January 27, 2012

Whale Trail Developer Reveals What It Takes To Hit The Jackpot On iOS And Android [Interview]

Whale Trail Developer Reveals What It Takes To Hit The Jackpot On iOS And Android [Interview]

Whale Trail is a popular sidescroller that originated from the Apple App Store. The game can best be described as Tiny Wings meets Angry Birds on acid. Whale Trail is a colorful, charming, quirky and addictive game — not to mention one of my personal favorites.

As we’ve already told you, Whale Trail recently launched on the Android Marketplace. I got to sit down with the head of the company behind Whale Trail to talk about the pros and cons between developing for Android and iOS. 

Mills (better known as the “CHIEF WONKA” of ustwo™) was kind enough to chat with me about Whale Trail’s success. He also gave his take on the pros and cons of Android and iOS development. Coming from the perspective of a dev that has made it big on both platforms, we figured that he would have some interesting things to share.

Before you jump into the interview, make sure to check out this whacky video from last October to get a taste of what ustwo™ is like:

CoA: Why go Android? Have you guys been planning on releasing in the Market since Whale Trail launched in the App Store?


Mobile game development is unquestionably the most exciting arena to be in right now, and the lure of the golden treacle that awaits you IF you smash it, is enough to make a man go clinically mad.

Apart from an elite few, the chance of your title on a single platform hitting the jackpot is unlikely. On top of that, good games cost money to make. We originally invested £150,000 ($ 196,635) worth of ustwo™ manpower to bring it to market. Once launched on iOS and having proved it had legs, we had the confidence to make the move to Android.

Android has always been part of our studio vision; with a 50/50 split of Android and iOS developers in house, we don’t really see them as two separate platforms… instead we focus on making games and entertainment. If the platform has power potential, we will dive right in.

We had originally planned to release Whale Trail on both platforms at the same time, but in the end, due to major overruns in the iOS development process, it wasn’t possible. It was a real blow at the time as we were confident that the game was good enough to peak the interest of the big websites, with any noise generated benefiting downloads on both platforms.

Focusing on iOS for launch, we decided to sell at a premium of 69p ($ 0.99). We thought we had a good chance of being promoted from the get go by Apple as they regularly promote quality original titles, and that’s exactly what happened. Whale Trail was “Game of the Week” in 78 countries around the world, meaning that combined with the huge PR push, we had over 32,000 downloads over the launch weekend. Apple promotion was a game changer for us, giving us a huge head start. It was also unbelievable to know that Apple had so much faith in us.

After the initial iOS launch, we focused on re-working the game by adding a new challenge mode (having listened to user feedback) and the move to Android. In the future we will make sure we launch on both platforms at the same time. Double trouble is the ultimate and the only way to achieve pure power.

CoA: How has Whale Trail fared on the Android Market? Are you impressed by the numbers? How do the initial results compare to the game’s success in the App Store?


It’s going to be very difficult to compare fairly as we launched on iOS with huge word of mouth buzz, global Apple support, and almost every gaming website press coverage. If we’re lucky enough to get quality Google promotion, then a more realistic comparison could be made. So far we’ve been massively impressed with the release on the Android Market and within 48 hours we’ve received over 2,500 downloads at 69p ($ 0.99) and an average 4.5 rating.

The pickup has been amazing and this is a green light for us. This tells us that quality games have a massive chance of doing well. Within that same 48 hours we were the 8th best-selling new release. If we can get into a prime visible slot, we have a very good chance of taking steps towards recouping our investment.

CoA: What’s been your favorite platform to develop for so far? Are there aspects of Android development that make it a better experience in certain ways, or does iOS take the cake?


What has fascinated me is the strict divide that occurs between iOS and Android users in the tech community. Most people are either in one camp or the other, almost like rival gangs who won’t stray from their turf. But, this is slowly changing as people begin to push their own boundaries driven by the thought of what else is out there.

As a developer I can say for us, up until recently, that Apple’s App Store was a more appealing place to sell premium apps. I suppose in a way the process seemed simpler and more straightforward at the time. However, with more and more Android handsets being sold, increasing the size and demand of the market, as well as an improved storefront that rivals the App Store in many ways, Android is now a publishing force to be reckoned with… so much so in fact… I’d like to think all future ustwo™ app launches will launch on both platforms simultaneously.

