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The rise of mobile apps and the decline of the open web — a threat or an over-reaction?

Gigaom

As the use of mobile devices continues to climb, the use of dedicated apps is also increasing — but is this a natural evolution, or should we be worried about apps winning and the open web losing? Chris Dixon, a partner with venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, argues in a recent blog post that we should be concerned, because it is creating a future in which the web becomes a “niche product,” and the dominant environment is one of proprietary walled gardens run by a couple of web giants — and that this is bad for innovation.

Dixon’s evidence consists in part of two recent charts: one is from the web analytics company comScore, and shows that mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage — an event that occurred in January of this year. The second chart is from Flurry, which tracks app usage, and it shows that apps account for the vast majority of time spent vs. the mobile web, an amount that Flurry says is still growing. I’ve combined the two charts into one (somewhat ugly) graphic below:

If apps are winning, is the web losing?

The implication of all this is obvious, says Dixon. Mobile is the future, and what wins on mobile will win the internet — and “right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.” Not only that, but Dixon argues that the problem is likely to get worse, as more companies realize that an app gives them much more control over the user experience than a website. And with less and less investment in making the web experience better on mobile, it will continue to deteriorate, which in turn will push users even further towards the use of apps.

Continue reading…

Breaking News Is the Top Reason for Mobile News App Usage

eMarketer

Less than one-third of consumers pay for a smartphone or tablet news app

Less than four in 10 US consumers use mobile news apps, but those who do are likely keeping them on hand to stay up to date with unexpected events.

In a December 2013 study by StepLeader, 42% of US mobile news app users said that breaking news was the most important news app category. This was the top response by a long shot—just 18% of respondents cited second-place national news—and it makes sense when one considers that mobile devices allow users to keep up with the latest news whenever and wherever they go.

But getting breaking news via smartphone apps was far more popular than on tablets, likely due to the former being more portable. More than four in 10 respondents said they used smartphone apps to get breaking news alerts, compared with just 20.0% who said the same for tablets. Instead, the larger screens were more common for reading news content—likely in a more relaxed setting—with more than half of tablet news app users saying they did so, vs. less than one-third of smartphone users.

Continue reading…

 

 

Big Data & Analytics and Enterprise Applications Will Continue to Drive Software Spending Growth Into 2017

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Big Data & Analytics and Enterprise Applications Will Continue to Drive Software Spending Growth Into 2017

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.– International Data Corporation (IDC) today released the latest forecast from the Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. Year-over-year growth in the worldwide software market for 2013 has been revised to 4.3% in current U.S. dollars. The forecast was lowered from the 5.7% year-over-year growth projected in May because of an important currency exchange rate depreciation in the Japanese yen announced during the second quarter. In constant U.S. dollars, the expected growth rate for 2013 remains very close to the forecast of 5.9%. Despite the fluctuation in currency exchange rates, IDC believes that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2012-2017 forecast period will remain close to 6%.

Collaborative Applications along with Structured Data Management Software and Data Access, Analysis and Delivery solutions are expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period with over 8% CAGR from 2012-2017. “Leveraging the social dimensions of the Internet keeps fueling the collaboration growth, much of which is in the form of software as a service. This is complementary to the increased attention to Big Data & Analytics solutions, which help enterprises to understand and act on anticipated customer behavior and provide new insights into product reliability and maintenance,” said Henry Morris, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Software, Services, and Executive Advisory Research.

On a second tier, Enterprise Applications such as CRM, ERM, SCM, and Operations and Manufacturing Applications show CAGR rates around 6%. “Enterprises are starting to implement applications that either didn’t exist or weren’t needed in the past, such as commerce applications in all industries, not just retail, but also manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage, and even the public sector. IDC is also seeing applications in categories that didn’t exist in the past (e.g., subscription billing, spend optimization, and revenue management) for requirements that may have been met using custom applications or manual processes,” said Christine Dover, Research Director, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce.

