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KeyesLabs Fights App Piracy with Automatic Application Licensing May 6, 2010

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KeyesLabs, makers of Screebl and Screebl Pro, have found their apps getting rather popular. Great news, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. Developer and founder David Keyes estimates that after nearly 100,000 downloads, roughly 70% of them are pirated copies. So, to combat this issue, KeyesLabs has created a new tool for developers called Automatic Application Licensing. […]

Continue reading at KeyesLabs Fights App Piracy with Automatic Application Licensing | AndroidGuys

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Gartner Outlines 10 Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2010 and 2011 March 24, 2010

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STAMFORD, Conn., March 24, 2010 —  

Gartner, Inc. has identified 10 mobile technologies that will evolve significantly through 2011 in ways that will impact short-term mobile strategies and policies. Investments in mobile applications and technologies will increase through 2011 as organizations emerge from the recession and ramp up both business-to-employee (B2E) and business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile spending.”We are highlighting these 10 mobile technologies that should be on every organization’s radar screen,” said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “These mobile technologies were selected because they will evolve in ways that affect corporate strategies, significant numbers of customers or employees will adopt or expect them, or they will address particular mobile challenges that organizations will face through 2011.”

The 10 mobile technologies to watch in 2010 and 2011 include:

(more…)

ZumoDrive Brings Cloud Storage And Syncing Application To Android And Palm Devices March 17, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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File syncing and storage startup Zumodrive is expanding its mobile offerings today with free applications for Android and Palm phones. While there are a plethora of syncing and storage services available to users, ZumoDrive, which spawned from Y Combinator startup Zecter, has a different take on file syncing. Similar to other services, Zumodrive creates a drive on your device that is synced to the cloud. But service includes a slightly different twist-ZumoDrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them.

The startup launched an iPhone app last year, which let users sync their content to their phone without having to deal with local storage capacity issues. The Android and Palm apps include much of the same functionality. The apps allows users to sync their entire iTunes library on their phones even though the songs are not locally saved. Plus, ZumoDrive allows you to import your files. photos albums and videos onto your Android and Palm phones.

Additional features include video streaming from ZumoDrive directly to devices in MP4, H.264 format, music organized by artist, albums, and even playlists created on other devices, the ability to stream music in the background and listen to music over both 3G or EDGE networks.
Additionally you can access and view Microsoft Office documents and PDF files.

ZumoDrive has been gaining traction over the past year. Fresh off of a $1.5 million funding round, the startup scored a deal with HP in January to to power the backend of the technology giant’s CloudDrive on all HP Mini netbooks.

Last year, ZumoDrive released a new version of its system that wirelessly syncs playlists between devices, auto-detects content, and lets users link file folders on their devices to ZumoDrive only once so that changes in that folder will always be linked to ZumoDrive. The service was also upgraded to integrate well with media applications, like iTunes, so users can play entire music libraries saved in ZumoDrive on multiple devices without manually syncing content. We initially reviewed Zumodrive here.

Zecter previously launched a product called Versionate, an office-wiki product, that we first covered in July 2007. We wrote about them again a year ago. ZumoDrive faces competition from Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box.net.

via ZumoDrive Brings Cloud Storage And Syncing Application To Android And Palm Devices.

Day 74 Sales: Apple iPhone vs. Google Nexus One vs. Motorola Droid March 17, 2010

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Through applications using Flurry for analytics reporting, Flurry can detect and count unique devices in the market such as Google Nexus One and Motorola Droids. Because applications embedded with Flurry have been downloaded to over 80% of all iPhone OS and Android devices, Flurry is able to make reliable estimates about total handset sales.[…]

So, why 74? Simply put, according to Apple, the original iPhone reached 1 million units sold in that many days. […]

The chart below compares the sales results through each of their respective first 74 days. The launch dates were: iPhone, June 29, 2007; Droid, November 5, 2009; and, Nexus One, January 5, 2010.  Please note that we forecasted the last few days of Nexus One’s first 74 days sales based sales of the first 70 days we tracked at the time of writing this report.

Sales Nexus One, Droid, iPhone

Inspecting the graph, it’s immediately clear that Nexus One sales continue to pale in comparison to iPhone 1G and Motorola Droid, with each besting Nexus One sales by roughly 8 times over the same time period.