In terms of client work, we’re totally platform agnostic, offering solutions to clients based on their business needs. But for our own IP app releases that come out of ustwo’s CWA department – Content With Attitude, our focus has been on iOS because of the small size and specialism of the team. In the last couple of years the app market has very much been shaped by huge levels of press interest and it’s been undeniable that iOS has been the poster boy platform, meaning more developer interest in it. A downside of this ‘attention’ is that now it’s harder than ever to get your product out there and in front of users due to intense competition.

For us, the press interest has been great for the studio. Many of our products have been labelled as succailures (successful failures), simply because they haven’t sold in their millions but have generated a lot of mainstream media interest which in turn has helped raise the profile of the studio.

On a different note, I’ve been massively impressed with the Top New Chart on the Android market. The seven-day rolling chart made up of the last month’s releases is great for developers as it helps with discoverability, as newly launched app don’t need to compete with established winners to get standout. It’s this that has helped take Whale Trail to no.5 in new releases within the first 5 days, and an overall position of no.62 with only word of mouth and PR driving downloads.

CoA: Anything else you’d like to say about the future of Whale Trail? We’re all ears.


In a matter of weeks we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing Whale Trail to the NOOK Color and NOOK tablet. We see a huge opportunity to sell massive volumes there, as the curation of apps is absolute quality and the competition is far less in terms of volume.

Overall we’re now selling around 1,350 Whale Trails a day, which we’re happy with. We’re seeing over 1,000 hits to our Gruff Rhys music video and 2,000 hits a day for our Whale Trail trailers. We’re currently finalizing our latest update for both platforms, which will include an updated ‘endless mode’ with more power ups and another 32 levels. And this time we’re taking users to the dark side.

Whale Trail can be downloaded for $ 0.99 in the Android Market and $ 0.99 in the Apple App Store.

(Via Cult of Android.)

Cult of Mac

Valve’s Official Steam App Now Available For Android And iOS

Valve’s Official Steam App Now Available For Android And iOS
It looks like Valve threw a few extra coals into their engine after hearing about the 3rd party Steam app that was released earlier this month. They were not going to let any other app take their steam and so they have now released the official Steam app onto both Android and iOS. I’d like to say users are ecstatic, but there seems to be a catch.

After further investigation, we have found that the official Steam app is available to download in both the Android Market and App Store, but unless you are registered to be part of the Steam Mobile beta group, you won’t be able to use it. I’m not sure how you join the mobile beta group but perhaps Steam’s Mobile website has a bit more info on the subject.

It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a full-fledged Steam client, but you will be able to access the store to purchase games, as well as stay in touch with your Steam friends through community chat. You’ll also be able to browse user profiles and read up on the latest gaming news and Steam sales.

It would be a great start, if only everyone could us it. Perhaps this beta access will go public very soon, as the Steam website seems to make no mention of this beta program required to access the app.

I guess we should be happy that Valve has finally released an official Steam app, now we just have to get them to allow everyone to use it.

Get Steam in the Android Market | Steam

Get Steam in the App Store | Steam

Source: Steam Mobile

(Via Cult of Android.)

Cult of Mac

Kindle Fire Boosts Android Tablets to 39 Percent of Market

Kindle Fire Boosts Android Tablets to 39 Percent of Market

New numbers show Android-based tablets are gaining on the reigning champ, Apple’s iPad. Although Android owns 39 percent of the tablet market, some question whether there’s a ringer: Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The device is the first non-Apple tablet to lay a hand on the iPad, but uses a highly-customized version of Google’s mobile operating system. How much of Android’s gains are due to its barely-recognizable distant cousin, twice removed?

According to Strategy Analytics, which released the numbers this morning, Android tablets captured a record 39 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2011. That’s up from 29 percent over the same period in 2010 – a 10 percent jump. Meanwhile, Apple’s lead has been shaved to 57.6 percent, down from 68.2 percent in 2010. Microsoft is just getting on the scoreboard, registering 1.5 percent of the tablet market, an increase from goose egg in 2010.

