Day before Yesterday
Today, thanks to the maturation of the web, digital tech, and smartphones now in seemingly every pocket, startups are finding it easier than ever before to build scalable solutions to finally address the many inefficiencies in our food manufacturing, production and distribution systems.
As interest in food tech balloons, one area in particular appears to already be at the tipping point: Online and mobile food delivery. Over the last few days, we’ve hearing about a merger between two of the largest companies in the space. Rumor has it that “arch rivals” GrubHub and Seamless are in talks which could see them join forces as part of a merger. While our sources tell us that the talks are serious, the terms of the merger are not yet clear and, of course, any potential deal could fall through.
Furthermore, it’s not yet clear what kind of synergies would take place, how management of the new entity would be structured or even what the new business will be called. The two companies would not confirm on the record on any of the above. But as far as the name goes, we’re hoping for Grubless. Or Hubless GrubSeam. But they have a nice ring to them, don’t they?
If these rumors are true, the merger comes at a good time for the arch rivals, who have been seeing mounting competition of late from a laundry list of new startups entering the space, including increasingly popular alternatives like Delivery.com, ChowNow, Munchery (meals from local chefs), Campus Special, eat24 or the bigs of Europe, like Food Hero and Just-Eat.
If the online food-ordering and delivery market is roughly where daily deals were three-plus years ago, then the deal essentially creates the Groupon of food delivery. Like the daily deals market, food ordering has traditionally had a fairly low barrier to entry, which helps explain why we seem to see a new startup pop up every week.
Plus, the business model isn’t particularly complicated, making it replicable. That being said, innovation and tech adoption have been slow to come to the food industry, and, at scale, this model (taking a slice of transactions) has the potential to be able to generate a lot of cash.
This is just one part of why the “food tech” business has been so hot lately. Just ask venture capitalists who collectively poured $350 million into food startups over the last year. (Compare that to 2008, when it was less than $50 million.) Plus, when you get right down to it: People need to eat. And, as it turns out, people are pretty busy. Uh, and lazy.
Of course, for those who remember the spectacular failure of online food companies like Webvan, Kozmo and HomeRuns, this whole “tech in your kitchen” and online ordering jibber-jabber probably sounds familiar — and not in a good way. But this time it’s different. Research from Cornell University recently found, for example, that over 40 percent of adults in the U.S. have ordered food online, and 10 percent of restaurant orders now originate online — and these numbers continue to head north. GrubHub and Seamless have built successful businesses on this very idea.
Both GrubHub and Seamless have been around for some time: The New York City-based Seamless was founded in 1999, while the Chicago-based GrubHub got its start in 2004. And for the most part, the two companies have catered to two different markets geographically. While both now have fairly expansive coverage, GrubHub has naturally developed a firm foothold in the Midwest, while Seamless focused its early attention on NYC, before moving into cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. From that perspective, a merger would make sense, allowing the new, consolidated entity to gain penetration into markets where they lacked a major presence.
Writ large, the companies, while having some fundamental differences, do seem to have a lot of synergies on paper — at least “nominally,” depending on who you ask — likely why they’ve increasingly become rivals over the years. Both are of fairly comparable size, as GrubHub has more than 18,000 restaurant partners across more than 500 cities, while Seamless has over 12,000 restaurants and serves nearly 5,000 businesses and more than 2 million users. As of February, Reuters reported that Seamless was on track to generate more than $100 million in revenue this year as it expands into new cities and focuses more aggressively on mobile.
The company reportedly generated $85 million in revenue last year, growing its consumer business by 60 percent year-over-year and “will soon be processing $1 billion worth of food orders a year,” Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky told Reuters at the time. For the majority of its history, the company focused primarily on New York, but launched a major expansion effort last year, bringing its service to 10 new cities. According to the report, Seamless saw its transaction volume quadruple in Los Angeles during 2012, with transactions tripling in San Francisco.
