Google officially launched Google Play – the new Google hub that features Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore. It’s a cloud-based service, quite similar to the Market in function, but organized for Google’s longterm marketplace goals. The launch of Google Play was just one day prior to Apple’s big event, expected to reveal their next gen iPad.
Google is also busy working on new devices, or so the rumors say. They reportedly partnered with Asus to produce the ultimate Google tablet that wil deliver the ultimate Google experience. The two are said to be working on a 7-inch quad-core Tegra 3 processor tablet that will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet is slated to be priced at $199. If this is true the “Nexus Tablet” will directly compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s 8GB Nook Tablet, both priced at $199.
All eyes are on Apple today, as the world awaits for their big reveal this afternoon. But before that, some of you may have noticed a change in iTunes. Yesterday, Apple quietly rolled out a new feature, Catalogs; its purpose is still quite a mystery. But Apple Insider theorizes that it has something to do with the device Apple is revealing today. The new iPad is rumored to have a Retina Display so they prematurely rolled out Catalog, which probably features high resolution, interactive content.
“The impact of the iPad in the shopping and publication industries has been massive,” Joaquin Ruiz, CEO of Catalog Spree, said in a statement sent to the media. “Adding an app category is not something that Apple does lightly and we believe Apple’s decision reflects the importance of this use-case in the Apple App Store ecosystem.”
As for Apple’s legal battles, the iPhone maker may just end the mobile war by settling. Yes, you read that right folks, Apple may consider settling to end all these patent disputes. But how much is Apple asking? About 1% and 2.5% in “royalties” per device sold, or a flat fee between $5 and $15. It may not sound like much, but things add up pretty quick. Apple will be earning huge numbers royalties if the Android OEMs do pay up, as they already do with Microsoft. The Windows Phone maker reportedly gets $5 for every HTC device sold.
According to the latest report of comScore, comScore Reports January 2012 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share, there are already 234 million Americans, aged 13 and above, who use mobile devices. With Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 19.7% share and Motorola with a 13.2% share, Apple could certainly earn some serious cash in royalties for Android devices. And Apple continued to capture shares in the OEM market with 12.8% of total mobile subscribers (up 2.0 percentage points), and RIM rounded out the top five with 6.6%.
In January, the number of U.S. smartphone subscribers surpassed the 100-million mark, up 13% since October to 101.3 million subscribers. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 48.6% market share followed by Apple with 29.5% market share, RIM ranked third with 15.2% share, followed by Microsoft at 4.4% and Symbian at 1.5%.
Smartphones have different pusposes in people’s lives but most still use it for sending text messages at 74.6%, while others use their devices to access their downloaded apps at 48.6%, browsing at 48.5%, accessing social networks at 35.7%, gaming at 31.8%, and 24.5% use their smartphones to listen to music.
Badgeville, the gold standard for gamification, launched the world’s first gamification Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS and Android devices. The Badgeville iOS and Android SDKs help developers integrate Badgeville-powered gamification features into their mobile and tablet applications.
“Gamification’s greatest potential is in its ability to track and reward user behavior across any device or application, whether that be on web, mobile, or connected device,” said Kris Duggan, CEO, Badgeville.
“In providing the world’s first mobile SDK for gamification, we look forward to many more mobile and cross-platform gamification programs to be launched by our customers in the coming months.”
Badgeville’s global customers who used their API and SDKs to add gamified mobile experiences includes Deloitte, Apontador, Menuism, George Mobile and BAMM.tv.