Phunware http://www.phunware.com Everything you need to succeed on mobile. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:51:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3 This Week In Mobile – August 28, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-28-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-august-28-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-28-2015/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:14:12 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21443 Hello, good evening and welcome… to This Week in Mobile for the week of August 28. It’s been a rather Android-centric week for mobile news. We have Microsoft’s answer to Siri, a significant design flaw in the Galaxy Note 5 S pen, an article from Forbes about the inevitability of mobile advertising, and a late […]

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Hello, good evening and welcome… to This Week in Mobile for the week of August 28. It’s been a rather Android-centric week for mobile news. We have Microsoft’s answer to Siri, a significant design flaw in the Galaxy Note 5 S pen, an article from Forbes about the inevitability of mobile advertising, and a late launch for Android Pay.

Remember, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Microsoft Unveils Cortana App for Android

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This week, Microsoft has launched an open beta for the Android version of their personal assistant answer to Google Now and Siri. Cortana, named after the AI character from the HALO franchise (also owned by Microsoft) offers information, voice search, calendar management and a level of intelligence that Microsoft is particularly proud of.

Cortana is even a tentpole feature of both the desktop and the soon-to-be-released mobile version of Windows 10. It’s a public beta, so there are many bugs—but that’s what betas are for. It just remains to be seen whether consumers will use a third-party app (rather than their home OS) as a personal assistant, especially when both Google Now and Siri are expanding rapidly. Then again, there always seems to be room in the app marketplace. If people aren’t getting what they need, they’ll look elsewhere. Every iPhone comes with a camera app, but there’s still an abundance of camera apps in the App Store. And so on.

Android Pay Was Coming Out…Oops

Android Pay is the upcoming rebrand and expansion of Google’s current mobile payment service, Google Wallet. First announced at Google’s I/O conference, Android Pay unifies the process for secure mobile payments from Android phones with NFC, and according to leaked documents from McDonald’s, it was widely reported that Android Pay would launch on Wednesday, August, 26.

However, Wednesday came and went with no news about the launch of the service, despite its logo already being used at retailers around the country. The launch will surely happen soon—just not as soon as many would have hoped. With the expected growth of mobile payments to $17 billion in the US alone by 2019 (Forrester), Android Pay can’t come soon enough.

6 Reasons Your Business Can’t Afford to Ignore Mobile Advertising

Forbes ran a story this week listing six reasons companies can’t afford to ignore mobile advertising any longer. Did you know there are more mobile connections on the planet right now than people on the planet right now?

That’s both impressive and mind boggling. I’ll leave it to Forbes to give you the full report but suffice it to say: customers are spending more and more time on mobile. If you know where your ads are being served, your reach (as seen above) can be staggering. Read the full story on Forbes here, and check out our recent blog post on mobile ad viewability.

S Pen Issues for Galaxy Note 5

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Finally this week, we have the rather odd story of the S Pen debacle for the newly launched Galaxy Note 5. The S Pen is a long-running feature of Samsung’s large “phablet” device, which comes with a smart stylus and offers features including drawing, note-taking by hand, and more.The Galaxy Note 5’s S Pen is more powerful than ever with new software enhancements to make it feel better, and even the inclusion of a redundant clicking tip that gives the compulsive pen-clicker in all of us the opportunity to do it on a digital pen.

Unfortunately, the phone is designed in such a way this time around that inserting the pen upside down causes irreparable damage. It’s surprisingly easy to do—see one of the tech press’ best-known personalities breaking his phone live on the internet while talking about the phenomenon. Samsung’s response has been… well… lacking. The gist is, “if you had read the manual, it wouldn’t have happened.” To any current or potential Galaxy Note 5 users, be careful where you stick the pen.

Those are the big stories we have for you this week, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the new wave of Android Wear tech announced for this holiday season, a report on how few people are using the tech features in cars (which is great for Google and Apple on the eve of Android Auto and CarPlay’s release), and the story that will go down as one of the greatest “what ifs?” in American history: What if the McWhopper had actually been able to get off the ground? Alas, we burger lovers will have to sit and wonder what that wonderful sandwich would have tasted like…what was I talking about again? Oh, right.

Make sure to let us know if you have any ideas about how we can improve these updates or other stories you think we should have covered. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

Photo sources: ExtremeTech, CNET.

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Publisher Beware: Why Mobile Ad Viewability Is Key to Your Success http://www.phunware.com/blog/publisher-beware-why-mobile-ad-viewability-is-key-to-your-success/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=publisher-beware-why-mobile-ad-viewability-is-key-to-your-success http://www.phunware.com/blog/publisher-beware-why-mobile-ad-viewability-is-key-to-your-success/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:17:06 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21424 If you were a mischievous child, you have probably heard some version of these words: “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know it’s bad. So stop.” It turns out that many advertisers are taking a similarly suspicious stance with their mobile ad partners: “I don’t know whether my ads are getting viewed, but […]

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Blog-Publisher-Beware-FeaturedIf you were a mischievous child, you have probably heard some version of these words: “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know it’s bad. So stop.”

It turns out that many advertisers are taking a similarly suspicious stance with their mobile ad partners: “I don’t know whether my ads are getting viewed, but I’m still not going to rebook.” It turns out it’s in publishers’ interest to make sure every ad is counted.

Introducing the Digital Ad Viewability Debate

The viewability debate is the hottest topic in the digital ad space. Recent research suggests that every year, advertisers invest hundreds of millions of dollars in ads that never get seen. Desktop ad viewability is a particularly significant problem, as ads fall below the fold often.

Of course, digital ad viewability issues are reduced on smartphones and tablets, because consumers spend an increasing share of their mobile time in-app. In apps, ads are usually integrated natively or clearly visible to the user right away, not hidden at the bottom of a scrolling page.

But viewability on mobile web and desktop remains a contentious and costly issue. Understandably, advertisers want more visibility into their viewability (sorry). At the same time, publishers often blend high-viewable and low-viewable ad placements into a single CPM. So what can be done?

Getting on the Same Page with Digital Ad Viewability

The viewability discussion is complex. For a start, the industry has yet to reach a conclusion on how ad viewability is defined despite groups like the Media Rating Council (MRC) taking the lead. Without definitions, how can publishers confirm that their ads have been seen?

The industry can’t agree on which tools to use to measure viewability, either. One internationally recognized publisher recently confessed to testing five different technology partners, ranking the viewability of a particular ad placement somewhere between 17% and 84%. That’s not very encouraging at a time when advertisers are pushing for a viewable-only CPM model.

While all sides of the debate acknowledge that viewability is a difficult issue, it’s in the publisher’s best interest to pay close attention to it. That’s because viewability directly affects how publishers are assessed against their competitors as advertising destinations, and whether they will be rebooked for the next campaign.

Calculating Mobile Ad Viewability

CTR (or engagement rate) is still the preferred metric for assessing brand campaign performance. The stats for obtaining this metric are generated from the client ad server (either as a result of serving the ad creative itself or through the use of tracking links).

The impressions logged by the ad server are usually served impressions, meaning they do not provide any indication of whether the ad was actually viewed. That’s why advertisers have been pretty blind to viewability (no pun intended) until now. While there are partners that measure viewability, they exist in a cluttered marketplace that lacks uniformity when it comes to technology and methodology. Thus, advertisers still use the number of served impressions to calculate campaign CTR, which is in turn used to assess publishers’ performance during the campaign.

Let’s say an ad running on your site generated 10,000 impressions, according to the ad server, and that 100 people clicked through on it. That’s a 1% CTR. But what if 2,000 of those supposed 10,000 impressions never actually scrolled down far enough to view your ad? If non-viewed impressions were excluded from the total, suddenly you’d have 100 clicks on only 8,000 impressions—a significantly better 1.25% CTR. Wouldn’t you rather be assessed on impressions that can actually generate a click? While you as the publisher may lose a small amount of revenue in the short term for those non-viewable impressions, the greater performance you show the brands and agencies will lead to future bookings and bigger revenue opportunities.

Key industry bodies need to work hard to provide the insight and guidance necessary for a standardized approach to viewability. Until they do so (and potentially even after they have done so), publishers need to be aware of how viewability impacts their business.

Despite the fact that advertisers cannot track viewability directly, it still has a major impact for publishers. Low viewability is already the reason they don’t rebook, if only because of its impact on average CTRs.

To learn about ad types that circumvent the viewability problem altogether, check out this blog post on taking native advertising to the next level.

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Apple TV Will Change Your Living Room http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-tv-will-change-your-living-room/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=apple-tv-will-change-your-living-room http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-tv-will-change-your-living-room/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 19:58:11 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21389 Apple has long called their set-top box a “hobby project.” In 2010, Steve Jobs insisted there wasn’t a viable market for the product, citing the fragmented nature of television hardware and cable providers. Since then, television has evolved in remarkable ways: virtually every channel has a streaming option, Netflix and Amazon are celebrating their Emmys […]

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Blog-Apple-TV-Change-Will-Change-Your-Living-RoomApple has long called their set-top box a “hobby project.” In 2010, Steve Jobs insisted there wasn’t a viable market for the product, citing the fragmented nature of television hardware and cable providers.

Since then, television has evolved in remarkable ways: virtually every channel has a streaming option, Netflix and Amazon are celebrating their Emmys and TV shows are being produced at Hollywood quality.

Now the Apple-sphere is buzzing about an upcoming media event that could introduce a long-overdue Apple TV upgrade. A September 9th announcement is expected to reveal a new hardware design, a fresh take on a touch-based remote, and most notably the full power of the App Store. This would enable Apple’s passionate and talented iOS developer community to innovate the television experience for hundreds of millions of users who embrace Apple’s ecosystem. The impact would be felt across a variety of industries including gaming, entertainment, eCommerce, food delivery and home automation.

Imagine this: You’re a resident of a luxury high-rise building and while you’re watching TV, your building’s personalized TV app notifies you that a guest is waiting at the front desk. Then you pull up a live feed of the lobby camera, verify who it is and authorize entry from your remote. Or maybe you’re feeling motivated, and you check the fitness center channel to see if your favorite machine is free. While you’re at it, you might reserve the service elevator for your furniture delivery, view and pay your account balance and submit a work order request—all through your TV.

Phunware has long been a leader in luxury high-rise technology, enabling residents to engage with the building they live in through mobile apps. With the App Store on Apple TV, residential real estate developers and property managers will be able to offer the level of in-unit service offered by the hospitality industry without the infrastructure cost.

Nobody really knows what Apple will announce on September 9th. A major upgrade had already been predicted for WWDC 2015 in June, and several times prior to that. Apple has been vocal about the difficulty of wrangling content providers, an important part of their TV strategy. But the introduction of the App Store on Apple TV is not impacted by this difficulty, and a recent sighting of a TVKit SDK in xCode, Apple’s development environment, is a promising sign. A big-screen App Store experience may soon be coming to a a living room near you, and I for one am excited for the possibilities.

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This Week In Mobile – August 21, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-21-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-august-21-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-21-2015/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 21:18:55 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21369 Hello and welcome back to This Week in Mobile! It’s been a good week for us at Phunware, and tonight is movie night for the Austin office (it remains to be seen which movie won out in the employee survey). In Phunware news, we’re pleased to have been placed on an important list—but we’ll get to […]

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Hello and welcome back to This Week in Mobile! It’s been a good week for us at Phunware, and tonight is movie night for the Austin office (it remains to be seen which movie won out in the employee survey). In Phunware news, we’re pleased to have been placed on an important list—but we’ll get to that soon enough.

Remember, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Android Wear Update

blog-android-wear-featuresThis week, two big nuggets of Android-themed news came from our friends at Google. First, Android Wear is receiving its first major update in a few months and is adding some really cool functionality.

