Silver surfers turning to Tablets


iPad 3 revealedIt seems that tablets are proving ever more popular with the older generation. In the UK it seems that there has been a sharp increase in Internet use by the over-65s and that many are doing so with the help of a tablet. According to  the new Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report from communications regulator Ofcom, the use of tablets for Internet access use by 65-74s has trebled tripled in 2013, compared to use by those aged 35-64, which  has doubled. The report also shows that there has been a nine percentage point increase in those aged 65+ ever going online (42% vs. 33% in 2012).

Other interesting facts are that:

  • 62% of UK adults now use a smartphone, (54% in 2012);
  • Adults in UK aged 65-74 are almost twice as likely to use a smartphone now compared to 2012 (20% vs. 12%)
  • There has been growth in take-up and use by older people, across a range of devices.

You can read the report in full at Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report  and also find out much more info on a whole range of media, technology and internet related topics at the Ofcom site.

iCloud online music streaming announcement imminent?


iCloud ServiceThe much rumoured iCloud online music streaming service may soon be announced, if recent buzz online is anything to go by. Rumours are that Apple is close to completing all the required deals with the big four record labels (EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal Music). Universal has been the one that has been holding out, it seems, but rumours are that they are close to signing an agreement with Apple to license its portfolio for the iCloud service.

As well as the record labels of course, Apple has had to negotiate with the music publishers, of which there are many more than there are major record labels. One issue has been that the music publishers are to get more than their fair share of the royalties, at least according to the record labels. It seems Apple has been playing the two off against each other in order to get the best deal it can. As far as the customer is concerned, all this can only be good news as it will mean cheaper subscriptions. Lets hope that everyone comes to a mutually satisfying arrangement soon. Better still, lets hope its all a done deal in time for the WWDC on 6th June.

Google Chrome Canary for Mac available


If you are a fan of Google’s Chrome Browser than you will be interested in Google latest incarnation for the Mac – Chrome Canary. It is now available from Google’s Chrome Canary download site.

Google Chrome Canary

Canary is a developer version of Google Chrome, not unlike Chromium. However, Canary comes with some extras. Windows users have had the option to download Canary, essentially an experimental build of the Chrome browser, for some time now. Now, at least, Mac users get the same access to these developer versions and the great thing about them is they don’t overwrite your existing installation of Chrome.

To get Chrome Canary for Mac, head to the download page or check out some of the other more stable releases on the Chromium Early Access Release Channels page.

MacScan 2.8 Released for Mac


MacScan anti-spyware and anti-malware software for Mac

According to the press release, MacScan 2.8 Anti-Malware Privacy & Security for Mac OS X “enhances protection against the latest threats for Mac OS X” whilst “adding usability enhancements and bug fixes. Apparently, it has also been updated to work with Firefox 4 when removing blacklisted tracking cookies. Users can now remove over 10000 known cookies for adware and malware with a single click and without losing any of their saved cookies. Originally introduced in January 2006, the software has been continually developed by SecureMac. It protects against Spyware and rogue cookies.

Upgrades for previous 2.x versions is free. You can also download a demo at http://macscan.securemac.com

It is available for $29.99 or you can purchase a Family Pack (for three Macs) for $49.99. UK pricing depends on currency conversion at the time of purchase (PayPal’s conversion isn’t as favourable as some other means of payment).

MobileMe to be a free service?


Apple's MobileMe serviceApple has long received criticism for the both the cost of and the lack of features available in its MobileMe service. I have persevered for many year with the service, mainly because its been reliable and unlike some services, is sure to be around for a ling time. There’s nothing worse than backing up your gigabytes of data to the cloud only to find that some months later the service has ceased to exist and you have to start all over again. Not only that, in the early days many such services were not Mac friendly and so Apple’s offering was often the best option, even it left a lot to desire in terms of features and value for money.

Now it seems we may be about to see the service go free. You can no longer purchase MobileMe from Apple’s Store, though the 60-day trial remains available. It does tell you the price if you wish to continue after the trial period but there appears no way to actually purchase. There has been much talk o MobileMe going free with Apple about to open a new massive data centre in North Carolina, bigger than its existing data centre in Newark, California.

