Mobile Content, Tablets, Apps

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On the heels of announcing its acquisition of Openera, LiveQoS, a provider of Quality of Service (QoS) for mobile devices, announced it has closed a $4 million Series C round of financing led by Miralta Capital. The funds will be used for development and launch of LiveQaaS, a mobile Quality as a Service platform.

Posted Nov 07, 2013

For the first time ever, I'm writing this column on my iPhone. In all my years as a writer, this is something I've never done, and more importantly, never wanted to do. Sure, every once in a while I'll compose a long email while I'm on the train, but once I hit about 300 words, my thumbs get tired and I find myself dreaming of a full sized keyboard. This time though, I didn't have a choice.

Posted Nov 07, 2013

Amazon.com, Inc. announced the launch of Kindle First, a new program that offers customers access to Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date. Each month, Amazon Publishing editors select several titles from Kindle's most popular categories a month ahead of their official publication date, adding a note of recommendation, and a behind-the-scenes look at the stories and the authors.

Posted Nov 05, 2013

For Blackberry, the hits just keep coming. The Canadian company had been planning on being purchased by Fairfax Financial Holdings, Blackberry's largest shareholder. But the deal fell through, and Fairfax will, instead, be investing a billion dollars in Blackberry. In addition, CEO of Blackberry Thorsten Heins will step down in the wake of the crumbling deal. The news caused share prices to drop.

Posted Nov 04, 2013

Following the release of Amazon Cloud Player for PC earlier this year, Amazon.com, Inc. announced the availability of Amazon Cloud Player for Mac. The new app provides Mac users with a way to manage their entire music library - whether saved on their computer or in the cloud - and shop from the Amazon MP3 Store with a catalog of more than 25 million songs.

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Earlier this year we heard about Amazon's plan to provide free or low cost ebooks to buyers who purchase a hard copy, and now it is a reality. Amazon launched Kindle MatchBook on Tuesday, October 29, which gives customers the option to buy--for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free--the Kindle edition of print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Over 70,000 books are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook.

Posted Oct 29, 2013

It's the time of year when announcements about new devices are starting to come out fast and furious to capitalize on the holiday shopping rush. Apple kicked the season off with the introduction of the iPad Air that is 20% smaller than the company's current generation of tablets (because tablets weren't small and light enough?). The iPad Air is also faster than the old tablets. But the real surprise came when Apple also announced it will now give away its Mac OS and iWorks suite to users for free.

Posted Oct 22, 2013

Contatta launched as a public beta at the DEMO Fall 2013 conference. The first 10,000 to sign up early will get Contatta free for 60 days. Contatta is built around relationship-based messaging and contextual collaboration, bringing together all the ways you communicate on one platform.

Posted Oct 22, 2013

As the migration of consumers from desktop to mobile devices continues with little indication of abating, it remains as much of a concern as ever for companies to represent their products, services, and brands in a mobile environment. The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm founded in 2002 and based in Los Angeles, delivered a progress report on the country's biggest companies' mobile presence-in the interest of providing a rubric of best practices and mistakes to companies of all sizes-with its "Mobile Experience Scorecard: Fortune 100 Companies" report.

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Silicon Valley-based KuroBase, Inc. launched its new Database-as-as-Service (DBaaS), a fully-managed cloud-based data store. This is the first element in the KuroBase Orchestration Platform Architecture, which allows web, game, and mobile app developers to manage and control data stores with scalability. With this release, KuroBase offers a fully managed DBaaS hosting both the industry leading Couchbase NoSQL database and the recently released Couchbase Sync Gateway in the cloud.

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Thuuz Sports, a mobile and connected TV service, announced the Glassware release of its popular Thuuz sports app. Thuuz is one of the first sports Glassware to be available on Google Glass. The new service is designed to alert Glass owners to trending games in their favorite sports and provide them with score updates for their favorite teams.

Posted Oct 08, 2013

Aquafadas, ieveloper of digital publishing solutions, announced updates to its Digital Publishing System. Version 3.1 now features support for iOS 7 app development, newly available premium enrichments including real world physics and games, and improvements for Android apps creation.

Posted Oct 08, 2013

App Annie, a business intelligence and market data platform for apps and digital content, announced that it is moving into the book world with its latest offering App Annie for Ebooks. The product line provides publishers, authors, agents and marketers with a free dashboard for tracking their own ebooks sales and downloads as well as research information on market trends worldwide.

