The world is spinning in a new direction. Consumers are spending more time on mobile apps than on the web. In June, mobile app use overtook both mobile and desktop web, as measured by apps analytic firm Flurry. Consumers spent an average of 81 minutes per day on mobile apps, and 74 minutes on the web. App use was measured on Apple’s iOS, Android, Blackberry, and J2ME platforms, and web use was measured on the open web, mobile web, and Facebook.
Last year, the numbers told a different story. In 2010 iOS was popular, but Android was yet to skyrocket onto the market. Web time led with 64 daily usage minutes; mobile app time lagged at 43 minutes. What are consumers doing with their apps in 2011? Having fun, or more likely, wasting time. Games and social networking categories captured the significant majority of app usage. Consumers spent nearly half their time playing games, and a third were connecting with social networking apps. Together, these two categories account for 79 percent of consumers’ total mobile app time.
Mapping Apple. Last month I wrote that rumors of Apple’s imminent release of its own mapping database was proven wrong by its renewal of Google maps. This doesn’t mean Google isn’t hard at work on it. MacRumors reports that there are legal disclaimers found in iOS 5 in a new section called “Map Data.” A diverse list of licenses appear from third parties that provide mapping data and services. Included are CoreLogic, Getchee, Increment P Corp, Localeze, MapData Sciences, DMTI, TomTom, Urban Mapping, and Waze. Urban Mapping provides in-depth neighborhood data and Waze offers crowd-sourced real-time map and traffic data.
Foursquare is set to start making money. Foursquare made its name as a location-based check-in community that awards mayoralships and other rewards for visiting stores and restaurants. Users share recommendations for venues. If you wondered how the company was going to bring in revenue, here’s the dope. Foursquare will team with LivingSocial and Gilt Groupe to offer location-targeted daily coupon offers, its biggest move yet to harness its consumer buzz into a long-term revenue model.
Foursquare will leverage its location-tracking capabilities and customer data to offer deals. The depth of Foursquare’s consumer database is extensive and should give the company insight into individual perspectives and behaviors, and provide an edge in targeting offers that will grab a high conversion rate.
LightSquared causes GPS interference. “LightSquared should not be permitted to use the L-Band spectrum for a densely-deployed, non-integrated terrestrial-only network. Such a network would cause unacceptable interference to GPS operations, wiping out an installed base of over 500 million units used in a wide array of public safety, aviation, industrial and consumer applications.” So reads the technical working group’s final report to the FCC. The group concluded that no mitigation techniques, such as using filters on GPS receivers, were considered because they don’t exist and therefore cannot be tested. The FCC is currently holding a comment period and eventually the commission will make a decision about LightSquared band use.
Continuing to press its case, LightSquared presented the FCC with a plan to mitigate interference with GPS by using Inmarsat’s lower spectrum band, enabling reduced power of base stations by more than 50 percent. However, the working group indicated testing of this lower channel does not eliminate harmful interference to GPS receivers.
LightSquared has argued that the issue is with GPS receivers, not their proposed system: “Despite the commercial GPS device industry’s best record to rewrite the record and obfuscate the nature of the problem, the simple fact remains that GPS receivers do not adequately reject base-station transmissions in the adjacent band.” Jim Kirkland of Trimble and the Coalition to Save our GPS responded that GPS receivers were designed against satellite transmissions with an ancillary terrestrial component, consistent with LightSquared’s initial design, but not later changes.
Despite mounting concern of GPS interference, LightSquared recently snared $265 million in financing for its LTE network. This year LightSquared raised a total of $2.3 billion and appears close to a Sprint deal. Does LightSquared have a viable “Plan B”?
Action-based ads. A bit more than a third of mobile ad campaigns ask subscribers to click to call, click to map, click to download, or click to SMS, reports mobile advertiser, Jumptap. The remaining ads usually invite users to a website, and aren’t as immediately actionable. Mobile ad engagement peaks at mid-day, and click through rates are at the lowest during morning commute and initial workday hours.
Moment of Zen. When asked about the stealth in which FourSquare just raised $50 million, CEO Dennis Crowley opined, “Loose Tweets sink companies.”