In what appears to be a TV first, a 30-minute weekly show about smartphone and tablet PC applications is debuting in Canada this week. App Central is a co-production between BNN and CP24, and will be broadcast on BNN on March 29 at 8 p.m. ET, and later on CP24 on April 3 at 10:30 a.m ET.
Available only in Canada and online, App Central will cover “some of the hottest apps, including where you can get them and how they can be used in everyday life,” the show’s website states.
For instance, the show will look at unique apps that scan bar codes or boost video viewing. Celebrities and everyday Canadians will also discuss what kind of apps they enjoy. Several segments will interview developers and major players in the mobile industry.
Co-host Michael Hainsworth says Canada needs this kind of tech show. “Wading through world of apps can be a daunting task and the idea here is to talk about the best of best,” he notes in an interview. “We want this show to appeal to many kinds of viewers, not just nerds.”
Hainsworth says the show has “wiggle room” to expand its scope. If viewers get bored of all the apps talk, they can review more gadgets, something reporter Kris Abel does in each show. Expect a segment on a voice-activated alarm clock, Hainsworth says.
Co-host Amber MacArthur, well-known for her Webnation program on CP24, sat down with author Margaret Atwood to play Angry Birds with her, and she attended the Juno Awards to learn what musicians had on their smartphones. It’s all part of making a show that tries to be informative and entertaining, she says.
“It’s important to have that focus on personalities, so we don’t just talk about the tech side of apps,” MacArthur says.
She plans on monitoring what fans say about the show via its Twitter feed and Facebook page, in order to learn about the show’s future direction. If tablet PCs become more popular among Canadians, she says, then App Central may look at more tablet apps.
MacArthur says the mobile space is maturing rapidly, so much so her next book might focus on leveraging mobile media.
To check out episodes of App Central after they air, watch them online.
By Chris Hogg
According to a study published by Yahoo’s advertising division, TV fans are very active on the mobile front. The report indicates nearly 90 percent of boob tube watchers are using a mobile device at the same time.
It began as a passive past-time meant to escape from the everyday, but television today is turning into an engaging experience thanks to that smartphone in your pocket. Be it Twitter, Facebook, email or instant messaging, TV watchers are doing more than watching what’s on screen.
According to stats released by Yahoo/Nielsen, 86 percent of mobile Web users (and 92 percent of people aged 13 to 24) are using a mobile device while watching TV and one quarter of them are looking at related content to what they’re watching on screen. For this study, Yahoo interviewed 8,384 Americans aged 13 to 64. Of those, 5,313 were mobile Internet users.
The study (PDF) says TV watchers use their mobile to simultaneously text family and friends (56 percent); visit social networking sites (40 percent); browse content unrelated to the program on screen (37 percent); email friends and family (33 percent); use mobile apps (33 percent); browse for content related to the show on screen (24 percent); search for info based on a commercial that aired (23 percent); and instant message with friends or family (12 percent).
“This data mirrors Yahoo research on PC users, as we see that mobile users often scan content unrelated to TV programming, participate on social networks and send email,” the study reports. “Mobile allows ample opportunity for brands to continue the conversation after the TV ad is flighted.”
In addition to post-program interaction, the real-time Web and mobile apps are changing how people consume content on television. Evidence can be found with shows like Glee or Obama’s State of the Union address where people took to social networks like Twitter to discuss what they were seeing in real-time.
“The characters on Glee actually tweet and they tweet during the show,” Costolo said. “When Glee starts, the moment it airs for the first time on the East Coast, the tweets per second for Glee shoot up. They stay up there at a super high level at hundreds of [times] what they are before the show comes on until the moment the show ends and then they drop. [...] People feel like they have to watch the show while it’s going on because the community is tweeting about the show and the characters are tweeting as the show’s happening so [they have to] watch it in real time.”
ReadWriteWeb notes the Glee phenomonenon has caused viewers to tune into the show in real-time rather than time-shifting or recording it on DVR.
