I’ve heard some depressing things as an entrepreneur in the mobile space.

  • This app has too many animations which drains battery, so I don’t use it.
  • Using Wi-Fi drains battery life, so I just rely on 3G.
  • Bluetooth drains a lot of battery life so I turn it off, even though I wear a Fitbit everyday. I just turn it on once a day at home to sync.
  • I don’t download apps because I’m afraid they will kill my battery.

The first is clearly ridiculous, yet came from an intelligent person. Your phone will actually last longer with a stable Wi-Fi connection, and Bluetooth doesn’t drain battery at all unless used. Even then, it’s minimal. The last complaint is such a sad thing for us in the industry to hear.

The fear of running out of battery wields such an extraordinary influence over how we use smartphones. We benchmark every task according to how much battery it takes. We are never too far from a charger, and many of us carry a heavy, cumbersome power bank.

I have good news: we are on the verge of true all day battery life.

Read Full Article

I was getting worried, but it seems like smartwatches are taking off after all. Research company Canalys estimated 6 million smartwatches and fitness trackers were sold in the first half of 2014, or a 684% increase compared to the previous period.

This doesn’t even take into account Android Wear devices, which will start to get counted in next quarter’s report.

And the best is yet to come. The Moto 360 was widely considered superior to the two Android Wear watches already on the market. Motorola will launch the device next month after its event on September 4.

Read Full Article

The creator behind the enormous hit Flappy Bird recently released its spiritual successor, Swing Copters. So how’s it doing? Apparently, very well on iOS, currently ranking #2 overall on the US app store. Surprisingly, it’s not faring as well on Android, at #299 overall and actually a decline from a peak of #176 on the US Google play store.

Is this another sign iPhone users are more clued in? Or are there simply better alternatives on the Google play store? Given the enormous attention Flappy Bird and the mainstream press coverage Swing Copters both received, I would guess the former.

So is the game any good? Swing Copters retains a lot of Flappy Bird’s charm, the only question is whether you still find a game like Flappy Bird charming.

Read Full Article

A couple days ago, we referenced a comScore study on mobile apps. Since then, more articles about its findings are surfacing. Quartz has an overview of the top 25 most used apps by US consumers. Highlights:

  • Facebook is unsurprisingly the #1 most used app
  • Pandora is surprisingly #5…no Spotify
  • Google is the top mobile app publisher
  • Facebook Messenger is the top messaging app, ahead of Snapchat, Skype and Kik…no Whatsapp, no Google Hangouts
  • No games made the overall top 25

The study also breaks down popularity by age segment, which The Atlantic graciously provided. Highlights:

  • Facebook, Youtube and Pandora are universally popular
  • The younger, the more popular is Instagram
  • Older folk use Facebook Messenger more than Snapchat or Kik
  • Email didn’t make the top 10 for 18-24 year olds

Read Full Article

How dumberer can people get? Even accomplished investors can do really questionable things. Take Pavel Curda, a venture capitalist, mentor at an incubator and the founder of the API Mashup Contest. His dumb thing is meeting women at tech gatherings and emailing them the following message soon after:

One Woman Finally Calls Out a Tech Investor for Creepy Advances

Yep.

The crazy thing is that this must work sometimes, else why would he keep doing it right? Well, Pavel flew too far near the sun when he tried it on Gesche Haas.

Read Full Article

I’ve written about the difficulty of doing a mobile apps start-up before, and this report from comScore only reinforces that argument.

According to comScore, in any given month, the majority of US smartphone users don’t download apps…at all.

Yet, mobile app usage continues to grow; apps now represent 52% of time spent with digital media.

The conundrum is that while apps are ever more important, users aren’t downloading more of them. It’s a situation where the top 1% of apps rule the roost while everyone else flounders, struggling to get discovered.

Read Full Article

Just a scant few days ago, I wrote about how the 7-inch mini tablet might go the way of the dodo bird, and a scant few days later, I may have to eat my words. According to a report from the IDC:

Large smartphones (otherwise known as phablets), are already a growing trend in Asia, having outshipped notebooks and tablets last year.  But IDC finds that now even larger devices, tablets of 7” screen sizes and above, are increasingly shipping with cellular voice capabilities, and such devices are getting more traction in the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region, breaching the 25% mark in the second quarter of 2014. . .This translates to more than 60% growth on a year-on-year basis in unit terms for this category of tablets, which also incidentally happen to be 100% Android-based.

The report also goes on to state that 50% of 7-inch and up tablets shipped in India and Indonesia have cellular voice capabilities. I travel to Indonesia a lot and so find that nugget fascinating, as I don’t recall ever having seen a person call with a tablet. They probably do via a headset.

I can believe this trend happening for a number of reasons: cost, perception that more is better, traffic and handbags.

Read Full Article