Adobe Announces Aggressive Focus on HTML5, Abandons Mobile Flash

  • Adobe will no longer continue to develop its Flash Player for mobile devices. Instead, it will focus its resources on HTML5, according to the company’s blog.
  • “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively,” writes Danny Winokur, VP and GM, Adobe Interactive Development. “This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”
  • Future efforts for Flash on mobile devices will focus on creating native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.
  • “Did Apple ensure mobile Flash’s demise by preventing it from competing properly? Or did Adobe’s insistence on keeping the format proprietary, complicated by Flash’s alleged performance issues, tie Cupertino’s hands?” asks TIME. “Whatever the case, with Adobe’s mobile development switching to HTML5, all eyes are on the desktop version of Flash, and whether after nearly a decade-and-a-half of use, Adobe will eventually opt to retire it, too.”

Giving Presentations: Seven Ways to Impress the Tech-Savvy Crowd

  • Fast Company presents seven new guidelines for public speaking in the era of social media, especially for execs who deliver presentations to tech-savvy audiences.
  • Don’t assume attendees have drifted off if they’re pecking away at their iPads, suggests the article. They’re most likely tweeting your comments, fact-checking in real time or even trying to start a conversation with you.
  • “It’s fun to respond to a tweet when I am on stage, and it personalizes the interaction with the audience,” Citibank exec Frank Eliason says.
  • Common ground for today’s best speakers: “First, none of them depend on word-laden PowerPoint presentations. Second, most are good storytellers and use humor, often self-deprecating, to connect with their audiences. Finally, each of them manages to keep their presentations short enough to allow time for a healthy Q&A.”

Wii Surpasses PS3 as Top Video Game Brand for Young Consumers

  • Nintendo Wii is the most popular video game console with young Americans (ages 8-to-24), according to a new Harris Interactive survey.
  • Nearly 6,000 young consumers participated in the study conducted in August 2011.
  • The poll also lists Apple as the top brand among the 13-to-24 demographic for computers, mobile phones and tablets.
  • “It’s interesting that the Nintendo Wii rated so highly given that it’s been the lowest selling console for the last year,” reports IndustryGamers. “This shows that Nintendo still has plenty of brand equity among consumers, and with the right products and marketing there is no reason they can’t be the #1 selling console again. The dangers are also clear in this study, as Apple leads in mobile phones and tablets, where games are one of the top categories that seem to be having an effect on handheld console sales.”

Pew Research Asks: Are Consumers Really Using Their Apps?

  • The Pew Internet Research Center found that about one-third of adults (18+ with tablets and/or app-enabled phones) use 3 to 5 apps at least once a week.
  • The new study examines the percentage of consumers who use their downloaded apps on a regular basis and suggests there is a significant range of adoption varying amongst different age groups.
  • Pew discovered that only 17 percent of phone users and 7 percent of tablet owners indicate they choose not to use apps at all.
  • “The share of adult cell phone owners who have downloaded an app nearly doubled in the past two years,” reports Lost Remote, “rising from 22 percent in September 2009 to 38 percent in August 2011.”
  • The most popularly downloaded apps were those that provided updates on news, weather, sports or stocks; helped communication with friends/family; and enabled learning about something users found personally interesting.
  • “And 43 percent say they’re using apps to watch TV and movies, which is likely dominated by Netflix and Hulu,” indicates the article.

Nippon Electric Wants to Kill Glare Dead with Invisible Glass

  • Nippon Electric Glass Co. Ltd. is developing an “Invisible Glass” film with the intent of combatting reflection and glare issues often so problematic with electronic devices.
  • The concept, recently demonstrated at the FPD International conference, is placed on the front and back sides of the glass substrate to minimize reflections from various light sources.
  • “Usually, glass will allow 92 percent of light to pass through it and reflect 8 percent back to the viewer,” reports Gizmodo. “The Invisible Glass film allows 99.5 percent of light to pass through it and reflects only .5 percent back at the viewer.”
  • According to Tech-On: “For the two anti-reflection films, the company used a total of 30 or more layers. And the thickness of each layer is controlled in increments of nanometers.”
  • No word on how close this concept may be to commercial release.

