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Tablets, Mobile Devices

Are in-car apps the next platform for news media companies?

24 August 2015 · by David Murphy

After online, then mobile, and now watches and other wearables, could cars be the next battleground for the publishing industry?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a while, and that came to mind again with the rumours that surfaced recently about Apple’s plans for a self-driving car.

With a self-driving car, of course, you wouldn’t actually need a dedicated in-car app for your favourite newspaper. Freed from the chore of actually steering the thing and only having to hit the brakes from time to time, you could simply sit back, fire up your tablet of choice, and catch up with the latest world events while the car moved you seamlessly from point A to B.

But while the self-driving car exists in prototype form and has proven to be far safer than anything with a human being at the wheel, it’s likely to be a good few years before it’s commonplace on the streets of London, New York, or anywhere else for that matter.

So what’s available now for car drivers eager for their news fix? As far as I can see, not a lot, if anything at all. Ford has been one of ...


How app linking in Android M, iOS9 will increase app engagement

19 August 2015 · by Padraic Woods

New functionality available in the next version of both Apple and Google mobile operating systems (iOS9 and Android M) will have dramatic consequences for publishers trying to get users to use their apps instead of a mobile Web browser.

The next version of the iOS and Android operating systems will take deep linking to a new level. Both Apple and Google have worked simultaneously on improving app linking, essentially blurring the lines between content displayed in an app and content on a mobile Web site.

I’ve written about deep link strategies before, and the challenges and tactics employed for linking to and searching for content available in apps: Facebook developed App Links, a protocol designed to address this problem. Twitter Cards make it possible to link directly to your app from a tweet. Google App Indexing makes it possible to display app links in Google searches. iOS8 extensions allow apps to specify what actions they support. The smart app banner promotes a Web site’s app and can link directly to content within that app.

Web sites that implement Apple’s universal links function new in iOS9 and Android’s app links function coming in Android M can specify that ...


Slow smartwatch growth today may develop into overwhelming use tomorrow

18 August 2015 · by Sarah Riley

Several months after its debut, the Apple Watch’s history is still being written. Smartwatches have been around for several years now, but with the Cupertino giant’s foray into the category, you could argue that wearable technology has firmly emerged as the new mobile darling.

Love them or hate them, it seems smartwatches – at least in ambition, if not yet in practice – are poised to become as ubiquitous as smartphones.

Apple’s been understandably cagey about the general sales figures for the watch to keep us guessing on how many actually bought in. But UBS analysts aren’t overly optimistic in forecasting its performance for 2016, halving their estimates for total sales of the watch from 41 to about 20 million units.

Still, 20 million watches is a lot – about US$10 billion of revenue for Apple to be exact – and a growing (glowing?) addition to early adopter gadgetry around the world.

That means several Apple Watches have invariably found ...


Why there is no mobile customer

10 August 2015 · by Chuck Blevins

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realise the truth: There is no spoon. Then you will see it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”  — Spoon Boy, The Matrix (1999)

Each year, new, spec-rich devices – watches, phones, phablets, tablets, large tablets, laptops, desktops, hybrids, wearables – churn through the market. As a result, the average consumer has become a digital omnivore consuming content in habitual patterns across a range of platforms and devices throughout the day.

Consider ...


How will ad blockers change mobile advertising?

26 July 2015 · by Lorna White

Ad blocking is nothing new. It has been developing popularity for about five years. The recent rapid growth in uptake, however, means the threat to the advertising industry is increasing. As mobile advertising is consistently rising with increasing consumer use, mobile ad blocking specifically is a risk the industry needs to pay close attention to.

The recent announcement from tech giant Apple, outlining that ad blockers will be allowed in the next version of Safari mobile browser alongside Adblock plus creating their own browser, means the mobile industry needs to ...


M-payments, micro payments: an opportunity for media

19 July 2015 · by Mark Challinor

Having spoken on behalf of the print media industry earlier this month at the m-payment summit in London, I am returning to this important subject today in this blog post.

Readers today consume content anytime and anywhere, and the plethora of ways to do so grows by the minute. But let’s take a long view for a minute. Let’s look at the landscape they find themselves in.

The coming Internet of Things makes it a truly connected world 24/7, where we are now identified by geolocation or an IP address.

In fact, one to “watch,” so to speak, is what do we all do regarding wearables? There are many implications here for print media, mainly in engagement ...


App designers share advice on creating news media smartphone apps

15 July 2015 · by Sarah Riley

Arguably the most important piece of real estate for news media companies measures just 5 to 5.6 inches across.

Researchers at GfK, Germany’s largest market research institute, report that the average smartphone screen size will break the 5-inch barrier this year with the most common landing somewhere between 5 and 5.6 inches.

Smartphones may be growing before our eyes, but even at 5.6 inches, the average screen is still a relatively narrow visual playing field — and one under a lot of pressure. In the mobile arena, UX/UI (user experience and user interface) designers have become integral to unlocking ...


Ad blockers are latest challenge to news media revenue

06 July 2015 · by David Murphy

In addition to having to prove the value of mobile as an advertising channel, the mobile advertising industry is facing a number of challenges right now to secure more budget from advertisers so the massive imbalance between user time spent in the channel and the proportion of ad spend that goes to it is redressed.

Until recently, there were three key issues to which advertisers were seeking answers:

The first was viewability: When my ad is served on a mobile site or in a mobile app, how likely is it to be seen?

The second was fraud: If it is seen, how likely is it to have been seen by a human being, which is good, or by a bot, which is very bad, especially when I’m paying for the impression?

The third issue was in regard to brand safety: Assuming my ad is viewable, and that when it’s viewed, it’s viewed by a human and not by a bot, is it appearing in a place that ...


Apple, Google, Facebook lead digital media transformation

28 June 2015 · by Dirk Barmscheidt

Over the last few weeks, there was a lot of discussion about the publishing industry’s transformation. And the surprise was that the publishers did not start the discussion, but rather tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple did.

The message for each publisher and for the whole industry is a slap in the face: You are not able to transform to digital successfully on your own!

And this is not ...


How analytics should inform your media company’s smartphone app creation

21 June 2015 · by Sarah Riley

When it comes to digital platforms, we shouldn’t have to convince you that smartphones lay claim to the “fastest growth” title. But just in case you need proof, here are some numbers to prove the mobile screen has now surpassed television as North America’s primary display:


About this blog

As news increasingly goes mobile, this blog’s mission is to be the worldwide reference guide to growing and engaging news audiences via mobile devices and tablets; attracting mobile revenue via advertising, sponsorship, and subscriptions; and owning the market for mobile news.

Meet the bloggers

Dirk Barmscheidt
Founder and Managing Director
Brantalist - Digital Business Consulting
Hamburg, Germany
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Chuck Blevins
New Platform Development & Technology
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Mark Challinor
Mobile/Digital Consultant
President, INMA
London, United Kingdom
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David Murphy
Founder and Editor
Mobile Marketing magazine
London, United Kingdom
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Sarah Riley
Senior App Advisor
MindSea, an investment of The Chronicle Herald
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Lorna White
Senior Planner Connect
London, United Kingdom
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Padraic Woods
Mobile Development Manager
Verdens Gang
Oslo, Norway
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