By Ryan Kamauff
- Google lets iOS apps direct users to Chrome instead of Safari - iOS is notoriously locked down. Unlike Android, users cannot choose the default app for certain actions (writing mail, web browsing or mapping). Google has set their own apps to auto send to Google apps, and are now opening up the code needed for other developers to send directly to Chrome. While many users use Chrome, it is far from the top mobile browser, and being sent to Chrome instead of Safari may bother some users. This step is clearly a shot over the bow of Apple, who wants to keep users sticking to native Apple applications as much as possible. Via GigaOM, more here.
- Aereo sues CBS to preempt deluge of copyright suits - Aereo, which uses thousands of tiny antennae to send OTA TV signals to users, is pre-emptively suing CBS to prevent what they feel to be impending lawsuits. Unlike cable providers, Aereo does not pay networks a re-broadcast fee, and has even won lawsuits in two successive courts defending their technology and business model. Aereo is attempting to expand, and believes that these networks are attempting to re-try cases simply by moving jurisdiction. Via Ars Technica, more here.
- Display production for next iPhone reportedly to kickoff next month, led by Sharp, LG, Japan Display - News of production for the next generation iPhone seem to be leaning towards and iPhone 5S in similar form factor and size to the current iPhone 5. This ramp-up hints at end Q2, early Q3 for release of the next iPhone. Via 9to5 Mac, more here.
- Developing For Android Is Much Easier Now, Animoca Claims - Animoca is a Hong Kong app developer, and one of Asia’s largest. They have found that standardization in the Android industry has dropped testing requirements from over 400 devices, to around 100. Many phones have become standardized on Samsung’s Android hardware, notably their NAND flash memory, DRAM and displays. This is a step away from the fragmentation that still plagues Android to some extent. Via TechCrunch, more here.
- Tough luck Apple, non-big-brand tablets account for one-third of shipments - Much has been made of Apple’s quickly eroding share of tablet sales. Android tablets were 56.5% of the 1Q 2013 tablet sales, the first time Android has done so. That said, Apple is still such an incumbent (with 5 generations of iPads sold) that it will take some times for Android tablets to aggregate more than iOS. This article goes further into the demise of the iPad, which is probably somewhat exaggerated, but is a good read nonetheless. Via Betanews, more here.
- Rovio unveils Accounts for cross-device game play - Rovio’s accounts will be like Amazon’s Whispernet for Rovio games. They will use the cloud to sync your accounts and your game play will be accessible from any device. This will be a key differentiator for Rovio games versus other games, because users will be able to bring their progress with them when they upgrade or move from tablet to smartphone. We will likely start to see more services offering the same capabilities in the future. Via Android Community, more here.
- T-Mobile USA moves half million iPhone 5′s in first month, spurs first subscriber growth since 2009 - One of the worst things a wireless service can do is not offer top phones. For T-Mobile, they finally got the iPhone 5, and promptly sold over 500k units in the first 30 days it was available. This and their “uncarrier” label helped them to their first net subscriber gain since 2009. Via 9to5 Mac, more here.
- Barnes & Noble integrating Google Play into Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets - In a surprising turn of events, Barnes and Noble is adding the Google Play Store to their Nook tablets. In my opinion, this pushes the Nook tablets firmly in front of Kindle tablets for “e-reader supremacy.” You should be able to download the Kindle application (and some third party launchers) and remove much of the stilted UX that B&N and Amazon deliver. Via GigaOM, more here.
- Apple is ‘bleeding market share’ - Many estimates have Apple smartphone market share significantly down for Q1 2013. Some are as low as 17.9%, down from over 22% just last year. Part of this may be; smarter Apple buyers who have aligned themselves to Apple’s release cycle as well as the huge number of Apple products sold over the holiday season. But when Apple’s premium smartphone is actually newer than it’s top Android competition (the Samsung Galaxy SIII), this is not looking good for them. Apple needs to have a big WWDC, and show off a very revamped iOS7, as well as a top-notch iPad Mini 2 (or whatever). Apple is investing well over $1.5B in R&D almost every quarter, but it seems to me all they need is a quick market survey to understand what they are doing wrong. Via BGR, more here.