If you answered "iOS and Android," you win the no-prize. We would have also accepted "Apple and Google," or a combination thereof. The point being, Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms are the most sought after systems by mobile phone users, according to a new survey by Nielsen.
The survey results should come as worrisome news to Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry OS is currently in a virtual tie with iOS as the most popular smartphone platform. Of those surveyed, 27.4 percent own a BlackBerry device, compared to 27.9 percent who own an iPhone. Android, meanwhile, claims a 22.7 percent share.
Here's another interesting tidbit. Feature phone owners showed a slightly stronger preference towards upgrading to an Android device over an iPhone (28 percent versus 25 percent, respectively,), while current smartphone owners lean towards an iPhone over Android (35 percent versus 28 percent).
Gender also played a role. Females lean toward wanting an iPhone (30.9 percent) over an Android device (22.8 percent), while males are all about Android (32.6 percent) first, and iPhone second (28.6 percent).
Did you recently purchase a smartphone? If so, which platform did you go with? And if you're planning to upgrade, same question.
If you only paid attention to internet forums and comments, you might think that all smartphone users were diehard supporters of their current platform. But a new study detailed by Reuters seem to say quite the opposite. In all, 56% of global smartphone users were found to be willing to consider a different type of phone when they next bought. Only 25% were definitely planning to stay loyal to their current smartphone OS.
The loyalty rates varied wildly for individual mobile operating systems. Apple has a commanding lead with 59% planning to stick with the platform. Microsoft was at the low end with only 21% loyalty. RIM's Blackberry platform enticed 35% to claim they will stick with it. Google's Android OS only garnered long term support from 24% of users in the survey.
Smartphone sales have nearly doubled in the last year, and the demand probably isn't going away anytime soon. If anything, this data shows that new entrants in the market, like Microsoft Windows Phone 7, might actually have a shot at attracting converts.
Apple today announced that the long delayed iOS 4.2 update is finally available for download for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, bringing multitasking, Folders, a Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay, and AirPrint to the iPad. It's about friggin' time.
"iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit."
The addition of multitasking addresses one of the iPad's major shortcomings, and the other additions -- like Folders and a Unified Inbox -- ensure the iPad will remain a hot selling product even as competition in the tablet space starts to heat up. But what Apple can't address through software updates are the handful of hardware omissions, like USB ports, a memory card reader, and webcam (which rules out FaceTime support).
So what's the verdict, does iOS 4.2 make the iPad a more compelling option, or is it still an overpriced, oversized iPod touch? Hit the jump and sound off!
Google has thus far neglected to create a mobile application for managing Google Docs. But Google today announced that the mobile Google Docs site will soon allow editing of documents from the mobile browser. When viewing a document online, there will be a link to load editing mode, where users will be able to change the document from within the browser. While an app might provide a better experience, this web-based editing would be more in line with Google's ways.
The new feature will be available on iOS devices running version 3 or later, and on Android phones running 2.2 Froyo. Google also made sure to note that Android users can use voice dictation to edit documents. The 2.2 requirement is a real bummer for users of phones that are still running Android 2.1 or earlier. The Docs editing mode will be rolling out over the next few weeks, so some phones might get an update in the meantime.
The app offers iPhone users a host of features, including cheap international calls, free texts to U.S. numbers, voicemail transcription, ability to display Voice number as caller ID and push notifications. The app requires iOS 3.1 or later.
Apple sparked a controversy when it vetoed the official Voice app for the iPhone and expelled Voice-dependent apps from the App Store in July, 2009. The iDevice maker took 14 months to relent and only approved the app in September.
It is only a matter of time before hackers find a way of running Android on iPad, especially considering the fact that it has already been accomplished on iPhone 3G, 2G and the original iPod touch. As the iPad is just an oversized iPhone/iPod Touch, it is a sitting duck for intrepid hackers like the folks responsible for the iDroid Project, whose stated goal is “to fully port the Linux kernel and the Google Android OS to Apple's iDevices” using the OpeniBoot bootloader. The iDroid Project team has indicated that they are very close to porting Android to the iPad and iPhone 4. They even posted a video (below) and a few images on Twitter to tease us.
Google's Android platform took a bite out of Apple -- and Symbian -- during the third quarter of 2010 in terms of global smartphone sales, according to market research firm Gartner.
With 20.5 million Android units sold in Q3, Android jumped into second place for the quarter with a 25.5 percent share of the smartphone market. Symbian maintained its position at the top with nearly 29.5 million units sold and a 36.6 percent market share, while iOS sat in third place place with around 13.5 million units and a 16.7 percent chunk of the smartphone pie.
"Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users."
Innovation hasn't been a problem for Google, which continues to update its Android platform at a breakneck pace. On top of it all, the Android Market has come into its own with nearly 100,000 apps and over 2 billion downloads to date, according to AndroLib.com.
SkyFire is a browser available on various smartphone platforms. It's claim to fame is that it can pull down Flash videos on the web, and stream them to your phone. The result is Flash video playing on phones that don't have access to the actual plugin. The app is free everywhere except on Apple's iOS platform, where Flash is forbidden. In its first weekend, SkyFire has managed to make almost $1 million, just $2.99 at a time.
All this is happening in the midst of SkyFire pulling the app in the face of a massive onslaught of users hitting their servers. The app returned, and the users were not deterred. After Apple's share, SkyFire will be making about $700,000. Hopefully they will be able to upgrade their backend.
They'll probably need it too. Apple doesn't look to be backing down from their no-Flash policy. For the time being, the only way to get Flash video on the iPhone is with workarounds like SkyFire. Have you tried SkyFire on iOS? Is it worth the $2.99 price tag?
Market analytics firm NPD has just finished culling the last quarter's data, and the results are great news for one search company out of Mountain View. Apparently, the Android operating system is now far and away, the fastest selling mobile platform for smart phones. In the third quarter, Android took a 44% share of all sales, Apple took 23%, and RIM only had 22%.
Just as startling as the current numbers, is the change from last year. Android was at a mere 3% in Q3 2009. Blackberry was at 45% and Apple was at 39%. Clearly, Android is taking off like a rocket, and the competition is feeling the hurt. RIM's once massive sales are slumping as users finish out their contracts and move to other platforms. Apple might not have taken a big hit, but the platform's growth has effectively been stopped.
Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S, Droid X and Evo 4G have been big sellers. Do you think a Verizon iPhone would turn the tables on the little green robot?
If you're a user of iOS devices like the iPhone or iPad, you might want to snap up VLC for your chosen device before it's gone forever. Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the principal developers of VLC, explained that VideoLAN (the foundation that supports VLC) is not pleased with how the app is distributed. They have filed a notice of copyright infringement with Apple that may force the removal of the app.
As it turns out, VLC for iOS is developed by a 3rd party developer called Applidium. Apple's iTunes terms allow VLC to only be installed on 5 devices. This is a form of DRM, and as you may know, VLC is open source and distributed under the GPL. That means Apple's DRM scheme is unacceptable to the VideoLAN foundation.
Apple has, in the past, simply removed apps that fall into a similar category. It's spectacularly unlikely that they'd modify their terms for this one app, even if it is so high profile. Denis-Courmont contends that open source software would not be where it is today if not for licenses like GPL, and perhaps users should be looking for apps on more open platforms.