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Latest from the Apple Developers Conference – Fascinating!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

PRimage is fascinated to hear the latest announcements: Apple is certainly bringing a lot of new features to the table!

The new iteration of iOS will have over 200 new features, and a few of them are outlined below. iOS 6 will be coming to iPhone models from the 3GS and later, the 4th generation iPod Touch, and the 2nd and 3rd iPads generations. They have announced a new notification center with not only Twitter integration, but Facebook is coming along for the ride this time. You can now like everything from photos to apps in the App Store, and you can post things to Facebook in the same way that you could with Twitter in iOS 5.

They have also updated Siri to be able to do even more things and provide even more information. Siri can now launch apps, and Apple showed off a lot of new questions that Siri can answer such as sports statistics and turn-by-turn navigation right from Siri itself. Apple has also added a new app called Passbook that virtually transforms your iPhone into a gift card and event ticket wallet. You can now receive notifications of when you are near a store at which you have money to spend or when a boarding pass at an airport gets updated. Apple even released a template for third-party developers to implement their own services into Passbook. They have added a “Do Not Disturb” function to iPhone as well that allows you to shut off notifications and specify exactly what comes through and when. You can set a VIP list for email so you receive specific notifications from senders right to the lock screen. Facetime also be available over a cellular connection, which will revolutionize how much people use the service when they are out and about.

Apple has also kicked Google out their maps equation by launching their own maps complete with turn-by-turn navigation. This maps service will be crowd-sourced, and with the huge number of iOS users out there, this could definitely take the place of Google Maps without a problem. 3D maps are also available and looks extremely fluid and well-designed.

Facebook Integration

Apple’s system-wide integration of Facebook = Users can login to their Facebook account in iOS 6 and have instant access to Facebook in apps, the web browser and Siri. Developers can also easily add access within their apps. Facebook contacts will get integrated in iOS 6, and events and birthdays can also sync with the calendar.

iOS 6

iOS 6 will be compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S models, the fourth-generation iPod touch, the iPad 2 and of course the new iPad. That said, not every feature will be available on every device.

Developers will have access to the first beta on iOS 6 now. Customers can expect to see iOS 6 on their devices in the Autumn. It will support the iPhone 3GS and later, the second and third generation iPads and the fourth generation iPod touch.

  • Siri can now launch apps
  • Siri can now Tweet
  • Siri is smart about sports. It can pull in scores, game summaries and player stats.
  • Siri integrates with Yelp and OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations
  • Siri in iOS 6 will also integrate with Rotten Tomatoes for movie times and reviews.
  • Siri is also available in a slew of new languages.
  • Siri will get hands-free integration in lots of in-car systems.
  • Siri is coming to the new iPad.

New MacBook

The newest line of MacBooks will feature a faster processor, USB 3, and high-definition FaceTime cameras. With the retina display, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the Next Generation MacBook will be “the most beautiful computer we’ve ever made.”

The new MacBook Air will enjoy a major power upgrade with a third-generation Core processor with Intel turbo boosting, up to 3.2GHz. The computers will also sport up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage. “The Next Generation MacBook Pro” will overhaul the existing computer; the retina display and 15.4-inch 2880 x 1800 screen makes it the world’s highest-resolution notebook display. The Next Generation is about as thin as a MacBook Air, and is the lightest MacBook Pro in Apple history.

Apple Maps

The updated Apple version of Maps will be available in the release of iOS 6.

The new maps bring turn-by-turn directions to iOS, as well as fun features like Siri integration and 3D Flyover, which let you experience places in highly detailed 3D.

Turn-by-Turn Directions: The Apple version of maps brings turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone, accompanied by a traffic view, and anonymous real-time crowdsourced incident reports for traffic problems you encounter along the way.

Siri Integration: Maps are also integrated in with Siri, allowing you to ask Siri to do things like find your nearest gas station or how long it will take for you to reach your destination.

3D Flyover: A Flyover feature also lets you see the scene in 3D, much like the 3D Maps Google announced last week. Images are rendered in real time, and are exceptionally detailed 3D. You can choose to check out a destination you’re driving to using the mapping application, or even just check out somewhere you’d like to travel.

Over the past three years, Apple has acquired three mapping companies: Placebase, Poly9, and C3 Technologies, the latter two focused specifically on 3D mapping making releasing its own mapping solution an obvious next step.

New Phone APP Enhancements

In the phone app, Apple has added a new mode that will make it easy for users to remind themselves to call or text-back later, if they can’t take a call right now. There is also a “Do Not Disturb” mode. Messages will still come to your phone, but the screen won’t light up or make any noise. There are also new ways to group contacts and control how their calls are handled.

Way to go Apple!