The researchers lumped the Kindle Fire in with other Android tablets, although the version of Google’s software powering the Amazon device would not be mistaken for the heart of a Samsung or Motorola tablet. The Kindle Fire’s Android is optimized for Amazon’s services, such as e-books, cloud storage and simple video. That sort of customization helped the Kindle Fire become the No. 2 tablet, the first to make Apple even breath a bit heavier. It’s questionable whether Android tablets would see a 10-point jump in market share without help from the Kindle Fire.

The one factor in the Strategy Analytics report: it’s numbers are based on actual sell-through rather than simple shipments. The difference is that sell-through counts the number of products that reach customers’ hands, rather than what’s unloaded onto the shelves of your local electronics retailer.

(Via Cult of Android.)

Cult of Mac

Apple appeals HTC ITC case, seeks to revive ’263 patent against Android

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 05:15 PM EST (02:15 PM PST)
Apple has appealed last month’s ITC final ruling on the HTC case, seeking to revive a key patent it hopes to use against Android while adding two more.

The ITC’s Administrative Law Judge initially found HTC infringing upon two out of ten Apple patents last summer, including a ’263 patent for a “realtime application programming interface.” That patent aimed not just at HTC, but at Google’s Android platform in general, notes Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents

Apple argued to the ITC in August that the head of Android development, Andy Rubin, “began his career at Apple in the early 1990s and worked as a low-level engineer specifically reporting to the inventors of the ’263 [realtime API] patent at the exact time their invention was being conceived and developed.”

Apple’s brief added that “it is thus no wonder that the infringing Android platform used the claimed subsystem approach of the ’263 patent that allows for flexibility of design and enables the platform to be ‘highly customizable and expandable’ as HTC touts.”

However, six months after the ALJ arrived at its findings the six member ITC Commission reversed its findings to deliver a final ruling that only found HTC infringing upon the Apple Data Detectors patent, support for which could be easily removed.

On top of that, the ITC gave HTC until April to begin respecting Apple’s patent rights, and allowed the company to ship any number of infringing devices into the country prior to that deadline.

The iOS Strikes Back

Ten days after the ITC’s ruling, Apple filed an appeal against HTC and the ITC with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This appeal wasn’t reported because it wasn’t publicly known about until Mueller saw Apple reference the appeal in its parallel action to bring the ’263 patent against Motorola.

Motorola claimed the district court should follow the findings of the ITC Commission, which dropped the ITC ALJ’s findings of infringement, but Apple stated that “the Commission’s decision is on appeal to the Federal Circuit and has no preclusive effect in this [District] Court.”

If Apple can successfully appeal the ITC’s final decision on the ’263 patent against HTC, it will “greatly increase the business impact of the import ban,” Mueller notes. Essentially, it would require significant changes to how Android works, meaning HTC couldn’t simply remove a feature to come into legal compliance.

That ’263 same patent is already being argued against Motorola and other Android licensees, so a finding in favor of Apple would have broad impacts across the Android platform.

Additionally, if Android’s current licensees were required to move to another platform to escape infringement, it may deprive Microsoft of negotiated royalty fees from their use of Android, as Apple isn’t seeking to monetize Android, it’s seeking to stop it from infringing its own intellectual property.

One More Thing

On top of the ’263 patent, Apple may also ask the Federal Circuit appeals court to review the ITC’s initial determination against two other patents, ’721 on a “method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects” and ’983 covering and “object-oriented operating system.”

The ITC Commission did not find infringement in either patent, but Apple may hope, Mueller notes, that the appeals court may let it prevail on one or both of those patents on top of the ’263, all of which pertain to the core operating system in ways that can’t be easily remedied by simply changing the look or dropping features of HTC products.

“The drop-out rate of patents asserted in ITC complaints is astoundingly high,” Mueller added, “and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Federal Circuit found that the ITC erred in favor of respondents in a few cases.”


Apple Surpasses Android To Become Reigning Champion In The U.S. [Report]

Apple Surpasses Android To Become Reigning Champion In The U.S. [Report]

Following Apple’s incredible sales numbers from yesterday’s quarterly earnings report, the iPhone has taken the number one spot in U.S. market share from Google’s Android OS, according to the researchers at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. 37 million iPhones were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, making Apple the top smartphone manufacturer on the planet.

Based on the last 12 weeks of sales in 9 countries (including the U.S., U.K., and Australia), the iPhone is growing faster than Android. The tides are turning.

