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Will Windows 8 open new Doors?

IS THIS IT? Is this showtime for Microsoft’s Windows 8?

Amidst the anticipation of the next iPhone 5 to be released shortly, there’s some excitement brewing as Microsoft are ready once again with their re-entry into this market with what is promised of being an amazing experience…(Drum Rolls………) enter – Windows 8.

All we’ve been seeing and hearing from quite some time now is only of Apple, Samsung, Android, iPhone, iPad, Google when it comes to mobiles and device operating systems and not much about Windows. Yes Apple devices are everywhere, Samsung seems to be going places with their devices not only by manufacturing some amazing devices (ie. S3, Galaxy Tab…) but also packing new features into their mobiles and tablets…it’s been a while now that I’ve not seen anyone pull out a different phone other than an iPhone but these days I’m sure you would’ve probably noticed yourself, Samsung devices seems to be making ground.

Samsung range of tablets are moving quite fast too and they don’t cost an “arm and a leg” to try one out, whether it’s the “non-apple” fans or the “android-pro’s” there is no choice currently in the market for any other mobile device or operating system.

Image from: http://www.samsung.com/global/ativ/index.html

Samsung have confirmed that they will be carrying Windows 8 on a few of their devices – that includes Samsung mobiles, tablets and TV’s. Check out the ATIV range (as it’s called by Samsung) which carries the Windows 8 across devices – ATIV S for Mobiles, ATIV Tab (Tablets), ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro.  We couldn’t find much reference to what ATIV actually meant whether it was an acronym for something but seems like it’s VITA spelt reverse…meant life….deep….blah blah…

And NOKIA says…lets hold hands Windows?

NOKIA like Microsoft have a challenge up their sleeves to win back market share and consumer confidence and as users have started to massively adapt to and get accustomed to the Apple and Android eco-system, this will be quite an interesting phase to see if the Nokia & Microsoft Windows 8 combo does it this time around. NOKIA seems to have instilled a lot of faith into their new LUMIA range carrying the Windows 8 Operating System.

NOKIA, once a leader in this space who has seen massive decline in it’s share now confirming that their range of Nokia Lumia range will be carrying the Windows 8 as their operating system.

In the second quarter of 2012, Microsoft’s share of the global smartphone operating system market was a lowly 2.7 per cent, according to tech industry analyst Gartner while Android had 64.1 per cent  and Apple 18.8 per cent. (source here).

The Windows 8 experience blog does promise that this version has a lot that has changed, and yes it would not be fair to say that Windows have been so hung up with so many issues in the past over their operating systems but I guess that’s the kind of extensive user base that the windows have too – more ain’t always the merrier when it comes to technology. All brands these days whether it’s manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Nokia, HTC or the experience providers such as Apple, Google with their Android operating systems, Microsoft Windows are all undergoing a substantial amount of metamorphosis as the internet has evolved to being something we sat behind a desk and used and or late on a mobile device to being the “internet of things” where even our cats and dogs are connected to a network so we can track where they are and what they are doing when you are out and about!

Apple has undergone considerable transformation themselves as I remember not that many years ago, you could not buy anything but from a special “Apple” store specialist and when not much was going in Apple’s favour – they brought about the iPod and then the infamous iPhone followed by the iPad which made history and seems like they’re having a dream run since then. Who had heard of an “app store” a few years ago? Who knew that you wouldn’t need to run down to the DVD store down the road to book in your copy of the latest movies? Maybe the day is not far when there will be robots around the house which will bring you popcorn automatically when you’re watching a movie! Well, Well, lets get back to talking about Windows 8…there is a pre-release Windows 8 version available for those enthusiasts but we couldn’t find a set date for the Windows 8 date in Australia but news items do hint at it being around the corner!

Windows 8 has a completely refreshed touch integrated experience, and the new improved multi-monitor support, and new Family Safety features, social seems seamless, there’s also new improvements to the Mail, Photos, and People apps and see new Bing-powered Travel, News and Sports appsInternet Explorer 10 also has new capabilities in the Windows 8 Release Preview like “flip ahead” and a fully integrated secure and power-optimised Adobe Flash Player. IE10 is also the first browser to feature Do Not Track “on” by default.

