market Stories March 8, 2016

google-chromecast-2

According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, Google’s acclaimed Chromecast streaming dongle made up as much as 35% of the streaming device market in 2015, besting competing devices from Roku, Apple, Amazon, and other manufacturers. Compared to 2014, Chromecast is showing a growing dominance in the market, likely thanks in part to the launch of the 2nd-gen model

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market Stories May 11, 2015

China approaches smartphone saturation point, shipments fall as penetration hits 90% – IDC

China – long viewed as one of the key growth markets for smartphones – is now approaching saturation point, according to data being released today by IDC. The WSJ reports that smartphone shipments fell for the first time in six years, 4.3% down year-on-year in the previous quarter. Other sources say sales are still growing, but at a much-reduced rate.

Experts say the slowdown is largely driven by the disappearance of China’s first-time buyers. Smartphones now have a more than 90% penetration rate in China, said Tom Kang, research director with market-research firm Counterpoint, meaning just about everybody in China who wants a smartphone already has one. “China is now a replacement market,” Mr. Kang said.

Even local brands like Xiaomi are finding it tougher to compete, say analysts, while Samsung fell from the best-selling brand in China a year ago to fourth place today. Samsung was, however, upbeat about its prospects in the country.

“While there are signs that the explosive growth of smartphones in China will slow this year, the vast majority of China’s 885 million mobile users are using low-end and mid-range smartphones,” Samsung said in a statement. “This leaves plenty of room for upgrades to high-end phones as China’s market matures.”

Android manufacturers are also facing increased competition in China from Apple, which recently hit 26% market share.

Photo: Darley Shen/Reuters

market Stories March 4, 2014

radio20shack

ABC News reports that RadioShack will close 1,100 stores following a disappointing holiday season and generally unsuccessful attempt to rebrand the chain as the go-to retailer for smartphones and accessories. The number represents about 20% of the electronics shop’s locations. The company previously announced plans to close only 400-700 stores.

That doesn’t mean RadioShack will be disappearing completely, though. Around 4,000 stores are still expected to remain open. While the cell phone business hasn’t been able to keep the entire company afloat, it has apparently provided enough fuel to keep the majority of the stores functional… for now, at least.

market Stories April 17, 2013

via techin5.com
via techin5.com

Henry McCracken over at Time has done us all a favor by collecting various data sets that illustrate the state of iOS versus Android.

The data ranges from device marketshare to revenue from app downloads, which presents some stark differences between the two platforms.

We unpack the results below.

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market Stories April 9, 2013

Play Books Home - Tablet

An updated Google Play with an image-centric design will be rolling out to all Android devices running Froyo (2.2) and up over the next few weeks, the Official Android blog confirmed. The redesign focuses on connecting ‘similarly themed’ content so apps, songs, and movies of the same genre are grouped rather than scattered everywhere.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 11.46.15 AM

Perhaps it’s too soon to  state this with any certainty — surely this update has been in the works for some time now — but we may already be seeing the influence of Facebook Home on app design, at least as it pertains to the use of larger imagery and simplified interface. Something to keep an eye on at the very least.

market Stories January 23, 2012

Android just announced on Google+ that new songs from artists Drake, Mary J. Blige and the band Maroon 5 are now free in Android Market for all United States users until Jan. 31. Android also reminded users that every track syncs from Android Market to their Google Music accounts, as well.

Detailed information regarding the select songs is available below.

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market Stories January 4, 2012

Android 4.0 default ‘Holo’ theme required by Google for Market access

When Google unveiled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we quickly learned that a refined version of the “Holo” system theme would be used throughout the operating system. Now, Google has announced in a blog post on the Android Developers website that it will require vendors to use the theme to gain access to the Android […]

market Stories December 12, 2011

We’re on day 7 of Google’s 10 day, 10 cent app promotion in celebration of hitting 10 billion downloads in the Android Market. You can check out all of today’s apps here, or get the individual links below.

