Mobile

The Apps You Should Really Be Concerned About with Your Privacy

After examining maps showing the locations extracted by their apps, Ms. Lee, the nurse, and Ms. Magrin, the teacher, immediately limited what data those apps could get. Ms. Lee said she told the other operating-room nurses to do the same.“I went through all their phones and just told them: ‘You have to turn this off. You have to delete this,’” Ms. Lee said. “Nobody knew.”

Source: Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret – The New York Times

Everyone is afraid of what Google and Facebook “know” about them and how much information they’re sharing with these services because of poor media coverage.

While those two services need to be investigated and questioned, it’s the “bottom half” of the advertising industry connected to seemingly innocent apps that you install on your mobile device to give you the weather or locations of gas or local sports scores that are really the most alarming in how they treat your personal location data.

Good report here by the NY Times (we need more of this type of journalism in the tech-sphere).

Why doesn’t turning off Bluetooth on iOS actually turn off Bluetooth?

Another reason I tend to prefer Android is the ability to control things on a granular level. Does every user of a mobile device need that? Certainly not. Is Apple “wrong” for this “feature” design? That’s debatable.

But it’s interesting to see how Android and iOS continue to develop along their own trajectories when it comes to designing software for the Lowest Common Denominator of users…

Users can still completely turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi by digging into the devices menu settings, but essentially the button does not do what a user can reasonably assume Apple says it does, and that’s because Apple doesn’t trust you. This decision is the next logical step for what has always been Apple’s design ethos: It thinks it knows what you want more than you do.

via Apple Doesn’t Trust You – Motherboard

FoxSports.com lost 88% of its pageviews after switching to all video

And true to expectation, that has shown up in the first substantially reported numbers about the traffic to FoxSports.com. SI’s Richard Deitsch reports that traffic dropped an astounding 88% since the “pivot to video.” Their traffic has gone from over 143 million in a monthly period to just under 17 million.

via FoxSports.com has reportedly lost 88% of its audience after pivoting to video

Wow.

Video is great for engagement (and ad dollars). However, it’s part of an overall approach that still includes text. People are more sensitive than ever to page load speeds and the actual “size” of a web page in terms of mobile data.

Use video, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket.

Using Video to Promote a Nonprofit

You should be using short form and live video (Periscope, Facebook Live, Snapchat) to promote your nonprofit’s efforts. It’s simple, easy, free, and can always be embedded back into your social media pages or website.

Plus, it drives engagement much better than text or pictures in 2017.

Interesting stats here…

“A whopping 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days”

via 17 Stats and Facts Every Marketer Should Know About Video Marketing

 

Spotify and Apple at odds

Spotify declined to comment; Apple hasn’t responded to request for comment.

For the past year, Spotify has argued publicly, and to various regulators in the U.S. and Europe, that Apple’s subscription policies effectively punish third-party music services that use Apple’s platform, while boosting Apple Music, the home-grown service it launched in June 2015.

Source: Spotify says Apple won’t approve a new version of its app because it doesn’t want competition for Apple Music – Recode

Well, this is not going to end well.

Churches and Nonprofits, It’s Time To Start Thinking About Your Messaging App

“In case there was any doubt that messaging apps were the future of communication in the mobile-first era, a new study released this morning puts some solid numbers behind their traction – and their increasing dominance over email, among today’s youngest users. According to a report from App Annie, email is effectively dying among this crowd. Those aged 13 to 24 now spend more than 3.5 times overall usage time in messaging apps than those over 45 years old, while the older users still default to apps that replicate desktop functions, like email and web browsers.

Source: Email is dying among mobile’s youngest users

Forget building out an iPhone or Android app for your group, organization, or church. We’re (re)entering the age of messaging. If you want to remain (or become) relevant, you’re going to have to have a presence there.

Fear not, there are some great services out there such as AppyPie or Chatfuel to help you configure your messaging app (currently only works with Telegram but coming soon to Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Kik, Viber, and Slack).

But yes, messaging is the next iteration of social networking / SMS / email / web communications as we transition rapidly to a mobile-first computing environment… old conventions such as web browsers or email clients aren’t going to be the center of that experience, and neither will traditional “one size fits all” apps. Or as Chatfuel’s site says, “Chatbots are the new apps.”

