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11 posts categorized "Android"

March 25, 2014

HTC One M8 Goes on Sale in UK

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HTC’s new smartphone went on sale today at several stores in London, ahead of a general release on March 27. International consumers will have to wait until April 11 to get their hands on the device.

The HTC One M8 was officially unveiled just one hour before it became available to shoppers at six Carphone Warehouse and three Phones 4U stores. A few handsets were also released at a press conference in New York.

The HTC One is being heralded as one of the best designs to hit the smartphone market to date. According to a press release published on the T-Mobile website, the HTC One has “the brainpower of a true superphone… [and] stunning hardware design.”

The device has two cameras on the back, allowing photographers to take shots capable of mimicking the depth-of-field control that was once the sole preserve of DSLR machines. Another winning feature is Motion Launch, which lets users quickly deploy their device without having to first unlock it. A phone call can be taken by putting the device to your ear; the camera can be activated simply by upending the phone and hitting the volume button. 

Despite all the bells and whistles, HTC’s new offering faces an uphill battle in terms of marketing. The company aims to make high end products capable of competing with iPhones. To a certain extent, they’ve achieved that with the HTC One, but they lack two key things that Apple has in spades: a fanatic, loyal customer base, and an app store that rules the roost.

That’s not to say HTC doesn’t have potential. For every hardcore Apple fanboy, there’s an open-source devotee who wouldn’t go near an iPhone if their house was burning down. And they’re precisely the same people who care more about design than market ubiquity. In that context, HTC has a place in the hearts of the anti-Apple brigade who don’t want to slum it with a Samsung device.

Whether there are enough of those people out there remains to be seen. In marketing terms, probably not. Few mobile marketing tactics include a pressing urge to reach out to HTC users – and their SMS messaging glitches are documented across the web. But for individual users with a taste for good design, and an antipathy towards good marketing, the HTC One could be the answer.

March 10, 2014

iOS vs. Android Users: Who Should Mobile Marketers Target?

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There’s nothing mobile marketers love more than a good scrap about the best operating system. Ever since the first generation Androids and iPhones emerged in 2007, their relative merits have been hotly disputed; you can usually tell which side of the debate a person will be on by the phone in their hand.

Of course, there is no easy answer to the ‘which is best?’ question. So much is subjective, and some Android (or iOS!) devotees will never be persuaded to change their personal preference, no matter how compelling the arguments for doing so are. Broadly speaking, iOS generates more revenue, but Android has a greater market share. Neither of these truths are going to help you create the right mobile marketing strategy.

The very fact that this debate has raged continuously since the smartphone boom took hold is indicative of the complexity of both operating systems. Deciding which device your mobile marketing strategy should focus on requires careful consideration of a whole range of metrics. Let’s take a close look at some of the factors at play:

US Performance

comScore report revealed 133.7 million people in the United States owned a smartphone during the first quarter of 2013. Android was ranked as the top smartphone platform, with 51.7% market share next to Apple’s 38.9%.

Similar results were gleaned from a Kantar Worldpanel Comtech report, which showed Android beating the iPhone by a 9% margin. It’s important to note, however, that the cut and thrust of the smartphone market means these figures are bouncing around on a daily basis.

Plus, device ownership is far from the full story when it comes to iOS vs. Android. Whilst the latter enjoys a greater number of customers, the former generates more money from online commerce. A Black Friday report conducted by IBM showed iOS users spent an average of $127.92 per order, compared to $105.20 spent by Android users. Android users accounted for 11% of ecommerce traffic, next to iPhone and iPad users’ 28.2%. These facts are of more relevance to your mobile marketing strategy than pure ownership.

Worldwide Performance

Phones supporting Android sell significantly better than iPhones in global markets. During the fourth quarter of 2012, Android had a 70% share, compared with 21% for iOS. If your business is global, you should adjust your mobile marketing strategy accordingly as such a marked difference in ownership levels undoubtedly supersedes the greater online spending conducted on Apple’s devices (which remains true internationally).

Tablets

Mobile marketing solutions targeting tablets should always differ from those targeting smartphones, because people use them in different ways. Apple’s iPad outperforms Android tablets and, again, ecommerce revenues are greater for the former.

