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This year’s Google I/O conference, held weeks after Apple’s WWDC, showed the world that Google really is taking over every aspect of our lives, and challenging its fiercest rivals.
As Android users have increased from 530m last year to more than 1bn this year, Google announced its ‘biggest ever overhaul’ with a completely new set of Android products.
Read on for my top five developments (plus a dose of healthy rivalry)...
Google is making many companies nervous. Anything bought online that involves the collection of information naturally falls into Google's path.
Even outside of this large niche, Google is getting stuck into larger engineering projects like the self-driving car.
Let's take a look at industries ripe for disruption by Google.
Google I/O revealed a host of interesting developments.
Here I attempt to stick my finger in the air and determine what they could mean for us as people in the long term.
Feel free to agree or disagree.
In a sideways blow to Apple, Windows Phone and Blackberry, Android is now the dominant operating system of mobile users worldwide.
Android use has climbed from 27% in 2012 to 65% in 2013. An even more impressive figure is the 270% increase in Android use since the end of 2011.
These figures come from the Q4 2013 market research study by GlobalWebIndex (GWI), in which 170,000 respondents were interviewed in 32 markets, representing 89% of the global internet population.
Here are some more fascinating stats from the study involving device ownership and privacy.
The lack of guidelines or general wisdom as to which retailers should actually have a mobile app and which shouldn’t can be confusing.
In this post I’m going to start writing those guidelines myself, if you’ll stick with me.
There is definitely a burgeoning anti-app movement, fuelled in part by the move to adaptive or responsive websites. On top of this, the growth in app downloads is in sharp decline and we seem to be reaching market maturation for apps, in those countries that have highest smartphone adoption.
But what should retailers do? Should some still be entertaining the idea of a new app? There are certainly some great success stories out there.
Some feel that the consumer has no interest in using many different retail apps, whereas others think the goal of consolidation is often unrealistic, with consumers happier using a range of options.
Where should apps lie in a priority list of ecommerce to-dos? Which apps are succeeding and which aren’t? How do customer base, product range, internationalisation and other factors affect the decision whether to build an app?
Well, these are the questions I’ve been attempting to answer. Read on to see what I dug up. If you make it to the end of my investigation, you’ll find my own criteria for apps in retail.
Since 2009, the British Museum has educated youngsters in Bloomsbury via its Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC). It’s free, and is the most extensive on-site digital learning programme of any UK museum.
I went along to the British Museum last week to see the launch of a new image recognition and augmented reality (AR) app, A Gift for Athena, helping kids to engage with the museum’s Parthenon gallery.
The app, built by Gamar, is simple in premise and use, but also a lot of fun, showing that augmented reality can succeed when applied in the right manner.
In this post I’ll discuss why the app works, and what’s needed to succeed with AR.
You might think that headline is hyperbole. It isn’t.
The new FIFA app, created by Monitise Create, is reviewed very favourably in the app store, with users unanimous in giving the app five stars.
I must say, I quite agree. The UX is basically flawless, and information is presented elegantly and simply. The imagery, the formatting, the type, the transitions, the icons; it’s all pretty.
It compares very favourably with (is better than) other ‘match centre’ apps such as Sky Sports, but offers lots of other content, too, notably news, World Cup content, FIFA rankings and interactive games.
With the app tipped to become the most popular sports app download, I thought I’d put it through its paces. Take a look at my review of one of the most beautifully designed apps I’ve used in ages.
21% of the global population will be using mobile apps by the end of the year. Your company may need an app too, but should you build your app for iPad, iPhone or Android?
One and a half billion people will be using mobile apps by the end of the 2013, equivalent to 21% of the global population.
Of course, mobile-optimised websites are clearly vital to communicate with your audience, with the balance now tipping in favour of responsive website design, but there’s still a strong case to be made for providing one or more apps as well.
But assuming you’re ready to commit, should you go for an iPad, iPhone or Android app?
This week sees the unveiling of HMV’s completely overhauled responsive website, HMV.com.
This follows the recent desktop and app launch of HMV Digital, a music download service which aims to rival iTunes.
It’s easy to dwell on HMV’s troubled recent past: the economic downturn, the rise of the internet, eventual liquidation. But let’s not do that here, after all HMV is very much looking towards the future.
Let’s take a look at its new responsive website in detail.
Digital is becoming ever more important for the comic industry.
Although the industry is guarded when it comes to revealing figures, Comixology (which release digital comics from the major publishers and many independents) has cited reaching 50m downloads in January 2012 and doubling that figure to 100m only 10 months later in October.
Physical comic book sales have been pushing against the tide of declining sales in other print media for some time now, with 2012 showing a 15% increase in sales year on year, and 2013 showing a similar trend.
It's clear the success of digital comics is increasing rapidly and concurrently with print, and it’s Marvel, who in the last few years has shown incredible skill in rebuilding its own brand, which is offering a lot more in terms of technology and service in its range of apps for mobiles and tablets.
Despite having an iPhone app for more than a year ASOS waited until last week to finally unveil the Android smartphone version.
It’s been a long time coming and as a regular ASOS shopper I was keen to try it out.
There’s no denying that the tablet is more than a passing fad.
With tablet shipments expected to grow 58.7% in 2013, rising from 144.5m to reach 229.3m, and with 34% of the US population currently owning a tablet, it’s important for brands to approach the tablet design process in an entirely unique and different way than the smartphone and desktop.
Rather than being an extension of these channels, there’s a huge opportunity to turn the tablet into a unique channel for engagement, capable of delivering strong conversion and incremental revenue.