In addition to offering interactive and live watch faces, one of my personal favorite tweaks is an updated translate feature that runs natively on the watch’s hardware. It allows you to rotate your wrist and display translated text into more than 40 languages for both you and the person you’re talking to. This fun design innovation has some interesting applications. Android Wear v 1.3 is already on some devices, and will get fully into the wild in a few weeks.

Android M Gets a Name

Also in Android news, the official tasty name for Android M will be…Marshmallow! Aside from making me personally sad, (Team Milkshake Forever!) it’s a pretty cute name and the traditional decadent statue of the Android has been revealed. Android Marshmallow is launching later this year!

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Project Ara Gets Delayed

We have some new (and kind of sad) information from deep within the skunkworks of Google’s Project Ara. Project Ara is based on the idea that instead of replacing an entire phone after a single part breaks or wishing your phone had a massive battery instead of a health tracker, you can just replace it piece by piece and keep on going. The project was slated for release later this year in Puerto Rico, but it has now been pushed into 2016.

The concept of a modular phone has been popular since the original Phonebloks video went viral in late 2013. Google originally said the Project Ara delay was due to the phone’s #FailedTheDropTest—that the magnets holding the phone’s modules weren’t strong enough. But it turns out that those #FailedTheDropTest posts were a joke, and that the Ara team team had actually just decided on a new way to keep the blocks in the main board.

The modular phone is an awesome concept and a great way to deal with the problem of electronic waste, but we’ll have to see if the market is interested in this sort of device.

Mobile Ads Aren’t Doomed (Duh)

The tech press is always looking ahead to which tech trends will flop and which will fly, but they’re not always right. In an article published this week, Wired writer Julia Greenberg comments on the staggering growth of the mobile advertising industry, pointing out that it wasn’t too long ago that tech journalists wondered whether brands would be able to figure out how to monetize mobile at all. As Greenberg notes, the value of the mobile ad industry shot up by more than $12 billion between 2013 and 2014, and it shows no signs of slowing.

Apple Demotes the iPod

TWIM-ipod-classicFinally, in slightly sad news, Apple is making more room on those massive display tables at the Apple Store: the iPod is being moved to the Accessories section. That’s right—if you want to buy an iPod from the Apple Store, don’t look near the iPhones and Macs. Look near the cases and replacement chargers.

Apple has been winding down the iPod line for years and has killed off the trackwheel design already, but this latest move is another step in the iPod funeral march. Go quietly into that good night, old friend. Thanks for holding that awesome road-trip playlist and playing it on my 2001 Toyota Camry speakers through a cassette-to-headphone-jack converter. It was a good ride.

We don’t have too much time to mourn the iPod, though. With Apple’s September event just a few days, we’re turning our attention to the future. (Programming note: keep checking the Phunware blog for more updates ahead of the event.)

Those are all the big stories we have for you this week, but that’s not all the big news we have at Phunware. We’ve been named to the Inc. 5000 for the third year in a row! It’s an honor to be listed with so many exciting companies doing great things, and with that growth, we’re hiring!

Finally this week, we’ve been invited to participate and moderate a #CiscoChat all about wayfinding and CMX analytics. Make sure to follow @Phunware, @lddang, @DavidPeveto and follow the hashtag on Tuesday morning to learn and participate!

If you have any ideas about how we can improve these updates or other stories you think we should have covered, let us know. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

Photo sources: Google Translate Blog, AndroidCentral, CBS News.

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Mobile Stat Snack – 45 Million http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-stat-snack-45-million/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-stat-snack-45-million http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-stat-snack-45-million/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 21:12:45 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21342 45 million. That’s the number of online consumers in the U.S. reached by ad-blocking software (16% of the U.S. online population), as highlighted in this year’s “Ad Blocking Report” from Adobe and Pagefair. The number is way up from approximately 11 million last year, and ad blocking is rightfully a hot topic in the advertising […]

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Each edition of Phunware’s Mobile Stat Snack delivers a compelling, current data point from the mobile industry—and insight into what it might mean for you.

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45 million. That’s the number of online consumers in the U.S. reached by ad-blocking software (16% of the U.S. online population), as highlighted in this year’s “Ad Blocking Report” from Adobe and Pagefair.

The number is way up from approximately 11 million last year, and ad blocking is rightfully a hot topic in the advertising industry. The report concludes that consumers are fed up with “intrusive, annoying, irrelevant or downright creepy” ads.

Ad blocking still has yet to hit mobile at scale (mobile only accounts for 2% of total ad blocking, according to the report). But that doesn’t mean advertisers and publishers should hit the snooze button on creating better, more engaging ad experiences for consumers.

Native advertising is a step in the right direction, but it’s time to raise the bar. Native ads aren’t only native because they look native, appearing to blend seamlessly with the format of their environment (in your Facebook newsfeed, for example). They should also feel seamless, enhancing the user’s online experience rather than distracting from it. That’s the kind of native experience that’s less likely to be blocked.

Shrinking and forcing a standard banner unit or TV spot into a mobile feed doesn’t make a good native ad. Advertisers and publishers that take the time to be “mobile-first” will win dollars and eyeballs in a world where consumers have more power and control over the content they interact with and the ads they see. At Phunware, we are working to create deeper ad experiences (see: our Phusion™ native brand placements) that marry content and promotion in a way that creates a win-win-win for advertisers, publishers and consumers.

Interested in learning more about how you can run effective advertising campaigns on mobile? Our advertising team can answer any questions you have! Contact us at advertising@phunware.com.

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This Month in Mobile Healthcare – August 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-month-in-mobile-healthcare-august-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-month-in-mobile-healthcare-august-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-month-in-mobile-healthcare-august-2015/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 20:23:45 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21312 “Healthcare is one of the only industries that haven’t been disrupted a lot by technology yet.” –Flatiron CEO Nat Turner Au contraire, Mr. Turner. Technology is indeed disrupting healthcare. As an industry, we are looking to technology (specifically mobile technology) for help connecting with patients and customers, reducing costs and improving care outcomes. And there […]

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“Healthcare is one of the only industries that haven’t been disrupted a lot by technology yet.”
Flatiron CEO Nat Turner

Au contraire, Mr. Turner. Technology is indeed disrupting healthcare. As an industry, we are looking to technology (specifically mobile technology) for help connecting with patients and customers, reducing costs and improving care outcomes. And there is a lot of news on the subject!

Here are a few quick (and recent) reads to keep you up to date on how mobile technology is impacting patient care.

Google Is Now Alphabet and That Spells Big Things for Healthcare

“Can Google win a share of the industry? It’s too soon to say, but [Google’s] dramatic move to remake its business model has certainly strengthened its hand. And based on the Alphabet companies’ ambitions, it might spell big things for [healthcare] patients, too.”

Read more on Forbes

Wearables Find Foothold in the Healthcare Industry: Frost & Sullivan

“Wearable devices will extend beyond fitness tracking to include two-way communication between the user and the healthcare ecosystem,” said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Senior Research Analyst Shuba Ramkumar. “Though a number of applications currently address the business-to-consumer market, wearable devices will eventually offer support to healthcare institutions by sharing real-time data collected by the consumer.”

Read more on First Post

Giving Blood? Track It to Hospital via Smartphone App

“Giving blood now bears at least one similarity to ordering a Domino’s pizza or buying a tricycle on Amazon—you can track its route from the starting point to the delivery…The American Red Cross hopes its app, which allows users to track their blood donations from the testing lab to hospital delivery, can help increase supplies during the typically slow summer.

The features of the app might help spark more donations, or at least get people thinking about donating blood…It also allows people to schedule appointments and share a selfie.”

Read more on Press of Atlantic City

Google Proposes Open Source Beacons

“Beacons are commonly marketed to help people find their way around and to provide information to them relevant to specific locations, such as digital coupons in store aisles, bus schedules at bus stops, and historical information in museums.

Google is…releasing two APIs: The Nearby API for Android and iOS, which allows developers to create publish and subscribe methods to share messages and connections between nearby devices, and the Proximity Beacon API, to manage data associated with a BLE beacon through a REST interface.

Among companies that have been pursuing mobile initiatives for three years or more, 70% are conducting beacon trials, said Silverman.”

Read more on InformationWeek

6 out of 10 Healthcare Organizations Lag in Digital Health Adoption

“Nearly 60 percent of healthcare organizations are either behind on their digital health strategy or lack one entirely.

Specifically, 59 percent said they were behind on their strategy or didn’t have one, while 41 percent said they were on track with their digital health strategy.

Digital health is moving from being a competitive, speed-to-market advantage to being a vital component of a company’s success and relevance in the new healthcare landscape. Now is the time to be executing.

Technology is forcing the healthcare industry, which has historically moved slowly due to a number of regulatory and other factors, to move at a staggeringly quick pace to maintain competitive relevance.”

Read more on Mobile Health News

How Mobile Health Apps, Portals Improve Patient Engagement

“Several months ago, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) released its 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, which showed how mobile health apps and other Internet-based, remote technologies can be used to engage patients with their healthcare and assist providers in meeting various meaningful use objectives.

Nearly 240 healthcare providers responded to the HIMSS survey and illustrated that mobile health apps and technologies are being utilized across the healthcare spectrum to boost patient engagement. For instance, almost 90 percent of survey takers reported using mobile technology to improve patient interest and satisfaction with their establishment.”

Read more on mHealth Intelligence

Mobile Health Impacts Patient Engagement, Accountable Care

“To improve health and wellness, certain mobile tools like apps or wearables could potentially create more interest or engagement among patients to focus on their fitness, diet, weight, and prescription management.

As more technology developers focus on improving interoperability throughout the healthcare industry, medical providers are aligning their resources to better engage patients with their medical needs.

Along with these capabilities, mobile and digital tools assist in bringing forth greater patient engagement across the country among consumers of smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Both physicians and patients use these technologies to better assist in their everyday life and workflow.”

Read more on mHealth Intelligence

See? I told you healthcare is being disrupted by mobile technology! Be sure to check back with us for more mobile healthcare updates. While you’re at it, subscribe to our monthly mobile health newsletter.

Subscribe to Mobile Health Newsletter

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This Month in Mobile Media and Entertainment – August 2015 http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/this-month-in-mobile-entertainment-august-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-month-in-mobile-entertainment-august-2015 http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/this-month-in-mobile-entertainment-august-2015/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:56:06 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21349 Here’s a snapshot of the latest mobile news and trends from the world of media and entertainment. These quick reads will help you stay up to date on this fast-paced space! The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Streaming TV Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are skyrocketing in popularity. If you are considering cutting the cable […]

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Here’s a snapshot of the latest mobile news and trends from the world of media and entertainment. These quick reads will help you stay up to date on this fast-paced space!

The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Streaming TV

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are skyrocketing in popularity. If you are considering cutting the cable cord, here’s an overview of the major streaming services, what they offer and for how much.

Read more on Time

Mobile Sports Report: Huge Jump in Stadium Wi-Fi

A clear trend toward greater Wi-Fi and DAS deployments is the main point of the new “State of the Stadium” research report from SEAT.

Find out more and download the full report for free on Mobile Sports Report(registration required)

Stephen Colbert Pitches His “Late Show” on CBS

Stephen Colbert is gearing up for his hosting premiere of the “The Late Show” on September 8th. His digital footprint is already in place, thanks to the Colbr app and an integrated media campaign.

Find out more about what to expect from the funnyman on The Denver Post

Apple Music Hooks 11 Million Trial Users

One month after unveiling its new streaming-music service, Apple has locked in 11 million trial members. Is this the new model for the music industry? Consumers have already voted “yes” by signing up in droves…we’ll just have to see if they vote with their dollars when the trial period ends.

