Twitter Turns Toward The Masses, Gets Serious About Reach Beyond iOS & Android With Latest Mobile Update

Billy Gallagher is a writer for TechCrunch. He is also the president and editor in chief of The Stanford Daily. Billy previously worked at The Stanford Daily for two volumes as a managing editor of news. He has also worked in sports and staff development at The Daily. In March of 2012 the Friends of The Stanford Daily awarded him… ? Learn More

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Twitter finalized a major overhaul of its mobile site today aimed at users on feature phones and older browsers. In a blog post, the Twitter design team wrote that they built a “lighter-weight, faster client that looks and feels like twitter.com and our mobile apps.”

The new site is much cleaner and is very similar to the browser and app interfaces, allowing the company to deliver the best version of its product across more platforms. This comes on the heels of yesterday’s release of new Twitter mobile apps for iOS and Android.

The results of Twitter’s nine week project brings mobile support to thirteen different browsers for thousands of different devices. On the blog, the team writes about working to provide users with a “consistent experience on any device.” The new site can scale from screens as small as 240 x 240 pixels up to desktops. In an effort to accomodate slower networks and different browsers, the site is optimized for browsers with javascript turned off and offers page sizes that are up to 63% smaller than the old version.

Some of the devices Twitter used for testing

After studying how people were using the mobile site, from analyzing how often they Tweeted to how often they refreshed or loaded more Tweets, the designers sketched on paper and jumped into testing and tweaking versions. The team says they tested the mobile site on over 300 different devices. They noted that new features, such as JavaScript support and enhancements for widescreen, are coming soon.

Correction (3:03 PM): An earlier version of this story stated that “Twitter announced a major overhaul of its mobile site today.” Twitter actually announced this change in May; today, Twitter announced that it has been fully rolled out and released statistics and information about the new mobile site.

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Google Affirms The Nexus 7′s Main Fault With This Adorable Commercial

nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is a fantastic tablet — for the price. To me and many others its only downside is lack of built-in wireless data connectivity. It can only connect to the internet’s tubes through WiFi.

Google apparently agrees. I won’t spoil the cute commercial but let’s just say the dad isn’t using a WiFi hotspot to entertain his son.

With WiFi hotspots, phone apps, and USB modems, there are a ton of ways to feed a tablet or computer wireless data while on the go. But none are as seamless or efficient as a built-in solution. Requiring another device adds another potential point of failure.

Still, even though the Nexus 7 is only WiFi-only, it’s still an amazing tablet that’s totally worth its price. But I wouldn’t buy it. I’m spoiled by a Verizon iPad and, before it, a first-gen Xoom. I simply cannot imagine owning a tablet that requires another device to connect it to the internet. I mean, I really don’t want to bring my phone along on a camping trip, but a tablet is a must-have to keep the kids entertained. What else are they going to do camping? Get dirty and have fun? Pssh. It’s Kingdom Rush time!

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Adfonic: Android Tops iOS As Most Popular Platform On Global Ad Network; iPhone, iPad Still Top Devices

android-v-iphone

Android is now most-used smartphone platform worldwide, and that swing is being reflected in other areas like mobile advertising. Today some numbers out from Adfonic indicate that in Q2, Android accounted for the majority of mobile ad impressions on its network worldwide, with 46 percent compared to iOS’s 34 percent of impressions. This is the first time Adfonic says it has recorded Android being more popular than iOS. In that, it joins other big ad networks like Millennial Media and InMobi, which both noted Google’s OS overtaking Apple’s earlier this year.

 

Adfonic’s Global AdMetrics Report is based on 4,000 rich-media campaigns run monthly for brands like Samsung, Warner Bros, eBay, McDonald’s, Groupon and Google, reaching 200 million mobile unique users monthly over 80 billion ad requests. The company notes that today’s Android popularity is a near-mirror switch from the quarter before, when iOS took 45 percent of traffic to Android’s 38 percent. The only region where Android has yet to dominate over iOS, Adfonic says, is South America, and overall iOS lost marketshare in every region. The U.S., on the other hand, has seen the most drastic flip:

 

 

In Q1 in the U.S., Android and iOS were nearly level, with just four percentage points separating Android’s 46 percent to iOS’s 42 percent. This last quarter, iOS dropped down to 30 percent while Android shot up to 63 percent. Given that the U.S. is leading the charge with smartphones, this could potentially be read as a bad sign for Apple in the months to come — although the launch of a new iPhone will likely change the balance once again.

 

And that’s because this is not just a story of platforms but of devices — and for Apple, it’s still winning massively where that is concerned. Adfonic notes that taken as individual devices, Apple’s are still proving to be the most popular — by quite a long shot.

 

The iPhone accounts for 26.5 percent of all impressions among all the smartphones on Adfonics’ network. Although that is a decline of eight percent on the quarter before, the runner-up device, also an iOS handset (the iPod Touch), is only at 5.2 percent (also a decline). Samsung and Blackberry round out the top five, and both actually grew their market shares, albeit from a small base.

 

The same story appears in tablets, where the iPad accounted for almost 54.8 percent of all traffic. Again it’s a decline, this time of 12 percent, but still comfortably ahead of number-two — in this case the Kindle Fire from Amazon with 6.6 percent of impressions and growing.

