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
Facebook Clears The Air About Its Messenger App, Which A Lot Of People Are Needlessly Creeped Out By
Earlier this month, Facebook stopped letting users use the messaging feature on its main app. Users were directed to download Messenger to send and receive Facebook messages on their phones. People hate when Facebook alters anything about its user experience, so it’s no surprise that Facebook Messenger received loads of negative reviews once people were forced to download it on their iPhones and Android devices to view their Facebook messages. The backlash from Facebook users turned into outrage over what users perceived to be an invasive and creepy set of user permissions on Messenger. But the information Facebook was requesting of its users was, in fact, nothing more creepy or invasive than the permissions required from other apps.
Set your patently inferior, non-Apple smartwatch for September 6, the rumored date for the iPhone 6 launch event and quite possibly an Apple iWatch announcement. The Cupertino company has hinted at “new product categories” for 2014 and in eight months there haven’t been any new developments from the hardware division. That’s why we’re expecting the infamous Apple watch to be its next “one more thing” surprise in either September or October.
Yahoo has released some of the data captured by its Android homescreen app Aviate, revealing how app usage differs across the day.
Among the findings was the news that, while the average Aviate user has 95 apps installed on their phone, only an average of 35 will be used throughout the day. The data also showed that phone and SMS apps are mostly used during work hours, while media and video apps rise steadily throughout the day, peaking at 10PM.
The tablet game market is currently worth around $3.6 billion – an impressive amount yes – that is until you compare it to the $13.3 billion that Juniper Research reckons it’ll be worth in 2019. That is a whopping threefold increase. As the kids say: OMG. Juniper previously reported that developers are increasing their focus on user value, which means maximising their games’ potential with more in-app rewards, competitive modes and better advertising. But this is concerning the mobile games market as a whole – so how will the tablet market pick up financial speed?
Chinese web giant Baidu has released a new report documenting the rise of smart mobile devices in China. The Q2 2014 Mobile Internet Trends (PDF) report shows smart device penetration rose to 30 percent of China’s population, triple the rate from just two years ago. That being said, the growth rate diminished last quarter. Android’s firm hold on the market has only grown stronger. Baidu says Android has 79 percent market share in China, up from 73 percent one year earlier. iOS, meanwhile, actually dipped slightly from 13 percent to 12 percent. To put Android’s drastic rise in China into perspective, it only held 14 percent in Q2 2011, while iOS accounted for just five percent.
As mobile technology takes a more prominent role within our healthcare systems and the ability to manage and track one’s own wellness shapes the mHealth marketplace, it is fair to question how these technologies can help in times of international crisis. The Ebola virus is dominating global headlines and causing widespread panic across the African continent, not only because of its shocking mortality rate (over 55% so far in this outbreak) and growing death count (currently standing at 1,229, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), but also due to propaganda and hysteria related to claims of government conspiracies and punishment from God. More rational anxiety is spreading among intergovernmental organizations and aid agencies that understand that with no proven treatments this has the potential to become a much bigger problem than it already is.
Platforms like Google Wallet, Isis, and Square have been around for years, while Apple has remained curiously silent on the mobile payments front. Well not anymore. The company’s next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, sources familiar with the matter told WIRED. In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it’s unveiled on September 9. We’re told the solution will involve NFC.
Over the past several years the green, red and white logo of Safaricom’s mobile money service M-Pesa has become all but ubiquitous in Kenyan cities, towns and even villages, as tens of thousands of agents signed up to enable Kenyans to send money through their phones. Until recently, these agents had been forbidden to sell mobile money services for any company but Safaricom. All of that changed in July, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) ordered the telco to open up that extensive sales network to competitors.
Facebook has launched a bandwidth targeting capability, enabling advertisers to deliver segmented campaigns based on whether the user’s network connection is 2G, 3G or 4G. The launch ties into Facebook’s ongoing efforts to reach users in emerging markets, where still-developing infrastructure can lead to highly variable network speeds, and the capability has already been tested with advertisers in India and Thailand.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.