For marketers who want to connect with today’s modern TV-watcher, Yahoo says mobile usage presents “a compelling opportunity for content providers and advertisers alike to complement the viewing experience on the mobile platform.”
By Chris Hogg
For the first time in history, cellphone and tablet sales are expected to outnumber computer sales, a study by Deloitte Canada predicts. The report says 425 million smartphones and tablets are expected to ship globally compared to 400 million PCs.
“In 2011, more than half of computing devices sold globally will not be PCs,” the report (PDF) indicates. “While PC sales are likely to reach almost 400 million units, Deloitte’s estimate for combined sales of smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks is well over that amount.”
Deloitte is a professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to businesses. This study was released as part of the company’s 2011 global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report.
“Unlike the 2009 netbook phenomenon, when buyers chose machines that were less powerful versions of traditional PCs (but still PCs), the 2011 computing market will be dominated by devices that use different processing chips and operating systems than those used for PCs over the past 30 years,” the report says. “This shift has prompted some analysts to proclaim the era of the PC is over.”
Deloitte disagrees with the belief that traditional PCs are dead, saying they are going to continue to be the workhorse computing platform for most people around the world. That said, Deloitte believes 2011 will be a tipping point as consumers move away from standard PCs to a new era of smartphones and tablets.
“[Consumers] will continue to move away from a predictable, but narrow, world of standardized computing devices like the PC, and vote with their wallets in favour of a diversity of choices including tablets and smartphones,” a Deloitte Canada news release says.
Deloitte’s study mirrors a lot of the predictions made by Polar Mobile, an app developer for more than 150 customers including Time, BusinessWeek and Digital Journal. In December 2010, Polar Mobile made 11 predictions for the future of mobile where the company forecast explosive growth for mobiles and tablets.
“Mobile will become part of every business’ marketing and distribution strategy in 2011,” Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, told DigitalJournal.com in an email statement in December. “That’s where we all spend our time and brands, marketers and publishers will want to capture that opportunity.”
Anyone who ever wanted evidence of mobile growth need look no further than Apple, a leader in the mobile and tablet worlds. The company announced its Q1 earnings yesterday, boasting record revenue of $26.74 billion and record net quarterly profit of $6 billion. Apple says it sold 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 86 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. iPads also saw booming sales, with Apple saying the company sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter and nearly 15 million in 2010. More than 17 million are expected to ship in 2011.
Furthermore, tech companies showed off more than 80 tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
With the growth of the smartphone and tablet market, Deloitte says price, performance, form factor and other variables will be diverse and thus make buying decisions more complicated for consumers.
“Choosing a device will take longer, and will need to be done more carefully,” the study notes.
In a news release, Duncan Stewart Director of Deloitte Canada Research and co-author of TMT Predictions 2011, said, “Like kids in a candy store, consumers and enterprises will be excited, yet overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options available to them. With PCs, netbooks, tablets and smartphones, buyers must choose among a wide array of functionalities, platforms, operating systems, sizes, features and price points.”
Deloitte’s top 10 predictions for 2011 include:
- Smartphones and tablets: More than half of all computers aren’t computers anymore
- Tablets in the enterprise: More than just a toy
- Operating system diversity: No standard emerges on the smartphone or tablet
- Social network advertising: How big can it get?
- Television’s “super media” status strengthens
- PVRs proliferate! The 30-second spot doesn’t die!
- Push beats pull in the battle for the television viewer
- What’s “in-store” for Wi-Fi: Retailers roll-out Wi-Fi
- Getting to 4G cheaply: Will many carriers opt for 3.5G instead? The proliferation of new computing devices doesn’t mean that we need new networks
- Wi-Fi complements cellular broadband for “data on the move”
By Chris Hogg
If you ever needed a bigger sign of where content consumption is heading, look no further than Twitter. The micro-messaging service that saw more than 25 billion Tweets in the last year says its users are increasingly moving to mobile platforms.
