Posts Tagged ‘android’

Google Now Changes How Mobile Searches

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Google Now is Google’s answer to Siri, but it does more than Siri. Google Now learns a user’s preferences such as which sports team the user follows, what types of food the person looks for at certain times of day as well as offering suggestions for when to leave for the airport based on traffic conditions. Once users adopt Google Now the need to do local searching will very nearly vanish.

This can be great for brands or it can be awful. BY delivering up a recommendation the brand can benefit from Google Now unless its competitor is receiving the recommendation. The social media agency needs to begin to develop a strategy to make sure its clients are the recommendation. It does seem the mechanisms are already in place though. The things the social media agency does to increase organic rankings will also help brands in this area. Asking customers to leave reviews will also help increase a brand’s authority according to Google. One neat feature that the agency should implement is to plant reminders onto the user’s calendar. These reminders are serviced by Google Now and will help it create traffic into a store.

“Google Now” Moving Well Beyond Search Becoming Mobile Assistant

Google And FTC Are Merely Delayed

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Last week the chair of the Federal Trade Commission spoke in front of Georgetown Law School about the case against Google. Some may have interpreted the lack of news as a go ahead signal to Google. That would, however, be incorrect. He was clear that the decision is merely being delayed to avoid becoming fodder for the November presidential election.


Earlier in the year the FTC hired a big named prosecutor to handle the case, but in the past months pundits claim the momentum appears to be in Google’s favor. If a case is announced the social media agency should not expect much to happen until the case is resolved, so any effect is well down the road. If Google were to lose the case, however, there would be big changes afoot for the social media agency.

If Google were to lose the case then the punishment would range from how to Android operates to how searches function. The big hit would come from future deployments of Android devices as marketers are able to learn more and more information about the users and their preferences.

FTC: We’ll Decide On Google-Antitrust Action By End Of Year

Twitter Unveils New App and Updates

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

On Tuesday Twitter announced its new mobile app for iOS and Android platforms. The new app is focused on expanding user interactions and to help the user use Twitter as a platform for content exposure on other websites.


The biggest addition to the new app is Expanded Tweets. Now when there is a link in a tweet, the user will see a portion of that other web page. Twitter is selling this feature as “Now get even more than 140 characters.” The social media agency can make good use of this new feature. Many mobile Twitter users do not click on links because of some limitations with mobile devices. Now, those users will be exposed to some of the linked content even if they do not open the link. The social media agency may also see an increase in the number of users that open a link. Seeing a portion of the content can tease users into opening it wherever they are.

The app for the iPhone has an interesting new feature. Now the app will alert users to real time sharing about certain events. It will be similar to the trending function on the Twitter webpage, but will be easier to access from a mobile device. While this may not have an immediate effect for the social media agency, it may help make Twitter a more integral part of a user’s mobile experience and that does help the social media agency.

Other features of the new app are directed to make Twitter more integral to the user. Most of them, however, do not offer an immediate benefit to the social media agency. Despite the generalness of this update, it is a good move and the Expanded Tweet option alone will help with digital marketing efforts.

New Twitter App Enhances Tweets & Events

IBM Has A New Augmented Reality Shopping App

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Augmented reality is a fairly new technology that has been written about previously. It uses the camera of a smartphone to render a location on a device’s screen and then superimposes information on top of it. IBM has a new augmented reality app that is being tested with as-yet unnamed large retailers. A shopper inputs the information she is interested in—for example, an ingredient lists or biodegradable package or types of food–and then points the camera around the retailer. The app will then display the desired information on the smartphone’s screen.


This particular app is new and one of the leaders of the industry. That will soon change as technology improves and some more creative uses are applied to augmented reality shopping. For now these apps have the most to offer brick-and-mortar shoppers, but that does not mean the social media agency is locked out of the game.

Retailers can use social media to link shopper profiles, as well to provide updates. A shopper could use the app to scan a retailer and products that friends have liked or mentioned, approvingly or disapprovingly, could render on the screen. Applications like these may not generate much foot traffic, but it may boost sales once the customer is in the location. The social media agency that first exploits the ability of augmented reality to make the analog world more resemble a FaceBook world will benefit greatly.

Testing the Augmented Reality Shopper App

Google Tablet To Be Unveiled Soon

Monday, April 9th, 2012

There is a growing buzz about the rumor Google is developing a tablet. The move would be similar to Google’s Nexus phone. It would probably sport a slick design and the newest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean depending how long it took to release).


The Google tablet would help propel the tablet explosion by providing a credible alternative to the iPad. While there are other tablets, none of them currently appears to be pushing technology or design limits. Google would be able to do that.

The big effect of a Google tablet, though, would be to structure the Android community. There are numerous versions of Android and each runs on different devices of different sizes. Android fragmentation hampers web site developments and is seen by many as a weakness of digital marketing. A Google tablet, however, would provide a model for other developers to achieve. That would make the job of the social media agency much easier. The tablet would push other developers for consistent updates, which would help advertisers maintain a consistent message.

