Can Kik displace the current messaging giants?

Despite the messaging wars still being in its infancy, it was common to see other messaging apps like Kik and PingChat a few years ago. Nowadays despite WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat and many others dominating, Kik is still very much in the game and worth keeping an eye on .

Forget Snapchat and WhatsApp for a second – Kik is the dark horse of the Internet

A lot of people, of course, don’t believe in the mobile Web. Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook’s biggest mistake was betting too much on HTML5. Many developers and users think that native applications provide a faster, smoother experience than can be found with Web apps. But Kik, which in April put the final pieces into place for its HTML5 platform, has created a super-charged mobile browser that uses cacheing and background downloading to provide a fluid user experience. That opens up the sort of monetization opportunities currently being exploited by WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk – in-app purchases, payments, games, virtual items, brand relationships, ecommerce – but it places them in the context of the open Web, mostly free from the restrictions imposed by devices, app stores, or operating systems.

I’m particularly fond of this article on Kik that I read a few months back.

Swably aims to be the Napster of mobile apps

Peer-to-peer sharing of apps? That’s probably a developer’s nightmare, and it might just come true. The good news is that app piracy is already rampant on Android, and the Android Play Store is still going strong. Could the music industry have over-hyped the dangers of Napster?

Google Nexus phones vulnerable to denial-of-service attack via SMS

Swably, as he called it, is a peer-to-peer sharing app that allows users to upload and share free Android apps straight from your phone to anyone else using it. It’s meant to be especially useful for developers who can’t gain a foothold in the major app stores, but could also be used by less scrupulous users to share paid apps for free. The current beta app has about 4,000 combined active users on both the English and Chinese versions.

In case you’re wondering, it most likely will face some legal challenges due to the possibility of piracy. Swably’s solution?

“They said, ‘if you can get good traction, then we can get you a good lawyer.’”

Nexus phones vulnerable to SMS attack

It’s a little surprising that this attack seems to only work on Nexus devices, since phone manufacturers should theoretically be taking similar stock ROMs that the Nexus devices use and customize it from there. Of course, this attack has not been tested on all the major phones out there yet, so it’s possible that it could still affect some non-Nexus devices. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon.

Google Nexus phones vulnerable to denial-of-service attack via SMS

The most common behavior is that the phone reboots, he said. In this case, if a PIN is required to unlock the SIM card, the phone will not connect to the network after the reboot and the user might not notice the problem for hours, until they look at the phone. During this time the phone won’t be able to receive calls, messages or other types of notifications that require a mobile network connection.

According to Alecu, a different behavior that happens on rare occasions is that the phone doesn’t reboot, but temporarily loses connection to the mobile network. The connection is automatically restored and the phone can receive and make calls, but can no longer access the Internet over the mobile network. The only method to restore the data connection is to restart the phone, Alecu said.

Samsung defends Galaxy Gear as a ‘small green tomato’

BGR reports Samsung executive David Eun responded to criticism of the Galaxy Gear saying it is a work in progress.

“What we’re dealing with is small green tomatoes,” he said of the Gear’s first-generation growing pains. “And what we want to do is take care of them and work with them so they become big, red ripe tomatoes. And what you want to be sure of is that you don’t pluck the green tomato too early and you want to make sure that you don’t criticize a small green tomato for not being a big, red ripe tomato.”

That is another way of telling consumers who bought the Galaxy Gear that Samsung’s marketing team succeeded in getting them to pay $300 for an unfinished product.

Apple accounts for 63% of worldwide ad impression share, 32% for Android

Apple Insider reports on the worldwide ad impression recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

According to fresh data from ad buying platform and mobile DSP Adfonic, Apple’s iOS accounted for 63 percent of all global impressions during quarter three, a three percent boost from the quarter previous. Despite having a vastly larger marketshare, Android dipped six points to finish the three-month period with a 32 percent ad impression share.

Interestingly, Samsung’s older models account for more impressions than its latest models.

