Archive for ios
Welcome to another Good e-Reader Roundtable discussion with Michael and Peter. The topic today is what is the better operating system overall, Android or iOS? The two tech stalwarts talk about personal experiences with them both and make some valid points.
One of the real benefits of the Apple ecosystem is the first party developer support. If you want to deliver magazines, newspapers or games, you only have a few screen sizes and resolutions to choose from. You rarely deal with aspect ratio problems and get the content as they intended. Android on the other hand has so many different screen sizes and resolution, that you encounter errors more often.
Android on the other hand allows for more customization options in the form of keyboards, widgets, live wallpapers and launchers. You get more freedom to craft your own experience.
The latest finding by Crittercism, which takes stock of app usage on Android and iOS devices, is that Android has emerged as the more stable platform than iOS. However, it hasn’t been a cakewalk, as Android 2.3 Gingerbread has been notorious for unexpected app crashes, earning it the least stable Android version honor. Things have improved dramatically ever since the later Android versions of Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and the latest Android version, Kit Kat. In numerical terms, while Gingerbread alone accounted for app crashes 1.7 percent of the time, its successors crashed about 0.7 percent of the time.
The corresponding figures for iOS show that iOS 6 has been most prone to app crashes, reporting crashes an average of 2.5 percent of the time. Things improved with subsequent revisions, with iOS 7 and iOS 7.1 crashing only 2.1 and 1.6 percent of the time, respectively. That might come as a surprise to Apple fans, who often perceive iOS as the most matured mobile OS out there.
These findings form part of the report titled “Mobile Experience Benchmark,” which is based on a survey of about a billion Android and iOS devices for a period of one month.
Prolific author George R. R. Martin broke the internet when he posted a chapter of his upcoming book, The Winds of Winter, on his site, which crashed shortly after the announcement due to traffic. Fortunately for those who missed the chance to catch up with Mercy, the central character, they can still do so via the Ice and Fire app, available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
“Some of you who enjoyed meeting Mercy may not have found the other sample we’ve put out there of late, a new Tyrion chapter. That one is live and available with the ICE & FIRE app, and can be found at iOS; Android. Enjoy the read, ” the author revealed in his blog.
Martin’s other fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has been immensely popular and has already been made into a television series Game of Thrones.
Microsoft has come up with a cheaper but more personal alternative to its Office 365 subscription plans. Office 365 Personal, as the plan has been named, will cost $6.99 a month or $69.90 a year but will only be applicable to a single PC or Mac, and one tablet device. This is in contrast to the five PC or Mac devices (and five mobile devices such as a smartphone and tablet) that the Office Home Premium caters to, but costs a higher $9.99 per month or $99.90 a year. The new Office 365 Personal plan will be made available sometime in the spring and comes as a welcome choice for single users. Meanwhile, in another development, Microsoft has also announced a change of name for Office 365 Home Premium to just Office 365 Home.
“We’re committed to delivering a great Office experience to all of our customers and believe that giving you a choice about the Office 365 subscription that fits your unique needs is one way we can do that,” Chris Schneider, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft revealed in a blog post. “We’ll have more details to share closer to availability.”
Benefits and features more or less will remain the same, which includes access to the latest updates when those become available. Users will also have an hour of free international Skype calls every month along with 20 GB of free OneDrive (cloud) storage. There will also be the option to have the service for just one month, in which case it will cost just $7. Users can still opt for the internet free standalone version of Office which will cost them $140. While there will not be any updates available, it can serve customers well enough if all they need is just basic computing tasks done.
Meanwhile, experts believe the Office 365 Personal could also be the precursor to an Office for iOS version. This has been rumored for a long time now; maybe the next announcement will be an Office version for iPad.
Digital publishing has enabled self-publishing to become an industry force to be reckoned with, especially where text-based ebooks are concerned. But a new tool from Appzine Machine has made it possible for anyone with a desire to share their content to create and monetize their material into a digital magazine, available in the the Apple App Store, in order to reach the estimated 170 million iPad users who spend up to two and a half hours a day reading digital content.
