A new survey found most smartphone users tend to get their news fix from social media surfing rather than from dedicated news apps, according to Flurry Analytics.
U.S. mobile or tablet application users spend around 30 percent of their time social networking, while most play games (at 49 percent). News apps capture only 6 percent of total time on mobile apps, the data says.
The press release adds, “Further considering that Flurry does not track Facebook usage, the Social Networking category is actually larger.”
A Poynter article reminds us why people clamor to news apps in the first place: They are catered to the most-loyal fraction of a news outlet’s established audience, and may also get them to pay for content.
“The app fulfills those readers so dedicated to your brand that they want on-demand access to a comprehensive bundle of your content. These people who value your content most also are most likely to pay for it, and the app stores make those payments and subscriptions easier,” the author says.
The report also looked at time consumption. “The growth in time spent in mobile applications is slowing – from above 23% between December 2010 and June 2011 this year to a little over 15% from June 2011 to December 2011,” Flurry states.
Flurry accounted for its data by tracking anonymous sessions across more than 140,000 applications.
News applications are still popular with some smartphone lovers. A Nielsen study found 33 percent of consumers downloaded news apps during the past month. The study also found 51 percent of consumers “are more tolerant of in-app advertising if it means they can access content for free.”
Mobile applications may soon be given ratings such as E (for “everyone”) and AO (for “adults only”) if groups such as the CTIA and ESRB have their way.
The wireless association and the Entertainment Software Rating Board revealed their ratings system recently, as TechCrunch reports. Chris Velazco explains, “Once the review is completed and the app earns a rating (think classic ESRB: E for Everyone, T for Teen, etc.), developers will be given a unique identifier code that allows them to submit that same app to other participating app stores without having to go through the review process again.”
This rating process would only apply to new apps.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. applauds the move and said in a statement that “it’s a win-win when industry takes proactive, responsible steps to protect children from inappropriate content.”
“It’s an important milestone in our effort to make information available for parents and their kids,” said David Diggs, a CTIA vice president, in a press release.
Microsoft will adopt the ratings but it’s unclear if Google or Apple approve the proposal. Participating carriers in the U.S. include AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular.
Now, outlets such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market set their own unique ratings, such as age appropriateness or maturity level.
by Leigh Goessl (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)
The success of Android continues to grow, and according to third quarter data in 2011, its rise soared. New figures published by Gartner found more than half of all smartphone sales are running the Android OS platform.
Gartner reported global sales of mobile devices equated to 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, which is an increase of 5.6 percent from the third quarter of 2010.
The organization said, “Non-smartphone devices performed well, driven by demand in emerging markets for low-cost devices from white-box manufacturers, and for dual-subscriber identity module (SIM) devices.”
Gartner also said, “Smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011 [globally], up 42 percent from the third quarter of 2010.”Of those devices Android seems to currently be the clear market leader (60,490.4 units during 3Q 2011). Google’s OS has jumped to its current 52 percent market share, which is up from 25.3 percent of Android sales a year ago. This growth has come at the expense of competitors, all other platforms have declined in this market over the course of the last year.
Android is effectively “outstripping the growth of the overall smartphone market,” according to PaidContent.org. Bloomberg Business Week reported, “Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment, and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems,” Roberta Cozza, an analyst in Gartner’s European unit based in Egham, England, said in the report.
“The entry-level Android smartphones are getting better and better,” Cozza said. “This lower end is really what will be driving more growth next year.”
Microsoft’s Symbian saw a significant tumble in its command of the market, but remains in the number two place in terms of actual sales, however its market share saw a distinctive drop. While Apple’s iOS grew in actual units sold, their market share decreased. Last year the technology giant owned 16.6 percent for 3Q, but this year dropped slightly to 15 percent.
Research in Motion (RIM) also experienced a dip, losing four percent of its market share, despite the fact it sold an additional 200,000 devices when contrasted with last year’s 3Q.Growth of smartphones in the U.S., Western Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, has slowed, while China and Russia are seeing a significant boost, Gartner reported.
Experts say the slowdown can be partially due to economic uncertainty, but also could be attributed to the fact many consumers wait until the fourth quarter to purchase their devices during holiday promotions and/or as newer models become available towards the end of the year.
Last month Digital Journal reported Google TV updates coming that would integrate the Android interface.