Another interesting point to note: GrubHub was reported to be considering an IPO last fall. The company denied the rumors at the time, and if this merger is true, then they’ve been given the proper perspective. Certainly, it would seem that this wouldn’t take a potential IPO off the table, instead, likely making an opening price that much higher.
The IPO rumors for GrubHub came at a time when the company was reportedly doing about $60 million in revenue (this was in 2012) — a little less than half that of Seamless. Furthermore, Crain’s reported in December that GrubHub’s revenue has been doubling every year and, as the company reported $30 million in revenue in 2011, that revenue estimate would make sense and put the company on the path to crossing $100 million well before the end of this year.
That is all to say that, although the terms of the potential deal are unclear, these are two sizable businesses that are growing relatively fast, so any potential valuation has got to be fairly high. After all: The two companies were fairly comparably capitalized and staffed, with GrubHub growing to over 250 employees and Seamless over 300, while GrubHub raised about $84 million from a mix of venture and growth equity firms (including Benchmark) and Seamless raised $51 million, $50 million of which came from private equity firm Spectrum Equity.
While both companies have made a couple of acquisitions, this would be the second big M&A deal for Seamless, as the company was acquired by food services giant, ARAMARK, in 2006. Five years later, Spectrum bought a minority stake in Seamless from ARAMARK, and about a year later, the food services company spun-off its remaining interest in Seamless to its shareholders. Free from its corporate ownership, Seamless proceeded to go out and buy MenuPages for $15 million, showing up GrubHub, which MenuPages had initially targeted as its acquirer. When GrubHub and MenuPages couldn’t agree to a deal, and it seems that GrubHub was instead in the process of buying Dotmenu/Allmenus, Seamless swooped in — according to BetaBeat.
So, as you can see, the companies have a long history of jostling. While GrubHub had been out acquiring restaurant partners fast and furiously, Seamless stagnated a bit under ARAMARK, but since becoming an independent company (again) and with a new board/investors, the company seems to have been compounding its growth. Together, that growth could be exponentially higher.
Finally, if this deal is in fact a go, it’s worth looking at this quote from GrubHub co-founder and CEO Matt Maloney from back in 2011. In it, he shares his opinion on GrubHub’s top competitor, a little company called Seamless. He told BetaBeat:
I typically don’t talk this much about Seamless because we don’t view them as incredibly strong competition for what we’re doing … Seamless fundamentally is a corporate catering business. They were founded years and years and years ago to do just that. And they’re still best in the business for corporate. They recently got into the consumer and residential pick-up and delivery. And they do it well in New York, but they really have zero business anywhere else. We don’t even consider them competition anywhere other than Manhattan specifically.
So, there you go. A match potentially made in heaven, and one that’s sure to shake up online and mobile food ordering if it happens.
Oh HTC. You’ve produced one of the finest Android smartphones ever (seriously, just look at all these reviews), but you’ve faced more than your share of challenges when it came to actually pumping your top-tier One smartphone. As it happens, that may all soon change.
FocusTaiwan reported earlier today that HTC is preparing to pump out more of its wonderful Ones in short order — Jack Tong, the company’s North Asia president, noted that this month’s production capacity for the flagship device is twice that of April, and that surge will only continue into June.
Sounds pretty yawn-worthy, right? Normally I would spend too much time dwelling on the finer points of production capacity, but here’s a device that was launched to widespread praise by an underdog smartphone company some people have written off, and HTC has basically been getting screwed thanks to part shortages for the One’s Ultrapixel camera and a brief injunction due to the HDR microphone it uses. It’s like a perfect storm of headaches for a company that really, really doesn’t need it — one look at its Q1 financials and it’s clear that HTC needed this launch to go as smoothly as possible. It didn’t.
For what it’s worth, HTC hasn’t disclosed how many Ones it’s shipped since it launched earlier this year. Meanwhile, rival Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has become the Korean electronics giant’s fastest moving smartphone — Samsung shipped 6 million units in just over two weeks, and it hopes to cross the 10 million unit threshold by the end of this month. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Google’s Hugo Barra showed off a version of the S4 at the company’s I/O developer conference that runs a version of Android that’s unfettered by the software bloat that many a reviewer took umbrage at. Company representatives were careful not to call it a Nexus — even though it seems to harbor many of the advantages inherent to the Nexus line like a clean Android build and access to frequent software updates.
