The mobile Web browser market is a mess. Most platforms have a default Web browser installed, often a customize one, and unlike desktop PCs, it’s hard to change that browser.
So platform market share gives you a good proxy for mobile browser market share. But according to StatCounter, no mobile platform commands more than 25 percent of the global market.
The platform data is not as clean as one might like for understanding the mobile-browser landscape. For example, you should combine iPhone and iPod Touch data to get an idea of Apple’s mobile Safari market share. And some Android smartphones have a custom Android Web browser, while newer ones have Google Chrome preinstalled. Nokia is likewise a mess: It used to support Opera, it then featured its own Nokia Web browser for the Symbian smartphone operating system, and its newest Windows phones have mobile Internet Explorer.
Nonetheless, it is clear that the market is fragmented across platforms. As we’ve discussed before, this is a big problem for the development of HTML5 because these browsers do not supports a consistent feature set. As long as mo! bile bro wsers remain fragmented and no standards for HTML5 are ratified, native apps will still be king.
When an earthquake ravaged Fukushima and terrified all of Japan, the entire country had one reaction: is everyone OK? And if you knew someone in an afflicted area, you might’ve been thinking, is my husband okay? Now Facebook will tell you.
Facebook’s new Disaster (currently in trial for Japan only) feature is so simple and could be so very useful: if you’re in an area hit by a natural disaster (or terrorist attack, I presume), you’ll have the option to flag yourself as safe with all the ease of clicking “Like.” Or, if you’ve managed to get in touch with someone you know in a danger area, you can flag their profile as safe for them. Either way, Facebook will become a go-to source for peace of mind. It’s the kind of tool you hope you’ll never have to use, but one we might be glad to have. And one that’ll rack up ad views for Facebook the next time a crisis hits. Click! [YokosoNews via NewScientist]
If you’ve worked in an office, chances are you’re surrounded by people who use cliched phrases like “touch base” and “circle back” every time they’re in a meeting, delivering a presentation, or giving a speech. Whether or not these phrases once had meaning, they’ve long since lost their meaning for many. They’ve actually got the opposite effect now, because they’re so cliched. So which phrases should you avoid? Meeting Boy has a list.
Here are the top ten in his poll of 25 (hit his site to see more).
- think outside the box (16%)
- circle back (15%)
- synergy (14%)
- it is what it is (13%)
- touch base (13%)
- at the end of the day (13%)
- let’s take this offline (12%)
- low-hanging fruit (11%)
- value-added (11%)
- proactive (10%)
If you know anyone who uses these phrases feel free to show them this post. You can’t blame the words, but it’s worth keeping your language fresh and cliche-free when possible to avoid weakening the point you’re trying to make. You’ve heard my take (and Meeting Boy’s), but let’s hear your most hated work cliches.
The Most Hated Buzzword | Meeting Boy
He noted that pundits said a $99 Kindle would send people into a “fervor”. Then Bezos whipped out a $99 Kindle Touch and said the “fervor” for cheap Kindles could begin.
A few minutes later, (oddly) with less excitement, Bezos revealed a $79 Kindle. Considering the Kindle started at $399 four years ago, these are very impressive price cuts.
We’ll start the next round of questions from the pundits to Bezos: When will the Kindle be free? When will Amazon’s special offers, and Prime program make it cheap enough for Amazon to give away Kindles? Next year? The year after that?
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When the iPad was unveiled and I started to imagine the types of games a 9″ touch screen might engender, I envisioned gorgeous, intuitive and, above all, immersive experiences. Osmos for iPad is one of the best I’ve found yet.
The game, which is adapted from a well-regarded PC version and costs $5 in the App Store, puts you in control of a tiny blue organism, a mote, which you direct around the screen, growing in size as you absorb the smaller blobs around you. Of course, all sorts of challenges, including bigger motes trying to absorb you, complicate that mission.
But what’s really special about Osmos is the experience of controlling that game play. Tapping behind your mote scoots him around the screen, predictably, but at any time you can pinch to zoom in or out, allowing you to navigate a tight passage or survey the level at a distance. Additionally, you can swipe with one finger to alter time—drag left and all the motes slow to a crawl, drag right and they shoot around like bouncy balls. Different speeds and levels of zoom have situations in which they’re uniquely useful, and these elegant controls are the perfect complement to the game’s polished visuals.
Osmos teaches you these gestures in early levels, but after that there’s little instruction. You’re given a basic goal and left to your own devices to go about achieving it. Depending on your style, the game play can be rambunctious or meditative, and often it’s both in the course of one level.
There’s not a huge variation in the game play, admittedly, and it’s so engrossing that I imagine most players will zip through the Odyssey track pretty quickly (there’s an arcade mode that lets you play levels one at a time, too). But in some ways this simplicity is the game’s biggest asset, because it allows for a remarkable cohesiveness between all of its elements, from game play and visual style down to the soundtrack and menus. It’s not only a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” type thing; here, the whole is so dazzlingly packaged that you don’t really think of the “parts” as parts at all.