This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Paul Jacobson
by Chris Hogg
Need a babysitter? There’s an app for that. A study published this week says a huge percentage of children under eight are consuming media on iPods, iPads and other devices at growing rates.
A study published by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies children’s use of technology, says digital media has become a regular part of a child’s life and mobile devices are the toy of choice.
More than half (52%) of all children under the age of eight have access to mobile devices at home including smartphones, iPads, iPods and other tablets. And the rate at which kids are adopting technology is also perhaps surprising: 40 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds are using everything from TV to mobile devices and apps.
According to the study, 11 percent of all kids up to 8-years-old regularly use a cellphone, iPod, iPad or similar device and spend an average of 43 minutes doing so. Parents seem to be supporting the digital babysitters, as more than a quarter (29%) of all parents have downloaded mobile apps for their kids to use.
“Much of the focus in recent years has been on the explosion of media use among teenagers, whereas our study examines media use among young children during crucial developmental years,” said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, in a media release.
“Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed their position that children under age 2 should not engage in any screen time, yet the data shows infants and toddlers are growing up surrounded by screens. This use data is an important first step toward understanding how the prevalence of media and technology affects the development of our youngest kids.”
Among the key findings of the study:
• 42 percent of children under eight years of age have a TV in their bedrooms (30 percent of 0- to 1-year-olds, 44 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds, and 47 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds).
• Half (52%) of all 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device such as a smartphone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet.
• More than a third (38%) of children this age have used one of these devices, including 10% of 0- to 1-year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and more than half (52%) of 5- to 8-year-olds.
• In a typical day, one in 10 (11%) 0- to 8-year-olds uses a smartphone, video iPod, iPad, or similar device to play games, watch videos, or use other apps.
Those who do such activities spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so.
While new technologies are starting to get the attention of both parents and tots, the study says TV continues to be the dominant medium and kids 8-years-old and under consume an average of 1:40 of TV or DVDs in a typical day.
Children also spend 29 minutes daily reading or being read to; 29 minutes each day listening to music; 17 minutes per day using a computer; 14 minutes daily using a video came console; and five minutes using a cellphone, iPod, iPad or similar device.
According to the study, infants between 0-1 years of age spend double the amount of time watching TV and DVDs than reading. Some children are also multitasking, as nearly one quarter (23%) of 5- to 8-year-olds use more than one device at a time.
“These results make it clear that media plays a large and growing role in children’s lives, even the youngest of children,” said Vicky Rideout, a senior adviser to Common Sense Media and director of more than 30 previous studies on children, media and health. “As we grapple with issues such as the achievement gap and childhood obesity, educators, policymakers, parents, and public health leaders need access to comprehensive and credible research data to inform their efforts.”
The study, “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America,” is based on a survey of 1,384 parents of children up to 8 years old, and was conducted May 27-June 15, 2011.
The full study can be downloaded free here (opens in PDF).
By Chris Hogg
Google has announced plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. The deal gives Google a stronger foothold in the mobile industry, putting it directly in the handset business, and positions Google to better compete with companies like Apple.
“Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users,” Page wrote. “Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.”
Google’s cash offer is $40 per share which is a 63 percent premium on Motorola‘s closing price Friday, and the deal is expected to close by the end of 2011 or in early 2012.
Google says it has activated more than 150 million Android devices, adding 550,000 new devices each day. The company boasts a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries.
“Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today,” Page said. “In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.”
Page says the acquisition will not change Google’s promise to keep Android as an open platform, saying Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open.
“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world,” Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said in a press release. “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”
While Motorola will run as a separate business, this deal marks the first time Google has had a hand directly in the mobile handset business.
“Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies,” Page said. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.”
When the acquisition announcement was first made, questions arose around how HTC, LG, Samsung, Acer, Sony Ericsson and Lenovo would respond to the announcement.
Google says says the reaction has been positive, quoting positive responses from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG execs.
In the acquisition announcement, Page also took a shot at Microsoft and Apple, saying the companies are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.”
“The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to ‘protect competition and innovation in the open source software community’ and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction,” Page said. “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
According to Motorola, the company has 14,600 patents, with 6,700 patent applications pending worldwide.
Google says the Motorola acquisition will enhance competition, offer greater innovation and choice and a better user experience.