“Appzine Machine is the first all-in-one solution that combines easy-to-use magazine building tools and world-class training on how to publish and profit,” said Len Wright, CEO of Appzine Machine, in a press release. “It is a fully turn-key system to help you earn monthly income, build your authority, or advertise your business.”
While the price tag of the platform does mean that not just anyone will be able to afford to publish a digital magazine, the easy DIY drag-and-drop aspect of the tool can make it worthwhile. Taking into consideration what the cost would be to have a digital designer create the finished product and upload it through a monthly-fee service like Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the savings can accumulate quickly. Ideally, there is also a return on the investment in the form of royalties, as Appzine doesn’t take further fees after the cost of using the tool.
“Digital magazines open up a new world of possibilities for both new entrepreneurs and existing businesses. By combining the compelling content of a magazine with the interactivity of a mobile app, you can spread your message, drive revenue, and reach a growing audience of millions worldwide.”
Android has emerged as one of the most popular operating systems in use today. That devices running Android has outsold all its competitors in 2013 is no doubt a good measure of its popularity, beating even Apple iOS in the process. The online search giant has now upped the ante claiming its mobile OS has proved to be the fastest to reach the top.
“I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that’s crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we’re going to get an operating system adopted in an industry, which has so many different OEMs, manufacturing with their own operating systems having adopted around the world,” said Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google while speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
First acquired by Google in 2005, Android (the company also of the same name) has since seen several upgrades. However, as stated by Google, the OS first attained a level of maturity from the Ice Cream Sandwich version. The OS then attained newer heights with the upgrade to Jelly Bean which continues to be the most used version of Android so far. Google has since launched the Android KitKat version, the most recent so far.
However, to completely ignore Apple’s iOS when discussing the most successful of mobile OS’s will be just half the story told. Apple devices such as the iPad and the iPhone continue to be the single largest tablet and smartphone brand respectively, outselling any of its Android competitors by a healthy margin. It’s just that the iOS got swamped by an operating system that is based on a completely different business strategy. Android is doled out free enabling any manufacturers to use it as per their will. In contrast, Apple maintains a vice like grip over iOS and is the only maker of gadgets based on it. In any case, it will be interesting to see how things pan out now that Android has proven to be more popular than iOS.
Android tablets are out on top, beating Apple for the first time ever and by a comprehensive margin. Figures revealed by analysts Gartner show that Apple has had a 36 percent share of the tablet market in 2013, almost half that of the 62 percent share that Android has had for the same period. Android accounted for 121 million tablet sales in 2013, compared to 70 million iPads sold. In all, 195 million tablet devices were sold in 2013.
For Apple, the results were in spite of registering a growth over its 2012 sales where 61 million iPads were sold. That number translated to a 53 percent share of the tablet market. For the same period, Android accounted for 46 percent share of the tablet market, or 53 million tablets.
Apple can still take consolation from the fact that the iPad continues to be the single largest tablet brand, outselling others by a comfortable margin. Samsung came in second, having sold 37 million tablets to equal a 19 percent market share, a huge improvement over the 7 percent market it had in 2012. Asus made up the third slot, having sold more than 11 million tablets, which comes to 5.6 percent share. Surprisingly, Amazon, who started the affordable tablet race, managed to sell just about 9 million tablets in 2013. Its market share dropped to 4.8 percent from 6.6 percent in 2012, making it the only manufacturer among the top 5 to record negative growth rate.
As for reasons behind the rise of the Android tablet, it is the emergence of low cost entry level tablet options that appears to have done the trick. For the first time, consumers had a lot of affordable tablet devices to choose from. Fortunately for them, these tablets offered decent specs in spite of the relatively cheap price tag. In contrast, the iPad caters to the premium segment that makes it within the reach of a distinct class of consumers. However, the challenge before Android is to ensure the huge user base who has invested in an Android tablet gets to have an endearing user experience so that they remain within the Android fold.
