And whither the 4-inch display? I would like to see any report of next-generation iPhones with larger displays explain Apple’s plans for the existing 4-inch size. Would it be relegated only to the second-tier C-class model? Or would they continue to produce top-tier models at that size as well? A person familiar with Apple’s plans should be able to explain this.
Another thing I’d like to know about future iOS device displays sporting new physical dimensions — the pixel counts. Will they be like the iPad Air and Mini (same pixel count, different pixels-per-inch resolution)? Or will they introduce new pixel dimensions? Again, any person familiar with Apple’s plans should be able to answer that.
It’s further confirmation that Windows Phone is finally beginning to mature as a viable alternative to iOS and Android. With an official Instagram just around the corner, Windows Phone users certainly have cause for celebration.
So will airline pitches be the new elevator pitch?
Its new Invest On Board program streams pitch videos from startups to in-seat televisions for business class passengers. The project is run by Etohum, a Turkish startup accelerator modeled after Y Combinator and TechStars. The short videos, which run under two minutes, advertise mostly Turkey-based startups but also some foreign companies. Etohum is currently accepting applications to pitch on Turkish Airlines as well.
This is a follow-up to Matt’s piece on Apple’s investment in synthetic sapphire.
TechCrunch talks about how Apple might have found a way to mass produce sapphire displays cheaper.
This brings us to a few months ago, when Apple filed a patent called ‘sapphire laminates’, in which it discusses a variety of ways to laminate sapphire sheets together with other sapphire sheets or with glass. There are a variety of abstractions, but the key is a method which mates two separate sheets together to create one ‘piece’. The key claim we’re looking at here is “a glass assembly comprising: a glass sheet; and a sapphire sheet adhered to the glass sheet, wherein the assembly is less than or approximately equal to 1 mm thick.”
This claim outlines a process where a glass sheet could be produced and mated with a sapphire sheet to create a screen (another claim describes a ‘sandwich process’ as well, with two sapphire sheets). Why a screen with glass underneath and sapphire on top?
While there is an ongoing rush to achieve same-day delivery services, Amazon hasn’t lost focus that there are also customers who want to be able to receive their packages on a Sunday too.
“If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night,” said Amazon VP of worldwide operations Dave Clark, in a statement. “We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day, and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service.”
This deal is also a huge win for USPS as it wasn’t too long ago that it was trying to end deliveries on Saturday as a means to cut costs.
Post office officials proposed ending Saturday deliveries as a way to save money, but that idea was shot down by Congress. Geddes says lately the system has been looking for new ways to make money. For instance, it recently announced a pilot program setting up postal windows in Staples outlets in the San Francisco area. Geddes says measures like these are a step in the right direction. But he says they’re not enough by themselves to solve the huge problems the system faces.
Joshua Brustein reports on Businessweek the dominance of Netflix and YouTube in the online video industry.
Video always dominates these traffic surveys because of the vast amount of information required. Last year, for instance, Netflix and YouTube made up 47.8 percent of total downstream traffic what people are consuming rather than creating. This year the duo crossed the halfway point, hitting 50.3 percent. Netflix lost a bit of ground, while YouTube ticked up, but the rest of the online video pack sure doesn’t seem to be gaining much ground on the leaders.Notably lagging are two other widely discussed video services: Hulu and Amazon AMZN. Both companies are slipping from their already lowly traffic numbers: Amazon accounted for 1.6 percent of total downstream traffic in September, compared with an average of 1.75 percent in the second half of 2012. For Hulu, meanwhile, September’s 1.29 percent came up short of the 1.38 percent it captured last year.
One interesting thing of note from the report is the sharp drop in file sharing.
File sharing is losing ground. BitTorrent, the dominant file-sharing technology, accounted for only 7.4 percent of total traffic in September, down from more than 10 percent last year, and file sharing as a whole has dropped from 31 percent of traffic in 2008 to less than 10 percent today. If you want to argue that legal alternatives are the best way to cut down on piracy, this seems like a pretty compelling statistic.
Charles Arthur reports on The Guardian how Google maps lost to Apple maps when everyone thought it had won.
The break with the iPhone came when Apple became frustrated in late 2009 by Google’s refusal to provide turn-by-turn navigation for maps on the iPhone – a feature which was available on Google’s own Android, and which is hugely useful for car drivers. “They broke their promise,” one Apple executive told the Guardian. Google also wanted to collect more data from Apple users via maps, such as through its Latitude product, and held off offering vector graphics (which store data more efficiently, and can work offline). That sparked Apple’s decision to develop its own maps offering, licensing data from TomTom and other providers.
According to ComScore, in September 2012 – just ahead of the introduction of Apple Maps – there were a total of 81.1m users of Google Maps, out of a total of 103.6m iPhones and Android phones users.
Latest figures from ComScore, published for September 2013, say that the total number of iPhones and Android phones in the US has grown to 136.7m, the number who used the Google Maps app has kept dropping – down to 58.8m – while the number of Apple Maps users stands at 35m out of a total iPhone population of 60.1m.
It also noted that iOS users tended to use maps more often – 9.7m used it once a day, against 7.2m for Android. In addition, iPhone users spent longer on maps than Android users – 75.5 minutes per month, against 56.2 minutes for Android.
Line may not be as popular in western countries, but it’s extremely popular in Asia. Along with other players such as WeChat and Kakao, mobile messaging in Asia is a huge opportunity, and Line is well positioned to seize it.
The app has totally saturated Japan with 49 million registered users and completely upended the mobile gaming market in Japan, undermining the historical power of gaming platforms like DeNA’s Mobage network and GREE. These two companies ruled in the feature phone era, but DeNA has now seen its shares slide 32.5 percent while GREE shares have fallen 41.5 percent over the last year. Line’s rise, along with that of other apps like Tencent’s Weixin (which has 236 million monthly actives), shows just how volatile the mobile social networking and messaging space continues to be.
This pretty much sums up my experience when I switched from my iPhone 5 to a Nexus 4. There are pros and cons, but it takes a while to get used to the change, for better or worse.
One striking thing, as I have noted in some updates throughout the body of this article, is how many of my observations can be addressed through third-party apps that would be impossible on iOS. Background services that sync iCloud calendars to the Android calendar list, for example, or third party apps that install AirPlay services. This is, it seems to me, a key strength of the Android offering — that third party apps have more control over the operating system, more flexibility to serve your needs. Of course with great power comes great responsibility; this very control leaves the door open to all manner of malware. I’ve certainly been wary of installing random apps from the store, rightly or wrongly, finding myself scrutinising the trustworthiness of an app in a way I never would on iOS.
Seems like Twitter has more than nine lives.