More details on USA TODAY

Jimmy Fallon Contract Extended through 2021

Colbert is coming to the scene, Meyers is changing up his format…and NBC has locked in Jimmy Fallon for six more years. And not a moment too soon! With the election coming up, there’s comedy gold in late night future!

Find out more on Hollywood Reporter

Samsung Pay on TV Lets You Buy Apps & Games

Samsung Pay on TV lets you buy content right from your television with a credit card, debit card and PayPal. It is said to be initially available on select 2015 Samsung Smart TVs and 2014 Smart TVs in 32 countries.

Check out VentureBeat’s overview here

New Apple TV Expected, but Streaming Video Service Questionable for Sept 9 Event

A new Apple TV expected to be unveiled at Apple’s mysterious September 9th event, and there is a solid chance we will hear more about a new streaming service. What are the industry-watchers saying?

Find out on Apple Insider Beat

YouTube Redesigns Mobile Apps

To keep up with increasingly mobile video viewership, YouTube has overhauled its mobile app portfolio. The result is a platform that makes creating, finding and sharing video content much easier.

Get more details here

YouTube Will Now Show 360-Degree Videos and 360-Degree Ads

Google is making ads a bit more interactive. YouTube now supports 360-degree video advertisements on Chrome, Android and iOS.

Learn more about the engaging new format on The Next Web

…and that’s this month’s big news in mobile media and entertainment. For more updates like these, check back soon or subscribe to our monthly media and entertainment newsletter.

Subscribe to Mobile Entertainment Newsletter

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This Week In Mobile – August 14, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-14-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-august-14-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-14-2015/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 21:19:26 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21269 Helloooo internet! And welcome to the August 14 edition of This Week in Mobile. This week, the new largest company in the tech space emerged from the old largest company in the tech space. The IAB released huge news on mobile advertising revenue for 2014, and Google updated its messaging app. Remember, this isn’t intended […]

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Helloooo internet! And welcome to the August 14 edition of This Week in Mobile. This week, the new largest company in the tech space emerged from the old largest company in the tech space. The IAB released huge news on mobile advertising revenue for 2014, and Google updated its messaging app.

Remember, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

A New Google Hangouts App!

This week Google released the 4.0 update to the Google Hangouts app for Android. The release revamps and overhauls several key features of Hangouts, a few of which were already updated in the iOS version of Hangouts earlier this summer. Now Google is giving Android Hangouts users something to chat about with its signature material design look, which brings Hangouts up to speed with the Android Lollipop OS and the upcoming Android M (C’mon Milkshake!). The update also provides Android Wear support for quick messages as well as the ability to make simple drawings and emojis right on your Android smartwatch.

The update has received significant criticism and praise from different sources. The app has more than a billion (yes, billion with a B) downloads on the Google Play store alone, so there is bound to be criticism for something with reach that far. The lesson here is that it’s important to keep your app aligned with your corporate image, but be prepared for push-back. Apps are always changing, just like the needs of the app users.

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Apple TV Updates

September is right around the corner and that can mean only one thing: Apple’s fall event! The rumor mill is in full swing. There are whispers of an iPhone 6s and an iPad Pro with massive 12.9” display. And speculators generally agree that we’ll finally see an update to Apple TV. The current version of the Apple TV has been on the market for almost three years, and it needs some TLC—especially in light of the current landscapes of cord-cutters.

Apple’s rumored subscription television service (à la Sony Playstation Vue or SlingTV) will not be launching with the updated device, however, thanks to stalled talks between Apple and the TV providers. Nevertheless, consumers have been excited about the prospect of a new Apple TV for the past several Apple events—and again, these are only rumors. We’ll just have to wait until the September 9th event to see what Apple has in store for us.

Global Mobile Ad Revenue Hit $31.9 Billion in 2014

In a recent press release, the International Advertising Board (IAB) announced that after counting several beans and finding those last few pennies of ad revenue in the couch, global mobile advertising revenue was $31.9 billion for 2014. Mobile display was the big winner, responsible for 88.1% of that revenue. In fact, it surpassed search engine results, which were the big winner in 2013. You can download the entire report (it’s behind an email gate, but worth the read if you’re interested in the mobile ad industry), which breaks down the numbers across regions, devices and ad types. As IAB Senior VP Anna Bager said, “Mobile devices are at the center of consumers’ lives across the globe and these numbers reflect brands’ increasing recognition that this medium holds great power.”

Alphabet

We saved the best (or at least the biggest) news for last this week: Google is no longer Google. Kind of. The mega-business has officially rebranded itself as a larger holdings company called Alphabet, under whose purview the Google we know and love will fall.

Confused yet? You’re not alone. Basically, this move will allow Alphabet to keep working on the big ideas Google is known for while diversifying and separating the companies and brands currently under the Google banner. ThinkProgress has a few images (one of which can be seen below) that help show how the company and its power structure are changing. Ultimately, this change should be good for everyone involved. More leaders will be allowed to step up in these newly-formed Alphabet companies, giving them more room to develop the cool tech we like to play with at Phunware and tell you about in This Week in Mobile.

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Aside from these big stories, Samsung has updated the GearS2 (which excites me as an active Android Wear user). Tinder’s interesting week on Twitter has many, many, many people talking about the personality of brands. Samsung Pay and Android Pay are getting release windows and Fitbit is releasing an app for Windows 10.

If you have any ideas about how we can improve these updates or other stories you think we should have covered, let us know. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

Photo sources: Official Google Blog and ThinkProgress.

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Postback ’15 Recap: Are Performance and Premium Mobile Advertising That Different? http://www.phunware.com/blog/postback-15-recap-are-performance-and-premium-mobile-advertising-that-different/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=postback-15-recap-are-performance-and-premium-mobile-advertising-that-different http://www.phunware.com/blog/postback-15-recap-are-performance-and-premium-mobile-advertising-that-different/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:11:13 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21256 It’s a wrap—another Postback has come and gone. Late last month, over 900 people attended TUNE’s annual event that brings folks from the mobile advertising and performance advertising space together to discuss insights and trends. This year, Phunware took part in the main event with our VP Jon Hook sitting in on the “Mobile Performance […]

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It’s a wrap—another Postback has come and gone. Late last month, over 900 people attended TUNE’s annual event that brings folks from the mobile advertising and performance advertising space together to discuss insights and trends. This year, Phunware took part in the main event with our VP Jon Hook sitting in on the “Mobile Performance Secrets Revealed” panel. We caught up with him post-event to get his takeaways. Here’s what he had to say:

Everyone Wants Differentiation.

Advertisers are looking for differentiation from their partners in the form of creative executions and the use of data to achieve KPIs more effectively. The reality, however, is that differentiation is hard to deliver.

Robert Duffy, VP of Mobile App Strategy and Engineering at Time Inc., talked about the challenge of balancing the competing needs of standardization and innovation. He cited advertisers’ demand for native content, which by definition happens at the application level. But advertisers also demand scale for their campaigns—and the result is content and creative that aren’t truly native. A desktop ad format placed in a mobile feed does not a native ad make.

And Transparency.

There’s a cry for greater trust and transparency across the mobile performance ecosystem. Advertisers want to be able to trust their advertising partners more, as evidenced by the well-documented viewability debate.

At Postback, however, there was a lot of conversation around the need for trust in the other direction—from advertisers. For example, what transparency will an advertiser give a network? Will the advertiser share install data for partners to optimize against? How can the advertiser provide insights from their end to allow a partner to optimize and deliver high lifetime value (LTV) users to their app?

Cultural factors and the type of advertiser seem to determine what data (if any) is passed back to a partner. For example, advertisers in India and China tend to be more conservative and won’t pass post-install metrics back to their partners. Without these metrics, it’s hard for partners to optimize campaigns for the users who are most likely to engage long-term and/or make in-app purchases.

On the other hand, mobile-first businesses (particularly top game developers) are quicker to understand the value of this data pass back, while traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are still building the infrastructure and teams to understand (1) why they should be data passing back, and (2) whether they have the technology to do so. In the end, we all want to drive more revenue and better margins—and increased transparency from both sides is vital for achieving those goals.

And Meaningful Measurement.

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Another Postback ’15 takeaway was that for brands to optimize campaigns effectively, they must value quality, not quantity. That means optimizing for engagement and revenue, not the number of installs a campaign generates.

The same goes for publishers: look at revenue generated, not just eCPM. For example, game giant Zynga uses TUNE to establish each of its game titles as a publisher in its own right, and then to understand how each game audience behaves and what they want. Although both fall under “gaming,” the Words with Friends audience is not the same as FarmVille’s. One responds better to house ads (ads for other Zynga titles), while the other responds better to ads from third-party advertisers.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Forget Context.

The importance of context in mobile is not a new topic. But Postback put a new spin on it: what a business thinks is the right moment to engage may not be the right moment for the consumer. As the Macy’s CPO said at Postback, this boils down to a simple rule: Don’t surprise the consumer.

What does this mean in practice? For one, it’s more effective to engage already-active users than to surprise new users with messaging that may or may not resonate. Too often, brands’ default goal is user acquisition—finding and attracting new users. But a resounding theme from the Postback ’15 speakers was that brands should focus more heavily on their existing user base, specifically their most active users. More often than not, those active users are the most valuable, in terms of both revenue and brand advocacy.

Ultimately, we are all just trying to deliver an app or a piece of content to a user in the most cost-effective way for the best possible return. But as soon as a campaign is labeled “premium,” we measure it by exposure (CPM), not efficacy (CPI). Conversely, rich media builds are perceived to be expensive, unnecessary luxuries for performance advertisers.

Jon’s takeaway from Postback ’15 was that maybe “performance” and “premium” aren’t so different after all. The key is to focus on your mobile ad campaign objectives and look at the audience data you do have. Work backwards from there, instead of making your starting point “This is a brand campaign and therefore we will run on CPM and on these particular sites.” It’s time to forget about the labels and focus on the goal.

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Mobile Stat Snack – 70% http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-stat-snack-70-percent/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-stat-snack-70-percent http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-stat-snack-70-percent/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:54:03 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21201 70% — This is the percentage of the global population that will be using smartphones by 2020, as highlighted in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. As devices become more advanced, mobile consumption and advertising will continue to grow. As a brand or agency, it is more important than ever to understand how mobile fits into […]

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Each edition of Phunware’s Mobile Stat Snack delivers a compelling, current data point from the mobile industry—and insight into what it might mean for you.

Blog-Stat-Snack-2015081070% — This is the percentage of the global population that will be using smartphones by 2020, as highlighted in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. As devices become more advanced, mobile consumption and advertising will continue to grow.

As a brand or agency, it is more important than ever to understand how mobile fits into the lives of your consumers and can affect the experiences you bring to them.

As consumers, our mobile devices are our most personal devices. There are even studies showing that we can have separation anxiety when we don’t have our smartphone with us (it even has a name, nomophobia!). And when you think about it, it’s not that surprising.

Mobile devices are so integrated into our daily lives that nearly half of US adults say they can’t imagine what they’d do without their smartphones. How would they find the fastest route to work without Waze, have lunch delivered without UberEATS, or kick back and watch favorite TV shows without the Netflix app?

If you are a marketer, your first challenge is to understand how your target audience is using mobile devices. When and where are they using mobile devices? Are they using smartphone and tablets differently? What type of content are they consuming and when? Then start working on how you can deliver tailored experiences that fit that consumer journey.

For example, a retailer might serve localized mobile coupon ads to smartphones that appear around their physical locations, and more video-focused ads on tablets that are connected to home Wi-Fi (yes—it is possible to do this kind of targeting!). If you know that User A over-indexes for casual gaming (i.e. spends more time playing casual games than the average user), why not engage him/her with a mini-game in your ad? Even simple changes like these can customize the experience for users and increase the chances that they will engage with your brand.

