December 12, 2013
The article titled India Startup Touted as World’s Largest Office Search Engine on ZDNet provides a glimpse into the offline world of SMS-based internet. Innoz, an Indian company called “the offline Google” aspires to connect people without smartphones or ipads to the Internet. It works through texting, which any phone can do now.
The article explains:
“Innoz’s flagship product, SmartSMS, provides a specific answer of up to 480 characters to an SMS query within seconds. There’s an option to retrieve more information on the query if needed. Users text their query to 55444 and the software searches for an answer. The query can be on any topic–from what to wear for a job interview to who a particular actor is dating. Innoz works in partnership with Wikipedia, knowledge engine WolframAlpha, and other Internet resources to provide answers.”
Co-founder Deepak Ravindran believes that his company is capable of connecting the cut-off people of India. The majority of the text queries do come from smaller cities in a variety of Indian dialects and languages. Giving these less connected people the ability to access the internet without a smartphone has made Innoz a “top 5 startup” on Forbes magazine’s ranking and perhaps, perhaps even has Google looking over its shoulder.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 12, 2013
December 11, 2013
SharePoint is bolstered by its acquisition of Yammer, and now a mobile app seeks to improve user experience of both components. EIN News Desk brings the news in their article, “Mobile Workers Can Now Tap Yammer and Microsoft SharePoint in One App.”
The article begins:
“With new integration of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint and Yammer, harmon.ie, the user experience company for the mobile enterprise, today announced the industry’s first comprehensive mobile collaboration app. Combining the most popular Microsoft document sharing and social applications into a single mobile app, harmon.ie now gives mobile business users the power to share documents and collaborate with colleagues using SharePoint Online or on-premise, SkyDrive Pro, email, telephone and, now, Yammer social within a single native app on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 devices.”
Mobile business tools are more and more valuable, improving user experience and satisfaction. Stephen E. Arnold, a longtime leader in search and the expert behind ArnoldIT, often covers SharePoint, its components, and promising add-ons. His recent coverage shows that SharePoint is turning more and more attention to mobile. We think this is a trend that will continue.
Emily Rae Aldridge, December 11, 2013
December 7, 2013
Twitter revamped its apps for Android and iPhones the other day, says Business Insider in the article: “New Twitter App Features.” The upgrade comes after Twitter decided it wanted its users to find content a lot easier and direct messaging has been altered as well. Twitter made the strategic decision to incorporate TV Trends into the app.
It has been tested over the summer and adds a new level of interaction between users:
“The basis of the TV trends section is that you can chat about your favorite show with other fans but that seems to be about it. All you need to do to access it is head to the “Discover” section of the app. Enter the trending option and head all the way down to the bottom. After that, you can talk about it various elements of either “American Horror Story” or “Late Night with David Letterman.” This is where filters come into play since each sub-section only posts the most prominent tweet.”
Timelines now flow into the trending section with the most prominent trends displayed. Filters also work in this section by providing insight into local areas, events, and conversations when you adjust the parameters to find local content.
Twitter has added another sophisticated layer to the social tool. Researchers can use it to discover trends in actual real-time as well as connecting people on a more local level. It does contribute to the privacy invasion factor, kind of creepy if you ask me.
Whitney Grace, December 07, 2013
November 29, 2013
The article on MakeUseOf titled SayHi Translate Is Quite Possibly The Closest Thing To Star Trek’s Universal Translator promotes the Iphone app SayHi as the best translation app available. At one $1.99, the app provides translations between some 40 languages (more are available with the premium version). The user says their phrase slowly and clearly into the phone, hits done and waits a few seconds for the phrase to appear in the original and translated languages. At the same time the app reads out the translation so that the person you are attempting to communicate with can hear it as well.
The article explains:
“The star allows you to create a list of favourite phrases (accessible from the star icon at the very top of the screen). The arrow is the usual iOS sharing options (email, iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, etc), the arrow pointing right enables you to play the phrase back again if you need to hear it again, and the trash-can deletes the phrase from the screen.”
The author even claims that SayHi beats out the Google Translate app, although that may become an issue of personal preference. Ultimately, these resources are a must-have for people traveling in foreign countries where they don’t speak the language. (And in galaxies far far away?)
Chelsea Kerwin, November 29, 2013
November 27, 2013
At least there is plenty of room for improvement. Business Insider tells us that “Execs from Criteo and the Weather Channel Both Agree: Mobile Ads Still Kinda Suck.” Hmm, we predict more fancy dancing around ad pricing in the future. In the meantime, The Weather Company‘s chief money man sums up the current state of affairs; writer Aaron Taube reports:
“Though Curt Hecht, chief global revenue officer for The Weather Company, had a more explicitly positive view of the creative offerings available on mobile platforms, he said that as it stands now, the mechanisms used to buy and sell ads on smartphones and tablets are a ‘complete mess.’”