Would you be still willing to give Windows 8 a chance? Have Microsoft got it right this time around? Guess, time will tell but onya’ Windows as they say “You’ve got to be in it to WIN it – All the best!

 

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Android touches 700,000+ activations per day and 10 Billion App downloads

What better time of the year than this for Android fans, and we at mobiDdiction also agree that 2012 is going to be the YEAR of the MOBILE, if you didn’t read one of our earlier posts.

Google recently announced that the Android Market Place passed 10 Billion App downloads from their market place with the Android device activations reaching a staggering 700,000+ activations per day, the figure of 550,000 was released back in June 2011.

There is also a supporting infographic that tells stories such as the ‘most popular time to download an app’ to the least popular. Also the most app-crazed countries in the world from South Korea being number #1 to Norway at number #10. I was a bit surprised to see that Australia doesn’t even feature in the Top 10 list of countries though we’ve been hearing a lot of Android talks specially from last year. Guess, it’s all thanks to the iPhone’s out there and their loyal base.

Few stats from the Android – [INFOGRAPHIC]:

  • Most popular time to download an App: Sunday 9pm
  • Least popular time to download an App: Monday 4am
  • People from 190 countries download apps every day
  • 25.6% of downloads are Games (39.25% of which are Arcade games)
  • 12.2% Entertainment related
  • 4.0% Social related
  • 11.17% Tools aka productivity, utility factor associated
  • 100 Million words translated every week in 200 different countries on Google Translate
  • 4054 years spent playing Talking Tom during which Tom has been knocked down 10.6 Billion times.

We had a few more stats on our blog for 2011 – incase you’re interested.

Google’s infographic on Android Market Growth:

REF:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/10-billion-android-market-downloads-and.html
http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2011/12/closer-look-at-10-billion-downloads.html

For those who’re interested in the Android developers channel on YouTube, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/androiddevelopers

 

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2012 – The year of the MOBILE

Phew! what a year it has been and sooner that we realise – 2012 is round the corner and like a lot of us, we reflect back to the past year and look forward to new beginnings, resolutions to take our lives to the next level and quit some of our vices…well, well, that may seem a bit nostalgic. But hey it is really about looking ahead to a new year with positivity. So, here’s hoping that you’ve had a great year too and best for the upcoming one.

What an amazing year it has been for mobiles and related stuff too, we have seen productivity gone haywire as people got onto Angry Birds and Facebook on the mobile adoption grew. A not to miss highlight of the year was the way Android shot up and still continues to do so. And the shocker that we got on 5th Oct 2011, when the man who made it happen – our beloved Steve Jobs unfortunately left us, but who would disagree that the visionary changed the world of mobile technology. Steve changed the way we interact with our devices and brought life to his passion a few years with the iPod, the iPhone and then the iPad. Our salute to this legend, Steve Jobs who is going to be a hard act to follow in years and years to come.

2012: Year of the MOBILE - Who's going to lead and who is to follow?

Social Media saw some amazing take up’s too, Google Plus launched, some amazing apps were built, people still continued on with Twitter. We saw the iCloud and also the take up of users start to talk to our devices coming to reality in 2011, feels quite sci-fi but Google Voice, Google Translate and more so by Apple’s SIRI on the iPhone 4S is all making it possible now…

In July 2011 – Facebook reached 750 Million (was 250 Million in July 2009). With more than 350 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. More than 475 mobile operators globally work to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products.

ROVIO (the maker of Angry Birds) in November 2011 announced 500 million total downloads of Angry Birds games across various platforms. Here’s a few stats about the game we spent so much playing and trying to get those flying birds sling across…

  • #1 in 79 countries with 266 Billion levels played
  • 400 Billion Birds shot & 44 Billion stars collected
  • 200,000 Years of Angry Birds played 
  • 300 Million minutes played – Daily
  • 500,000,000 Billion Downloads 

TIME’s TOP GADGETS, SMARTPHONE APPS & IPHONE APPS FOR 2011:

Some Twitter stats over the years:

  • 2007: 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007.
  • 2008. 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008.
  • February 2010: 50 million tweets per day.
  • June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day equaling about 750 tweets sent each second. Twitter mobile usage experienced a year-to-year increase of 347% back in 2010.