Doodle Jump

Flick Soccer

Roll in the Hole

Flight Control

Read on… expand full story

market Stories December 8, 2011

Today is day three of Google’s ten apps for ten cents promotion in celebration of hitting 10 billion downloads in the Android Market. Yesterday’s apps included Fruit Ninja, AirSync, Read it Later Pro, and more. The ten day special continues today with ten more apps all marked down to $0.10. Most of the ten apps being offered through the “10 Billion Promo” page on the Market typically range from 99 cents to a few dollars or more, and at ten cents, the majority of them are must have apps. Here’s what’s on offer today:

Tetris

Reckless Getaway

Talking Tom Cat 2 

Homerun Battle 3D

Read on… expand full story

market Stories November 7, 2011

With the recent changes to the design of Google Reader, some of you may be delighted to hear about a new plugin called Reeder for Chrome. Reeder for Chrome uses inspiration from the Reader Mac and iOS apps (not the same developer) to give Google Reader a nice, new, slick look.

The plugin is almost exactly like the Reader apps. It has an All Items tab, Starred Items tab, and a section showing all of your groups. When you click a story you’re brought to how much of the content the source provides, and then you can click the link to open a new tab. Of course you can also add feeds. Sadly, it doesn’t load the story inside of the Reader window like Reeder for Mac does. Download here.

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market Stories November 1, 2011

The new Android Market version 3.3.11 has begun being pushed to Android handsets. The new update adds a ton of welcomed features, and what seems to be the most welcomed feature is the auto-updating of apps over Wi-Fi — which rids away of having to go back into the Market every time a new update is pushed. 3.3.11 also allows you to select the app being downloaded to automatically set an icon on your homescreen. Other tweaks include voice search inside of the market and a new app drawer.

While you’re waiting for the update to be pushed to your device, you can go ahead and give it a try by downloading it here. We must worn you, though, that the manual install doesn’t work well on tablets and has a few bugs on handsets. Let us know in the comments down south if you’re seeing the update. (via Android Police)

Head on past the break for a full gallery:

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market Stories October 24, 2011

In addition to an updated iPad app, VMware has also announced today that the Android version of their mobile View client is officially available for public consumption. Until now, the Android client had only been available as a tech preview.

“Whether you are using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 or 10.1, an LG/T-mobile G-Slate, a Motorola Xoom or any of the other newly available Honeycomb-based Android tablets or the Cisco Cius, you can get the most of your View desktop on the Android tablet you choose.”

Available as a free download in the Android Market, the VMware View for Android client allows you to access a Windows-based virtual machine running in the VMware View 4.6 (or later) desktop software over WiFi or 3G.

Much of the look and feel of the Android client mirrors the recently updated iPad version. The client supports multitasking, (allowing you to switch to another Android app without losing your current session), and the majority of other features including quick connect VM list, an overall similar UI, embedded RSA soft tokens, and support for the PCoIP display protocol.

The app currently includes support for German, French, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese languages, as well as local input mode as explained below: expand full story

market Stories October 21, 2011

Following the introduction of YouTube movie rentals and Google eBooks in the UK earlier this month, The Telegraph is reporting that Google has now opened up movie rentals to UK users via the Android Market.

Starting at £2.49, users have one of two choices for renting movies. Either grab the video app from the Market, or head over to market.android.com/movies to rent and watch films from your PC. Of course, films rented through either method will be available to watch through your phone, PC, or Android tablet during the rental period. As with the service in the US, you’ll have up to thirty days to watch a film after purchasing the rental. However, after the first play it will expire after 48 hours. expand full story

market Stories September 27, 2011

International LGBT+ equality organization All Out has just posted this petition asking Android users to support the removal of “Is My Son Gay”, an app currently in the Marketplace that aims to figure out a person’s sexual preference based on a clearly homophobic questionnaire.

Hopefully Google will remove the app soon, as they’ve done with similarly offensive apps in the past. Below are some of the questions included in the app’s quiz, if you’re interested in what all the fuss is about. expand full story

market Stories September 19, 2011

Google has posted more information on their Android Developers Blog this afternoon shedding more light on prepping Honeycomb apps for the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich is due out in the coming months, as confirmed by Eric Schmidt. Google outlines the main problem that needs to be addressed is that Honeycomb apps are set to be on a larger screen, and since Ice Cream Sandwich will be on smaller screens there needs to be changes.

