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Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Need for mobile developers outstrips availability

Friday, June 7th, 2013

mobile devicesThere is a gap between demand and availability of skilled mobile developers across various global locations including Silicon Valley, according to  the findings of its latest study on “Global Mobile Talent.”

 To address the gaps, companies are following a three-pronged approach – acquisitions, leveraging global talent hotspots by expanding their R&D footprint and vendor partnerships – to take advantage of available talent, the study found.

The Talent Neuron study revealed that the supply of talent is definitely not being able to keep pace with demand and while job postings for mobile developers have doubled over the past two years, the number of registered developers is increasing only by 13%, thereby creating a huge gap. This rate of growth is expected till 2015.

Among the measures that companies are taking to bridge the gap; several large organizations are leveraging global talent ‘hotspots’ such as India, China, Israel and Europe. The majority of mobile application talent is located in Europe, The Middle East, and Africa (EMEA, where 42% of the global top 25 cities for mobile development are located), with Finland, Tel Aviv and Moscow emerging as key locations.

Hotspot for talent

Android logoInterestingly, Asia Pacific (APAC) is a hotspot for talent that works on the Android platform, while iOS and Blackberry developers are less prevalent in the region. The study found tremendous demand for HTML 5 development skills, which witnessed a 149% increase in job postings in 2013. This was followed closely followed by job posts for Android app developers (increased by 146%) and iOS developers (132%).

Vijay Swami, Co-Founder and CEO, Talent Neuron, said, “There is an intense war for mobile development talent, fueled by low availability and the dynamic nature of the industry which requires constantly updated skill sets. Recruiters need to understand the underlying technology and requirements before writing job descriptions, and also understand location-specific trends.

Rather than waiting for the perfect candidate, companies should aggressively leverage global locations to expand their catchment area, analyze skills of niche mobile first organizations before M&A and opportunistically leverage partners for talent (Not cost)”.

Emerging cities

Kings College London

Kings College London

However, while the US and EMEA have a matured mobile development ecosystem, with regions like the Bay Area, San Francisco,New York, London and Tel Aviv being hubs for developers who can take on high-end work, cities like Sydney, Tokyo, Munich, Sao Paolo are ‘challengers’ where talent predominantly works on testing and development. Emerging cities include Beijing, Bangalore,Shanghai, Dublin and Madrid, where the ecosystem is nascent.

The top 25 cities have close to 55% of mobile application talent, led by the Bay Area in the Americas, London in EMEA and Beijing in APAC. While the Americas have 45% of mobile development talent, this is followed by APAC with 30% and EMEA with 25%.

The study said that acquisitions are another method that companies are using to bridge the talent gap. Mobile M&A activity has increased significantly last year and is expected to maintain momentum in 2013. In fact, in 2011, the total value of the deals grew by 100% from 2010 and stood at USD $18.8 billion.

And last but not the least, it read that the increasing demand for mobile application development skills is now driving universities to offer courses on the subject.

These universities are located across the US and Canada (12), EMEA (nine in the United Kingdom, one each in Sweden and Finland), Australia (five) and India (one), the study revealed. An example of company-university partnership is the investment by Microsoft of $24 million in the three-year AppCampus app development program in Aalto University at Finland.

Milestone: Majority of Americans now own smartphones

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

PewInternetA majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind, a milestone finding by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project says.

Because 91% of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56% of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. One third (35%) have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone at all.

Younger adults have consistently led the way in smartphone adoption, the new Pew report notes.

But, it also says, every major demographic group experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, although seniors—defined as those 65 and older—continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups.

Some 18% of Americans age 65 and older now own a smartphone, compared with 13% in February 2012.

Smartphone ownership does vary significantly by household income.

However, that variation is unevenly distributed across different age groups. Younger adults—regardless of income level—are very likely to be smartphone owners. Conversely, for older adults smartphone ownership is more of an “elite” phenomenon: smartphones tend to be quite prevalent at the upper end of the income distribution but much less common among those with lower income levels.

Additional details are available with charts in the full report (see link in first paragraph).

Figure 1

Figure 4

Figure 5

Most businesses had a costly mobile security incident

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

mobile devicesThe majority of businesses (79%) had a mobile security incident in the past year, and the costs are substantial. The new report found mobile security incidents tallied up to over six figures for 42 percent of businesses, including 16 percent who put the cost at more than $500,000.

From smartphones to tablets, mobile devices continue to cause ongoing concern for IT teams responsible for information security. Sensitive corporate information can be easily transported, leaked, or lost while the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has dramatically increased the number of expensive security incidents.

Even so, corporate information, including sensitive customer information, are increasingly stored on personal mobile devices and not managed by corporate IT.

Based on a survey of nearly 800 IT professionals, the report quantifies the dramatic growth of BYOD, exposes the frequency and cost of mobile security incidents, and identifies the main challenges faced by businesses of all sizes.

Key findings include:

  • Surge in Personal Mobile Devices Connecting to the Corporate Network – Among companies that allow personal mobile devices, 96 percent say the number of personal devices connecting to their corporate networks is growing, and 45 percent have more than five times as many personal mobile devices as they had two years ago.
  • Mobile Security Incidents Common and Costly for Businesses Large and Small – More than half (52%) of large businesses report mobile security incidents have amounted to more than $500,000 in the past year. Even for 45 percent of SMBs with less than 1000 employees, mobile security incidents exceeded $100,000 in the past year.
  • Android logoMobile Platform with the Greatest Perceived Security Risks – Android was cited by 49 percent of businesses as the platform with greatest perceived security risk (up from 30 percent last year), compared to Apple, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry
  • Corporate Information Not Managed on Mobile Devices – Despite costly mobile incidents, 63 percent of businesses do not manage corporate information on personal devices, and 93 percent face challenges adopting BYOD policies.
  • More Mobile Devices Store Sensitive Customer Information – More than half (53%) of all businesses surveyed report there is sensitive customer information on mobile devices, up from 47 percent last year.

