Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

One of the Year’s Most Addictive Mobile Games Doesn’t Seem Like a Game At All

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s inevitable: When I tell people I write about videogames, someone almost always asks, “What should I play?” Since I’m not a reviewer, there are plenty of games I haven’t played, but I always have at least one game on my phone ready to be shown off; recently, that game has been an unusual one. Clumsy Ninja , which game studio NaturalMotion first demoed at Apple’s iPhone 5 event in September 2012 , finally made it to Apple’s U.S. App Store a few weeks ago, and since then it’s been on a tear. “This is not designed to be a hardcore monetizing game,” NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil told me in a pre-launch interview. Well, oops? It is monetizing well — so well, in fact, that it broke into the top-25 iOS grossing apps chart within three days of its launch. At the time of this writing, it peaked at #14 overall on Tuesday and has been hovering between the high teens and low 30s since then, according to App Annie (registration required). (As for what that means in real money terms: According to one report from Distimo, the top-10 grossing apps make at least $47,000 per day . Even if the app never crosses the magical top-10 barrier, that’s still a lot of dough.) So why does Clumsy Ninja monetize so well?

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You Spent $1.2 Billion Shopping Online on Black Friday

December 1, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you take an increase in the rate of holiday spending as a suggestion of good economic news, then there’s a lot to like about the new numbers from comScore, the research firm that tracks the digital economy. According to research out today, consumers shopping online spent $1.2 billion buying stuff on Black Friday . It was the, the firm says, the first billion-dollar-plus day of the holiday season so far. On Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent about $766 million online, up 21 percent from 2012. Compared to last year, it’s a 15 percent improvement, or $156 million higher than the Black Friday 2012 total of $1.04 billion. Now, that’s a tricky comparison, owing to the fact that Thanksgiving fell rather late on the calendar this year versus last year

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So You Got a New iPad. Here’s Some Free Stuff to Read.

November 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If, like me, you took advantage of the rare deals offered on a new iPad yesterday, then you’re probably playing around with the new device today, and finding interesting things to do with it. Magazine publisher Condé Nast has a suggestion for you, and is offering a rare deal of its own: A free download of the current issue of the iPad edition of its many magazine titles, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair*, Vogue, Bon Appetit and Architectural Digest. Between the iPad and the iPhone editions , you’ve got very little excuse for that “stack of old magazines you don’t have time to get to” problem. And with the holiday season looming, who couldn’t use something to read on the plane, the train, or while taking a badly needed break from an overdose of family? To get them, go to the iPad’s Newsstand app, and download the app for one of Condé’s titles. Once there, click on the promotion, which is hard to miss. The same deal also applies to the Google Play version of the magazine apps available for Android tablets. It’s running through Dec. 2. * It’s worth noting that my AllThingsD colleagues Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka are both contributors to Vanity Fair.

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Bitcoin, Schmitcoin — Tech Stocks Also on a Frothy Run

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While the stock market was only open a half-day today, it was still a solid one for Internet stocks as the market enters its final month of 2013. Most showed gains yesterday, with Apple, Amazon and Twitter all up almost two percent. But that does not tell the story of how well shares of tech companies have been doing throughout the year — most are up significantly, seeing big jumps. For the year-to-date, most well-known issues are up, including: LinkedIn, up more that 95 percent; Facebook, up over 76.5 percent; Yahoo, up 83 percent; Amazon, up 57 percent; Google, up close to 50 percent; and even perpetually stagnant Microsoft, up close to 43 percent. Apple lagged, up only 4.5 percent, and Twitter remains below its November IPO price, down 7.4 percent. Even suffering Groupon and Zynga did well, up more than 86 percent and 84 percent respectively. The past three months have not been as strong, though, with Amazon leading the pack with a 38.6 percent rise. It was followed by Yahoo, up 35.3 percent; Google, up close to 34 percent; Facebook and Microsoft, up close to 14 percent; and Apple, up just over 13 percent. LinkedIn declined just over seven percent in the period, not a surprise, given its spectacular rise since it went public in mid-2011. What the rest of the year and 2014 will bring is anyone’s guess, of course, but there are expected to be a spate of IPOs in the first half of the new year, most notably China’s Alibaba Group, whose stellar performance should continue to boost Yahoo’s stock.

