Why Apple Blocked Third-Party Apps From Scanning For Installed Apps

Read original story on: The Information

Apple has blocked app developers from accessing that app-download data for ad targeting purposes as part of the company’s continued crusade to appear more privacy-friendly. This means that third-party apps like Twitter or Facebook can no longer scan your phone to learn about your interests and mobile behaviors from the app you installed. Apple has been increasingly tightening its control over iOS ecosystem—just last week it added support for ad-blocking extensions to iOS 9. Now with this access to app-scanning revoked, mobile advertisers will have to find new way to gain insights into consumers’ mobile usage.

Event Recap: Retail News From NRF’s BIG Day 2015

The NRF’s BIG Day is a little like CES for retail: there are big tech announcements, thought-leading keynotes, and large showcases at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. Here’s a recap of a few of the larger news reveals:

  • NCR is releasing a new touchscreen pay kiosk, called SelfServ 90. With a small and nimble form, it’s meant to upgrade the self-service checkout experience. Wincor Nixdorf also premiered its new moPOS system, as did Panasonic.

  • Panasonic also premiered PowerShelf, an electronic shelving unit equipped with beacons that can be enabled for both advertising and inventory management.

  • Lots of partnerships this week: Samsung is integrating with tagging/payment system PowaTag. Gimbal, which is also premiering its new Series 21 Beacon, is partnering with audio recognition giant Shazam and mobile offers solution Koupon Media.

  • Spearheading the intersection between retail and tech, Intel has a big booth this year. It is showcasing beacon solutions, mobile payments, a Beef-o-Brady tabletop tablet payment implementation for Beef-o-Bready, its SteadyServ iKeg system for intelligent bar inventory, and its Memory Mirror apparel virtualization tech (on display at Neiman Marcus).

  • IBM released a suite of sales apps, called MobileFirst. Developed by Cognitive Scale, the apps will be Sales Assist (for customer acquisition + management), and Pick & Pack (smart inventory via beacon integration).

Stay tuned for more product news—this is only the beginning of retail innovation in 2015.

Opera Seeking To Launch Subscription-Based App Stores

Read original story on: Gizmodo

Inspired by the success of Spotify and Netflix, Opera thinks users are ready to consume mobile apps via subscriptions as well. The software company is reportedly pitching curated versions of the company’s app store to mobile operators, which allows them to create their own stores. Users would pay a weekly fee to access as many apps as they wished within the selection.

Currently, Opera hosts 300,000 titles in its app store, and boasts around 100 million visitors every month. This could prove to be a good idea to encourage downloads. It will be interesting to see how Opera handles the ownership of downloaded apps after subscription expires.

Google’s Busy Week Of Launching iOS Apps

It’s been a busy week for Google on the native iOS apps front. Just over a week after launching a new separate YouTube Creator app, which lets video creators manage their channel on the go, Google is now introducing the Google Analytics app to iOS. Earlier this week, the internet giant further embraced iOS with the launch of its Ingress augmented reality game, while on Wednesday an all-new Google AdWords Express app for small businesses arrived for both iOS and Android.

Although most of these launches are mere catch-ups with its existing Android app, this at least shows that Google is not giving up on the Apple users yet, despite the on-going competitions between the two brands. After all, making those Google apps available across popular platforms serves as a perfect way to maximize audience reach and, in this case, to subversively infiltrate the user-base locked in Apple’s closed ecosystem with its brand presence. Such is the power of universal access and compatibility.

Google Rolls Out App Indexing To All

Google Play is now letting developers appropriately index the content within apps so they can be integrated into Google Search. Google can now search within apps, including deep links to the content within the application. For instance, a search for a recipe might yield results to a cooking site as well as a deep link to a recipe within the Epicurious app. Expect this to increase discoverability and have search lead to deeper app engagement.

According to Google: “App Indexing helps you drive usage of your app through Google. Deep links to your app appear in Google Search results on Android so users can get to your native mobile experience quickly and easily.”

What You Need To Know From Apple’s WWDC

Not free to watch to the full two hour press conference from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference? Want to skip the developer jargon and get to implications for marketers? We got you covered. Check out the 3 biggest developments from today’s announcement.

Continuity – The new feature lets you toggle between devices seamlessly. It syncs activities so you can pick up an email mid-draft from mobile to your desktop or continue watching a movie on your tablet from Apple TV. For media consumption, this is only going to drive cross platform viewing.

Messages – The Messages app looks a lot like WhatsApp with video and voice sharing, mapping features and more. Apparently the WhatsApp CEO isn’t all too pleased. As more behaviors take place within messaging, marketers will need to see this as a new media channel, not just dark social.

Actionable Notifications – Notifications can now be actionable, like Liking a post within a Facebook notification. It very much falls in line with our Notification Nation trend as glanceable media takes hold. Third party widgets are also available within the Notification Center. Expect user interaction to increase across apps that nail push notifications.


Amazon Adds Photographic Product Search To iOS App

Amazon is raising the stakes of showrooming for retailers once again, folding its “Flow” technology, previously found in a standalone app released by its subsidiary, A9, into its main shopping app for iOS.  “Flow” is visual product search, allowing users to photograph an object and see details about it on Amazon, which is even simpler than the previous norm of barcode recognition.  Amazon’s competitive pricing is its main advantage in comparison to retailers, and by more effectively using other retailers as showrooms for the products it sells, it has the potential to further extend its dominance in more consumer categories.

Gartner Predicts .01% Apps Financially Successful in 2018

Apps are not suitable for every brand and service and new forecasts from Gartner drive that point home.  Based on their predictions, only .01% of apps will be considered financially successful by their developers by 2018. While that is a subjective value, it is clear that most apps are not breadwinners, failing to attract an audience for advertising and unlikely to spark in-app purchase. In fact, Gartner is also forecasting that 94.5% of downloads will be free in 2017, further driving that point home.

A brand may not necessarily develop an app to generate new revenue streams as they seek engagement and awareness.  That said, branded apps still need to provide utility or at the very least entertainment. More importantly, they must sustain engagement ruling out the possibility for campaign-specific apps.

Aviate Is The Google Now For Apps

There is no shortage of data and content at your fingertips. In fact, that’s the very problem a slew of companies are solving for, none more than Google. Google Now, for instance, learns from your behaviors and preferences to surface relevant information from itinerary to contacts before you even look for it. It’s a trend known as anticipatory computing and it’s here to stay.

In fact, a new Android app, Aviate plans to create a dynamic homepage for mobile that will surface relevant apps based on your behavior and environment. Entering your local gym for instance, opens your fitness tracker and plugging in your headphones starts your Spotify playlist, and so on. If brands are going to be successful in the future, content and experiences need to anticipate consumer interests in the same manner.

Android Matrix of Pain Leaves Developers Hurting

Many computing elite find Apple’s tight hardware standards and highly controlled ecosystem constricting, even if it is in the interest of system stability.  Google’s Android exists with a very different outlook, supporting hardware from a variety of manufacturers, multiple versions of the OS, and a wide open development environment.  This fragmentation comes at a cost, what some developers have come to call the Android Matrix of Pain.  Developing for iOS has been a relatively straightforward process since the mobile platform’s launch, but the process of porting popular iOS apps to Android compliments has caused developers to make some compromises including supporting only recent Android versions, leaving out large chunks of the user base.  A handful of companies have cropped up to offer comprehensive testing on a variety of Android hardware, but Android’s market dominance could suffer if greater standardization doesn’t allow wider app compatibility.