Apple announced an entirely new mobile operating system earlier today, and it’s the company’s vision for the future of mobile computing. Led by Jonathan Ive instead of Scott Forstall, iOS 7 is a complete reimagining of iOS, both in terms of design as well as function. The design begs to be explored, tapped, and swiped in order for you to understand how profound a rethinking this actually is, and why it makes sense. More →
BlueStacks, the Silicon Valley-based startup known for its Android app player for Mac and PC, recently announced a new gaming console that will launch later this year. GamePop is similar to the Ouya console and is designed to play Android games, however instead of paying for individual titles, BlueStacks charges a monthly subscription fee of $6.99 for access to a library of more than 500 titles. The company on Friday made the console even more appealing by announcing that it will support games designed for Apple’s iPhone and iPad in addition to Android games. BlueStacks will utilize a virtualization tool known as Looking Glass to enable iOS games to be played on TV screens. The GamePop console can be preordered now for $129 and is scheduled to be released later this year.
A new report has found that the war between Android and iOS isn’t producing a clear winner. Mobile analytics firm Flurry revealed that the number of Android devices on its network doubled over the past year to reach 564 million as of April 2013. The firm notes that “there is more than one race for mobile market share occurring simultaneously.” Google’s operating system has controlled the device market since late 2012, however iPhone and iPad users consistently spend more time actually using their devices. Time spent using apps was almost equal between the two operating systems in March of 2012, but Apple pulled away with the launch of its third-generation iPad. Flurry speculates that Android’s software and hardware fragmentation has hurt its app ecosystem by creating more obstacles for developers. More →
BlackBerry hasn’t made anything official just yet, but that didn’t stop T-Mobile UK from seemingly spilling the beans and tweeting a release date for BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android. BGR scooped the eventual arrival of cross-platform BBM ages ago, but BlackBerry finally confirmed it last month and said its popular messaging service would launch on iOS and Android this summer. According to T-Mobile UK, a firm date has now been set: June 27th. BBM will be free on both competing platforms, and it is unclear exactly what functionality will be carried over from the BlackBerry 10 version. More →
A new report suggests that Apple may lose its crown as the world’s most popular app platform within the next few months. The company recently announced that its App Store is home to more than 850,000 applications that have been downloaded more than 50 billion times. Google’s Play Store isn’t far behind, however, with more than 48 billion app downloads worldwide. There are currently more than 900 million Android devices in the market, compared to 600 million mobile Apple products. According to The Telegraph, Android smartphone and tablet owners are downloading roughly 2.5 billion apps per month from Google Play, more than the approximately 2 billion iOS apps that are downloaded each month. At the current rate, Android is expected to surpass iOS as the world’s most popular app platform by this coming October.
BlackBerry Messenger will be available for download on the iPhone and Android smartphones later this summer. According to a BlackBerry executive, however, the popular messaging service could soon be preloaded on rival devices. BlackBerry chief operating officer Kristian Tear revealed in an interview with CNET that the company is in talks with a number of rival handset manufacturers to include the service right out of the box. The executive noted that there is a certain level of interest from other manufacturers, however no specific partners were revealed. There are currently 61 million BlackBerry Messenger users around the world, Tear said, with some 70% using BBM daily. BlackBerry still has a long and difficult road ahead, though, since rival services like cross-platform favorite WhatsApp have accumulated more than 200 million users.
Apple is once again the top-selling smartphone vendor in the United States. According to the latest numbers from research firm comScore, the company’s iPhone was found to have a 39.2% market share, up 1.4 percentage points from January. Samsung experienced only marginal growth prior to the release of its Galaxy S4 smartphone, increasing from 21.4% to 22% in April. HTC’s market share declined from 9.7% to 8.9%, likely the result of poor sales from the DROID DNA and delays to the HTC One. Rounding out the top five smartphone vendors were Motorola and LG, which respectively accounted for 8.3% and 6.7% of the market. More →
Trademob has a fascinating piece on the cost of launching a top-10 app in various markets. In America, you need 80,000 downloads over a 72-hour period to land a place in the top-10 chart on iOS. In Germany, 15,000 downloads will do. It’s an interesting snapshot of the relative sizes of major iOS markets. Of course, if your app is extremely viral, you don’t need to pay for people to download it. If it’s not, you need to buy it an early audience. More →
If half a dozen reports from several well-sourced reporters are to be believed, Apple has a huge redesign coming in iOS 7. Gone are the textures that have characterized iOS for six years now, replaced by a flatter user interface that will still maintain the overall feel of the operating system. While much remains a mystery, we already know what several redesigned elements in iOS 7 look like — not from a leak or a bunch of rumors, but because Apple has already shown them to us. More →
Apple hasn’t launched a new iOS device since last November but it still managed to increase its “market share” in May by 0.45% to 59.49%, according to a new report. Net Applications uses Web traffic measured across 40,000 difference websites in order to determine its market share figures each month, and the firm saw an up-tick in May for iOS after the platform lost nearly 1.5 points in April. Meanwhile, CNNMoney notes that the blockbuster launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 did nothing to increase Android’s share despite shipments hitting 10 million units in under a month. According to Net Applications’ data, Android’s share actually dropped nearly a point and a half in May to fall to 24.4% globally. BlackBerry gained under one-tenth of a point to climb to 1.64% in May and Symbian, the mobile OS that refuses to die, climbed to 2.06% last month from 1.73% in April. More →
You may want to think twice before using someone else’s charger next time your iPhone’s battery life is running low. Three researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology claim to have invented a charger that can install malware on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The team will show off a proof-of-concept of the hack at the BlackHat security conference in late July, however until then they are revealing little about the method. The hack apparently does not require a jailbroken device or user interaction and works on any Apple device running the latest version of iOS. At the conference, the team will “recommend ways in which users can protect themselves and suggest security features Apple could implement to make the attacks we describe substantially more difficult to pull off.” The BlackHat security conference is scheduled to take place between July 27th and August 1st in Las Vegas.
A new report suggests that Apple and Microsoft’s mobile platforms are growing faster than Google’s in the United States. According to data released by Kantar Worldpanel, iPhone and Windows Phone sales have increased 2.3 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points, respectively, in the past year. Sales of Android smartphones which grew 1.4 percentage points year-over-year during the same amount of time. In a three-month period ending in April 2013, the research firm found that Android devices accounted for 51.7% of smartphone sales in the U.S., compared to 41.4% from the iPhone and 5.6% from Windows Phone devices. More →
The new Distimo report on mobile app spending patterns offers some interesting regional tidbits. Globally, Google Play continues steadily chipping away at the huge lead Apple has built in mobile app revenue generation. In April 2013, the Google Play vs. iOS app revenue balance stood at 27% to 73%. One year earlier, it was 19% to 81%. There is still a long way to go before we see a 50/50 split, but it’s now looking as though Google might get there in a couple of years. However, in certain major mobile markets, Google has already caught up with Apple. Perhaps the most fascinating set of figures concerns WhatsApp. More →