IBM and Adobe have independently revealed that iOS has won the battle with Android when it comes to Black Friday online shopping from mobile devices in the U.S., despite Google’s increased mobile OS market share in the region, Business Insider reports. IBM has tracked millions of transactions from about 800 U.S. retail websites, finding that iOS users have spent more than Android device owners, and that iOS generated more traffic than Android. “On average, iOS users spent $127.92 per order on Black Friday compared to $105.20 per order for Android users,” the IBM report said. “iOS traffic reached 28.2 percent of all online traffic, compared to 11.4 percent for Android. iOS sales reached 18.1 percent of all online sales, compared to 3.5 percent for Android.” More →
“A single app profile can track up to five Links across five different vehicles, which should satisfy everyone outside of the following professions: pro sports; movies; having Kardashian as a last name; drug dealer.”
OBD-II. At a glance, you’re probably assuming that this is a little-known member of the Wu-Tang Clan who somehow escaped the 36 Chambers. Close, but no cigar. What it actually is is a specification embedded into practically every gasoline-powered automobile built since 1996, and if you’ve ever bothered to look above your gas pedal, you’ll probably see a rectangular port just waiting to be loved. Traditionally, that port has been used by mechanics with custom diagnostic readers in order to better describe what that warning light on your dash was about. Today, it’s empowering you — the all-important motorist. While OBD-II devices (and accompanying apps) have been around for years, Automatic’s Link is different. It’s beautiful. It’s elegant. And, perhaps most importantly, it just works.
From my perspective, the automobile is the next great mainstream frontier for technology to truly pervade. Comically long lead times — often reaching 7 years or longer — have prevented even high-end motorcars from embracing the newest of technologies, but tools like Automatic help to circumvent the issue. In a nutshell, the Link is a small, white nub that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port. It’s fairly useless without the accompanying app, which runs quietly in the background of your phone and speaks to the Link via Bluetooth. For now, the app is iOS-only, but a beta build is expected to hit next month for the Android faithful. What’s it do? Monitors your acceleration and braking to give you tips on better a more fuel-efficient driver, alerts people of your choosing should you end up in a crash, gives you instant information on any warning lights, and keeps a beautiful record of your trips without any effort on your part. To me, however, the real potential of the $99 Link has yet to be tapped. Head on past the break to hear why. More →
Yet another music streaming service has arrived on iOS devices, primed to duke it out for the top spot against Pandora and iTunes Radio. That service is Google Play Music, which has been available to Android users for years, but finally launched on the App Store on Friday. Google Play Music differentiates itself by allowing users to access up to 20,000 songs from their personal music collections over the cloud and even store their favorites for offline listening. The app also has a monthly subscription service dubbed All Access, which gives users unlimited access to millions of songs and custom radio stations based on their favorite artists, albums or songs. Everyone who signs up for All Access is entitled to a 30-day free trial. Once that expires, the service will cost $9.99 per month. More →
It’s no secret that Steve Jobs did not have much affinity for his mobile competition at Google, going so far as to say he would destroy Android, which he considered to be a product that was stolen from Apple. His attacks appear to have been even more personal as Fred Vogelstein’s book, Dogfight: How Apple And Google Went To War And Started a Revolution reveals. Business Insider notes one especially provocative quote in which Jobs refers to Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, as a “big, arrogant f**k,” and Android itself as a “f**king rip off of what we’re doing.”
Going all the way back to last May, only 10% of people accessing the Internet did so through a mobile device. According to the latest report from Walker Sands, that number has since surged to a walloping 28% in the third quarter of 2013, a 67% year-over-year increase from the same quarter in 2012. John Fairley, the director of Web services at Walker Sands, explained that “device preference aside, the share of traffic coming from mobile continues to grow.” That said, certain devices have increased their share of the online market, such as the iPhone and Android tablets. On the flip side, iPads and Android phones have actually had slight decreases in traffic this quarter. Overall, iOS devices are still in the lead with 47% of all mobile traffic, but Android continues to steal traffic every year and is now up to 44.4%. More →
Apple flipped the smartphone industry on its head when it launched the iPhone back in 2007. The company struck gold again in 2010 when it launched the iPad, creating a media tablet market out of thin air and succeeding where many firms before it had failed. Numerous reports suggest Apple is currently eying the smartwatch and television markets and we can likely expect to see launches in both categories next year, but there’s another industry that Apple is quietly taking over: the auto industry. More →
The most recent Fiksu data indicates that the iOS app market is still chugging along nicely in America. The launch of the new iPhones triggered the usual fluctuations in September that we get just before new iPhone launches: First a decline in download volumes in the week before the launch, then a 25% spike in downloads as new phone owners go on an app binge. More →
As most active Twitter users undoubtedly noticed, Twitter on Tuesday added a new feature to its website and mobile apps that is definitely making waves. In a move that pushes the service one step closer to the likes of Facebook and Tumblr — and makes ads much more valuable as well — Twitter now displays photo and video previews right in users’ timelines. There have been plenty of complaints out of the gate, as there always are when new features roll out to a social network, though most Twitterers will undoubtedly get used to them over time. If you’d rather not even give Twitter’s new photo previews a chance though, here’s a simple guide on how to disable them in the company’s iPhone and Android apps. More →
As smartphones and tablets powered by mobile operating systems continue to take over the world, malware makers see nothing by dollar signs. Reports of malware targeting smartphones continue to pop up constantly and Android is a particular focus since its ecosystem isn’t controlled as tightly as iOS or Windows Phone. This is a big problem, of course, since Android happens to also be the most popular mobile platform on the planet. There are already plenty of tools offered by various companies to help protect mobile devices from malware and other security issues, but a new study from Juniper Research has found that 80% of smartphones remain unprotected from Malware attacks. The good news, however, is that Juniper sees things changing for the better over time — according to the firm’s projections, about 1.3 billion mobile devices will have mobile malware protection installed by 2018, up from 325 million in 2013.
Apple’s brand new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c combined to sell more than 9 million units through their first weekend of availability alone. The company’s freshly updated iOS 7 software was also downloaded to more than 200 million devices during its first few days of availability. But despite the huge month Apple’s mobile ecosystem enjoyed, it may have actually lost market share to Android in September. More →
UK-based King, the creator of “Candy Crush Saga,” has filed for an IPO in the United States. Expected valuation tops $5 billion. King is the second most important mobile app company of Europe, trailing only Finland’s Supercell in monthly revenue. This could mean that European tech industry has been able to create two $5 billion-plus companies in the same niche — something that has not happened in a while. Europe’s strength used to lie in creating mobile infrastructure and business software companies. Now the continent’s future lies in selling virtual lollipop blasters. More →
Google’s Android operating system has ruled the roost in China for a while now but research firm IDC thinks that its iron grip on the Chinese smartphone market looks set to slip. According to the firm’s latest projections, Android’s market share in China will top out at around 90% this year before gradually tapering off in subsequent years while both iOS and Windows Phone gain at its expense. IDC says that the iPhone 5c and a likely deal with China Mobile will give Apple a big boost in the country while Windows Phone figures to get a bigger marketing push from Microsoft now that it’s bought out Nokia’s handset division. A chart of IDC’s projections follows below. More →
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 →