Internet Trends Report: Overall Growth Slows, Mobile on Rise

It’s that time of year again. Mary Meeker, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, presented her annual report on Internet trends at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Wednesday. Meeker noted that growth in Internet usage was slowing, but overall mobile data consumption (pushed by video) is up 81 percent, due to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones. While mobile accounted for 14 percent of Web usage last year, it is up to 25 percent today. Continue reading Internet Trends Report: Overall Growth Slows, Mobile on Rise

NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its push into digital programming with the launch of new series to be distributed via its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Two series slated to launch on NBC.com include “Saturday Night Line,” about superfans who wait in the “SNL” standby line, and “Heroes Reborn: Digital Series,” a prequel to the upcoming “Heroes” miniseries. In addition, Universal Cable Productions has plans to release more than a dozen digital programs, including “Tesla and Twain” and “Last Single Girl.” Continue reading NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

Samsung Unveils New PC Monitors, Including $700 4K Model

Samsung announced its new line of consumer monitors this week, including the UD590, its first Ultra HD 4K display designed for desktop use. The 28-inch desktop monitor, featuring a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, is currently available for pre-order at $700. Other 4K models due out this year are expected to cost $1,000 or more. Samsung also announced two 24-inch and two 27-inch 1080p displays ($250-$330), all featuring PLS-WVA panels with wide, 178-degree viewing angles. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New PC Monitors, Including $700 4K Model

Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

Starbucks and McDonalds are working towards implementing mobile ordering and digital payment systems. Besides the pizza industry, most fast food chains have been reluctant to adopt digital ordering systems, while small businesses have been quick to accept GrubHub, which allows customers to order food online or through a smartphone app. Since GrubHub recognizes that fast food chains will likely create their own apps, the company is focused on partnering with independent restaurants. Continue reading Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

At CES, Hisense showed its new line of VIDAA smart TVs, the first to incorporate Android since Google TV ceased to formally exist. The new displays come after Google scrapped the manufacturing of its own display and began allowing other manufacturers to build TVs with built-in Android technology. Google services like Chrome and TV programming guide Primetime are available on the displays. The platform was developed by Ontario-based design and engineering company Jamdeo. Continue reading VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

Will Mobile Messaging Apps Replace Our Social Networks?

In addition to using the major social networks to create personal profiles, build networks of friends and other connections, share photos, videos and music, many tech-savvy young people are turning to smartphone-based messaging apps for these functions. Popular apps such as Kik, Whatsapp, KakaoTalk, LINE and WeChat are growing in popularity throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Continue reading Will Mobile Messaging Apps Replace Our Social Networks?

Free Messaging Apps Impact Facebook and Mobile Carriers

A fast-growing variety of free messaging apps — including WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk — are now commonly used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. The apps are causing concern for an array of tech companies since communication via free messaging does not benefit mobile carriers or phone makers financially. Use of the messaging apps can also reduce time spent on conversational channels such as social networks. Continue reading Free Messaging Apps Impact Facebook and Mobile Carriers

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