Rumours too of a mini iPhone that relies on the user being able to store their data ‘in the cloud’ have added weight to the rumours, with a revamped MobileMe providing a digital “locker” for photos, video and online music. let’s hope that if true, Apple has some reward for long-time users like myself who kept faith with them all these years.

2GB Free Online Storage


SpiderOak

Image via Wikipedia

Fancy 2GB of free online storage? The check out SpiderOak, which offers free 2GB online storage that’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. There are several other providers of free online storage but it’s always handy to have additional options, and especially when it’s for free!

Features include:

  • Access all your data in one de-duplicated location
  • Configurable multi-platform synchronization
  • Preserve all historical versions & deleted files
  • Share folders instantly in web ShareRooms w / RSS
  • Retrieve files from any internet-connected device
  • Comprehensive ‘zero-knowledge’ data encryption
  • 2 GBs Free / $10 per 100 GBs / Unlimited devices

SpiderOak promotes itself as offering something different form the normal run of the mill solutions, namely that it combines a suite of services into one tool and that it’s the first service to provide a zero-knowledge privacy policy. They claim to never store or know a user’s password or the plain-text encryption keys. this means that employees of SpiderOak can never access your data.

These two features are certainly attractive ones and watching the tutorial videos, the interface certainly looks neat and easy ti understand. I have signed up for the free 2GB account so I’ll let you know how I get on and how it compares to the likes of DropBox, my current favourite.

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Apple announces iAd platform will go live on 1st July


The iAds are coming - Apple iPhone OS 4.0
Image by k-ideas via Flickr

According to its press release, Apple‘s iAd mobile advertising network will go live on July 1st on iPhone and iPod touch devices running its iOS 4 software platform.

“iAds combine the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of Internet advertising, giving advertisers a dynamic and powerful new way to bring motion and emotion to mobile users. iAd will kick off with mobile ad campaigns from leading global brands including AT&T, Best Buy, Campbell Soup Company, Chanel, Citi, DirecTV, GEICO, GE, JCPenney, Liberty Mutual Group, Nissan, Sears, State Farm, Target, Turner Broadcasting System, Unilever and The Walt Disney Studios. Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over $60 million, which represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.”

My take on all this is that iAd will be MEGA for Apple. It will become a huge money-spinner for Apple just as AdWords have for Google. Expect it to be one of the biggest earners for Apple within 3 years (IMHO). Pay attention to their statement that “Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over $60 million, which represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.”

Once we factor in the expected growth in mobile ad spending in the future and if Apple is aiming to capture 50% of the market from day one then they are aiming to be the market leaders in this market. According to some market pundits and research companies, mobile marketing and advertising combined will grow at an impressive 40% CAGR over the next five years.

In one report, Sterling Market Intelligence forecast mobile advertising revenues will reach $5.08 billion in North America and Western Europe by 2012. Thomson Financial predict Google’s 2009 mobile ad revenue alone will reach $21.31 billion. Gartner predict that the worldwide mobile advertising market will grow from $895 million in 2007 to $14.6 billion in 2011, while the Kelsey Group forecast that the US mobile ad market will grow from $33.2 million to $1.4 billion in 2012. Forrester are the most conservative, predicting less than $1 billion in mobile ad revenue by 2012.

In brief the results of the Wave 8 report show

  • 70% of mobile advertisers use text messaging
  • 31% of advertisers use video ads
  • 36% of mobile marketers use mobile search
  • 45% say they intend to start mobile search in the next 6 months

When you look at those figures (and they look somewhat confusing to me – Google’s predicted to make $21.31 billion in 2009 and yet the global market won’t be $14.6 billion by 2012!) we can easily see Apple’s share being in the billions (of total spend) if they attain 50% share of the global market (not a given by any means but then they had their doubters when it came to the iPod and then the iPhone). Back in April Apple reported revenue of $13.5 billion and profits of $3.07 billion. If they take a 40% share of the predicted revenue from mobile advertising (let’s go with that $14.6 billion and ignore the Google figure) , then we are looking at something in the region of $5.84 billion per annum income from mobile marketing, or around $1.46 billion a quarter. That’s a significant figure and if I had the money, I’d be investing heavily in Apple stock right now and get in early before their value rises even higher.

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