New Apple Store App Enables Online Orders and Self Check-Out

  • Apple’s new retail store app for iOS is expected to launch today, and will include two major features: 1) Online ordering with retail store pick-up, and 2) Self check-out at retail locations.
  • The new services have already started at a number of Apple locations in California and New York City.
  • A customer will be able to order an in-stock product online and pick it up approximately 12 minutes later — skipping lines and registers, then simply picking up and signing for the product.
  • If customers order an item that is not in-stock, they’ll be a given a pick-up date right after the online purchase is completed. All products sent to an Apple store will include free shipping.
  • With self check-out, customers are encouraged to launch the Apple Store app on an iOS device to purchase in-store items. “You scan the product with the camera on your device in the app, click purchase, and it will charge whatever credit card is associated to your Apple ID,” reports BGR.
  • The company expects the new program will generate a 30 percent increase in sales.

Shall I Buy Enables Social Shopping: Foodspotting for Everything Else

  • Shall I Buy is a free iPhone app with the goal of combining instant social feedback for shoppers to make better purchasing decisions and possibly combat buyer’s remorse.
  • A shopper can share a video, picture, price and location to engage potential followers and incite comments, and allows sharing of links through Facebook and Twitter.
  • “The app is done simply, taking heavy styling cues from Instagram, but in doing so it’s effective and easy to use,” reports TheNextWeb.
  • The post cites two potential downsides: 1) By default, users receive a great number of push notifications, and 2) It would be helpful to have “a way to configure notifications inside of the app itself,” rather than going to the website.
  • Robert Scoble equates it to “Foodspotting for everything else.”

Apple May Take iOS Maps to the Next Level with Help of C3 Technologies

  • Apple now owns C3 Technologies, a company that “creates incredibly high-quality and detailed 3D maps with virtually no input from humans,” reports 9to5Mac.
  • The acquisition is likely a step towards creating a 3D-enhanced version of iOS Maps, eventually moving away from Google entirely. Apple may also be looking to include traffic data.
  • The update would probably not come for some time as Apple and Google signed a deal to extend the use of Google Maps. “We’re not expecting anything big in the immediate future but we’d be surprised to see the same old Maps program in iOS 6,” suggests the article. “Expect something much much bigger.”
  • The post includes some interesting video demonstrations of C3’s impressive capabilities.

Mary Meeker Offers Updated Analysis During Web 2.0 Summit Presentation

  • At the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Mary Meeker updated her Internet Trends analysis that she has presented for the past eight years. Meeker is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and was formerly managing director and research analyst at Morgan Stanley.
  • Meeker offered some compelling data this year (the ReadWriteWeb post features some great trend charts and statistics). Highlights include:
  • Globality — China’s Internet users add up to almost twice the number of U.S. users.
  • Mega-Trend — Empowering people worldwide with mobile devices.
  • 55 percent of Twitter traffic and 33 percent of Facebook traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • User Interface — Touch, sound and movement is the new UI.
  • 85 percent of world’s population now covered by commercial wireless signals.
  • Smartphones and tablets outshipped PCs (notebooks and desktops) in Q4 2010.
  • Mobile apps and advertising has been growing 153 percent/year over past four years.
  • Social networking time is surpassing portal times.

All Eyes on Apple: iPhone, iPad Beat Android Devices in Eye-Tracking Study

  • A recent study by EyeTrackshop showed that Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPad 2 “drew more glances and held people’s attention longer than Google Android devices from Amazon, HTC, Motorola and Samsung,” reports Forbes.
  • The study showed participants a picture of six smartphones and five tablets. EyeTrackshop’s software tracked where subjects’ eyes went, in what order and how long, using webcams.
  • “EyeTrackshop said the results equate to respondents dwelling on the iPhone 4S 42 percent longer than the other phones and on the iPad 138 percent longer than the other tablets.”
  • Additionally, a follow-up survey indicated that 40 percent found the iPhone most visually appealing; for tablets, 35 percent for the iPad; and disregarding price, 47 percent said they would buy the iPhone and 48 percent preferred the iPad to other tablets.