On a regional basis, the emerging economies continue to experience stronger growth than the mature economies. The average 2012-2017 CAGR for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Central Eastern, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) is 8.2% while the average CAGR for the mature regions – North America, Western Europe, and Japan – is 5.4%.

 Read the original release here

What you need to know about Apple’s free apps policy

Macworld.com

Apple made waves during Tuesday’s media event when the company announced that its iLife and iWork suite would be free for customers who buy a new Mac or iOS device. But the apps are also free for users who already have the apps installed, and one app is free, period. Here’s our guide to demystifying Apple’s new pricing structure on its iLife and iWork apps.

How “free with purchase” works

When Apple first announced that its iOS apps would be free with the purchase of a new iPhone, I theorized that Apple might include a notification alert after you first activated your new device, with a link to download your free apps. Instead, there’s no link or alert to be found. If you want your free iWork and iLife apps—on OS X Mavericks or on iOS—you have to first visit the Mac App Store to do so. When you do, however, the “Buy” button for those apps will be replaced with “Download” or “Update” (or the iCloud icon on the iOS App Store). I’ll note that iWork and iLife apps only come free for the kind of device you’ve purchased—you won’t get the OS X versions of iLife and iWork for free because you recently purchased a new iPhone or iPad.

Though I can’t yet confirm it (I asked Apple for more details but have yet to receive a response), I suspect that Apple associates the iWork and iLife suite with your Apple ID when you first activate a new device. That way, when you visit the app’s page, it shows up as already “purchased” on your account, and you can download away.

Continue reading… 

Apple Targets Microsoft Office With Free Apps

NY Times

SAN FRANCISCO — At an event meant to feature its latest iPad tablet computing devices, Apple on Tuesday took aim at one of the biggest and seemingly unassailable businesses of its rival Microsoft, its Office software for tasks like word processing and spreadsheets. Apple said iWork, a set of applications for Macs, iPads and iPhones that essentially duplicates whatMicrosoft’s Office offers customers, would be free to anyone who bought a new Macintosh computer or mobile device from Apple. Each Apple app used to cost $10 apiece.  The latest version of the Macintosh operating system, Mavericks, will also be free.

The pricing maneuver was perhaps the lone surprise at an Apple new media event here at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. As expected, Apple souped up its iPads with faster processors and zippier Internet connections.

Tablets are devouring the PC market, which has long been Microsoft’s playing ground. About 120 million tablets were shipped in 2012, nearly seven times as many as in 2010, when the first Apple iPad was released, according to Gartner, a market research company. IDC, another research company, predicts that sales of tablets will surpass those of PCs in the fourth quarter of this year and on an annual basis in 2015.

So far, Microsoft has had little success in that growing market. Its attempts to sell tablets have been failures, and Windows 8, which it has marketed as a software system for tablets and PCs, has gotten a chilly reception. What’s more, Microsoft still charges $120 for people who want to upgrade from the older Windows 7 system to Windows 8. 

Apple is No. 1 in the tablet market with about a 32 percent share, according to IDC. But the company faces fierce competition from companies like Amazon, Samsung Electronics and Google, whose tablets undercut the iPad in price. Samsung, the No. 2 tablet maker, is quickly gaining traction, with 18 percent of the market in the second quarter, compared with 7.6 percent in the period a year earlier, according to IDC.

Continue reading… 

Who Killed the Magazine App? 97% of Newsstand apps are now free

Adweek

The Association of Magazine Media (MPA), the magazine publishers trade group, this month reported some seemingly encouraging results for an industry that’s become all too used to bad news.

While print advertising—still by far the lifeblood of the magazine business—continues to contract, ad units in magazine tablet editions have soared 22 percent so far this year versus last.

It would appear reassuring for publishers desperate to grow their businesses beyond the core yet shrinking print product. But the fact is that many of those tablet ad units are merely pickups from print—meaning that advertisers paid not a nickel for them.