“Without question, the explosion of BYOD, mobile apps, and cloud services, has created a herculean task to protect corporate information for businesses both large and small,” said Tomer Teller, security evangelist and researcher at Check Point Software Technologies.

“An effective mobile security strategy will focus on protecting corporate information on the multitude of devices and implementing proper secure access controls to information and applications on the go. Equally important is educating employees about best practices as majority of businesses are more concerned with careless employees than cybercriminals.”

For a full copy of the new report, The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security, please visit:

Android tablets poised to overtake Apple’s market lead

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Android logoApple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price, but Android devices are poised to overtake the firms lead.

The iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50 percent share of all tablet shipments, though, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.

The big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices.

Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.

“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”

IPad Mini becoming dominant

Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.

Steve Jobs was wrong in asserting that tablet computers had to have screens at least 10 inches in size. Consumers are clearly expressing a preference for small tablets. Anyone who has hefted a 10-inch tablet knows why. The small tablets are much easier on the hands and lose little in terms of the experience.

Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments.

ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49% of units and 39% of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.

These “Media Tablet Market Share” findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks & eReaders Research Service(

Tablets to overtake laptop shipments this year, PCs by 2015

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

tablet computersAccording to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7% year-over-year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, as the slumping PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second consecutive year.

In addition, IDC expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015. (A press release summarizing IDC’s latest PC market forecast can be found here.)

“What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers. “Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them.


IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”

These findings have implications for marketers as well as device makers.

Low cost Android devices fueling expansion

Personally, here at the TechJournal, while we like tablets and find them useful, we think it will be quite a while before they replace either desktop PCs or laptops. They just are not yet really suited as tools for many jobs – particularly those which require significant amounts of writing.

Once voice operation and dictation is perfected, however, we suspect that smaller devices may indeed replace many more uses of PCs and laptops.

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8% to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635.

Over at Walmart, we’ve seen numerous Android devices selling for under $100, some as low as $59. While reviews for these 7-inch tablets are not sterling, neither are the prices.


IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.

Here at the TechJournal, we expect the price on Google’s initial Nexus 7 models will drop when it introduces new models, which some say are due to launch in July. The same thing generally happens with Apple’s iPads.

Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

“Apple’s success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child.”

In addition to lower prices, another major shift in the tablet market has occurred around screen sizes. Apple’s first generation iPad, which included a 9.7-inch display, was perceived by many as the sweet spot for tablets.

That is, until 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple responded with the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.

Worldwide Tablet Market Share by Screen Size Band, 2011 – 2017
Screen Size 2011 2013 2017
< 8″ 27% 55% 57%
8″ – 11″ 73% 43% 37%
11″+ 0% 2% 6%
Total 100% 100% 100%

Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, May 28, 2013.

Small businesses embracing mobile technologies

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

mobilephonesFor those wondering if small business owners are actually using mobile technology for their business, the answer is a definitive “yes,” according to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT).

Of those surveyed in March 2013, 66 percent report currently using a mobile device, including smart phones and tablets, or a solution, like mobile-optimized websites and text message marketing.

While this majority adoption is promising, it’s important to note that, of the 34 percent not using any mobile device or solution for their business, a resounding 65 percent have no plans to do so in the future, mainly citing a lack of customer demand.

Email and Social Media Marketing Paving the Way

How are small businesses using mobile technology? The top two ways are email and social media marketing, and they have a considerable lead over other uses:

  • 73 percent conduct social media marketing.
  • 71 percent conduct email marketing.
  • 44 percent advertise through social platforms.
  • 34 percent have a mobile-optimized website.
  • 18 percent run a mobile tablet-based payment point-of-sale.
  • 18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations, like accounting.

“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals, and even to make purchases,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.

“That said, small business owners are still getting their sea legs, so it’s not surprising that they’re leading with two areas where they have a solid track record of success with customer engagement: social media and email.”

social media logosWhen asked what types of mobile/social advertising they currently employ, 97 percent of respondents said social media like YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Location-based promotions (Foursquare® check-in, etc.) came in a distant second at 17 percent, and text message came in third at 15 percent.

A deeper look into mobile-optimized websites of small businesses reveals that 70 percent are social-media optimized. Other findings:

  • 44 percent contain a menu.
  • 40 percent contain individual product listings.
  • 39 percent contain videos.

Apple & Android– The New POS?

In the battle of iOS vs. Android, iOS is the clear winner.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

Among small business owners, iPhone users trump Android users 66 percent to 39 percent, while iPad users trump Android tablet users 49 percent to 15 percent. iOS popularity among small business owners is not reflected among the general public where, according to a recent comScore MobiLens study that measures the smartphone platforms used by everyone in the U.S., Android subscribers account for 52.3 percent of all subscribers, while iOS subscribers account for 37.8 percent.

Small businesses are using these devices for point-of-sale functions. Seventy-one percent of small businesses using mobile technology accept mobile payments and 52 percent utilize a mobile-/tablet-based point-of-sale system.

