From the category archives:

Mobile

Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners recently set out to find which app US mobile users use most frequently, and their poll of 500 users who activated a mobile phone during the third quarter helped them reach a very resounding answer – Facebook is everyone’s app of choice!

Facebook scored the top spot by a long shot, ranked the top app by 45 percent of the mobile users polled. The second most popular app, Twitter, only came in at 13 percent (just over a fourth of the number one app’s total), followed by Candy Crush at 11 percent.

“Facebook just dominates mobile phones, in terms of most frequent use, not just downloads,” CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin said in a statement. “For most other apps, including some well-known ones like YouTube and Pandora, fewer than 10 percent of phone buyers included them among the most frequently used.”

And that’s not all that Facebook has to be proud of – the company also topped the charts as one of the most popular app developers, as the company’s Instagram app landed in fourth place at around 8 percent. Between Facebook and Instagram, the company dominated 54 percent of the “most frequently used” list. Google also fared fairly well overall in the report, with 28 percent of those surveyed citing their properties – YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, and Google Maps – as one of their three most used apps.

 

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Smartphones have accounted for the majority of mobile phone sales in the U.S. for a few years now, but now a new report from multinational technology company Ericsson has revealed that smartphones now account for 55 percent of all new cellphone subscriptions globally, up from just 40 percent a year ago. Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach two billion globally this year, and will potentially quadruple again by 2019!

High-speed LTE connections grew by 25 million subscribers in the third quarter, helping to bring the estimated worldwide total to 150 million. Ericsson predicts that the number of LTE subscribers will hit 2.6 billion by the end of 2019, with 85 percent of subscribers in North America having LTE capability. In just six years, they believe 5.6 billion of the 9.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide (around 60 percent) will be for smartphones.

Perhaps most surprising of Ericsson’s report is their projection that phones will consume more mobile data this year than PCs, tablets and other devices. Check out the chart they release alongside their report below. Do you think  their predictions will prove accurate by 2019?

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 7.56.37 PM

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Look out, Pandora and Spotify, personalized radio service Rdio is finally ready to compete for your users. Starting today, a free version of Rdio will be available on iOS and Android… and its free of advertising!

Rdio’s radio feature, Stations, is now free to non-subscribers on its mobile apps in the United States, Canada, and Australia. New users signing up on mobile will have access to the company’s on-demand music selection during a 14-day trial, before having to switch over to free stations after the trial ends. The company believes that by offering unlimited music during the trial, listeners will become hooked on Rdio and decide to buy the full experience. 

“We don’t need you to subscribe right away,” stated Rdio’s vice president for product Chris Becherer, in an interview with The Verge. ”You can live inside Stations for a long time. We think that over time, you’ll start building up your collection, building up your favorites. And whenever you do subscribe, all that stuff is ready to go.”

To get the complete Rdio service, which includes on-demand listening of tracks and offline song storage, users have to pay $9.99 a month or $4.99 for the firm’s Web-only plan. Rdio executives acknowledge that Stations won’t attract an enormous user base by itself, but since free radio is anticipated to becomes a standard feature in every music app, this change is one that the company absolutely had to make in order to compete with Pandora and Spotify.

Rdio should have even more free options coming later this year; a recent deal with radio operator Cumulus Media will see the two collaborate on an ad-supported version of its service.

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If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of the Verizon HTC One, your wait is finally over! The all metal aluminum phone is now available online and in Verizon stores for $199 on a two-year contract.

Verizon’s HTC One is nearly the same as AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile’s HTC One sold, but it does run a newer version of Android and connects to Verizon’s larger 4G LTE network.

The device retails for $199 on a two-year contract and $599 off contract, and Verizon is offering an Accessory Bundle including an HTC One OtterBox Defender case, screen protectors and a wall charger for an additional $70. It includes HTC BoomSound, with the two front-facing speakers delivering a loud and crisp sound that other phones struggle to compete with and BlinkFeed, a customizable set of tiles that refresh with news, updates from Facebook, Twitter and more to bring interesting news and updates to the device’s home page. Picking up Verizon’s HTC One also gets you the UltraPixel camera and HTC Zoe, so you can get good low-light photos and take a collection of stills and a short video with one push of the shutter (as well as remove unwanted people from pictures, show movement, record in slow motion, and more).

Verizon stores now have the HTC One in stock, and it is also available on Verizon Wireless’ website.

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Apple

At their annual Worldwide Developers Conference this afternoon, Apple announced the new version of their popular mobile operating system, iOS7, which features a totally redesigned look and enough new features to make old Apple products feel brand new again!

“iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

A lot of the change can be attributed to Senior VP of industrial design Jony Ive, who stated:

“We wanted to take an experience that people know very well and add to it. We see iOS 7 as defining an important new direction … and in many ways, a beginning.”

Some of the features the new OS will have include:

  • A parallax effect when you tilt the gadget.
  • The ability to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up a new Control Center that has the important stuff, toggles, and switches you need.
  • It will make note of your app usage habits and make sure to give the apps you love the background power they needs to keep things up-to-date.
  • A new multitasking, folder, notifications structure - and the ability to view the Notifications Center on the lock screen.
  • An AirDrop feature will send files over to a fellow iOS user in just a few taps.
  • A more friendly and human-sounding Siri. It can play your voicemail, change your iPhone’s brightness, show you photos, and more on command now, too. Siri also has Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing support.
  • Redesigned Camera and Photos apps, featuring an improved user interface, Instagram-style filters, and better organization. Users can toggle between four types of cameras — video, photo, square, and panorama — with quick swipes.
  • An App Store that updates your apps automatically.

iOS 7 will be available as a free update for iPhone 4 and iPad 2 (and all later versions of those devices), as well as iPad Mini and iPod Touch (fifth generation) this fall.

 

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