Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the theinformationsuperhighway series, which rounds up the latest operating system news, the applications they support, and the money that goes through it all.
The app industry is hotter than ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $ 120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People now spend three hours and 40 minutes a day using apps, which rivals television. Apps aren't just a way of spending idle time – they're big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had an overall valuation of $ 544 billion, 6.5 times higher than non-mobile companies.
Quibi dies … and no one was surprised
There was so much wrong with quibis The premise that sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. At its core, however, the problem was a profound misunderstanding of how, when, and why users would watch videos on their phones.
The company felt they could fund high production value ($ 100,000 / minute, yikes) content and then break it down into smaller "bites", add a layer of technology, and call this a reinvention of cinema.
In reality, there was little demand for this type of content and it didn't match how people want to be entertained on their phones.
When people want to appreciate high quality filmmaking (or even TV production), they tend to want a bigger screen – they've spent money on their fancy HD or 4K TV, after all. Before COVID, they could even pay to go to the movies. On mobile devices, the production value of content is far less of an issue, if it is registered at all.
Quibi also misunderstood what users want to see regarding videos on their phones when they have a few minutes to kill.
By positioning his app in this area, it had to compete with numerous and powerful sources for "short form" content – existing apps such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook (e.g. newsfeed content, watch feeds), Instagram stories, Snapchat etc. This is content that you don't need to invest in as it will only take you away from a few minutes of boredom. There is no time or place to dig into a longer story – hacked or otherwise.
Quibi also trimmed the length of the content to accommodate its man-made limitations – at the expense of the quality and enjoyment of the story.
A reality show that is limited to its highlights is hardly ever to be observed as it exposes the machinations and manipulations of the editors, which are better hidden in longer fluff. And there was just no reason to cut films – like Quibi's "The Dangerous Game" – into pieces. It didn't elevate storytelling. it distracted from it. And if you want a quick news update (e.g. Quibi's "Daily Essentials"), you don't need a completely new app.
Quibi content might have been rated "good quality" but it was often not good. (I still can't believe I sat through an episode of Dishmantled where chefs had to re-enact dishes with food thrown in their faces. And Quibi had the guts, poor quality, and lack of talent on YouTube to shame ?!)
Quibi wanted to charge for its service too, but its catalog wasn't intended for families, with content ranging from children to adults. There was no parental control. This immediately restricted its competitiveness.
At startup, Quibi was also limited to the phone, which meant that you had limited use of the phone as a second screen while watching a show. (There was no PiP support). theinformationsuperhighway has been writing about phones as a second screen for nearly a decade, often focusing on startups. But in Quibi's case, the second screen experience was shattered, apparently forgetting people texting friends, ordering food, checking Twitter, and watching other apps while a TV show was on in the background. Did it really think that a restart of "Punk'd" deserves our full attention?
Quibi, of course, blamed COVID for its prosperity. A world had envisioned in which users had enough time to kill on the go: commuting in the subway, standing in long lines, that sort of thing.
But this premise was also flawed. It would eventually have caught up with Quibi; COVID only accelerated it. The problem is that Quibi imagined the US to be just part of the urban metropolis, where public transportation is abundant and standing in lines is the norm. In reality, more than half (52%) of the US is described as suburban, 27% as urban and 21% as rural. Out-of-town commuters often drive to work themselves. Sure, they could stream Quibi during those commutes, but they don't actually watch it. So why burn high production value on them? And standing in long lines, believe it or not, isn't that common in smaller towns either. If it only takes two minutes to have a coffee or a burrito before getting back in your car, do you really want to start a new show?
Where would Quibi have gone? Are you hoping for Gen Z's attention while they hang around their bedrooms looking for something to do? And yet it wanted to appeal to those kids with Hollywood A-Listers they don't even know? As COVID hit the downside, Quibi stayed in competition with (often arguably better) content streamed natively on TV from apps like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney +, and others that let you play through the seasons simultaneously instead of waiting each week for a new "quick bite" to drop.