Posted Oct 08, 2013

While writing my most recent book, I noticed a new phase of growth and innovation in the mobile app space. It's encouraging to see companies jumping on the app bandwagon and the tremendous capabilities and creativity that they unleash. Take the example of Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM). It just launched mobile apps for the Apple iOS and Android platforms that can be rapidly deployed by its client base of hundreds of local television station websites. Each app has content tabs such as Top Stories, Local News, Weather, or Sports that can be customized by local broadcast and media companies to pull in content from each local station's website and optimized for mobile viewing.

Posted Oct 08, 2013

Sponsored Guest Commentary

There is no question that consumers love their mobile devices and are willing to pay for quality mobile content. App downloads continue to skyrocket with more than 800 apps being downloaded per second at a rate of over 2 billion apps per month in the App Store. And according to the latest forecast by PQ Media, consumer spending on digital media content and technology is expected to grow nearly 12 percent to $1 trillion this year. But it's a congested space, and today's consumers are distracted. If your brand wants a piece of the pie it's crucial to stop thinking like a brand, and instead think like a consumer.

Posted Oct 07, 2013

Emily Books is an independent digital bookstore that focuses on bringing "transgressive memoir and fiction" that has never appeared in digital form before to its readers. Customers can subscribe to Emily Books for $13.99 a month, or $159.99 for a years. Until now, users would receive and email with a link to download that month's book in a variety of DRM free formats, and now there is another option: the iOS7 app.

Posted Oct 03, 2013

Netflix announced updates to it iOS app that will no doubt send many running to hit the update button. Users can now stream HD content via their iPhone and iPad apps, assuming their internet connection can handle the workload. And users with Apple TVs at home can now use AirPlay to watch Netflix content on their television while using their iPad or iPhone as their remote control.

Posted Oct 03, 2013

Rdio's You FM personalized radio station was originally launched as a feature for premium users. Now, however, Rdio has brought You FM to its iOS and Android app users.

Posted Oct 03, 2013

Mobile advertising is on the rise-who do you know who doesn't have a smart phone these days? In fact, according to the Pew Internet Project's research on mobile technology, 91% of American adults have a cell phone-56% have a smartphone. That level of penetration presents both opportunities and challenges to content providers hoping not only to connect with their audiences, but also to monetize those interactions in some way.

Posted Sep 27, 2013

Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Content Group's e-textbook solution, announced the international expansion of its VitalSource Bookshelf platform with a new digital store in the U.K. The store offers tens of thousands of e-textbooks from leaders in academic publishing.

Posted Sep 26, 2013

OverDrive announced that more than 17,000 Penguin ebooks are now live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace. Penguin's ebooks are available for public and college libraries, including consortium, in the U.S. in the one copy/one user lending model for a one year term. Availability of the Penguin ebooks to libraries outside the U.S. is coming soon.

Posted Sep 26, 2013

Amazon introduced the third generation of Kindle Fire. The new Kindle Fire HDX tablets combine groundbreaking hardware, the latest version of Fire OS, and exclusive new features and services like X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the new Mayday button.

Posted Sep 26, 2013

The other night, I crawled into bed and cracked open a copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini that I bought last summer at a used bookshop. A photograph fell out into my lap. At first, I wondered when I'd tucked a picture into the pages, but then I realized I didn't have any idea who the people in the image were. It's a couple of young people-probably college age-smiling in a posed shot for the camera. I imagined it was probably a graduation shot of some sort-maybe a wedding. I tucked it back into the pages with the idea of using the smiling pair as a bookmark. But it reminded me that the paperback I had just started reading was, in fact, used goods.

Posted Sep 25, 2013

BlackBerry Limited announced it has signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence. The letter of intent details a transaction in which BlackBerry shareholders would receive $9 in cash for each share they hold, in a transaction valued at approximately $4.7 billion.

Posted Sep 23, 2013

Random House LLC, a U.S. division of Penguin Random House has partnered with Flipboard, the news and social media aggregation application, to become the first book publisher to curate content for the platform of 85 million users. The collaboration kicks off with two custom digital magazines. The first, curated by Margaret Atwood, is inspired by her new novel, MaddAddam and the second, by Westeros.org, explores the fictional worlds of George R. R. Martin.

Posted Sep 23, 2013

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