At the same time, an interesting side-story is that the Motorola Droid edged out iPhone 1G over the first 74 days, coming in at just over one million sold through, by our calculations. This was surprising enough that we re-ran our estimates several times and still came up with the same results. Thinking about the differences associated with each launch (operator, year, etc.), we believe there are three underlying drivers of Droid worth keeping in mind compared to the other two handsets:

1. Consumer Perception & Demand: Motorola Droid launched over 2.5 years after the iPhone 1G. (Nov 2009 vs. July 2007). When the iPhone launched, consumers’ concept of a mobile computing device as we now understand it, was very different. Since then, Apple has spent millions of dollars training and educating consumers about capabilities of such a device, which was no small feat especially after its first foray into the handset business (Motorola ROKR E1 in 2005). Until the iPhone was introduced, most consumers, especially in the U.S. had thought of their phones as, well, just phones.  Finally, it’s worth noting that the Motorola Droid could be considered Android’s “third generation” handset, which benifitted from generated awareness by preceding G1 and MyTouch 3G handsets.

2. Relative Subscriber Bases: Droid launched on Verizon, a larger network with more subscribers than AT&T, especially when considering AT&T’s 2007 size (63.7 million at the time of iPhone launch) versus Verizon’s 2009 size (89 million at the end of Q3). Additionally, there was pent up demand among the Verizon subscriber base for an iPhone killer, which is exactly how Verizon positioned the Droid. Finally, Verizon backed the launch with advertising support of at least $100 million.

3. Holiday Season Sales: Droid benefited from launching on Nov 5 and having its first 74 days lifted by the holiday season, which is the highest selling period of the year for handsets. Neither iPhone 1G nor Nexus One’s first 74 days spanned a holiday period.

As Google and Apple continue to battle for the mobile marketplace, Google Nexus One may go down as a grand, failed experiment or one that ultimately helped Google learn something that will prove important in years to come. Apple’s more vertically integrated strategy vs. Google’s more open Android platform approach offer strengths and weaknesses that remind us of PC vs. Mac from the 1980’s. A key difference this time around is that Apple is enjoying much more 3rd party developer support, whose innovative applications push the limits of what the hardware can do. Ultimately, however, developers support hardware with the largest installed base first. For Android to make progress faster, from a sales perspective, it needs more Droids and fewer Nexus Ones going forward.

via Day 74 Sales: Apple iPhone vs. Google Nexus One vs. Motorola Droid.

Now you can shop for Android apps without Android | VentureBeat March 17, 2010

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Google has limited app discovery in its Android Market store to Android-powered devices. That makes it hard for people who don’t own a phone, or who want something faster and bigger than a Droid screen, to search for and learn about apps.

AppStoreHQ has solved the problem with a browser-based Android directory at AppStoreHQ.com/android-apps. The directory works like AppStoreHQ’s iPhone directory.

The company has also made it possible for other sites to tap into their Android listings. You can see the API-like info at DroidDog and AndroidTapp.

AppStoreHQ founder Chris DeVore sent me this list of features:

  • Keyword search and category browse for any app in Android Market.
  • Web-based profile pages for each app that include price, description, screenshots and recent user feedback.
  • Direct buy links for Android device users.
  • For Web visitors, barcode-based buy links and an email-to-phone option.
  • Easy social share actions for any Android app via Twitter, Facebook and email.
  • “Hottest Apps” rankings based on worldwide Android app mentions on blogs and Twitter,with results updated several times a day.

Seattle-based AppStoreHQ is run by DeVore, and funded by Founder’s Co-op, also in Seattle. The company won Best Mobile Service Startup at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2009 conference.

via Now you can shop for Android apps without Android | VentureBeat.

Demolition Derby in Devices: The roller-coaster ride is on | VisionMobile :: blog March 13, 2010

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[The economic realities will lead to a roller-coaster ride that will shake up the mobile industry. Guest blogger Richard Kramer talks about the impending price war, the implications for industry growth, and how this will alter the landscape of device vendors in the next decade]

With all the discussion of technology trends on the blogosphere, there are some harsh economic realities creeping up on the handset space. The collective efforts of vendors to deliver great products will lead to an all-out smash-up for market share, bringing steep declines in pricing.