We will know more in a few months. Until then there will be more and more speculation as Google’s team makes improvements in its design and performance. The social media agency should be aware of the coming changes and also try to push its partners to update ads and servers for better Android integration.

Google Tablet Rumor

Mobile Users Are Finicky But That Can Be Managed

Friday, February 24th, 2012

People between 18 and 24 are on their phones an incredible amount. Nine out of ten are on their phones one to five hours each day. But that tenth one is one his phone more than five hours each day. Not only are they on their mobile devices an incredible amount, but they actually like having marketers send them promotions as long as those promotions are capable of being opted-out of. This research was conducted by mBlox with a sample size of 4,000 people, so its results can be considered valid.


The opt-out provision is not the only concern. Users do have other privacy concerns. They want local offers and promotions but they do not want brands being informed of their whereabouts. There is also concern about credit card theft. These concerns point to more success for promotions informing the user of a nearby brick and mortar vendor rather than an online vendor.

If that is the case, then it makes relevance a harder target for the mobile advertiser. But users might be willing to take lengthy surveys if it increases the relevancy of the promotion. Fortunately, in the survey only 34% of respondents stressed the relevancy issue. Not to mention Groupon’s initial success was founded upon the irrelevant deal, deals for products people didn’t think they wanted. When answering surveys users say that want only relevant advertising, but there is reason to think the actual preference is different than that stated preference.

Not only are promotions a viable way to spread information about a brand, but the infrastructure for those promotions is also a viable place for digital agencies to spread messages. Mobile users are responsive to ads and promotions and if it is done without wide broadcasts, then they would also be enthused by receiving proximity based promotions.

The New Smartphone Advertising

Google Maps Goes Indoors

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Google Maps has finally gone indoors. As of now there are limited locations available. Some airports (San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago) and some vendors (Macy’s, Home Depot and Bloomingdale’s) are the only currently available maps, but that will change. The new service allows people to see floor plans as well as the locations on those floor plans of certain areas (as in the vendors) and certain vendors (as in the larger maps of airports and malls, etc.). For now the update is only available on Android versions of the service, but eventually it will be available on desktops and iPhone versions as well.


The obvious effect for the digital agency will be the growing importance of Google Maps. Google Maps had already been established as, at the least, an equal to AOL’s Mapquest. This change will make Google Maps much more consulted and much more important in the local search market. A synergy between Google’s search service and Maps will also help propel Maps.

The digital advertiser now has an ability to help its clients that may be located inside a large building like a mall or airport or skyway system. The new indoor function allows those smaller businesses to be represented whereas they remain invisible to non-Maps services. A proper campaign for a client will now need to involve Google Maps whereas it was potentially irrelevant before this update.

Before this update Maps was drawing 8.6 million users per month to its mobile site. The Maps app ranked third behind FaceBook and The Weather Channel among all smartphone platforms.

Indoor Maps

Android Fragmentation Issues Coming Under Control

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

September data about the Android landscape has been released and the news is positive. One of the concerns facing the industry is fragmentation, where there are numerous different versions of an operating system on the market. Apple is barely affected by fragmentation because it retains such tight control over its handsets. Google’s Android, however, is severely afflicted. There are numerous releases of the OS and each handset maker is allowed to make tweaks to the OS. Handset makers are also slow rolling out updates.


At the end of September 45.3% of Android handsets are operating on version 2.2, also known as Frozen Yogurt (Froyo for short). This is the largest segment represented. The second largest fragment is 3.2.2 – 3.2.7 also known as Gingerbread. As phones are upgraded the Android landscape will become less fragmented and the September numbers show that it is happening, even if at a slower than desired pace.

This is important for the mobile landscape because fragmentation slows down developments. An older OS may be unable to handle newer apps or functions on phones. This inability can chill developments and it can also frustrate user interactions with mobile services. The digital agency needs to encourage developments of more user-friendly apps as well as advertising-friendly apps. A frustrated user is also bad news for a digital agency because he is then less likely to make the transition to a mobile-powered world.

Android Fragmentation

AT&T Launching LTE Service

Thursday, May 26th, 2011


AT&T is beginning to rollout its LTE service. For the first phase only five cities will be affected: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. By the end of the year the service will be available in ten other major markets. BY 2012 70 million customers will have upgraded speeds in their home markets.
Now that the iPhone is no longer exclusively an AT&T device, this news is not such big news to digital agencies. It can be seen, however to keep iPhone users on iPhones and even to keep AT&T feature phone users making the move to iPhones and not necessarily to Android based smartphones. This iPhone effect may be quite small. It is only speculation, but there is a perception that AT&T is the iPhone company and Verizon is the Android company. Now that AT&T will also have an LTE service it should slow, even if only slightly, the jump in carriers and platform OS.

Launch of LTE