Apple Takes Global Web Usage from Nokia as Google Chrome Grows on Mobile

statcounter-iphone

While Apple may not lead Android in overall marketshare, some are quick to point out that the iPhone is far and away the leader in terms of overall web usage between the two platforms in almost every country. Apple today surged past Nokia, likely on strong Holiday sales, to become the leader in overall web usage on mobile devices. Nokia, popular in third-world countries nearing or going through industrialization held the crown thanks to its Symbian platform, which has now been phased out in favor of Windows Phone 8.

Nokia’s numbers dipped fairly drastically over the holidays, likely due to so many people replacing aging devices worldwide. According to this data set, Samsung also experienced a slight drop. (more…)

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Week In Microsoft: Office 365, Mending With Google, and WP 7.8

Microsoft This Week

The Surface Pro inches closer to its release next weekend on February 7 and enthusiasm is high in cyberspace. Many are waiting for the Surface Pro for its “non-compromising” vapor-mag metalwork, but many will also be in for a memory shock. Surface RT didn’t fare too well during the holiday sales and Microsoft is hoping for a better second round.

As important as the Surface Pro is, it wasn’t the only headline. This week, Microsoft released their brand new Office 2013 suite to the public, worked out some problems with Google, and finally delivered on broken promises to early Windows Phone 7 adopters. Lets go through all the news item for the week of January 28 – February 3.

(more…)

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App Store Bringing in 3.5 Times More Revenue than Google Play

ios-vs-google-play-revenue

The holidays are over, the New Year celebrations have passed, and 2013 is ahead. Well, the first month of the year is technically already over, but that’s not my point.  Like every year, both the App Store and Google Play saw tremendous sales over the last few months.

But that’s not all that’s worth noting about January’s App Annie index. The Apple App Store earned “over three-and-a-half times that of Google Play in December 2012.” The month was also a record for the platform, and while App Annie does not disclose actual numbers, Apple has said in the past that the store typically brings in “around $333 million per month.”

Google Play, however, is undoubtedly on the rise. App Annie notes that “from Q3 to Q4, Google Play app revenue doubled, while iOS App Store revenue grew by about one-fifth.” Both platforms are surely growing, but as you can see in the graph above, Google Play is finally beginning to really take off. I would attribute this to a cohesive lineup of devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Nexus line. What about you?

[App Annie via 9to5Mac]

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Starting Saturday, Unlocking a Cellphone is Illegal in the US

TMobile-iPhone-Unlocked-Unlimited

Back in 2010, an exception was added to the United States’ Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the Librarian of Congress that made it perfectly legal to jailbreak, unlock, or install unapproved third-party apps on any hardware (at the time, the exception was added with a focus on the iPhone, though it currently applies to any device). However, a change noted by Tech News Daily in the DMCA means that starting this Saturday, unlocking a phone through unofficial means will become illegal in the United States. (more…)

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Week in Microsoft: Xbox 720 Rumors, Surface Pro Release Date and More

wim-xbox

Microsoft outbid both Apple and Google to acquire home automation company R2 Studios.

Microsoft had a rather busy first week of 2013. Starting from its Xbox Live Cloud saved game outage to engaging in corporate warfare against arch nemesis Google. Join me ahead as I recap the week of December 30th – January 5th as it was for Microsoft.  (more…)

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Conditions are Slowly Improving in Chinese Factories

Final chapter of the I-Economy

Apple’s association with the “sweatshop” manufacturing plants of China and various other countries has been under intense scrutiny for the past few years. The scrutiny culminated in a series of articles by The New York Times under the overarching title of the “iEconomy,” where the technology industry – with Apple at the center – was slammed for their practices of employing cheap labor and allowing dangerous working conditions in return for higher profitability margins. Since then, various changes have taken place throughout the supply chain of nearly every consumer electronics company.

Apple, to their credit, has taken a lead in this charge. (more…)

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Walt Mossberg and David Pogue: Google Maps is Best on iOS

google maps

Google Maps launched to much applause, and the app was almost universally reviewed as offering more accurate data than iOS 6′s solution. While the design side of each app is more subject to one’s personal taste, Google’s data set is superior both in practice and from a technical point of view.

However, two notable journalists have recently decided that Google Maps is actually best viewed on an iOS device, and that the iOS client is superior to what is available on the web and on Android, Google’s mobile platform.

Walt Mossberg, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

However, the biggest news here is that the new iPhone version of Google Maps isn’t just better than Apple Maps. For now, at least, Google Maps is better in most respects on the iPhone than it is on Android phones. It has been redesigned with a cleaner, simpler user interface that makes it easier to use. Google officials say they took the sudden need to build a new iPhone version as an opportunity to rethink the popular app from the ground up.

David Pogue, writing for The New York Times:

Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus.

In a straight comparison of features, the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps are comparable, with neither being able to assert a large lead on the other. Performance is also comparable, and depends more on network conditions than on the platform. However, the design of the iOS app is certainly different, and (it seems) simpler to use. Apparently, Google prefers the iOS client to that of the Android version likely because of its newer design and emphasis on search and gestures to navigate the UI.

Still, having used the latest clients for each platform, it’s difficult to pick a favorite. While the iOS version is certainly cleaner, some of the commands are more buried than on Android. The Android version seems to reveal more of the in-depth functionality, while the iOS version hides said functionality behind sliding panels.

Which version do you prefer? Is iOS’ Google Maps client really the superior choice, or do both have their upsides?

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Google Sells Motorola’s Home Division to ARRIS

Motorola-Google

A year ago, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Since then, Motorola’s phone division has continued to put out devices seemingly as if it had never been purchased. However, many wondered what would happen to Motorola Home – the division responsible for cable boxes and various other living-room centric products – after the buyout was complete.

Today, we have the answer. Both parties officially announced that Motorola Home would be making its way to ARRIS’ corporate umbrella, another cable-box provider and telephony provider, for $2.35 billion in cash and stock. According to the press release:

Under the terms of the agreement, upon closing of the transaction, Google will receive $2.05 billion in cash and approximately$300 million in newly issued ARRIS shares, subject to certain adjustments provided for in the agreement, representing an approximately 15.7% ownership interest in ARRIS post-closing.

Acquiring Motorola Home will enhance ARRIS’ ability to provide next-generation consumer video products and services, supporting a more comprehensive product offering while also accelerating its ability to deliver a comprehensive set of industry-leading new products for broadband to a wide spectrum of customers.  The transaction will increase ARRIS’ patent portfolio and provide a license to a wide array of Motorola Mobility patents.

Breaking through the PR-speak shows that this acquisition was more of a patent grab, which is something that Motorola has plenty of. Beyond that, Motorola’s position in the cable-box industry should help to bolster that of ARRIS.

[ARRIS]

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iOS 6 Adoption Spikes By 29 Percent Following Google Maps Release

Apple released the iOS 6 software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in late September, but the absence of Google Maps as a native app was reason enough for a significant number of users to refrain from updating their devices to the latest version of the mobile operating system.

Following the release of Google Maps as a third-party app on the App Store, however, many of those users that were holding off on iOS 6 have since made the update. According to mobile ad server MoPub, the iOS 6 adoption rate has surged by 29 percent since Google Maps made its reappearance on iPhone.

That number is only based off the 12,000 apps that MoPub supports, but it proves that some people were willing to wait weeks for Google Maps to launch until finally updating to iOS 6. MoPub CEO Jim Payne, speaking with TechCrunch, supports that belief.

“We observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available.”

Did your update your device to iOS 6 following the release of Google Maps, or have you already been running the sixth major of the platform since it was made available a few months ago? Let us know in the comments.

[TechCrunch]

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