Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
PayPal have released an app for Pebble smartwatches enabling users to check-in to pay at any retailer, restaurant or business that accepts PayPal, as well as receive payment notifications direct to their wrist. With Apple Pay’s rollout and the long-awaited integration of NFC technology into new model iPhones, PayPal, long a leader in the digital payments field, risks being left behind by a new generation of mobile-first services. The Pebble app should help PayPal stay relevant in the increasingly mobile world.
From controversial statements from executives toconcerns over its users’ data privacy, it’s been a rough week for Uber. It’s now trying to do some damage control. The company announced today that it has hired a team of privacy experts, including Harriet Pearson – previously IBM’s Chief Privacy Officer for nearly two decades- and her colleagues at the Hogan Lovells law firm. Pearson will be in charge of conducting a thorough review of Uber’s data privacy program and assessing changes the company needs to implement.
Mobile payment is full of promise and uncertainty. That’s what makes it interesting. But it’s also negligible. Well, the in-store proximity payments bit at least. New stats from Forrester Research confirm this. The analyst says total m-payments – including online and P2P transactions – currently stand at $52bn, and will rise to $142bn by 2019. It says the $142 billion predicted is “just a drop in the ocean of total U.S. consumer spending.”
If there’s one thing that remains consistent about the differences between iOS and Android users, it’s that the former seem to install, engage with and pay for more mobile applications. Today, a new study from Adobe Digital Index reinforces a few of these points using new data collected from over 700 million apps sessions, noting that iOS now represents 65% of app launches to Android’s 34%, and that the average iOS app is used twice as long as the average Android app.
Apple’s plans for Beats Music are finally becoming clear: The company will reportedly bundle the music subscription service into iOS next year. The service will remain a subscription service after it becomes part of the operating system, the Financial Times reported. Financial Times’ sources said that the Beats service could be integrated into iOS as soon as March. Today, music shoppers at iTunes can listen to music by buying songs from the iTunes Store or by streaming them through (not very popular) iTunes Radio. Beats would add a third option. The move would make Apple a direct competitor of Spotify, the market-leading music subscription service today.
After months and months of testing, Google has just officially launched the mobile-friendly label in the mobile search results. In an effort to help mobile searchers know which sites they may click on are mobile-friendly versus which ones are not, Google has added a text label under the URL in the snippet that reads “Mobile-friendly” as the first part of the search result’s snippet. Google said it can be a “frustrating experience for our mobile searchers” to end up on a web page that is not mobile-friendly, thus they are adding the label to their mobile search results to communicate this to the searcher.
Three billion people will have access to the internet by 2018, marking the point where the web truly becomes “worldwide”, according to projections from eMarketer. The firm found that the internet’s user base will rise by 6.2 per cent to 42.4 per cent of the entire world’s population by 2015. By 2018, this will rise to 42.4 per cent with around 3.6 billion people able to access the internet at least once a month. Additional data suggested that this year Brazil will overtake Japan as the country with the fourth largest internet population.
In a reflection of how quickly marketers have embraced beacon technology, 18 percent report that they are using beacons today in tests or active deployments, according to new research from Adobe. Beacons and location awareness are adding another dimension to in-store digitization, with high expectations for their impact this holiday season. The research found that 55 percent of consumers find it useful to receive promotions on their mobile device while in a physical store.
Apple has launched WatchKit, the development platform for its debut smartwatch, which will be available to consumers sometime early next year. The Apple Watch at launch supports apps that include both a WatchKit extension on the iPhone connected to the device, and UI elements stored on the Watch itself. The iPhone runs the show, but the Apple Watch is sending output (like notifications) and receiving input (via taps or other actions) from the user. Developers interested can grab the Xcode 6.2 beta, as well as the iOS 8.2 SDK that includes WatchKit, and it also requires the iOS 8.2 beta to develop the WatchKit extensions for use on your phone.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.