- Why China is hard to figure out (Marginal Revolution)
- Rumor: Android M Will Come With An Update Guarantee For Nexus Devices (Android Police)
- Google seeking new partners for next generation Nexus phones (DigiTimes)
- Apple acquires high-accuracy GPS technology firm Coherent Navigation (AppleInsider)
- Apple: Tim Cook: Apple Pay coming to China ‘soon’ (Mashable)
- Apple: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report (BGR)
- Apple: Report: iOS 9 will be optimized for older devices, including iPhone 4S (Ars Technica)
- Xiaomi Picks Leadcore to Go Vertical – In search of its own custom processor (EE Times)
- BlackBerry: Microsoft, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei ‘evince’ interest in BlackBerry (IB Times)
- Apple: KGI lowers Apple Watch forecast significantly, says over 80% of sales are larger 42mm version (9to5Mac)
1. Apple Watch App From Starwood Will Literally Open Doors. Keyless check-in is cool. One of many ways that smartphones and smartwatches will connect us to things and places.
Microsoft and a number of China-based handset vendors, including Xiaomi Technology, Lenovo and Huawei, are being indicated as potential investors, the sources noted.
3. BlackBerry to Lay Off Undisclosed Number of Employees in Device Business. The company, like others, stopped innovating. And it also simply stopped adapting.
The group estimates that as many as 500 to 630 million Android devices might not be capable of completely wiping the data saved in their internal disks and SD cards.
The estimate is far from exact, and the real number could be meaningfully lower, but it’s still in the hundreds of millions. As John Gruber, of Daring Fireball would say, tongue in cheek: “Open always wins.”
Alistair Barr, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, interviews Sridhar Ramaswamy, who leads Google’s advertising group:
“As phones get bigger the space issue becomes less challenging,” he said, pulling his Nexus 6 smartphone out to show its six-inch display. “This is essentially a tablet. People’s ability to navigate sites and fill out forms and such goes up tremendously.”
That makes sense.
On Google’s progress in mobile advertising:
WSJD: Did Google underestimate the impact of mobile on search and ad prices?
We recognized the power of mobile from very early on. I don’t think we haven’t taken mobile seriously. Android was an early bet on this. But for all companies, not just us, it’s one of these things where the pace of change is quite incredible, in spite of all the early investments that companies and people like (Google founders) Larry (Page) and Sergey (Brin) did.
I’m sure Google recognized the potential early on. It’s one of the best high-performance companies I’ve seen. (Meaning, it has great people, pursues great goals, and achieves many great outcomes.)
But here’s what I think when I see a big company under-respond to a big trend: it’s a big company. There likely isn’t a small, focused team with freedom of action to experiment and move fast. There probably *is* a bright, motivated set of people, but distributed across several teams, with several layers of management, trying to look outward, inward, propose, and respond (internally, via slides) to many requests, constraints, and status checks. That’s what big companies are: a revenue engine that supports many, with tons of talented people and potential directions, but a lot of complexity. Good work gets done, but more slowly. Risk is reduced, but some central opportunities go under-developed.
That said, a small team is no guarantee of success. It would take Google to count all the small companies and small teams that fail. But it helps… with speed – in orientation, decision, action, and repeating that as necessary. Combine the resources of Google with the dexterity of small teams, and the potential for achieving great things, including winning in the mobile advertising market, is high.
1. Google Tracker 2015 (I/O edition): Android M, Chromecast 2, and lots more. Interesting tracker of Google projects. Mentions the fingerprint API rumored for Android M.
2. Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report, citing a press release by supply chain analyst firm TrendForce:
- Ships in 3Q (i.e., before September)
- 4.7″ and 5.5″ models (i.e., no 4″ model)
- Force touch
- Slimmer, due to reduced LED display backlight
- 2GB LPDDR3 RAM (faster)
- Continue using dual-LED flash
- 32GB as the base configuration
3. Apple Researching Combined 2D/3D Glassesless Displays. Of course they are. Probably for years.
China is receiving appraisal that it had already surpassed Korea in technical skills and its ambition now is to compete against U.S. after surpassing Taiwan, which has many fabless competitors.
2. Tim Cook: Apple Watch in stores by June, Apple Pay coming to China ‘soon’. The headline is all you need.
3. Nest’s Tony Fadell says Google has ‘no sacred cows’ as it rethinks Glass. Sounds good, as long as that means nixing the consumer version is an option, too.
5. LTE smartphones are becoming faster and cheaper. Clearly, but this caught my eye: “Marvell boasted that a SoC (system-on-chip) it developed is powering a $65 LTE smartphone”.
6. Bill Gates Shares His List Of Summer ‘Beach Reading’ Books. I admit, “What If?” by Randall Munroe sounds intriguing.
7. At Zappos, Banishing the Bosses Brings Confusion. Would the Apollo program (or any meaningfully-sized development effort) have worked with “Holocracy”?
We’re excited to team up with Google to bring Twitter’s unique, real-time content to Google’s search results. Starting today, U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and we have plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months.
This makes a lot of sense for both companies. Increasingly, more and more valuable content is shared via Twitter that isn’t available (or isn’t as visited) anywhere else. This action helps Google users find content, and it helps Twitter users reach more people.
The choice to go mobile-first aligns with the facts: more searches today are done over mobile.
As Nathan Ingraham at The Verge reports, this isn’t the first time Google and Twitter have done this:
Google and Twitter had a similar deal previously, but it ended in 2011 as Google ramped up its own social network Google+.