Interested in learning more about how you can run effective advertising campaigns on mobile? Our advertising team can answer any questions you have! Contact us at advertising@phunware.com.

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This Week in Mobile – August 7, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-7-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-august-7-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-august-7-2015/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 20:53:02 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21129 Hello and welcome to This Week in Mobile for August 7, 2015. Black Hat 2015, the world’s largest gathering of hackers discussing cyber security, started this week. So did Gamescom, the world’s largest gathering of gamers discussing the games coming to consoles, computers and mobile platforms in the next 12 months. We’ll get to more […]

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Hello and welcome to This Week in Mobile for August 7, 2015. Black Hat 2015, the world’s largest gathering of hackers discussing cyber security, started this week. So did Gamescom, the world’s largest gathering of gamers discussing the games coming to consoles, computers and mobile platforms in the next 12 months. We’ll get to more news from both of these events when the dust has settled.

This week we also found a story from The Economist on airlines upping their beacon game, an update on Apple Music, Forbes covering mobile ads vs. mobile apps, and a powerful infographic about investing in the user experience.

Remember, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Beacons Light the Way

Blog-TWIM-Airport-BeaconThis week The Economist published a great article entitled Lighting a Beacon as part of its Gulliver Business Travel blog series. It discusses a report from SITA which found that 44% of airlines plan to install beacon technology in the the next three years. It goes on to examine how beacons can provide benefits to passengers by easing navigation around unfamiliar airports and allowing passengers to get the most out of their time waiting to board a plane.

We’ve been talking about beacons and how they can help airports for a while now, but it’s always heartening to see a news outlet like The Economist exploring how technology can aid the passenger experience.

Apple Music Has 11 Million Users After 5 Weeks

Apple Music has been an interesting storyline since we started doing this series a couple of months ago. After a mere five weeks (Apple Music launched on June 30), there are 11 million users of the music streaming service. The question remains, however: after Apple’s three-month free trial period (hi, Taylor), will users stick around? Or will they switch to one of many free alternatives?

Mobile Ads vs. Mobile Apps: Which Is More Important?

A recent Forbes article entitled Mobile Ads vs Mobile Apps: Which Is More Important? caused ears around Phunware to perk up. The author concludes that apps and ads each play their own part in the big prize that is mobile, and the two are complementary. Ads drive awareness, while apps drive customer experience and loyalty. We’ve shown in the past that both advertising and app development are vital to finding and engaging customers. And as the Forbes author said, no matter what marketing mix you end up with, “you can’t go wrong with mobile.”

Investing in the User Experience

Finally this week, we have an infographic from User Testing about why investing in user experience (UX) not only benefits users, but also benefits brands by keeping users interested and engaged. The image below speaks for itself, using Netflix and Blockbuster as a cautionary tale about going mobile (or rather, not going mobile). (Side note: Blockbuster could have purchased Netflix in the 2000s for $50 million, but turned it down. Now Netflix is valued at $32.9 billion and Blockbuster is…well…)

Those are all the stories and findings we have for you this week. Other notable stories include Google giving away its $1 million material design guide for free and the world’s weirdest TIME article about the future of virtual reality. And of course the country’s pop-culture discourse will suffer after saying #JonVoyage to Jon Stewart this week. We’ll see you next Friday!

View video on Hulu here >

If you have any ideas about how we can improve these updates or other stories you think we should have covered, let us know. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

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App Development: Should You Do It In-House or Outsource It? http://www.phunware.com/blog/app-development-should-you-do-it-in-house-or-outsource-it/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=app-development-should-you-do-it-in-house-or-outsource-it http://www.phunware.com/blog/app-development-should-you-do-it-in-house-or-outsource-it/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:25:38 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=21010 It’s December 24th. I’m staring at this year’s hottest gift, the Barbie Dreamhouse™. There are hundreds of pieces spread across the living room and instructions written in eight languages, none of which make any sense to me. Time is not on my side either. My four-year-old will walk down the stairs in a few hours […]

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Blog-App-Development-FeaturedIt’s December 24th. I’m staring at this year’s hottest gift, the Barbie Dreamhouse™. There are hundreds of pieces spread across the living room and instructions written in eight languages, none of which make any sense to me.

Time is not on my side either. My four-year-old will walk down the stairs in a few hours and I don’t think she’ll understand the concept of “assembly required” from Santa. So I dig in and prepare for a long night.

After watching several YouTube instructional videos and enlisting some family members (who worked for beer), we finish the project. It was stressful, time-consuming and certainly outside of my skillset. Seeing my daughter’s eyes light up in the morning was rewarding, but I’m not sure her reaction would have been any different if there had been an outsourcing option to build the pink monstrosity. She might have liked it better, in fact—we couldn’t get the elevator to work.

The in-house vs. outsource dilemma plagues businesses too, particularly when it comes to mobile development. Many companies are scrambling to generate mobile apps in-house, believing that it’s cheaper, easier, faster, more controllable and more efficient. If your organization is weighing this decision, consider the following.

Challenges of In-House App Development

Three main challenges arise when businesses attempt to keep all mobile app development in-house:

1. The skillset struggle is real.

Even with up to 15 developers working on their mobile app initiatives, 94 percent of organizations don’t have the necessary mobile development staff to tackle all of their needs. Almost half of software solutions architects and senior software developers say there’s a gap in the skills required for mobile development.

Android and iOS development require different and fairly complicated coding languages—Java for Android and Objective C or Swift for iOS. The average Android developer can’t just switch over to coding for iOS without additional training or study. Creating apps for both platforms effectively means two development efforts and skillsets.

2. It’s expensive and time-consuming.

A bare-bones internal mobile development team might consist of a mobile designer, one or two developers, a project manager and a quality assurance (QA) engineer. Even if you already have some of these folks on staff, you likely need to hire at least one person. It can take weeks to get the HR process rolling and find the right person, and even more time to get them fully on board (average of 3-6 months).

Recruitment and hiring don’t just take time. They take money. Consider the cost of advertising job listings, hiring recruiters, performing background checks and covering relocation expenses—not to mention the developer’s six-figure salary and the cost of technology, licensing fees, software certificates and more.

3. Developing mobile apps in-house can be risky.

If you decide to keep all of your mobile app development in-house, how can you be sure your team’s skills are top-notch? Are you savvy enough to differentiate between a decent coder and a mobile expert? Most people aren’t.

Scalability can also become an issue with an in-house team. What if your project scope expands? As we’ve already established, it’s not so easy to just plug in an additional coder. Accountability can also present challenges. Without specific mobility expertise, decision-makers may struggle to identify the nature and root causes of any problems that arise, leaving the project stalled out without a plan for moving forward.

Advantages of Outsourcing App Development

Outsourcing your mobile app development to a firm that specializes in mobile can be a very strategic decision—one that saves you time, hassle, and money while yielding a better-quality product. Here are a few advantages of letting someone else handle your mobile app development:

  1. Fixed costs for a specific scope and delivery.
  2. Less lag time: An outside team can usually start immediately.
  3. Synergy: An established team will have a solid working relationship with each other and with the required technologies.
  4. Accountability: A good mobile firm will give you a solid contract and scope of work, with clearly defined responsibilities and terms. If a mistake or delay occurs, you will have a dedicated account rep to address the problem. There’s a lot less to worry about.
  5. Access to plug-and-play features and modules: Many app features and modules are relatively standard. It’s how you use them that makes the app unique and special. An experienced app development team will have an existing library of these standard products already tested and optimized. There’s no need to build every feature from scratch when you can simply customize a proven solution. This saves time and money, while ensuring performance.
  6. Greater experience and expertise: Because of their focus on mobility, an outsourced team will be on top of the latest trends and technologies. They can share best practices gained from extensive experience and ensure that your app is in line with your vision and your target audience. A dedicated mobile expert can remove the guesswork and put your company and its app in the best possible situation to succeed.
  7. Options: You can outsource part or all of your app development. You can split the work, outsourcing iOS development while keeping Android in-house (or vice versa). You can use outsourced staff augmentation to fill gaps in your in-house development strategy. Or you can outsource the app discovery process, letting third-party pros develop your roadmap.

Ultimately, this decision comes down to cost and risk. Businesses are under intense pressure to maintain a competitive presence in the mobile space, and it’s natural to want to keep mobile development in-house. It just doesn’t make the best business sense. And your proverbial Barbie Dreamhouse might end up with a non-working elevator.

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This Week In Mobile – July 31, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-31-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-july-31-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-31-2015/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:21:57 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20994 Welcome one and all to Phunware’s This Week In Mobile for July 31, 2015. Phunware itself had a pretty good week in mobile with a successful app launch (more on that soon) and lots of activity in the Austin office. In the larger mobile world this week, a new version of the world’s most-used computer […]

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Welcome one and all to Phunware’s This Week In Mobile for July 31, 2015. Phunware itself had a pretty good week in mobile with a successful app launch (more on that soon) and lots of activity in the Austin office.

In the larger mobile world this week, a new version of the world’s most-used computer OS came out, several new Android flagships were revealed, and brands got some bad news about digital advertising scams that kill battery life and waste ad dollars.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Windows 10 / Windows 10 Mobile

blog-app-windows-10It’s finally here! (for PCs, anyway) Windows 10 launched this Wednesday with much fanfare from the tech community. It’s had a rocky start with some bugs and difficulty updating for some users, but it has received some stellar reviews and has already been installed on more than 14 million devices in its first three days.

Any new Windows OS is bound to see huge numbers, but with the mobile companion coming out by the end of the year and free updates for every device running Windows Mobile 8.1, the question is: will Windows 10 make a splash in the mobile space?

New Phone Season Is Here

This week two big players in the Android OEM space, Motorola and OnePlus, both released specs and schedules for their next flagship phones. Motorola held an event in New York where it announced the next version of its Moto X series, the Moto X Style. This device runs Lollipop (and will run Android M when the OS update launches later this year.) It has pretty good specs, with 3GB of RAM, expandable storage, a 21 MP camera and a slightly curved 1440p 5.7” display. As with the previous versions of the Moto X, Motorola is keeping the price down. We’ll see if its strategy to provide a premium product at a value succeeds when the device launches.

In a similar vein to the Moto X Style, China-based smartphone developer OnePlus will release a follow-up to the wildly successful OnePlus 1 with the super-originally-named OnePlus 2. The manufacturer is keeping its invite-only strategy—and testing the upmarket waters by increasing the price from the original. In spite of controversy over some lacking features (no NFC, no fast charging, no wireless charging and a 1080p display), there are more than a million people waiting for this phone.

Mobile Ad Fraud Report Released

Blog-TWIM-Phone-FraudA new study from the research firm Forensiq exposes a rise in apps that defraud brands and advertisers. According to the report, seemingly legitimate Android, iOS and Windows apps start running in the background as soon as a phone is turned on, serving as many as 700 ads per hour that user will never be able to see.

These fraudulent apps waste money for advertisers and consume enormous quantities of data, killing both battery life and performance while creating a terrible user experience. It’s increasingly important for mobile advertisers to know where their ads are being served, not only to make sure that they’re being shown to the right users on the right apps, but to make sure they’re seen in the first place.

Next week is the annual Black Hat hacker conference, so expect some interesting news out of that. Between the Chrysler recall of 1.4 million vehicles due to a vulnerability in their in-dash entertainment system and the Stagefright Android hack, there will be lots to discuss. On a happier note, Google’s Translate team released a cute promo video for its visual translate tool. And for gear heads (or should I say petrol heads) like me, the Top Gear team is coming back in a new show for Amazon’s Prime streaming service (not really mobile news, but you can watch the show on a phone, so I think it counts).

