While this could allow for a range of wearables (and probably will in the future), what the company previewed in two videos were smartwatches. The user experience appears to be based on a combination of Google Now notifications and voice search ("OK Google"). There's also a developer preview being made available today. Google anticipates that Android-based wearables (beyond Glass) will become yet another platform for Android developers. The company said that it has designed an entirely new UI "for this form factor" (watches). In addition, in a blog [...]


Apple, Samsung Gain, Windows Phone Plateaus In US — comScore

smartphones-featured This morning comScore released its latest US smartphone report. These monthly missives have become largely static documents with little change among the various players. Indeed, the OEM and OS share charts are basically consistent the past several months. Apple gained a point and Android lost a half a percentage point. Microsoft seems to have hit a share plateau in the US, while BlackBerry continues its slow, painful decline into the abyss. On the OEM side Samsung and LG gained slightly (as did Apple) while Motorola (soon part of Lenovo) and HTC continued their respective slides. Whi [...]


Samsung Devices Driving Almost 60 Percent Of Android Traffic

Galaxy S5 Samsung overwhelmingly dominates North American Android traffic, according to new data from Chitika. The findings are based on "tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Android-based online ad impressions" from February.  Chitika looked at all Android devices (tablets and smartphones) on its network and found that the Korean company has a 55.5 percent traffic share. Amazon's Kindle devices are second with an 8.2 share. However Chitika says that Kindle growth has stalled and that Google is the only company outside Samsung that saw Android traffic growth since Q4. Looking at the breakdo [...]


Google Brings Its Nexus “Launcher” To Other Android Devices

Google Launcher Google Nexus devices (i.e., Nexus 5) have featured Google Now prominently as well as "OK Google" hands free voice search. But now the company is rolling that experience out to a slightly broader array of devices. Google Play devices can now get these same features by installing the "Google Launcher" (app).  Below are the "new" features (as represented in the Google Play store): Google Now on your home screen Say "Ok Google" - when you're on your home screen, just say "Ok Google" to trigger voice input. Then say your search query. Or tell your phone what to do, like send a text messag [...]


As LG, HTC Prep Smartwatches, Samsung Ditches Android On Its New “Gear” Devices

Glam_Gear 2 1 [caption id="attachment_75011" align="alignright" width="212"] Credit: Samsung[/caption] Samsung's Galaxy Gear device was the most visible of this group of "1.0" smartwatches. However it was rushed to market (to beat Apple) and generally panned by reviews. Simultaneously too ambitious and not ambitious enough, in terms of user experience and design, many were sold but it fell dramatically short of expectations. Galaxy Gear sought, perhaps too expansively, to be a new computing platform for mobile developers. The new generation of Samsung's smartwatch is called simply called "Gear," ditc [...]


Report: New Global Internet Growth Will Mostly Be Mobile

global marketing Late last week, the Pew Research Center released the results of multiple country surveys about mobile technology adoption and internet usage. The countries in focus were 24 "emerging markets," including Russia, China, Pakistan, Philippines, various South American markets, Turkey and South Africa among others. The associated report has a lot of statistics about user behavior, demographic variables (e.g., education, income) and online activities. For example, the following chart shows mobile phone ownership and top activities across all the countries in the report. Mobile phone ownersh [...]


Smartphone Market: Apple, Samsung And The Benchwarmers

smartphone-shutterstock The US smartphone market share story is starting to get a little boring. For well over a year it has been a two horse race. Apple is the single top smartphone maker while Samsung dominates globally and has made incremental gains in the US. Android is hovering at just above 50 percent penetration in the US. Apple/iOS is growing and has reached a new high of nearly 42 percent. By comparison, BlackBerry has fallen off a cliff. It has gone from a share of more than 31 percent in 2010 to 3.4 percent today. Top US Smartphone Operating Systems 2010 - 2013 Source: comScore These data c [...]


