Google Smartwatch Coming, Probably Not In Time For Holidays

Dick Tracy stamp In Shanghai China, there's a giant digital ad on one of the massive skyscrapers looming over the Huangpu River promoting Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch. But no amount of splashy marketing can save the poorly-designed, rushed-to-market device. The Samsung smartwatch debuted to withering reviews (poor design, functionality, battery life) and supposedly is seeing returns north of 30 percent in the US. Google will seek to avoid Samsung's mistakes as it prepares to go into production on its own smartwatch. Rumors of a Google smartwatch have been circulating for months but according to the Wall [...]

Life With Google’s Other Flagship Phone, The Moto X

moto x Google has never made its own phones. The various "Nexus" flagship phones that carry the Google name have all been done in partnership with various handset manufacturers. Google's purchase of Motorola last year changed that. The recently launched Moto X is an Android phone designed and built by Google. How is it? For me, there's nothing revolutionary. It's a good phone but one bested by others, such as the iPhone, the Galaxy S4 and even Google's LG-built Nexus 4. Good Phone, But Is "Good" Still Good Enough? I've been using a review unit of the Moto X for about a month, alongside some of m [...]

A Marketer’s Guide To User ID Targeting — Part 2: Understanding Android ID & The Future Of Mobile User IDs

Apple vs. Android Since I wrote the first article in this two-part series, a lot has come to light regarding the use of mobile user IDs -- especially Android ID, of which the public knows little about compared to the far more publicized Apple UDID and IDFA. In closing out this user ID targeting series, we'll dive into Android ID and discuss the future of user identification in the mobile industry. Understanding Android ID Android ID is a software identifier that changes every time an Android device is reset to its factory settings. It has emerged as the leading choice amongst publishers in utilizing Android u [...]

Tricky Treat: Google Smartwatch Rumored For Halloween

Galaxy Gear The site 9to5Google yesterday reported a rumor that a Google smartwatch will be announced on October 31 this year. Well before this, Google was rumored to be working on a smartwatch. Not long ago, the company acquired WIMM labs, builder of smartwatches. I have no doubt that Google will introduce an Android-based watch. But will it be a treat or a disappointing "1.0" product? Here are the relevant questions: What will the design look like? How much will it cost? What will be its core functions/capabilities? How will it interact with Android devices (and iPhones)? Will it become [...]

Chrome Browser Grows To 3 Percent On iOS

chrome logo Google is trying to get as many people as it can to use Chrome and sign in across platforms. There are multiple benefits to Google, including collecting data for its recently announced Estimated Total Conversions analytics offering. Chrome is the most widely used browser in the world, with a nearly 40 percent global market share, followed by IE. However on mobile devices Chrome has a way to go. While Google browsers dominate on Android Chrome has only a small share of usage on iOS. However that share is growing after a long period of stagnation. After spending about 14 months at about 2 [...]

Smartphone Market: Android Plateaus But Google Near 100 Percent Audience Reach

google-samsung-nexus-phone-featured The August comScore US smartphone market share report is out. The story is familiar: Apple and Samsung are the top two OEMs, while others are down or flat. On the OS side, comScore agrees with earlier Kantar data showing small gains by Windows Phone in the US. But the news here appears to be that Android may have hit a ceiling. This may be in part because, in the US at least, the Galaxy S4 has underperformed. These data also don't reflect the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The most interesting part of the report are the data on app and mobile web usage.  They show that Fac [...]

Q3 2013 Roundup: Analyzing IOS 7 And The Evolving Mobile Landscape

iPhone5s-iOS7 A recent study published by Chitika Insights found that nearly 32% of North American iOS-based Web Traffic was generated by iOS 7 users just 48 hours following the release of the new OS on Wednesday, September 18. In a subsequent update published on September 25, data showed the iOS 7 adoption rate reaching more than 50% in North America a week after its release. When compared with the adoption rate of Jelly Bean 4.3 in the same time period, the rapid rate of adoption for iOS 7 seems all the more impressive. By most measures, iOS 7 was the fastest software upgrade in history. The success [...]

Google Analytics Android App Gets Complete Redesign For Mobile Devices

google-analytics-icon Google Analytics has released a new version of its Android App with a complete redesign built specifically for phones and tablets. The announcement says the new app includes visualizations that automatically resize to fit the user's device screen size and orientation, along with side navigation to access reports quickly. Other updates include specialized reporting for web and app views, key report metrics summarized in a single Overview screen, and dimension-based drill-down for most reports. Google Analytics created the new app using Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps to make the app [...]

Study: Nexus 7 Usage Flat, Kindle Up Following Discounts

Amazon Original Kindle Fire Ad network Chitika has released data on the comparative traffic being driven by the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, prompted by the introduction of the new Nexus 7 in July. Chitika looked at North American tablet-based web traffic between June and August of this year. While Nexus 7 web traffic remained remarkably consistent during the period, Kindle's traffic increased, based largely on Amazon discounting to move devices ahead of the anticipated roll out of the next generation of Amazon tablets. What's the lesson? Price matters. In order to generate this report, Chitika examined "tens of [...]

Forecast: Mobile Devices To Eclipse PCs In Q4 This Year

computer-smartphone-tablet-featured IDC has released its latest devices forecast arguing that tablets will overtake PC shipments (desktop + laptops) in Q4 of this year. The firm said that for the full year PCs will still have larger numbers, but that will change by 2015 with tablets outpacing PC shipments. IDC expects essentially flat growth for the PC market during the four year forecast period with laptops offsetting declines in the desktop market. However I think that's a bit of wishful thinking on IDC's part. Only if the enterprise market compensates for declines in the consumer market will we see flat or modestly positiv [...]

