DEVELOPERS BEWARE, PAPER HURTS: Facebook’s new app Paper has been receiving a lot of praise for its atheistically-pleasing design and content quality.
But, navigating the app is actually causing physical pain, thinks blogger Scott Hurff. Specifically, the carousel of tiles at the bottom of the app’s interface are unnatural to swipe through for the 90% of right-handed smartphone users. Hurff thinks Facebook overlooked “the thumb zone,” a term coined by author Steven Hoober in the book Designing Mobile Interfaces, which refers to “the most comfortable area for touch with one-handed use.”
Why is this important? App markets are being infiltrated with copy-cat apps and apps that perform similar tasks. And for users, who have to sort through these crowded app markets for the right choice, small things like thumb position can make or break an app. Developers should take notice and remember, the customer is always right. (Scott Hurff)
APPLE’S iWATCH MARKET: Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that in its first year on the market, Apple’s iWatch wearable computing device could generate up to $US17.5 billion in revenue. That translates to a first-year market that is 46% larger than the Apple iPad’s impressive first year sales of $US12 billion. This assumes Apple sells the iWatch at a $US299 price tag and is free from supply chain constraints. Morgan Stanley thinks iWatch should be positioned as an accessory to existing iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. This sentiment falls in line with our belief that smart watches will serve as a robust extension to smartphone operating systems and apps. We detail this view in our report and forecast for smart watches. (GigaOm)
FORGET FITBIT, GIVE ME iWATCH ALREADY:Apple will be entering the wearables market at an opportune time, thinks Rachel Feltman at Quartz. After testing several popular fitness bands, Feltman feels the iWatch’s success will come by capitalising on the popularity of fitness bands and improving upon their features. She started out with an anti-wearable computing sentiment, but testing fitness bands warmed her up to the lifestyle and actually made her yearn for a wearable device loaded with killer apps and services. “It’s not that I need a wearable computer. But if I’m going to wear one — and that’s basically what a FitBit is — why can’t I check my email on it too? Apple, it turns out, agrees,” said Feltman. (Quartz)
QUOTE OF THE DAY — “Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.” — Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, in his first email as CEO to employees. (Microsoft)
APPLE OWNS THE U.S. HOLIDAY SEASON: Apple took 1.2 percentage points more of market share in the U.S. during the fourth quarter as all other competing platforms lost share, according to comScore. Apple’s market share ticked up to 41.8% but is still behind Android’s 51.% share. On the vendor side, Apple holds on to the top spot, with Samsung a distant second at 26.1% share. (comScore)
PEBBLE APP STORE: Smart watch maker Pebble has launched a proprietary app store, and the company is calling it, “the first open platform for sharing apps optimised for wearables.” The store so far features a few categories like fitness trackers and remotes, and even smart watch-optimised apps from location-based companies like Yelp and Foursquare. (TechCrunch)
LINE IN LATIN AMERICA: LINE, the messaging app highly popular in Japan, has secured a deal with Telefónica, the Spanish and Latin American telecom giant. LINE will look to expand beyond Japan starting in this region by having an exclusive presence as the default messenger on the Firefox OS mobile platform, which has a growing presence in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil, and Mexico. (TechCrunch)
MICROSOFT INVESTS IN FOURSQUARE: Microsoft has agreed to a $US15 million investment in location-based services mobile app Foursquare. With this investment, Microsoft will gain access to Foursquare’s location data and ultimately, Foursquare will power location-aware services on future Windows Phone devices and on Bing search results. (GigaOm)
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