Articles about "Android"

Publishers can finally sell digital subscriptions on Android devices

Android Developers | Open Signal Maps
Publishers and other app developers can now sell subscriptions with recurring payments through their Android apps. For the past year Android developers could conduct one-time transactions, such as single-issue sales, through in-app purchases. But only now can Android users authorize automatic monthly or annual payments for a subscription.

Apple has offered in-app subscriptions on iOS devices since February 2011. Just like Apple, Google will process subscription payments and take a 30 percent cut.

The change could improve the profitability of developing for Android, which has more users than iOS but has generated less sales revenue. Google says 23 of the 24 top-grossing apps in its market already use in-app billing, and the revenue from in-app purchases exceeds revenue from paid app downloads. Read more


Amazon, Kindle Fire users buying lots of content through apps

Flurry | China Economic News Service
More evidence that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is pulling far ahead of other Android-powered tablets: A study finds the average Amazon app store user spent almost four times more money on in-app purchases than a user of Google’s standard Android app store. Mobile analytics company Flurry measured purchases through popular apps available across iTunes, Google Play and Amazon:

Meanwhile, a report out of Taiwan says Amazon is preparing to roll out three new Kindle Fire models this year — a “low-end” model like the current one, another 7-inch model with higher screen resolution, and a high-end model with a larger 8.9-inch screen.

Related: Personalized news aggregator Zite launches Android app (Zite) | Smartphones are half of all U.S. mobile phones, and growing fast (Nielsen) || Earlier: Tablet ownership nearly doubled in January (Poynter) Read more

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How will we reinvent news for Google’s new augmented-reality eyeglasses?

The New York Times | 9to5 Google
Nick Bilton reports Google will be selling eyeglasses with an embedded digital display by the end of the year. What kinds of new news products and sources will emerge to fit this new class of devices?

Bilton’s sources say the Android-powered headsets will cost “around the price of current smartphones.” They’ll have a small screen on the side of the viewing area, wireless Internet access, and sensors like GPS, an accelerometer and a front-facing camera to “monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby.” This description sounds similar to the glasses envisioned by Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan in “The Storm Collection,” their vision of a future when digital information overlays every part of the real world. Read more


The Guardian goes mobile with Kindle, iPad, Android editions

Inside Blog
The Guardian is expanding on mobile platforms, says mobile editor Subhajit Banerjee. The company has launched the Guardian and Observer Kindle edition, which wirelessly downloads the newspaper to a subscriber’s e-reader each day. Mobile Web traffic is now 10 percent of total digital traffic, and the iPhone app has been downloaded over 400,000 times. Coming next is an iPad app, which seeks to “redesign the newspaper exclusively in tablet form” with a single daily edition specifically curated for the iPad audience. Also coming soon is a Guardian Android app and a new product for the HP TouchPad called Guardian Zeitgeist, which I expect will resemble its trending-topics Web product by the same name. || Earlier: Guardian announces a digital-first strategy, significant print layoffs Read more


Tablet options proliferate for publishers, but Apple maintains control

In mostly separate announcements over the past two weeks, Google, Motorola, Time Warner, HP and Yahoo have all taken aim at Apple and its growing dominance of the digital tablet and mobile publishing markets.

But while the announcements are significant — an updated Android OS, several new digital tablets, a personalized news service, and tablet magazine subscriptions — even in aggregate none seem positioned to challenge Apple or the iPad in the short-term.

Google’s new Honeycomb OS — also known as Android 3.0 — was unveiled on Feb. 2. The new OS is designed specifically to support touch-screen tablets, the first version of Android to do so.

The early reviews of Honeycomb are good. But its success is dependent on manufacturers building tablets that can compete with the iPad on features, and as importantly, on price.

The first tablet to launch with the new OS will sell for $800, which is $300 more than the least expensive iPad. The tablet itself — the Motorola Xoom — looks very competitive, except for its cost.

For most consumers the higher price is a non-starter. Android tablets will need to be priced under $500 to take on the iPad and to become a serious platform for periodical subscriptions.

However, publishers looking for alternatives to Apple’s restrictive ecosystem do not want to wait. Last week, Time Warner disclosed plans to offer magazine subscriptions on both Android and HP mobile devices.

Time Warner’s first announcement was in conjunction with HP’s unveiling of two new smart phones and a tablet. The devices all run the mobile WebOS developed by Palm Inc. and acquired by HP last year.

Staci Kramer reported in paidContent that Time, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated will be available on the HP devices when they are released. As Kramer noted, Time Warner titles sold on the iPad are still only available as individual issues, not by subscription.

News Corp.’s The Daily, which also launched this month, does allow recurring subscriptions via iTunes. Apple has indicated the service will be extended to other publishers but has not yet announced a date or specific terms for its use.

On Thursday, Russell Adams reported in The Wall Street Journal that Time Warner would also make Sports Illustrated available by subscription on Android devices. Adams wrote the magazine will be offered in “multiple subscription offerings that offer various combinations of the magazine in print and electronic form.”

Publishers are increasingly turning to similar “read anywhere” strategies to attract and retain subscribers. A common complaint about iPad magazines is that readers are currently expected to pay separately for print and tablet editions.

At Forbes, Jeff Bercovici writes that Sports Illustrated’s subscriptions, bundling print and digital platforms, will be available on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, as well as Android smart phones for $4.99 a month or $48 a year.