1. Meet the Woman Launching Google’s Fastest Moonshots. My favorite quote from Regina (from a different article): “That’s a great strategy for not losing and a lousy strategy for winning.”
3. The Importance Of Founders. Some quantification, too.
Google-owned YouTube had a chance to beat Twitter’s Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat, to market by somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years, but decided against the move due to the fact that a large portion of the company’s resources were engaged in fending off a Viacom lawsuit and creating the Content ID copyright detection system.
Live streaming, in hindsight, is an idea that was “just there for the taking”. But — only in the dead simple way that Periscope and Meerkat have implemented it. So simple: open the app, press “Record”. That creates a stream that anyone can watch. Mixed with Twitter / social networking, it’s at least a modest gold mine.
Back to the situation Beasley describes: On the face of it, the amount of “extra investment” Google would have needed is unclear. It may be – and I’m speculating – that Periscope and Meerkat pursued the minimum viable product (MVP), while Google may have seen complications / risk in going that route. Even if that’s the case, I can’t blame Google. Pursuing too many side projects is, in my terms “what lack of focus looks like”, and it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that live streaming is a long-term hit. It’s here to stay (I think) for sure, but value / scale is TBD. Of course, that’s also what disruption looks like at the start.
Link to Alistair Barr’s WSJ’s story. I’m not sure why we didn’t see this action 5 years ago.
On the topic of format: There’s got to be an optimal middle ground between the most user-friendly ads and the most business-friendly ads. Some of these ad descriptions harken back to Apple’s iAd debut, where one of iAd’s defining features was richer, more helpful. That’s not to say iAd has been a tremendous success.
Personally, I’m looking forward to this. Good ads make reading more interesting and are sometimes helpful. Poor ads… essentially destructive.
Jared Newman, writing for Fast Company, outlines his take on Android Wear’s updated strategy. He essentially makes these 5 points.
- Always-on Display for Apps: Keeps the app visible so that you don’t have to touch or gesture to see the content.
- Better App Launcher: To make it easier to launch apps. Previously, Google Wear’s main focus on notifications.
- Allow Users to Create Their Own Google Now Cards: To avoid notification overload from both Google Now and apps.
- Custom Voice Actions: Commands like “What movies are playing” on Flixster.
- iOS Support: To attract valuable iOS users.
iOS support could be the killer feature, IF it’s robust enough: allowing users to do things like send messages, use Google Now, etc.
The central question is, how robust *can* it be? Pebble’s app, Jawbone UP’s app – they’re all very basic. Will that change? We’re getting closer and closer to finding out.
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- Nest CEO Tony Fadell on the Future of the Internet (WSJ)
- Google Now becomes a more robust platform with 70 new partner apps (ZDNet)
- iPhone trade-ins eroding Chinese Android sales: Report (ZDNet)
- Cyanogen looking to work with Chinese vendors to load its software on more smartphones (Android Central)
- Apple: Future iPhones may sport both telephoto and wide angle cameras, patent application suggests (AppleInsider)
- Apple: iPhone’s New Growth Engine Illustrated: China’s Middle Class (Mobile Forward)
- More than Half of Apple’s China Levers are Unique to Apple (Mobile Forward)
- Samsung Pay scheduled to launch in the second half of 2015 (GSMArena)
- Xiaomi tries to end waiting period for phone buyers, amid complaints (PC World)
Google Now has been expanding the range and variety of its Google Now cards, with 40 third-party partners unveiled in January. Seventy are being added to the Google app on Android today, bringing the total pool of Now partners up to 110.
This is great. Voice interaction and intelligent assistance are two of the best and highest benefits that mobile devices can provide. It’s not easy, though.
I linked to this in the Market Scan, but it’s good to go a little deeper. From Brad Reed, writing for BGR:
If Google achieves its goals, then Verizon and Sprint should move more toward the pricing model that Google unveiled on Wednesday in which users get paid back directly for data they don’t use every month. […]
The other way Google hopes to influence carriers is to push them into making seamless transitions from LTE to Wi-Fi so that if someone doesn’t have a strong signal in their apartment, their device will automatically switch over to their Wi-Fi signal without dropping their call or interrupting their download.
Peruse the whole thing here (it’s easy). Some highlights, with my comments.
1. The real way to tell whether Google’s wireless service is a success (BGR)
2. Why Apple has purchased camera technology company LinX and what will happen now? (i-Micronews)
- Good read RE computational imaging, dual cameras
3. Xiaomi Boosts Its Business In India With Strategic Investment From Tata Sons Head (TechCrunch)
- Dollar value not clear. PR value very clear
4. Xiaomi’s $205 Mi 4i mirrors the iPhone 5C design, claims 1.5-day battery (Ars Technica)
- High performance to price ratio. Profitable? TBD
5. Full video of Vogue interview with Apple designers Jony Ive and Marc Newson posted to Web (AppleInsider)
- Always worth it to hear the thoughts of subject matter expert or influential leader
6. Apple: First Look: Apple Watch Apps & Stats (App Annie)
- Top category (so far) is Utility; 12% of all apps
7. Google: Android Wear’s Low-Power Ambient Mode (Daring Fireball)
8. Samsung filed for “Glastyle” and other Key Trademarks this Week (Patently Mobile)
9. Imaging: Yole on Image Sensor Future (Image Sensors World)
10. Microsoft CEO thinks there’s one BIG reason you’ll love Windows 10: Cortana (Business Insider)