“Apple has continued its strong sales run in the US, UK and Australia over the Christmas period,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldplanel. ”Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover.”

Kantar notes that Android is still the dominant smartphone platform worldwide, but Apple’s growth rate now exceeds that of Google’s OS. The iPhone’s market share rose to 44.9% during the last quarter, while Android’s sat at 44.8%. While not exactly a landslide victory percentage-wise, the numbers are definitely a sign that Android is not an unstoppable behemoth.

It’s important to remember that there are hundreds upon hundreds of Android handsets on the market, while Apple only sells three generations of the iPhone. Tim Cook noted during yesterday’s earnings call that the iPhone 4S was Apple’s best-selling handset last quarter. Apple’s carrier partnerships with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have helped the iPhone grow exponentially in the U.S over the last few months.

When asked about the race between the popular smartphone platforms, Cook noted that Android and the iPhone are neck and neck. He said that he couldn’t find any way of accurately measuring Android’s numbers against the “clean” and “crisp” reports that Apple gives, but he did state that, “We’ll ignore how many other horses there are, we just want to be the lead one.”

Cult of Mac

Massive holiday quarter pushes iPhone sales past Android in US

By Katie Marsal

Published: 12:42 PM EST (09:42 AM PST)
Apple’s share of smartphones sold in the U.S. doubled in the fourth quarter of 2011, pushing iPhone sales just past the myriad of devices that run Google’s Android platform.

With just three different iPhone models available for sale, Apple reached a 44.9 percent share of U.S. smartphone sales last quarter, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. That was good enough to just barely edge Google’s Android platform, which is available on all major carriers and from a wide number of handset manufacturers.

Apple’s 44.9 percent share was twice that of a year prior, according to Reuters. And Apple’s gains were Android’s losses, as the platform slipped from 50 percent of sales to 44.8 percent.

Kantar covers nine key markets across the globe, and Apple’s iPhone grew at a faster rate than Android in all nine countries. Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform failed to crack 2 percent of sales in all nine markets, even with the launch of the Nokia Lumia.

The latest mobile market share data comes just as Apple posted a record quarter in which it far exceeded analyst expectations for the iPhone. The company blew away its previous best and sold 37 million iPhones, a number that easily topped the estimated 32 million smartphones rival Samsung sold in the same period.

Apple’s feat of edging out Android came with just three models available for sale: the new iPhone 4S, the 2010 iPhone 4, and 2009′s iPhone 3GS. In addition, Apple’s iPhone lineup is not available on T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., and the iPhone 3GS, which is free with a two-year contract, is only available on AT&T.

In contrast, Android smartphones are available on all four major U.S. carriers from a number of manufacturers in a variety of sizes and styles, with different features like high-speed 4G LTE connectivity, large 4-plus-inch screens and physical keyboards.

Commenting on the race between the iPhone and Android, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday that while it’s a close battle, other competitors like Microsoft cannot be counted out either. He also noted that while the iPhone and Android are neck-and-neck, Apple has a considerable lead in other markets with its iOS mobile operating system, which is found on both the iPad and the iPod touch.

“iOS, you look at phones, tablets, the iPod touch, we’ve sold over 350 million iOS devices,” Cook said. “Over 62 million of those were done in the last quarter alone.”


iPhone vs. Android a tight race but iPad puts iOS ‘way ahead’ in mobile OS war

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 07:53 PM EST (04:53 PM PST)
Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined his thoughts on the company’s iOS device performance during Q1 2012 and sees iPhone sales momentum closing the gap with rival handsets running Google’s Android platform, while iPad and iPod touch are in a league of their own.

During Apple’s Q1 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, Cook made it clear that he believes iOS is a key component to the company’s future, saying that the success of the iPhone 4S and iPad is indicative of a slow move away from the desktop PC.

When asked if iOS versus Android was becoming a two-horse race similar to the Mac and Windows rivalry, Cook explained that the mobile device market is much more nuanced and is a very important facet to Apple’s sustainability.

“The Mac has outgrown the market for over 20 quarters in a row, but still has a single digit percentage of the worldwide market,” Cook said. “iOS, you look at phones, tablets, the iPod touch, we’ve sold over 350 million iOS devices. Over 62 million of those were done in the last quarter alone.”

