Apps dominate smartphone usage, survey finds
Smartphone usage has become dominated by apps, a new study has found, with up to 80 per cent of handset activity involving downloadable applications. According to figures collated by analytics firm Flurry, over the past five years smartphone usage has become increasingly tilted towards heavy app use, with the remainder of many users’ smartphone and tablet activities revolving around the web.
One year on: Nearly half Instagram Android
Wow, has it already been a year since Instagram launched on Android? Apparently, yes, and according to the photo-sharing company, almost half of those using the service are doing so on Android devices. In a post on the site’s blog on Tuesday, Instagram Android team member Philip McAllister thanked its Android users for making the community “amazing”. “One year ago today we launched Instagram for Android,” McAllister wrote in the post. “In less than a day, over a million people downloaded the app, and now nearly half of all Instagrammers use the Android app to share photos with friends, family and the world.”
Blackberry shuts down BBM Music
BlackBerry is shutting down its odd music-sharing service BBM Music, after only 20 months. Subscribers were told in an email that the service would shut on 2 June and were recommended to sign up for Rdio instead – and given a 30-day free trial for the music discovery site. When it launched in August 2011, BBM Music was touted as a “viral music sharing” service, with users only able to listen to 50 of their own tracks. In order to listen to more, they had to invite their friends and listen to their curated music collections.
HTC One goes official in Australia, will arrive on April 23
Today, Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation officially announced the upcoming availability of its HTC One smartphone on shelves in Australia, confirming that it would be released on all major networks there. Starting with April 23, users in the country will be able to purchase the new device from Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, with pre-orders expected to kick off this week. In fact, as Ausdroid notes in a recent post, the HTC One is already listed on this page on Vodafone’s website, and should appear here on Virgin Mobile’s online store as well, though this won’t happen until tomorrow.
Cable failures highlight value of internet exchanges
The EASSy and SEACOM outages temporarily wiped out internet connectivity in parts of East Africa, from Djibouti to South Africa. Sea-We-Me-4, the primary internet backbone between Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe, failed on 27 March 2013, leading to a widespread disruption of internet services from Egypt to Pakistan. “When submarine cables are cut, it’s critically important to have access to backup paths with sufficient capacity to carry traffic to affected destinations,” said Jim Cowie, chief technology officer and co-founder of Renesys. “Carrier-neutral data centres and internet exchange points play an important role here. Maintaining a presence at an internet exchange maximises your options for re-establishing high-performance route diversity during a submarine cable outage.”
Global IT spending to reach $3.8 trillion in 2013: Gartner
Global spending on PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers would reach $718bn. Global IT spending is predicted to rise 4.1 per cent in 2013 to $3.8 trillion compared to $3.6 trillion spent in 2012, according to a new report from Gartner. Gartner managing vice president Richard Gordon said although the US did avoid the fiscal cliff, the subsequent sequestration, compounded by the rise of Cyprus’ debt burden, seems to have netted out any benefit, and the fragile business and consumer sentiment throughout much of the world continues.
Apple iTV with iRing control set to hit market this year
It’s no secret that Apple wants to get into the living room by making its own TV set, and there have been plenty of rumours and reports about how and when it’s going to happen. Now, an analyst says he’s learned that the set will go on sale late this year for $1,500-$2,500. In a research note on Wednesday, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets says the “iTV” will be 60 inches on the diagonal but could also come in 50 and 55-inch versions. Apple will also release a small “iRing'” that fits on the viewer’s finger allowing the user to control the screen by pointing, White says.
O2 Wholesale launches webchat capability for partner support
O2 Wholesale has launched a webchat specifically for partners. Run by members of O2 Wholesale’s support team it aims to offer quick and effective advice and resource during business hours. Connectivity solutions provider Fluidata was one of the first to trial the O2 Wholesale webchat. Patrick Wood, Support Manager, commented: “It has been a great experience for my team being able to help mould what could turn into a key supporting asset for O2 Wholesale.
Bouygues Telecom to launch LTE in the “next few weeks”
French operator Bouygues Telecom has revealed it will switch on its LTE network in the “next few weeks”. The firm will use 2.6GHz spectrum to deploy the service across eight cities, CEO Olivier Roussat told local press. The announcement follows last month’s declaration from the nation’s telecoms regulator ARCEP that Bouygues Telecom will be allowed to refarm its 1800MHz spectrum for LTE services. Bouygues Telcom will be permitted to switch on the LTE1800 network from October 1, 2013 although it must relinquish a portion of its spectrum holding before it does so.
Customer designed ARM chips will give Intel headaches
Chipmaker Intel is slowly winding up its Haswell hype machine ahead of what is expected to be a splashy launch in June. Intel has been revealing high level details of its upcoming Haswell processors for a long time, such as its statement at IDF 2012 that a Haswell 10W TDP part will be pitched at laptops. The firm not only shown off running Haswell silicon at the recent Game Developer Conference but also announced that its HD Graphics 15.31 driver released this week is designed specifically for Haswell processors.