Which OS Crashes More? iOS or Android?

We all know that developers love iOS but it’s interesting to read that, based on a study from earlier this year, iOS crashes MORE than Android per app launch. Of course, iOS 5.0.1 accounts for 28%+ of the total crashes, which certainly skews the numbers.

A few important excerpts to note:

…Many people apparently take their time updating their iPhone software or never update it at all.

…People often don’t update their apps–just as they don’t update their operating system. (Android, unlike iOS, allows users to auto-update their apps, which can eliminate some of the problems.)

The very top Android apps are achieving a crash rate that, at least in this time period, the best iOS apps can’t match.

Interestingly, when we crawled 250,000 apps across iOS and Android we found that the average app store rating for Android and iPhone was 3.58 and 3.56, respectively – nearly identical. The larger gap is that Android users complained more about performance and crashing than iPhone users. Then, in March, we tested the SXSW App across iOS, Android, Windows and RIM and we found that iPhone & iPad had the highest overall scores and the best Application & Performance data.

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Top 10 Mobile Apps for Shopping

Because of the popularity of online shopping, it makes sense that smartphone consumers are showing a serious interest in mobile app shopping on their devices. According to a study on NielsenWire, 47% of American smartphone owners used native shopping apps in June 2012.

So what are the top shopping apps people are using? NielsenWire provided a list of the top 10 shopping apps for June 2012. Here’s the breakdown

  1. eBay Mobile
  2. Amazon Mobile
  3. Groupon
  4. Shopkick
  5. LivingSocial
  6. Wallgreens
  7. Target
  8. RedLaser
  9. Out of Milk Shopping List
  10. SavingStar Grocery eCoupons

What’s your favorite shopping mobile app? Let us know in the comments section.


Android: Nowhere to Go But Down?

Has Android peaked? That’s the case being made by some very bold analysts. Here’s TechCrunch with the story:

Android sales actually declined by 5% over last year — and SA says Android may be “approaching a peak” in its market share.

The analysts noted that in Q2, which ended June 30, U.S. smartphone sales trends reflected the slowdown that it has been seeing globally. Total shipments in the U.S. stood at 23.8 million units, which was (like Android itself) a drop of 5% on the same period a year ago. Android, at 56% of all sales, remains the most dominant in the U.S. but Apple, the analysts noted, gained at Google’s expense and was the only OS to have grown over last year.

Apple’s shipments totalled 7.9 million units in the U.S., giving it a 33% share of the market, up by 10 percentage points over the same quarter a year ago.

RIM’s BlackBerry, meanwhile, is once again a testament to how quickly a decline can happen. The Canadian company saw its unit shipments and market share nearly halved; they are now at 1.6 million units and 6.5% of the market, as Apple continues to eat into its enterprise business and RIM faithfuls continue to hold out for devices built on BlackBerry 10 later this year. This is RIM’s lowest point in recent history, SA notes.

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3 Best Phones for Back-to-School

Back to School PhonesEver year engadget does a back-to-school roundup of the best products, gadgets, playthings, etc. In this year’s “Back 2 School Gift Guide 2012: Smartphones” these three phones came out on top:

Nokia Lumia 900
Coming out on top in the “Prepaid/Budget” category, engadget highlighted it because a price cut, not lack of features, makes it a stand out among less expensive phones. Plus its an easy transition for students who are surround by new things.

LTE? A 4.3-inch screen? A capable 8MP camera? Check. And while some look at that simple Metro interface and the smaller app market with a jaded eye, Windows Phone is a good pick if you’re new to smartphones and like living in Microsoft’s ecosystem.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+
Highlighted for being the first phone to feature Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ wins the “Mid-Range” title.

The new OS makes it exceptionally responsive, and Google Now will help you find out just how late you’ll be to class if you miss the bus.

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Jakob Nielsen on the Problem With Native Apps

Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows native apps are more popular than the mobile web, we should remind ourselves that native apps are not without their flaws. Here’s noted usability expert Jakob Nielsen on the problem with native apps:

Apps have the obvious downside of requiring more development resources, especially to be truly optimized for each device. If a company doesn’t have enough resources to do this right, it’s better to have a nice mobile site than a lame app.

A second downside of apps is that users have to install them. Our testing shows poor findability and usability in Apple’s Application Store, and many users won’t even bother downloading something at all for intermittent use. So ask yourself whether you’re really offering something within the hardcore mobile center of need: time-sensitive and/or location dependent, and whether your offer is truly compelling in this crowded space. Most companies are never going to make it big in mobile. In some cases all they need is to make their main website somewhat mobile-friendly. Many others should deliver a dedicated mobile site but not bother with apps.