So, if you’ve developed a tablet app on Honeycomb, it’s important that your app do one of two things: prevent installation on smaller screens or (preferably) support smaller screens with the same APK.

Obviously, you could choose to only have your app run on a larger screen, but in most cases we’d imagine you’d want it compatible on both a small or big screen. We’ll save you from getting the code from us, so we’ll direct you to Google’s full post.

market Stories September 15, 2011

Top U.S. Brands via Brand Finance 

According to Brand Finance, a London-based research firm, Apple is now second to Google in brand value after a 33% increase to overtake IBM, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and GE for the first time. The firm attributes Apple’s success to “innovative design, loyal consumer base and well-executed marketing activities.”

Google, sitting in the top spot with a brand value of almost $48.3 billion was up 9% among the top 30 U.S. brands analyzed by the Brand Finance. Other top companies other than Apple and Google all seen a significant drop including Microsoft down 9% to $39 billion, and IBM and AT&T both experiencing decreases from the year previous. expand full story

market Stories September 12, 2011

According to a new report from comScore detailing the top smartphone platforms for mobile gamers, Android takes the top sport with approximately 30% of the market among 65.1 million mobile subscribers for the three month period ending July 2011. This in comparison to the roughly 21% held by Apple’s iOS.

The 65.1 million smartphone users included in the research played at least one game in the past month, just under 68% of which were using smartphones to do so. This accounts for approximately 27.8% of the entire U.S. mobile market. Interestingly, while Android was able to top the chart for total number of gamers, gaming on Apple’s iPhone seems to be reaching a larger portion of it’s user base with 61.7% of all users in contrast to 57.4% of Android users. expand full story

market Stories August 24, 2011

We’ve known for quite some time that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would have access to Android apps via the QNX platform and the Android app player. However, today a report from Bloomberg suggests sources have confirmed the company will introduce “QNX phones in “early” 2012” that will also have support for Android Market apps.

The report notes the devices will be getting the same Android player as the PlayBook only “tweaked to fit the different screen size and resolution of various BlackBerry models”. The app player would also come pre-installed to avoid frustrations similar to that surrounding the PlayBook launch.

RIM has been on a huge decline in recent months and is quickly losing market share thanks to outdated BlackBerry OS, and less then stellar sales of their current smartphone lineup. This is why it’s not surprising they aren’t shying away from embracing the Android Market’s 250,000+ apps, a number approximately six times higher than RIM’s App World. They are even supporting iOS devices with their latest version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

From the report:  expand full story

market Stories August 23, 2011

Earlier today, Google released update 3.1.3 to the Android Market. The update is pretty minor, but does pack a couple of new features. First off, users can now use Google’s +1 button as a way of liking apps and games. More importantly, Google has introduced the ability to set a pin number for making purchases — like you’re used to doing when you awake your device.

Other minor updates include an updated Market icon, settings menu, and the size of the app is now in plain view (noted by Android Police). Check out another screenshot and how to get your hands on the update after the break. (via AndroidCentral)

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market Stories August 8, 2011

Google has just released a new version of the Google Search app for Android that includes several welcomed UI enhancements and new features. Among the more notable, an “updated and simplified” UI (image above),  country-specific suggestions and search results,  and suggestions can now be grouped by type (web suggestions on top).

From the Google Mobile Blog:

  • Suggestions grouped by type, with web suggestions at the top.
  • Country-specific suggestions and search results for all countries with Google domains.
  • Long press to remove history items.
  • Faster, smoother performance, with an updated and simplified user interface.

The update is available for devices running Android 2.2 and up… you can swing by the market and grab it now. Google also posted some tips for some of the enhancements that have been incorporated in the update: expand full story

Looks like owners of that shiny new Touchwiz UX update for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 are waking up to a new “Movies” tab pushed out via an update earlier today. Touchwiz came preinstalled with a few video related apps including Google Videos, however none of these provided the option to purchase movies and TV from the Market.

