Unhappy with the dominance of foreign mobile and desktop operating systems in its country, the Chinese government it backing a China Operating System (COS) that is supposed to take on Google, Apple and Microsoft in the region. Shanghai Laintong is the company developing COS in partnership with the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS), Engadget reports. Interestingly, it’s HTC that’s actually providing hardware for the COS platform, at least for now.
Apple revealed last week that it had raked in over $10 billion from App Store sales in 2013, a clear indicator that the market for mobile apps is still booming. This week, Flurry Analytics has released its own yearly data, and according to the report, overall app usage is up 115% year-over-year. In fact, each and every app category the company measures posted growth in 2013, including games, fitness and news apps, some of which were feared to be reaching their peaks. The leading factor for growth was, perhaps unsurprisingly, social and messaging apps, such as Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp and LINE. More →
A new iOS messaging application will do for text messaging what Snapchat does for pictures – make them available only temporarily to the receiver, who won’t be able to save a copy for later use – while offering end-to-end encryption as well. Available as a free download in the App Store, Confide will deliver disappearing messages to users by connecting them via their email accounts, GigaOm reports, not phone numbers. In order to access the message, users will have to install the application on their iOS devices. More →
When it launches this fall, the Sphero 2B will be a $100 smartphone accessory/toy/robot that will let users wirelessly control the device from inside an app installed on an iOS or Android device. Cheaper than its Sphero 2.0 predecessor, the Sphero 2B was unveiled at CES 2014, and it’s going to offer “high-speed tricks and jumps,” – the device will reach speeds of up to 14 feet per second – tumbles and various visual effects. Additionally, the toy will be completely customizable, allowing users to change tires and accessories in order to adapt it to different outdoor conditions. Thanks to a built-in infrared sensor, the device will also offer some sort of multiplayer game support to users, as long as each player has their own Sphero 2B device. And finally, the Sphero 2B robot will be “totally programmable,” as users will have the opportunity of programming the device to do various things – however, the company doesn’t offer more details about this aspect on its Sphero 2B teaser site at this time. More →
Android users are a proud group and are typically not fond of admitting that they’re envious of iPhone users. However, there’s one area where even the most diehard Android fan has to admit that iPhone users have it better: Software upgrades. AppleInsider notes that 78% of iOS users have now upgraded to iOS 7, an impressive feat for an update that was released less than four months ago. More →
Data caps. The mere mention of the phrase is enough to send shivers up the spine of any smartphone user. While there is a glimmer of hope that carriers might someday be forced to raise caps or even eliminate them entirely, data caps likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon for Verizon Wireless and AT&T subscribers. Luckily, however, there are tools to help subscribers better manage their data usage. Carriers themselves offer tools that help users analyze data usage and they also notify customers as they approach their data caps, but a new free tool made available by the CTIA takes things a step further by helping smartphone and tablet users learn which iPhone, iPad and Android apps consume a large amount of data and which apps are more cap-friendly. The “Know My App” site allows users to browse through a list of popular apps or search by name, and it also shows how concerned people should be based on how high their data caps are. A link to the site follows below in our source section.
After winning the Black Friday shopping war against Android, iPhones and iPads scored a similar “win” when it came to Christmas Day online shopping in the United States. According to data from IBM analytics, which tracked about 800 nationwide retail sites, Christmas Day online sales were up 16.5% compared to last year. More →
Lyve is a new company on the scene, but it’s one industry watchers will have heard about under a different name. Black Pearl Systems, now known as Lyve Minds or just Lyve, is aiming to help make sure you don’t ever lose any of your important moments, like photos, videos and more. The concept isn’t new, but Lyve’s approach is incredibly interesting. It involves leveraging the fact that most of us have more than one device — a computer, a tablet, a phone — by offering a unique cloud service that can move newly captured photos from once device to another, even across platforms like iOS and Android, without you ever having to manually sync a single thing. None of your content is ever stored on the company’s servers, either, just metadata so there’s no concern about your private data being available to anyone else but yourself. More →
Fragmentation. Few words have such an immediate and severe impact on Android enthusiasts. Meanwhile, iOS fans are completely unfazed by the word. Fragmentation has been something of an issue for Android since shortly after the platform first debut. The fact of the matter is the issue is inherent to Android’s distribution model. Google releases software to the world and then it’s up to vendors and carriers to push it out to users. And since vendors tweak Android with their own enhancements and carriers have unique needs as well, releasing software updates takes time. Apple, meanwhile, releases its software updates directly to end users, cutting out the middleman and ensuring that every user out there with a compatible device has access to new software builds from day one. But is iOS impacted by fragmentation as well? More →
“There’s massive power in unifying a series of separate services.”
Right around this time three years ago, a five-letter service was born. Like most startups, it took some time to simmer… to cultivate enough respect to make its way around the wild, wild tubes that us folk refer to as the internet. In the time since, IFTTT has rapidly evolved, supporting all sorts of new services, popping out an iOS app, and creating something of a budding ecosystem with shared recipes. For those unfamiliar with IFTTT, fret not — it’s a pretty nerdy service. But here’s the thing: it exists to simplify the life of the layperson, too. More →
An email management company revealed that 3 out of every 4 mobile devices activated by the small and medium business it tracks were iPhones or iPads, AppleInsider reports. In its 2013 edition of its mobile trends report, Intermedia said that 190,000 iOS devices were activated from January to October, or 76% of the total of almost a quarter million activations it counted. Samsung came in second place with 12% of total activations, which amounted to nearly 30,000 mobile devices, while Motorola took third place with 13,800 mobile device activations. Both Microsoft and BlackBerry activations were unimpressive, getting a cumulative 2% share. More →
What goes up must come down and on Wall Street, billions are made and lost betting on which direction companies are headed. Apple is the most valuable technology company in America by a huge margin so needless to say, it gets plenty of attention on the Street. At some point, be it sometime in the next few years or sometime in the next few decades, Apple will no longer be on top. It is inevitable. The question countless industry watchers try to answer, of course, is when. More →