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This post is part of our ReadWriteMobile channel, which is dedicated to helping its community understand the strategic business and technical implications of developing mobile applications. This channel is sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent.
readwriteweb.com | By Dan Rowinski
For years, consumers have been looking for an alternative to the iPad. The obvious place has been Android, but in reality nothing really stood up against Apple’s mighty slate. Either the price was too high, or it came with a contract from a wireless carrier, or it just wasn’t good enough. Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG and a host of other companies tried to make great Android tablets at reasonable prices, and each achieved varying degrees of failure. A quick look at Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet shows us it has the potential to not just best all the other Android slates on the market – and Amazon’s Kindle Fire – but perhaps even challenge the dominance of the iPad.
Android Jelly Bean
Android 3.0 Honeycomb, designed specifically for tablets. The first iteration of a Honeycomb tablet was the Xoom, created by Motorola.Google did not build Android originally with the thought of putting it on tablets. To this point, it has been a struggle for any Android device that is not a smartphone to really look great and function well on a tablet. Theoretically, that was supposed to change in February 2011 when Google announced
It was basically terrible.
Android apps on the Xoom did not look or perform well on the device. It was clunky and did not perform as well as its impressive hardware specifications promised it should. And it was expensive. It started at $899 unless you wanted to tie it to a two-year contract from Verizon, in which case it was $699. It was a consumer dud and partially ruined the demand for tablets.
Other Android tablets that have come since have not been much better. Samsung has a variety of Galaxy-branded tablets that are all ho-hum devices. Other tablets ran Android versions like Gingerbread 2.3, which were not intended for larger screen sizes.
What has changed? Foremost, Google combined the development of Android apps to be compatible with both smartphones and tablets when it released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich late in 2011. In terms of tablet user interface, Ice Cream Sandwich was a big jump for Android. Yet, to this point, there are no meaningful tablets running ICS.
That is why the Nexus 7 is incredibly important. It will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and be optimized to the newest version of the operating system. That means that it should run apps on bigger tablet screens as the developers intended them to be used. It will have all the Android goodness that people like, such as live widgets (which are now responsive to a particular home screen’s real estate), dynamic sharing abilities through Google Beam, and a user interface that is easier to use, more intuitive than Honeycomb ever was and generally superior to everything that came before it. Jelly Bean should be the new standard for Android tablets, and in that, consumers, developers and Google all win. Sigue leyendo
By Antone Gonsalves | readwriteweb.com
Laptops are doomed. In the next five years, tablets will displace notebook-style computers to become the dominant personal computing platform. And the transition from laptop to tablet has already begun.
That’s the key finding of a new Forrester Research report that predicts the end of the laptop’s 15-year reign. The trend is already well under way among people born between 1980 and 2000, known to demographers as the millennial generation. In the U.S., 30% of tablet owners in this age group have purchased a tablet in place of a PC, compared to 20% of baby boomers.
“For this growing body of [millennial] users, PCs will seem like clunky trucks rather than sleek cars, dampening their long-term propensity to buy conventional PCs,” says the 19-page report authored by Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.
But the tablet won’t replace the laptop all by itself, Forrester says. File-sharing services such as Box,DropBox, SugarSync and Apple’s iCloud will be critical enabling technologies, as well as a new type of stationary display the analyst calls a frame, due to become commonplace by 2015.
Sales projections back up Forrester’s forecast. Tablets are expected to outsell laptops in 2016 as tablet shipments quintuple from 81.6 million in 2011 to 424.9 million by 2017, according to research firm DisplaySearch. Sigue leyendo
What is television? Historically, its definition was more or less set in stone. A television set was a very particular type of device, which served as the hub of audio-visual entertainment in a given household. To take Wikipedia’s description, it’s “a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome (black-and-white) or colored, with or without accompanying sound.”
Over time, the models, sizes and features evolved, but the basic meaning of the word “television” remained unchanged. That is, until recently.
For the first several decades of the TV’s existence, the concept didn’t evolve much. Black and white turned into color. They got lighter, they got thinner and the picture quality gradually improved. Today, the idea of what we used to call “television” is being turned entirely on its head, and we don’t really know for sure what it will look like a decade from now.
From Content to Hardware, TV is Changing Sigue leyendo
Instagram just got a cool $1 billion from Facebook. Path has a $250 million valuation. Even Twitter was started as a mobile, text messaging-based service.The allure of making millions, perhaps even billions, of dollars developing mobile apps for the consumer market is obvious.
Venture capitalists are always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing when it comes to consumer apps. But fledgling entrepreneurs may find a higher likelihood of creating a sustainable business and attracting VC dollars in the business-to-business (B2B) market.
The Allure of the Consumer
Consumer apps are sexy. Mobile developers and designers working on the top consumer mobile apps are considered rock stars in Silicon Valley. The Path team has been widely commended for its app’s user interface. Instagram created a huge community for wannabe hipsters. These developers are highly sought after, well-respected and are going to get paid big time.
But for every Foursquare, there are hundred of startups that meet an inglorious end. Succeeding in consumer mobile is difficult. Consumers expect things to be free, or very cheap. The ability to monetize consumer mobile apps depends entirely on scale. Build a user base and squeeze revenue through whatever means possible – be it ads, in-app purchases or paid downloads. Venture capitalists are willing to give seed rounds or Series-A rounds to consumer mobile apps only if there looks like a way the service might be able to scale. â¨
“If you build Instagram or the equivalent, that sort of thing can happen to you. You can go from zero to hero sort of almost overnight. That is never going to end, by the way. That has sort of been the story with media. Not just in the mobile world but in the Web world and the film world and the television world and the music world for a really long time,” said Kevin Spain, general partner at Emergence Capital.
Hardcore Twitter users, I know you’re a loyal bunch (in fact, I consider myself one of you). So don’t take this personally. This article is about Facebook and how it is either going to destroy Twitter, force the microblogging service to change or make it an aquisition target by a rival, such as Apple or Google.
Or so says David Clarke, CEO of BGT Partners, an independent digital agency. Clarke says Facebook exposes key flaws with Twitter, including its 140-character limit on messages, as well as Twitter’s own trouble generating consistent revenue streams, which we previously reported on.
In Clarke’s world, the pure scale of Facebook and the limitations of Twitter make the beloved service “obsolete.”
“This character limit is wearing thin as consumers expect richer and more robust content that’s easy to access,” Clarke said. “Twitter existing by itself and generating enough revenue to become a substantial business model will be a struggle. It’s much more likely that ultimately Twitter will be taken over by Google, Apple or Facebook.” Sigue leyendo
If you liken app stores to race horses, Apple is the biggest, baddest thoroughbred in town. Google Play is a fine specimen with some distinct qualities but has a lot of work to do in the practice yard before catching up. Everything else is an also-ran. Windows Phone has been growing rapidly, increasing from 40,000 apps in Nov. 2011 to 70,000 at the most recent count. Then there is BlackBerry App World. For all of Research In Motion’s troubles, its app repository is tied with Windows Phone at 70,000, which includes 15,000 specifically designed for the BlackBerry PlayBook. There are no tablet apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, mostly because there is no Windows tablet (well, one worth anything).