Mobile Apps for Managing Operations

Mobile apps are playing a growing role in how small businesses manage operations.

  • 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
  • 74 percent use a customer communications app.
  • 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
  • 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
  • 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
  • 29 percent use a travel planning app.

Why Aren’t All Small Businesses Mobilizing Behind Mobile?

mobilewalletWhen Constant Contact asked small business owners not using mobile the all-important question of why, here’s how they responded:

  • 56 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile communications.
  • 47 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile payment solutions.
  • 36 percent said they are interested in mobile solutions but don’t know enough about how to best use them.
  • 33 percent said they’re interested in mobile solutions but haven’t had time to implement any yet.
  • 31 percent said they don’t have a work-/business-related smartphone.
  • 28 percent said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.

“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their ‘to do’ list,” said Hughes.

“We received some anecdotal survey responses that said ‘It costs too much’ and ‘I have no idea how this stuff works,’ representing the subset of small businesses that will forgo mobile opportunities until their customers start demanding mobile communications or payment solutions.”

Mobile click-throughs, conversions higher, iOS regains lead

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

mobile devices

Mobile advertising will top 10 percent of all digital advertising this year and become a vital part of every major ad campaign, according to the State of Mobile Advertising report from Open Mediaworks.

The data originates from the company’s extensive mobile advertising platform, which consists of AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, 4th Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance.

The platform serves 50+ billion ad impressions per month via 12,000 mobile sites and apps, delivering a total of $400M in revenue to mobile publishers in 2012.

Highlights from the report:

  • iOS regains lead over Android for impression volume and maintains top position for monetization. Mobile ad campaigns running on Apple devices consistently achieve the highest average eCPMs and account for nearly half (49.2%) of all revenue delivered to mobile publishers. The iPhone also edged out Android phones this quarter in impression volume, regaining the No.1 position it lost temporarily at the end of 2012.
  • Music, Video and Media dominates both volume and revenue. Mobile consumption of music, video and media continues to climb, reaching just over 29% of all ad requests, up from 21.4% the previous quarter. This quarter, revenue caught up to volume, as we saw the category earning the largest sum of revenue (17.7%) of any other category. Business and Finance sites, however, are still the most valuable, as they produce the highest revenue per impression.
  • Europe’s mobile ad market is taking off. While mobile ad traffic is accelerating across all geographies, some of the fastest growth we are seeing is from the top 5 European countries (the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain). Some 21.5% of ad impressions on the Opera Mediaworks platform are now served in Europe, up from 15% at the end of 2012. However, the United States still generates the most revenue (75.4%) on the platform, even with a diminished impression volume (50.7% vs. 60% last quarter).

“Mobile advertising, which is expected to exceed 10% of all digital advertising this year, will become a vital facet of every major ad campaign in the upcoming year,” says Mahi de Silva , CEO, Opera Mediaworks.

“The size of the audience combined with rich media and engagement rates shows we will continue to see a shift of ad dollars away from traditional media and desktop digital media to tablets and smartphones. Overall, Q1 2013 was another record quarter for mobile advertising across the world — with a particularly strong March.”

The report also explores some new findings from the Opera Mediaworks team around recent performance-focused campaigns.

By digging deeper into contextual information (i.e., device and connection type) and using intelligent prioritization to make smarter decisions about campaign placement, advertisers are showing significant improvements to both click-through rates and conversions.

To read the full report, go to:

Systamatic approach needed to build successful mobile apps

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

mobile devicesBuilding and marketing an app is becoming increasingly complex and will demand a systematic fact-based approach to handle market turbulences in the coming years.

Over the last few years, there has been something of a ‘developers gold rush’ as almost every software developer on the planet has tried to leap into the apps market looking to make a fortune off the next smash hit like Angry Birds.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds has both free and paid versions of its popular game.

The reality is that only a very small percentage of developers create multi-million dollar smash hit apps.

With over 1.5 billion people regularly downloading mobile apps, users have downloaded more than 46 billion apps on their smartphones.

The fast-growing apps market generated revenues of $12 billion in 2012, and that figure is set to grow to $20.4 billion in 2013. Annually, revenues are growing at 35% in Europe, 50% inAsia and 30% in North America.

Learn where the money is coming from and how it will be generated in a new report published by Portio Research, “Strategies for Creating Best-In-Class Mobile Apps

Smartphone App Market Monitor

Volume 9 Historical Data Package

AppleWhile Apple’s market share of app downloads constantly fell from 81% in 2008 to 39% at the end of 2012, Android’s app downloads increased year over year reaching 42% at the end of 2012.

Both platforms now combine 82% of all app downloads. Will this duopoly last for the next years or will the market see another major change in the market structure as witnessed 5 years ago when the dominance of Symbian started to fade away?

The most likely scenario is that the duopoly will give way to a more heterogeneous mobile operating system landscape. There is evidence that already in 2013 the market will enter a new phase with more relevant mobile app platforms which would be the beginning of the end of the duopoly.

Compared to the world today, where most of the app publishers and developers are concentrating on iOS and Android, the need for adding at least Windows Phone and BlackBerry to the “served platform list” will increase over the next 2 years. If companies want to reach out to the community of early adopters they would even have to include new OS platforms like Ubuntu or Jolla to the list.

Adding HTML5 makes 7 platforms to watch and/or maintain.  That is good news for the app development industry and multi-platform tool vendors but starts to become a real management task for companies trying to reach their customers with the help of mobile apps.