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What You Need to Know About iOS 6

Apple’s iOS 6 is coming this fall, and the new operating system intends on improving existing features and adding a few interesting new ones. So what will be different? Thomas Claburn of InformationWeek pulled some major changes worth knowing about. Here are some highlights:

  • Adois, YouTube: Apple will not be including the YouTube app in their new OS.
  • Goodbye, RSS: There will no longer be RSS feeds in iOS 6 Safari.
  • New Call/Text Capabilities: The new changes allow you to decline a phone call with preset or custom text messages.
  • FaceTime Wifi-Free:The iOS video messaging service, FaceTime, will also function over a cellular data connection- which means it will probably cost money.
  • Improved Siri: In iOS 6 Siri will be more useful, and will be able to interact with tweets and launch other apps – among other things.
  • New Maps: Apple has purchased three online map companies in the past few years, and iOS 6 maps will depend on apple’s own geographic data.

Heard any other news about iOS 6? Let us know in the comments section.

10 Apps for Improving Your Health

Looking to improve your health? There’s an app for that – actually several.

A recent post by Doctor Joseph Kim, in Network World, presents a list of the top 10 mobile health and wellness apps:

  1. Pedometer – Start quantifying your level of activity and track how far you walk
  2. Endomondo Sports Tracker - Track your workout progress, heart rate and burned calories
  3. Fitness Buddy – Learn how to exercise properly with the right form, or learn new workouts from a library of more than 1,700 exercises
  4. White Noise Lite – Drown out distracting sounds with white noise so you can sleep soundly
  5. Calorie Counters - There are loads of popular calorie counting apps such as Calorie Counter, Lose It!, MyPlate, and Tap & Track Calorie Counter
  6. Meal Snap - Snap a photo of your meal and find out how many calories are in it
  7. WebMD - This app is a comprehensive health app with features like Symptom Checker
  8. iTriage - Find the nearest hospital or care using this app,  and even check wait times in different emergency rooms
  9. Pill Reminders - This app provides set reminders for remembering to take your pills
  10. My Medical - Keep track of your medical history with this application

What’s your favorite wellness app? Let us know in the comments section.


Common Mobile App Mistakes to Avoid

Believe it or not, there are actually mobile app mistakes that don’t involve testing. Radar O’Reilly lists ten of them in this great article. Here are the first three:

Mistake 1. Begin coding immediately

Many fail in the mobile space because they start developing their app as soon as they have an idea. In the extreme case, those with programming skills will actually start coding the app immediately. The first steps, however, should be focused on business and strategy aspects; pixels and design or coding and development come later in the process.

Mistake 2. Ignore competitors and alternatives

One of those business and strategy aspects that many pursuing apps ignore is to identify and use competitor apps. Understanding what competitors do well and where they’ve come up short will provide guidance on what features to develop and how to differentiate an app. Similarly, learning from top apps in app stores or even real-world alternatives, can reveal opportunities for innovation.

Mistake 3. Be purposeless

Wanting a million dollars shouldn’t be the sole motivation for building an app. At the same time, app stores are likely one of the best places to pursue a new venture right now. Ultimately though, it is still a new venture and any new venture comes with a certain amount of risk. Outlining clear short- and long-term goals, that are aspirational yet attainable, will provide a much better foundation for success.

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Reality TV Voting App Crashed By Load

Please Stand ByPeople love reality TV. People also love an underdog story. So it it any wonder that viewing audiences flock to talent contest-esque shows that let them vote for their favorites? This phenomena is nothing new, but what was new a few years ago was the option to text your vote instead of sitting on an old fashioned phone line. What’s the next logical step after text-to-vote? Why, an app of course! Except apps require quite a bit more testing than the time-tested texting network. Unfortunately, a TV company in Britain didn’t take that into account. Here’s what happened (from Paid Content):

When UK commercial TV leader ITV announced it would take voting for its Britain’s Got Talent show via mobile app this May, it was supposed to herald the next step in the premium mobile TV participation phenomenon.

But insufficient testing meant the broadcaster could not process half of votes paid for by mobile users, and ITV had to abandon the app mid-series. In a complaint adjudication published by Ofcom on Monday, ITV said it had lost 51 percent of votes which came in via the mobile app.

A lack of load testing and insufficient network capacity was officially blamed for the blunder. ITV, the television network whose app failed mid-season, point-blank says the app’s creators did not perform enough testing before launch. It also announced that it will have more hands-on involvement with all future app testing (a good approach since it’s ultimately ITV that people will remember when they think of the disappointing app). Here’s their official statement:

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