As I noted towards the end of my HTC One review, the wireless industry isn’t a meritocracy — the well-executed device doesn’t always wind up saving the day. Hopefully now that some of these production woes have been ironed out we’ll see HTC live to fight another day, but that’s still far from a given.
Google made a relatively quiet announcement today regarding how it’s pushing the developer ecosystem forward around Google Now, its intelligent personal assistant for Android devices. The company has begun extending mark up tools for emails from select partners, which help highlight flight schedules, hotel bookings and various types of reservations, to make sure that Gmail can spot that information and use it to auto-generate helpful reminders in Google Now.
The extension of the platform tools available to Now partners was announced by Google’s Baris Gultekin, who was one of the creators of Google Now, which sprung out of a project he came up with in his so-called “20 percent time.” He spoke with Google’s Louis Gray on the Developer Live video stream which ran throughout the I/O conference this year.
Gultekin was talking about ways in which Google is working to improve the quality and relevancy of the recommendations and data it surfaces. The project sounds like it’s fairly limited for now, but asking for help from the input sources of data seems like a smart way to supplement Google’s own data detection algorithms that are working to flag interesting data for Now’s use on their own data center side. Doing all the heavy lifting themselves might be more impressive, but if reaching out to partners can help improve user experience, then there’s no reason not to extend that hand.
No word yet on whether Google will eventually make those mark up tools available for different types of data or open them up for public use, but it’s easy to imagine a scenario where that happens, allowing developers and startups to provide the option of delivering all kinds of relevant information to users from their apps and services on Android. Then again, that has the potential to become overwhelming for users, so we might see a more metered, gradual approach.
Google Now Introduces Mark Up Tools For Select Partners To Flag Flights, Hotel Stays And Reservations In Emails
Lenovo unveiled its new Intel powered smartphone at CES earlier this year and it’s now officially available in China. The Android powered smartphone touts a 5.5-inch screen, a dual-core Atom Clover Trail+ processor running at 2.0 GHz, a 13 megapixel camera and a PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU. The device also has a 1080p IPS display, which is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. As far as design goes, Lenovo is promising a “slim, sleek design” and “The sleek-cut, stainless steel frame exudes power and strength.”
The K900 is only available in China at the moment, as is the case for most of Lenovo’s smartphones. The company is claiming that they will bring the device to “international markets” this summer, although which markets are still unspecified. The K900 is on sale now in China for around $536.
The official press release follows below.
Lenovo’s New K900 Smartphone Turns Heads in China
Flagship Now Available at Retail and Online
BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lenovo (HKSE: 0992) (PINK SHEETS: LNVGY) launched its highly-anticipated, new smartphone, the K900, at a gala event in the Chinese capitol yesterday evening. Industry and media luminaries gathered for an exclusive event at the M-Space in Haidian, eager to get a glimpse of the metal-clad flagship that stands out as much for its category-topping performance as its slim, sleek design. The Lenovo K900 goes on sale in China this week, and will roll out to additional international markets throughout the summer.
The unibody design of the K900 makes a bold statement for Lenovo. The sleek-cut, stainless steel frame exudes power and strength, while the unibody chassis maintains a low profile at 6.9mm, ensuring a smooth, elegant look and feel. The attention to detail and focus on design for Lenovo’s latest flagship smartphone makes the K900 an excellent choice for top-end smartphone buyers, while Lenovo’s expanding distribution for smartphones ensures the K900 will compete head-to-head with many of the top smartphones in the market today.
Lenovo has tapped NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant to help promote the K900 in its television and print advertisements and on social media sites in China and Southeast Asia. Bryant is known on the basketball court for a playing style which combines power and grace, similar to the combination of performance and design that makes the Lenovo K900 stand out from the crowd of high-end smartphones. Like a high-profile celebrity, the K900 is instantly recognizable and a magnet for attention.