Google’s Android took off in 2011:

GOOGLE had some amazing success in 2011 specially with Android achieving the 100Million Android activation landmark and then the 200 Million Activation landmark (Nov 11) – to be verified. The last we had heard that there were about 550,000 android devices being activated each day worldwide.

CHECK OUT GOOGLE’S VIDEO on the Android milestones:

Thank you Steve.

“That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” Steve Jobs. A very special tribute to Steve Jobs who sadly left us in 2011. Over a million people from all over the world have shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about Steve. Check out this page on Wiki about Steve Jobs. And this page on Gizmodo about Steve Jobs life.

mobiDdiction: 2012 & beyond…

Last but not the least – mobiDdiction was born in 2011. So, it has been a big year for us –  a year that saw us launch our services from Sydney, Australia & take our first baby steps – we saw great support from our clients, friends and well-wishers. Our mobiDdiction Facebook page in just a few months is almost at 2,000 supporters and thanks to each and every one of them.

Wonder what’s coming up in 2012 for mobiles and related stuff…devices that tap into our brains and the phones can understand what we’re thinking? Sure, this is not far away. Mobile payments will probably see a big take-up once mobiles and technology meet up to make it more accessible, smartphones are going to see a lot more traction, the tablet which not long ago we weren’t sure of what to do with is going to see a take-up as there’s a place between the laptop the TV we’ve found for it and there’s a lot more customisation we’re able to do now and access to these devices in terms of cost is becoming less of a fancy too. We will continue to adopt the Apps and “appcessories” to suit what we’re looking for and needless to say, there’s going to be a lot more take up of HTML5 and cross-device experiences coming up. Mobile payments & NFC will be big and the challenge of catering to the varying device and screen types is going to exist but devices will be a lot more smarter too!

2012 is going to be a great year and a year of the MOBILE! All the best to all of you and may you see great success in all your endeavours! 

ps; Thanks to our friend, Tommy ‘the gun’ Wells for his “2012” illustration on this page.

Few references:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter#cite_ref-bbc.co.uk_5-0
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter
  3. https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
  4. https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline
  5. http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/history.html#2011
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history
  7. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/opinion/apples-iphones-to-be-mobile-wifi-hotspots/story-e6frgb0o-1225989740497
  8. https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10150311269432131
 

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Propeller to launch soon – a Flipboard like experience available on Android

Google Propeller

Propeller the Android alternative to Flipboard

The latest news in, is that Google has made a big investment in developing a Flipboard like app for Android and iPad so that Android users can enjoy this same amazing experience. It’s called Propeller!

Flipboard for those of you who may have not heard about it, is a great magazine like experience that is available on tablets. It aggregates website content, facebook, twitter, etc and allows you to flick through this info just like flicking through pages in a magazine.

It’s an amazing immersive experience, the only catch is that it is only on iPad and no rumors yet that anything will ever get invented for Android.

Have a look at this video for a better look at this application:

Amazingly Google made a big effort to acquire Flipboard last year but no cigar!

As you would expect the PR machine is rife and prolific tech blogger Robert Scobble posted on his Google + account saying the version of Propeller he has come across is mind blowing sending the media wild.

As a person who uses both an iPad and Android I am glad that Android tablets are going to get a Flipboard like experience as it is totally amazing and gets you hooked onto a tablet. It also lets you realise why you don’t really need a physical paper or magazine anymore.

What this opens up as well is the greater opportunity to discuss topics with your friends and as a business, think of the utility of reading an article and directly calling your colleague/s when and where it is relevant straight from one app. It would certainly let you get on with things quickly ;-).

If you have an opinion on this feel free to share :-)!

 

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Mobile Banking – On the go!

When was the last time you stood in the queue to check your account balance? When was the last time you felt the need to walk into a branch? Or do you just use your mobile…

A lot of us I’m sure use mobile banking on the go on our mobiles and not surprising that it is quite a utility that we like to have at our finger tips. Just like many other services being made available on our smartphones, whether you’re travelling or just know that your banking information is available at hand when required by you.