By comparing and evaluating different sources, the “Smartphone App Market Monitor” seeks to provide the most comprehensive picture of the app market available. the market monitor is designed to support internal discussions and business decisions, content is presented as much as possible in graphs and tables to make a key tool for any app publisher, app developer, app store and platform owner.

More information about this report and a free sample are available at

Tablet sales to hit $64B, tide turning to Android

Friday, April 12th, 2013

tabletsThe convenience and mobility benefits afforded by tablet computers are showing no signs of slowing interest after record unit shipments and revenues were reported by device vendors in 2012.

In 2013, approximately 150 million tablets (up 38% year-over-year) are forecasted to ship globally worth an estimated $64 billion (up 28% from 2012) in potential end-user revenues, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research.

Apple shipped 60 percent of total

So far, Apple has reigned since the introduction of its iPad in 2010, though Samsung and others continue to erode its early success.

About 60% of last year’s tablet shipments used Apple’s iOS operating system software while 37% were based on Google’s Android OS (or development forks of Android, such as found on Amazon’s Kindle Fire slates).

The remaining 3% OS share consisted of Windows (Windows 7, 8, or RT), BlackBerry Tablet OS, and unidentified OS implementations.

Tide turning toward Android

Android logo“The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching,” says mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr.

“The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom line impact this is having for Apple.

Here at the TechJournal, we think the late Steve Jobs was wrong when he said tablets needed those 10-inch screens. The 7-inch models are much handier and with the exception of all those regular sized iPad sales, we think they’ll dominate the market.

Personally, while we enjoy our Kindle Fire, we are waiting to see what Google offers in its upcoming new Nexus 7 tablet release expected in July. We suspect Apple will release an updated iPad mini in the not too distant future as well.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: what will make tablets even more useful, salable and dominant is better voice control – something Apple’s Siri and the dictation features on the Nexus are approaching. Better accuracy and true dictation ability are crucial to easy control of these devices without a keyboard.

The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7” iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood.”

Samsung could challenge Apple


iPad 4

The next opportunity is for a vendor challenger to break away from the pack and move closer to Apple. Most would consider Samsung the likely pursuer, though the company was mired in legal proceedings during much of 2012.

The success Samsung has seen during the past year with smartphones, Android OS, and the Galaxy Note II is expected to migrate across to tablets in 2013.

“A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company’s market share this year,” adds Orr.

Unfortunately, there are few “fast followers” capable of emulating the ownership of technology that Samsung has, suggesting that more innovation is necessary within the Android OS that pulls tablet OEMs closer to Apple.

These “Media Tablets and eReaders” Market Data findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders Research Service (

WeatherBug for Android wins 2013 Appy award

Friday, March 15th, 2013

WB_AppyWeatherBug for Android won the 2013 Appy Award for Best Weather App at an awards ceremony held during the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas.

The annual Appy Awards are produced by MediaPost Communications — a media, advertising and marketing news and events publishing company based in New York.

The awards aim to acknowledge extraordinary mobile, social or Web-based applications that are carefully chosen by MediaPost’s Executive Jury among thousands of entrants in all imaginable categories.

WeatherBug for Android previously received the 2011 Appy Award for Best Weather App.

WeatherBug for Android uses real-time neighborhood-level weather information to create better forecasts and provide the fastest and most targeted mobile warnings for where people live and work.

Powered by Earth Networks, the operator of the largest weather monitoring and lightning detection networks, WeatherBug for Android lets users Know Before with live weather data – in addition to hourly and extended forecast information for favorite locations – and customized weather tools to keep mobile users informed and alerted.

According to the Appy jury, WeatherBug for Android “presents just about everything one could want or need to know about current and forecasted weather” while allowing users to “glide easily from a look at the temperature, wind speed and a five-day forecast to a map showing precipitation and on to a deeper dive into what’s to come.”

More than 125,000 reviewers have rated WeatherBug 5 out of 5 stars on Google Play, and over 50,000 have given the app a four-star rating.

WeatherBug for Android (ad supported) is available at no cost on Google Play:

WeatherBug Elite for Android (without ads) is available for $1.99 on Google Play:

Why are photo and video apps cheaper for iPhones than for Android?

Friday, February 1st, 2013
iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

While iPhone users may pay more for their device up front than Android users, they actually pay less for the most popular photo and video apps than Android users, according to the Photo/Video Apps Market Analysis January Report just published by Suite 48 Analytics.

It found that he more popular photo and video apps on iPhone cost on average 38% less than their Android equivalents. A majority of the 50 top ranking photo and video apps on iPhone are priced at the minimum allowed in the iTunes store, $0.99, compared to only 34% of Android apps.


Suite 48 Analytics president and author of the report, Hans Hartman said it’s because the photo app market is both more mature and more competitive on iPhone than on Android.

There are roughly three times more photo or video apps in the iPhone store (approximately 20,000) than in Google Play (7,500). Also, whereas only 32% of Android apps have been on the market for over a year, the majority of the top ranking iPhone photo and video apps are that old,” he said.

according to the study, 49% of iPhone apps older than one year have in-app purchasing functionality, versus only 29% of those released in the last six months.