Facebook, iOS, & app marketplace – PRimage comment

Monday, June 11th, 2012

As keen observers of mobile trends, PRimage has noted some interesting new data which points to the important role that both iOS and Facebook are playing in the app marketplace.

  • Facebook is playing an important role in app discovery and reportedly drove people to the Apple App Store 83 million times in May.
  • FB reports that seven of the top 10 grossing iOS apps and six of the top 10 Android apps had integrated with Facebook as of May. Facebook does not appear to be making money from these apps. This move appears to be about having reach and relevance into the mobile app world, not about driving revenue in the short-term.
  • The Facebook App Center began rolling out to people in the U.S. earlier this month, with more than 600 apps and is the latest example of how Facebook is trying to boost its mobile offerings. At launch, the App Center features mobile and web apps, such as Draw Something and Pinterest. It also lets users browse the apps their friends use and provides personalized recommendations.
  • The mobile integration includes making the App Center available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps. Users can also send apps they find on their computer to their mobile device using the “Send to Mobile” feature.
  • New data also shows that seven out of 10 apps built are for iOS – and that Apple continues to gain further support from developers, with iOS having a 69 percent share of new project starts in apps for the first quarter of 2012 while Android had a 31 percent share.
  • Apple has been the clear leader in terms of apps for a while, with developers choosing to invest their budgets in iOS apps first. However, FB is also clearly beginning to play a bigger role in app discovery, driving integrations with iOS and Android.
  • It seems that a key point of differentiation between iOS and Android for developers is how much more money they are likely to generate on the former. It is useful for us to note that for every $1 a developer earns on iOS, it will earn about $0.24 on Android.
  • While iOS offers developers a compelling proposition, the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem drives complexity and costs for developers.
  • Latest stats show that the iPad commanded 88 percent of worldwide user sessions between January and March of this year while the Samsung Galaxy Tab had a 9 percent share and the Kindle Fire 3 percent.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S II had an 18 percent share of worldwide app user sessions in May, all the others had shares less than 10 percent. This means that each additional device a developer supports will deliver only a small increase in distribution coverage.
  • Stats show that the majority of consumers are running on an Android operating system that is three to four iterations old.

PRimage managing director, Judy Viitanen, believes that from this data it is clear that iOS should be the lead platform for developers; and that while developers can’t ignore Android, it should be their second platform. She is part of a startup app development company in the US, and is a firm believer that developers should also integrate Facebook’s Open Graph to have access to its single sign-on feature and get a bump in free, organic traffic from Facebook.

Watch this space for more comments, as the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference starts today in San Francisco, Google’s I/O conference kicks off on June 27, also in San Francisco.

Mobile Phone Market Dynamics – PRimage ponder …

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Having read a news report today on a report that claims Mobiles ‘will outnumber people in five years’, Judy Viitanen pondered on this, thinking that they probably already do in some countries. However, PRimage feel it may be a while before smartphones outnumber dumbphones!  We were interested to discover more … and as ever, the US is the barometer for latest trends.

So PRimage found a press report on new data from ComScore –  our favourite source of digital business analytics – which shows that for the three-month average period ending in April, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices.

The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.9 percent market share. Google Android continued to grow its share in the U.S. smartphone market, accounting for 50.8 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured 31.4 percent.

Apple continued to grow its share in the OEM market, ranking third with 14.4 percent (up 1.6 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 12.5 percent and HTC with 6.0 percent.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2012
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Jan-12 Apr-12 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 25.4% 25.9% 0.5
LG 19.7% 19.2% -0.5
Apple 12.8% 14.4% 1.6
Motorola 13.2% 12.5% -0.7
HTC 6.4% 6.0% -0.4

Smartphone Platform Market Share

More than 107 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in April, up 6 percent versus January. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 50.8 percent market share (up 2.2 percentage points). Apple’s share of the smartphone market increased 1.9 percentage points to 31.4 percent. RIM ranked third with 11.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (4.0 percent) and Symbian (1.3 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Jan-12 Apr-12 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 48.6% 50.8% 2.2
Apple 29.5% 31.4% 1.9
RIM 15.2% 11.6% -3.6
Microsoft 4.4% 4.0% -0.4
Symbian 1.5% 1.3% -0.2

Mobile Content Usage

In April, 74.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Downloaded applications were used by 50.2 percent of subscribers (up 1.6 percentage points), while browsers were used by 49.0 percent (up 0.5 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.3 percentage points to 36.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.1 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.3 percentage points), while 25.8 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.3 percentage points).

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2012
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Jan-12 Apr-12 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 74.6% 74.1% -0.5
Used downloaded apps 48.6% 50.2% 1.6
Used browser 48.5% 49.0% 0.5
Accessed social networking site or blog 35.7% 36.0% 0.3
Played Games 31.8% 33.1% 1.3
Listened to music on mobile phone 24.5% 25.8% 1.3