Apple debuts iOS 7; an end-to-end redesign for iOS devices, photo sharing capabilities

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.14.32 PMApple has debuted the newest iteration of iOS at its annual developers conference in San Francisco today. iOS 7, which releases in beta for iPhone today, will receive an official release for current iOS devices in the fall.

With iOS 7, Apple has done a major overhaul both in design and feature set. The updated mobile operating system boasts a completely new look which highlights a flatter design; a new color palette; different, hybrid font; and updated stock app icons. The lockscreen also has a new look, where the slide to unlock bar is now transparent and the notifications center is accessible without unlocking the device. From a functionality standpoint, all of the stock applications have also been updated with new gesture-based, sliding navigation.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 1.49.37 PM (more…)

Google Translate Review

google translate

Google Translate is an Android and iOS app from Google. It was recently updated to version 2.0 on most Android devices, while the iOS and older versions of Android continue to run a previous version. It is available for free on Google Play and the iTunes App Store and carries no additional in-app purchases.

Google’s ability to translate words, phrases, and webpages has become a useful tool for users of all interests and professions. The Google Translate app presents all the same functionality of Google’s web translator on a mobile device, allowing users to translate text and voice in over 70 languages on the go. Android users get the added bonus of camera functionality, which allows the user to take a picture of text, and have it translated on the spot.

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Apple gains platform market share, Android and iOS combines for 91% of smartphone user base

ComScore logoAlthough Google’s Android operating system remained the top smartphone platform, Apple once again gained market share, according to ComScore’s March 2013 Mobile Subscriber Market Share report. Also, the Android OS and Apple’s iOS combined for 91 percent of the U.S. smartphone user base of 136.7 million.

During the three month period from the end of December 2012 to the end of March 2013, the smartphone market penetration was up 9 percent to 58 percent, translating to 136.7 million users owning smartphones, with 71.1 million users who own Android smartphones and 53.5 million who own iPhones.ComScore top smartphone OEMs March 2013

The Reston, Va.-based analytics firm reported that Apple claimed the No. 1 spot as the top smartphone original equipment manufacture (OEM) with 39 percent — up 2.7 percent — of the U.S. smartphone OEM market share. Samsung nabbed the No. 2 position with a 21.7 percent market share, up 0.7 percent. Keep in mind that it won’t be another month or two before Samsung’s market share sees an effect from the recently launch Samsung Galaxy S4. Rounding out the bottom of the top smartphone OEMs chart was HTC with a 9 percent market share, Motorola with 8.5 percent and LG with 6.8 percent.

As per usual, the Android OS was the top smartphone platform with 52 percent market share, down 1.4 percent. Apple’s platform share rose once again, increasing 2.7 percent to 39 percent. BlackBerry came in at No. 3 with 5.2 percent share, falling 1.2 percent. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS increased 0.1 percent to 3.0 percent and Accenture’s Symbian OS dropped 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.ComScore top smartphone platforms March 2013

Apple counts down to 50B app downloads milestone

apple250In today’s weekly App Store refresh, which Apple does every Thursday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company added a countdown to 50 billion app downloads.

Apple did a similar countdown in February 2012 when the App Store was reaching the 25 billion mark for downloads. To celebrate the 50 billion downloads achievement, Apple will be awarding a $10,000 App Store gift card to the user who downloads the 50 billionth app, and the following 50 users who download an app will receive a $500 App Store gift card.

In early January, Apple announced that its App Store exceeded the 40 billion downloads mark (excluding re-downloads and app updates), with approximately 20 billion downloads occurring in 2012. December 2012, in particular, was a record-breaking month in terms of app downloads, where the company saw more than two billion apps downloaded during the month.

Here are the top 25 free and paid apps of all-time for iPhone and iPad: (more…)

Apple App Store has now paid out $9B to developers

appstore

Apple announced on its earning call today that the Apple App Store has now paid out $9 billion to developers. This means that the Apple App Store has earned a total of $12.8 billion over its lifetime, with Apple earning $3.8 billion from a 30 percent cut of sales. Apple also shared that $4.5 billion of that amount was gained in the last four quarters alone. This means that Apple now pays developers over $billion per quarter.

The Apple App Store, available in 155 countries, now hosts more than 850,000 iOS apps and 350,000 dedicated iPad apps, adding 50,000 apps since Apple’s last reported figure from its earnings report in January.

The App Store, which exceeded 40 billion downloads in the last fiscal quarter, has now reached 45 billion downloads, meaning it now sees a staggering 800 app downloads per second.

