When Amazon recently said it would change the way it pay writers whose work is available on Kindle Unlimited based on how many pages consumers read, the literary world flipped out. The authors of books aren't accustomed to being tracked so granularly, and to some it seemed unfair because there are plenty of people who buy books they never read, but want to save for later (or for some kind of bragging rights). The same is not true for mobile apps-- we don't have friends admiring all the unused mobile games in our smartphone "libraries"-- which is why Amazon's "actually free" category in its new Amazon Underground app store sounds intriguing.
According to a new report in The Information, Google is poised to return to China with a new version of its Android smartphone app store as well as Android Wear software for wearable devices there. The move would represent a major step for Google, which has been absent from the Chinese market-- the world's largest smartphone market-- since 2010.
What if your smartphone knew which apps you used most often, and temporarily deleted the ones you didn't use much at all from your phone by pushing them to the cloud, freeing up storage space in the process? What if it did the same thing for your old photos you never look at? Those are the kinds of innovations that startup Nextbit hopes will win it converts in the cutthroat smartphone market as it prepares to sell its first phone, called Robin.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen admitted that his company's smartphones still do not give customers access to enough apps to be competitive with Apple's iPhones or those running Google's Android platform. And while Chen stopped short of confirming that the company is producing a phone running on Android, new photos of the rumored gadget popped up online.
The next iPhone could lead 12 percent of Android users to consider switching, according to Phoenix and SessionM's mobile insights platform mXP. The stats are based on a one-question poll that ran for 24 hours last month.
Google is facing more pressure in search, and not just because Microsoft beat it to the punch and late last week updated its Bing search app for Android that mimics many of the features of Google's forthcoming Now on Tap feature. Both Google's and Microsoft's efforts aim to give users information about people and places and let them take actions based on the context of what they are viewing in mobile apps. According to a Re/code report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the situation, much of the original team that built Google Now has left the search giant.
The outlook from developers on social media couldn't be more clear: As far as adoption for Google's nascent programming language is concerned, it's Go time.
Smartphone sales growth was its weakest in the second quarter since 2013, according to research firm Gartner. That's mainly due to the first-ever slowdown in the Chinese market, the world's largest for smartphones, and while Apple had a strong quarter in China, OEMs that rely on Google's Android software saw their fortunes slide, and Android overall recorded its weakest growth ever in the quarter, Gartner said.
BlackBerry's Android phone just got a bit more real. BlackBerry may release a touchscreen phone with a slideout keyboard that runs on Google's Android software in November with the support of all four Tier 1 carriers, according to posts from known and pretty reliable leaker of mobile device details Evan Blass, also known as @evleaks.
Wearable computing may be hard to get your head around, even for experienced developers, which is probably why so many of them are welcoming Google's new "playground" where they can see what makes a good fit.