Apps

According to data collected by Canalys, just over 50% of all app downloads in the first quarter of 2013 were for Android, with iOS taking the lion’s share (40%) of the remainder. What this means for your mobile marketing strategy depends on the type of business you run, so study your market closely. Find out which apps your customers regularly use and, if building your own app, create one for both operating systems.

Web Use

Apple rules the roost in terms of web use, with a 60.1 % share (according to NetMarketShare). Android lags with 24.9%, which, considering there are more Android devices out there, corroborates the evidence for iOS users being significantly more active online.

Overall, it’s important not to draw too many conclusions from the wealth of data on which device performs the best. When devising mobile marketing tactics, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We’re talking Apples and oranges (or rather, Apples and Androids) – so come up with a separate mobile marketing strategy for each, especially if your business has a global reach.

 

February 19, 2014

The Foundation of Mobile Marketing: 3 Key Solutions

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It’s been almost 10 years since smartphones and subsequently mobile apps were introduced to the world, thus revolutionizing the marketing industry in a way few expected. While numerous mobile marketing solutions are available for companies to utilize, three stand out as the best strategies for securing prospects and maintaining relationships with current clients. So what are these solutions, and what makes them so effective? 

Responsive Web Design

A somewhat new solution regarding mobile marketing tactics, response web design is defined as tailoring the layout and function of a website based on device screen size and viewing capabilities. Whether viewing site content from a laptop, smartphone or tablet, responsive web design allows for easy viewing minus distortions and other issues that crop up when browsing a site that does not include this feature. Responsive web design only requires one code and one content management system (CMS), making it easy to add new features, publish new content and fix site issues. A website optimized for any device also allows for much more traffic and overall site use.

Mobile Apps 

The development of mobile apps created a whole new way for businesses to market themselves. Mobile marketing campaigns continue to get bigger, better and more personalized, as they make staying in touch with users easy. Whether to employ native or hybrid apps depends on a company’s mobile marketing strategy, as native options are built solely for a specific operating system, such as an Android or iOS, while hybrid apps were created for use across numerous operating systems.

No matter which app version a company decides to use, it’s imperative that the app serve a practical purpose or otherwise feature a unique function the user won’t find anywhere else. A fantastic example is any shopping app, as it allows users to scan barcodes for quick and easy order and reorder of favorite products. Mobile apps are an ideal way to increase brand awareness and cement customer loyalty, even if the business generates a lot of traffic via their official website. 

Dedicated Mobile Website

Key mobile marketing tactics also include the dedicated mobile website, or when a site is optimized entirely for mobile use. This mobile marketing strategy is highly effective when a business is looking to analyze customer engagement and activity, but the company website isn’t fully operational or still in the “revamp” stage. An effective way to test proverbial waters, dedicated mobile websites let businesses know to what degree they will benefit from mobile marketing campaigns.

Whether using one or all of these mobile marketing solutions, it’s important to remember mobile internet usage continues to increase. Employ such solutions in mobile marketing campaigns and see if they don’t help business!

 

February 07, 2014

Mobile Advertising: The Tale of Two Marketing Paths

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The mobile apps market today is enormous. On the surface, this seems like an incredible, straightforward opportunity to earn a profit. The only problem is, while consumer demand for mobile apps is great, today's consumer is less and less likely to be willing to pay for them. Mobile marketers who want to get involved in the mobile app business, then, are left with two options. On the one hand, they could build and develop their own standalone app; the other option they have is to work within apps that people already have, strategically placing their mobile advertising there.

Option One: App Development

The first concern when talking about developing your own standalone app is the cost. While it is true that the expense, in total, of developing an app will depend on the type you are considering, a mobile app is generally expensive to build from the ground up, given that the process includes everything from coming up with the idea to layout and planning, to design, to making the app go live. In other words, there are many costs – associated with not only development but also design and IT architecture; one must also consider the percent of every sale that Apple or any other vendor would keep.

Alternatively, while it is possible to buy source code for less (cutting out much of the work you will need to put in), paying less in the app development process will almost always mean having far less control over the process. This can be tricky when your goal is to create something engaging that users will really want.