 

 

Apple reports record Q2 revenue in Q2 2013, profits significantly down year-over-year

apple250Apple today announced it has sold 37.4 million iPhones, 19.5 million iPads and 5.6 million iPods in Q2 2013. Overall, the company reported $43.6 billion in revenue, good for net profits of $9.5 billion during Q2. Net profit in Q2 2012 was $11.6 billion, meaning profits fell this past quarter by more than 18 percent year-over-year.

“We acknowledge  that our growth rate has slowed,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Overall, revenues were down 20 percent over the previous quarter’s sales of $54.5 billion (note that it was the holiday quarter), but up 11.2 percent year-over-year from Q2 2012 revenue of $39.2 million.

In total, Apple sold 62.5 million iOS devices during the quarter, down from Q1 2013 when the company sold 83.4 million iOS devices. (more…)

Guest Post: Apple enforces its new app promotion restrictions, removes AppGratis from the App Store

App Gratis removed from Apple App StoreEditor’s Note: Earlier this week, Apple booted out app discovery service AppGratis, which promotes paid apps by offering one for free everyday, from the Apple App Store for violating clause 2.25 of Apple’s App Review Guidelines, which states that “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.” The app also violated clause 5.6, which states that “Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.” VentureBeat reported that Apple reached out to AppGratis last Friday, informing the company that it was welcome to change its app and resubmit it. AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat said in a company blog post that there were no discussions between Apple and AppGratis in advance of the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered corporation removing the app. Dawlat (who also explained the full story of how AppGratis got pulled) said he did eventually speak with an Apple employee over the phone and does want to speak further with Apple.

With all that said, in today’s guest post from Noya Polliack, marketing director at Side-Kick Games, a developer of family and mid-core games, says that despite discoverability being a huge issue for app developers in the crowded mobile app market, AppGratis is the latest example of Apple being keen on clamping down on any apps that violate its policies.

Six months after adding clause 2.25 to Apple’s App Review Guidelines, AppGratis finds itself outside of the best store in town – Apple’s App Store.

AppGratis is the second app banned from the App Store due to the new guidelines which restrict apps from providing pure app promotion services. These Apps usually function as app recommendation services and/or alert users when discounts are available. Among this type of apps are FreeAppADay, Appoday, Daily App Dream, Appsfire and more. Earlier in December, the popular AppShopper app was removed from the Apple App Store.

Both AppGratis and AppShopper offered developers burst campaigns — massive traffic in a short period of time. The result of these campaigns is usually high ranking in the Apple App Store for a few days. This method of app promotion is used by many developers in order to overcome the number one problem in the crowded app market today — discoverability.

At the moment there are still plenty of other discovery apps, which offer third-party promotions. While Apple’s next move is unknown, it’s definitely an issue that app developers should address.

Is Apple acting in the users’ best interest?

One of the reasons the new clause was added is that by attracting millions of users, third-party aggregators like AppGratis allow a way for developers to spend their way to the top 25, violating the Apple App Store’s purity. However, big game development studios that can afford to create a marketing buzz before they launch their app can be accused of doing just the same. While these well known studios get the media’s attention and use their apps portfolio to cross promote their new app, indie developers with a low marketing budget and a single app stay behind. Sadly, the outcome is that many new great apps are not visible to iOS users.

It’s also important to remember that burst campaigns can be executed using different user acquisition tactics such as web-based affiliate networks, ad networks and user acquisition networks. Since all of these sources use in-app ads to promote other apps, we can expect to see the mobile ads market growing faster than expected.

As Apple’s ranking algorithm remains a mystery, it’s known that the number of downloads plays a key factor in Apple’s app store ranking. Since app installs can be acquired one way or another, it only seems fair that users’ experience and rating will have a much stronger influence on apps’ ranking.

Looking at Apple’s latest moves — adding clause 2.25, clamping down on incentivized apps downloads, changing the Apple App Store’s look and the unknown magic formula of how to get featured — it’s clear that Apple is keen to stay “hands on” picking the “right” apps for its users.

Apple increases lead as top U.S. smartphone manufacturer, Google’s platform market share falls again

ComScore logoOnce again, Apple increased its lead as the top original equipment manufacturer, while Google’s platform market share fell for a second month in a row, according to ComScore’s February 2013 Mobile Subscriber Market Share report.

Among the top smartphone OEMs, Apple held a 38.9 percent share of the U.S. mobile market, up 3.9 percent during a three-month period from November 2012 to February 2013. Samsung held down the No. 2 spot with a 21.3 percent market share, up 1 percent. With the imminent release of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the South Korean company’s market share could increase further in the coming months. HTC’s OEM market share dropped by 1.7 percent to 9.3 percent, but the launch of its HTC First handset on April 12, the first smartphone with Facebook Home baked into a device’s operating system, could turn around the company’s market share in the future. Motorola as well as LG saw its market share drop to 8.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.ComScore February 2013 top smartphone OEMs

According to the analytics firm, 133.7 million U.S. citizens own smartphones, which translates to a mobile market penetration of 57 percent, up 8 percent since the three month average period ending February 2013.