Your phone’s homescreen is dead; or how native advertising wins in the post-mobile world

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“Part of this will entail  a shift in advertising to permission-based advertising:  asking the consumer whether she wants to see an ad — which would be asking her if she wants to receive information — for a particular brand at the current time. The consumer will have the choice: yes, I’m in the supermarket and I want to see the weekly specials; or no, I’m driving and I only want to receive breaking news that’s relevant to my family. She would no longer be forced to page through or scroll through irrelevant ads to reach what she needs.”

Source: Notification: The Post App World Revealed – Ad Tech Daily

I’ve been doing a ton of work and research in what comes “after” mobile… meaning, what advertising and marketing looks like now that our mobile devices are being used more than our laptops and desktops.

Your iPhone will look dramatically different in a few short years. I don’t mean the physical part. I mean the part you’re interacting with at the level where you once opened an app to check your latest Facebook Like notifications or new emails. There will be little-to-no reliance on that grid of apps that you belovedly call your homescreen.

I’ve been using my iPhone and Android phones this way the last few weeks and it’s been transformative. I could never go back to relying on opening apps from a homescreen to receive, process, or even create information (more on that soon).

Google, Apple, and Facebook all understand that the “future” (as in the next few years) will be dominated by notifications.

Just to think, Twitter had it right with Track all those years ago. Shame they double clutched the ball.

Native / content – advertising / notifications win… adblockers plus notifications plus better ad technology means branding and advertising will conflate. It’s going to be wild. Put on your VR helmets!

Discovery marketing = notifications.

 

I Went Back to Android

I tried.

I bought an iPhone 5s in August and did everything I could to try and live in an Apple ecosystem full time (for science).

However, given the choice at the Verizon Store yesterday between an iPhone 6+ and a new Moto X, I took the Android path.

I don’t regret or second guess my decision one bit. I’m typing this now on my Moto X and I’m loving this phone so far. Its quite possibly the best mobile I’ve ever owned (given, it’s only been a day).

Why?

I’m in the Google cloud, I like to tinker, and I don’t like having the same phone as 90% of the people I see around me. Plus, I can run my life and business on this phone in ways that aren’t possible with iOS.

iPhone is great. It’s just not for me.

Looks Like Nexus Is Sticking Around (Thankfully)

I’m a huge fan of the Nexus line of Android phones and tablets that Google keeps producing with partners such as LG, Asus, HP, and Samsung.

These are devices that aren’t for the hoi polloi that wander into Best Buy and pick up a new iPhone because they think that’s the only smart phone on the market, but they are fantastic reference devices.

So, I’m glad to see this program sticking around…

You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think can can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.

via No, Google Isn't Going To Kill Its Nexus Devices – ReadWrite.

A/B Testing for Mobile Websites Webinar

Split testing is incredibly important as all good marketers know.

A/B split testing on mobile is extremely important as more marketers are realizing in 2013 and definitely into 2014. I came across this webinar this morning and thought I’d share as it’s always a good idea to hear tactics from others to improve conversions (especially in mobile):

In one hour, you’ll learn:

How the right mobile strategy can accelerate your marketing ROI

Key mobile web design elements that improve conversions

How to use mobile A/B testing to drive conversions through the roof

via A/B Testing for Mobile Websites: A Crash Course Webinar | Mobify.

Marco Arment’s Overcast

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Based on the current hotness that podcasting is going to experience in 2013 and 2014, Marco (founder of Instapaper and The Magazine) has a new podcast app:

I like some iOS podcast apps, but I don’t love any of them. So I’m making my own. It’ll be released when it’s ready. Maybe later this year.

via Overcast.

If you’re not doing podcasting, you’re missing out.

Microsoft Acquires Nokia

Android and Motorola vs Apple and iOS vs Microsoft … and … Nokia:

REDMOND, Washington and ESPOO, Finland – Sept. 2, 2013 – Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

via Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s devices & services business, license Nokia’s patents and mapping services.

Let’s see if this changes anything.

Favicon Cheat Sheet

Favicons have been handy for web browsers for years. However, with the proliferation of devices (not talking just computers and mobiles here), you need to keep up with your favicon optimization (never thought I’d type that). Here’s a nifty “cheat sheet” that walks you through proper sizes for everything from iOS and Android to the Chrome browser to GoogleTV and iPads…

Obsessive cheat sheet to favicon sizes/types

via audreyr/favicon-cheat-sheet · GitHub.

While there’s no demonstrable SEO gain to having a favicon on your site, it definitely helps if your affiliate or marketing site is in anyway brand related (there’s nothing worse than seeing the SquareSpace, BlueHost, Drupal etc default image in the navigation bar).

