comScore today has shared its monthly report on both smartphone and app marketshare. The data released today reflects the three-month average ending in December of 2015. The report breaks down the top smartphone platforms, manufacturers, and perhaps most interestingly, the most popular apps…
The lawsuit between Oracle and Google is inadvertently revealing some confidential information about the companies. It has already been disclosed that Google paid Apple a $1 billion fee in 2014 to keep Google as the default search provider for iOS Safari, as well as a revenue sharing agreement where Google gives a substantial portion of the iPhone search ad revenue to Apple.
Another lawyer from Oracle has also stated that Google has generated $22 billion in profit and $31 billion in revenue from Android in its lifetime, via Bloomberg. Although any number in the billions is impressive, it pales in comparison to Apple’s mobile platform profiteering. As highlighted by Quartz, Apple made more revenue from the iPhone in one single quarter, raking in $32 billion dollars worth of iPhone sales from July – September.
[Update 1/11: This is one rumor Apple is happy to deny. Here’s a statement to Buzzfeed:“There is no truth to this rumor,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.”]
Apple launched a Move to iOS app in September, pictured, that enables Android users to quickly transfer documents, photos, contacts and other personal data to a new iPhone. This eases the pain for Android users to switch to iOS, which clearly benefits Apple. Interestingly, the Telegraph is reporting that Apple is now developing a similar tool that goes in the opposite direction, letting iPhone users more easily transfer to Android devices.
December 23, 2015
Back in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh threw out a class action lawsuit against Apple from former iPhone users complaining that text messages were no longer delivered when they ported their number to an Android phone. The lawsuit alleged that Apple was guilty of “interference” with their messages.
That wasn’t quite the end of it, however. Three of the plaintiffs persisted in individual claims against Apple, alleging that the company was in breach of the Federal Wire Tap Act by ‘intercepting’ their messages. The court has now dismissed these claims – with, it turns out, very good reason …
December 15, 2015
Last week, I wrote an article called The Top 10 Android Features Apple’s iOS 10 Should Steal, and — surprise — it turned out to be somewhat controversial. Over 120 comments reflected a wide range of opinions on the future direction of Apple’s mobile operating system, with most commenters agreeing that iOS should take some inspiration from Android, but only for the specific features they personally liked. Unfortunately, in keeping with our increasingly polarized society, a few particularly caustic Apple fanboys decided to go crazy, personally attacking fellow commenters who liked the ideas, the author who dared to suggest them (“poor old me“), and the very concept of taking any ideas whatsoever from Android.
On one hand, I understand where the fanboys are coming from. Some people just love whatever Apple releases and does, no matter what. Others are so emotionally or financially invested in Apple that any suggestion of potential improvement is perceived as an attack on the company’s well-being. But it’s hard to sympathize with people who freak out when Apple’s described as anything less than perfect. Walt Mossberg called out “cultists” for this behavior in his article, “It’s Not a Church, It’s Just an Apple Store,” naming it the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation. Demanding unyielding praise is nonsensical, and ultimately unhealthy for the Apple community as a whole. Simple statistics suggest that under 0.05% of our readers fall into cultist territory, but they’re abrasive enough to turn off the other 99.95% of readers we care about.
It’s important to understand that these hard-core fanboys aren’t just a tiny minority of all iOS users — they also have fringe views relative to the general population. Reasonable people can debate the precise numbers, but Android currently powers roughly 4/5 of the smartphones out there. It’s easy to credit aggressive Android device prices, but it’s clear that Android has features that appeal to people, too. From my perspective, it’s perfectly reasonable for iOS users to want some of Android’s features — especially if they don’t want to switch to Android devices. Yes, Apple’s a great company, and yes, iOS is a great platform, but they’re not perfect. Even if you don’t like Google, there’s room to learn (and borrow) from Android…
December 11, 2015
Earlier this week, I wrote about the surprisingly good Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) phone I was testing at our publisher’s request, and though I wouldn’t switch from iOS to Android, the experience made plain that even a sub-$100 Android phone is competent enough today to serve as a more capable alternative to a $199 iPod touch. I’ve since been testing the $180 Moto G (3rd Gen), which is still less expensive than the lowest-end iOS device, but is faster than its predecessor, and includes still cameras rivaling Apple’s flagship iPhone 6s models. Contrary to Apple’s marketing, Android devices aren’t all bad, and $100-$200 options from major manufacturers are now delivering much better overall value than Apple’s sub-$200 devices.
Google has spent the last few years really closing Android’s overall user experience gap with iOS, while adding and polishing some features that are either Android-exclusive — or markedly better on Android than iOS. So just like Google borrowed elements of iOS to improve Android, Apple should be doing the same. Here are the top 10 features I’d pick for iOS 10 to clone…
December 8, 2015
I’ve been an iOS user since day one — back when it was called “iPhone OS” — and haven’t had any reason to leave Apple’s camp. Each day, I use iOS devices and apps, and for the most part, they “just work.” You could offer me a cheap Android phone or tablet and I wouldn’t have much use for it.
