Android might be targeted by hackers and malware far more often than Apple’s iOS platform, but that doesn’t mean devices like the iPhone and iPad are immune to threats. A post on Russian website Habrahabr.ru draws attention to a fairly serious vulnerability that allows nefarious users to remotely crash apps on iOS 6, or even render them unusable. The vulnerability is seemingly due to a bug in Apple’s CoreText font rendering framework, and OS X Mountain Lion is affected as well. More →
The new App Annie statistics from July show how volatile the global messaging app market is. In just one month, WeChat has soared from No.17 to No.4 on the iOS download chart for non-game apps. No other messaging apps made the top-10 download chart in July. Somewhat shockingly, WeChat has now passed both Instagram and Snapchat in global popularity. It is fascinating that WeChat’s popularity exploded just ahead of BlackBerry Messenger’s upcoming availability for Android and iOS devices… and exactly in markets that BlackBerry depends on. More →
The long-term challenge that mobile apps present Nintendo keeps getting more formidable. The new joint study from IDC and App Annie shows how consumer spending on games for iOS and Android continues to soar above spending on portable console games. In Q2 2013, revenue from iOS games was more than double the revenue generated by 3DS and Sony Vita games. Google Play games alone also generated more revenue than the entire portable console industry. More →
It’s always risky to project things like smartphone market share numbers over the next five years but Juniper Research is predicting something that should make anyone who’s a fan of competition happy: Namely, iOS and Android aren’t going to completely kill off rival smartphone platforms over the next five years. That doesn’t mean iOS and Android are just going to go away, of course, and Juniper still projects that those two operating systems will still account for the vast majority of smartphones shipped in 2018.
BlackBerry is currently exploring a number of options as its struggles persist, and a buyout is among them. It’s nearly impossible to value the company right now but, obviously, several analysts are happy to give it a shot. Among them is Nomura Equity Research analyst Stuart Jeffrey, who said in a recent research note that earlier reports suggesting BlackBerry could pull in between $14 and $15 per share in a sale were likely optimistic. If BlackBerry can even find a bidder, and Jeffrey doesn’t seem confident that it can, the vendor isn’t likely to see offers in excess of between $12 and $13 a share, according to the analyst. More →
Android tablets have been getting a lot more popular over the past year but they still face a major shortage of top-notch tablet-centric apps. Canalys has found that 30% of the top 50 free and paid iPad apps in the first half of 2013 were not available on Google Play while 18% were available but weren’t optimized for tablets. Taken all together, then, that means nearly half of the top iPad apps either aren’t available or aren’t optimized for Android tablets.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 introduced a new feature called “Smart Pause” that automatically pauses video playback when a user turns his or her face away from the phone’s display. While some branded Smart Pause as one of Samsung’s new gimmicky bells and whistles, the feature has definitely managed to generate some buzz — and now it also managed to generate a copycat tweak for iOS devices. iOS developer Chris Simpson has released an app called FaceHalt for jailbroken iOS devices that mimics the Galaxy S4′s Smart Pause on Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod touch. FaceHalt is a system-wide tweak, so it will work in Apple’s native video app as well as third-party video players like YouTube. A video demonstration of FaceHalt follows below, and iOS users with jailbroken devices can download the tweak from the Cydia app store for $1.99. More →
The past quarter has been a very good one for Android and IDC now estimates that Google’s mobile platform accounted for nearly 80% of all smartphones shipped in Q2 2013. But there’s one place where iOS has been stubbornly resilient and has kept Android largely at bay: In the United States. Asymco’s Horace Dediu took a look at the latest numbers from comScore and found some evidence that Android has for now peaked in the U.S., as its growth stalled over the past quarter and the number of American Android users actually declined for the first time ever. More →
If it seems like only a year ago that Apple’s iPad was the only tablet generating serious sales around the world, that’s because it was. IDC’s latest research shows that times have changed, however, and Apple’s iOS is now far behind Android in the race to be the world’s most-used tablet operating system.
All this has happened before and all this will happen again. The latest numbers from Canalys show that Android has now overtaken iOS as the world’s most-used tablet operating system, thanks largely to a flood of smaller devices put on the market by Samsung. Overall Canalys found that Samsung’s tablet shipments nearly quadrupled between the second quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013, going from just 1.9 million last year to 7.4 million this year. Samsung wasn’t the only manufacturer to show a big increase in tablet shipments, however, as Amazon’s shipments grew from 425,000 in Q2 2012 to 1.55 million in Q2 2013 while Lenovo’s tablet shipments grew from 354,000 in Q2 2012 to 1.5 million in Q2 2013. Canalys also says that Apple’s tablet shipments have actually declined year-over-year, going from more than 17 million in the second quarter last year to 14.6 million in the second quarter this year.
Yes, many Android phones have that tacky, plastic feel. No, Android vendors selling those sub-$200 phones are not making much money. Yes, Android is seriously fragmented. Nevertheless, Google’s strategy of flooding the world with nasty little budget phones is turning out to be a diabolically clever gambit. Consider this: Last October, iOS app revenue was 4x bigger than Google Play app revenue. But in Q2 2013, the iOS market generated only 2.3x more revenue than Google Play. The revenue gap is closing at an astonishing speed. More →
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.