Have any favorite mobile stories from the week that we didn’t cover? Leave us a comment below or on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We’ll see you next week!

Photo source: Fortune

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“Mobile-First” Is No Longer a Marketing Luxury http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-first-is-no-longer-a-marketing-luxury/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-first-is-no-longer-a-marketing-luxury http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-first-is-no-longer-a-marketing-luxury/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:03:42 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20973 Mobile-First vs. Mobile-Only At a recent mobile conference in Chicago, Carrie Bienkoski (CMO of mobile-based business PeaPod) declared, “Don’t think mobile-first, think mobile-only—and prepare your business for a world without desktop.” While I admire the sentiment and foresight, a world without desktop—while perhaps inevitable—is still years away. While companies like Uber, Instacart and Square are […]

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Mobile-First vs. Mobile-Only

At a recent mobile conference in Chicago, Carrie Bienkoski (CMO of mobile-based business PeaPod) declared, “Don’t think mobile-first, think mobile-only—and prepare your business for a world without desktop.” While I admire the sentiment and foresight, a world without desktop—while perhaps inevitable—is still years away.

While companies like Uber, Instacart and Square are making seismic impacts on marketing and consumer adoption dynamics, the lion’s share of the industry is still being driven by massive, entrenched brands with strong equity and legacy built in the physical world through traditional media and more recently through digital media, primarily desktop.

It would therefore behoove our industry to prioritize the en-masse marketer transition to mobile-first strategies. I recently returned from Cannes Lions, where I was heartened to see that marketers have finally absorbed that a mobile-first approach will be critical for driving revenue in coming years.

Mobile at the Hub, Not in a Silo

All week on the Croisette, I witnessed conversations on the necessity of going beyond simple mobile extensions of desktop campaigns to a more powerful, native approach. In this current environment where technology and consumer behavior evolve at warp speed, it doesn’t make sense to just tuck away small rainy day budgets when there is a $25 billion monetization opportunity for brands in mobile.

To realize the full potential of the marketplace, marketers must make significant investments in their business infrastructure and create more efficient, enjoyable and rewarding customer experiences. In other words, the long game is to build business infrastructure to facilitate mobile presence and engagement—and it appears that marketers are actually playing. Many brands are making their mobile presences the epicenter of their omnichannel efforts, which also feature desktop and traditional media. In this new, holistic model, mobile marketing is not in a silo, but the hub of the wheel.

Three Big Brands That Went Mobile-First

The splashy announcement in Cannes that WPP, Daily Mail and Snapchat were banding together to create mobile-driven native content shop Truffle Pig was a loud endorsement of how mobile has changed the dynamic between brands, publishers and the technology world. For me however, the great advances being made by three brands that have relied on traditional media—Major League Baseball, HBO and McDonald’s—are more meaningful. They should be lauded for setting shining examples of the power of a mobile-first strategy.

In an interview with Fast Company, MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman articulated the wisdom and necessity of moving into a mobile world for traditional broadcasters. Bowman explained how transformational mobile has been for his brand as it streams baseball games to 3.5 million subscribers, of whom many are increasingly mobile viewers. Perhaps the biggest lesson here is the importance of speed-to-market. MLB.com exists at its present scale because it launched its streaming services all the way back in 2002.

As for HBO, after a few years and many dollars spent on internal technology and poaching staff from the likes of Zynga, Amazon and Microsoft, the entertainment company ultimately opted to bring in an external partner to build its back-end technology. By many accounts, HBO CEO Richard Plepler had an epiphany that HBO needed to go beyond its identity as the king of premium content and refashion itself technologically to remove all barriers preventing viewers from consuming HBO content. Its most recent foray, HBO NOW, was not only groundbreaking (it provided access to HBO programming and movies outside a TV subscription for the first time), but it also was the most profitable app in the Apple App Store in May 2015.

McDonald’s CIO Deborah Hall-Lefevre believes start-ups can be catalysts for innovation and inspire new, creative thinking. Start-ups can contribute the missing piece of a technology puzzle brands haven’t quite been able to solve in-house. For example, McDonald’s and its Chipotle brand signed a partnership with the start-up Postmates, a network of couriers delivering goods locally. Beyond the “cool” factor of partnering with a hot upstart—one that raised $80M in a Series C round—this kind of partnership delivers a win for both the brand and consumer. The consumer gets previously unavailable access to a product or service, and the brand gets valuable customer data and potential incremental revenue.

What Business Are You REALLY In?

Mobile technology is redefining age-old business models. Companies are being forced to re-architect their payment systems, business operations and in-store customer experiences to deliver the sought-after 1:1 customer communication abilities. They’re being forced to consider Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt’s famous question, “What business are you in?” Consumers are walking into your front yard armed with a price comparison tool, a payment system, a customer review engine and a directory of all your competitors. Brands can no longer be just retail outlets or auto dealers; they must now be nimble partners in real-time consumer engagement.

While customer data is crucial as it always has been, connectivity is the new oil—not data. The technology that captures, manages and monetizes this data must be the starting point. And the speed at which you can adopt mobile technology into your business strategy and operations will determine whether you sink or swim in this mobile-first world.

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Apple User Turned Android: Why I Switched From iPhone to Nexus http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-user-turned-android-why-i-switched-from-iphone-to-nexus/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=apple-user-turned-android-why-i-switched-from-iphone-to-nexus http://www.phunware.com/blog/apple-user-turned-android-why-i-switched-from-iphone-to-nexus/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:01:57 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20935 Since my first smartphone, I have been an iPhone devotee because of their superior build quality and the simplicity of iOS. This all changed a few weeks ago when I ordered my first Android, a Nexus 6. So what compelled me to make the switch? It wasn’t an instant decision, but rather a drawn-out realization […]

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Since my first smartphone, I have been an iPhone devotee because of their superior build quality and the simplicity of iOS. This all changed a few weeks ago when I ordered my first Android, a Nexus 6.

So what compelled me to make the switch? It wasn’t an instant decision, but rather a drawn-out realization of what I really want and need in a smartphone. Before you buy a smartphone, make sure you know what you are getting into—or you’ll be making a $500+ mistake.

Battery Life and Speakers for a Music Enthusiast

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Not me, but an accurate representation of how much I love music.

As a proud music lover, I easily listen 7-8 hours every day. I needed a phone with a battery that can last a day at least. My iPhone 6 usually had 30% of battery left after a full day of music streaming and some light web browsing. While this charge level wasn’t bad (it’s definitely better than 0%), I wanted a device with enough battery for the day and some to spare.

The Nexus 6 has a more robust battery than the iPhone, and its quad HD pixel screen makes battery life comparable. But—bonus!—the Nexus 6 turbo charger can charge the phone to 50% in just 30 minutes.

The Nexus 6 is also built to play music better. Its speakers are on the front of the device, not hidden on the bottom or back like most other phones.

iOS and Android UI from a Power User’s Perspective

I don’t just passively listen to music on my phone—I am a power user. I knew all the tips and tricks to maximize the potential of my iPhone 6: actions that conserve battery life, speed processing, force-close troublesome apps, customize notifications and more. And on top of these tips and tricks, I always connected strongly with the high value Apple places on the aesthetics of its operating system and user interface.

Then there’s Android, with its intense focus on functionality and customization. Custom fonts, widgets, themes, skins—there are so many ways for Android users to make their device their own. Manufacturers themselves (like Samsung and HTC) also lay their own skins on top of Android. Unfortunately, all this customizability sometimes makes the Android UI seem disjointed or thrown together, and it can make the system congested and even sluggish. As a graphic designer and a power user, these characteristics always made Android seem undesirable to me.

Pure Android with the Nexus 6

“If you like iOS so much and think Android is unattractive or clunky, why is your post about switching to Android?
—You, probably, reading this post right now

I *did* think that Android left some things to be desired—until the release of Android Lollipop and the Nexus 6. From an aesthetic view, Lollipop is a Godsend for Androids everywhere. Not only does it boast some amazing features, it just looks great!

Before Lollipop, Android had no design specifications. But with Lollipop Google implemented its concept of Material Design, “a visual language for [Google] users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.” The result is an operating system that is easy and pleasant to use. I find it easier to download files from the web, play YouTube in the background and integrate seamlessly with Google apps, just to give a few examples.

Hardware-wise, the Nexus 6 also addresses some concerns for me. This Android phone is straight from Google by Motorola, and runs pure Android without any skins or unnecessary bloatware. It may not have fancy features like the curved screen or fingerprint scanner of the Samsung S6 Edge, but its OS performance is uncongested.

Perfection: In the Eye of the Beholder

Blog-Apple-Turned-Android-PhonesDon’t get me wrong,  a few things are less than perfect with the Nexus 6. Some owners may not prefer its gigantic size. Upgrading from my iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6, and now to the Nexus 6, it seems like a “monster” of a phone. But I kind of like it.

I will also miss the TouchID fingerprint scanner on my iPhone 6, a feature you can find on Samsung devices these days as well. The Nexus 6 has no physical button, let alone a scanner. It really is shame because TouchID is a quick, easy and user-friendly way to bypass the lock screen while still keeping your phone secure.

The iPhone 6 and Nexus 6 are both solid devices with beautiful (yet different) OS interfaces. I’m sure lots of users share my preferences—and still more would probably disagree with me passionately. The point is that in 2015, almost all of us are smartphone users—like, serious smartphone users—and that we all have strong preferences and notions about the way we want our device to function and perform.

It’s the job of the companies that the make hardware, operating systems and smartphone apps (hello, Phunware!) to keep their finger on the pulse of user preference and create the kind of user experience that would make a person like me switch from one device to another.

What devices and operating systems you prefer and why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Cutting the Cord: What the Shift Away from Cable Means for Media and Entertainment Companies http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/cutting-the-cord-what-the-shift-away-from-cable-means-for-media-and-entertainment-companies/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cutting-the-cord-what-the-shift-away-from-cable-means-for-media-and-entertainment-companies http://www.phunware.com/sports-and-entertainment/cutting-the-cord-what-the-shift-away-from-cable-means-for-media-and-entertainment-companies/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:51:27 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20905 TV Everywhere…Literally If you haven’t noticed, the way Americans consume TV and video content is changing wildly. While some of us are upgrading our internet broadband connections to take advantage of every level of resolution offered by a 4K/UHD TV, my 8-year-old daughter would argue that Wi-Fi and a minimal 4’’ iPod screen are all […]

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TV Everywhere…Literally

If you haven’t noticed, the way Americans consume TV and video content is changing wildly. While some of us are upgrading our internet broadband connections to take advantage of every level of resolution offered by a 4K/UHD TV, my 8-year-old daughter would argue that Wi-Fi and a minimal 4’’ iPod screen are all one needs to enjoy TV (they’re all she needs to watch her Netflix Kids shows, after all).  The situation is complicated, involving new and legacy programming models, the expectations and habits of different generations, hardware that never existed before…the list goes on.

First, there are the content providers:

  • Traditional cable and network TV
  • Subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime
  • TV Everywhere services like HBO Go and CW Seed
  • User-generated content like YouTube, Periscope and Meerkat

Then, the devices:

  • TV
  • Desktop / laptop
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone
  • Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast…

With all of these options available, Americans are beginning to divide into three camps:

  • Cord nevers have never subscribed to a multichannel video service like a traditional cable channel lineup and have only consumed video content via subscription services, TV Everywhere or user generated content
  • Cord cutters subscribed to cable TV at one time, but have since cancelled
  • Cord shavers have one foot in both worlds, subscribing to a reduced number of traditional cable channels and binge-friendly services like Netflix and Hulu

Blog-Cutting-Cord-OTT-ServicesAccording to a recent study by Digitalsmiths, the number of  cord cutters in North America is growing. In 2014, 8.2% of former pay cable TV subscribers cut the cord—a 1.3% increase over the previous year. At the same time, awareness of and loyalty to cable alternatives is on the rise. The Digitalsmiths study also found that 54.4% of respondents used monthly subscription services like Netflix and Hulu, and they were willing to pay more for these subscriptions than they had been in previous years.

