Pebble, far and away the leading smart watch player at present, announced its highly anticipated iOS app store that features 1,000 apps and watch faces that can be found and downloaded with an iPhone. The Android version is still forthcoming, and Pebble says it will be available int he near future. The app store gives users a more intuitive software experience, much like Google Play or Apple’s App store. The addition of the Pebble Steel at CES this year demands such an interface, and with the app store users now have a software experience that matches the hardware. Pebble does seem to be making the most of its head start, and the more they do the more they become the wearable device to beat.
Android Smartphones Make Up 79% Of The Market
As smartphone shipments continue to trend upwards, Strategy Analytics released some new figures about their sales and adoption. Primarily speaking, global shipments of smartphones globally reached 290.2 million in 2013, up 34% year over year. Android phones reached a 78.4% global share in the fourth quarter, with a 78.9% share across the market for the year. Apple’s iOS dropped to 17.6%, and only had 15.5% of market share for the year. Windows Phone took third, with a 3.2% fourth quarter and a 3.6% share for the year. So although it sometimes might feel like iPhones dominate the market, it’s important to take the data at face value: Androids continue to control the market, and in terms of mobile are the operating system of choice.
Pandora Brings Personalized Stations To Mobile
Pandora is introducing a new, personalized station feature for iOS and Android in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. So for the 76.2 million people who listened to 1.58 billion hours of music last month, the news should come as surprising and exciting – the ability to have personalized stations recommended to you is something that Pandora has been missing for some time, and is a feature that is found on many other streaming apps across the board. Listeners can get up to six suggested artist stations to add to their library at any given time based on listening preferences. The update is available today, so users can start playing with it as soon as possible.
Shazam Automatically Adds Tagged Tracks To Rdio Playlists
In a new step in the partnership between Rdio and Shazam, users will now see their tagged Shazam songs in an Rdio playlist, on both Android and iOS. The playlist, called “My Shazam Tracks,” takes a lot of the pain out of having to do things manually. Naturally, the feature requires an Rdio subscription, which is $9.99/month. It’s doubtful that users will sign up exclusively for the feature, but this kind of cross-pollination is only natural between music-based products of this type.
Foursquare Smart Notifications Come To iOS
The smart notification system touted by Foursquare earlier this year are finally coming to iOS users today. The notifications are geared to show nearby places that are important to specific users – so if you haven’t checked in at a sports bar, it likely won’t be recommending the hockey-bar a few blocks away. The goal is to make every notification worthwhile, so that users will take care to actually go into the app as opposed to ignoring the notification. Now that it has actually rolled out, we’ll look to see if the update takes hold, and makes check-ins that much more valuable.
BMW Now Supports Amazon Cloud Player
If you own a BMW or a Mini, you’ll now be able to use the Amazon Cloud Player for iOS. The service provides the ability to import existing music files onto mobile devices, and car owners with BMW Apps – or the ‘Mini Connected’ – can now access these files through the car’s dashboard. It’s a step forward in the connected car trend, one that allows users to access the cloud from directly within their car interfaces. Whether it will drive more users to Amazon Cloud Player is another question entirely, but what’s sure is that further personalized, cloud integration into vehicles is coming soon.
GTA: San Andreas Comes To Mobile
Rockstar Games recently launched its hotly anticipated installment to the Grand Theft Auto franchise with GTA V, to much success. Now the gaming giant is planning to re-release Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a classic originally released for the PS2, for a handful of major mobile platforms, just as it already has with GTA III and Vice City. The game has been revamped for the platform, and is sure to score big with mobile gamers who enjoyed the console version. While re-releasing classic games for different platforms is nothing new, Rockstar’s commitment to releasing large-environment games for mobile platforms could serve as an example to other game houses to do the same.
Dropbox 3.0 Comes To iOS
With iOS 7 came the inevitable app upgrades across the board, but one notable laggard was Dropbox. Now they’ve remedied that fact, with a new look and feel to fit iOS 7’s broad redesign. The most important new feature, though, is AirDrop support, letting users send links and files over the instant-sharing platform – over Wifi or Bluetooth. The AirDrop support means that the app could position itself as the file-transfer medium of choice for Apple devices. The video saving function is also upgraded, and ultimately this update takes the app, finally, into the realm of the new OS.
Twitter Updates Mobile App For Trending TV
Twitter gave its mobile iOS and Android apps an overhaul with new search filters to enhance conversations around TV. In the “Discover” tab, Twitter can browse through trending shows by topics and hashtags, as well as trends relating to local content. The shows are organized either by popularity or by which show is airing next. It’s another move to more deeply integrate TV and advertising into the social platform to boost profitability in light of the recent IPO – whether it actually translates into ad spends and ultimately revenue will have to be determined in the near future.
Google Play Music Comes To iOS
This development in Google Play Music’s development puts it squarely in competition with iTunes Radio, as well as other streaming applications like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, which all have iOS apps and are more deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. As well, Google is offering an “all access” option which would allow you to store your music in the cloud, stream music across multiple devices, and include the first month free. All access also adds a radio option. It will be important to see who emerges atop this growing heap of music streaming services.