The “Real Reason” Google Sold Motorola To Lenovo

Google Motorola In the wake of yesterday's Reuters story and later confirmation of the $2.91 billion sale of Google's Motorola hardware unit to Lenovo there were many theories presented about why the deal happened. Here is a summary of those theories and ideas: Google is simply "cutting its loses" and recovering what money it can on a generally bad deal (perhaps save the patents) Google wants the best for Motorola and Lenovo is a better home for the unit Google is "making peace" with Samsung, its most important Android partner, by no longer being a direct competitor Google is appeasing European regu [...]


Google Selling Motorola Handset Business To Lenovo For $2.9 Billion

google-g-logo-2012 Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in late 2011 and is apparently going to sell it to Lenovo for billions less than that. Reuters is reporting that Google and the Chinese computer maker are in talks to transfer the Motorola business for roughly $3 billion. [Update: The deal has now been officially confirmed. More in the postscript below.] According to Reuters at least some of the patent portfolio, which has proven less valuable than Google anticipated, is part of the transaction. Reuters says that a deal is imminent and an announcement could come as early as today. In A [...]


1 Billion Smartphones: Samsung On Top But China Rising

iphone-android-ios-phones-featured Samsung finished 2013 as the undisputed global smartphone leader, increasing its marketshare lead over arch-rival Apple. However Chinese handset makers such as Huawei and Lenovo gained ground on the Korean giant. Propelled by lower-cost handsets in emerging markets, global smartphone shipments hit or exceeded a billion units according to Strategy Analytics and IDC (their numbers disagree). According to the IDC data Apple maintained its number two position (Strategy Analytics says Apple is number three). Samsung had nearly one third of the global smartphone shipments market. Apple capt [...]


Samsung And Google Sign Patent Deal, Will It Help End The Madness?

android-mascot-featured According to a statement yesterday, Samsung and Google have "furthered their long-term cooperative partnership with a global patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of technologies and business areas." The agreement covers existing patents and those filed over the course of the next decade. It's being hailed by some as a breakthrough. However that remains to be seen. Unless or until Apple and Microsoft/Nokia enter into similar agreements we can expect the global patent litigation frenzy to continue. The agreement is really no surprise. Google and Samsung are close par [...]


Report: Marketing Emails Opened On Mobile Devices Jumped 61% To 65% In Q4 2013

mobile-devices-screens-featured The number of marketing emails opened on mobile devices continued to climb last quarter according to email marketing provider Movable Ink. The company's US Consumer Device Preference Report for Q4 2013 claims 65 percent of marketing emails were opened on mobile devices during the last quarter of 2013, up from 61 percent during third quarter. While mobile open rates climbed, Movable Ink's research showed the number of desktop marketing email opens dropped four percentage points between the third and fourth quarters of 2013, from 39 percent to 35 percent. Pulling data exclusively from [...]


Opera: Android Has Reach But iPhones Drive More Revenue

android-apple-ios Fourth quarter 2013 data from Opera Mediaworks (and its AdMarvel unit) show that Android handsets have greater reach than the iPhone on a global basis (35.9 percent vs. 28.7 percent). However iPhones generate more ad revenue than their Android counterparts. When tablets/connected devices are factored in iOS reclaims the total traffic lead as well. Source: Opera Mediaworks StatCounter shows the global traffic breakdown (phones + tablets) being 39 percent to 32 percent in favor of Android. In North America iOS dominates: 59 percent to 32 percent for Android devices. In terms of [...]


Nielsen: All Top Brands Lost Web Users To Mobile In 2013

mobile-web-apps-featured According to data released last week by Nielsen, all the major web brands lost uniques on a year-over-year basis in 2013. The period measured was January through the end of October. The ranking of the top sites was more or less the same as we've seen in other data. However the relative loss of monthly uniques was not uniform. According to Nielsen, Ask lost the highest percentage of its monthly uniques. Next was Facebook and then YouTube. Nielsen broadly attributes the decline in "web" traffic to the rise of tablets and smartphones. However the company didn't provide a holistic vie [...]


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