Just like many of us, I remember starting to use the banking on my mobile when my bank started to offer it and really there wasn’t much available at that point in time except the fact that you could log-on and check your balances, the updates weren’t that quite synced with your actual account and moreover the look and feel of it too wasn’t that polished. Well, we’ve now moved on and you would’ve noticed that almost all the banking institutions now have started to push the ‘mobility’ factor as a feature or a value-add as part of their day to day services. 

Mobile Banking – On the go!

Commonwealth Bank in Australia a few months ago, started to list property using Augmented Reality and not sure if you’ve come across the vision piece from Commonwealth Bank video from the bank. It’s a bit old now but you can see the thinking behind it. The Commonwealth Bank also have information on their website about mobile banking. Interestingly, you will note that the iPhone and Android have apps whereas if you’re on a blackberry then you still have access to the banking but not via an App experience but a mobile site. Not sure if you’ve noticed but the banks have tailored their experiences depending on the number of users on a particular device e.g. iPhone, Android being the two most widely used phones. It’s also worthy to note that some of the experiences are also different – for example, the Commonwealth ‘NetBanking’ user login from the mobile takes you to a new screen which seems like a mobile site version whereas banks such as ANZ in their goMoney give you a native iPhone experience so you’re not jumping around screens. But again, that’s a different topic with a lot of variants whether it needs to be via a mobile website or all through an App, in this instance let me not start off being nerdy and going away on a tangent!  

Banks seem to have realised the potential of mobile!  

There are many industries out there which are still yet to harness the potential of using mobile as a channel, be it for their marketing or providing customer service via mobile or leverage the mobile as a true one on one loyalty channel. But, on the other hand, banks seem to have taken this on their stride and have developed a good amount of services and seem to be busy actively pushing the mobile factor as part of their service offering. Sure you’ve seen some of their messages such as the St. George Bank, NAB and Westpac leveraging marketing material to push the message out to consumers including signage, posters and visual displays outside of their branches. The ING gorilla holds an iPhone too in newspaper AD’s and the info on ING’s mobile banking is on their website too. NAB on their YouTube channel has videos with demo’s for banking on iPad’s  which has features such as branch locator, getting directions to get there, foreign exchange rates and a few other handy features. NAB also has the info on their website. The Commonwealth Banking mobile banking App shows you the transactions almost in real-time so there’s no wait for it to be updated as that could be quite frustrating when you’re on the go and need to know. There’s also the ANZ banking app that has a feature where you could pay to a mobile number which I’ve used a few times and find it quite useful especially in social circumstances. Example, the other day we were at a restaurant and we were bill sharing – and all I did was took out my iPhone, fired up the ANZ goMoney App and used the “pay to mobile” function transferring the dosh straight onto my friends account by punching his mobile number. The other bit, which a few of mobile banking apps have done is taking customers who use the App for the first time through a series of say tutorials or a guide of some sort that reassures you of the services and also leveraging the true potential of messaging that is relevant to the medium. In this example here, I’ve taken some screenshots from when I used the ANZ goMoney App.

ANZ goMoney App - Mobile Banking

ANZ's "About" screen from the goMoney banking App

Catering for Android too.

Don’t have an iPhone? A lot of banks are now moving towards having services available on phones running Google’s Android operating system too. The National Australia Bank (or NAB as we refer it to…) also caters for the non-iPhone audience and has a video demo’ing their service and how it works on an Android. I’m not an NAB customer but it does seem quite simple and user friendly to use. Commonwealth Bank also announced and has services for folks on Android.

Some banks such as Bank of America have and obviously gone all the way to catering to people on different mobile platforms or accessing the banking from different devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry.

With the onset of new technology just around the corner such as the ‘Near Field Communications’ or ‘NFC’ as the NFC term is quite being thrown around as a buzz word already. Think we’ll see a lot more of Augmented Reality, 3D and interactive experiences via mobile devices. Maybe we’ll be able to see money flying into our accounts!! I’d rather be positive and not say money flying out 😉

Here’s some of the useful links on mobile banking which we’ve discussed in this piece.

Commonwealth Bank Vision Piece Video

ANZ  goMoney Demo

NAB Android Demo

NAB iPad Demo

NAB Website with info on their mobile banking

 St.George Banking App – iPad Video

Bank of America mobile banking – Video

Happy banking on the go! Do let us know your thoughts and if there’s any other cool apps or mobile banking stuff out there that you’d like to share.