Among other noteworthy findings of the study:

  • 38% of the top ranking photo apps are photo enhancement apps (such filters or effects apps), followed by “combine” apps (such collage apps), and camera apps.
  • Top ranking iPhone photo and video apps have higher user ratings than their Android counterparts.
  • Only 10% of the top ranking photo and video apps are video apps (another 13% are apps that can be used both for photos and videos), indicating that still photography continues to dominate the market.
  • Only 1% of the top ranking photo and video apps are primarily print product ordering apps such as greeting card or photobook apps; 5% have ordering print products as one of their features.
  • 34% of the top grossing photo and video apps on iPad are specially made for iPad, i.e. not offered on iPhone.
  • The top 25 free Android photo or video apps in the US generate 63% of their downloads outside the US. The equivalent number on the iPhone is significantly lower, at 51%.

Sales of Microsoft & Blackberry phones enough to interest developers

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

smartphonesThe global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of 2013, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. Of this base, 57% will run on Android and 21% on iOS.

Meanwhile, there will be 268 million tablets in active use, with 62% of them built on iOS and 28% on Android.

The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44% for smartphones and 125% for tablets. Despite of Apple’s and Google’s strong hold of the market, ABI Research anticipates that the future won’t be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now.

A relative success for Microsoft and Blackberry?

Outside of the leading two operating systems, how will the world look for the two main challengers, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10?

Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen comments, “2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry.

For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”

Importantly, the figures refer to actively used devices, which is what app developers – with certain caveats in mind – should generally treat as an addressable market for their releases.

As Markkanen points out, “The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success. Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms.”

Making New Year’s resolutions? There’s an app for that

Monday, December 31st, 2012

CMaking New Year’s resolutions? A Durham, NC firm has launched a fee social game called GoalWorthyf or discovering new life goals, earning points for life achievements, and sharing life victories with family and friends.

In addition to the website, the GoalWorthy iPhone and Android apps are available as free downloads for playing GoalWorthy on-the-go.

GoalWorthy uses social media and gamification to create a unique goal-setting experience. Users play by accepting real-life goals from the GoalWorthy community or by contributing their own goals. They can also use GoalWorthy to follow their friends’ goal activity and provide encouragement.

Players determine the worth of a goal

Players determine the worth of a goal using a voting system and as a goal receives more “worthy” votes, the points awarded to players upon achievement of that goal increases as well. The continued earning of points will cause a player’s life to “Level Up.”

The GoalWorthy platform integrates  with Facebook, and GoalWorthy users can suggest goals and gift badges in recognition of achievements to their Facebook friends.

“Our society spends a tremendous amount of time and energy on video games. As a gaming enthusiast myself, it would be great if we could channel some of that enthusiasm into achieving real world goals that matter to ourselves and our communities and Level Up our real lives.” says Don Shin , CrossComm CEO.

More fun setting New Year’s resolutions

“Social media is an inherently powerful platform for personal goals as we tend to try harder when others are watching, and support from our community is essential for overcoming life’s challenges. With the New Year approaching, we hope GoalWorthy will help our players have more fun in setting New Year’s resolutions with their friends.”

GoalWorthy, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of CrossComm, Inc., a mobile and web development studio headquartered in downtown Durham, NC. C

CrossComm says it sees the GoalWorthy launch as only the beginning, and plans to significantly enhance the platform in 2013 based upon initial end-user feedback and suggestions.


App developers anticipate 90 percent of retailers will offer mobile

Friday, December 14th, 2012

AppceleratorMobile app developers retain a strong interest in Android and iOS platforms, but they’re not much interested in making new apps for Amazon Kindle tablets or Microsoft’s Surface. They are interested in Google’s Nexus.

That’s what a survey of 3,000 mobile developers by Appcelerator and International Data Corporation found.

The survey findings demonstrate that developers expect mobile to continue to be pervasive both in enterprise investments and consumers’ lives. In addition to the expansion of mobile connected devices, developers predict consumers will dramatically change their shopping behaviors through the availability of mobile commerce sites and mobile payment options.

Blown away by results related to retail

“I am blown away by this quarter’s survey results related to retail,” said Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie.

“We’ve known that more and more consumers are augmenting their brick-and-mortar shopping with mobile buying experiences, but this quarter over 90 percent of developers anticipate most retail companies will offer a mobile commerce experience in 2013.”

He added, “These findings stress the ubiquity of mobile and the need for the best user experiences that are available to consumers who want to shop and pay anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

See the full report:

Mobile shopping surged on Black Friday, biggest increase in the South

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Black FridayYet more data on the Thanksgiving weekend shopping shows that Black Friday should be renamed “Mobile Friday,” as mobile shopping grew twice the rate on that day as it did on Cyber Monday, according to eXelate, a data and analytics engine.

The eXelate data echoes that of others who crunched the Thanksgiving Weekend shopping numbers.

“The tradition of Football on Thanksgiving Day might be replaced by couch-potato shopping if retailers continue promoting holiday shopping earlier,” said Mark S. Zagorski, CEO of eXelate.

“Today’s advanced e-commerce technology enables multitasking, allowing multiscreen consumers to benefit from the best of both worlds – watching the National Football League games on the big screen while simultaneously shopping for advertised products on their digital devices.  We believe that 2013 will see an even greater shift toward mobile shopping and that all five days spanning Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday will even out as the notion of the ‘Black Weekend’ becomes a reality.”

What all of this means, of course, is trouble for big box retailers and a continuing trend toward small retail stores. If we were in the retail business, we might consider setting up spaces intentionally designed to promote showrooming of many products consumers could then purchase online.