A lot more could be said, including the fact that a former eBay and HP CEO might not be the right person to run a business that wants to dazzle a younger population. Or how clever the TurnStyle video flipping feature was, but made filmmaking more complex and wasn't enough of a technological leap to build a business. Or how, no matter how much money it raised, it still wasn't enough compared to the massive budgets of competitors like Netflix and Amazon.
You can read another post-death summary here. And another one here. Because we can't seem to get enough autopsies.
In the meantime, TikTok is still not banned.
Snap hits are valued at $ 50 billion
The maker of Snapchat has been projected to generate roughly $ 555 million in revenue in the third quarter, but instead $ 679 million, up 52% year over year. Adjusted earnings per share were $ 0.01, beating the expected loss of $ 0.04. The company also increased daily active users by 4% (11 million) to 249 million, an 18% increase over the previous year. Snap's net loss of $ 200 million was also a 12% improvement over the previous year.
As a result of the gain, stocks rose nearly 30% the next day and their valuation topped $ 50 billion for the first time, a record high.
During the win, the company pointed out that it now reaches 90% of Generation Z's population and 75% of Millennials in the US, UK and France. User growth has been attributed to new products including profiles, minis, lens adjustment tools, and AR displays. In particular, Snap used the Facebook ad boycott to reach out to brands that were "looking to realign their marketing efforts" with companies that "share their corporate values," the company said.
Snap just launched its TikTok competitor Sounds on Snapchat, which allows users to add licensed music to their stories.
- Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 14.1. The first major update to iOS 14 brings several bug fixes, including widgets, streaming videos, and family setup on the Apple Watch. Support for playing and editing 10-bit HDR video in Photos on iPhone 8 and later has also been added.
- The iOS 14 error continues resetting the default email and browser apps. After updating your favorite email or browser app, iOS 14 forgets which third-party app you set as the default. Yes, it has done that before. Are we still so sure it's a mistake?
- The DOJ's antitrust lawsuit investigates the multi-billion dollar deal This positioned Google as the default search engine for browsers, phones and other Apple devices.
- AirTags patent applications Describe use cases like finding the closest defibrillator, monitoring user posture, and playing avatar-based games to get a better understanding of how Apple sees the future of its smartphone discoverable tags.
- Google supports iOS 14 widgets. Google already offered one of the more useful widgets for iOS 14 with its search widget, downloaded by "millions". More were introduced this week, including a Google Photos widget to bring back your memories and a YouTube Music widget.
- RCS support in Android messages will be expanded. After the US debut, RCS has been introduced in a number of new countries and is now available in Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Argentina, Pakistan, Poland, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, USA, too Find. Greece, Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Lithuania, New Zealand, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Australia, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Uganda and Ukraine. The last nine were only this month.
- Buy Now, Pay Later US app usage increased 186% in September year over year. According to Sensor Tower, apps that allow consumers to make purchases on payment plans have grown steadily since the COVID-19 pandemic this year. The report looked at Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay and QuadPay, which together generated 18 million lifetime installs in the App Store and Google Play. Installations in September increased 115% year over year, while monthly activity increased 186%.
- US contact tracking apps are a disjointed wreck. The WSJ examined the status of COVID-19 contact tracing apps in the United States and found that states that focus on their own efforts due to the lack of a national plan have left an incoherent patchwork of tools. Only 10 states plus D.C. used the framework developed by Google and Apple. 11 control or create apps. The EU has now enabled cross-border interoperability for its first line of tracing apps.
- Gen Z spends 10% more time on top apps outside of the game than older usersat 4.1+ hours per month. The figure excludes preinstalled apps and was calculated on Android devices in select markets, including US Gen Z users, who are more likely to engage non-game apps than older users with 120 sessions per month per app.
- U.S. consumers spend an average of $ 20.78 / month on their app subscriptions. according to new data from Adjust. The 25-34 age group spends the most on subscription apps at $ 25.85 / month while those over 55 spend the least at $ 13.97 / month. In addition, more than a quarter of Millennials and Generation Z consumers said they stopped paying for other services to buy subscriptions to mobile app services (e.g., option for fitness apps when they hit the gym ).