In looking at recent data from analytics firms, the iPhone has been showing steady growth when compared to Android handsets. Despite a shortage of supply, Apple managed to move 37 million iPhones last quarter.

For the Oct./Nov. period in the U.S., which accounts for only a portion of iPhone 4S sales, NPD saw Apple’s smartphone holding a 43% market share while Android had 47%. A following report from Nielsen, which adds in month of Decemberm shows iPhone market share slowly increasing to 45% while Android holds steady at 47%.

“It seems like all of the data that I’ve seen in the U.S. would say that it’s a very close race in iPhone [and Android],” Cook notes. “I wouldn’t say it’s a two-horse race, there’s a horse in Redmond that always suits up and always runs and will keep running, and there’s other players that we can never count out.”

Cook said that Apple will somewhat ignore how many “horses” there are in the crowded mobile marketplace and focus on innovating to “make sure [it's] the lead one.”

In looking to the future of iOS products, Cook commented that tablets like the iPad will one day surpass the PC market, and sees Apple’s offering as being peerless among a litany of models running on Android, Windows and other platforms.

Citing recent IDC data that shows desktop sales in the U.S. were trumped by tablet sales during the last quarter of 2011, Cook claims that there are different indicators for significant momentum in the space.

“We’re really happy with the 15.4 million iPads that we were able to sell,” Cook said. “This is consistent with our long-term belief that we’ve had since before we introduced the product that this is a huge opportunity for Apple over time.”

The Apple chief doesn’t see other tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire or similar Android models as threats to the iPad’s crown. Cook notes that consumers want to use their tablets in a variety of ways and the “limited function” tablets and e-readers simply don’t have Apple’s robust ecosystem of over 170,000 iPad-optimized apps.

“I think on the iPad side, although I don’t have specific numbers to share from third parties, I think that all of us inherently believe that iPad is way ahead there,” Cook said, adding that “there’s really no comparable product to iPod touch out there, so iOS is doing extremely well. What we focus on is innovating and making the world’s best product.”


More Than Third Of iPhone 4S Buyers Coming From RIM, Android

More Than Third Of iPhone 4S Buyers Coming From RIM, Android

More signs pouring in the iPhone benefitted big time during the holidays. In particular, new research finds some 36 percent of consumers buying the iPhone 4S between October and December 2011 were abandoning other platforms, such as Android or the BlackBerry. The findings were doubly good news for Apple, as researchers found 21 percent of iPhone 4S buyers chose the 64GB smartphone model.

The announcement by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners tracked demand for the iPhone 4S, released in October of last year. CIRP’s latest figures indicate an increasing number of consumers were picking the new iPhone over other platforms, with the percent rising over time. The 36 percent of platform switchers was up from the firm’s previous figure of 18 percent.

The number of consumers purchasing the 64GB iPhone 4S model is up from previous estimates. Right after the handset went on sale in October, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster announced 19 percent of people waiting in line to buy the 4S intended to purchase Apple’s highest-capacity iPhone.

The survey also found T-Mobile is losing customers to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Sprint became the latest U.S. carrier to support the Apple handset.

CIRP recently announced findings of a survey on ‘second-hand’ iPhones. According to the researchers, Apple’s smartphone led all others, with 49 percent of iPhones either given as gifts or sold. That compared with 21 percent for BlackBerry devices and 15 percent for Android phones.

Ed Sutherland

Ed Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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Cult of Mac

Apple iOS, Google Android feared to be hitting middle age as five year old platforms

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 04:28 PM EST (01:28 PM PST)
A market research group has teamed up with a business analyst to conceptualize the notion that mobile operating systems only last for ten years, peaking after five, an idea that suggests Apple and Google are approaching their apex at middle age and risk an imminent decline.

Market research group Strategy Analytics and RBC Capital Market analyst Mark Sue both highlighted a trend in comparing RIM’s beleaguered Blackberry OS, Microsoft’s abandoned Windows Mobile, the dead Palm OS and Nokia’s now comatose Symbian, all of which were first introduced as smartphone operating systems around 2002.

A graphic produced by Strategy Analytics shows a particularly convincing lines that suggest Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android might be fated to follow the same paths, given that both turn five later this year.