In an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed nearly half of all Twitter posts are made from a mobile device.
“Mobile is a more and more and more common use of Twitter–40 percent of all tweets created on mobile devices,” Costolo told Kara Swisher of All Things D. “That might seem low, but it was 25 percent a year ago.”
Costolo also said 50 percent of active users are also active on mobile, indicating more and more people are consuming media on platforms other than a computer.
Costolo credits the increasing mobile usage to the launch of apps launches for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry.
According to a 2010 blog post from Twitter’s co-founder former CEO Evan Williams, Twitter’s mobile website, SMS, Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for BlackBerry are the most-used Twitter apps after the company’s website.
Twitter recently announced a new round of funding with investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well as existing investors. Swisher revealed the round brought in $200 million with a valuation of $3.7 billion.
In his interview at CES, Costolo said Twitter now has more than 350 employees, 100 of whom were hired in Q4 of 2010.
Mobile usage is on the rise across the board, and companies like Google are betting their future on it. According to Search Engine Land, Google’s AdMob unit is reporting more than two billion ad requests on a daily basis (more than quadrupling over the last 12 months).
Recent data released by comScore also indicates big mobile growth; 234 million Americans aged 13 and older used mobile devices for the three month average period ending in Nov. 2010 and 61.5 million Americans were said to own a smartphone (up 10 percent from the preceding three-month period).
The following is a breakdown of the most popular mobile operating systems:
For more on the future of mobile, check out how media companies are harnessing the mobile space or the 11 key elements for the future of mobile.
As one of the first news outlets to bring user-generated content to mobile phones, Digital Journal is extending its presence to smartphones in partnership with Polar Mobile. Today, Digital Journal announces apps for almost every smartphone on the market.
Digital Journal has partnered with Polar Mobile to release free news apps for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices. Available for free at app.digitaljournal.com, the apps enable smartphone users to read news from Digital Journalists working in 175 countries around the world.
Readers can follow breaking news via Digital Journal’s smartphone app and share articles via Facebook, Twitter and email from within the apps.
“We’re very excited about bringing user-generated content to virtually all smartphone platforms at once,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal Inc. “Mobile platforms are shaping the future of media, and we’re happy to partner with Polar Mobile to bring our engaging news network into the palm of your hand.”
The Digital Journal news apps feature articles, blogs and images from professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and reporters around the world.
“Every brand needs a mobile strategy, and we are pleased Digital Journal has chosen to work with Polar’s Platform to grow their reach on mobile and drive new revenue,” said Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Polar Mobile.
“The launch of Digital Journal’s new smartphone apps complement our highly interactive mobile site at m.digitaljournal.com,” said Hogg. “Our smartphone app gives mobile news readers a clean and simple interface to read news, while our mobile website offers them the chance to take part and engage in the news-gathering process.”
According to Morgan Stanley Research, the smartphone market will grow to 1 billion units by 2013. Gartner research reported worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 35 percent increase over the same period the year before. The application marketplace is also expected to see booming growth, as the global market for mobile app downloads is expected to climb to 21 billion downloads by 2013, a Polar Mobile report indicates.
Download the app on your phone by searching for “Digital Journal” in your device’s app store or marketplace. You can also visit app.digitaljournal.com to download the free Digital Journal news app!
DigitalJournal.com is a global digital media network that attracts millions of readers. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, DigitalJournal.com covers breaking news from around the world and is a recognized leader in social news with tens of thousands of members in 175 countries around the world. DigitalJournal.com also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit digitaljournal.com.
About Polar Mobile
Polar Mobile is the global leader in enabling businesses to extend their presence across mobile devices by leveraging a proprietary software Platform (SMART™). More than 7 million people in over 100 countries use Apps powered by Polar’s SMART™ Platform for the most engaging mobile experience. Polar has over 400 Apps across iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones for 200 world-class customers in news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle media verticals. For more information, visit polarmobile.com.