For me, Osmos on the iPad is an experience first and a game second, and it uses the iPad to achieve game play that would be impossible—or, at least, not nearly as compelling—on any other platform. At its best, the iPad isn’t just an app machine or a gaming device but a portal into some other environment all together, and I hope that developers will follow Osmos’ lead and strive not just to adapt familiar gaming experiences to the tablet but to create new ones for it entirely. [iTunes]
Whether or not you think the iPad is in and of itself a worthy purchase, let’s not forget the investment doesn’t end at the retail counter or online shopping cart. Two little newsbits have popped up to serve as a helpful reminder to just that effect. The first comes way of verbiage from the iPad end-user licensing agreement dug up by MacRumors; in a nutshell, it suggests that while iPad OS 4.x updates will be provided gratis, subsequent releases (5.x, 6.x, and so on) could be offered at a premium, à la how iPod touch handles firmware. This is far from a confirmation, but it’s well within Apple’s right to do so. The second bit is derived by The Consumerist by way a supposed leaked app store video. Comparing the prices of iPad-optimized software with the iPhone equivalents showed quite a hefty uptick in consumer cost — e.g., $4.99 Flight Control HD vs. $0.99 Flight Control. The pool of eight apps seen in the video would cost $53 in all to purchase, while the same set for the iPhone is $27. That screen real estate don’t come cheap, y’know — that is, should the prices seen prove legit. At this point we can’t confirm, and more than likely, we won’t know for sure until the eleventh hour.
Update: The BBC has word direct from developers that iPad apps will indeed be costlier than their iPhone / iPod touch brethren. Multiple devs are cited in the Beeb‘s article saying that their 99 cent apps will grow in price to $1.99 and $2.99 price points for the slate device [thanks, Ben].
iPad’s trailing costs: like the iPod touch, only bigger (updated) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Get ready, because this one may get big: 44% of all iPad applications being tested on the actual device are games. Hey Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, the iPhone/iPod titan is getting its tentacles all over the living room.
The iPhone/iPod monster has positioned itself as the preferred mobile gaming platform for developers and is quickly becoming one of the largest game platforms in the planet, with 75 million iPhone OS devices sold in just 2.5 years. The current king of all game platforms sold 125 million units of the much cheaper Nintendo DS in five years and two months.
Now Apple is moving the action into the living room. Would gaming be one of main purposes of the iPad? Would the iPad become the next casual home gaming juggernaut, like the Wii? The market will tell in time, but apparently developers think that the possibility is there. Their reasoning seems solid: The iPhone/iPod demonstrated that you don’t need buttons and a d-pad to offer a good gaming experience to most people (not only hardcore gamers). It’s the same road first taken by the Nintendo DS and then the Wii. Both have a big amount of incredibly successful games that don’t use buttons at all and require little involvement and time. In fact, it seems like consumers—not hardcore gamers—favor that kind of interaction, along with games that can be easily shared and enjoyed by a few people at the same time.
The iPad Sharing Factor
Like the iPhone/iPod Touch, the iPad is a continuation of this road. Unlike its handheld brothers, however, the bigger screen of the iPad is good to share the game experience with other people. I can easily picture two or three people sitting together on a sofa, playing with one iPad, passing it around in turns. I can also imagine multiple iPads in the same household, and people playing networked games in separate screens. Or people around a table, playing a board game touching the iPad and using their iPhones. Except this board game would have spectacular graphics and be fully animated. And perhaps have remote players connected too.
Given the general direction of the market and the possibilities of the platform, it’s not surprising that game developers are pushing so hard for the iPad. It’s yet to be seen if the Apple device would be a success or not, but having such a developer support is going to play a big role. The fact is that developers are betting that it will be a success in the gaming department. 44% is a huge figure, especially considering that the next category—entertainment—only grabs 14%. And especially considering that this is a completely unknown device. They don’t have too much to lose, since the games can target both the iPad and the iPhone/iPod Touch.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for a fully-networked Tron light cycle game for the iPad, with each device being a bike cockpit. [Business Week]
All these wonderful things we’re learning today, from data! First, we find out that Android is a guy thing. Now, we discover that the iPod Touch shares more demographics with glittering vampires than smartphones. iPod Touch: Kid stuff.
The age distribution makes a lot of sense, especially with the direct available comparison of the iPhone: the iPod Touch is a good gift, a plausible purchase, and a good investment for a young person right now. An iPhone with a $70-a-month minimum contract is a tougher sell, either to parents, or to kids mostly supported by their parents.
And these kids don’t just buy different gadgets than adults—they use them differently, too. For example, they looooove apps:
But they’re stingy little bastards, these kids:
Buying an app can be tough without a credit card, so again, this isn’t shocking. But it does poke a little hole in the idea of the iPod Touch as a massive moneymaker for Apple. Hardware sales are tremendous and highly profitable, sure, but once the devices are in users’ soft little baby hands, they don’t keep raking it in like the iPhone does. [AdMob]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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