If you haven’t received the update yet, be patient, as it should be rolling out slowly to all users running the Touchwiz UX upgrade within a day or two. You’ll have to accept the new terms of service upon updating to access the feature. We’ll let you know if we find anything else of interest in this latest update.

The TouchWiz UX update for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 brought a number of new features and UI enhanceements to the Honeycomb-based tablet. Some of the more notable features include a new dock-like app launcher, quick-access to settings, mobile printing, and the Swype app for tablets preinstalled. Check out our 5-minute video walkthrough here. expand full story

market Stories August 5, 2011

Some Android app developers aren’t receiving the earnings they’ve generated through web-based Market sales, according to a report from The Register.

Google’s Android Market support forums are full of devs claiming discrepancies with the orders being charged and the payout they’ve received each month. One forum poster comments “It could be that some of your orders aren’t charged until a day or so later and will therefore creep into a different payout day”. However, others note the issue goes beyond the normal lag and have missed  up to “100 orders a day at least for the last two days”.

Its also been reported that a large number of developers have failed to notice the inconsistencies, so you might want to take a closer look at your statements to make sure everything is accounted for. The Register notes rumblings of a “Developers’ Union” and there is even a petition going to renegotiate sales tax, initiate a removal appeal process, and more.

Google employee HeidiLC posted this response on behalf of the company: expand full story

market Stories August 4, 2011

Today comScore posted their latest smartphone market share report showing Google’s Android as the top smartphone platform for the three-month reporting period ending in June 2011, up 5.4 percent from the previous March 2011 report.

78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform…

A close second to Android is, of course, Apple with 26.5 percent market share, up 1.1 percent, followed by RIM at 23.4% down 3.7 percentage points since March. ComSCore also posted the top mobile OEMs based on the same reporting period with Android manufacturers Samsung, LG, and Motorola topping the list, which also shows Android’s dominance in the current smartphone market. expand full story

market Stories August 3, 2011

Have Google+ notifications been unreliable on your Android device? Thanks to a rather hefty update to the Android app last night, Google has now introduced much needed “improved notifications reliability”, among the other dozen or so improvements and fixes included in the update.

Version 1.0.5 of the Google+ app for Android includes some of the enhancements made to the browser version of the service such as grouping new Circle related notifications together, rather than bombarding your notifications bar with each new addition.

The notifications system is said to be more reliable in this latest update, but whether or not it will cure issues users are having with infrequent, outdated, and often non-existent notifications is yet to be seen. Even if you haven’t experienced these issues, we recommend dropping by the Market now and grabbing the 1.0.5 update to take advantage of the other handful of welcomed fixes listed below.

What’s in this version: expand full story

market Stories July 12, 2011

Google has announced that a new Android Market is coming to Android phones. Along with an overall redesign, the new Market will be receiving a Book and Movie tab. The updated Market is available for phones running Android 2.2 and up, and will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Movies will be available in the U.S. for $1.99, where they can be downloaded right on the Android phone. We assume Books will be priced book-to-book, like almost all e-book stores. Movies and Books will be linked to your Google account, so all of your Android devices will be in sync. Check out screenshots after the break.

The new Android Market will be rolling out in the coming weeks to Android 2.2 and higher phones around the world. You don’t need to do anything – the update is automatic on supported phones. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll also be able to download the Videos app, rent movies, and buy books once you receive the new Android Market.

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market Stories June 22, 2011

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Yonhap News is reporting that 10 million units of Android smartphones have been sold in South Korea. South Korea’s biggest carrier, SK Telecom Co, has a whopping 6.18 million Android subscribers under its belt. KT Corp. is following second with 2.06 million, and LG Uplus Corp hosts 1.86 million and is following with the third spot. The 10 million Android smartphones makes up for 70% of South Korea’s phone market according to the report. Apple’s iPhone, by comparison, has 2.5 million iPhones in the South Korea market on its dominant carrier.  Figures weren’t yet available for SK Telecom.

South Korea is of course the home turf of big Android makers Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech Co.

And you thought the US was high with 50%?

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