Archives: May 2011

Sprint Bundling The Green Hornet 3D Movie with HTC EVO 3D Android Phone This Summer


You don’t have to buy a 3D TV to see the Green Hornet movie in 3D if you buy an HTC EVO 3D Android-powered smartphone from Sprint this summer. Sprint announced “The Green Hornet 3D” movie will be bundled with the phone on a microSD card included with the phone.

Exciting Content Coming for this Summer’s Highly Anticipated Smartphone, HTC EVO 3D Exclusively from Sprint

The HTC EVO 3D has large 4.3-inch display that provides glasses-free 3D viewing using a technology similar to the one used, for example, by the Nintendo 3DS portable game console.

The “HTC Watch” app give EVO 3D users access to 2D and 3D movies and TV shows on demand. Rentals cost $2.99 to $3.99. Video purchases start at $8.99. Up to five movies can be stored in the network cloud.

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Note to Developers: How to Make iPad Apps More Friendly


CNN reports on research findings, co-authored by useability design guru Jakob Nielsen, from the Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) that provides developers specific recommendations for developing more useable iPad apps.

Research shows ways to make iPad apps more user-friendly

NNG’s research touches on both website design and iPad app design. They make particularly good points that a native iPad app should not make users work more in the app than an existing website and that the app should not provide less information than the website.

The main findings are:
- Make touchable areas big enough to be easy to find and actually touch
- Make app and website navigation options easy to find and obvious to use
- Typing on the iPad’s virtual keyboard is difficult for many people. So, don’t force your users to type a lot to, for example, register for a service
- Too much white space is bad
- Landscape mode is marginally preferred over portrait mode
- Splash screens are bad

The report has numerous screenshots of dozens of familiar iPad apps and websites intended for use with the iPad’s browser. The issues raised for specific sites and apps will resonate with all iPad users. You can find the free downloaded reports (2010 and 2011 editions) here:

Nielsen Norman Group Reports
Usability of iPad Apps and Websites: 2 Reports With Research Findings

Rolling Stone Co-founder Disses iPad

In an interview with Ad Age, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner said that magazine publishers who push for iPad versions of their publications are “crazy.”

While he does admit that the iPad is a good reading device, he doesn’t think it can be monetized as well as print. He told AdAge: “From the publisher’s point of view I would think they’re crazy to encourage it. They’re going to get less money for it from advertisers. Right now it costs a fortune to convert your magazine, to program it, to get all the things you have to do on there. And they’re not selling. You know, 5,000 copies there, 3,000 copies here, it’s not worth it. You haven’t put a dent in your R&D costs.”

Fishbowl NY points out that Wenner is biased towards print. Here is more from the blog: “Of course we all realize that this is Wenner, a guy who loves print almost to a fault, so everything he said needs to be taken with a grain – actually, make that a cup full – of salt. But beneath the iPad bashing he does have a good point: Publishers who are letting Apple dictate the terms will probably end up regretting it.”

Is the U.S. Nearing a Smartphone Saturation Point?


CNN Fortune notes that Android’s amazing rise in marketshare over the past year have come to the point where it will not widen its lead over Apple’s iOS (iPhone and iPad).

Nielsen: Android’s lead over iOS may have stopped growing

He notes that Apple’s and RIM’s marketshare have both remained more-or-less steady in recent months based on Nielsen Wire data.

Android Leads in U.S. Smartphone Market Share and Data Usage

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to those who have been following overall smartphone sales and marketshares. Nielsen notes that 37% of all U.S. mobile consumers have a smartphone now. In the third-quarter of 2010, smartphones accounted for 46$ of all U.S. phone sales. This was a huge jump from the 28% marketshare smartphones had in the third quarter of 2009. My commentary back in November 2010 based on these figures was: If smartphone market share continues to increase with this kind of big jumps, we will soon be at a point of saturation with nearly everyone in the U.S. owning a smartphone of some kind. Smartphone market share growth, as a whole, is now coming from people switching from feature phones to smartphones. But, once saturation is reached, it will become a zero sum game among smartphone platforms and we’ll see another retrenching in the platform market probably dropping to three main platforms.

Smartphone Market Share Statistics: Market Saturation on its Way

I suspect that the Nielsen results indicate we are starting to reach a saturation point and that new smartphone purchases will be mostly replacement purchases.

Lonely Planet Is Giving Away An eBook In The iBookstore

Lonely Planet is bringing its Best in Travel series of books to the iBookstore. To celebrate the launch, the publisher is giving away one of the eBooks for free in the iBookstore for a limited time. Titles include: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel, The Travel Book and Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography.

Lonely Planet’s Trade and Reference Publisher Piers Pickard stated: “We are thrilled to have these fantastic titles available as ebooks for the first time…They look fantastic particularly when viewed on an iPad and we’re sure travelers will love having Best in Travel and other titles available in a digital format.”

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel is free through June 14th, and will be $4.99 after the promotion. The Travel Book is priced at $17.99, Travel Photography is priced at $14.99

Apple Keynote, Numbers & Pages Now Available for the iPhone


Apple announced that is “office” suite, iWork, is now available for the iPhone. It consists of Keynote (presentation), Numbers (spreadsheet) and Pages (word processor). The apps are sold separately. Each app is priced at $9.99. These iWorks components were released for the iPad at its launch in April 2010. If you bought any of these iWork apps for your iPad, you do not have to buy it again for your iPhone. Just update each app you have for free in iTunes. The app will then be available for your iPhone when you sync it.

Apple iWork Now Available For iPhone & iPod touch Users

The updated apps include a new document manager to sort and organize documents in folders. Numbers and Pages have a new “smart zoom” feature for viewing and editing data.

The version 1.4 updates for Keynote, Numbers and Pages are available right now in the iTunes App Store.

Appel releases iWorks for iPhone, iTouch

Apple has just released new versions of its iWorks office suite that have been tailored for the iPad and the iPhone. The 3 apps (Keynote, Pages, and Numbers) provide a fair amount of functionality and retail for $10 each.

Withe the new apps you can print docs (using AirPrint), import and export to and from MS Office, and create original work on iOS. Pages in particular should interest the eBook user; it can export Epub files.

Update: An early adopter can’t find the Epub export option, so it’s probably not included (even though Pages on OSX got this ability in August 2010).

Of course, the larger story here is what this release might say about Apple’s future plans. Releasing iWorks for iOS makes it a step closer to being used  independent of a computer. iTunes is still required, though, so it’s only a small step.