Other notable highlights from Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2012 include:

  • ‘Black Weekend’ – With the onset of holiday shopping starting on Thanksgiving Day, 2012 might be the first year of the ‘Black Weekend’ running from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Though Thanksgiving AND Cyber Monday saw the largest increase in shoppers, eXelate believes that shopping during the ‘Black Weekend’ will eventually even out across all five days.
  • Cyber Monday retains Title – Though online shopping was up each day during ‘Black Weekend’ vs. 2011, the biggest increase – 29% – occurred on Cyber Monday.
  • Online Shopping heads South – Though all regions experienced growth in online shopping, the biggest growth vs. 2011 – 36% – occurred in the South.
  • Mobile Shopping Peaked on Black Friday – 52% of iPhone users and 41% of Android users shopped via their mobile devices on Black Friday whereas more Mac users shopped via their laptops on Cyber Monday upon returning to work.

Click here for the complete eXelate ‘Black Weekend’ 2012 Infographic


Reviews largely favorable for iPhone 5 speed, battery, more

Monday, October 1st, 2012
iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is praised for speed, call clarity and battery life on Viewpoints a consumer reviews and product rankings website. Some Apple fans even gush over the troubled Apple Maps feature some say was a $30 billion mistake.

Based on consumer sentiment, the iPhone 5 32GB ($299) is rated 94/100, ten points higher than the average smartphone rating.


Besides a larger screen, the most significant changes from the iPhone 4S are a faster processor and the ability to use advanced cellular networks, 4G LTE.

“I will say the web browsing does seem faster…the speed increase is noticeable.”–Matt

Battery life

Nearly everyone reports the iPhone 5 battery is stronger compared to older iPhones.

“With Wi-Fi turned on, playing games, accessing the web and on a hour-long conference call, the battery never faltered. After 24 hrs and heavy use, more than 60% power still available.” –TerryNakagawa

“…5am until midnight … can’t complain about that.” –Kyrshen


Apple replaced Google Maps with its own program, which lacks functionality, like display of public transportation, an “epic fail” according to one reviewer. The maps do offer turn-by-turn directions, as well as restaurants as landmarks. Most Viewpoints reviewers aren’t inconvenienced and like the look:

“The new Apple Maps are just stunning, the 3D angle and flying sensation are terrific.”–


Sure, there’s hubbub around Apple Maps. But think of it this way… the iPhone 5 has more computing power than NASA did when they sent a man to the moon in 1969. The phone is spectacular.” –rma288

Personally, here at the TechJournal, we’re amazed at how Apple fans even gush over features for which the company had to apologize, such Apple Maps. The iPhone 5 may have more processing power than when NASA sent a man to the moon, but just about every electronic device with a silicon brain on the market does.

I can’t see myself EVER going back to Android!…Gorgeous. Sleek. Modern” –Jnystul

Admittedly, Android has its problems: we recently downloaded a chess board app that is supposed to let you use it to follow a game in a book. We even paid five bucks for it and it doesn’t work. We’ve read that many apps don’t work properly or have fewer features on Android.  The folks at Appcelerator tell us that one reason for that is that there are so many flavors of Android.

Viewpoints General Manager Denise Chudy says, “Based on early reviews, people are obviously passionate about the iPhone 5. It’s our hope that those insights help others decide if the iPhone 5 is the right choice for their needs and budget.”


New iPhone may show shift to apps & services in smartphone market

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

iPhone 4SWill Apple’s new iPhone 5 put it back in the driver’s seat in a market increasingly crowded with Android, Microsoft and Amazon devices?

Apple Inc. launched the original iPhone back in 2007 and redefined the very face of mobility devices. Armed with visionary innovation not only on the hardware front but also in enriching the overall user experience, it single-handedly diminished the growth of corporate giants like Research in Motion and Nokia Corp.

Over the years, competing platforms such as Android and Windows Phone have caught up with the features offered on the iOS platform, and have forged ahead in certain areas such as NFC communications based Google wallet, and wireless charging from Nokia.

Currently, Android dominates the global smartphone market and Samsung has overtaken Apple to become the top global smartphone vendor. With the launch of the latest iPhone, Apple intends to reverse the tide and re-emerge as the global smartphone leader.

Expected features in new iPhone

The new iPhone is expected to have a larger screen, support NFC, faster processor, better camera and a smaller dock connector, which is expected to extend to all the forthcoming iOS devices, amongst many other revolutionary features.

Add-ons services that provide a unique value proposition to the Apple ecosystem similar to the Siri launch with the iPhone 4S can also be expected.

According to Pranabesh Nath, Research Manager, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, Apple’s major product in terms of revenue is still the iPhone. “When the iPhone 4S was launched instead of the iPhone 5 the last time around, there was some disappointment in the fan-base.

“This didn’t however stop the record sales frenzy of the iPhone 4S, and we can expect a higher initial sales launch upwards of 1.5 to 2 million in the first 24 hours, compared to 1 million for the 4S in the same time frame. This is expected due to the anticipation that has built up over the last year by die-hard Apple fans, as well as due to a major shift in the platform and the new features it will tout.”

Competitors attempted to steal the limelight

Competitors such as Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola have tried to steal the limelight by launching new products in the weeks before Apple’s launch, but this is expected to be ineffective on the main demographic that are waiting for Apple products.

“While some may argue Apple has not really invented anything, it certainly has refined the experience of using mobile hardware and software and learnt from the mistakes of other manufacturers and for this it needs to be applauded,” said Pranabesh.

“No one can deny that Apple is the only smartphone vendor whose focus transcends beyond the hardware feature set to creating the overall ecosystem. By creating a formidable ecosystem with an abundance of content, services and applications, Apple has won over millions of end users, who just have to have the next Apple product. However, other vendors are also now building their own ecosystem. Proliferation of android apps and emergence of Google Play app storefront threatens to slow down the growth of Apple,” said Abhishek Chauhan, Senior Consultant, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan South Asia & Middle East.

