Android led the smartphone market for the third consecutive quarter, according to the latest sales figures from Kantar. What’s more, “Android returns [sic] is back above 50 percent of sales after dropping to 49.3% in the previous report,” The Next Web points out. The mobile platform is estimated to hold a 51.5% share of sales in the US, ahead of iOS’s 42.5%.
The time has finally arrived for news publishers to mount serious video efforts, according to Poynter’s Rick Edmonds. “The time is right with audience moving from desktop to mobile, where video accounts for a much larger share of news consumption,” he writes. Moreover, “advertiser demand is robust and expanding, and the going rates ($25 per thousand impressions is typical) are multiples higher than what static banner ads command.”
A proposed code of conduct for mobile app developers intended to make them explain how user data is collected and used does not have a clear enforcement mechanism, says a privacy advocate. The code was negotiated this week by several trade groups and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). While many participants in the NTIA's mobile privacy negotiations voiced support Thursday for the transparency code of conduct
, Consumer Watchdog criticized the document and the NTIA process.
Among the new features for Google's Android 4.3 are a redesigned camera interface, Bluetooth Low Energy support, performance improvements, such as smoother animations, and multi-user restricted profiles. And something else that Google didn’t talk about. There is a a hidden app permissions manager that allows users to selectively disable certain permissions for apps. The feature is apparently called App Ops, and lets users toggle app permissions — such as location and the ability to post notifications — on and off for individual apps.
Activision Blizzard reached a deal to buy itself back from struggling publisher Vivendi for about $8 billion. Activision Blizzard will buy 429 million and 172 millions shares of Vivendi as the company transforms to an independent entity, with the majority of its shares owned by the public. Vivendi will still own about 12% of Activision Blizzard.
When Business Insider introduced a sponsored section last November called "The Future of Business," it promised to give its take on the subject alongside stories about the underwriter, SAP. The announcement did not mention that the "dynamic companies" in 'The Future of Business" would not include SAP competitors, or that the selection of Business Insider articles running there would be subject to SAP approval. Sara Larsen, senior director of digital marketing at SAP, said: "If there is a story we really think doesn't reflect our brand perspective on the future of business, we'll say, 'Let's table that story.'" So far, ...
Meanwhile in China, search giant Baidu saw net profit decline 4.5% -- to about $430 million -- in the second quarter of 2013. Revenue, however, was up 38.6% -- $1.2 billion -- year-over-year. Of particular note, Baidu’s mobile revenue exceeded that of archrival Qihoo 360 Technologies, The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog notes. “Though Qihoo has one of China’s largest mobile-app stores, revenue has yet to pop.”
In one of the odder Twitter-based ad campaigns to date, Chipotle just faked having its Twitter account hacked to (somehow) celebrate its 20th anniversary promotional campaign. "We thought that people would pay attention, that it would cut through people's attention and make them talk, and it did that," Chris Arnold, a Chipotle representative, told Mashable. "It was definitely thought out: We didn't want it to be harmful or hateful or controversial."
In other Google news, the search giant is reportedly working on a platform that combines cloud services with real-time commerce. “The product, which has reportedly been named ‘Helpouts’ and is currently being tested internally in Mountain View, will take shape as a marketplace that enables individuals and small and large businesses to buy and sell services via live video,” TechCrunch reports.
Google on Wednesday debuted Chromecast -- a small stick that wirelessly connects consumers’ laptops and mobile devices to their TVs. Even at just $35, GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers thinks Chromecast is perhaps the genius device that Google has ever invented. “Chromecast is pure simplicity: Search and discovery of video content is happening on the mobile device or laptop, and all Chromecast does is stream media from the cloud.”