Liu Jun, senior vice president , and president of the Lenovo Business Group, opened the event stating, “Smartphones are a critical component of Lenovo’s PC+ strategy and the Lenovo K900 is an example of this strategy in action. With its cutting-edge design and intuitive, optimized user experience, K900 offers China’s smartphone users a fresh, new option. At the same time, Lenovo’s smartphone business is growing fast in global markets. In 2013, we will add several new countries to our smartphone footprint, and by year-end we will cover most of the world’s emerging markets.”
Lenovo K900 is the first smartphone in the world to leverage the latest Intel® Atom™ Z2580 processor, a dual core chip, which runs up to 2.0 GHz and utilizes Intel® Hyper-Threading technology to boost performance efficiency. The Intel-powered device also features an Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator engine running a PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU, which triples graphics performance over the previous generation.1 This makes the Lenovo K900 very responsive, especially for key functions such as web-browsing, multi-tasking and application-switching.
“Intel and Lenovo have raised the bar for smartphones with the K900. Our teams got together and worked closely to innovate around a number of important features and capabilities that our customers care most about such as power consumption, application switching and camera functionality. Then the Lenovo design team took this powerful platform and wrapped it up in a very attractive package with the K900. We are proud to be teaming with Lenovo to bring these innovations to market,” said Ian Yang, president ,Intel China, at the Beijing event.
As smartphones have become ubiquitous, customer demands on “top-of-the-line” devices have increased, with design and usability growing in importance. The Lenovo K900 resets the bar on these aspects. At 6.9mm, the K900 is the thinnest phone in its class by a wide margin and weighs in at a mere 162g, making it a device that unobtrusively slips into a jacket pocket or handbag. Made from a composite of stainless steel alloy and polycarbonate in a Unibody mold, the K900 manages to stay strong and look sharp while maintaining its slim profile.
However, the material alone is not the only aspect that has allowed Lenovo to achieve a design milestone with the K900. The rear camera array has been optimized for size with a new sensor and layout that does not protrude from the case, leaving a clean, smooth rear face that doesn’t snag on clothing. The design team tweaked the PCB and battery layout to reduce the space used by internal components. And the K900 is topped off by a unique “stripe” ID language that reinforces the thin body and integrates the external components.
While the K900 is certainly sleek, it does not ignore the emerging trend toward larger and clearer displays on smartphones. The K900 is one of the first smartphones in the world to combine a 5.5″ IPS display with 1080p full high-definition resolution performance at 400+ pixels-per-inch, all under the latest, touch-capacitive Gorilla Glass 2. This gives the K900 supreme clarity and crispness along with plenty of space to capture the nuances of high-definition photos and video, as well as for viewing standard-size web pages.
The Lenovo K900′s camera stands out as one of the smartphone’s most distinguished features. As with other functions on the K900, Lenovo has completely overhauled the camera, and delivered a package that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Megapixels is the first specification that many users recognize for digital cameras, and with 13MP, the K900 ranks at the top of its class in this aspect and combines this with an industry-leading, Sony® Exmor BSI sensor for what would already be considered outstanding performance.
Recognizing that customers often need to take clear, flash-less photos in low-light, Lenovo has equipped the K900 with an F1.8 focal length lens, making it the first smartphone to offer such a wide aperture on its camera. In addition to these improvements to the rear camera, the front camera has also been widened to an 88? viewing angle, the widest available on a smartphone front camera for convenient self-photos and video calls.
Pricing and Availability2
The K900 smartphone is now available in China and will hit select international markets this summer. Retail price for the K900 in China will start at RMB 3,299.
For the latest Lenovo news, subscribe to Lenovo RSS feeds or follow Lenovo on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for a new tech toy for a great price? You’ve come to the right place!
Our Top Deal today is the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III for only $0.99. This refurbished unit is one of the most popular Android smartphones around, so if you’re not looking to spend $200+ on the Galaxy S 4, this is a great option for you!