Market now services driven

The market for smartphones has changed from being a device driven market to an application and services driven market, with smartphones being the primary platform to carry proprietary services/applications, with a slightly lesser but increasingly important focus on tablet devices.

Several trends are pointing to this trend, with major platform vendors Microsoft and Google gearing towards gaining more control of their platforms through a strong partnership with Nokia, and the acquisition of Motorola respectively, and launch of similar and competing services on content application services such as music, movies, ebooks, and others.

“This points to a market segmentation where we will have two primary types of players – those that are relying mostly on device sales for revenue, and those that are using device sales as a driver for applications and services. While all players in the market will hope to move to the latter category, Apple as well as other competitors such as Google and Amazon are already there, Samsung is still largely relying on hardware sales,” Pranabesh explained.

He continued, “Over the long term, this may reduce profits for Samsung as devices becomes commodities and the value of a pure-play hardware strategy yields lower revenue. The litigation game to increase market share quicker is unfortunately expected to continue, which is a sign of how competitive the market has become. This is not a very positive trend for consumers as it does limit choice.”

Larger long term threat

The larger threat in the long term, besides Google, is Amazon on the applications services side of things. Amazon already has a huge amount of e-content in the form of ebooks, music and movies. The launch of the Kindle Fire catapulted Amazon as the 4th player (besides Apple, Google and Microsoft) as a platform owner, and this has just received a major boost with the launch of the Kindle Fire HD.

“Depending on how far Amazon wants to take the platform strategy in its search for platform control and profits, we may even see a smartphone from Amazon in the near future as it is the single largest point of content consumption. Microsoft is expected to ramp up its service portfolio once its Windows 8 platform launches, and may be a very powerful contender in the consumer as well as enterprise side,” said Pranabesh.

He added, “In the long term, each competitor is competing for the total user base, and this competition is only expected to increase as revenues from application services become ever important.”

“A lot is riding on the success of the latest iPhone, and there’s no doubt that the new iPhone will indeed be successful. However, the degree of success depends on the uptake of the product much beyond the realms of Apple fans.  The ban of Samsung products might be a shot-in-the-arm for the Cupertino headquartered company but the real success depends on the new iPhone being revolutionary rather than simply evolutionary,” Abhishek concluded.


Mobile device more important than carrier to IT service pros

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

At&tMobile phone satisfaction among IT service professionals is heavily driven by the device itself – far more than the wireless provider. At least that’s what OnForceuncovered in its recent survey of nearly 900 IT service professionals.

The study, conducted just last month, found that when it comes to overall satisfaction, AT&T and Verizon are in a dead heat, with Sprint a distant third.

In fact, only 55 percent of Sprint customers surveyed are ‘very satisfied’ overall with their mobile experience, compared to 67 percent of AT&T customers and 66 percent of Verizon customers.

Blend of experiences adds to overall satisfaction

However, a customer’s overall satisfaction comes from a blend of experiences, and deeper analysis uncovered some dramatic differences in satisfaction levels – especially when asked about the service a carrier provides.

While AT&T appears to have a slight advantage in overall satisfaction, AT&T customers are not happy with the service itself. Only 35 percent of AT&T customers reported being ‘very satisfied’ with the service compared to 58 percent for Verizon, 41 percent for T-Mobile and 35 percent for Sprint.

So why are AT&T customers the most satisfied overall, but disappointed in the carrier’s service?  It comes down to the battle between iPhone and Android.

iPhone customers more satisfied with 10 of 11 features

iPhone customers, regardless of carrier, were substantially more satisfied in 10 of 11 functionality categories we surveyed. The only area where Android users expressed more satisfaction than iPhone users was on maps and directions – functionality Apple is improving in iOS 6.

Even more telling are the Net Promoter scores OnForce’s survey uncovered, where iOS came in at 69, well ahead of Android at just 27.

“The Net Promoter results are surprising,” said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. “IT field techs tend to be on the leading edge and often prefer open systems like Linux and Android. However, based on our findings, significantly more technicians are likely to recommend iOS to a friend or colleague than Android.”

From this data, it seems reasonable to conclude that AT&T’s early exclusive deal with Apple has had a very positive impact on overall satisfaction ratings, helping to mask AT&T’s weakness in carrier satisfaction. Fully 67 percent of AT&T customers use the iPhone, compared to only 33 percent of Verizon customers.

“Apple’s strength in the mobile market for the IT service community is clearly driven by the experience the iPhone delivers,” said Cannone. “Since AT&T no longer has iPhone exclusivity, the carrier risks losing market share.”

In fact, based on those surveyed, once existing contracts expire, AT&T is likely to lose approximately 10 percent of iPhone users to competitors like Verizon and Sprint.

Apple Leads, But Samsung’s Gaining Momentum
Apple continues to be the most popular mobile device manufacturer for IT service professionals, owning approximately 35 percent of the market, but Samsung (currently at 20 percent) is building momentum.

According to the study, both Apple and Samsung can expect to see a slight increase in market share, rising to 38 and 23 percent, respectively. That said, the recent patent infringement ruling against Samsung could have a significant impact on the company’s growth and adoption.

It’s interesting to note that current Samsung customers had the second lowest overall satisfaction with their mobile phone (BlackBerry was lowest) with only about half of current Samsung users ‘very satisfied.’