“History shows that operating systems peak in the middle of a 10-year cycle,” Sue wrote in a note to investors, adding that while iOS and Android are both currently selling lots of devices, their “sustainability beyond five years remains to be seen.”

The chart doesn’t depict why mobile operating systems of the past peaked after just a few years, nor does it delve into details related to market trends, such as the mass conversion of PDAs to smartphones ten years ago, or the tremendous shift from basic feature phones to smartphones going on today.

A brief history of smartphones for analysts

The Palm OS was actually developed in 1996 to run handheld organizers, and didn’t start to become a smartphone platform until the Handspring Treo was introduced in 2002, at which point its underlying technology was already five years old.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile was similarly an effort to sell the company’s Windows CE mobile “handheld PC” platform to drive phones. Its WinCE core similarly originated in 1996 and wasn’t used in smartphones until 2002.

Nokia’s Symbian also originated as an OS behind pocket organizers, first by Psion in the late 80s. The initial Nokia Symbian smartphones were released in 2001, at which the core technology behind them was already over a decade old.

RIM’s Blackberry OS first originated in the company’s pagers in 1999 and started being used in the company’s smartphones in 2002.

That means the world’s “old” smartphone operating systems all came into their current role when smartphones began as an observable trend almost exactly ten years ago.

Their actual “ages” in 2002 ranged from about three to 13 years, and each developed in wildly different circumstances. BlackBerry and Palm OS were originally completely proprietary, essentially embedded operating systems while Windows Mobile (and later Palm OS) were broadly licensed, while Symbian evolved from an embedded OS to a broadly licensed platform to an open source project.

In addition to these well known smartphone platforms, a variety of embedded platforms created by Motorola, LG, Samsung and other smartphone vendors over the past decade have combined custom code, Linux, Java and Adobe’s Flash Lite to deliver smartphone products, all of which also suddenly began to decline in popularity exactly five years ago.

From that perspective, there is zero correlation between age and the sudden nosedive of all these operating systems five years ago, the date Apple introduced the iPhone.

Unless another company introduces a new product with the ability to suddenly disrupt the public’s interest in today’s five year old iOS and Android, Apple and Google should not have too much to worry about.

Other evidence that doesn’t support a ten year life span

Speaking for Strategy Analytics, Alex Spektor, told Fortune in an interview that “no single platform has consistently dominated for eternity. Something better and newer comes along and pushes it out of leadership position.”

Spektor also noted that “after operating systems drop from their 5-year peak” their vendors suddenly refresh and replace them, acknowledging such revitalizing efforts such as Palm’s webOS in 2009, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 toward the end of 2010, and RIM’s efforts to deliver its new QNX-based BlackBerry X last year.

So far, none of these efforts have turned things around; RIM is still struggling to deliver its new OS for its smartphones, while Palm sold itself off to HP and its new technology was largely scuttled due to a management crisis. Microsoft’s valiant efforts to promote WP7 over the past year have only resulted in the company losing the remains of its existing market share.

Nokia’s initial efforts to modernize Symbian within an ambitious open source project, and its parallel efforts to launch Maemo/Meego Linux, were both abandoned last year after failing to turn things around quickly enough. None of these efforts were anywhere near reaching a five year apex; they simply failed to introduce the same level of disruption in the market that Apple’s iOS caused five years ago.

Is iOS getting old?

While all of the original smartphone operating systems now in decline are based on code that is least a decade old this year, Apple’s iOS is based on a core platform that outdates all of them. From its kernel to its APIs to its developer tools, the iOS has a direct lineage dating back to 1988, when Steve Jobs first showed off the NeXT Computer.

Rather than age, the biggest differentiation between Apple’s iOS and the initial wave of smartphone operating systems was that Apple’s iOS was derived from a platform-agnostic desktop operating system founded on Unix and an advanced object oriented development system, rather than being an embedded mobile OS with a pedigree of running PDAs, pagers, and handheld organizers.

It was actually this “age” and sophistication that enabled Apple to disrupt the smartphone market with a brand new product, because the iPhone greatly benefited from having a mature kernel, APIs and development tools.

Google’s Android, while based on existing Danger technology and incorporating existing Linux and Java technology, still changed enough of its core design so that it has taken years for the platform to achieve a level of stability and maturity that it can be compared in some respects to Apple’s iOS.