- Dating apps are on the rise in the US, Apptopia says. New users for Hily, Match, BLK, Bumble, and Grindr are well on their way to growing 32%, 28%, 20%, 18% and 11%, respectively, month over month.
- Amazon's Luna streaming service opens for early access to its first customers. The service offers a library of 50 games and works on Mac, PC, Amazon Fire TV and iOS devices using a web app to bypass the App Store rules. Initial reviews indicate that the service sometimes struggles with performance over Wi-Fi, but offers a good web app experience. Luna has some great titles, but xCloud still has the better lineup. The real killer feature, however, could be the promised Twitch integration that will arrive in the future.
- SoundCloud launches a DJ plan for $ 19.99 / month, SoundCloud DJ, which offers unlimited offline access to its catalog. Users can also stream high quality audio and mix tracks with select DJ apps including Virtual DJ, Cross DJ, and Denon DJ.
- Put your five star ratings on your home screen. IMore discovered an indispensable developer motivational tool: a way to put your app's five-star ratings as a widget on your home screen; $ 1.99 for that lucky boost.
- Apple quietly adjusts its Apple TV Remote App. The app was removed from the App Store on Wednesday. Users are now expected to use the remote functionality built into the Control Center since iOS 12 instead.
- Google is ending support for its "Trusted Contacts" app for location sharing in December and removed it from the Play Store. Users are instructed to use similar features in Google Maps to find friends and family.
Politics and politics
- The App Fairness Coalition more than doubles a month after its debut. The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), A newly formed advocacy group that advocates increased regulation of app stores has more than doubled with the announcement of 20 new partners this week. The organization, led by top app publishers and critics including Epic Games, Deezer, Basecamp, Tile, Spotify and others, debuted in late September To defend against the control of Apple and Google over app stores and in particular against the rules of the stores for in-app purchases and commissions.
- Facebook increases investment in WhatsApp for Business. The company announced that it will expand shopping on WhatsApp and bill companies for some of the services offered in the chat app in order to increase sales. This includes the ability to manage WhatsApp messages from companies via Facebook's own hosting services. Facebook offered this information more as a glimpse into its roadmap, but without any information on new services or prices.
- Facebook clones Nextdoor. The feature is being tested in Canada and Facebook will automatically generate neighborhood groups to connect local users with people, activities, and items for sale.
- The court clears Kik's settlement with the SEC. The ruling ends a multi-year legal battle by allowing Kik to pay a one-time fine of $ 5 million for violating the Securities Act for failing to register the distribution of its Kin tokens in its ICO in 2017.
- Roblox is spending $ 2 billion in mobile player spending ahead of planned IPO. The company's revenue, accelerated by the pandemic, topped $ 1.5 billion in May 2020 and rose another $ 500 million in five months, according to Sensor Tower.
- Cameo enters B2B sales. The custom celebrity video app is repositioning their business with personalized greetings for B2B sales through an integration and rev-share agreement with the corporate gift platform Sendoso.
- Adobe adds a chain of custody tool in the beta version of Photoshop and Behance, which combats misinformation and keeps the content properly assigned.
- Stitcher's podcasts will come to Pandora upon completion of the acquisition. The Stitcher app was also revised after the contract was signed. The move brought several major podcast titles to the house, thanks to Earwolf, including "Freakonomics Radio", "My Favorite Murder", "SuperSoul Conversations from the Oprah Winfrey Network", "Office Ladies", "Conan O & # 39; Brien Needs a Friend" . "Literally!" with Rob Lowe ”,“ LeVar Burton Reads ”and“ WTF with Marc Maron ”.
- NYT now has an iOS 14 widget. The new widget brings NYT headlines to your home screen. Note that while anyone can install the widget, you still need to be a subscriber if you want to click through to read.
- PicsArt brings its app-based design tools to the web. The creative platform is tracking business users with the launch of their AI tools on picsart.com. The debut suite includes a template editor, background and object remover, video slideshow maker, text editor, and others.
- The Chinese tutoring app Yuanfudao raised $ 2.2 billion from investors surpassing Byjus as the world's most valuable edtech company as it is now valued at $ 15.5 billion.
