Mobile Links for week ending April 5, 2014

An analysis of apps in the Apple App store by price, ratings, etc. Some interesting insights, including that 60% of the apps in the app store have no ratings.

WWDC 2014 tickets will be offered via a lottery You have until 10am PDT April 7 to register for a chance to attend, and people will be notified that evening. Given the limited size of the conference, which has maxed out at 5000 attendees to maintain a 5 attendees-per-Apple-engineer ratio, this is my first chance to go in years.

This analysis of Apple’s Arm processor micro architecture suggests that there is a lot of untapped power that iOS apps aren’t using yet.

This new tool provides a quick way to generate code to animate iOS transitions.

With Amazon’s new Fire TV and a rumored new offering from Google soon, this may very well be the year that iOS apps move to the Apple TV. The LA Times compares the current crop of TV boxes here.

Clearly the streaming media race is heating up: Amazon is rumored to be going after Spotify with a new streaming subscription service soon.

Speaking of Spotify, their newest version on iOS is beautifully designed, and very in-line with the iOS 7 aesthetic, with a content-forward look-and-feel. I haven’t had time to completely explore it, but really like what I see so far.

Microsoft has announced Cortana, their answer to Siri and Google Now. While the reference to the character from Halo probably resonates with the Xbox crowd, it seems like an obscure choice to pick for an already underdog mobile platform. I had no idea who Cortana was myself, having never played Halo. The interesting thing about the feature is that it’s powered by Bing — this may be the time for Bing to actually shine, the Bing team has some great technology that has been largely ignored, but maybe mobile is the right venue.
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Mobile Links for week of November 25-30 2012

Android shopping traffic lags behind iOS, despite the larger number of devices. GigaOm asks why:
Why are Android users less engaged than iOS users?

Nice detailed graphs and links to several good stories on the topic. I do take issue slightly with the idea that “willingness to buy stuff == engagement”; everyone buys devices for different reasons. But if you are writing shopping apps or marketing your business on mobile devices, it’s important to understand the different types of users and the strategies that work best on each platform.

IDC: Developer Disinterest Could Kill RIM & Windows Phone Ya think? Out of all of the companies I’ve interviewed lately, only a couple are planning to put their apps on Windows Phone, and nobody is planning to support BlackBerry.

11 Apple iPads per hour vs. zero Microsoft Surface tablets Schadenfreude aside*, this is a significant indicator about what a misstep it has been for Microsoft to sidestep its OEMs.  They don’t have nearly the distribution network they need to go it alone.   Also, Surface exemplifies how badly MS has misread the tablet trend; it’s not about the hardware, its about reducing the computing experience to something that is quick and pleasurable.  Shoehorning desktop Windows onto a tablet barely capable of running it fails both tests.

*Actually, I’m not enjoying this at all,  I’m a Microsoft shareholder, and my investment has seen no growth, while my Apple stock has gone through the roof.  Steve Ballmer has got to go.

In BII MOBILE INSIGHTS: Mobile Technology May Define The Future Of Healthcare, PriceWaterhouse Coopers presents a video talking about how mobile is influencing healthcare.      The other links/reports on this page are pretty good, too.

Mobile links for 15 February, 2010

Video comparing graphic performance on Google Nexus vs. iPhone 3Gs. This video shows a scene with about 11,000 polygons running on both phones. The higher resolution of the Nexus screen ends up seriously compromising graphics performance. More pixels, more work, and the Nexus doesn’t have the hardware power to compensate, hence about 1/2 the frame rate of the iPhone.

The big news for today, of course is the announcement of Windows Phone Series 7. Microsoft has re-designed their phone OS from the ground up, and the result is a very clean-looking interface which departs from most of the other mobile OS offerings. Engadget has some demo video. Games on this device will interface with Xbox live, which is a big departure, and the whole interface seems to share a lot of DNA with the Zune, with that mimimalist typography. The demos are on a touchscreen device with 3 buttons (home, back, and search), powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Many questions arise about the platform, such as whether it supports a wide range of handset hardware, how apps work on it, development details, etc., and whether Microsoft is planning to get into the handset hardware business like Google has with the Nexus, essentially competing with its OEM customers. Also, what support is there for the wide range of Windows CE and other handheld devices currently used in industry for POP, inventory management, etc. ? Still, this product introduction shows that Microsoft is determined to stay in the game.

On the iPhone front, Macworld saw the introduction of some new platforms for quickly generating applications, including Yapper, a WYSIWYG editor that garnered Best of Show. Yapper lets you build an app around RSS feeds with no coding, and supports iPhone, Android, and iPad, with content caching, location capabilities, push notification support, and support for monetization and analytics. Very promising approach. Others include iSites, and appOmator, as well as TapLynx, which has been around for a while.

The iPad is definitely stimulating new developer interest, according to Flurry Analytics. This article includes a graph comparing new starts of iPhone apps against Android projects.

Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, is excited about the iPad.

When the heck are WWDC 2010 tickets going on sale? Last year sold out in record time, and the current drought of technical information on the iPad suggests that this year is going to be a mad rush. Articles like this suggest that Apple has booked the Moscone Center from June 28-July2, but there has been no word from Apple since this leak, and they may well need a bigger venue this time around.

This timeframe would place the keynote exactly 3 years from the release of the original iPhone, which has some people speculating that Apple will drop the exclusive with AT&T, but the introduction of some groundbreaking new data plans for the iPad suggests that Apple is likely to be extending the deal.

Android is still looming over the horizon. A report from Comscore shows that Android market share has about doubled in the last quarter, at the expense of Palm, Windows Mobile, and to a lesser extent, Blackberry. iPhone share is still growing, but the introduction of multiple new Android handsets is building momentum for Google. Developers, however, are not seeing a bonanza from the Android market, some are scaling back their development. Gameloft in particular says they are getting 400 times the revenue from iPhone that they are from Android. Gameloft’s revenue from iPhone games was about $24.5 million for 2009, and accounted for 22% of the company’s total revenue in the last quarter. Developers are generally complaining that price points on Android are lower, and that Google is not promoting its store nearly as well. Discoverability of Android apps is considerably weaker than for iPhone apps, as Android’s marketplace is generally only directly accessible over the handset. Android has not spawned a large ecosystem of third-party app and game review sites, and doesn’t have a desktop equivalent to iTunes, which provides most of the merchandising and visibility for iPhone apps. Even though Android is very likely to overtake Palm in the next quarter, Google’s inability to generate excitement around its app store will keep developers from committing to the platform.

Gartner issued a report last month that attributed 99.4% of mobile app sales in 2009 to the iPhone. Their methodology may or may not be sound, but if true this is a dramatic shift away from the old model of app and game sales through the carrier. The market for mobile apps is likely to reach nearly $7 billion this year. Garner is predicting that Apple’s share of this revenue may be about $4.5 billion, 70 percent of which will be going to developers.

Consumer Reports announced Friday that iPhone users consume 5 times the data of Blackberry users, and nearly twice that of other smartphones. This disparity explains why iPhones are bringing AT&T’s networks to their knees, but it also suggests that ease-of-use is very important to getting people to actually use their data services.