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Electonics and Peripherals
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Accessories and Fun Stuff
Deals of the Day – Samsung Galaxy S III for AT&T only $0.99 originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-18T00:28:59Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Pity the poor Wii U. Such a nice, innovative machine with such little software support. Its doom is being spelled out across the dank corridors of the interwebs. Most recently, Electronic Arts pulled support for the struggling console. Since it’s fairly disastrous E3 unveiling in 2011, the system’s tale has been a sad one. But it’s a solid piece of (admittedly current gen) console hardware with some pretty cool
gimmicks features that offer totally unique gaming experiences. The main reason the Big N’s attempt at making the Wii miracle happen twice is failing, in my opinion, is the lack of GAMES.
And that’s why it was a bitter sweet experience watching this month’s Nintendo Direct. Along with some great content for the 3Ds, Nintendo showed us some exciting stuff for the Wii U. But it might just be too late.
The whole thing starts familiarly enough, with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, and ends with good ol’ Reggie (Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President). But in between they drop some pretty exciting stuff. In my book, the 2 most important things announced were the new Wii U and 3DS exclusive Sonic title, and the Pikmin release date. Here’s a not at all exhaustive list of the announcements:
Partnership with Sega:
Iwata announced a new partnership with Sega in his segment that will bring some exclusive games to the Wii U and 3DS. As expected, a new Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics is coming to both systems, and the Wii U footage is quite lovely. But the most exciting news was the announcement of a new, exclusive Sonic game coming to Nintendo machines. Sadly all Sonic in the Lost World got was a concept screen and a promise of more to come. But, as I confessed yesterday, any Sonic news is good news to me!
Gameplay footage and a release date for Pikman 3
Finally, Nintendo! Pikmin fans have been clamoring for a new outing in their favorite plant minion strategy series and Nintendo’s been mostly quiet about it until now. The new Pikmin 3 footage looked great, and showed off what the Wii U can do with beautiful water effects and bright, colorful environments. It looks like the biggest and best Pikmin to date. Most importantly, July 26th European and August 4th North American release dates were announced.
Rounding out its Wii U announcements was a HD Wii U overhaul of 3DS game, Resident Evil: Revelations, that looked great and adds tons of bonus content, a major Luigi DLC pack for New Super Mario Bros. U, a new Warioware sequel called Game and Wario, and the announcement of a new game, Wonderful 101 coming in September.
Compared to recent Nintendo Directs presentation, they spent a lot of time on the Wii U. It seems Iwata et. al are finally bringing some Nintendo magic to the Wii U. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.
The 3DS got some love too
- Two new Zelda games in the eShop, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. When played together, the games unlock extra content between each other.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns out May 24th,
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf out June 9th, will have added social features for the western release.
- The aforementioned Sega games, Sonic in the Lost World, and Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics will have 3DS versions too.
Nintendo Direct Reaction -Nintendo Brings Some Wii U Love Late to the Game originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-18T00:00:51Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Google’s Vikram Aggarwal, a software engineer working on the Android platform, revealed today that Gmail and Email, the native Android client that still ships on Android devices as well, now has a combined user base of more than 100 million across the Android install base. It’s an interesting stat, because although Gmail and Email only represent two of a multitude of email clients available on Android, it’s likely that those two represent the email clients of choice for a wide swath of Android users.
This means that a 100-million-strong active user base for those two combined is probably a pretty good reflection of the total active user base of Android itself, give or take a few million users. That’s a good figure to get, since we usually see more about total activations, which is a far less accurate measure of how many people are currently using devices. Activations occur whenever there is a full device reset, for instance, and people often upgrade to new phones, meaning their previous activation is no longer an active one.
Google has passed 900 million Android activations, the company revealed at the I/O keynote earlier this week. Put in context of a 100-million-strong active user base for the core email apps operating on the platform, however, we get a picture of Android users which is much more down to earth. Estimates of active Apple devices have to take into account the 500 million sold to date, with over 300 million now on iOS 6. Updated to that version or being sold with it installed indicates there’s a good chance a lot of those are still in active use.