Broken down by device, Apple’s iPhone generated a huge 35 percent of all ad impressions, while the iPad followed with a 21 percent share and the iPod touch hit third with six percent. A sprinkling of Samsung products trailed the Apple pack. The Galaxy S3 managed only three percent, the S2 hit two percent and the Galaxy Ace and S3 mini brought one percent each.

Tablets tops the chart for viewing long videos

Business Insider reports on the data published by Ooyala about video comsumption.

Tablets have larger screens than smartphones and have the advantage of being portable unlike TVs.

Tablets to make up for nearly 50% of 2014 PC shipments

ITPro reports that Canalys research predicts tablet sales to make up for almost half of the PC market in 2014.

Tablets will out sell all other PC form factors combined next year, with forecasts suggesting 285 million units will ship in 2014.

That’s according to analyst Canalys, who claim tablets will account for almost 50 per cent of the total client PC market next year, up from 40 per cent in Q3 2013.

Android vs Windows Phone

Ben Bajarin writes for Techpinions about Android eating the world.

There is only one company in the market right now that does not need platform assistance from a third party. That is Apple. Every other hardware company needs a third party to provide them with software to run on their hardware. Microsoft has been this company for most of the computing era. Google, with Android, has provided the Microsoft alternative to the mobile world. Hardware OEMs need this third party software support because they need a company to provide a platform and standards support for a wide variety of technologies.

However between the two, Android offers to hardware OEMs what Microsoft does not, the ability to differentiate. Ship Windows or Windows Phone and your product from a software standpoint is no different from your competitors. Which means your basis to compete is extremely limited to form and price. Android, on the other hand, allows hardware companies to take the platform which Google is supporting with standards and driver support and customize it in a way to offer some level of visual and feature differentiation at a software level. Microsoft is providing a standardized unified platform. Google is providing a standardized platform to create other platforms / ecosystems. These solutions are very different and enable entirely different ecosystems.

It sounds like good news but this does not consider the fragmentation that results from this. It makes it harder for developers to create apps that runs across the different platforms. Apple and Microsoft provide a standardised ecosystem that promotes app development. It is an important factor that led to the domination of Windows as a PC operating software.

Android is like Linux. Although Linux allowed for customisation of the experience, the platform fragmentation impairs the development of software that runs on the different Linux distros.

Elementary OS, the Linux distro that looks like Mac OS X writes about a Linux flavour that is trying to woo users who have given up on Windows.

There are myriad Linux distros, from Red Hat and CentOS and Ubuntu to Google Android. Most are typically used on computer servers that run things like websites and other big online applications, and most of the headlines go Android, which has reinvented the world of smartphones and tablets. But Elementary OS is different: It’s intended for desktop PCs, which are still very much the domain of Apple and Microsoft.

Foré says Elementary is trying to attract two groups of desktop users in particular: young developers who are new to open source and want an easy way to get started, and non-technical computer users who are fed up with Windows.

A polished Linux distro can meet the needs of users who have given up on Windows but do not wish to spend on a Mac. With the missteps that Microsoft is making with its Windows releases, now is the time for Linux to catch up.

The latest Mac OS X Mavericks is now free so the only barrier to entry is the cost of a Mac. The more adventurous can go the Hackintosh route by installing OS X on a PC.

Apple patents Lytro-like refocusable phone camera

Apple Insider reports that Apple has been awarded a patent for a refocusable camera to be used with a portable device.

Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,593,564 for a “Digital camera including refocusable imaging mode adaptor,” describes a method in which a user can take a picture at a certain resolution and refocus the resulting image after the fact. Also noted in the patent is the inclusion of such a system in portable devices, like an iPhone.

The way Apple’s refocusable camera works is different from Lytro’s light-field camera.

Unlike Lytro, Apple’s design employs a movable adaptor situated between the lens element and the imaging sensor. The adaptor holds the microlens array, meaning the camera can operate in two separate modes: high-resolution non-refocusable and low-resolution refocuasable. Lytro’s microlens component can also be moved closer and farther from the sensor, but cannot be completely removed from the light path.