Or so I thought. Just in time for the holidays, 9to5’s publisher Seth Weintraub sent me an unexpected gift: a $99 Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen), also available on Amazon. That price isn’t a typo — for under $100 (half the price of the recently released sixth-generation iPod touch), Motorola is selling a full-fledged smartphone with a larger, higher-resolution screen than the $199 iPod, and for that matter the old iPhone 5c I decided to replace it with. You’ve probably heard that Amazon is trying a similar tactic with its $49 7″ Fire Tablets, which so radically undercut the price of Apple’s iPads that you can buy five for the same price as an entry-level iPad mini 2… and still have change left over. Since these products were developed by well-established companies, they’re budget-priced, but not junk.
I wanted to see whether the Moto G would have any value in my life, and how it would stack up against lower-end iOS devices. What I found was exactly the reason Apple leads the cellular industry in profits yet continues to lag behind Android in market share: the Moto G offers a more than “good enough” alternative at a price that anyone can afford. From my perspective, the existence of a good $99 smartphone is precisely the reason the iPod family has all but disappeared, and why even iPad mini pricing is arguably unsustainable…
December 1, 2015
November 18, 2015
November 10, 2015
After first being announced and previewed in screenshots at WWDC in June, Apple has officially brought its subscription music service Apple Music to Google’s Android platform. Apple Music joins the iPhone maker’s other Android apps Move to iOS and the Beats Pill+ companion app on the Google Play Store.
Apple Music offers access to a large catalog of streaming music and music recommendations. Music and music videos can be saved for offline listening as well. Memberships costs $9.99/month for individuals, the same as Beats Music subscriptions which Apple Music replaces, after a three-month free trial period. Apple Music family plans for up to five different accounts is available through Family Sharing on iOS and Mac for $14.99/month. expand full story
November 7, 2015
Today we’re comparing the forth generation Apple TV to the NVIDIA Shield. These are quite possibly the two best set top boxes out right now. I won’t be going into every little detail here, but instead the things that are most important for myself. But before we get in-depth with either option, let’s take a look at specifications between the two…
November 6, 2015
I know, it’s almost a blasphemous headline, and I can feel the comments system bracing itself for impact even before anyone has read a word of my arguments. Especially as Apple has engaged in lengthy lawsuits against Samsung for copying its own features.
But while Apple doesn’t blindly copy, it does learn from other companies, and it does so all the time. Indeed, you could say it’s one of the key things that sets Apple apart in the tech world: it doesn’t scrabble to be first to market with new technology. Apple instead sits back and watches, looks at what other companies do and then figures out how to create a better version.
Touch ID is a classic example. Fingerprint readers have been around forever in laptops, and Motorola put one into a smartphone – the Atrix – way back in 2011. But early fingerprint readers were inconvenient, requiring you to scroll your finger across them, and unreliable. Apple waited until it could do the job properly.
So what are some of the things Android manufacturers have done that I think Apple could usefully learn from … ? expand full story
November 3, 2015
While iOS and Android have for the most part caught up to one another from a software feature perspective, lack of a handy back button is still one of the biggest sources of embarrassment for iOS devices. BoxWave’s new glass “ClearTouch SmartButtons” screen protector has built-in buttons that aim to solve some of the back button issue on iPhones, so I took it for a test drive… expand full story
November 2, 2015
Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox is insisting that an unspecified but substantial number of staff switch from iPhone to Android, in order to have an experience of the service more typical of that in emerging markets, reports Wired.
“I am mandating a switch of a whole bunch of my team over to Android, just because people, when left up to their own devices, will often prefer an iPhone,” said Chris Cox, who said the move is “so that they can be reporting bugs and living in the same experience that most Facebook users experience today” …
October 30, 2015
Apple can’t catch a break on Android. When Apple released its first app on Google’s platform last month called Move to iOS, Android fans were quick to negatively rate the app that only existed to help people switch from Android to iPhone. To date, Move to iOS has roughly 30,000 1 star reviews to only 10,000 5 star reviews with not much happening in the middle.
Now Apple has its second Android app on the Google Play Store called Beats Pill+. It’s a companion app to Apple’s new portable Bluetooth speaker with the same name, allowing both Android and iPhone users to pair two speakers as stereo or amplified and use a DJ feature for queueing up tracks from multiple phones.
And the reviews? Just as extreme despite Beats speakers working with both iPhone and Android and only recently being bought by Apple… expand full story
October 29, 2015
October 27, 2015
During a call with investors for its Q4 2015 earnings report today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company saw its highest rate ever of Android switchers last quarter with a record 30% of new iPhone buyers coming from the rival platform. expand full story
October 23, 2015
New screenshots of what is reportedly the beta version of Apple Music for Android have been published, providing what may be a first look at Apple’s
first second foray into app development on Google’s competing mobile platform.
The screenshots, included below, show most of the features users would expect, such as Beats 1 availability and the “For Me” recommendations page. Apple Music Connect, the social network for musicians built into the service, is also included.