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Pay Attention, Snapchat! China’s WeChat Messaging App Does E-Commerce Well.

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

American messaging services could learn a thing or two from WeChat. The mobile-focused app is massively popular in China and spreading quickly abroad; of the 270-million-plus regular users of the service, about a quarter of those are outside of mainland China . Aside from its wide user base, WeChat’s biggest success looks to be in its bottom line: In-app purchases. Take WeChat’s recent experiment with the fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi . The two companies teamed up to offer a limited number of Xiaomi’s latest flagship phone, the Mi-3, inside the WeChat app exclusively.

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While Mulally/Nadella Remain the Favorites, Bates Is Silicon Valley’s Choice for Microsoft CEO

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Tony Bates About 10 days ago, AllThingsD reported once again that Ford CEO Alan Mulally was in the lead position to take over as CEO of Microsoft, with one internal exec as the No. 2 choice. As I noted in a post on November 19 : “Ford CEO Alan Mulally remains in the pole position for the job, with the idea that he will be more a ‘caretaker’ type CEO, whose deep experience and inspirational charisma will get the company on the right path, while also training up a number of internal candidates to eventually take over from him. The top pick among the possible heirs inside for that princeling role: Enterprise chief Satya Nadella.” Bloomberg reported similarly that Mulally and Nadella were the two top candidates yesterday. In the story, it noted that the Microsoft talent search documents are calling for someone with an “extensive track record in managing complex, global organizations within a fast-paced and highly competitive market sector; track record of delivering top and bottom line results. Proven ability to lead a multi-billion dollar organization and large employee base.” Let’s be clear, none of this is new. ATD and others reported in September that Mulally was the leading name in the race to run the software giant. The Mulally/Nadella scenario is both intriguing and also makes basic sense, along with another newer scenario in which a board member — like Seagate’s CEO Stephen J. Luczo — becomes the CEO (inside the company, this is being jokingly called “pulling a Dick Cheney”). But more than a dozen tech leaders in Silicon Valley, as well as several top Microsoft execs, I have talked to over the last week have one single choice to lead the company: Tony Bates. Having the love of Silicon Valley, of course, is perhaps a little dicey for anyone from Microsoft, despite years of bridge-building done by many company execs, including the British-born Bates, after decades of hostility. But those I spoke to said Bates had all the right assets, making him “the best candidate across all of the various criteria,” said one source. “Tony is a bold choice that would say a lot to the rest of the tech world that Microsoft is ready to engage,” said another source close to the company. “Mulally makes sense only if the board wants a transitional figure, which means it basically doesn’t know what to do yet.” Among Bates’s pluses, according to these sources: Scale management experience from his time as an exec at Cisco, where he managed about 12,000 global workers and was responsible for more than $20 billion in revenue. Technical ability, although Bates does not have a technical degree (he dropped out of mechanical engineering program in Britain). But, at Cisco, he was in change of development of a complex networking product, and he also holds many patents related to the area.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone. It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline. As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Grufnik/Flickr Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic. The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline. Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD . “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.” The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane , single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past. I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago. But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone.

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Nokia Lumia 1520 Marks Giant Leap (In Screen Size) for Windows Phone

November 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

What’s big and red (or yellow, or white, or black), makes calls and plays movies, and doubles as a butter dish for Thanksgiving dinner? Why, it’s Nokia’s latest Windows Phone device, the Lumia 1520 , of course. And I’m just kidding about the butter dish part — sort of. The Lumia 1520, which is available now from AT&T for $200 on contract, is Nokia’s first foray into the world of “phablets” — those hybrid devices that try to be both smartphone and tablet. Till now, the largest screen to appear on a Windows Phone handset measured 4.5 inches. But the Lumia 1520 ups the ante with a six-inch full-HD display, which I found great for watching movies, reading text and even working on documents. But, as one would expect, it also makes for a large device. Not Samsung Galaxy Mega big, but big enough that it’s cumbersome to hold and carry

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