In part, Samsung’s growing popularity seems to be due to the sheer number of options Samsung provides. Among survey respondents who listed an exact phone model, there were 32 distinct Samsung phones – far more than any other manufacturer.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in Android usage amongst our community over the past year, but that could change quickly with new hardware and software developments on the horizon for Apple, and the majority of IT service technicians indicating that their next mobile device will be an Apple device,” added Cannone.


Malware on the rise: protect all your devices

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

malwarecloudIf you haven’t installed antivirus and malware protection on your mobile devices, you really should do so. We would love to report that things are getting better on the cyber security front, but unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. McAfee’s Threats Report: Second Quarter 2012, found the largest increase malware samples detected in the last four years.

Not only that, McAfee says that as malware writers master their craft, they are transferring their skills to  popular consumer and business platforms.

McAfee Labs detected a 1.5 million increase in malware since Q1 2012, with the sample rate accelerating to 100,000 a day.  It also identified new threats such as mobile “drive-by downloads”, the use of Twitter for control of mobile botnets, and the appearance of mobile “ransomware”.

“Over the last quarter we have seen prime examples of malware that impacted consumers, businesses, and critical infrastructure facilities,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs.

You need to protect all devices

“Attacks that we’ve traditionally seen on PCs are now making their way to other devices. For example, in Q2 we saw Flashback, which targeted Macintosh devices and techniques such as ransomware and drive-by downloads targeting mobile. This report highlights the need for protection on all devices that may be used to access the Internet.”

After the mobile malware explosion in Q1 2012, Android malware shows no signs of slowing down, putting users on high alert.

Virtually all new mobile malware detected in Q2 2012 was directed at the Android platform, and was comprised of SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware and destructive Trojans, says McAfee.

Ransomware, which cuts off a users access to a computer it infects, requires a ransom to be paid to the malware maker to get it removed, has increased steadily quarter over quarter. If your machine happens to pick up a ransomware infection, you might try this ransomeware removal method.

Botnets reach a 12-month high

Botnets, a network of compromised computers infected with malicious software and used to generate spam, send viruses or cause Web servers to fail, have also taken center stage again this quarter with infections reaching a 12-month high, says McAfee.

New methods for botnet control have also been uncovered, including the use of Twitter for mobile botnet command and control. As such, the attacker can tweet commands with relative anonymity and all infected devices will follow them.

McAfee also reports that thumb drive and password-stealing malware grew significantly. The AutoRun worm showed up in 1.2 million new samples. It spreads via thumb drives.

Websites hosting malware is also increasing. McAfee saw 2.7 new bad URLs per month (or 10,000 new malicious domains every day), 94,2 percent hosting malware, exploits or code intended to hijack computers.

Demand for mobile impressions through real-time bidding continues to rise

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Advertiser demand for mobile impressions through real-time bidding continues to rise, according to The Mobile Advertising Marketplace Report by MoPub, an ad server for smartphone app publishers.

The report is based on data from MoPub Marketplace, the company’s real-time bidding exchange that connects app publishers with ad buyers in a real-time market.

With both market growth and seasonal patterns beginning to pervade, demand from advertisers and demand side platforms for mobile ad supply has risen from 18% to 37% from January to June. Competitiveness, as reflected by Bid Depth, has also climbed with a 300% increase over the same period.


Highlights from the Q2 Mobile Advertising: Marketplace Report include:

  • ·     Operating System: iOS continues to maintain a healthy price premium over Android of 86%, with a difference of 37 cents in eCPM over Android. However, Android has gained share in Auction Volume from 28% to 39% from April to June, indicating possible future price increases
  • ·     Devices: iPad full-screen landscape ads (1024×768) show the greatest increase in price, finishing at eCPMs of $4.47, up from $3.61 in April
  • ·     Categories: Social networking demonstrates the most pointed growth in Auction Volume. Music and lifestyle apps also showed steady demand growth through Q2, and demonstrated eCPMs of 78 and 79 cents, respectively. Business apps yield the greatest eCPM at 84 cents
  • ·     Geographical: Italy and Korea demonstrate big drops in popularity, while the U.S. remains strong. Spain, Australia, and Canada demonstrate the highest eCPMs
  • ·     Ad Formats: Banner ads, popular among brands and performance advertisers, continue to dominate, with 86% of Auction Volume. Horizontal full screen interstitials, popular in gaming apps, declined in Auction Volume along with gaming volume impression
  • ·     Unique Device Identifier (“UDID”): While impressions with UDID still command a premium over those without the identifier, eCPMs have started to equilibrate at $0.66 and $0.60 respectively versus $0.81 and $0.55 in April
  • ·     Demographic data: Increases in overall Auction Volume with location information rose by 154% and those with gender data rose by 127% month-over-month, providing examples of valuable keyword data being passed from app publishers to advertisers.

The Mobile Advertising: Marketplace Report provides market data from real-time auctions for mobile ad impressions, aggregated from smartphone applications, advertisers and demand side platforms on MoPub Marketplace, MoPub’s mobile ad exchange.

The data reflected here is solely representative of exchange-traded media on MoPub Marketplace and does not include any ad network or ad network mediation data. MoPub does not sell advertising and does not buy inventory. MoPub Marketplace suppliers are smartphone application publishers from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

The data is representative of 15 billion monthly ad impressions across two-dozen verticals and is aggregated to provide mobile app publishers, advertisers, demand side platforms and industry analysts with market trends and revenue data for their businesses.

To download the full report, please visit: