Telefónica’s UK mobile operation, O2, on Tuesday said that its customers can now pay for items in the Google Play store through direct carrier billing —adding the cost of apps and content into their monthly bill or deducting it from their prepay credit.
A battle of the beats is brewing after it emerged that Google has acquired curated mobile music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. According to various sources on the web, Google has splashed out anything between $15m and $49m on the three year old startup.
As the Google I/O developer conference kicks off, a report has emerged charting the stellar growth of the Google Play app store over the past year. According to research and analytics firm App Annie, Google Play has steadily made gains as one of the largest app stores and app publishers are taking note, with the Google app store recently reaching over 1.5 million apps after adding 200,000 more in just six months.
Software developer Mozilla began repackaging Firefox OS applications for the Android OS this week as it continues to champion open web technologies. Android users can now install apps designed and built for Firefox OS from the Firefox Marketplace and have them behave as they would on Mozilla’s platform.
Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 group has successfully integrated Google Play direct carrier billing into the network of its Austrian subsidiary, 3 Austria. The company has already rolled out the system in Sweden, Ireland and Hong Kong, allowing apps and other digital goods such as books, music, games as well as the music streaming service Music All Access to be paid for via the mobile bill.
Microsoft agreed a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions on Monday that will see the latter gain access to Microsoft’s Android and Chrome OS patent portfolio.
Telefónica Digital, the digital services wing of Spanish operator Telefónica announced a deal with Samsung on Monday that will see the Korean vendor’s recently revamped mobile application containerisation platform Knox made available to Telefónica Digital’s global enterprise and public sector customers.
Android is on a roll, capturing 62 per cent of the global tablet market in 2013, according to statistics released by analyst house Gartner this week.
On Wednesday Apple released iOS 7, the biggest update to the mobile operating system since it first launched, to an expectant public. Users attempting to update can expect frustration as Apple’s delivery mechanisms are hammered for the first few days. When iOS6 was released last year, more than 100 million users attempted to download the update within the first week.
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has warned that it is expecting to make a loss in 3Q13. It said in a statement that operating margin for the forthcoming quarter is expected to be in the range of zero per cent to negative eight per cent.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the richest of them all?
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index released this week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has just edged past Mexican mogul Carlos Slim, who’s lost more than a few pounds since Mexico’s government passed a bill that could quash America Movil’s market dominance.
Operator group France Telecom’s own OTT communications app has now been made available for Android devices. The service, called Libon, was launched for iOS devices in November 2012.
The number of tablets sold globally will surpass the number of PCs sold by 2017, according to analyst firm Gartner. Sales of Android smartphones are also expected to triple between 2012 and 2017, the firm forecasted.
Social networking site Facebook has unveiled an Android launcher application designed to encourage consumers to become more reliant on its services for their mobile communication needs.
The Informer got a software update for his Nexus this week and the resulting tweaks to the interface led him accidentally to the data usage display. He was somewhat surprised to find that the second most data-hungry app on his phone was Google+, a service he has never used. Over a ten-day period Google+ huffed back 5.54MB of data over the mobile network, all of it in the background. This might not sound like much but it’s all relative; roughly one per cent of the monthly allowance, Google+ usage outstrips Facebook by some margin and leaves Gmail in the dust. And it’s worth repeating: This app has never been used.
Co-founder and architect of the Android platform Andy Rubin has stepped down from his role as Google’s senior VP of mobile and digital content. Rubin will remain at Google, where he will “start a new chapter”, according to the firm’s CEO.
Korean handset vendor Samsung has announced net profits of 7.04tn won ($6.5bn) for the fourth quarter of 2012, with strong sales from its mobile division making a significant contribution. The firm’s profit was up 76 per cent on the same period in 2011, when the firm netted 4.01tn won.
Almost two-thirds of the handsets sold in China in 2012 run on the Android OS and China is Google’s largest market for Android devices, according to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media. A third of Android handsets sold in 2012 were sold in China, figures from the research firm show.
Capitalising on an opportunity to trump its fiercest rival in the smartphone space, Google is launching what it claims is its “biggest ever update” to its Street View application.
In an effort to consolidate its position as the third biggest player in the smartphone ecosystem, Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia has unveiled two devices running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform.The move comes less than a week after Samsung pipped Nokia to the post with a view of the first Windows Phone 8 device to be seen.