In November 2009 I wrote a note about what Arete saw as the impending dynamics of the mobile device market. I called it Demolition Derby. This followed on from a piece called Clash of the Titans, about how the PC and Handset worlds were colliding, brought together by common software platforms and adopting common chipset architectures. As handsets morphed into connected devices, it opened the door for computing industry players, now flooding in.

New categories of non-phone devices
A USB modem/datacard market of 70m units in 2009 should counted as an extra third of the smartphone market, as it connected a range of computing devices. By the end of 2010, I believe there will be many new categories of non-phone mobile devices to track (datacards, embedded PCs, tablets, etc.), and they may be equal to high-end smartphone market in units in 2011.  Having looked at the roadmaps of nearly every established and wannabe vendor in the mobile device space, I cannot recall a period in the past 15 years of covering the device market with so many credible vendors, most with their best product portfolios ever, tossing their hats in the ring.  I see three things happening because of this:

1. First, a brutal price war is coming. This will affect nearly every segment of the mobile device market. Anyone who thinks they are insulated from this price war is simply deluded. I have lost count of the number of vendors planning to offer a touch-screen slim mono-bloc Android device for H2 2010. The only thing that will set all these devices apart will be brand, and in the end, price.  Chipmakers – the canaries in the handset coal mine – are already talking about slim HSPA modems at $10 price points, and $20 combined application processors and RF. Both Huawei and ZTE now targeting Top Three positions in devices, with deep engagements developing operator brands. They are already #1 and #2 in USB modems.  Just look at the pricing trends ZTE and Huawei brought to the infrastructure market; this will come to mobile devices.

2. Second, growth will rebound with a vengeance. I expect 15% volume growth in 2010, well ahead of the cautious consensus of 8%.  I first noted this failure of vision in forecasting in a 2005 note entitled “A Billion Handsets in 2007” when the consensus was looking for 6% growth whereas we got 20%+ growth for three years, thanks to the onset of $25 BoM devices. Consumers will not care about software platform debates or feature creep packing devices with GHz processors in 2010. Ask your friends who don’t read mobile blogs and aren’t hung up about AppStores or tear-downs:  they will simply respond to an impossibly wide choice of impossibly great devices, offered to them at impossibly cheap prices.

3. Third, the detente is over. The long-term stability that alllowed the top five vendors to command 80% market share for most of this decade is breaking down.  This is not simply a question of “Motorola fades, Samsung steps in” or “LG replaces SonyEricsson in the featurephone space”.  Within a year, there could be dangerously steep market share declines among the former market leaders (i.e. Nokia) to accompany their decline in value share. Operators are grasping control of the handset value chain; many intend to follow the lead of Vodafone 360 to develop their own range of mid-tier and low-end devices. Whether or not this delivers better user experiences, operators are determined to target their subsidy spend to their favourite ODM partners. In developed markets, long-established vendors are getting eclipsed: in 2010, RIM or Apple could pass traditional vendors like SonyEricsson or Motorola in units. RIM and Apple already handily out-paced older rivals in sales value, and with $41bn of estimated sales in 2010, are on par with Nokia.

Hyper competition
So where does this lead us? Even with far greater volumes than anyone dares to imagine, there is no way to satisfy everyone’s hopes of share gains, or profits. With Apple driving to $25bn in 2010 sales and Mediatek-based customers seeking share in emerging markets, the mobile device market is entering a phase of hyper-competition. It is all too easy for industry pundits to forget that Motorola and Sony Ericsson collectively lost over $5bn in the past 2.5 years. More such losses are to come.

Never before have we seen so many vendors acting individually rationally, but collectively insane. Albert Einstein once famously said that “the defintiion of insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result”.

The men in the white coats will have a field day with the mobile device market in 2010.

– Richard

via Demolition Derby in Devices: The roller-coaster ride is on | VisionMobile :: blog.

Lenovo: mobile Internet to be 80% of sales in five years | Electronista March 13, 2010

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The vast majority of Lenovo’s sales will come from Internet-capable portable devices in five years, company chief Yang Yuanqing stated on Friday. He observed that ThinkPads and IdeaPads already outweigh desktops but that fully 70 to 80 percent of Lenovo’s devices will be mobile Internet devices of some kind within as little as three and no more than five years. Many of these will be smartphones, but they should also include crossover devices such as the IdeaPad U1 notebook/tablet hybrid and the Skylight smartbook.