 

That could also be a testament to how well the Kindle Fire might perform in the long run: the device is still only available in the U.S., and yet it’s still ranking as the second-most-popular worldwide for ad impressions (and, hence, content usage) on Adfonic’s network.

 

 

Taken together, Android and iOS accounted for 80 percent of Adfonic’s global ad inventory — a pretty stark statement, once again, of how dominant these two are together at the expense of Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian and the rest. This is as much about attracting advertisers to buy ads on attractive devices as it is about consumer popularity. Paul Childs, CMO at Adfonic noted: “iOS and Android smartphones and tablets have the most compelling user interfaces, comprising touchscreens, geolocation features and attractive displays. They are fulfilling their tremendous advertising potential to show engaging ad formats, such as rich media.”

 

Adfonic’s extensive report (which you can read in full here) also covers a lot of detail on successful verticals, the difference in ad performance by gender and other metrics. One notable graphic that caught my eye was this one on impressions based on different verticals, which shows that music is currently having the biggest pull for advertisers, taking 39 percent of all ad spend on its network; technology ads were the second-highest at 28 percent. In terms of publisher channels, sites and apps in the entertainment and lifestyle categories are seeing increases in their ad requests, while games, social networking, and news/sport/information all saw declines.

 

Global mobile advertising marketplace, Adfonic, enables advertisers to run display advertising campaigns across mobile sites and applications, reaching an estimated 200m mobile unique users, and publishers to monetise their mobile traffic. Advertisers can run performance, rich media and video ad campaigns to drive direct response, increase consumer engagement and build brand awareness. For publishers Adfonic offers access to top brand campaigns, high fill rates and competitive eCPMs. The SDK version 2.0 for iOS and Android includes MRAID support for…

 

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Tablet Tribulations: OGT Weighs In On Its Ill-Fated Android Slate

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Competition in the tablet space has been heating up for a while now, and it’s not just the big guys that are feeling the strain. Take the tumultuous story of OGT Mobile, for instance — they tried to make their mark on the industry by creating their own Android tablet, but just couldn’t see the project through.

I can’t blame you if you’ve never heard of OGT before, but back in April 2011 when the company revealed their Eros tablet, it made a few waves thanks to its claims of being the thinnest Android tablet in the world. The spec sheet wasn’t too shabby at the time either — it featured a 1GHz processor, what appeared to be a 7-inch screen running at 188 ppi, 3G/WiFi radios, and either 16 or 32GB of internal storage, all crammed into a frame that was 7mm thick.

Sure, the company had a long road ahead of it, but the OGT tablet had the makings of a solid device. That said, you can guess where this story is going. Thanks to some funding issues, a general sense of distaste for the versions of Android available at the time, and the speed of the market, the Eros never made it off the ground.

Earlier today, OGT CEO Alix Narcisse posted an open letter to the company’s supporters explaining why that Eros tablet never officially came to be. Here’s the juicy bit:

Last year, the tech world, saw an influx of interest in tablet PCs from a variety of companies both large and small. We were among the many companies. Tablets represent the next wave of technology and the power of mobile computing, but we had to be honest with ourselves knowing that our hardware was too advanced for the software that was available at the time. We took heed to what consumers wanted in a tablet and challenged ourselves to deliver it.

Unfortunately, with the instantaneous changes in this developing marketplace, we could not bring our tablet to market in time for your enjoyment and satisfaction. We apologize. Our integrity is exhibited in our interaction with you. This is the first step in establishing and maintaining that integrity.

Narcisse goes on to promise that the company still has plenty up its sleeves, but this is the sort of game that’s just damned hard for smaller companies to crack. Established players like Apple, Asus, Motorola, and the like are capable of iterating much faster, cramming an ever-increasing number of features into devices meant for consumers who have been conditioned to expect continuous, unyielding innovation. It’s little surprise that little guys like OGT struggle to keep up with that blistering pace, so does that mean they should stop altogether?

The short answer is no, of course not, but even an even weightier question comes to mind — how do hardware startups like OGT make a dent in a market that seems to be doing just fine without them? That answer could be worth millions, if only someone could come up with it. So far, we can surmise what that answer isn’t: it’s probably not fighting on price (Amazon and now Google have that segment well-accounted for), and shooting for mass market appeal is difficult when a brand doesn’t mean anything to people yet.

As far as Narcisse is concerned, his and other companies like it have to “create something new from something old.” Easier said than done, certainly, but here’s hoping that someone cracks that formula soon — after all, more competition pushes everyone else forward too.

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Huawei Shows Off The Impressive MediaPad 10 FHD In A New Promotional Video

HuaweiMediaPad10FHD

Huawei has its sights set on the US market. The Chinese manufacturer aims to be within the United States’ top 5 mobile phone companies within the three years. In order to reach that goal the company needs some impressive hardware — and marketing. The Huawei Ascend D Quad is a fine entry into the smartphone race and now, with the MediaPad 10 FHD, Huawei has a legitimate tablet as well.

The MediaPad 10 FHD packs a punch. Under the 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS display rests a quad-core CPU and 16-core GPU, which the company promises will provide “Smooth Game Experience”. The MediaPad’s back houses an 8MP camera and the tablet measures in at just 8.8mm thick. To top it all off, the tablet will ship with an LTE radio. No word on cost or  availability just yet, but if priced right, this Android 4.0 tab could give the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus Transformer line some serious competition.

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