Google is believed to have demanded the “immediate withdrawal” of the YouTube app on Windows Phone 8.
The app was developed and released by Microsoft just a few weeks ago, but a letter obtained by The Verge claims that Google is unhappy about a number of terms and conditions violations.
It is alleged that the application broke the YouTube API terms by allowing video downloads and preventing adverts from being displayed.
In the letter addressed to Microsoft, the video sharing website asks for the application to be withdrawn and all existing downloads to be disabled by May 22.
“Content creators make money on YouTube by monetising their content through advertising,” Francisco Varela, YouTube’s Global Platform Partnerships Director, writes.
“Unfortunately, by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube.”
It is also claimed that the app allows some videos to play despite uploaders imposing restrictions on certain platforms.
Microsoft is yet to comment on the situation.
14 / 05 / 2013
Samsung is experimenting with 5G technology and claims to have made a breakthrough in its research.
Scientists previously believed that the high-frequency wavebands required for 5G connectivity may be incompatible with mobile networks, but the Korean firm insists its ‘mmWave Mobile Technology’ system is fully fledged.
Samsung asserts that its 5G tech could offer “ubiquitous” access to ultra-fast mobile broadband 100 times faster than current speeds, enabling users to stream 3D movies and games, and access ultra-high-definition content.
“The implementation of a high-speed 5G cellular network requires a broad band of frequencies, much like an increased water flow requires a wider pipe,” said the company in a blog post.
“While it was a recognised option, it has been long believed that the millimeter-wave bands had limitations in transmitting data over long distances due to its unfavorable propagation characteristics.”
The UK’s current 4G networks, which are in their infancy, operate using the 800MHz bands, but Samsung has been experimenting with much higher frequencies across distances of up to 2km.
“Samsung’s new adaptive array transceiver technology has proved itself as a successful solution,” the firm added. “It transmits data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.
“The adaptive array transceiver technology, using 64 antenna elements, can be a viable solution for overcoming the radio propagation loss at millimeter-wave bands, much higher than the conventional frequency bands ranging from several hundred MHz to several GHz.”
The technology is not expected to be commercialised until after 2020.
A report has forecast that the number of mobile phone subscriptions will surpass the number of people in the world during 2014.
The UN agency report has predicted that mobile subscriptions will surpass seven billion in early 2014, and will overtake the world population by the end of the year, BBC News reports.
There are currently 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions and 7.1 billion people in the world.
Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, said: “Every day we are moving closer to having almost as many mobile cellular subscriptions as people on earth.
“The mobile revolution is ‘m-powering’ people in developing countries by delivering ICT applications in education, health, government, banking, environment and business,” he continued.
The report also found that over one third of the world’s population are now online. However, in countries like India, mobile growth is slowing.
Africa is the continent with the least mobile subscriptions, with 63 per 100 people.
The report also revealed that 40% of the world’s population are now online. Europe has the highest percentage with 75%, followed by the Americas with 61%, Asia with 32% and Africa with 16%.
17 / 04 / 2013
The study, from Experian, indicates that traffic to the likes of Facebook and Twitter accounted for 22% of time online.
In terms of time per ‘Internet hour’ Experian found that found that 13 minutes of every hour online in the UK is spent on social networks and forums, while Brits are also productive online shoppers, spending 10% (6 minutes) of all time online shopping, according to new research.
The research was based on anonymous interactions of 25 million internet users’ worldwide, 8 million of which fall in the UK.
Data also shows that time spent on social media networks proportionate to other online activities is also on the decline globally, with all three key markets showing declines of up to three percent.
This highlights the rise in access via 3G and 4G networks as consumers move to access their social networks on the go.
Across all three markets, time spent shopping online grew year-on-year, but the UK emerged as having the most prolific online shoppers, spending proportionally more time on retail websites than online users in North America or Australia. British Internet users spent 10 per cent of all time online shopping in 2012, compared to nine per cent in the US and six per cent in Australia. This was in part due to a bumper Christmas season in the UK where 370 million hours were spent shopping online, 24 per cent higher than the monthly average.
Consumption of news content also increased across all three markets with Australian users emerging as the most voracious consumers of news online. Six per cent of all time spent online in Australia in 2012 was on a news website, compared to five per cent in the UK and four per cent in the US.
James Murray, Digital Marketing Manager at Experian Marketing Services commented: “The online landscape is constantly changing and we’ve seen some pretty dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour across different geographic regions and in the various vertical markets. Consumers are changing the way they interact online and the rise of 3G and now 4G mobile internet access means more visits are being made on the move, particularly in social and email. As brands become increasingly global entities it’s more important than ever to understand the differences between regional online behaviours so that marketing campaigns can be tailored for better and more effective brand engagement.”