Taube notes that Hecht knows what he is talking about, considering that his company’s Weather Channel app is extremely popular. What will it take to create better advertising systems for mobile devices? Greg Coleman, president of ad serving platform Criteo, points out that new technology calls for new expertise. The article informs us:
“In order for ads to improve, Coleman said, the industry would need to see advertising made by creatives who had come up with a mobile background and who possess what Coleman calls the mobile DNA. ‘If you go back to the late 90s when the digital world started to crop up, every editor-in-chief wanted to be in charge of their website,’ Coleman said. ‘They’re the last people who should have been allowed to tinker with the new medium. A new skillset is going to emerge that doesn’t exist to a large degree today.’”
Coleman goes on to observe that mobile ad exchanges that fail to build or embrace that skillset quickly will be in trouble in a few years. Marketers are impatient for new ways to leverage all this data they increasingly collect, and will become more choosy as better options emerge. Mobile ad folks who want to stay in the game had better be on their toes.
Cynthia Murrell, November 27, 2013
November 3, 2013
Google’s emphasis on advertising is paying off wonderfully. Is Google still a search company? Business Insider declares, “This One Statistic Explains Why Google’s Stock Exploded Through $1,000 a Share.” Reporter Aaron Taube is taken with a forecast (PDF) from Morgan Stanley that predicts Google will go on to capture one full point of global advertising market share each year. He notes that this market includes all ad revenue from around the world, including television. The article emphasizes:
“Keep in mind: Google currently owns about 11.7% of the global advertising market (Magna Global estimates the market to be at $495 billion [PDF] annually, and 97% of Google’s $14.98 billion in quarterly revenues come from advertising). This means that by Morgan Stanley’s calculations, the company is going to increase its already sizeable market share by more than 25% over the next three years — and it will still have only about 15% of the business.”
The Morgan Stanley report points out that Google’s rise is assisted by its growing success on mobile devices. Taube adds, citing this article from eMarketer, that Google already captures half of all mobile internet ad revenue. Will it soon seize the vast majority? The report goes on to explain that it expects Google will continue to grow thanks to its investments in advertiser-friendly features like “enhanced” campaigns and improved measurement tools. The company indeed seems poised to continue on its wildly successful path.
Cynthia Murrell, November 03, 2013
October 29, 2013
I read “Samsung Is Pulling Another Amazon on Android, But This Is Even Bigger.” I liked the write up. It acknowledges in a semi-nice way that Google is either smarter than everyone else or Google is less smart than everyone thinks.
The idea is that open source Android is working like a Petri dish. Instead of growing little Googles, the Petri dish harbors a big Amazon and may soon give birth to a bigger Samsung. Here’s the point I noted:
As much as Google likes and touts that Android is open, that freedom may come with the cost of some control over the platform. Amazon may have started the first truly successful “fork” of Android, but Samsung is going after the whole place setting. Samsung kicked off its first Developers Conference on Monday and based on the keynote message, I wouldn’t be too happy if I were Google.
The point is that Android is supposed to be Google’s open source mobile platform. Others can use it, but Android is Google’s idea.
With iPhones too expensive for most mobile users and Microsoft mobile not getting the buzz Redmond hoped, Android is the mobile platform with legs it seems. Amazon and Samsung have figured this out. The companies have been moving forward with Android that has been reworked to make it less Googlely than Google may have hoped.
Amazon is a lesser problem for Google. Samsung, however, seems to be a bigger potential problem.
But my view is that the larger challenge will be from innovators in other countries who surf on Android. When I was in China, I learned about a number of mobile phones running Android that performed some interesting tricks. One taxi driver had a line of four mobile devices in his taxi. Each mobile had four SIMs. Each SIM connected to a different service providing information about pick ups.
I asked the taxi driver if the phones were running Google Android. The answer was, “I don’t know. There are cheap and do more than a high dollar, upper class phone. These are the future, not Apple or Google.”
Is the taxi driver correct? My view is that Google’s Android is not just fragmented. Android is enabling innovators to go in directions that may prove difficult for Google to control. Samsung may be the near term challenge for Google. Looking out over a longer time line, there may be a different set of challenges created by an open source mobile operating system, new manufacturing options, and a burgeoning demand for mobile devices that are delivering fresh, high-value functionality.
Sure the four phones put on a light show when orders came in. My smart phone has one SIM and was woefully out of step with the Chinese taxi driver’s needs. Google has to think about Android as free and open source software that may spawn some antibiotic resistant competitors.
