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28.11.13

Will 2013 be a mobile Black Friday?

Christmas is a busy time for MagicSolver, not least because we are readying our Advent 2013 calendar app. While we are poised to launch our festive app next week, around the same time shoppers in the U.S will be gearing up for the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza known as ‘Black Friday’. For those unaware of this special day, it is where retail outlets slash the prices on their goods and wares and American citizens go crazy trying to pick up amazing bargains to put under the Christmas tree.

Shopping via mobile is already on the rise but this year the smartphone will play a big role in the way people buy gifts for Xmas, according to a survey conducted by technology protection specialist Asurion. 58% of smartphone owners said their device will be very important to them on ‘Black Friday’, with 49% claiming they will make purchases via the device.

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27.11.13

Celebrating National Tree Week with the best tree-related apps!

Since 1975, National Tree Week has been run to encourage everyone to appreciate the importance of the role of our leafy friends play in our lives. Often called the lungs of the Earth, trees provide oxygen and a natural habitat for thousands of wildlife. We admit the MagicSolver team are guilty of trees for granted, so to make amends we have compiled three of the best tree-related apps in honour of our tall perennial plants.

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20.11.13

Protecting Android users from malicious apps

A news story on Mobile Entertainment today has revealed that 99 per cent of mobile malware attacks are aimed at the Android platform. It’s no surprise to see Google’s open source OS an easier target for malware violations but what is also surprising is the lack of concern from Android users: 40 per cent of smartphone and 42 percent of tablets users fail to take action to prevent attacks, according to research from Kaspersky Lab.

Mobile malware comes in many guises including malicious apps waiting for unsuspecting users to download them. And this strain of malware is growing at a rapid rate: last year, Kaspersky Lab discovered 35,000 malicious apps; in the first half of 2013 47,000 have already been detected.

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15.11.13

When the smartphone becomes a social buffer

New research from LG suggests the smartphone is more than just a tool for texting, talking, emailing and surfing the web: it has become a device for avoiding social awkwardness and subverting etiquette. Polling tens of millions of American smartphone users, the survey reveals some surprising attitudes, particular when it comes to dealing with social situations. Do any of these ring true? 35% said they use their smartphone to avoid talking to someone while 33% use their phone to look busy when alone in a restaurant or bar. One of the more revealing stats was 41% confessed they would be comfortable using the phone while in a place of worship. It’s not clear whether this would be during a religious sermon but it appears that people’s attitudes to smartphone politesse are clearly relaxing.

Check out the infographic below.

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12.11.13

Big spending mobile gamers are the best sharers

Mobile gamers that spend big are also the best sharers, according to video game researchers and consultants, Eedar. The US-based company conducted a survey in its homeland and found that mobile gamers who spend a lot on games and in-app purchases proved to be better sharers and more community spirited than non-spenders. Although these gamers prefer word of mouth and showing gameplay when it comes to sharing with fellow gamers, the biggest average spenders – they hand over $10.71 a month – love to show off their gaming prowess by posting video footage of their skills.
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05.11.13

The rise of Brazil and China as app store giants

When it comes to the number of app downloads, Google Play is out ranking the Apple App Store. This time (Q3) last year, Google was ahead in downloads by 10%. Q3 2013 and the search-engine giants have increased their lead to around 25%. One of the main drivers for this increase is the fifth biggest country in the world in terms of land mass and population – Brazil. In its latest research on these two major app stores, app analytic and intelligence experts, App Annie, has cited the influence of the country’s middle class to its growth in downloads.

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01.11.13

Discover the manufacturing cycle of the iPhone

We know that Apple and its trusty iPhone transformed the smartphone landscape and created an unrivalled app ecosystem but have you ever wondered what goes behind making one of the most popular phones in the world? The sprawling infographic below, commissioned by FinancesOnline.com,  goes into some detail about the iPhone’s supply chain, the cost of making one of the iconic gadgets on the planet and the widgets and electronics fitted under the bonnet to make it purr. It makes for a very interesting and occasionally eye-opening read.

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29.10.13

Do health and fitness apps make a difference?

One app category that has enjoyed a recent rise in popularity is ‘Health and Fitness’. Apps and appcessories like Fitbit, miCoach, Nike+ Running and Runkeeper, have raised the awareness of health issues and motivated users to get fit. This is backed up by a recent survey by Fitbit where 48 per cent of respondents say that being able to monitor health via a mobile made a positive change to their lives. Although Fitbit has an invested interest in the survey results, the stats do suggests that these apps are having an impact. The report also found that around 25% of 25-44 year old that receive motivational message to their mobile phone has encouraged them to make healthier lifestyle choices.

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28.10.13

App developers reject the paid model

For app developers choosing the right pricing/revenue model is a key factor in the success of their app. We have rigourously debated the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different models – paid for free with ad support and freemium – in previous blogs but the newest debate centres on the end of paid for apps.

Tech Crunch’s insightful article on this subject shows this isn’t a clear cut argument as you may expect. The stats from Flurry research shows the move toward free is getting larger: from 2010 to 2012 the proportion of free apps on the Apple App Store grew from 80% to 84%. In 2013 this had reached 90%. The interesting discovery from this research was that app developers shifted towards the free pricing model not through peer pressure but by experimenting with different streams to find the model that suited their app.

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25.10.13

Game on this Christmas

What do you want for Christmas? An iPad? iPhone? iPod? It appears the Apple’s devices are top of the list, not just for adults but for children as well. A survey by SuperAwesome, a leading discovery platform for kids and teens in the UK, showed that iDevices, especially the iPhone and iPad, are streets ahead of gaming electronics such as Nintendo, Xbox and PS4 as the Xmas gift du jour, while old school goodies such as football, make-up and surprisingly, Lego, are way down on the wish list. In fact just to hammer home the uber-popularity of Apple’s touch army with the kidz, SuperAwesome has created a rather cool word cloud.

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