- Retool raises $ 50 million, led by Sequoia, for its low-code tools for building in-house apps that work on either desktop or mobile. The new round values the deal at nearly $ 1 billion. Other supporters include Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, the founders of Stripe, Patrick and John Collison, the founders of Brex Inc., Henrique Dubugras, and Pedro Franceschi and Paul Graham, co-founders of Y Combinator.
- Syte raises $ 40 million to bring visual shoppers to ecommerce retailers. Visual search is already popular in apps like Google, Pinterest, and eBay, but Syte wants retailers to have the option. The round was led by return investor Viola Ventures.
- 98point6 brings in $ 118 million for its AI-powered telemedicine Platform that works on web and mobile (iOS and Android).
Halide Mark II
The developers of the popular pro-iPhone camera apps Halide and Specter unveiled their latest creation this week, the Halide Mark II camera app. The new user interface was developed for one-handed operation and contains a number of new functions.
This includes a new gesture-based automatic and manual toggle switch. Touch to activate and deactivate functions such as exposure warnings, focus peaking and magnifying glass when adjusting exposure or focus; a revised manual mode; new dynamic labeling of controls and actions to explain functionality to new users; Support for the edge-to-edge interface of the iPhone 12 models; a redesigned reviewer with a full read of the metadata; In-app memberships for photography courses; and over 40 other changes.
A new “coverage” function can take a photo with Smart HDR 2/3 and Deep Fusion for maximum quality and computational processing, as well as a RAW file – with only a slight delay between shots.
Halide Mark II also uses machine learning to process an iPhone RAW file in the app (ProRAW) in 17 steps, including detail enhancement, contrast and color adjustment, and more. This feature called Instant RAW will intelligently develop the file to get the best results possible.
And the app includes top pro tools like a new waveform and color exposure (zebras) warnings that use XDR (Extended Dynamic Range) 14-bit RAW sampling to get accurate exposure previews and readings.
The app costs $ 36 (currently $ 30 during a promotional period) if you only want to pay once. Otherwise, the subscription is $ 11.99 per year (currently $ 9.99 per year if you set the price now during the promotional period). Membership plan subscribers also receive perks such as custom icons. Existing Halide 1 users will be updated incredibly free of charge, but asked to support the app with a membership.
ClipDrop – AR Copy Paste
A new app called ClipDrop is launched on iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows as a new type of "copy and paste". The app uses state-of-the-art vision AI to copy images from your desktop with a screenshot to another app (e.g. Docs, Photoshop, Canva, etc.) and extract anything – objects, people, drawings, or text.
With the mobile app, you can take photos of real objects and then transfer them digitally to other apps or websites. In the following demo, the company shows how you can use the camera to “cut out” a picture of an item of clothing and then import the photo into a document.
The company just released a plugin for Photoshop that allows you to paste the image into the app as a new layer with an editable mask.
The app costs $ 39.99 per year (through November 2020, then up to $ 79.99 per year).
Adobe Illustrator on iPad + Adobe Fresco on iPhone
As part of Adobe's MAX 2020 virtual conference this week, the company launched the first public version of its Illustrator vector graphics app on the iPad and brought its Fresco drawing and painting app to the iPhone. Over time, the company plans to add more effects, brushes, and AI capabilities to Illustrator. Fresco 2.0 includes new mop brushes and support for personalized brushes.
Designed for a home owner, Airbnb owner, or other vacation rental owner, Party Squasher provides a hardware device and paired mobile app that can be used to count the number of people in your home by counting the cell phones in or around a home. The phones can be counted even if they are not connected to the house's WiFi.
Since the device does not contain cameras or microphones, it is ideal for making sure renters don't throw large (and nowadays potentially illegal) parties without compromising privacy.
In the event that a large gathering is present, you will receive text or an email so that you can take action.
The device costs $ 249 and the app charges a subscription of $ 199 per year.
Quibi made her "episodes" 11 minutes so as not to pay union writers. Everyone should dance MC Hammer on their grave.
– Jawn Wick (@LukeXCunningham) October 21, 2020
The # 1 game on the App Store is now with us !.
Can you guess why