Platform-wise, Google’s market share among the top smartphone platforms inches even closer to falling below 50 percent, dropping 2 percent from November 2012 to February 2013 to 51.7 percent. Apple, on the other hand, is closing the gap on Google, increasing its market share by 3.9 percent to 38.9 percent. BlackBerry, which probably hasn’t felt the full effect of the BlackBerry 10 OS and BlackBerry Z10 device releases yet, saw its market share fall 1.9 percent to 5.4 precent. Microsoft added 0.2 percent to its marketshare from 3 percent in November 2012 to 3.2 percent in February 2013. Lastly, Symbian’s market share remained stagnant at 0.5 percent.comscore-february-2013-top-smartphone-platforms

Apple and Mozilla: A Cause for Celebration

AdTruth logoEditor’s note: Today’s guest post comes from James Lamberti, vice president and general manager of AdTruth (he was formally of mobile ad network InMobi and ComScore), a technology that enables audience identification through anonymous device recognition. In this post, Lamberti discusses why Apple and Mozilla making the decision to block and reject cookie tracking is a good thing.

You can bet that privacy advocates across the digital industry were celebrating recently. In response to Mozilla’s intent to block all third-party cookies by default and Apple’s decision to reject apps that use cookie-tracking, digital advertisers are wondering what this disruptive news means and how they should respond.

If anything, these changes should be applauded. While this news may come as a surprise to marketers and digital advertisers, it should be seen as an opportunity for the industry to address a problem that’s been an issue for years. The audience-identification options are limited; but this is a critical function that marketers depend on every day.

With cookies quickly falling by the wayside, the industry needs an alternative that is universal in nature, functions across all devices, on all operating systems and across every use case including desktop, mobile and apps. Apple’s push toward identifier for advertising (IFA) is a step in the right direction but is limited to iOS devices and doesn’t support all use cases.

Second, a universal alternative needs be based on the concept of privacy by design. This means privacy has been factored in from the beginning, not added as an afterthought. It also means providing the flexibility to recognize and respect privacy protection mechanisms, such as online behavioral advertising (OBA) and Do Not Track.

While keeping privacy in mind, a solution must also be effective. Performance and longevity are of great value to marketers and must reach an acceptable rate for a solution to even be considered. The key is for advertisers to understand and recognize their audiences well enough to provide relevant content: no more and no less.

And finally, with the number of mobile users and devices in world, we need a solution that has the ability to scale. Digital marketing is delivered and measured in billions of impressions and fractions of seconds. If this speed and scale can’t be supported the approach isn’t going to be adopted.

The news from Apple and Mozilla has caused many in the ecosystem to wonder how they will continue to reach customers in a time of diminishing options. They shouldn’t worry. As the ‘deterministic’ cookie approach continues to fade out, there is an opportunity for a more ‘probabilistic’ approach – one that meets the criteria outlined above – to be adopted. Don’t fret; it’s time to thank Apple and Mozilla for helping reframe the audience identification conversation.

Apple increases lead as top smartphone manufacturer

ComScore logoApple continues to increase its lead as the top smartphone manufacturer over the South Korean-based conglomerate Samsung, according to ComScore’s latest Mobile Subscriber Market Share report.

Apple’s market share among the top smartphone manufactures increased 3.5 percent to 37.8 percent from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013. No. 2 ranked Samsung also grew its market share by 1.9 percent from 19.5 percent to 21.4 percent over the the three-month period. Taiwan-based HTC’s smartphone OEM market share declined 1.7 percent to 9.7 percent, Motorola fell 1.4 percent to 8.6 percent and LG slightly increased its share by 0.3 percent to 7.0 percent.ComScore top smartphone OEMs January 2013

Smartphone market penetration was up 7 percent since October 2012, which now stands at 55 percent, translating to 129.4 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones. Google’s Android platform continued to hold more than 50 percent of the smartphone platform market share, although it’s share was down 1.3 percent from 53.6 percent of handsets running Android to 52.3 percent of handsets. Apple’s iOS platform showed the most growth, adding 3.5 percent to its market share from 34.3 percent to 37.8 percent. BlackBerry saw its market share decline 1.9 percent to 5.9 percent. Microsoft’s market share came in second to last, with a marginal decrease of 0.1 percent to 3.1 percent, and Symbian also fell 0.1 percent for a 0.5 percent share of handsets running Accenture’s operating system.ComScore top smartphone platforms January 2013

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