The report’s data on installs illustrates just how lopsided Google’s app store has become. It also points to just how difficult it is for developers to promote new apps.
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By the end of the forecast period, the iOS company will have paid out more than $140 billion to app developers.
Currently, 80 per cent of revenue is made by virtual goods and in-app purchases, with game companies dominating.
In the future, content owners such as Netflix, Hulu and Spotify will see “exponential revenue growth” fueled by in-app subscription sign-ups.
In many emerging markets, users will have access to such services for the first time through their Apple devices, the report noted, adding that when Netflix recently allowed in-app sign-up for its service, it climbed the ranks of the highest grossing entertainment apps in more than 20 countries.
Joshua Martin, chief evangelist of apps research for Strategy Analytics, explained that “the ascent of Netflix to the top within days is a testament to the power of apps and iOS. Simply by enabling a feature Netflix found a new universe of users”.
“The stickiness of subscription services such as Netflix will see content owners sit atop the highest grossing entertainment apps and, in the long term, amongst the highest grossing apps overall globally,” he added.
Martin also said that “in-app purchase will still drive billions in revenue each year, but the growth of subscription and consolidation among key players is a key trend that will drive future growth for the App Store, Apple, and content owners”.
New devices such as Apple TV and the Apple Watch will account for a small percentage of downloads but will extend app capabilities.
Bell Canada has agreed to pay a $1.25-million penalty after the Competition Bureau learned that employees of the telecommunications giant had been downloading the company’s free apps and providing them with stellar reviews without disclosing their relationship to the company.
In addition to paying the “administrative monetary penalty” or AMP, Bell Canada has agreed to “enhance and maintain its corporate compliance program, with a specific focus on prohibiting the rating, ranking or reviewing of apps in app stores by employees and contractors.”
Bell Canada will also sponsor a workshop that will examined “Canadians’ trust in the digital economy, including the integrity of online reviews,” according to the consent agreement registered with the Competition Tribunal released Wednesday.
“I am pleased that Bell Canada demonstrated leadership to fully resolve the Competition Bureau’s concerns in this matter,” said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. “I commend the shared compliance approach taken by Bell to resolve this matter, which will benefit both consumers and the digital marketplace.”
According to the Competition Bureau, in November 2014, Bell employees were encouraged to download two free apps, MyBell Mobile and Virgin My Account, from the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. The apps allow Bell customers to control their accounts directly from their mobile devices. The employees were then encouraged to post positive reviews and ratings of the apps without disclosing that they work for Bell.
The Bureau said Bell had the reviews and ratings removed as soon as it became aware of the situation in December 2014. “Nevertheless, the Bureau determined that these reviews and ratings created the general impression that they were made by independent and impartial consumers and temporarily affected the overall star rating for the apps.”
Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP, a Toronto law firm that does a lot of work in Competition Law, reviewed the consent agreement — and gave it no stars. “A 10-month investigation and a $1.25-million fine seems disproportionate to Bell’s conduct, which involved its employees posting reviews of account management applications that are given away for free, and are only useful to existing Bell customers. No one was duped into paying money for a product that didn’t perform as advertised. We rate this one zero stars.”
Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian PressBell
Operator Bell Canada will not “direct, encourage or incentivise” employees or contractors to rate, rank or review its mobile apps, after a probe by the country’s Competition Bureau.
The watchdog said that in November 2014, “certain Bell employees” were encouraged to post positive reviews and ratings for the MyBell Mobile and Virgin My Account apps on the App Store and Google Play, without revealing they worked for the company.
Acknowledging that Bell acted quickly when made aware of the issue, the Competition Bureau said that “these reviews and ratings created the general impression that they were made by independent and impartial consumers and temporarily affected the overall star ratings for the apps”.
In addition to focusing on its corporate compliance programme and an “administrative monetary penalty” of CAD1.25 million, Bell will also sponsor and host a workshop to “promote, discuss and enhance Canadians’ trust in the digital economy, including the integrity of online reviews”.
It’s unclear if Apple is setting a precedent, or has only accidentally allowed the approval of a new app, known as Been Choice, into the iTunes App Store. The app claims to block advertisements not only in mobile applications, but also in native mobile apps, including Facebook and even Apple’s own News application. To make this work, Been Choice offers a combination of a content blocker for Safari and a VPN service, the latter which allows it to filter out ad traffic using deep packet inspection.
Obviously, blocking ads in native applications could be disruptive to the primary way a number of mobile application developers make money today. So while Apple may be catering to consumers’ growing disgust with invasive and disruptive online advertisements by supporting ad-blocking technology in its newly released mobile operating system, iOS 9, it seems that allowing an app like Been Choice to actually block ads in native apps – and in particular, Apple’s own News app – goes against Apple’s own best interests.
In other words, time will tell whether Apple meant to allow such a thing or whether Been Choice getting the boot from the Apple App Store is only moments away. (Apple has not yet commented.)
The app is also concerning because it hides a paid surveys operation under the hood of an app promoting data privacy, which seems like a bad fit.
The oddly named Been Choice application was created by co-founders Dave Yoon and Sang Shin, who met at McKinsey & Co. and have worked together for more than eight years. Yoon was involved with marketing and marketing insights at McKinsey, while Shin has worked in technology for two decades, mostly in finance.
Yoon explains that the motivation behind Been Choice has to do with offering users a choice between ad blocking and sharing data in order to earn rewards. That is, users are compensated when they agree to share their behavioral data with advertisers, publishers and app developers. Those rewards come in the form of cash (via PayPal) for now, but the app promises that Amazon gift cards and the option to donate earnings are planned.