I can’t be the only person that finds this insanely useful.

Google’s Nexus 4 Sale; Nexus 5 Coming Soon?

If you’ve been wanting to switch over to Android but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, Google dropped the prices on their (fantastic) Nexus 4 phones (off-contract/unlocked) today:

Nexus 4 price drops by $100 on Google Play to $199 or $249 [updated] | Android Central: “The official Google Play Twitter account has just confirmed the ‘25% off or more’ sale for the Nexus 4 is active in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Korea, US and UK.”

Nexus 5 coming soon then? I think so…

Email Marketing Doing Well On Mobile

2013 is the year of the mobile device:

Mobile Takes an Increasing Share of Email Opens – eMarketer: “In May 2013, research from marketing solutions provider Harland Clarke Digital found that consumers primarily in the US used the desktop to open 55.2% of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing emails. The smartphone took one-quarter of email opens. And when adding in the tablet, mobile’s share of exclusive email opens rose to nearly one-third.”

Email marketing is still an indispensable tool for many businesses and is something you should integrate into your campaigns early.

Deconstructing Sharing

Insanely interesting and thorough user study from the fine folks at ShareThis:

Mobile vs Desktop: A Cross Device User Study « ShareThis Blog: “The data points above show that people engage with devices in patterns during the day, and that people engage with social channels on devices which better support their activities and content consumption.  For marketers, understanding the usage patterns and the connection between devices and social habits is an important part of managing the social communication between their brands and users.”

What’s perhaps most interesting is the stats about what devices account for more sharing (iPhone vs other platforms) and the breakdown of what type of content is shared the most on which device.

In simple terms: mobile matters a great deal in 2013 and that trend will only evolve to where mobile overtakes desktop traffic in the future.

Why Are Most Apps Free?

Interesting…

The History of App Pricing, And Why Most Apps Are Free: “Each time we download an app, we reveal a little bit about ourselves. A glance at the apps on your phone can indicate whether you are a fan of sports, gaming, or public radio, and whether you love to hike or cook or travel. But our choices of apps also reveal our individual tolerance for advertising, and how we feel about the trade-off between paying for content directly, or paying indirectly by (implicitly) agreeing to view ads.”

Make Sure Your Mobile Site Is Working Well or Get Penalized by Google

Google has so much to gain (and lose) on mobile as the web continues to evolve from the desktop to the device. Don’t get caught with a bad mobile site according to Google…

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Changes in rankings of smartphone search results: “This kind of redirect disrupts a user’s workflow and may lead them to stop using the site and go elsewhere. Even if the user doesn’t abandon the site, irrelevant redirects add more work for them to handle, which is particularly troublesome when they’re on slow mobile networks. These faulty redirects frustrate users whether they’re looking for a webpage, video, or something else, and our ranking changes will affect many types of searches.”

You don’t necessarily need to develop an app, but you should implement either responsive design or a design that allows for e-commerce to flow well on your site.

And no, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a mobile responsive site designer despite what designers might throw at you. There are so many fantastic resources to make your site more mobile friendly in 2013:

– If your site is on WordPress, do a quick Google search for “WordPress responsive design” and boom.

– If you have something of a website but are paying way too much for hosting (probably the case), check out SquareSpace. It’s dead simple.

– If you’re on Joomla, Expression Engine or some sort of variant of Drupal, don’t spend $30,000 a year. Demand better from your web developer or marketing agency. It seriously doesn’t cost that much to make a site responsive.

– If you have no idea what any of this means but you’re spending way too much on a poorly designed site, we’d love to chat.

Otherwise, if you have any questions, get in touch with us.

Mobile is your friend (and a better web is ours), so let’s all embrace it.

Google Dominates, Facebook Rises and Apple Snores

Impressive stats from Google as reported in a new eMarketer study…

Google Takes Home Half of Worldwide Mobile Internet Ad Revenues – eMarketer: “Google earned more than half of the $8.8 billion advertisers worldwide spent on mobile internet ads last year, helping propel the company to take in nearly one-third of all digital ad dollars spent globally, according to eMarketer’s first-ever figures on worldwide digital and mobile advertising revenues at major internet companies.”

Equally impressive is Facebook’s growth from a non-existent program in 2011 to having a small-but-significant chunk of mobile ad revenue in 2013 and beyond.

We’ll see if that holds as more competitors such as Twitter and Pandora (I did a double take there as well, but click through to see all the stats) continue to climb.

It’s no wonder why Apple wants to get into the mobile ad game.