Andy Boxall

Andy Boxall is a technology journalist obsessed with smartphones, tablets, and wearable tech.

: andy@sokomedia.net

 

Andy Boxall

In App Data

April 26, 2017

statista insta snap

It’s estimated Facebook’s recently introduced Instagram Stories feature has exceeded the number of daily users seen by Snapchat, the platform from which the feature was inspired. The difference has been illustrated by Statista, and based on newly released figures from Instagram. Instagram says its Stories feature now has at least 200 million daily users, and although Snapchat hasn’t released official figures since the end of 2016, at the time it had 161 million daily users. Statista shows that following its recent trajectory, it will fall behind Instagram. Statista notes: “In the weeks leading up to Snap’s IPO in early March, many potential investors were alarmed by the fact that Snapchats quarter-over-quarter user growth slowed down significantly in the third and fourth quarter of 2016 –

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Andy Boxall

In App Data

April 26, 2017

vr app downloads

Virtual reality app downloads are growing fast in both the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store, despite Apple not offering an official VR headset, with a particular leap during the 2016 holiday period. Data from Sensor Tower shows the final three months of 2016 returned the highest number of VR app downloads seen yet — 108.5 million. In December, 38.3 million apps were downloaded from Google Play. Google has two consumer VR headsets: The basic Google Cardboard setup, and the more competent Google Daydream kit, which was released the month before. It only works with a selection of high-end smartphones. During the same month, VR-enabled apps in the Apple App Store were downloaded 21.4 million times, a massive 727% increase over the same period

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Andy Boxall

In App Deals

April 26, 2017

seasun games

Tencent, the Chinese Internet company, has paid $142m for a 9.9% stake in the mobile game developer Seasun, which it performed through its Image Frame Investment subsidiary. Initially, a 4.3% stake was planned through a $62.2m payout to Seasun’s parent company Kingsoft. A further $80m spend to acquire an additional 5.6% from other Seasun shareholders was then proposed and accepted. Seasun was formed back in 1995 as one of China’s very first game studios, and now produces mobile games including the MMORG JX Online 3 (artwork seen above), plus Go Titans, Ships of Fury, and Brave Cross. It’s part of the Kingsoft Entertainment Group, which also includes WPS, Kingsoft Cloud, and Cheetah Mobile. In the filing, it’s stated: “By introducing Tencent Group as a strategic

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newzoo games

Mobile gaming is expected to be worth $46.1b in 2017, enabling it to take the number one spot with a massive 42% of the overall market. This represents a 19.3% year-on-year growth, according to data from Newzoo. Smartphones will be the number one device, contributing just over $35b to the total amount, while tablets — despite not being a big seller anymore — will provide the remaining amount, reaching almost $11b. Newzoo is positive about the future of mobile gaming too, and forecasts that in 2020, smartphone and tablet gaming will represent half the overall market, and take $64.9b in revenue. It sees mobile eroding both PC and console market share over the next few years to achieve this. Newzoo shows China’s expected games revenue

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Andy Boxall

In App Deals

April 25, 2017

lineage2

The biggest mobile game studio in South Korea, Netmarble, has raised $2.3b in its IPO, the second largest share sale the country has seen. The IPO has been expected for sometime, and the amount raised closely matches estimates made ahead of time. Netmarble sold 17 million shares, achieving a total of 2.66 trillion won, beating Samsung’s BioLogics IPO from 2016, but still trailing the massive 4.9 trillion won collected by Samsung Life Insurance in 2010. Jang Won-yeol, an analyst for Shinyoung Securities, told Reuters: “The company not only has just released a mega-hit game the likes of which has never been seen in South Korea, but it is seen to have a strong lineup of games coming soon in the mobile games sector, where it’s

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india amazon

Amazon’s mobile app strategy in India is paying off, with the online retail giant quickly catching Flipkart, the local leader in mobile ecommerce. Statistics from 7Park Data and Atlas show Flipkart has a 30.7% market share in the mobile ecommerce market, while Amazon is now right behind it at 30.5%. Snapdeal trails far behind both with 10.8%, The investment Amazon has put into its mobile app is working out, while Flipkart is losing out. Over the past year Flipkart’s app engagement has fallen by 11.5%, but Amazon has seen a huge 46% rise. The time spent in the app by consumers is also up by 14.9%, while Flipkart’s engagement has dropped by 42.6%. It’s bad news for Flipkart elsewhere too. Just under 41% of mobile

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Andy Boxall

In App Development

April 24, 2017

iphone camera

Developers can now integrate Apple’s Live Photos on to websites. The Live Photo feature lets iPhone owners shoot short, video-like pictures with their device, but sharing the pictures online has always been problematic. Apple has now introduced LivePhotosKit, a JavaScript API that allows Live photos to be embedded on a site, in the same way a regular still or video can be added. It appears as a DOM element, and playback can be controlled either by the developer and the site, or by the viewer. The LivePhotosKit player is compatible with Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. This covers versions on iOS, MacOS, and Windows. However, for now it’s only in beta for Chrome on Android. Apple has published a reference guide on

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Andy Boxall

In App Development, iot

April 24, 2017

iot central

Microsoft wants to make the Internet of Things easier to manage for developers, and has launched IoT Central, a software-as-a-service solution for ease of development that’s built on its Azure cloud platform. It’s designed for customers that don’t have much experience in cloud development systems, and is a fully managed service, making larger IoT projects possible for more businesses. Microsoft wrote in its launch post: “The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming a critical aspect of doing business. In the same way that web, mobile and cloud technologies have powered digital transformation, IoT is the next big catalyst. Yet while IoT brings a new set of benefits for companies that want to keep an edge on their competition, it brings challenges too — IoT

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Sensor Tower game rev 2017

Mobile games are ruling the app stores, and are responsible for 80% of the revenue from the Apple App Store, and 91% from Google Play. Data company Sensor Tower has revealed an astonishing rise in mobile game revenue in 2017 alone, showing a 53% jump in year-on-year performance. This time last year, mobile generated $7.8b for app stores, but during the first quarter of 2017, Sensor Tower has recorded $11.9b in revenue. While the Apple App Store grew its revenue by 35%, it was outperformed by Google Play, which leapt from $2.9b in revenue during Q1 2016, to $5.3b in Q1 2017. This is an 83% rise. App installations weren’t left behind either. A 15% increase saw the 7.6 billion installs at the beginning of

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Andy Boxall

In App Business

April 20, 2017

iPhone Red

Chinese authorities are set to meet with Apple regarding video streaming apps available through the iTunes App Store, with a view to, “tightening up checks,” on the content they can provide, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency. Confirmed by regulators at the Beijing Cyberspace Administration, it follows a joint investigation with two other government departments into three Chinese video streaming sites. The sites, toutiao.com, houshanzhibo.com, and huajiao.com, have reportedly violated four regulations, and management teams potentially face criminal charges. Exact details of the content shown hasn’t been released, but it includes live broadcast material forbidden by law, including adult content. The investigation says all three sites, “were found to lack systematic management and to have been inadequate in checking information, emergency response and

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