On the technical side, Been Choice offers two different settings related to ad blocking. One is the typical Safari Content blocker – like Crystal, 1Blocker, Purify, etc. (Users can enable ad blockers to eliminate ads from Safari during web browsing sessions — a new feature in iOS 9.)
The more extensive ad blocking is enabled by way of Been Choice’s VPN service. When it’s enabled for the first time, users will be prompted to install a profile on their device. If you’ve ever had to set up an iPhone to connect to your company’s network, you may be familiar with this process. When the VPN is enabled, traffic is then routed through Been Choice’s servers where it performs deep packet inspection on the content. It can then remove specific content – like ads – through pattern matching.
“While we inspect headers and the body, no user content is stored, and our filtering is done on the fly. This approach may be more familiar in its corporate form. For example, companies use deep packet inspection on their managed devices to ensure that sensitive information never leaves internal corporate networks,” explains Yoon.
This ability, the company claims, makes Been Choice the first to block ads in Facebook’s native iOS app. In addition, the app blocks ads in Pinterest, Pandora, Yahoo and the New York Times apps, among others. It also blocks sponsored posts, native ads, and pre-roll videos like those in news apps from CNN or CNBC, for example.
Surprisingly, Been Choice is also capable of blocking ads in Apple’s News app, as well:
Twitter, however, is not blocked because of its use of end-to-end encryption that makes it impossible to block ad traffic without blocking non-ad traffic.
The team believes that users should take more control over their data-sharing behavior, in order to understand the value of that data rather than blindly offering it up in exchange for creepily targeted ads. That’s fair, but typically mainstream technology adopters are more passive when it comes to things like this.
Installing, then enabling, a Safari ad blocker is one thing, but using a VPN service to wipe out ads across apps and then toggling between “block” and “earn” modes from time to time may be asking for too much user participation. (That’s if Been Choice even gets to stick around in the App Store after Apple sees what it’s up to!)
Even for those who feel comfortable with the technology aspects to Been Choice, the app itself needs better mechanisms to turn off or on the VPN. (Currently, you have to go to Settings –> General –> VPN then click the “i” next to the Been profile and disable “Connect on Demand.”)
Meanwhile, earning rewards takes time. You need 30,000 “points” to earn $20 via PayPal. Earning is time-based, not based on ads avoided, so you can earn 1,000 points per day by leaving the VPN enabled.
Finally, the Earn mode also offers other ways to gain rewards that make Been Choice seem more like a paid surveys operation, or competitor to something like SwagBucks. These types of companies are focused on users exchanging information with marketers in return for rewards.
The company, however, says it takes “reasonable steps to remove all personally identifiable information.” HMMM.
Still, when asked if users are actually sharing more data through Earn mode than when viewing ads, Yoon admitted that’s indeed the case.
“It’s absolutely more data. And that’s what we set out to build,” he explains.
“We think if you have consent from the user, and share economics with the user, you can gather better data. But the key question is consent,” Yoon continues.
“Today, it’s muddled and compromised. It’s an implicit agreement, and neither side benefits and both sides are left wanting more. More privacy and control on one side. More data and better data on the other. By providing a simple switch we are creating choice,” he says.
The Earn option creates a confusing paradigm for Been Choice. On the one hand, the app means to cater to those who don’t want ads anywhere – even in their native apps. Then, on the flip side, it’s hoping to reach those who are more than willing to sell their
souls data for cash.
These two demographics are wildly different, and it’s not likely the ad-blocking users will ever be willing to convert to “earners.” In fact, they’re probably going to be distrustful of any app that talks about user privacy, but then encourages you to give it up for some spare change.
[Update: Some readers are pointing out that VPN services have enabled this sort of ad blocking previously. That’s worth noting, but the difference is that these existed prior to iOS 9 and the release of Apple’s own iAd-infused News application. That the company would now allow an ad-blocking app/VPN service to actually cut into its own revenue stream is surprising.]
SnapNtalk is a fun and easy mobile application that enables users to add voice and text to their photos for iOS and Android devices.
SnapNtalk has so many fun and practical usages that you won’t ever be able to take a silent photo again!
San Francisco, Californa (PRWEB)September 21, 2015
SnapNtalk is a fun and easy way to add voice and text to photos. SnapNTalk makes every photo memorable and unique. Simply take a photo, record a voice or a sound and the image will come alive with the sound now connected to the photo. It is also easy to discover prerecorded sounds by browsing through the Soundboard categories, or you can find specific sounds by using the search function. parental locks Keep any voice recording or convert it to text; either way, the photo will speak for itself!
“SnapNtalk has so many fun and practical usages that it will be hard just to snap a silent photo,” said Brian Dolling, creator of SnapNtalk.
SnapNtalk will be available on iOS and Android devices and is a perfect addition to App Store libraries for the upcoming holiday season.
Examples for usage:
For further information and the opportunity to share SnapNtalk images on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, please review the following links:
Apple is expected in coming days to release a mobile operating system that supports ad blocking in its web browser, and adland is having a meltdown about it. Executive after executive has told reporters about their concern for mobile advertising once Apple flips the switch. Ad blocking has gotten so much media attention that even Howard Stern recently talked about it on his show — declaring how “beautiful” it sounds.
Even if Apple’s new operating system did introduce much more powerful ad blocking to iPhones, the attention on its mobile web browser is largely misplaced. “The vast majority of activity is occurring in apps,” said Mr. Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group. About 90% of mobile content consumption happens in apps, Mr. satellite map Wieser said in a report this summer.
Apps account for about seven out of every eight minutes of media consumption on mobile devices, according to ComScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report.