Experian Hitwise is an online analytics tool which monitors online interactions of 25 million Internet users worldwide. Experian Hitwise monitors the total monthly visits to 170 online categories as well as the average visit time to websites in these categories. By multiplying total visits and average visit time together it is possible to calculate the total number of hours spent on each category in the UK, US and Australia. Data includes consumer internet visits via desktop, laptop and mobile devices made on wifi connections but excludes 3G and 4G roaming mobile internet usage. Data regards visits to websites only. Other internet usage (such as connecting to play games online via video games consoles) is not included in these figures.
Just over half (51%) of all apps downloaded during the first quarter of 2013 were from Google Play, but Apple generated 74% of all app revenue, according to new global data.
The study, from Canalys, found that the four leading app stores (Google, Apple, BlackBerry and Windows) had a total of 13.4 billion downloads during Q1, generating revenue of $2.2bn.
“Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored,” Tim Shepherd, a Canalys senior analyst, said in statement.
“This is a multi-billion-dollar growth market, with more and more consumers around the world now comfortable and confident in finding apps, downloading them and making in-app purchases, on a growing addressable base of smart phones and tablets,” said Adam Daum, Canalys’ chief analyst of analytics.
In North America where smartphones are commonplace, app downloads were up 8%, with revenue trailing slightly behind at 6%.
“The strength of app ecosystems will increasingly help to determine winners and losers in the smart device industry. BlackBerry 10 now has more than 100,000 apps available through its storefront, showing good growth from the 70,000 it boasted at launch, and the new devices on the platform have given BlackBerry a much greater chance to compete for consumer attention.
Its app story is going from strength to strength, but there is no room for complacency. Microsoft, with the help of partners such as Nokia, is also making good progress attracting some important titles to the Windows Phone platform, but it too needs to do more to make building apps for its platform a priority for developers and also do a better job of marketing and communicating the already established strength of its app story,” said Shepherd.
“The Apple-Google duopoly creates certain challenges for app publishers, carriers, investors and device vendors, so there is intense interest in the possible emergence of a third ecosystem,” added Daum.
10 / 04 / 2013
Mobile ads now account for 10% of all digital spend in the UK, growing by a massive 148% compared to last year, according to the latest figures.
The latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) digital adspend report, conducted by PwC, found that digital advertising spend was up £607m for the first quarter 0f 2013, with mobile driving over half this growth.
In terms of other digital formats, video ad spend was up 46% to £160m while social media grew 24% to £328m.
In terms of sector, FMCG overtook finance as the biggest digital display advertiser in the UK.
Mobile accounts for over half of digital ad growth
Just as digital spend crossed the £5 billion mark in 2012, mobile spend reached its own half billion pound milestone. Fuelled by smartphone ownership hitting almost two-thirds (64%) of the UK population in December 2012, mobile advertising grew like-for-like by 148% to £526.0 million in 2012 from £203.2 million in 2011.
The actual increase of £322.7 million in mobile ad spend over 2011 represents over half (53%) of the £607.3 million increase in total digital ad spend.
Mobile now accounts for 9.7% of all digital advertising spend compared to 1.1% in 2009 – a huge increase in share in just three years.
“Mobile has reached this milestone because marketers are becoming more attuned to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are. Consequently, advertisers are increasingly buying integrated campaigns across online and mobile rather than regarding mobile as an afterthought,” says Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau.
“There’s simply so much buzz around mobile. In the last 6 months, 20 more of the UK’s top 100 advertisers have produced mobile-optimised websites; 4G mobile ultra-broadband is enabling a new era of richer content consumption and tablets are being predicted to outsell PCs in 2013². This will help maintain mobile’s significant momentum in attracting both consumer attention and advertising pounds.”
Even without a prevalent 4G network, mobile video advertising grew 1,601% from £0.8 million in 2011 to £13.0 million in 2012. Total mobile display advertising (including video) increased like-for-like by 121% to £150.0 million in 2012. Mobile search grew like-for-like by 164% to £365.0 million – accounting for 69% of mobile ad spend.
The remaining £11 million of mobile ad revenue is primarily accounted for by classifieds, SMS/MMS and other smaller advertising formats.
Facebook has begun charging users in the UK to message celebrities and people outside of their social circle.
After a successful trial in America, the premium service began rolling out at the end of March.