 

Option Two: Advertising on an App

Marketing an app for free, on the other hand, requires support through ads. Mobile marketing applications today are extremely sophisticated, using tools such as location-targeting to show consumers the most relevant ads based on how they show up via GPS, Apple's iBeacon, or any other app analytics tool. Another strategy, called deep linking, lets ads see whether consumers already have a specific app on their phones – and then directs the consumer to a specific page. If, for instance, a consumer in search of a spring jacket already has a specific department store's app, then the ad would direct him or her to the spring jacket section within the store's app, or to an ad for a spring jacket sale, thus generating increased revenue.

Of course, the question of how consumers react to such extremely specific marketing is a big one – and must be considered carefully. Increased brand awareness and brand sentiment is a great thing if the consumer appreciates the usefulness of such seamless targeting. If seemingly “mind-reading” advertising is not rolled out carefully, however, consumers could view these tactics as interruption marketing (on par with “pop-ups”) or spam – or, worse, they could view them as just plain “creepy” in an age when privacy breeches everywhere have customers on high alert. One suggested way of getting consumers to warm up to specific, highly targeted marketing is to first spend some time using targeting technology to offer freebies to consumers, thus increasing the feeling of goodwill and trust.

Mobile Marketing and the “Opt-In” Option

The great thing about SMS marketing is that it can require, by its very nature, an opt-in service – thus circumventing concerns about marketing tactics that might be perceived by the consumer as invasive. Users opt in because they not only expect but also want something of value from the company – and therefore they expect and want to receive marketing collateral. In this sense, SMS texts are actually less invasive than the older pop-up tactic or ad-heavy, overly-branded apps.

The truth is that mobile technology presents great opportunities for the marketing of mobile apps today. When it is approached carefully, the industry has an enormous opportunity to conveniently meet consumer needs and desires – while also safeguarding consumer trust.

 

February 06, 2014

Is HTML5 the Future of Mobile Apps?

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Mobile app development is currently dominated by Android and Apple, who have roughly an equal share of more than two-thirds of the market. But as the range of mobile devices on offer increases, HTML5 apps that work on all devices are becoming more appealing, both to users and developers. Apple’s native apps are still out in front in terms of quality – but the gap is closing, as HTML5 apps constantly improve their user-friendliness and availability. So what’s the difference between native apps, like those offered by Apple and Android, and web apps? And how can HTML5 mobile app development help you improve your mobile marketing strategies?

Right now, the Apple App Store contains nearly three quarters of a million iPhone and iPad apps, all of which have to be completely re-coded to work on another device. Web apps are built using standard coding such as HTML5, which allows them to run on virtually any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser. They will work on iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindles, Windows – and, importantly for start-ups, any new platform that may be launched in the future.

Not only do web apps work equally well on any platform, they are cheaper and quicker to produce than native apps. The only reason native apps are still overwhelmingly used is because Apple’s unstoppable development department stole a march on competitors very early on, and currently offer a superior experience to most similar HTML5 apps. This state of affairs won’t last for long.

One of the main reasons for mobile app development shifting towards HTML5 and other standards-based languages is the ease of open-source updates. Most iPhone users have experienced the frustration of being unable to update their app because they lack the latest iOS. Web apps, on the other hand, will practically never become outdated. Every time a user visits a website, they are loading the most recent version from the server. The simple action of visiting the site means you are viewing the latest version of that app.

There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before web apps present a realistic, mass-market alternative to native apps. Chief among them is the state-of-the-art hardware interfacing currently provided by (in particular) Apple. All iPhone apps are seamlessly integrated with the device’s hardware, allowing users to take advantage of the GPS, digital camera and accelerometer capabilities. Right now, web apps don’t have it so easy. Apple’s closed book isn’t likely to open itself to rival developers anytime soon, but as competitive pressure grows, most people expect that situation to change.

The other major feather in the Apple cap is the secure, easy payment process offered by the App Store. There are 400 million active iTunes accounts, each with stored credit card details, making consumer purchases extremely hassle-free. Web apps currently lack a similar consolidated payment system. Again, though, that is expected to change with time.