Divining the total number of active users on either platform is one part magic and one part science, and the 100 million is likely shy of the actual total of active Android devices out there, but it’s still another piece of the puzzle.
Analytics site App Annie released a report today that confirmed Nintendo and Sony’s greatest fears, mobile gaming app revenue had lapped their sales twice. Android and iOS gaming revenue was 3 times that of dedicated portable consoles in 2013′s first quarter.
The in depth report can be found here but the jist of it’s pretty clear:
“For the Portable Gaming Report Q1 2013, there are three important takeways:
iOS and Google Play both saw growth in game downloads and consumer spending.
- iOS is now the leader in consumer spending on games, with Google Play likely to surpass gaming-optimized handhelds in 2Q13.
- Gaming-optimized handhelds experienced significant decreases in consumer spending and packaged game shipments due to seasonality.”
Android, iOS Gaming Revenue Three Times That of Handheld Consoles originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-17T22:04:57Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Tech site, The Verge reported today that an updated Xbox 360 dashboard UI is in the works. While a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment, the Verge story reports changes to the Dashboard UI and Live Tiles to coincide with the new Xbox being unveiled on the 21st, and changes in Windows 8.1:
“Microsoft is preparing to update its Xbox 360 with another dashboard update. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Xbox plans have revealed to The Verge that the dashboard update will enter into a public beta in late June or early July, with changes and updates in preparation for the next-generation Xbox. We’re told that the user interface will be refreshed alongside smaller Live Tiles, similar to what Microsoft is preparing for Windows 8.1. Microsoft is also said to be tweaking the look of the Xbox dashboard, with the possibility of darker or lighter themes.
We understand Microsoft is aiming to ensure Xbox 360 users can transition over to the next-generation console and interact with existing Xbox 360 users using messaging, beacons, and achievements. Microsoft will also phase out the use of its Points system with this dashboard update, replacing it with currency and gift card options. We’re told that the final update will be made available, providing the public beta testing goes to plan, in August.”
Microsoft is being tight lipped for now, but we should get an official word soon. The big reveal of the next version of Microsoft’s is coming up this Tuesday, the 21st. It’s probably a safe bet they’ll be giving the twilight years of the 360 a mention, as well as Games for Windows. Count on Intomobile to give you all the details as soon as we have them!
[Via: The Verge]
Microsoft Has New Dashboard UI and Tile Updates Coming to Xbox 360 originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-17T21:56:39Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Less than ten days after Bang With Friends made its mobile debut on the iOS App Store, Apple has seemingly changed its mind and given it the boot.
As I noted in the post at the time, I was actually a bit surprised to see Apple green light this one to begin with. The guys behind the app tried to chaste things up a bit for Apple, changing the name for the iOS version of their app to the slightly more inconspicuous “BWF” (The Android app, meanwhile, is still just “Bang With Friends”. Google don’t give no damns.)
Alas, it seems that wasn’t enough for an extended stay. Apple has reportedly pulled the app without notice or explanation, with requests for the app in iTunes being met with the error below:
So what happened here? Did someone higher up at Apple get word of the app and decide to drop the ban hammer? Or could it be… something else? Note, for example, that Zynga just went after dating site CupidWithFriends for using their “With Friends” trademark, requesting that the name be changed. We’re looking into what happened.
So is the Bang With Friends team, it would seem; a page put up by the team says they’re “working with Apple to get BWF back in the App Store shortly”.
Samsung announced today that it is updating TecTiles, its programmable NFC tags, to version 2. The latest version of the TecTiles will work with the Galaxy S 4, as well as older NFC-equipped Samsung phones.
TecTile stickers have a small NFC receiver that sends a signal to your smartphone. This signal then triggers an action on your phone such as opening an app, adjusting phone settings, or updating a status on Facebook or Google+.
You can buy TecTiles 2 from Samsung.com today and from retailers in June. Each pack costs $14.99 and includes five stickers. The Samsung TecTile Android app is available for free from Google Play.
