Back in December, I explained: "Surface RT sales are quite good, you just don't know about it". The Internet Idiocracy called the tablet a failure, while based on sales per store I saw success. Surface Pro shipped the following month. Now there are real numbers, and they're quite good -- for all Windows tablets -- validating touch-focused Modern UI.
During first quarter, Windows captured 7.5 percent global branded tablet market share, according to Strategy Analytics. That's up from zero a year earlier. Unit shipments: 3 million. Right now, Microsoft is the major seller of branded Windows tablets. Granted there are others, like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Samsung.
Gmail shows little sign of becoming any less popular, but any iOS user will find that dealing with a Gmail account on an Apple device is not the most pleasant experience. Mailbox was released to help address this fact and proved so popular that newcomers were greeted by a lengthy waiting list before they could get started. The app has now been updated in a number of key areas and, perhaps most importantly, anyone is free to jump right in and get started without the need to wait on a reservation list.
This is obviously great news for people who have been waiting to try out the app, but there is also plenty for existing users to take advantage of. One of the major standout features of the app from its inception was the way in which emails could be dealt with using little more than a swipe; swipe one way to delete or mark as read, and the other way to snooze.
Marissa Meyer is bringing big changes to Yahoo and one of them is apparently getting the old search site back into the public focus with new mobile apps. That process begins today in the world of both Apple and meteorology -- fitting since tornado and thunderstorm season is getting underway and hurricanes are on the horizon.
Today the company announces a sleek new weather app that is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch -- uninspiringly named "Yahoo! Weather App". Marco Wirasinghe claims the new app will "bring together beautiful images from our Flickr community to show you current local conditions, with all the details you want to know about the forecast".
If you don’t look after your computer, it will start to slow down and misbehave. Smartphones too can get clogged up and begin to lag as the amount of storage space and available memory starts to diminish with use.
There are lots of good, free apps available that you can use to make sure your Android (or iOS) device is running at peak performance. Here are some of the more recent.
Popular business-oriented social network LinkedIn has unveiled new mobile apps for Android and iOS, touting a "brand new mobile phone experience, completely revamped with the general professional and everyday use case in mind". This comes a day after LinkedIn updated its Windows Phone 8 app, with major new features.
However, unlike the Windows Phone 8 app which offers a similar user experience as before, LinkedIn for Android and iOS sports an overhauled UI (User Interface) that is both more modern as well as better looking. Gone are the darker colors of before as lighter ones take their place instead.
Facebook has released Facebook for iOS 6.0, a major update for its iPhone and iPad app. The major new feature in version 6 is the introduction of "chat heads", which allow users to chat from anywhere in the app -- this feature isn’t yet universally available, but should be rolled out to all users "soon", according to Facebook.
Chat heads are small circular icons representing both individual chatters and Facebook Messages. The chat head appears automatically when receiving a message, or can be manually set up by tapping the contact’s name in the contacts list.
My favorite exercise companion, Zombies, Run!, has just received its promised free upgrade and is available now on both iOS and Android (I’m such a fan I’ve downloaded both).
The immersive app, which basically turns a real-world run into a fear-filled journey through the zombie apocalypse, is ideal for anyone who struggles with motivation and is a bit like a radio play that takes place through your headphones as you run, with the gripping story -- and the occasional zombie chase -- unfolding in between tracks from your playlist.
SugarSync, Inc has released SugarSync for iOS 4.0, a major new release for iPad and iPhone owners wishing access to their SugarSync cloud storage on the move. Version 4.0 features a major redesign designed to simplify syncing and sharing, plus integrates with other apps through the "Open in" feature.
The update also adds support for Device Filtering, a feature recently introduced in the SugarSync 2.0.9 desktop app for Windows and Mac, along with Cloud Search, and promises future support for folder labels.
When you pick up your iPad, it’s usually with a purpose in mind. You might want to see how many new emails you have, you need to check RSS feeds, or you want to have a scan through Twitter. Each of these activities requires an individual app, and that means that you need to hunt down the relevant shortcut on the home screen. But Status Board could change all that, by displaying the data you need to see in a handy dashboard that gives you a great overview of your data.
This is a handsome app that almost feels as though it would be more at home on an Android tablet -- it could be adapted into a perfect alternative launcher -- but at the moment is only available for iPad users. There is a slightly retro feel to the app, which enables you to configure a series of customizable panels to display a selection of data.
Second in a series. Out of fairness, I follow up my long analysis "The enterprise will never embrace Apple" with some advice for the company. There's room in the enterprise if only Apple made more effect. None of these suggestions is outside the reach of CEO Tim Cook and the core leadership.