Stephen E Arnold, October 29, 2013
October 18, 2013
What’s the best way to find a mobile app? The answer may just be Quixey, which has recently secured some hefty funding. We learn about the company and its novel approach in, “Quixey Raises $50M from Alibaba & Others to Build the Search Engine for the Mobile Era” at TechCrunch. Quixey already underpins the app searches for several browser makers, OEMs, and even Sprint. Now, the company is gearing up to bring their app searches directly to mobile consumers.
It seems that search optimism is alive and well. Even as it captures funding from Alibaba and other investors, Quixey is working to build revenue with its recently launched sponsored-ad feature. The company also plans to expand overseas, which means they are hiring engineers in Europe, India, and Israel. A unique goal sets Quixey apart—they are working to locate not just apps, but also content within those apps. Writers Natasha Lomas and Sarah Perez report:
“‘We think our company’s mission is to get people into apps, which doesn’t just mean finding you a new app, it means we should be able to find you the content within apps,’ said Quixey co-founder and CEO Tomer Kagan. An example use-case could be a user searching for Thai food — and being returned results across apps, as well as things like Yelp reviews and a current Groupon deal for a restaurant, for instance.”
Kagan emphasizes that his company’s solution cannot accurately be called a “Google for apps,” because the focus is different. Leaving aside the charge that Google falls short in the mobile space, Quixey is all about the apps. “In the mobile space, apps haven’t been given the opportunity to shine and reach users on an equal footing; Quixey wants to change that,” he said.
In their pursuit of a (non-beta) consumer-facing tool, the company is eyeing Android. The article tells us:
“One possibility is an Android app that will allow Quixey’s app search to get baked in directly into the OS of the device. ‘Android is best place to start doing something unique and different because of the flexibility of the operating system,’ [Kagan] said. ‘We want to go deeper into the apps — something that Android lets us do. That’s the whole point of why we raised this money — so that we can explore that…how can we find the best answer inside of the apps.’”
Best of luck to Quixey. It is good to see someone pursue a fresh take on mobile search. Kagan and co-founder Liron Shapira started the company in 2009 and secured their first round of funding in 2011. Quixey is headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Cynthia Murrell, October 18, 2013
October 7, 2013
SharePoint and Yammer are going to work together to bring social networking features as well as mobile to the collaborative content management program. CMS Wire has a recap on a webinar that details how the relationship is progressing: “Webinar Recap: Yammer + SharePoint + Mobile – Oh My!” During the webinar, Keith Long of ICF Interactive said that workers spend 61% of their time collaborating, but Yammer might not be the ideal solution because it is not as customizable as SharePoint. This is one the reasons why SharePoint’s Yammer deployment has been slowed.
Another topic was mobile and another interesting statistic is that 95% of workers bring their own device to work, which means it is a big business need. Cloud is taking control of IT budgets by over 70% said Long again, and it is shifting resources. SharePoint is a helpful tool for mobile management, but it is not ideal for smaller companies.
Gasification came up in the Q&A:
“Long noted many of the staples of gasification are available in SharePoint like badges and earning the rank of expert in a given field, for example. Besides onboarding people, gamification can help workers bond a bit more, Long said, something that can actually go a long way in retaining people. In a similar vein, a question came up about overall adoption trends, and Long pointed out that the companies who made the most effort in getting people to use SharePoint were the ones that were successful.”
Getting people to deploy SharePoint sounds like it is taking a bit of bribing. Steve Arnold of Arnold IT, leading expert in search and content management, would suggest forming a team who would issue deadlines and keep companies on task.
Whitney Grace, October 7, 2013
October 7, 2013
Apps on the mobile market are like trying to build an audience for your book. You try to get the perspective readers, but if you do not have enough of a hook they never get past the summary on the back. According to Kontagent’s article, “Your App Is Dead: Why You’re Losing Users And Revenue Without Even Knowing It” most users download an app, use it once, and then uninstall it. This tells us that if the app does not impress on the first try, it gets recycled and you are losing money.
“Profit in the app world is a numbers game dictated largely by your app users. Theoretically, the more users you have, the more money you can make. Take freemium apps for example. Generally, conversion rates range from one to 10 percent. If you had one million users and were able to convert 10 percent into paying users all monetizing at $5 each, you’d rake in about $500,000. Pretty good, right?”
Even more awesome would be if you could retain the 90% of customers you lost in the first round. It would make your customer base even larger and you could bump your revenue up to $950,000. The secret is optimizing the first time user experience by figuring out what is wrong. Some of the biggest mistakes app designers make is having a complex registration process, a bad login experience, or an application full of bugs. Fixing these common problems could mean the difference between a living app and one that rests in peace after launch.
Whitney Grace, October 07, 2013