There’s little disagreement about the smoother, more polished look and feel of native apps. But there is also a consensus on some key advantages offered by web apps. The ever-changing nature of standards-based technology means that HTML6 is likely to do some significant catching up. Add to that the expense of building native apps, and the decreasing cost of developing web apps, and it’s easy to see how mobile marketing strategies will begin to gear themselves towards users that have jumped the mother ship Apple and are spreading their consumption across a wider range of smaller, more adaptive developers.

 

December 13, 2013

How to Make SMS Incentives Customers Can’t Refuse

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In an age of free content, we all know how vital mobile marketing incentives are to building brand loyalty. Text coupons, limited time offers, location-based deals – they’re all tried and tested strategies for incentivizing opt-ins. But what makes an incentive truly exciting? And how can you combine mobile marketing incentives with other marketing strategies to create a truly compelling campaign? Let’s answer some FAQs regarding mobile marketing incentives…

Which is better, buy-one-get-one-free or 50% off?

A recent study published in the Journal of Marketing found that students didn’t think there was difference between a 33% discount and 33% extra on an equally-priced item. It’s not just youngsters – research shows that most adult shoppers prefer buy-one-get-one-free offers to 50% discounts, despite the (obvious, right?) fact that the discount is always the better offer (presuming the starting price is the same). In short, consumers generally get the math wrong. You can rely on that fact. For your business, buy-one-get-one-free is better, and the customers think it is too. Your scruples can do the rest.

Do I have to give stuff away?

Yes, accept this reality and start offering something genuinely compelling in return for signing up to your list. Use SMS coupons to offer new customers a freebie for joining your contact list. It’s a long-term strategy – but it really works. 

How often should I offer mobile marketing incentives?

Text your customers too much and they’ll simply unsubscribe. Dole out mobile discounts in a piecemeal fashion and you can intersperse your brand message without provoking ire. Finding that threshold between value and annoying is an art, and it’s different for every industry. There’s no point in a car dealership sending weekly messages with mobile discounts on new vehicles. If you’re running a restaurant, on the other hand, there’s every chance that monthly text coupons will pay off. Analyze your industry and discover the sweet spot.  

What should my message say?

A lot of smartphones only show the first line of a text, so it’s important to get the message over in the first 30-60 characters. Lead with the special offer. Announce the ‘50% off’ part of the message first, then leave the qualifications for the opened text. Remember, there’s no small print in text coupons, so keep those qualifications to a minimum. Make it simple, concise with a clear call to action, and you’ll reap the rewards of text marketing discounts just as much as your customers.

October 26, 2013

New iOS 7 Features Every Mobile Marketer Needs to Know

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Billed as the “most significant change to the mobile operating system since our first iOS platform,” Apple’s iOS7 is a lesson in refinement. It has evolved from its predecessor in some surprising ways, and cuts a sleek, almost Spartan dash, with a clutch of new features, a pared-down interface and a liberal sprinkling of the best facets of rival smartphones, including Google’s Android.

The most obvious changes are the migration of the search feature from the swipe left screen to the home screen, and the revamped app switching capability – both big improvements. There is the usual slew of new mobile apps, most notably the addition of iTunes Radio, which marks Apple’s first foray into the internet radio streaming market. The updated Siri has ironed out most of the creases that bugged iOS 6, and Safari has had a pleasing touch-up that does more than tread water.

All told, there are 200 new features, some of which don’t reveal themselves immediately. Once again, Apple has pulled off the neat trick of surprising and delighting its users. But what implications does the new design have for iPhone mobile marketing strategists? Will iOS 7 change the way iPhone campaigns are run? There are two key features that could hold the answer: AirDrop and iBeacon, both of which open up exciting opportunities for location-targeted marketing.

Desktop users have been waiting a long time for AirDrop to be added to Apple’s mobile devices. The ability to share files with selected contacts over Wi-Fi is clearly beneficial for the average smartphone owner, and as a marketing tool it provides a smooth, costless way to transmit information. Expect ‘AirDrop’ to become a verb at expos, conventions and trade fairs up and down the country.

