Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
Google Play Quarterly App Revenue More Than Doubled Over Past Year, Thanks To Games, Freemium Apps
How well the Android app marketplace on Google Play is performing is the subject of a new report from recently expanded app analytics firm App Annie, out today ahead of this week’s Google I/O 2014 developer conference. The report indicates that the past year has been significant for Android app publishers, as Google Play apps, downloads, and revenue have all seen what the firm referred to as “phenomenal” growth.
African Tablet That Sends Medical Results via Mobile Connection Wins Award
An African medical tablet that enables doctors and health-care workers in rural areas to send results via a mobile-phone connection has won one of the 2014 Rolex Awards for Enterprise.
The Cardio Pad, believed to be Africa’s first medical tablet, was created by university IT specialist Arthur Zang, who along with four other entrepreneurs from India, Europe and the Middle East, was honoured as a Young Laureate by the awards. The Cardio Pad is designed to enable health-care workers to send results of cardiac tests to specialists via a mobile phone connection, vastly increasing the availability of cardiac health care for those in rural areas.
US Supreme Court To Cops: ‘Get A Warrant’ To Search Cellphones
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search cellphones of arrested individuals without first obtaining a search warrant.
Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the opinion of the court. Roberts wrote that cellphones are powerful tools that are able to store a “digital record of nearly every aspect” of people’s lives. Consequently, they are different from almost anything police find on a person upon arrest. A search of a person’s cellphone is far more invasive to one’s privacy, Roberts said, than a search of the person’s wallet or purse.
Tablets are ‘go to’ device for TV, film, YouTube and gaming
Almost half (45 per cent) of all British adults now have a tablet compared to 32 per cent a year ago, according to research from Kantar Media’s syndicated study, futureProof. More than four out of ten users now live in a home with more than one tablet, the research of over 2,000 participants found, with the device used for watching up on TV programmes or film, YouTube, or gaming.
Barclays Takes Top Spot in UK Mobile Banking Functionality Survey
Barclays has overtaken last year’s leader NatWest to top Forrester‘s 2014 UK Mobile Banking Functionality Review, which evaluates the mobile offerings of the seven largest retail banks in the UK. Barclays was closely followed by Santander and Lloyds Bank, all of whom scored well, while NatWest dropped to fifth place. The review scores banks’ mobile offerings, both mobile sites and apps, across more than 35 criteria. While the banks scored well in customers’ current concerns, such as balance checking, transaction history and basic money movement, the report suggests there is considerable room for improvement in search capabilities, future-dated payments and adding payees within apps.
Don’t burn your wallet: why SA hasn’t reached its mobile, cashless future (yet)
When it comes to technologies that have failed to deliver on the hype that preceded them, it’s pretty difficult to beat mobile money in South Africa. Following the rise of MPesa in Kenya, everyone thought South Africa, with its massive mobile population, would follow suit. While few would have dared to say it at the time, there was a sense of expectation that, within a few years, everyone would have abandoned cash and would be paying for things on their phones. Boy was that wrong. A number of factors hindered the growth of mobile money in the country, including restrictive regulations around the country’s banking sector and a slew of poor decisions by the people trying to introduce it. Perhaps the best example of both was Vodacom’s attempt to introduce MPesa back in 2011.
Nearly 1 in 5 Android in-app purchases are fraudulent
Inside Mobile Apps
Swrve’s latest research comes on the heels of GoogleI/O, indicating that about 19% of in-app purchases on Android devices are actually fraudulent. The troubling data could account for some of Android’s lower-than-Apple revenue share of the app marketplace.
The 19% figure is based on all in-app purchase (IAP) data on Android platforms in the month of May. The analysis was limited solely to apps that include in-app purchases as an option, with IAPs being strictly defined as those fulfilled via the Google Play store.
Digital payments to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019
Mobile Money Revolution
Juniper Research says the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will hit $4.7 trillion in five years, up from just over $2.5 trillion this year.
The firm noted the rise of mobile in the mix, pointing out that combined transactions on mobile and tablets would exceed PC this year.
Google reveals first Android Wear watches to go on sale
Google has announced the first smartwatches powered by its Android Wear operating system are now available for pre-order. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live – both featuring rectangular screens – mark an attempt to standardise the way Android wearable devices function. Google said that Motorola’s circular Moto 360 would not be released until “later this summer”. Analysts say the move to a unified approach could drive sales.
Google Fit Is Android’s New Health and Fitness Tracking Service
Google announced on Wednesday during its Google I/O Developers Conference a new initiative called Google Fit for Android, which will serve as a fitness and health tracking platform. The company announced that Google Fit is an open platform that is now available for developers. The platform SDK will be available in just a few weeks.
By using sensors on mobile devices and wearables — like Google’s smartwatch collection — users will be able to have a better handle on their various health and fitness-related data to give better recommendations.
The Rising Tide of Mobile App Engagement
It’s happened to everyone: You download an app, use it once, and it ends up lost in a sea of icons, never to be used again. But based on data released in June 2014 by Localytics, this trend is waning as app retention improves.
Looking at app retention rates—the average number of times an app was used during the first six months of ownership—among mobile app users worldwide, the research found that the percentage of apps opened just once dropped from 26% to 20% between March 2011 and March 2014. Even more impressive, the percentage of users launching an app 11 times or more jumped from 26% to 39% during the same timeframe.
CHART: Health And Fitness App Usage Is Growing Faster Than App Usage Overall
Health and fitness app usage has grown at nearly twice the rate of app usage overall through the first half of 2014, according to new global data on iOS users from Flurry, compiled by BI Intelligence.
Average daily sessions with health and fitness apps among mobile users grew 62% between December 2013 and June 2014. Overall, daily app usage for the entire mobile app industry in general is only up 33% over the same period. This reverses the comparative growth trends seen in 2013 — overall app usage was up 115% over the course of 2013 while health and fitness app usage grew just 45% last year, according to Flurry.
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Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.