Samsung launches TecTiles 2, now compatible with the Galaxy S4 originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-17T20:54:47Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Google’s major developer conference, Google I/O, went down this week. Was it a bit of a letdown? Probably. Did cool stuff still come out of the event? Eh? Maybe? We discuss these topics and more this week on the TC Gadgets podcast. In fact, we even had Frederic Lardinois join as a guest, along with John Biggs, Matt Burns, Jordan Crook (that’s me!), Romain Dillet, and Darrell Etherington as Bob McKenzie.
We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3pm Eastern and noon Pacific.
Intro Music by Rick Barr.
Yahoo has been on an acquisition tear of late, snapping up apps and mobile startups like they’re going out of style. Summly, Astrid, GoPollGo, MileWise, Loki Studios have all been acquired in the last month-and-a-half, while Yahoo simultaneously made a play for a significant stake in French video giant, DailyMotion. With that falling through, rumors have begun to swirl that Yahoo is making a bid for Tumblr, AllThingsD reported yesterday. Is this desperation or genius? Everyone has an opinion, which to Mayer’s credit is not something one has been able to say about Yahoo for a long time.
On Monday, it seems that we may get a better sense of what Yahoo plans to do with all these new acquisitions, as CNBC is reporting that Yahoo will be holding a “product-related” news event on Monday in New York City. Marissa Mayer will reportedly be speaking at the press conference, but that’s all we know about the contents of the event at this point.
Yet again, Yahoo’s CEO shows that she understands how to leverage the press to get the company back into the conversation. This has already led to speculation over what Yahoo will announce, if anything, at the event. Amidst the rumors of its potential billion-dollar bid for Tumblr, some are saying that Yahoo might use the stage to announce yet another acquisition.
Even if a blockbuster acquisition isn’t the focus of the press conference, people will still be talking about Yahoo. At the very least, let’s hope Yahoo begins to explain the strategy behind its acquire-and-shut-down approach and what its “big” plans are for mobile — “touching people’s lives ‘every day’” doesn’t quite do it.
Yahoo to hold a product-related news event in New York City on Monday; CEO Marissa Mayer to speak at event. $YHOO—
(@CNBC) May 17, 2013
Amidst Tumblr Acquisition Rumors, Yahoo To Hold Product Event With Marissa Mayer On Monday
At the end of April, Samsung announced a new Galaxy tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. A new leaked press photo from SamMobile shows that Samsung is also planning an 8-inch version of the device, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. The device is expected to be launched at the end of June, and to tout specs that are similar to the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3, but with a little more power.
The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is rumored to be touting a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (expandable to 64GB via a microSD card) and a 4,450 mAh battery. The device will be running on Android 4.2.2, and will have a 5MP rear facing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera.
Supposedly, Samsung will also be rolling out a Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 later in the year, as well as a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus. The Galaxy Tab 3 Plus will more than likely be Samsung’s next flagship tablet, and will pack a 2560 x 1600 pixel display and a Exynos Octa-Core processor.
None of these specs are official, so we will more than likely see some changes before the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 is officially launched.
Good news for Apple as the company’s iOS 6 software just received clearance from the United States Defense Department. This undoubtedly sets the stage for the iPhone and iPad to become standard commonplace in the hands of workers in the Pentagon. This comes to no ones surprise, considering how the approval of the DoD has been rumored for some time now. Apple’s iOS 6 joins Samsung running the Knox security suite and BlackBerry 10 devices.
The government looks to be just about done with those obsolete BlackBerry 7 handsets that’s grown synonymous with the image of public figures. Now if only stock Android could join the party.
iOS 6 gets green light from the US Defense Department originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-17T18:02:07Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Posted by Ellie Powers, Google Play team
This week at I/O, we were excited to announce some updates to Google Play to help you optimize your business on Google Play: to help you take control of your app publishing, gain insight into your users, and expand your app’s success globally.