So what’s driving this trend away from traditional TV? The study looked into that, too. Unsurprisingly, cost, customer service and content viewing flexibility were top influencing factors.

Engagement Opportunities for Media & Entertainment

For media and entertainment companies, this is definitely a case of “when one door closes, another one opens.” Viewers might be migrating away from traditional media—but in doing so they are creating a whole new realm of engagement opportunity for brands.

TV Everywhere is a great example of that: as viewers increasingly consume content on handheld devices, TV networks are meeting them there, offering subscription-based programming to be consumed anywhere (under controlled network conditions), from computers to tablets and smartphones to streaming boxes. The projected ad revenue from TV Everywhere and other “over-the-top” (OTT) services is on the order of $40 billion by the end of 2020.

As we discussed last week, to understand your audience, you need to understand their digital habitat. Here’s some insight into what viewers are thinking about as they deliberate which camp to join (cord nevers, cord cutters or cord shavers):

  • There isn’t a perfect alternative. You may need to combine several services to guarantee access to your favorite show.
  • Are streaming alternatives really cheaper than cable? Monthly subscriptions are cheaper for sure, but after combining your services a la carte, you may spend just as much (or more) as you did on your old cable bill.
  • Oh, live events! Live events are not easily transmitted via services like Netflix and Hulu, so your only options for viewing your favorite games live may still be on a local / cable channel or at a sports bar.
  • Do you have the power? You may need to upgrade your bandwidth to ensure that your household has access to high-def content.

As complex as the situation is, we may need to add a fourth consumer type here: the smart viewer. These folks know their options and have chosen the best one to meet their lifestyle needs and preferences. The availability of content, providers and mobile technology is forcing this change—now it’s up to brands to keep evolving in ways that clearly benefit their viewers.

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This Week In Mobile – July 24, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-24-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-july-24-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-24-2015/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:49:19 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20881 This week, the Phunware team attended the Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology (SEAT) conference in San Francisco. We enjoyed nerding out in discussions about technology’s role in creating new revenue streams and improving the fan experience. We even had the opportunity to share our knowledge about technology in sports and entertainment in a joint presentation […]

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This week, the Phunware team attended the Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology (SEAT) conference in San Francisco. We enjoyed nerding out in discussions about technology’s role in creating new revenue streams and improving the fan experience. We even had the opportunity to share our knowledge about technology in sports and entertainment in a joint presentation with our friend and partner, WWE. And we we got to watch softball and hang out at AT&T Park!

For this week’s post, we’ve got stories about wireless carrier coverage in airports, new details on Windows 10 Mobile’s rumored flagship phone, and the future of mobile hardware.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Sports Viewers Take to Second-Screen Apps

Since we presented this week with our partners at WWE on fan engagement through mobile apps, it’s only fitting that we include a story about sports and the second-screen device trend. A new study found that a third of broadband users have used a second-screen sports app while watching a game on TV, and brands are using mobile to enhance live games too. Technology is having an immediate impact on how we experience sports.

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Which Wireless Carrier Has the Best Airport Data Coverage?

If you’re a frequent traveler, not getting cell coverage at the airport can be one of the more frustrating parts of the travel experience. Well, there’s a new report on which mobile carriers provide the best coverage at America’s biggest and busiest airports. Airports are already stepping up their own technology game with beacons and mobile tech—so get on board, carriers!

Windows 10 Mobile and the Microsoft Flagship Phone

As the July 29 release date of Microsoft’s new operating system approaches, we’re learning more about the mobile version of Windows 10—and the flagship phones that will inevitably come with it. Windows Central, a blog for all things Windows, has released some information about the phones, internally codenamed the Talkman and the Cityman.

Blog-TWIM-Cityman-MockupThey seem pretty similarly specced in comparison to other flagship Android phones and the iPhone 6, with 3GB of RAM, nice front- and rear-facing cameras, and USB type C (which is a great sign that USB type is the way of the future for all phones).

The Windows Mobile OS has always been the third horse in a three-horse race, but they haven’t given up the dream of being a big player yet. Microsoft is coming hard at the market with competitive tech, and time will tell if users are interested in switching to something new. As we’ll see next week (SPOILER!) it is possible to switch from iOS to Android and enjoy the newness…so that’s a good sign for Windows Mobile and for developers!

Gesture and Voice Control Are the Future of Mobile Tech

Finally this week, we have an account from Network World about how one technology executive sees the mobile landscape shifting. With consumer expectations spiraling, hardware providers can’t create a competitive edge using hardware alone—they now have to think ahead to enhance the user’s overall experience with the device. In the future, gesture controls will replace tap and swipe step sequences, and eventually a device that can be entirely and successfully run with voice controls will be the standard for smartphone manufacturers.

Talking about “the future of tech” is always a dangerous proposition, but with the prevalence of motion controls in Android devices and voice control systems like Siri, Cortana and Google Now, the future we just described doesn’t seem too far off.

Other things that happened this week: Google Glass is gaining ground in business and YouTube updated its app to natively support vertical video. Have any favorite mobile stories from the week that we didn’t cover? Leave us a comment below or on  Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Image source: Windows Central

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Taking Native Mobile Advertising to the Next Level http://www.phunware.com/blog/taking-native-mobile-advertising-to-the-next-level/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taking-native-mobile-advertising-to-the-next-level http://www.phunware.com/blog/taking-native-mobile-advertising-to-the-next-level/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 18:25:19 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20809 I think we can all agree that mobile advertising will move beyond the standard banner as brands push partners to develop more sophisticated programs that engage users on a deeper level. Consumers now spend almost 90% of their mobile time in-app. That trend creates an enormous opportunity to deliver the kind of mobile experiences brands […]

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I think we can all agree that mobile advertising will move beyond the standard banner as brands push partners to develop more sophisticated programs that engage users on a deeper level. Consumers now spend almost 90% of their mobile time in-app. That trend creates an enormous opportunity to deliver the kind of mobile experiences brands dream about by natively placing your brand or product within mobile apps that have existing, engaged audiences.

Many brands are using third-party audience and geographical (latitude / longitude) data to target and engage users with mobile ads. Although this data is effective, it’s also readily available across mobile—so competitors are using it too. To complicate matters further, brands often pay higher CPMs for these targeted viewable impressions, when the only exposure they may be getting is the time it takes for users to locate the “x” button to close the ad.

It’s clear that brands need a better way to engage users natively within mobile apps. They are continuing to shift focus from desktop to mobile, and marketers are still looking for creative ways to reach mobile audiences. Fortunately, they have several options.

How to Get Beyond the Banner on Mobile

Mobile Video Ads: One of the fastest growing formats in mobile, video is an impactful way to reach your consumers. Many video ads use forced viewing to ensure exposure. Pre-roll (your TV commercials on mobile), interstitials (ads that take up your full mobile screen) and incentivized views (often seen in games) are all examples of forced viewing when the user cannot skip and must watch the video to completion. These formats are popular and effective, and you get what you pay for. Be ready to pay high CPMs and CPCVs (cost per completed view) to ensure your ads are shown next to the best possible content. Also remember that everyone else is fighting for this space, so rates will rise seasonally.

Mobile Native Ads: Native advertising provides an ad experience that follows the natural form and function of the content in which it is placed. Native ads are growing in popularity among publishers and advertisers, and spending on native ads is expected to reach $21B by 2018 (a 347% increase from 2013). These more natural and less intrusive experiences are a win-win for advertisers, publishers and consumers, and they come in many forms on mobile. There are standard native mobile display and video ad units, but brands are now searching for partners that can provide deeper native experiences and product placement.

Maximizing the Value of Native Mobile Ads

As Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter (R.I.P.) would say, “If you want to understand a species, you must first understand its habitat.” In the same way, if you want to understand your audience, you must first understand their habitat—and it’s mobile.

Your target audience is posting to social media, texting friends, using dating sites and playing games—all through apps on their mobile devices. These apps have a built-in audience and fan base that lives in its own ecosystem, and advertisers are clamoring for mindshare. One of the best ways for them to gain it is through native mobile advertising.

Pushing Native Mobile Advertising Further

While more difficult to pull off, custom, native programs have shown up more in 2015. For example, at this year’s SXSW, Tinder users were falling head over heels for a woman named Ava in what ended up being a promotional stunt for Ex Machina, a film premiering at the festival. It’s unfortunate that Tinder now runs ads regularly—the once-native feel of their ads has been lost.

Phunware Advertising’s latest work for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is another example of native brand placement. By placing the franchise into games that reach Mission Impossible‘s action-loving Millennial audience (see: Ubisoft’s Trials Frontier and Digital Tales’ SBK15), the film establishes a deeper connection with consumers using content that doesn’t feel like advertising.

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Tinder’s Native Promotion for Ex Machina

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Phusion™ Native Brand Placement in Digital Tales’ SBK15

Challenge yourself to find built-in audiences and identify how your brand can become a part of their mobile experience. There will be some programming involved and you will need a team that understands how application development works. But if you’re successful, your brand will be a topic of discussion within the industry and across social media—and your bottom line will benefit.

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This Week In Mobile – July 17, 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-17-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-july-17-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-july-17-2015/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:43:59 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20787 Helloooooo, internet! Sorry to miss you last Friday—we had a big gathering of the minds at Phunware to get re-invigorated and re-energized for the second half of the year. The upside is that we now have two weeks of stories and news to bring you, from Google doubling down on beacons, to the shocking amount […]

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Helloooooo, internet! Sorry to miss you last Friday—we had a big gathering of the minds at Phunware to get re-invigorated and re-energized for the second half of the year. The upside is that we now have two weeks of stories and news to bring you, from Google doubling down on beacons, to the shocking amount of data a group of Dead Heads can use, to Apple patenting all-new marketing tech for Apple devices.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive roundup, but rather a few things that piqued our interest—and that hopefully will pique yours too. So here now, the news.

Google’s Eddystone Open-Source Beacon Framework

Beacons are small devices that can be mounted on walls, in buses, on street corners and practically anywhere people (or objects) go. They can be used to track items (like the keys you always lose) or to trigger proximity-based marketing messages when you come in range (“Welcome to XYZ store! Here’s a coupon.”). On its Developers blog, Google just announced the launch of a standard and open-source framework for working with beacons called Eddystone. It also opened an API that allows iOS and Android devices to interact with beacons. The future of this tech seems pretty bright. Phunware works extensively with beacons, and we’re excited to expand that work as the technology grows.

Data from Dead Heads

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The Grateful Dead playing at Levi’s Stadium in 2015

Yes, we spoke about the data usage during the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals a few weeks ago, but wow, Dead Heads really like using their phones at shows. The Grateful Dead recently performed for the first time since 1995 at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco and at Soldier Field in Chicago. At the two shows in San Francisco alone, more than 4.5 terabytes of Wi-Fi data was used by the 150,000+ show attendees. At a show of this magnitude, we can see why it was worth sharing.

Apple Pay in the UK

Apple Pay has seen remarkable growth since its launch in October of last year, and as of July 14, it’s available across the pond as well. Its launch was (mostly) successful, and with good reason. According to Visa Europe, more than 60% of Britons expect to use their mobile devices to buy things by 2020. Apple Pay has been received well, except by those who bank with HSBC, with lots of startups and small businesses planning to embrace mobile payments. Mobile payments are forecasted to grow; we’ll just have to see if the technology can keep ahead of the demand.