Yahoo also jumped into the mobile publishing fray last week with Yahoo Livestand, a “personalized newsstand” that intends to offer content from a variety of digital magazines.

Yahoo is describing Livestand less as an “app” and more as a platform that provides tools for publishers to reach audiences on mobile devices. The product will launch initially for the iPad with Honeycomb and smart phone support to follow.

Yahoo’s approach here is to aggregate multiple magazine titles onto one platform, and then serve content to the reader based on personalization features and preferences.

Publishers will be able to offer subscriptions to their content, but it is not clear how that capability would integrate with Apple’s forthcoming iTunes subscription program. Read more


2011′s breakout terms in Mobile Media predict the year to come in phones, tablets

This Mobile Media blog turned a year old on Jan. 21, 2010. It started with a write-up of a blog post by Chip Oglesby: “Newspapers need to connect their content to smart devices, location awareness.” More than 1,000 other updates followed.

Typically, such an anniversary could call for a list of the most popular stories from the last year, as well as a cogent analysis of the state of the industry. But I did those just before the new year:

So instead, let’s look back and forward, with the help of a Wordle tag cloud of the headlines of the last year:

(Click to enlarge)

In case you couldn’t guess, we cover mobile a lot here. The word dominated our headlines (274 times), making them both descriptive and SEO-friendly.

The iPad (273 times), Apple and apps all saw their fair share of coverage as well. One word that seems a bit overrepresented to me is may at 41 times. But as’s Managing Editor Steve Myers pointed out, that reflects the uncertain state of mobile in many newsrooms.

On the other hand, a few terms seem under-represented. Revenue is in there, though small, and Android (32 times) ranks about evenly with Foursquare and Google. Despite the recent burst of iPhone-related news, Verizon appeared in headlines only 12 times, although AT&T didn’t appear at all.

So which terms are likely to trend in our 2011 headlines? Many of the same, of course, as Apple releases a new iPhone and iPad and Google’s Android continues to compete in the smart phone and tablet markets.

So, here are my 10 predictions for 2011′s breakout terms — the devices, companies and issues that didn’t top the list in 2010 but are increasingly important for mobile-related journalism:

  • The Daily
  • Next Issue Media
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Subscription
  • Revenue
  • Video
  • Amazon
  • Location
  • 4G
  • Mobile payments

Of course, a year ago the iPad didn’t even have a name yet, so the list is sure to change. Read more


RJI project tests and rates mobile journalism tools, from apps to hardware

The mobile landscape is changing fast, says Will Sullivan, and journalists need help keeping up.

Figuring out which apps to use can be a challenge, not to mention picking a phone. Aside from deciding between two iPhones (Verizon or AT&T) there are also dozens of Android models across multiple wireless carriers.

This environment demands that editors and managers become more informed and able to respond more quickly to new mobile technologies.

From his time as the interactive director of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sullivan understands the challenges of mobile reporting first-hand. He spent part of last summer visiting other newspapers in the Lee Enterprises chain and training staffers on mobile tools.

While working with those newsrooms, Sullivan said, he could not find a good, one-stop resource for journalists focused on mobile gear and apps. So when he became a fellow at the University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute last fall, his first project was to create that resource: the Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide, which officially was launched in December.

Sullivan talked to me about the blog and the focus of his fellowship, the journalistic use of mobile tools.

Sullivan and a small group of student reviewers have so far tested and reviewed more than 75 apps, accessories and Web services — everything from audio editing tools to batteries to tripods. Each review includes the price, a rating and a short description focused on potential newsroom uses.

For instance, Andrew Dumas road tested the Blue Mikey external iPhone microphone, giving it a “recommended” rating:

“In a quiet room, this thing sounds clear as crystal. It’s light, it’s small, it’s fairly durable, you’re not going to break it by storing it in a pocket while you travel.”

Addressing the variety of photo editing apps available for the iPhone, Jennifer Elston picked Photogene as her favorite, writing:

“It is very simple, yet effective. It does everything that you would want to do to edit your photos in a journalistic function and then some.”

And testing out portable keyboards, Amanda Heisey found that the foldable Freedom Pro was not perfect, but it did beat trying to type on an iPhone or Android’s touch screen:

“The keyboard is a little cramped because of the folding, so it does take a little getting used to. It’s not a big problem, but it is annoying at first.”

Sullivan said he hopes the site, which has also been converted into a downloadable PDF, will be a useful guide for the industry.

Of course, identifying the tools is only the first step. The best way for journalists to learn is to actually use mobile devices in their reporting, he said. To do that, editors must get mobile technology into their newsrooms.

Journalists are “more engaged when they have [a smart phone] as their personal device,” Sullivan said. “Even if it is just a select few people – maybe the photographers or breaking news reporters” to start.

Looking ahead, Sullivan just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which he described as a “cornucopia” of Android tablets. Among the devices he’s watching this year are the newly announced Motorola Xoom tablet as well as the Motorola Atrix 4G smart phone.

A key part of making the guide relevant for newsrooms is identifying tools that not only function well, but fit specific job descriptions, Sullivan said. So this semester, reviewers will address the question, “Who would this tool be ideal for?” The answer is changing rapidly as smart phones and tablets evolve.

Reflecting on the devices he saw at CES, Sullivan said, “It was really amazing to see a demo and wrap your head around how these mobile phone devices are powerful enough to work as a desktop computer replacement, multimedia media center, as well as a mobile phone.” Read more