Most of its strategy for 2010 will involve pushing into relatively underserved areas for the company, such as middle Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Its longer-term “protect and attack” strategy would focus on solidifying performance in China before shifting attention to other markets.

The approach puts it into more direct competition with both established notebook rivals like Acer and HP but also firms whose lineups have only partially overlapped with Lenovo’s in recent years, such as Apple and HTC. Lenovo has just recently entered touchscreen smartphones in earnest with the Ophone O1 and the upcoming LePhone, and devices like the U1 are likely to clash with the iPad as well as existing and widely rumored UMPC and tablet models from HTC.

via Lenovo: mobile Internet to be 80% of sales in five years | Electronista.

comScore Reports January 2010 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share – comScore, Inc March 11, 2010

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RESTON, VA, March 10, 2010 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month period between October 2009 and January 2010. The report ranked the leading mobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and smartphone operating system (OS) platforms in the U.S. according to their share of current mobile subscribers age 13 and older, as well as popular activities and content accessed via the subscriber’s primary mobile phone. The January report found Motorola to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 22.9 percent market share, while RIM led among smartphone platforms with 43.0 percent market share.

OEM Market Share

In the 3 month average ending in January, 234 million Americans were mobile subscribers ages 13 and older, with device manufacturer Motorola ranking as the top OEM with 22.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers. LG ranked second with 21.7 percent share, followed by Samsung (21.1 percent share), Nokia (9.1 percent share) and RIM (7.8 percent share).

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Motorola 24.1% 22.9% -1.2
LG 22.0% 21.7% -0.3
Samsung 21.0% 21.1% 0.1
Nokia 9.3% 9.1% -0.2
RIM 6.4% 7.8% 1.4

Smartphone Platform Market Share

42.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in an average month during the November to January period, up 18 percent from the August through October period. RIM was the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 43.0 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, rising 1.7 percentage points versus three months earlier. Apple ranked second with 25.1 percent share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Microsoft at 15.7 percent, Google at 7.1 percent (up 4.3 percentage points), and Palm at 5.7 percent. Google’s Android platform continues to see rapid gains in market share.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
RIM 41.3% 43.0% 1.7
Apple 24.8% 25.1% 0.3
Microsoft 19.7% 15.7% -4.0
Google 2.8% 7.1% 4.3
Palm 7.8% 5.7% -2.1

Mobile Content Usage

In an average month during the November through January 2010 time period, 63.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.5 percentage points versus three months prior. Browsers were used by 28.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 1.8 percentage points), while subscribers who played games made up 21.7 percent (up 0.4 percentage points). Access of social networking sites or blogs experienced strong gains in the past three months, growing 3.3 percentage points to 17.1 percent of mobile subscribers.

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of U.S. Mobile Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 62.0% 63.5% 1.5
Used browser 26.8% 28.6% 1.8
Played games 21.3% 21.7% 0.4
Used Downloaded Apps 18.3% 19.8% 1.5
Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog 13.8% 17.1 % 3.3
Listened to music on mobile phone 11.6% 12.8% 1.2

via comScore Reports January 2010 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share – comScore, Inc.

AppleInsider | Flash, HTML5 comparison finds neither has performance advantage March 11, 2010

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A comparison of streaming video via the Adobe Flash and HTML5 formats with numerous different browsers on both Mac and Windows produced wildly different results based on the operating system and browser, making neither a clear winner.

The test, from Streaming Learning Center, was conducted in response to recent comments alleged to have been said by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in which he reportedly called Flash a “CPU hog.” While the test found that HTML5 is significantly more efficient than Flash on the Mac when running the Safari Web browser, those same advantages do not exist on other Mac browsers, or in Windows.

“It’s inaccurate to conclude that Flash is inherently inefficient,” author Jan Ozer wrote. “Rather, Flash is efficient on platforms where it can access hardware acceleration and less efficient where it can’t. With Flash Player 10.1, Flash has the opportunity for a true leap in video playback performance on all platforms that enable hardware acceleration.”

