Mobile Content, Tablets, Apps

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Comcast Corp. introduced a new service that allows Xfinity subscribers to watch live TV shows on their iPad via a set-top box called AnyPlay. Through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad and their home Wi-Fi router, AnyPlay allows users to watch the channels that are included in their subscription lineup.

Posted Jan 11, 2012

Following its July 2011 U.S. release, the six-month promotional period for early adopters of Spotify Ltd.'s popular music service will come to an end next week. For all free account holders, this means a ten-hour monthly cap on free streaming and sharing.

Posted Jan 11, 2012

Japan's Rakuten, Inc. has reported that Kobo, Inc., its recent acquisition, saw a ten-fold increase in its number of ebook customers over the holidays. Kobo has not released official sales numbers yet, but the company says it has had "hundreds of thousands" of new device activations each day since Dec. 24.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Apple filed three new patent applications that detail elements of Intel Corp. and Apple's joint technology for wired data transfer, Thunderbolt. It is speculated that the technology will be applied to iOS devices and would mean faster data transfer as well as faster recharging.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Barnes & Noble plans to "pursue strategic exploratory work to separate the Nook business" from the rest of the company, as reported on paidContent. In a statement, the company said, "There can be no assurance that the review of a potential separation of the NOOK digital business will result in a separation. There is no timetable for the review...."

Posted Jan 05, 2012

MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. has plans to release a Samsung smartphone later this year that will be able to tune in to live television broadcasts from local stations. This announcement makes MetroPCS the first cellphone company to offer such a feature.

Posted Jan 04, 2012 overhauled its PressReader iPad app to add a number of updated features, including SmartFlow, which presents newspapers as a fluid stream of articles. SmartFlow is exclusive to PressReader 3.0; it blends the traditional way of reading with a new approach.

Posted Jan 04, 2012

Springer's SpringerLink science platform is now available in a free mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The app contains articles from over 2,000 peer-reviewed journals and chapters from 49,000 books, totaling over 5.4 million documents.

Posted Jan 03, 2012

Following the holidays, the app market hit an all-time high last week, with 1.2 billion apps downloaded between Dec. 25 and 31, according to Flurry Analytics & Estimates. This figure is based on the top 20 mobile countries that Flurry regularly tracks and includes downloads to both Android and iOS devices.

Posted Jan 03, 2012

According to Benedict Evans' blog, and research for an upcoming Enders Analysis report, almost 40% of Facebook is via a mobile app.

Posted Dec 29, 2011

Scholastic Inc.'s Scholastic Media division launched its first Android apps in the form of I SPY games. The children's publishing, education, and media company debuted its "I SPY Arcade" game series based on the I SPY books. The games will be available for iPhone and iPod touch as well as for Android smartphones and tablets.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) announced it would grant a limited import ban on certain HTC devices, siding with Apple on its allegations of patent violations. The ban will go into place automatically after April 19, 2012. Though Apple accused HTC of violating four patents, the ITC asserted that only one was violated.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Book publishers are an endangered species. That's right. The producers of textbooks, romance novels, and cookbooks aren't long for this world. Their likely extinction is both predictable and preventable. Even if they put up a good fight, it's unlikely they'll survive in their current form for one reason: They are slow to evolve.Case in point: Two years ago, while book publishers were busy conducting business as usual, an outsider invaded the industry and reshaped it in the publishers' image. The invading force was Apple, a fierce predator with a history of conducting well-orchestrated, highly publicized takeovers. And take over it did.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Yesterday, AT&T, Inc. renounced its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, Inc., owned by Deutsche Telekom AG. AT&T will have to pay Deutsche Telekom $4 billion for breaking the deal off, but the companies also just announced a joint roaming agreement.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

No longer is it just editors and agents on the subways and buses with their submission pile on Sony e-readers; it's actual, real, live, nonindustry people who just love to read. Harris Interactive, Inc. polled more than 2,000 people in July of this year and found that roughly 15% of those polled already owned an e-reader, and 15% of those who did not own an e-reader were likely to buy one in the next 6 months.

Posted Dec 15, 2011

Help+Manual 6, an authoring tool from EC Software GmbH, adds new output formats, including manuals that can be directly exported to and viewed on the Apple iPad and iPhone. Version 6 has an updated user interface, editing capabilities, and WebHelp 2.0.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

Despite the tiny screens, more consumers than ever before are using their smartphones to do more than ever before. Market research firm IDC reports that sales of smartphones in the final quarter of 2010 outstripped those of PCs for the first timeā€”ever! Moreover, a milestone report from Google, in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association, confirms that we increasingly rely on our mobile devices to research products, make purchases, conduct transactions, and connect with social networks.

Posted Dec 13, 2011, Inc. will release the first software update for the Kindle Fire tablet in the next two weeks, according to paidContent. The update will reportedly mend the device's multitouch navigation response and other performance issues as well as the list of options for recent activity on the tablet.

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Mobile Streams, a mobile content retailer that sells apps, games, ebooks, and music through its mobile carrier partners as well as its app store,, announced the launch of PublicAd. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mobile Streams, PublicAd will conduct mobile advertising and marketing activities for the company.

Posted Dec 07, 2011

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, redesigned the interface for the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), its library-friendly online ebook platform. Gale improved navigation and organization as well as the display. GVRL now offers a multi-page viewer and a page flipper feature.

Posted Dec 06, 2011

Clearwire Corp. will offer $300 million in Class A common stock in a public offering. Clearwire plans to grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $45 million of the same stock. J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Jefferies & Co., Inc., are acting as joint book-running managers.

Posted Dec 06, 2011

According to research from BabyCenter, LLC, moms are more likely than the general population to own a smartphone, and between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of those who regularly use mobile internet shot up from 22% to 62%, according to eMarketer.

Posted Dec 05, 2011

Vringo, Inc., a provider of software platforms for mobile social and mobile video services, completed a $3.35 million round of bridge financing with venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures. The deal included $850,000 in gross proceeds from over 817,300 shares of common stock.

Posted Dec 05, 2011

This spring, some research had me making a series of calls to a range of people in the book publishing business, including authors, agents, publishers, and consultants. The topic-in broad terms-was about the shift to digital. How did these publishing leaders see the shift occurring today? How was it going so far, and-more importantly-what might the publishing landscape look like in 3 or 5 years?

Posted Dec 05, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and it seems many shoppers decided to forego the stampedes and fistfights associated with Black Friday and shop from their office chairs on Monday instead. IBM is reporting that it may well have been the strongest Cyber Monday yet with online sales up over last year by 33%, and order value up 2.6%. Another big change: more and more people are doing their shopping via a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet. Almost 11% of traffic to online retailers was from mobile users. Sales via mobile devices were up as well, from 2.3% last year to 6.6% this year.

Posted Dec 01, 2011