Perhaps Apple stays out of the enterprise game because the top brass knows that they have little expertise in the general directions that big business is heading. Their lack of desire (or capability) for true Active Directory integration, for example, is already public knowledge. When it comes to virtualization and the move to virtual desktops, Apple has no public strategy for allowing (or supporting) such an infrastructure on OS X devices, at least first party. To put it plainly, Apple's overall game plan for cozying up to the wants of enterprise is nearly nonexistent.
First in a series. If there is one company that clearly doesn't care about the corporate world, it is Apple. As iOS continues to forge flagship status as Apple's core offering, OS X gets second-class-citizen treatment in every possible way from the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. While the enterprise reluctantly builds out BYOD (bring your own device) initiatives to support usage of Apple devices at the workplace, this is a far stretch from openly embracing iOS or OS X as viable corporate platforms. Apple's presence in the boardroom is due to bottom-up organic acceptance as opposed to top-down purposeful planning.
By even conservative estimates, the enterprise IT market is massive, and growing steadily as the recession continues to recede. IDC recently pinned US corporate IT spending for 2013 at $474 billion, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. And globally, Gartner says that this figure is closer to $2.679 trillion, which represents a 2.5 percent year over year bump. Yet while Apple's sales in phones and tablets continues to stay consistently solid, the company's attitude towards enterprise hasn't changed one bit. For lack of a better description, top Apple executives just "don't care".
The Apple-Google duopoly so dominates app downloads there is little room for BlackBerry and Windows Phone
Mobile app store downloads from the four major stores -- Apple, BlackBerry, Google and Microsoft -- reached 13.4 billion in first quarter, generating $2.2 billion revenue, according to Canalys. Combined, revenue from new sales, in-app purchases and subscriptions grew 9 percent from fourth quarter, while number of downloads climbed by 11 percent.
There are a half-dozen measures that mark successful platforms, with money being the most important. Developers typically go where they earn more. That's preface to a fascinating juxtaposition partly explaining developer preference for iOS, even though more Android devices ship and cumulative sales (750 million to 500 million) are larger. Google Play accounted for 51 percent of downloads during Q1. But Apple's App Store generated 74 percent of the revenue. Ponder those numbers for a moment.
Today, Gartner offers grim prognostications for the PC's future, which is not surprising. That the analyst firm took so long disturbs and reveals much about how all these consultants seek to preserve client contracts before anything else. I've warned for years that connected-devices would diminish the personal computer's relevance, much like the mainframe's decline three decades ago. The PC era is over, as I asserted here 26 months ago. On Halloween 2008, I asked in a Microsoft Watch post: "Will your next PC be a smartphone?" What took Gartner so long? The "new device religion" analysis still misses the mark, too.
Following IDC's lead, Gartner now combines PCs, smartphones and tablets into a single forecast. By that measure, in 2012, Android worldwide device shipments (497 million) exceeded Windows (346.5 million) and will more than double (to 1.07 billion) by 2014. Analysts warn the operating system that defined the PC era will struggle with Apple iOS and OS X to be the second dominant platform. By many measures, the circumstance looks grim for Microsoft and Windows, and that's already the popular sentiment today among blog posts and news stories about Gartner's forecast. Don't believe them.
Microsoft continues to match development pace with Google, releasing today yet another app update. SkyDrive 3.0 for iOS follows many other recent releases, including Outlook.com Calendar (this week), Windows 8/RT Mail, Calendar and People apps (last week) and SkyDrive (mid-March), among others.
In my news analysis about the new Windows 8/RT core apps, I asserted: "It's a new Microsoft", explaining how the company has greatly picked up the pace of new product development -- something also seen in Windows Blue, which I expect to ship less than a year after the great 8. A day following my analysis, Frank Shaw, Microsoft corporate communications chief, said that "continuous development cycle is the new normal across Microsoft", which is consistent with reinvention as the "devices and services" company that CEO Steve Ballmer described last year.
Say, Google, do you feel a sharp burning sensation in your back? That's the knife Samsung just plunged in. Ouch! The twisting motion must really hurt.
Mozilla and Samsung are collaborating on a new mobile web browsing engine, Servo, which success would offer huge benefits to both companies. Apple and Google dominate mobile devices with their respective WebKit browsers, largely shutting out Firefox from the most important device category since the PC. Incumbency is an advantage, with browsers preinstalled on Android and iOS. Users must download rival products, and many don't. Meanwhile the South Korean electronics giant accounted for nearly 43 percent of all Android smarthphone sales in fourth quarter, according to Gartner. The company controls the broader user experience via TouchWiz UI, but Google controls the browser.