Apple Mobile Marketing Tech

In other Apple news, the Cupertino-based company has filed a patent application for a new e-commerce system to deliver targeted ads to people who use Apple products. This isn’t a new idea, but there is one caveat to make it particularly interesting: Apple will be able to look at your bank account, see how much money is in it, and deliver offers and advertisements only for things you can afford. Like any new kind of technology-enabled marketing, we’ll have to see how this one plays out—and whether consumers are comfortable with it.

Blog-TWIM-Star-Trek-CommunicatorIt’s been a great week for mobile and a great week for technology in general. I’m personally excited for The Original Series Star Trek Communicator Bluetooth, and the amazing pictures that New Horizons sent back from Pluto.

Next week some of the Phunware team will be at the SEAT Conference in San Francisco to connect with movers and shakers in stadiums and live entertainment, so hopefully some cool news will come out of that. We’ll see you next week!

Remember, if you have any ideas about how we can improve these updates or other stories you think we should have covered, let us know. Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

Photo sources: Levi’s Stadium Facebook page and Techradar.

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Why Your Mobile Advertising Campaigns Underperform http://www.phunware.com/blog/why-your-mobile-advertising-campaigns-underperform/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-your-mobile-advertising-campaigns-underperform http://www.phunware.com/blog/why-your-mobile-advertising-campaigns-underperform/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:28:25 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20686 Let’s start from the top: do you know the five Ws (and one H)? More importantly, does the team managing your mobile buy know them? They say they do…but the mobile ad space is in a major transitional period. Those who grew up in the space, those who build technology in the space, and those […]

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Let’s start from the top: do you know the five Ws (and one H)? More importantly, does the team managing your mobile buy know them?

They say they do…but the mobile ad space is in a major transitional period. Those who grew up in the space, those who build technology in the space, and those who have invested in mobile-specific solutions for the space are all redefining mobile success. The five Ws (and one H) are changing.

Desktop ≠ Mobile

This transition period is separating the ad partners we grew up with from the new mobile ad partners who are starting with fresh, relevant data. Today, this translates to cookie tracking vs. mobile device IDs and signals. You can’t cookie a cell phone—so you can’t rely on legacy tracking systems to help you understand your mobile audience.

zoom-23936401-3So why are so many brands still counting on their legacy partners to target their mobile audience? This outdated approach is one of leading causes of mobile campaign failure. Legacy partners often use probabilistic decisioning models based on desktop characteristics the can lead brands astray, unless they have valid sign-in data, which most do not. The How of decisioning needs to be different—and mobile-specific.

Similarly, the Who and Why of the mobile space are best addressed with models built on behavior and analytics from mobile devices. This means looking at data from SDKs. Not only the advertising SDK, which so many tout, but the other SDKs that are just as valuable: analytics, location, content management, push notifications and advertising. The nuggets found across these rich data sources can shape a truly compelling mobile experience.

Observations from the Phunware DMP:

  • The vast majority of the time, more clicks = more conversions. When Phunware runs ads across our network of partners, clicks count—and the result is engagement.
  • Most ad network mobile budgets are reset at 12:00am, so the bids end up going higher based on time, not performance.
  • Many advertisers spend their budgets toward the beginning of the day, which can result in a customer not seeing your ad in the evening, when they might be more ready to pull out their wallet.
  • Algorithms and optimization engines are only machines. Machines don’t understand context, new customer goals or third-party factors. Phunware’s results show that active human management and optimization improve campaign performance significantly.

In 2015, Elbow Grease Is Still Powerful

So back to the How: Mobile ad targeting and optimization actually require old-fashioned hard work combined with mobile data modeling and decisioning. Building the framework to understand and model that much data is the starting point…but you have to put those weapons in the hands of competent individuals.

Experiment: Human Management vs. Machine Optimization of a DSP

At Phunware Advertising, we let a DSP with and without human intervention run side by side. The result: Human intervention improved the decisioning of the so-called “world-class DSP decisions engine” by 2.3x.

Why did human intervention make such a big difference?

  1. Humans realized that the conversions were happening based on local factors, not the site itself. For example, because the weather was turning, weather, news and shopping apps began converting well for a short period of time.
  2. The customer had a metric that was not easily measured via online tracking (valid calls to local stores).
  3. Understanding the audience reached hundreds of apps “lightly” (very low conversion rate but backed out to customer goal) the human campaign manager created a separate line item to remove impression restrictions to drive conversion volume at a low price point.

This is a big deal. We continue to see advertisers trust in the technology without realizing that mobile is still the Wild West. Apps and inventory can go from a million daily impressions to zero in a heartbeat.

Who you work with, What platforms you run on, When your ads run, and Where they are placed are critical considerations for the How of mobile decisioning. Let the technology help you make decisions, but trust the mobile captain. Forget divine intervention—there’s no substitute for human intervention.

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Mobile ad blocking is coming. Everybody panic! Wait, no, don’t panic. Here’s why. http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-ad-blocking-is-coming-everybody-panic-wait-no-dont-panic-heres-why/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-ad-blocking-is-coming-everybody-panic-wait-no-dont-panic-heres-why http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-ad-blocking-is-coming-everybody-panic-wait-no-dont-panic-heres-why/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:36:35 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20648 Lots of people are talking about the recent iOS 9 announcement. In our industry, people are particularly talking about the new content-blocking extensions that will be available on Safari. Among other things, these extensions will allow the creation of ad-blocking apps for mobile browsers. How does ad blocking really work? Ad blockers have been around […]

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Lots of people are talking about the recent iOS 9 announcement. In our industry, people are particularly talking about the new content-blocking extensions that will be available on Safari. Among other things, these extensions will allow the creation of ad-blocking apps for mobile browsers.

How does ad blocking really work?

Ad blockers have been around on the desktop for a long time. In a nutshell, an ad blocker is a piece of software that filters out specific content within a web page. In general, these blockers look for elements that use technologies (e.g., Flash, tracking scripts), perform behaviors (e.g., auto-play), or derive from certain URLs (e.g., ad networks). When the page is rendered, the ad-blocking software will usually tidy up the page so that the user can’t even tell that an ad was ever present.

So what gets blocked?

Ad blockers mostly target the obvious ads on a page. Generally, they don’t affect native ads like sponsored posts or paid content because they are built right into the context of a website or page. Ad blockers also don’t affect ads that appear within a mobile app. So when it comes to ad blocking, we’re just talking about banner and display ads on mobile websites. Got it? Let’s move on.

Ad blocking is increasingly popular among users—and for good reason.

From a user experience point of view, ad blockers can have a number of benefits:

  • Web pages load faster and look cleaner
  • Less waste in terms of bandwidth, CPU and memory resources
  • Less tracking and profiling, therefore greater privacy
  • Marginal security improvements due to reduced risk of ad-borne malware and other infections
  • On mobile, ad blocking can help reduce data consumption by filtering out streaming audio and video, etc.

More than 400 million people have downloaded AdBlock on their desktops. Similarly-named Adblock Plus (actually a different company), claims 300 million downloads. Adblock Plus also recently announced an open beta for its new Android-based solution.  

Nowadays, of course, web consumption is increasingly mobile. According to Global Web Index, internet users aged 16-24 now spend 43% of their online time on mobile devices (3 hours daily). Internet users between 25 and 34 now spend 37% of their online time on mobile devices. And both of those numbers are growing steadily year over year.  With three out of ten Android users saying they use an ad blocker in some form, not only is web usage going mobile—users are also starting to demand ad blocking.

So what does it all mean to advertisers, publishers and app developers?

At Phunware, we look at it this way: people have had ad- and pop-up blocking software on the desktop for years, and the ad business just rolls on. We believe that ad blocking will actually be a great thing for the industry and for consumers, as it will force publishers to be more selective about the ads they run and how they affect the user experience. It will also continue to spur the use of native advertising, which can offer a better user experience as well as higher performance for advertisers.

More importantly, we believe:

Better user experience + Better personalization + Better segmentation = Ads that perform better (and don’t annoy people)

On a personal note, I am a big fan of sites like dribbble.com and daringfireball.net that leverage highly curated ad networks like The Deck. I actually look at and interact with the ads on these sites because they are typically products I’m interested in. That’s a world of difference from the large media sites that are simply packed with junk ads. I think the smart money is on specialized ad networks that can serve quality content.

Advertising can live alongside great content without being interruptive or intrusive. At Phunware, we carefully craft the user experience and every detail of an app. We give the same attention to the ad experience and how well it dovetails with the rest of the app. Advertisers and publishers that do the same will find greater success.

But don’t just take our word for it:

“Like any ad tech innovation, there will likely be an arms race to combat [mobile ad blocking], but anything that provides a good UX for our users is good for us long term.” —Blake Hochberger, The Chive.

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5 Ways an App Can Boost Your Airport’s Non-Aeronautical Revenue http://www.phunware.com/blog/5-ways-an-app-can-boost-your-airports-non-aeronautical-revenue/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-ways-an-app-can-boost-your-airports-non-aeronautical-revenue http://www.phunware.com/blog/5-ways-an-app-can-boost-your-airports-non-aeronautical-revenue/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:05:37 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20657 Anyone in the travel industry knows that the airline business cycle can be challenging. To balance out the inevitable ups and downs, airports are putting in extra effort to maximize non-aeronautical revenue—and that effort is paying off. In 2012, according to the FAA, U.S. airports generated $7.56 billion in non-aeronautical revenue, or 44.8% of their […]

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Anyone in the travel industry knows that the airline business cycle can be challenging. To balance out the inevitable ups and downs, airports are putting in extra effort to maximize non-aeronautical revenue—and that effort is paying off. In 2012, according to the FAA, U.S. airports generated $7.56 billion in non-aeronautical revenue, or 44.8% of their total operating revenue.

But airports can’t afford to take a “wait and see” approach for boosting non-aeronautical revenue. The best airports are constantly experimenting with new approaches that combine enhanced passenger experiences with new revenue streams.

Airport apps are an emerging, compelling approach to driving satisfaction and revenue. But according to the recent Airport Council International survey, only 4 out of 10 airports in North America have a mobile app.

Why so few? Possibly because creating a mobile app isn’t easy—the best airport apps draw on frequently-changing, complex data sources that few mobile app developers know how to manage. Most mobile app developers don’t have the expertise to know what a leading-edge airport app should offer.

A mobile app for your airport can provide on-demand information about flights, concessions, retailers and more, keeping your passengers informed and relaxed. But just as important, you can use an app to boost your non-aeronautical revenue five different ways. Here’s how:

1. Streamline the experience.

What keeps passengers from spending money at your airport? Airports are challenging environments that can be frustrating and stressful. An app that informs passengers of gate changes or identifies the shortest security line reduces stress and saves time. And when you’ve taken care of your passengers, they won’t be rushing around. Instead, they’ll visit restaurants, shops and services. Happy passengers spend, on average, $6.43 more on retail than disappointed passengers.

2. Help passengers with navigation.

Navigating by smartphone has become a mainstream experience. Why wouldn’t you provide an app that enables turn-by-turn navigation inside your airport? Navigation offers another way to streamline the passenger experience, but it also helps passengers uncover compelling, satisfying interactions with your airport brand. Your app could help passengers find the right restaurant, locate an electronics store or identify the perfect place for a quick manicure.

3. Enable real-time promotions.

Imagine walking through your airport and receiving coupons for the stores you pass. Or getting sale and special pricing notifications by smartphone instead of seeing them on signs throughout the airport. With technologies like beacons, your shops, stores, restaurants and other vendors can pay you to promote their businesses. More store revenue = more revenue for your airport.