Apple Newsstand Leads to Surge in Digital Publication Subs and Sales

  • Condé Nast reports a 268 percent increase in digital subscriptions for nine of its titles since joining Apple’s Newsstand two weeks ago.
  • Publisher of “The New Yorker,” “Vanity Fair” and “Wired” has seen a tenfold increase in digital subscriptions and single-copy sales across all platforms since September 2010.
  • “If other publishers are seeing the kinds of lift that Condé Nast is… it represents an initial validation of the demand for a separate area for periodicals, away from games like Angry Birds or social media apps like Instagram and Foursquare,” suggests paidContent.
  • However, while digital sales surge (Next Issue Media projects aggregate revenue of $3 billion by 2014), ad sales are reportedly slow to follow, which means publishers will need to carefully evaluate how to leverage the new consumer purchase activity on tablets.

Google and Yahoo to Offer Competition for Popular Flipboard App

  • Yahoo’s personalized reading app for tablets, called Livestand, is expected to launch this week.
  • “More than Flipboard and Zite, Livestand looks and feels like AOL’s Editions app for iPad,” reports ReadWriteWeb. “It functions as a personalized, magazine-like publication with dynamic content and sleek, often video-based advertisements.”
  • Propeller, the code name for Google’s challenge to Flipboard, is expected to integrate with Google+ and include several media partners. AllThingsD describes the app as “an HTML5 reader for the Apple iPad and Android.”
  • Yahoo and Google may be arriving on the scene a bit late to compete with the immensely popular Flipboard. However, the two companies may have an advantage with the development of cross-platform support, potentially gaining an audience among smartphone users.
  • Despite the cross-platform advantage, ReadWriteWeb points out that, “applications like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse have proven very popular among consumers. To compete, the big players will need to offer something truly unique to readers, publishers and advertisers alike.”

Apple Patents Hint at 3D Gesture Control for iPad and Projected Images

  • A newly uncovered Apple patent suggests 3D gesture control may be in the works for the company’s mobile devices.
  • “Forget relying solely on touch to control your Apple device,” writes Wired. “On future iPads, you may be able to control your tablet from across the room using 3D gestures, such as a swirl or swipe of the hand.”
  • Employing a front-facing camera, it may be possible to use 3D gestures to control graphical elements such as icons, media files, text and images on an iPad or iPhone. A toolbar would teach beginners pre-set options as well as allow users to customize their own gestures.
  • Another Apple patent indicates the company is working on an integrated projector for iDevices that would incorporate gesture controls for manipulating projected images.

Real-Time Entertainment Traffic: Have We Entered a Post-PC Era?

  • According to the new “Global Internet Phenomena Report” from broadband solutions provider Sandvine, North Americans have officially embraced the “post-PC” era.
  • The report suggests that for the first time, U.S. consumers are using their gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets more than PCs for entertainment.
  • “[We have] entered a post-PC era, in which the majority of real-time entertainment traffic on North America’s fixed access networks is destined for devices other than a laptop or desktop computer,” Sandvine reports. “Game consoles, settop boxes, smart TVs, tablets, and mobile devices being used within the home combine to receive 55 percent of all real-time entertainment traffic.”
  • Interesting stats from the “Beyond Bytes” infographic: 96 percent of broadband subscribers use real-time entertainment each month, 83 percent of broadband users access YouTube videos each month (compared to 20 percent for Netflix), and real-time entertainment as a percentage of peak period downstream traffic has doubled since 2009.

Kindle Fire May Set Records, but Content Sales Needed to Turn a Profit

  • Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak is predicting record sales of the Kindle and Kindle Fire. However, the company also anticipates a lag in revenue after initial sales of the devices, as consumers get acquainted with their machines before purchasing content for them.
  • “Much of the profit from these products would come from digital purchases by consumers post-sale,” reports The Next Web.
  • “Once a customer has purchased a device, what else do they buy? We certainly have some data now that we didn’t have prior to the launch [of the ad-based Kindles]. Once the customer purchases the Kindle and are carrying around this massive selection at their fingertips, they buy more content,” said Szkutak.
  • In a related post, it was noted that the Kindle Fire may become the best-selling Android tablet ever, as pre-orders continue to flood in.
  • Amazon is producing “millions more” tablets to match the demand that has overwhelmed the company since announcing the slate a month ago.
  • The Fire will sell for $199, possibly making it an attractive alternative to Apple’s iPad, which starts at $499.

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