July Mobile Data: Apple Gains, Google Top Mobile Site, Facebook Top App

smartphones ComScore released its July smartphone subscriber market share data for the US. The story is very similar to past months: the market continues to be a contest between Apple and Samsung, iOS and Android. In the handset category, the iPhone continued to be the top individual smartphone with Samsung gaining 2 points. All other makers were down. The Moto X has just become available and has yet to register. It remains to be seen whether it can reverse Motorola's long decline. For its part HTC has just launched an expensive branding campaign featuring actor Robert Downey Jr.  It's unlikely to [...]

Samsung Announces Galaxy Gear, Apple iWatch Next Week

gear As expected, Samsung has announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the IFA conference in Berlin. Danny Sullivan live-blogged the event, which also saw a number of other announcements, including the Galaxy Note 3 and a new 10-inch Galaxy tablet. Earlier today Sony introduced its new and improved smartwatch at IFA. The new Samsung smartwatch comes with a camera (+ video) and a speaker. The camera is 1.9 megapixels. I'm sure the quality will improve over time. Gear can be used as a phone, but it's not a phone. It relies on a bluetooth connection to a Samsung smartphone: The built-in speak [...]

Kit Kat Gets Behind Android KitKat With “Kit Kat 4.4″ Candybar Phone Parody Ad & Website

KITKAT KitKat -- the candy bar -- is really getting behind its cross-promotion with the latest version of Android 4.4, which has been named "Android KitKat." Kit Kat has announced its own Kit Kat 4.4, a candy bar positioned as if it were a smartphone, in a parody ad and in a site redesign. Here's how the Kit Kat site looked this morning, when the news of Android KitKat was announced: The Kit Kat site has now been radically changed, transformed as if Kit Kat were a smartphone: Exploring the site using candy crumbs along the side, you discover that like a smarphone, Kit Kat has things like [...]

Google Announces Android 4.4 In Global Promotion With KitKat

android-kitkat-featured Google announced this morning that the company had activated more than 1 billion Android devices. And in a very interesting and irregular move decided to name the next version of the Android OS after commercial candy bar KitKat. The candy company is giving away Nexus 7 devices or Google Play credit in stores if users buy branded packages of KitKat. KitKat is produced by Hersey's in the US and Nestle in the UK and Europe. The immediate questions that popped into my mind were: 1) who came up the with cross-promotion idea and 2) how much money is changing hands? Google told the BBC that it [...]

Chinese Handset Maker Steals Hugo Barra From Google

Hugo Barra Android VP of Product Management Hugo Barra announced yesterday that he was leaving Google. Following Android founder Andy Rubin's transition off the team, Barra is the second major departure for Android within a period of six months. Barra has been "the public face of Android." As recently as a month ago, Barra was on stage in San Francisco introducing the new Nexus 7. He came to Google from Nuance and had been on the Android team for roughly three years. Barra is going to Xiaomi, which is known as "China's Apple." Xiaomi makes higher-end devices that run a highly customized version of [...]

Google Now Adds More Cards, Including Car Rentals & Concert Tickets

Google Now for iOS Google announced yesterday that it has added more "cards" to Google Now. The following are the new types of content and data that Google Now will be showing: Car rentals card Concert ticket card Improved public transit cards Commute sharing card Set reminders while you search Updated TV card NCAA football scores Of particular interest in the list above is the "commute sharing card," which will allow others to track your movements and get a better sense of when you'll arrive. Here's Google's explanation of the feature: "When leaving work, you can now choose to inform your lov [...]

Samsung Taking Share From Other Android OEMs, Not iPhone

iphone-android-ios-phones-featured A "meta-analysis" of smartphone owner surveys, conducted between July 2012 and July of this year by research firm CIRP, produced some interesting findings about who buys Samsung (Android) smartphones and who buys the iPhone. There were a number of generalizations that emerged from the analysis: Samsung buyers are mostly prior Android and feature phone owners Apple owners mostly come from prior Apple ownership, with a smaller number coming from feature phones 42 percent of Apple customers already had an iPhone, while 43 percent of Samsung customers owned Android handsets All buyer [...]

Google’s New YouTube App For Android Makes It Possible To Watch Videos Back-To-Back

youtube-logo-200 Google is rolling out a new version of the YouTube App for Android today that includes a number of updated features. According to, it is, "The biggest redesign the app has seen yet." TechCrunch reports that the "highlight" of the new version is the ability to minimize the screen for a "picture-in-picture" effect. The app now moves videos to the bottom-right corner of the screen so that users can continue watching a video while they browse channels or perform searches, making it possible to watch videos back-to-back. No longer having to stop a video before finding a new vi [...]

The Smart Watch: Samsung, Apple Ready Dueling Wrist Devices

smart-watches-generic-featured The competitive effort by Samsung and Google to introduce an "iWatch" is not unlike the US-Soviet race to launch a man into space. Early September should bring new wearable devices from both companies within days of one another. Both Bloomberg and the NY Times reported that Samsung is going to announce its smart watch on either September 4 or 6, seeking to preempt Apple's anticipated similar announcement during its iPhone event on September 10 (still not confirmed). Samsung's watch is reportedly to be called "Galaxy Gear," which sounds more like a product category than an individual prod [...]

Google Adds Location Sharing Features To Google Maps & Releases Google+ For Android Updates

Google+-iOS After retiring Latitude earlier this month, Google announced today that they have added location sharing features to the Google Maps app. Users can now share "pin-point" or "city-level" locations, and filter which of their connections can see a location by selecting Google+ circles. Along with the new Google Map location sharing updates, Google+ for Android has new features as well: With a few taps, users can now switch between Google+ accounts without having to sign out of one account before signing into another. Also, any Google+ pages managed by a user are available from the [...]

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