Further, both Apple and Google will have to watch out for a resurgent Windows platform that has registered growth in 2013. Though still quite insignificant with 2.1 percent market share and 4 million tablet sales, it could make for a much better performance in 2014 on the back of rumors of a thoroughly improved Windows 9. Also, the emergence of improved low power chips have led to better acceptance of Windows tablet which is poised for a take off if Microsoft gets its act together in providing for an enhanced software experience over Windows 8.1.
A new concept video providing us a glimpse of what the rumored Apple iWatch will be like has come online. The first thing that strikes is that the supposed iWatch is unlike any other smartwatch that we have come to see so far. Rather, it’s more akin to a wearable band or a bracelet sort of thing with a curved display. Not that it looks any bit odd with the design theme it incorporates. On the contrary, the iWatch looks even more futuristic than any of its peers. Further, a curved display also seems to be more befitting a smartwatch than perhaps a smartphone or a tablet. Overall, the design looks slick and smart even though it shares quite some similarity with the Nike+ Fuelband.
The concept iWatch as depicted in the video shows the date and time along with a lot of other notifications in a horizontally tiled manner. There is also the likelihood of the Healthbook fitness tracking app that the iWatch can feature, one that could be part of iOS 8. Another purported app that has been making some noise off late is the one that will be able to predict heart attacks, something that could prove to be a game changer if designed well enough.
Overall, we have seen quite a few smartwatch concepts so far though none have made quite the kind of splash that they might have expected. Maybe, that is left to Apple to do, something of the sort that the Cupertino company has done in the past with the iPhone and iPad in the smartphone and tablet segments respectively.
As for the iWatch concept, it has been designed be Fuse Chicken, a startup based in Cleveland ‘currently funding a magnetic charging cable and dock for iPhone.’
Contrary to the oft held belief that the iPad suits more for entertainment than anything else, the Apple tablet has topped the charts among tablets used in the enterprise scene. To put that in figures, the iPad has made up for 91.4 percent of all enterprise tablet activations in Q4, 2013, reveals enterprise software vendor Good Technology. Delving further into the pattern of iPad usage in the business scene, it is the financial sector that has emerged the single largest user of iPads, accounting for a comprehensive 46.8 percent of all activations. Next comes business and professional services sector that makes up 13.8 percent of iPad activations.
In contrast, Android makes up for a far less share of the enterprise scene with smartphones and tablet devices running the Google OS making up 26 percent of the segment. Not surprisingly, it is Samsung here leading the charge, making up for 56 percent of device usage, as per a survey by Fiberlink Communications. The company that deals with mobile device management (MDM) was recent acquired by IBM last November.
Meanwhile, the online ad and web analytics firm Chitika put forward that the Microsoft Surface tablets shone in the BYOD segment, drawn from the fact that the Surface tablets were used a lot during office hours.
“Surface users generate a slightly greater share of their total Web traffic during working hours as compared to iPad or Android tablet users,” the Chitika report said. “However, in terms of raw traffic volume, iPad and Android tablet users lead the pack at all hours of the day, and usage patterns among all tablets remain relatively similar overall.”
However, the report from Good Technology can be considered to be far from being comprehensive in that the company does not yet support Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 tablets. While the latter is known to have made some inroads in the enterprise sector, what is amply clear is that they are yet to make a big enough impact to unsettle the big two in the business, namely Google Android and Apple iOS. Further, the Good report is based on data from organizations that activated more than 5 devices during the fourth quarter.
Further, the Chitika report too can’t be considered to be comprehensive in that it is unable to differentiate between x86 based devices such as the Surface Pro or traditional desktops based on the same chip. Chitika report though can pick up Surface or Surface 2 devices running ARM chips. As such, the Chitika insight into Windows tablet usage can be considered to be fairly accurate in predicting the usage of Surface or Surface 2 devices.