For those who would like to know more about NFC. This video is a lengthy one, but goes through it all from Google.

 

 

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Android – Onwards & Upwards!

Android – Onwards & Upwards!

Google’s Android market share seems to be keeping up it’s upward pace in the latest figures released by comScore.

The share of people owning a smartphone in the U.S also moved up by 11 percent from the previous three month period to 76.8 million.

Google’s Android operating system used on popular devices such as the HTC, Samsung etc seems to be keeping up it’s upward pace as the top operating system with 38.1% of the US smartphone subscribers, up 5.1 percentage points. Apple also strengthened its #2 position with 26.6% of the smartphone market, up 1.4 percentage points. RIM [Blackberry] ranked 3rd in position with 24.7% share, followed by Microsoft (5.8%) and Palm (2.4%).

Android on the rise!

It’s been interesting to note that everyone compares Android Vs Apple the most whereas in actual fact the Android platform is being used and supported by multiple device manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Motorola…) and Apple is only available on the devices from Apple – a.k.a the hugely popular iPhone & iPad.

The coming few months will be interesting as we see Nokia products with Microsoft’s Operating Systems and the Android’s getting smarter and the iPhone 5 is due for a release not that long from now!

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

DID YOU KNOW? There are now over 100 million Android devices activated around the world. This video was first shown at Google I/O 2011

 

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Smart mobiles and now SmartTV’s!

Smart mobiles and now SmartTV’s!

Are TV’s still going to be referred as the idiot box?

Yep we all know that Smart phones have taken on the world and now here’s another screen undergoing some real change in it’s character – the good ol ‘idiot box’ – the TV. Well, this statement might be redundant already as Smart TV’s are here and I remember not that long ago, I was researching online contemplating whether to buy a plasma or a LCD? And just last week when I visited one of my techy friends who has not only a good understanding of what’s good in the market but also has the smarts to identify and connect with smart products. At this place, I recently had an opportunity to play with a live fully connected ‘SmartTV’ from Samsung.

I was aware that just like mobile phones are a lot smarter, TV’s are going through it’s own metamorphosis – Plasma standard became High Definition & LCD TV’s were a lot more higher in their picture quality. Then came the LED TV’s and I was aware that all this time, the 3D’ability of TV’s was being worked on and so was the persuasion from a few brands to make the TV a lot more useful than just watching your traditional free to air or subscription channels such as your FOXTEL’s etc.Probably las year or so is when I saw the Sony TV with a built-in operating system and you were able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and if you were smart enough you could hook up say an X-Box Kinect and play online games. But a few weeks ago, I came across the SmartTV from Samsung and must say this is probably the first experience which I thought was quite seamless in terms of really leveraging the smarts through your TV, which no longer is average!

The Samsung Smart TV connects to the internet directly and you can use your iPhone or Android smartphone to control your TV and this is much more than just using your phone as a remote control – one of the cool features is that you can browse say for example, YouTube clips etc and pressing ‘Play’ on your mobile phone can play that clip on the TV instantly. And for those of us who actually use the TV as a screen to connect and watch content a.k.a movies, pictures etc via a hard cable – this I’m sure is a welcome relief as you can browse through your files and connect to all your content wirelessly. There’s been a few ways you could set this up before too but either you had to be a bit nerdy or needed to research, struggle and try and make it work or like a few would have to be using Apple TV, but I’ve heard that you not only need to connect with Apple products the device is not that greatly compatible with all file types. The best bit that I really liked in the little time that I spent was that seamless integration between the mobile and TV. There’s also apps available you could download and also the ability to easily connect to your social platform too i.e. Twitter, Facebook etc. And the app interface looks like we’ve started to use on the smart phones which makes it a tad easier to browse through.

Sure there’s a lot more brands who are going to be coming up with such smart and smarter TV’s but now think Samsung is surely a SmartTV. Our idiot Box is a lot more meaningful now!

DO YOU HAVE A SAMSUNG OR ANY OTHER SMART TV…PLS SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK?

Here’s a link to the Samsung Smart TV site

ps; I dont work for Samsung nor have I been paid to say this 😉

 

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