The platform that can, does

Unlike any other smartphone operating system, iOS still shares significant kernel, API and development tool technology with both the desktop Mac OS X and with other successful mobile devices outside of the smartphone, including iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV.

HP, Palm, Microsoft and RIM have all failed in their attempts to introduce tablet or handheld PC products beyond smartphones. Even Google’s Android platform hasn’t managed to drive significant sales of tablets or set top boxes, despite major initiatives over the past two years seeking to achieve that.

Additionally, when Google attempted to enter the notebook market with Chromebook, it didn’t even try to use Android, but rather developed a parallel effort. Similarly, Microsoft’s next efforts to sell PCs and tablets will revolve around Windows 8, which bears little in common with its WP7 smartphone platform on a kernel, API or development tool level.

After expressing morbid concerns about the fate of Apple’s nearly five year old iOS, Spektor acknowledged that “the outcome isn’t the same for all platforms.”


Today At Cult Of Android: Google Announces Q4 Earning, Virgin Mobile USA To Start Throttling Data, And More…

Android may not be every Mac user’s cup of tea, but it’s the biggest mobile operating system in the world, and it’s important to know what’s going on with Android — what it’s doing right, and what it’s doing wrong. Here’s the best stories that hit today over at our sister site, Cult of Android.

Official Wikipedia App Makes It To Android

The official Wikipedia App hit the Android Market last week and somehow slipped past most people’s radar. If you were lucky enough to have found out about it before the SOPA blackout yesterday, you were treated to Wikipedia access via the app, while most everyone else remained in the dark. At least we know about it now, and I’m sure there are quite a few people who have been waiting on an official app for Android. If you happen to be one of those people, you’ll be pleased to know it’s available now, and offers many great features such as: More…

Virgin Mobile USA To Start Throttling Customers Who Use Over 2.5GB Of Data A Month

Virgin Mobile began sending out text messages to high data consuming customers to warn them of their plans to implement data speed reductions in March. This comes as no surprise as Virgin Mobile actually considered throttling back in September, but for some reason decided to put the idea on hold. This time, it’s for real, and they plan on starting on March 23rd. If you’re a Virgin Mobile USA customer and use over 2.5GB of data in a month, expect your speeds to start slowing down (if that’s even possible). More…

The 1.5GHz Dual-Core LG Spectrum Is Now Availble On Verizon For $ 199

While AT&T goes through hell and back to get their hands on some spectrum, Verizon has announced it will be selling it for $ 199 —the LG Spectrum, that is. The LG Spectrum is Verizon’s latest LTE offering and features some impressive specs at at a decent price. More…

Full Screen Browsing Comes To The Amazon Kindle Fire In Latest Update

The Amazon Kindle Fire has a new update available. Update 6.2.2 is going out over the air and can also be downloaded manually if needed. This latest update improves support for manually setting up e-mail providers in the Email app, offers a new full screen mode for viewing web pages, and also includes enhancements to performance. More…

HTC’s Quad-Core Phone Seems To Be Suffering An Identity Crisis

Apparently HTC’s mega-beast quad-core handset is suffering from quite the identity crisis. We’ve come to know it as the HTC Edge up until just recently when PocketNow reported that HTC went ahead and changed the codename to Endeavor. It’s supposed to undergo another name change to Supreme, once it hits retail shelves, but as PocketNow points out, while retail names often see multiple name variances, codenames usually remain the same to help distinguish them internally. More…

Google Announces Q4 Earnings: Over 250 Million Android Devices Activated, Over 11 Billion App Downloads

Google released their Q4 earnings today, and while the money side of things is good, with $ 2.71 billion in profit on $ 8.13 billion in revenue, I’m sure you’re more concerned about Android than you are money — right? Even if you’re not, I’m going to share with you some Android numbers being thrown around to give you a better idea of how well Android is doing, and how well it continues to grow. More…

The ARCHOS Android Powered Home Smart Phone Is Now Available In The UK

You may remember the ARCHOS 35 Smart Home Phone we showed you last month, you know, the home phone with Android on it. Well, it’s now available to purchase in the UK, and the 8GB model will set you back £129.98, including taxes. The ARCHOS 35 takes the “smart” from smartphone, and puts it into your home phone. More…

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