On the heels of the FAA’s announcement that it is considering allowing expanded use of mobile devices on airplanes, Southwest Airlines has announced that it will begin offering competitively-priced wi-fi on most of its flights. The cost will be $8 per device per day, just over half of the $14 charged by GoGo.
Motorla is starting to reveal some of the particulars of how its modular smartphones will work. They will produce what they call “endoskeletons,” which are basically screens with slots on the back to snap individual components into place. Then users will be able to purchase upgrades to specific parts of their phone when they wish.
Taking advantage of the huge “selfie” trend that has been sweeping the younger generation, “Shots of Me” has launched with backing from Justin Bieber. The app only works with a phone’s front-facing camera, encouraging users to stick to its goal of serving as a platform for selfies. It also disables comments on photos, in an attempt to cut down on bullying.
A company called Voxel offers an app virtualization service, where developers are able to run a native Android or iOS app in the cloud. This allows users to interact with the app without actually downloading and installing it on their phone. This could have many uses, ranging from sampling apps before installing them to heightened data security for enterprise apps.
Not to be outdone by Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung is reportedly planning to release a phone with a 64-bit processor sometime in 2014. Such a processor, now common in desktop and laptop computers, would allows developers to create apps that run significantly faster , and would make for a very powerful phone.
The CEO of video card maker NVidia believes that Android is the future of gaming, and is putting his money where his mouth is. The company recently released the Nvidia Shield, a small Android tablet connected to a game controller. The hardware designer is attempting to become the go-to provider for video card technology for Android game developers.
Samsung was excited to learn that J.D. Power and Associates (who you probably know best from car commercials) has ranked Samsung over Apple as the manufacturer of the tablet with the highest overall satisfaction. This rating was based on a survey of several thousand tablet owners. The article below discusses how it could be a flawed rating system that led this this ranking, as Apple beat Samsung in every category but one.
Facebook’s revelations that they are having problems connecting with the younger audience, connected with the success of SnapChat in that same audience, is providing evidence that teens actually value online privacy and a lack of permanence, unlike many adults. This article discusses how “ephemerality” is here to stay.
In a world where many mobile devices make use of technologies owned by companies other than the manufacturer of the mobile device, it is important to pay attention to who owns which patents. Thought HP sold the code for WebOS to LG already, it decided to hold onto the patents once owned by Palm and license them to LG. Now, however, they are looking for a buyer.
There has been a growing trend of using video games as advertisements in recent years. The best recent example is the scarecrow game made wildly popular by Chipotle. And everybody is familiar with product placements in movies. This article discusses MediaSpike, a company which serves as a matchmaker for mobile game developers and advertisers. Developers put up some information about their games and advertisers make offers to have their product featured in the game in a non-intrusive way (e.g. if there is an in-game bar, it might serve a certain brand of drinks). This is yet another opportunity for developers to monetize games, and for advertisers to reach their intended audience.
Rosetta Stone has decided to jump on the gamifaction bandwagon by releasing Rosetta Stone Arcade Academy. This free-to-play mobile game is designed to help people learn a small amount of Spanish, and makes money through the sale of “credits” which allow users to unlock more content or progress through the content more rapidly. This app is just one of the many attempts to sell non-game products/services through the creation of games.
This article from USA Today discusses the growing importance of mobile advertising to Google’s revenues. Though Google’s cost-per-click has been steadily declining due to the fact that mobile advertising costs less and has been making up a bigger portion of clicks, the company’s ad revenues have been increasing a great deal. This is due to the fact that the number of ads sold and clicks for mobile have been growing more rapidly than cost-per-click has been decreasing.
This article discusses a possible innovation in mobile/desktop technology. As a result of the fact that mobile processors and other components are becoming quite powerful, some manufacturers have attempted to release phones that can function as desktop PCs when paired with the right peripherals. Some in the tech industry believe that Apple will go down those path with the iPhone, as they have been touting the processor of the 5S as being as powerful as that of a dekstop. If widely adopted, this could lead to w further decline in the market for desktops and increase people’s reliance on their phones.
This article from Business Insider contains a useful diagram that shows the various processes by which location data is collected via mobile devices. In addition to GPS data, location data comes from wifi signals, cell towers, IP addresses, and is sometimes user-reported. The article, which links to a longer report, offers information on how this location data is being used for location based marketing, features to increase engagement with apps, and more.
This post reviews data from a number of sources to show that there is a strong trend toward free apps dominating mobile app markets. The percentage of apps available for free is increasing, and the frequency of “good enough” alternatives to paid apps is also growing. There are a few categories where paid apps still frequently make the top ten, mostly utilitarian apps designed to get things done rather than entertaining apps.
As part of a recent ad campaign, restaurant chain Chipotle released an animated video designed to tout the freshness and healthiness of their ingredients. The video became a breakout hit. The main character from the video was a scarecrow, who was featured in a video game also released by Chipotle concurrently with the video. This article explores how the success of this mobile video game could lead other companies to attempt the practice known as “advergaming,” opening a new opportunity for mobile developers to seek out clients.
A study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research has found that many people treat their mobile phones as extensions of their body which accompany them everywhere during every type of activity. People are unlikely to turn off or ignore their phones during a wide range of social interactions. This is having a major impact on how people to relate to each other and think.
An app development firm in Singapore has raised $10 million to create TradeHero, a stock market simulation game. Players are given $100,000 in virtual currency to make stock trades, and then follow the results of their choices as the app follows the actual stock markets. This is part of a growing trend of turning real life activities into video games.
Television ratings produced by Nielsen will soon include viewings on mobile devices. This will help provide more accurate ratings and encourage content providers to make more content easily available on mobile devices since advertisers will be more willing to purchase ads with solid viewership data available.
In an interview, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admits that Microsoft really screwed up with mobile phones. He talks in detail about how far behind Microsoft is, and how difficult it is for them to make products directly for consumers rather than for enterprise. Will his replacement be able to salvage their mistakes? Unlikely, but time will tell. In the mean time, don’t bet your career on making Windows 8 apps.
Despite financial woes among some online game companies such as Xynga, some mobile game companies such as Gameloft are experiencing strong revenue growth. There is still a great deal of money to be made in mobile gaming.
This article examines the impact of iPhone 5S’s 64-bit processor for mobile gaming. The general consensus seems to be that due to other restrictions, mobile gaming won’t be impacted too much just yet other than quicker load times. In the future, however, developers will be able to build larger, more complex games to take advantage of this new hardware.
Some companies, particularly banks, who are in need of well-designed mobile apps produced in a hurry are turning to cloud-based solutions. MicroStrategy, for example, has a cloud-based drag-and-drop app building platform being used to create many financial services apps.
While most of the world sees continued increases in mobile revenues, such revenues decreased by nearly $10 billion over the last year in Europe, and are projected to continue decreasing. This is attributed to a variety of factors.