4. Generate extra revenue with in-app advertising.

Thanks to the targeted audience segments that come through your airport (think business travelers, vacationing families, etc.), in-app advertising can also add to your non-aeronautical revenue. Many brands would salivate at the ability to reach such a clear, targeted audience—and would be happy to purchase some of your app’s “real estate” for advertising. You’d be paid for selling in-app ad space just as you’d be paid for selling space on billboards or digital signage.

5. Increase passenger loyalty.

Any business owner knows that retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring one. Whether a passenger casually flies once a year or travels on business once a week, your app can become a tool to enhance their loyalty and interest. You can use your app to promote new art displays, discounts on services, new terminal openings and other events. You can deliver polls, coupons and other forms of media that generate interest and increase enthusiasm.

But there’s another element to boosting non-aeronautical revenue that we haven’t discussed: analytics. An app collects data as people use it, enabling you to continually test and refine your non-aeronautical revenue strategies. Your app can help you understand passenger behavior like in-airport store visits, pathing between locations, dwell time and more.

Phunware is one of the few mobile solution providers with deep airport app expertise. Phunware’s location-aware airport app framework helps airports enhance the passenger experience and drive non-aeronautical revenue at the same time. Learn more about our customizable app framework here.

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This Week in Mobile – ‘Murica Edition 2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-murica-edition-2015/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=this-week-in-mobile-murica-edition-2015 http://www.phunware.com/blog/this-week-in-mobile-murica-edition-2015/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:30:27 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20614 It’s July 2nd, and that means we’re just a few days away from the best day to be American, July 4th. Since we at Phunware are taking a day off in celebration of our nation’s birthday, instead of writing a wrapup of the news in mobile innovation and tech, I’ve decided to put down some […]

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It’s July 2nd, and that means we’re just a few days away from the best day to be American, July 4th. Since we at Phunware are taking a day off in celebration of our nation’s birthday, instead of writing a wrapup of the news in mobile innovation and tech, I’ve decided to put down some of my favorite apps of the moment that remind me of America and what makes it a great.

FOX Sports Go

Now, I know, we’re usually more into football than fútbol in this country, but with the US women’s national soccer team beating Germany to make it into the finals of the World Cup, there is no time like now to get into the game! The FOX Sports Go app is a great way to watch the Women’s World Cup final if you’re on the go. The game takes place this Sunday, July, 5th in Vancouver, BC, Canada at 5:00 PM Eastern time. I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! (Related side note: Happy Belated Canada Day to all of our friends from the Great White North!)

Colbr

Stephen Colbert is back, and it’s indeed what America has been clamouring for. After portraying the über-American Stephen Colbert persona on TV for about 17 years, Colbert will always be associated with patriotism for the good old US of A.
In anticipation of his CBS Late Show takeover, Colbert has launched a successful podcast, all-new social platforms and indeed his very own app, which we’re particularly big fans of (disclosure: we built it alongside CBS Interactive). The Colbr app on iOS and Android is the best portal to get all of the Colbert content you could ever want. Colbert’s first Late Show with Stephen Colbert is scheduled to premiere on September 8, 2015 and we are FULL of patriotic fervor about it.

Roadtrippers

Blog-TWIM-MericaWhat better time is there to plan a road trip across the US than the 4th of July? The Roadtrippers app (iOS & Android) is a great way to plan a road trip from start to finish, featuring diners, vistas, hotels and the quirky roadside attractions that make American road trips so fun. Between this app and Roadtrippers’ browser site, you have the perfect way to plan your route to see all the coolest parts of this glorious country. Safe travels!

These are just a few apps that make me feel especially American. Whatever you’re doing to celebrate your American-ness, make Sam Eagle proud by celebrating safely. And have a fire extinguisher ready if you’re in a fireworks part of the nation. Happy 4th of July—we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

Image source: Muppet Wiki

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Micro-Moments Make a Difference: New Permissions in Android M http://www.phunware.com/blog/micro-moments-make-a-difference-new-permissions-in-android-mobile/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=micro-moments-make-a-difference-new-permissions-in-android-mobile http://www.phunware.com/blog/micro-moments-make-a-difference-new-permissions-in-android-mobile/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:05:26 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20396 Picture this: you go to the grocery store to grab some items for dinner. At the entrance to the grocery store, you’re stopped by a security guard who asks you to hand over your keys, wallet, phone, Social Security number and personal contact information. “We just need to hang on to this stuff while you’re […]

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Blog-Micro-Moments-01Picture this: you go to the grocery store to grab some items for dinner. At the entrance to the grocery store, you’re stopped by a security guard who asks you to hand over your keys, wallet, phone, Social Security number and personal contact information. “We just need to hang on to this stuff while you’re in the store, sir/ma’am. We’ll be careful with it, I promise. Enjoy your shopping trip.”

If you’re an Android user, you know that this outlandish-sounding scenario isn’t too far off from the experience of downloading a new app from Google Play. At the time of download, before you can even open the app, you get asked to accept a list of permissions.

This list can be daunting and long. It gives no context about why the app needs access to your microphone, camera, contacts or anything else. On top of this lack of context, you’re also expected to accept all of the permissions unconditionally, allowing the application to potentially have carte blanche access to your device! “We’ll be careful with it, I promise. Enjoy using the app.”

From a brand perspective, this is not the best foot to start out on. It creates a lot of unnecessary friction around app installs and updates. Every time that permissions list pops up, it gives the user a chance to consider, “Do I really want to install this game that wants access to my photos? Do I really want to update this game I have installed because it now wants access to my contacts?”

Thankfully, permissions policies are changing in Android M.

Blog-Micro-Moments-02As Google announced at last month’s I/O conference, it has reduced the number of permissions Android requires and grouped them into logical units that make sense to users.

An even larger change requires applications to request permissions at runtime, rather than at installation. This model is common in other mobile operating systems and leads to some immediate user benefits:

  • There is now zero friction in the app installation process: tap the install button and the app installs.
  • Users can now use device settings to control which permissions any app can access. If they enabled a permission in the past for a given app, they can easily revoke that permission at a later time.

There are several important takeaways here for brands and developers. First, and from a 30,000-foot view, this change is indicative of an important truth we all need to embrace: even the smallest interactions impact how users experience your app. Micro-moments like permissions requests can make or break a user’s experience with your brand. Here are some other permissions best practices that can help create a smooth, engaging mobile interaction.

Android M Permissions Best Practices for Creatives

“The key is to make permissions appear predictably.”
—Ben Boiesz, Android Product Manager, Google

  1. Send a warm welcome message the first time a user launches your app. Explaining what your app does makes it easier to understand why permission requests appear.
  2. Ask for permissions when it makes sense, like the moment a user attempts to do something that requires a permission. For example, if the user taps the microphone button to record audio, that’s a great opportunity to ask for microphone permission in a way that makes contextual sense.
  3. It’s possible to request multiple permissions at once, but use this feature carefully. A user could get frustrated and reject all permissions outright, when they might have been more likely to grant permissions if they were requested on an as-needed basis.
  4. Think about the user’s ROI when you request a permission. Give them something in return as soon as they turn a permission on. Back to the microphone example: If you ask for microphone permission when the user taps the microphone button, start recording immediately when they grant the permission. Don’t make them wait or wonder why they granted the permission.
  5. Don’t ask for permissions if you don’t have to. The following tasks have related permissions, but they can also be performed WITHOUT requesting permissions:
    • Taking a picture
    • Selecting a contact
    • Voice-to-text transcription
    • Starting a call or text message

Android M Permissions Best Practices for Developers

  1. There’s no penalty for asking for permissions the first time. So just do it. If the user answers negatively, determine an appropriate time to ask again later (like the next time they tap the microphone button).
  2. The M Permissions model is required when targeting the M SDK, so make sure you do your homework.
  3. Because all permissions used to be granted at the time of installation, there was no need to check for permissions after install. Now, however, it is necessary to add additional code to check for relevant permissions: checkSelfPermission(…) and requestPermission(…)
  4. When the user toggles a permission in Settings your app process gets killed (just like a low memory condition). The Latest Android Studio and Google Libraries introduce new annotations to indicate APIs that need to be guarded by permission checks.

The message is clear: even the most innocuous-seeming details can make a big difference in how users experience your app—and your app can make a big difference in your customer retention strategy. For more tips on creating mobile experiences that keep them coming back, check out App Retention: 5 Tips for Built-in Stickiness.

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Mobile Ad Targeting: Can You Really Reach Your Audience, Anytime, Anywhere? http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-ad-targeting-can-you-really-reach-your-audience-anytime-anywhere/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mobile-ad-targeting-can-you-really-reach-your-audience-anytime-anywhere http://www.phunware.com/blog/mobile-ad-targeting-can-you-really-reach-your-audience-anytime-anywhere/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:41:29 +0000 http://www.phunware.com/?p=20356 Reaching users with a relevant message when it’s most pertinent is the Holy Grail for brands. There are lots of offerings on the market promising to deliver your audience where and when you want them, but is it really possible to target mobile advertising enough to break through the noise? Spoiler alert: the answer is […]

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Reaching users with a relevant message when it’s most pertinent is the Holy Grail for brands. There are lots of offerings on the market promising to deliver your audience where and when you want them, but is it really possible to target mobile advertising enough to break through the noise?

Spoiler alert: the answer is a resounding YES. From time of day to local weather to audience behavior, you have many options for getting your message to your audience at the time and place it’s most likely to be well-received.

So start thinking about what you want to promote, and what contextual triggers you can leverage to promote it. Read on to learn about some of the ways you can use mobile advertising target your audience.

Geographic Location

For other media sources, location targeting (or geo-targeting) is the historical go-to. It allows advertisers to target an ad to specific visitors based on their location—including country, city, region and zip code. An analysis of that lat/long information can provide the number of unique users at that specific location at any given time. Geography can also provide a glimpse into the daily lives of your audience, like how long it takes them to get to work in traffic. Insights like these help brands understand the historical and future patterns of their consumers.

Weather and Time of Day

Blog-AdTargeting-WeatherServe relevant ads to users based on the current temperature or weather conditions. Drive your users to purchase an ice cold beer on the hottest day of the year. Promote a special on raincoats when the forecast predicts a rainy weekend. You get the idea.

You can also target campaigns by time variables like hours, days and months. This is called day-part targeting, or day-parting. Push a coffee and breakfast taco special on weekday mornings. Create awareness of happy hour specials in the afternoon. Etc.

Demographic Audience Segments

Blog-AdTargeting-AudienceFrom age and gender to household income, many pieces of demographic data are captured when consumers create profiles and register on new sites or for new apps. This data is often paired with third-party and census data for insight into user profiles that brands can leverage.

Behavioral Audience Segments

Knowing users’ specific interests and lifestyle habits is extremely valuable for brand advertisers. As a consumer, simple tasks like favoriting a site on Flipboard can land you in the specific buyer segments for advertisers. Millions of “mindless” online activities like this add up to rich insights that allow advertisers to target the mobile users who will be most likely to respond to their ads.

Phunware’s Clustr™

Blog-AdTargeting-ClustrPhunware Advertising’s Clustr is an audience management platform that creates demographic, geographic, behavioral, and retail profiles on mobile. Clustr ingests and analyzes a comprehensive set of data sources, including proprietary audience and campaign data as well as where people go over time (both online and in the real world).

Improve your mobile ad performance by understanding users’ real-world behavior over time, and accurately target valuable consumer segments like Auto Shoppers, Business Decision Makers, Entertainment Lovers, Travelers and more. From our global location data and deep insights into mobile users, we generate rich user profiles to help you reach your audience, anytime, anywhere (for real).

Download our Advertising Media Kit or Clustr detail sheet to learn more.

Download Clustr Overview

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