AirDrop is a particularly exciting development for businesses that have a need to send information too large or otherwise unsuitable for a text. Maps, videos, games, surveys, literature – anything that previously required an email can now be done directly over WiFi. Large department stores or malls can even track the whereabouts of customers who have logged on and gain valuable insight into their shopping habits.

With so many potential applications, AirDrop promises to play a part in any iPhone mobile marketing campaigns, but when it comes to in-store customer relations, iBeacon is where it’s at. Using Bluetooth, iBeacon can identify customers who are lingering in one location for too long and may need help, match loyalty offers with customers (rather than sending one-size-fits-all coupons) and do away with clunky QR codes altogether.

It’s not all been plain sailing for iOS 7. There have been glitches with iMessage, Apple’s internet texting service, and the company’s online support forum has had a steady stream of complaints about messages failing to send. Teething problems aside, iMessage will prove immensely useful to anyone currently conducting an iPhone SMS marketing campaign, as bulk texts can be send from and to anywhere in the world for free.

Between iMessage, AirDrop and iBeacon, iOS 7 has opened up a truckload of possibilities for imaginative iPhone mobile marketing managers. The benefits will not be fully felt until customers upgrade to the new OS and start catching on to the new toys in the box. At that point, customer relations will have reached a level of sophistication that only Apple will know how to best.

December 24, 2012

Check Out Our 2012 Mobile Year In Review

Our 2011 Mobile Review was one of the most popular features we've ever published, so we knew we had to follow up with something even better this year. We think you'll enjoy our recap for this year: 18 Mobile Stories That Mattered In 2012.

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We break down the 18 most important stories that shaped the mobile world in 2012, from the Apple Maps fiasco to the explosion of mobile ad revenue (even at now-public Facebook!). Check out the 18 Mobile Stories That Mattered In 2012 now.

August 24, 2011

Android Malware Is On The Rise

McAfee is reporting a huge spike in Android malware. As you might have guessed iOS is largely unaffected:

Malware on Android is growing rapidly enough that it's now by far the most targeted platform, McAfee said in a new study (below). The number of viruses, trojans, and other rogue pieces of code aimed at Google's platform shot up 76 percent this past spring to reach 44. While small compared to Windows, it was three times the volume of the one-time leader, Java ME, which was at 14.

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Apple, meanwhile, remained unaffected, with no active malware that could attack a stock iPhone. The only known recorded instances so far have been four attacks on jailbroken devices that were all variants of each other. Of the major platforms, only the outgoing and much smaller webOS had the same perfect track record.

And for those of you installing 'SMS' apps, please be careful:

Some of the examples of Android malware, such as Smsmecap and Toplank, are masquerading as legitimate apps. Many of them are badged as "crimeware" that tries to profit off the user by sending premium rate text messages and effectively stealing the target's money. On other platforms, like the BlackBerry and Symbian, paid SMS attacks have also appeared in smaller volumes.

Read more at Electronista.

August 16, 2011

What Does The Google Motorola Deal Mean For Other Handset Makers?

Chantel Tode at Mobile Marketer looks at the question - Will Google, Motorola deal disrupt the OEM landscape? 

While Google executives said this week that Android handset manufacturers will be treated equally even though the company is acquiring Motorola, the possibility remains that OEMs will take a closer look at other operating systems.

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While offering Android as an open system at little or no cost to license has been an important factor in its growth, the deal withMotorola points to the success of the Apple formula of owning the entire mobile experience.

“The most successful players in the smartphone market have been those who control the entire experience – from platform, to hardware to services,” said Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, New York.

“Only Microsoft remains as the only mobile platform provider without direct ownership of a hardware arm that designs and produces mobile phones,” he said.

Buying a handset manufacturer gives Google a similar degree of control over Android that Apple has with iOS.

Conceivably, the deal with Motorola means that Android will now go into smartphones that bear Google’s own seal of approval and can be marketed as the gold standard for Android, per Mr. Burden.

While Google says it will continue to treat other handset manufacturers equally despite having acquired Motorola, there are advantages to be gained from Google and Motorola working together in some areas.

Head over to Mobile Marketer for the full analysis.