Overall, we do have a rough picture of the iPad being the most popular device used in business with Android making up a distant second. Microsoft has shown mixed results in that it offers both ARM and x86 based devices to be used in the business segment. Also, now that we have seen quite a few Windows 8.1 devices being launched mostly during Q4, 2013, things could be a bit different a few months from now.
Scribd has lined up a treat for owners of the Kindle Fire range of tablet devices; the company’s online ebook subscription service which has now been extended to include to the Kindle Fire tablets. This has been made possible via an app that was launched on Wednesday and will offer unlimited ebook downloads for the same $9 a month as it offers for other Android and iOS devices. The above move does make a lot of sense considering the Kindle Fire range are oriented more towards reading books (along with other Amazon services such as it movies and music streaming services) and having a presence here means a head start right away for Scribd.
“Since launching our subscription book service, our readers around the world have been asking for an app that worked with Kindle Fire,” said Trip Adler, CEO and cofounder of Scribd. “It’s one of the most popular reading devices available today and we want to enable our readers to enjoy Scribd across any of their devices.”
However, those eager to try out the Scribd service will have to avail of the app directly from the company site as the same isn’t listed at the Amazon app store for Kindle Fire tablets. Further, with an agreement with only one major publisher – HarperCollins – Scribd for sure will not have as wide a choice so far as ebooks are concerned.
Android may be accounting for a phenomenal growth in the mobile segment though all of that is fraught with risks of being infected with malware, warns senior vice president of marketing at Apple, Phil Schiller. Quoting Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, the Apple executive pointed out that Android alone accounted for an unprecedented 99 percent malware threat in 2013. The same for iOS is an almost insignificant less than 1 percent considering there are others like Windows and Blackberry in the scene as well.
What should be even more worrisome for Google and users of its Android platform is that its vulnerability to attacks from malware has only increased over the years, having grown from 79 percent in 2010-12 as mentioned in the Mobile Threat Report, Q4 2012 from F-Secure. In contrast, Apple can be considered to be holding steady in the face of malware attacks which is said to have compromised just 0.7 percent of iOS devices as mentioned in F-Secure’s survey for the period 2010-2012.
The latest Cisco report also mentions that Java is open to 91 percent web exploits. Further, it is Trojans that has turned out to be the primary source of worry, accounting for 64 percent of malware with adware making up a smaller 20 percent. The report also stated that it is malware Andr/Qdplugin-A that has been found to have infiltrated the most on Android device. The malware is introduced via a legal app not listed at the official Google Play Store but on other Android app stores. The report also highlights the fact that Android users would be better off to source all of their app requirements from the Google Play Store than from third-party app stores.
The above no doubt will enhance the appeal of iOS devices even more as a stable, secure and safe platform compared to Android that might be raking in the numbers right now but is more prone to online malware threats.
In what can be considered as a boon to those who rely more on cross-platform apps and services, Google has made available another of its service, Google Play Movies and TV on iOS. This will enable users of the iPad and iPhone to play back movies and TV shows that they have bought from the Google Play Store.
However, while the above development can be considered to be one in the right direction, there still are a few issues to be wary of. These include the inability to playback movies when offline or on the go. This since the new app only supports streaming over a wi-fi connection and won’t sync to allow playback in offline mode. This no doubt can dent the prospect of the Google service against Apple’s own iTunes that allows both offline playback and video streaming while on the go. In addition, there also is the restriction of in app purchase which is understandable considering this would entitle Apple to seek a share of all sales made.
All these issues notwithstanding, the app looks almost the same as their Android counterpart. Further, the movies downloaded quickly enough while the quality too is top notch. In any case, the new app that enables Google Play Movies and TV Shows to be viewed on iOS devices can still be a boon to those who have invested considerably on Google Play Movies and related media ecosystem. For movie buffs, Apple’s own iTunes still steals a march over the Google service so far as iOS devices are concerned.