At its press event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Google announced a new device to help bring content from Android, iOS and Chrome OS devices, along with content from Chrome browsers to TV screens. Chromecast runs a simplified version of Chrome OS and connects directly to a TV through the HDMI port. The device allows users to wirelessly send 1080p content from services like Pandora, Google Music, YouTube and Netflix from various devices to their TV. Unlike Apple’s Airplay feature, Chromecast doesn’t mirror the device, allowing users to multitask without interrupting the stream. Devices can also be used as a remote control to turn the TV on, raise the volume and add more content to the streaming queue. Chromecast is available now through Google Play, Amazon and Best Buy for $35. Early adopters will be given three months of Netflix service for free with their purchase.
Want to know why it’s less important for Apple to have the top overall market share for smartphone sales? It’s all about the value that iOS devices can produce for the company and new data from Opera’s global advertising network shows that iOS is very valuable indeed. The Next Web reports that Opera’s latest figures show that iOS devices generate almost half of all mobile ad revenue across its network while Android devices account for just 28% of all mobile ad revenues. Things are even grimmer for other mobile platforms, however: BlackBerry generates 5.4% of revenues, Symbian generates 1.6% of revenues and Windows Phone generates a mere 0.3% of revenues. The iPad is obviously a big part of Apple’s dominance in the mobile ad world, but even when you take it out of the equation, Apple’s iPhone still generates 36.5% of all mobile ad revenues, which is more than Android’s total market share for both phones and tablets.
A new report suggests that consumers aren’t interested in paying for mobile apps and over time have forced developers to release their apps for free. Analytics firm Flurry on Thursday revealed that between 2010 and 2012, free apps accounted for between 80% and 84% of all apps. However, in 2013 that number has shot up to 90% of all apps and it doesn’t look like the trend is set to reverse anytime soon. Apple iPad users are the most willing to pay for apps with an average price of $0.50 per app downloaded, followed by iPhone users at $0.19 per app. Android users are the least likely to buy apps, spending an average of only $0.06 per app downloaded. The firm notes that while consumers dislike advertisements, when given the option between a free and paid version consumers “overwhelmingly choose the free apps and tolerate the ads.” A second image follows below. More →
Apple has claimed that 90% of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps in the App Store are downloaded at least once a month. According to data from tracking service Adeven, however, more than two-thirds of apps in Apple’s marketplace are “barely ever installed by consumers.” The firm argues that the sheer size of the App Store has made it harder for smaller developers to get noticed, BBC News reported. It revealed that 579,001 apps out of a total of 888,856 apps in its database are “zombie apps,” or apps that go unnoticed and never appear on any of Apple’s most popular worldwide app lists. The exact number downloads for these “zombies” is unknown because Apple doesn’t reveal this information, however Adeven researchers believe the figures are “very small.”
According to a report from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, smartphone sales in the U.S. have remained stable over the three-month period ending in May. The firm noted that strong iPhone sales from T-Mobile helped Apple’s market share jump 3.5% between March and May, and the iPhone now accounts for 41.9% of smartphone sales in America. The mobile market duopoly continued as Android accounted for 52% of sales, up 0.1% year-over-year. Sales of Windows Phone devices saw little growth, increasingly a mere 0.9% year-over-year for a 4.6% market share in the No.3 spot. More →
Apple on Monday began offering a number of top-selling iOS apps and games for free to celebrate the 5th anniversary of its iOS App Store. Among the paid titles that are now free for the sale are Tiny Wings and Tiny Wings HD; Traktor DJ, which is normally $20; Badland; Where’s My Water?; and Infinity Blade II, which typically costs $7. It is unclear how long Apple’s sale will last, so those looking to take advantage of the promotion should head over to the App Store soon. Links to several of the premium iPhone and iPad apps now on sale for free can be found below. More →
We don’t cover many apps here on BGR and we certainly don’t cover app updates, but the recent demise of Google Reader seems to warrant an exception. We recently asked our audience which feed reader replacements you had chosen as Google Reader’s death approached. With thousands of votes tallied, Feedly was the clear winner — nearly 73% of those who voted said they had switched to Feedly. As such, it seems prudent to report that one of the best feed reader apps for iOS, Reeder, has now been updated with Feedly support. For those who haven’t tried it yet, Reeder happens to be free right now for a limited time. Also worth noting: While Feed Wrangler came in last in our poll with less than 0.5% of respondents saying they had switched to the service, the new Reeder update adds support for Feed Wrangler as well.
According to Fiksu, downloads of free iPhone apps grew by 31% in May compared to the same month in 2012. This is nothing to sniff at, but it clearly signals the maturation of the iOS app market in the United States. The daily download level of 5.9 million in May still sits below January’s pace of 6.1 million daily downloads. This stands in stark contrast with Google Play’s torrid download volume growth in Asia in the first half of 2013. Interestingly, Fiksu also reports that the iOS app user acquisition cost is now actually dropping as Facebook’s mobile app install ads exert downward pressure on marketing campaign pricing.
Apple hates Google. While there have been some huge advancements spawned from that hatred — fierce competition between the two companies spurs innovation — there have also been some monumental disasters. Case in point: Apple Maps. Apple was in such a rush to get Google Maps off of its iOS devices that it launched an awful half-baked mapping solution of its own long before the product was ready for primetime. Apple’s Maps app was so bad that CEO Tim Cook actually had to issue a public apology, but some beauty has finally emerged from this unsightly blemish on iOS. Behold, “mapglitch.” More →
BlackBerry on Tuesday launched a new service that will surely appeal to the bring your own device (BYOD) crowd. Secure Work Space will allow companies to manage and secure Android and iOS devices using the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 mobile device management platform. BlackBerry noted that the service separates personal and corporate data while providing “integrated email, calendar and contacts app, an enterprise-level secure browser and secure attachment viewing and editing with Documents To Go.” The company previously revealed that 60% of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. are testing its new products.
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 →