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The App Store’s 50B Downloads Vs. Google Play’s 48B: Android Closes The Gap (Original)

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Apple had a bit of a head start when it came to mobile software sales, since it launched its App Store earlier than the Android Market — now called Google Play. The gap between the two, which was more pronounced in terms of initial downloads, has begun to close. Today both Play and the App Store announced very similar milestones.

Apple has been counting down to its 50 billionth app download for a while now. In fact, the assets were leaked via the Apple website backend code earlier today, so we all knew it was coming. Coincidence that it would land on a Google keynote day? That’s hard to tell, but Google had its own milestone to announce: 48 billion downloads announced onstage at I/O today.

The announcements give us a unique opportunity to compare download numbers from both stores on as equal footing as possible, and the result is a snapshot of two app stores that are neck and neck — at least in terms of straight downloads.

That doesn’t take into account paid vs. free apps, or how much revenue each makes from ads and other sources. But as you can see from the graph, it marks one area at least where Google used to trail considerably but is now catching up.…

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Apple Bagged 57% Of $12.5B In Smartphone Profits In Q1; Android 43% – Samsung 95% Share Of That, “More Than Google” (Original)

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Apple continues to lead both as the single-most profitable smartphone maker, and by default the most profitable platform, taking 57% of $12.5 billion in smartphone operating profits in Q1, according to figures out from Strategy Analytics today. Android took 43%, equating to $5.3 billion, Neil Mawston, chief analyst with the firm, tells TechCrunch.

The figures come as analyst houses are releasing various estimates for how smartphones have been selling in Q1. Strategy Analytics have published some numbers that tell the story in a different way.

Yes, Android is dominating smartphone sales (Gartner’s figures yesterday noted that Google’s platform took nearly 75% of all sales in the three month period). Yes, Samsung continues to widen its lead against Apple — now at 31% of all smartphone sales. But it still has a ways to go before it tops Apple, which has built its brand as the premium offering. (One possible reason why it has resisted up to now launching a low-cost, more cheaply made handset.)

Within the Android portion of smartphone profits, Samsung is taking ever the bigger lion’s share. Its $5.1 billion in operating profit works out to 95% of all Android revenues, and 40.8% of all smartphone operating profits overall.…

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Watch out WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger is headed to iOS and Android this summer (Original)

BlackBerry will release a BBM application for iOS and Android device this summer, bringing its popular messaging app to other platforms for free, and for the first time.…

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Facebook Messenger for iOS: now with stickers and message-deleting swipes (Original)

Facebook Messenger for iOS now with stickers and messagedeleting swipes

Facebook's been giving its Messenger app quite a few facelifts lately, with the arrival of Chat Heads and VoIP calling among the highlights. Today, an app update was released for iOS that lets users add stylized critter stickers to messages, freeing them from the crippling visual limitations of emoticons in textual communications -- largely identical to the recent Android update. The upgrade also enables a swipe to delete feature to remove conversations from inboxes for good, saving users precious fingertips from an extra tap or two in the process. If your iPhone hasn't already told you about version 2.4, you'll find the fresh download at the source below.

Filed under: Software, Facebook

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Via: The Next Web

Source: App Store

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Hands on: Google Now for iOS beats Siri, but needs integration (Original)

Google Now, Google's voice search tool, has made its way to iOS via the Google Search app. It's powerful, responsive, and has impressive speech pattern recognition that leads to accurate results But it may too hidden for most users to fully take advantage of.…

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Google Now available on iOS devices starting today (Original)

Google Now available on iOS devices starting today

When it comes to major news, we didn't expect to hear much from Google in the run-up to I/O, but clearly, the company just couldn't wait that long. Google Now, a service that Android users have enjoyed for a year, just became available on iOS devices in the form of an update to the Google Search app, confirming those leaked videos we saw a few weeks ago. It won't have integration with notifications or alerts at launch -- it may come in a future update, but the company wasn't willing to divulge its future plans -- so you'll need to enter the app and swipe up to refresh your list of cards. The iOS version won't have every type of card that you'll find on Android, either: boarding passes, activity summary, events, concerts, Fandango and Zillow aren't included this go-round. Improvements and additional features will likely trickle in over time, but it's certainly better than nothing for iOS fans who've looked at Jelly Bean users with a slightly jealous eye. We've included Google's blog post in its entirety below, and you can jump to the source to download the app.

Filed under: Cellphones, Software, Mobile, Apple, Google

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Source: The Official Google Blog, iTunes

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DirecTV to add voice control to iOS and Android apps (Original)

DirecTV has announced that both its iOS and Android phone apps will receive updates this summer that will add voice search capabilities, with tablet apps to follow sometime thereafter.…

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Yahoo cleans up its image, releases gorgeous Mail and Weather apps for iOS and Android (Original)

Not known for its command of style and design, Yahoo has been steadily revamping its image and is extending that simplified look to a handful of apps for iOS and Android.…

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Vtok Aims To Bring Google Voice And Video Chat To iOS (Original)

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Anyone who has a Gmail or Google Apps account and a number of contacts using either service will probably be able to attest to the convenience of using the Google Chat plugin as a way to connect with friends and family. But while Android has most of the plugin’s features built-in, unfortunately there’s no good way to get the same native voice and video chat functionality on iOS devices.

That’s a problem that a tiny startup called SkyMobius has sought to solve with an app called Vtok. The app goes beyond just enabling iOS users to send messages to their connections logged in to Gmail or Google Apps, and contains many of the features people love about the service. That means voice and video chat first and foremost, but it also includes a number of other features.

The Vtok app has been available for a while, but it recently launched its third version of the app, which includes a major upgrade to its user interface and support for a bunch of new features. In addition to the new UI, Vtok is adding picture messaging to the release, which is one feature Sky Mobius founder Manpreet Singh said users were asking for.…

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