Play Store’s new view: apps designed for tablets
Many of you have invested in making great tablet experiences for your users, and we want to ensure that that work pays off and that users are able to discover great apps for their tablets. This week, the Google Play store began providing a view of our top charts highlighting apps which have been designed for tablets according to our tablet app quality checklist.
Beta testing and staged rollouts
We have introduced support for beta testing and staged rollouts so that you can get feedback on your new app or app update early in its development and make sure your users are happy with the results. You can test two different versions on two different groups at the same time, such as testing a newer version with your employees first, and a more mature version with a group of external testers.
The beta testing is private on Google Play, and you can specify who gets these versions by adding Google Groups and Google+ Communities. Users give you feedback privately rather than through public reviews. When you’re satisfied that your new version is ready, you can now do a staged rollout to a percentage of your userbase. To give you more flexibility in light of beta testing and help get your whole team involved in the Developer Console, we will soon launch additional access controls.
We’re collaborating with Google's internationalization team to make translating your app into new languages easier than ever. You can purchase professional translations of your apps from independent providers through the Google Play Developer Console. You can upload the strings you want translated, select the languages you want to translate into, and select your translation vendor based on time and price. If you’re interested in translating your apps with this feature, sign up to be a part of the preview in the Developer Console today on the APK page.
The new optimization tips for localization will help you identify new potential opportunities for global expansion based on popular languages for your app’s users and category. To fully localize your app into a language, you need to translate the strings in an APK, translate your Google Play store listing, and upload localized graphics. The optimization tips will also let you know if you’re missing any of these pieces.
New Analytics and monetization features
Getting better revenue and engagement data has been another key developer request, as developers told us that they check their revenue and stats constantly. New revenue charts in the Developer Console allow you to see your app’s daily revenue and summary figures, and you can filter the data by country. Coming soon, Google Play and Google Analytics are teaming up to bring you better insight into your users. Google Analytics will start showing Google Play views and installs for each campaign, while Google Play will show Google Analytics engagement metrics.
For those of you using in-app billing, we’ve heard your feedback and made some improvements to reduce your development time and costs. Your test accounts will now able to make in-app test purchases without those transactions actually being charged, but everything else works the same as it would for a real user.
In a few weeks, we will launch a new Order Status API, which allows you to verify the status of an in-app order from your servers. We will also be launching a tool for automating downloads of financial reports. Finally, the new Google Wallet Merchant Center is continuing to roll out with enhanced reporting, additional analytics and many other enhancements.
Google Play for Education coming soon
You'll soon be able to offer apps to schools through Google Play for Education, which launches later this year to K-12 schools in the United States. This online destination will allow schools to discover, purchase, and distribute apps to their students. Visit developer.android.com/edu to get started creating or optimizing your apps for schools today.
Something we’ve always admired about Sony is that it’s embraced AOSP for its devices more than many manufacturers around, and it’s adding another device to that list. Today on the Sony Blog, the company announced that the Xperia Tablet Z would be getting the AOSP treatment.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z, alongside the Xperia Z, now has access to a fully stock Android experience that should surely be enticing for those who love the hardware of the Tablet Z but favor vanilla Android. The build for the tablet is now available in GitHub, but the experience may not be as fluid as you’d want it to be right now. The build isn’t intended for daily use, and Sony is encouraging developers to join in.
Even if the Sony Xperia Tablet Z never gets a fully functional and stable build of vanilla Android 4.2.2, it’s the thought that counts. We only wish other handset makers would offer up such an option for developers.
Be sure to check out the video below and see AOSP on the Xperia Tablet Z in action!
The Galaxy S4 launched in late April and has become the fastest selling smartphone in Samsung’s history. Samsung co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun told the Korea Times that the manufacturer is close to selling over 10M Galaxy S4 units in less than a month. This outpaces the Galaxy S3, which hit the 10 million mark in 50 days.
Samsung is the leader in the Android world, scooping up an estimated 95 percent of Android handset profit in the open quarter this year, says market research company Strategy Analytics. With handsets like the S4 selling like hotcakes, Samsung will likely hold onto this number one position for the foreseeable future.
[Via Korea Times]