According to The Sunday Times, Facebook users can continue to communicate with friends and people who share mutual friends without a fee. However, those who wish to send messages to celebrities and people they aren’t friends with will have to pay up to £10.
Issuing a statement, the social networking giant says: “The system of paying to message non-friends in their inbox is designed to prevent spam while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your immediate social circle.
“We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance.”
The price to send a message will vary depending on the amount of followers a celebrity has. Sending Tom Daley (who has over 1.4 million ‘likes’) a message will cost £10.68, while sending a message to rapper Snoop Lion costs £10.08.
Sending a message to non-friends will cost an average of 71p, ensuring it will go directly to their inbox. Using the free option will redirect the message to a less visible folder with no automatic alert – a folder many don’t know exists.
The fee can be paid online instantly with a debit or credit card. Under-18s have been prevented from utilising the premium service and are also unable to receive unsolicited messages from strangers.
All funds raised by the new ‘priority messaging’ system will be kept by Facebook.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the decision to carry out an Android takeover rather than create its own branded phone or operating system was made as part of the network’s aim to deliver the Facebook mobile experience to as “many people as possible”.
In a Q&A session after the unveiling of the phone yesterday (4 April), Zuckerberg conceded ads will eventually be introduced into the cover feed in order to monetise Facebook Home.
Angus Wood, head of earned media at iProspect, said: “Facebook Home is the most ambitious mobile play yet from Facebook.
“By effectively co-opting the mobile homescreen and replacing it with a redesigned version of the Newsfeed, Facebook is unlocking a vast amount of consumer’s time [which] gives Facebook many more opportunities to surface up new content to Home users, whether from friends or from brands.
“From an advertiser’s perspective, it’s a great opportunity for more lightweight interactions with their social followers, even when each is perhaps only a few seconds of brand engagement. But alongside that, the closer you come to the consumer, the softer you need to tread, and the bar for content quality will be higher than ever.”
Facebook Home, which the company claims is “more than just an app”, will include a “cover feed” that replaces user’s lock screens and home screens.
When a Facebook friend directs a piece of content at a user, such as posting on their timeline, the user will receive a notification alongside the friend’s profile picture within their cover feed.
The feed will be populated with content including friends’ Facebook photos and users will be able to flip through the content to see more stories and double tap to “like” the content.
“We don’t want to build some kind of phone or operating system that only some people are able to use,” said Zuckerberg.
“A great phone might only sell 10m or 20m units at best and our community has more than a billion people in it, so even if we did a really good job building a phone we would still only be serving 1 or 2% of the people in our community. We want to build the best experience for every person on every phone.”
Facebook has created an ad for Facebook Home (see below) that positions it as a “whole new experience for your phone” and explains the app’s different features.
Facebook Home will be preloaded on to a new HTC handset called HTC First, which has the Facebook logo on the back, and will be released in the US on 12 April.
Home will also be available as a free download from the Google Play app store from 12 April and will be compatible with HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S3 and Samsung GALAXY Note II devices.
Google has denied penalising rival iTunes on its search engine, after it was revealed that links to the Apple store were ‘hidden’ from results pages.
As of Wednesday afternoon, searches for iOS apps on Google weren’t resulting in overt links to Apple’s iTunes Store.
Direct links to apps on iTunes appeared deeper within Google’s search results than usual.
Reports of the changes to the search results were first made public on Facebook by AppsFire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon.
“Something really weird start to happen on google [sic],” he said. “It has become impossible to find iPhone and iPad apps looking for them in the search engine with a normal query,” he said.
Several tech news sources looked into Ohayon’s complaint and realised it wasn’t only WhatsApp that was having query issues, but that several iTunes app pages weren’t being listed at the top of Google search results.
After much speculation about whether Google was playing a nasty trick on Apple, the Web giant said the whole thing was just a technical blip.
Speaking to technology news site The Verge a Google spokesperson said: We’ve been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily. We’re working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they’re looking for.”
The explanation lines up with a brief analysis from Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, who speculates that a typical “duplicate content problem” has split rankings for various iTunes pages.
02 / 04 / 2013
With Android and iPhone now combining for nearly 90% of the U.S. smartphone market, many app developers and marketers are concentrating their efforts on serving the majority of smartphone users through these two platforms- but as this comScore infographic shows, there are some key differences.
According to comScore MobiLens data from December 2012, Android currently owns the larger market share at 53 percent, while iPhone holds a strong number 2 position at 36 percent. However, market share alone is not sufficient for driving development decisions because iPhone users have different characteristics that often make them attractive from a development standpoint.
Here are some key differences in user dynamics between Android and iPhone users that every developer should know.