The report noted that Apple has not enabled the hooks to allow GPU-based acceleration for H.264 video decoding. Anand Lai Shimpi, founder of AnandTech, asserted “it’s up to Apple to expose the appropriate hooks to allow Adobe to (eventually) enable that functionality.”

Adobe’s update to Flash 10.1 on the Mac improved CPU efficiency within Safari by 5 percent, but the Web format still trails far behind HTML5 due to hardware acceleration. With Google Chrome, neither were particularly efficient, and Firefox saw slightly better performance than Chrome.

Flash test 1

On Windows, Apple’s Safari browser doesn’t play HTML 5 content. But the Google Chrome browser in Windows played Flash 10.1 content with 58 percent more efficiency than HTML5.

HTML5 is not natively supported in Firefox or Internet Explorer, but the update from Flash 10 to Flash 10.1 improved CPU performance for the browsers by 73 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Flash 10.1 in Windows offers added hardware acceleration.

“When it comes to efficient video playback, the ability to access hardware acceleration is the single most important factor in the overall CPU load,” Streaming Learning Center noted. “On Windows, where Flash can access hardware acceleration, the CPU requirements drop to negligible levels.

“It seems reasonable to assume that if the Flash Player could access GPU-based hardware acceleration on the Mac (or iPod/iPhone/iPad), the difference between the CPU required for HTML5 playback and Flash playback would be very much narrowed, if not eliminated.”

Flash test 2

Google added support for the most popular video destination on the Internet, YouTube, in January. The beta opt-in program is available only for browsers that support both HTML5 and H.264 video encoding.

Scrutiny over Flash has grown in recent months since Apple introduced its multimedia iPad device, which does not support the Web format from Adobe. Apple, instead, has placed its support behind HTML5.

For more on why Apple isn’t likely to add support for Flash in the iPhone OS, read AppleInsider’s three-part Flash Wars series.

via AppleInsider | Flash, HTML5 comparison finds neither has performance advantage.

Behind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms February 2, 2010

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Thought Android and iPhone are taking over the world? Think again. The device platforms map is more fragmented than ever, while the media hype distorts the commercial reality. […]

The Smartphone Craze
The other day I was reading some of the usual hype-induced reports on the Smartphone revolution. Wanting to put things into perspective I pulled out some old Smartphone forecasts from 2004-2005 by the likes of IDC, Informa and Ovum.

In those pre-historic days the main Smartphone contenders were Symbian and Windows. Blackberry was still an insignificant niche, and touch screen devices were still clunky stylus based UIQ phones and iPAQs. Yet surprisingly, the average Smartphone share of shipments that was forecast for 2010 was …about 30%. So even without the Apple & Google revolution fanning the flames, many analysts believed in the mass migration to Smartphones.

Reality check: by looking at the numbers for the first three quarters of 2009, it appears that last year there have shipped no more than 170-180 million devices considered to be Open OS Smartphones. Indeed Symbian, Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, WebOS, LiMO and Maemo taken all together still only constitute about 15-17% of shipments. This percentage is in fact much lower than the 2009 Smartphone share predicted a few years ago by many research companies. […]

The bets are spreading
As of late 2009, the only companies who are shipping true Open OS Smartphones in mass volumes are Nokia (Symbian), RIM (Blackberry), Apple (iPhone) and HTC (Windows Mobile, now Android). This will no doubt start to change over the course of time as Android shipments start to ramp up and the rest of the platforms realize their growth potential, but it is still not an overnight revolution.

Looking forward, this thesis shows that the market will be much more diverse than the simplistic notion that everyone either wants an App Store capable iPhone or Droid, or alternatively, an ultra-low cost phone to make phone calls. There is many more commercial dynamics at play, making up a complex platform map which is driven by customer ownership.

In 2009 the number of available device software platforms effectively grew, creating more fragmentation in the industry, not less. There are clearly mid-range segments and geographical markets with varying needs, which can be addressed with various software platforms, not necessarily in the traditional view of Smartphones vs. RTOS “dumb phones”. Simply betting on one or two platforms to rule the industry is not a sensible plan.

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Read the full article at VisionMobile.comBehind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms | VisionMobile :: blog