While the tablet has dominated conversations inside the halls of publishers and at industry gatherings like this week’s American Magazine Conference in New York—and may well still represent the future—it has not turned out to be the savior the industry had hoped for. It says something that the tablet isn’t even on the agenda at the publishers convention this time around. Meanwhile, many of the industry’s most fervent tablet evangelists have moved on from their pulpits—among them, Meredith Corp.’s chief digital officer Liz Schimel, now with Condé Nast China; Time Inc.’s Terry McDonell, who stepped down as group editor for sports; Daniel Bernard, The Wall Street Journal’s original app architect, now at Time Inc.; and Scott Dadich, Condé Nast’s tablet czar, now editor of Wired.

Three years after Apple unveiled the iPad and revolutionized the way consumers interact with content, tablets still account for a tiny share of magazine readership—just 3.3 percent of total circulation. Not taking into account the top-selling digital title, Game Informer, which boasts nearly 3 million digital copies, the number slips to 2.3 percent.

Read more… 

Hands-on with the iPhone 5s

Macworld

Though the iPhone 5s won’t be available in stores until September 20, we were able to use some demo models for a little while on Tuesday after Apple’s media event announcing them. We scanned our thumbs, took pictures, and tried to imagine what part of space is gray. Here’s our hands-on first look.

The iPhone 5s feels an awful lot like the iPhone 5. It isn’t noticeably heavier in hand, nor is the look particularly different—save for its new color options.

In using the iPhone 5s briefly, we found it speedy and snappy, and iOS 7 looks great. We weren’t able to run any benchmark tests or particularly hungry apps, so there was no way to put to the test Apple’s claims of it being twice as fast as the iPhone 5 in many tasks. As we said, the iPhone 5s feels more or less like the iPhone 5. It’s truly an iPhone with an “s” at the end at its name—a whole bunch of upgraded internals built on top of a phone design that seems quite familiar.

Continue reading… 

Screen Shot 2013 09 11 at 3.51.23 PM Hands on with the iPhone 5s

Big data will be mostly hype until it looks like this

CITEworld

We’ve all heard the hype about big data’s potential to transform business, but it’s mostly theoretical today. For big data to reach that transformative level, it must move beyond the realm of data scientists and into the hands of regular users.

That’s going to take the proverbial killer app. Today, we have the seeds of such apps in a few public-facing web sites. These test cases provide a window into the possibilities of big data and what could happen if we can simplify a data set and give employees the ability to ask a variety of questions, to experiment, to let the data surprise them.

Remember the DBA?

Why this CIO chose Chromeboxes over tablets for his new retail outlets

Back in the day, database administrators controlled access to databases that stored business information. If we had questions, we submitted them to a DBA and a week or two later, we got back the greenbar paper report with the answers. If we asked the wrong question or we didn’t get the answer we expected, we started again.

 Continue reading…

BUYING WITH A MOBILE DEVICE

IDG GlobalSolutions Color BUYING WITH A MOBILE DEVICE

 

An IDG Global Solutions (IGS) survey found a growing overlap between home and work use among participants in 43 countries.  On average, 56% of smartphone users make purchases and 73% buy with a tablet but in each case the vast majority buy personal products or services rather than for work.  A few regional figures stand out: more than 75% buy with a smartphone in North America and 84% purchase with a tablet.  In every region, a majority of tablet users said they have made a purchase with their device.

Click here for more charts and research results from the 2013 mobile survey

Q10 Q28 Mobile Purchase BUYING WITH A MOBILE DEVICE

 

55% of businesses now have a mobile optimised site: report

Econsultancy
More than half of companies (55%) now have mobile optimised websites, according to our new Reducing Customer Struggle Report.

The data also shows that 44% of companies have iPhone apps while a third (33%) have Android apps and a quarter have one for iPad (26%).The survey of 500 business professionals, published in partnership with IBM Tealeaf, found that just 22% of companies still don’t have any kind of mobile presence.When asked how they optimise the mobile experience, just under half (46%) of companies surveyed indicated they use responsive design (client-side), while only a fifth (22%) use adaptive design (server-side).

Only a third of companies (33%) indicated that they have built their mobile products using HTML5.