EBay ditching ads inside of its mobile apps, says the revenue isn't worth the clutter and worse user experience
EBay has decided to ditch placing mobile ads inside of its apps. They say that the revenue generated from the ads is "not worth it," especially when they consider how it affects the user experience. "We aren't happy with the user experience and we don't need the money," Devin Wenig, eBay's president of global marketplaces, said.
Dropping ads altogether is fine when you have an alternative source of income available. EBay makes the lion's share of their money by selling stuff online. Free apps and services don't have this same revenue stream and have no other way of monetizing but through advertisements.
Clearly, the current version of mobile advertising isn't working. However, for the time being, it's about all that some apps have and they will have to continue using it until a better solution comes along. Thankfully for eBay, they have plenty of other income coming in. Ebay expects to conduct more than $10 billion from its mobile apps next year.
PayPal has just been updated and includes a nice new feature: landscape support. Now you can turn your phone sideways and enjoy landscape PayPal, if that's something you'd like to see. There's also the ability to set a payment preference for specific stores.
This ability can come in handy if you'd like to use a particular card at one store, and another for something more simple like a coffee shop of McDonald's. The change log also states that PayPal have improved the performance of check scanning, as well as the usual bug fixes.
The app sports improved security and a few UI fixes, and you can get the app right here from the Google Play Store.
Instagram offers an update regarding its change in Terms of Service, says they aren't planning to sell your pictures
Instagram has now apologized for the text that was "confusing" and says they are working on updating it to be more clear. They say the bottom line is that "it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."
iPhone users: Youtube has launched Capture, an iPhone exclusive app that is aimed at replacing your stock video capture app. Analyst expect it to become as popular as its sister product: Google Maps.
Capture may not be on your radar yet but trust us, you will wind up downloading and using it. Capture does exactly what it's name says, it captures video and uploads it straight to Youtube.
Users can quickly share the video on Twitter and Facebook, and it meshes nicely with Apple's built in video library. "We think it serves a number of use cases a lot better [than the iPhone video camera]," said Andy Berkheimer, engineering manager. "Particularly spontaneity: when you see something going on, you want it."
Spotify, everyone's favorite music streaming service announced today that it will not be available on TiVo's Premiere service.
The Premiere series of set top boxes will all carry the app, but TiVo users wanting to use the service will need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber. The app features a UI that has been optimized for TV use as well as making navigation with TiVo's remote control simple and easy.
This launch comes on the heals of news that Metallica has finally resolved to feature their work on Spotify's streaming service.
Apple users were patiently waiting for the true maps application to come out, after Apple tripped over themselves releasing the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 with its lackluster navigation app.
Well, Google released Google Maps for iOS last week and it has since passed 10 million downloads. The news comes from Google's Senior Vice President of Commerce and Local, Jeff Huber.
It goes to show the power of Google Maps, and just how popular they are. Apple are going to have a very rough road ahead of them for bringing users back to their Maps app, even if it went through huge changes.
Facebook is rumored to be working on a Snapchat-like app that will allow users to send self-destructing messages to each other. The app would be a standalone app, much like Facebook's Messenger, Pages, and Camera apps are. According to the rumor, the app will be forthcoming in the coming weeks, sometime before the end of the year.
Facebook has not commented on the rumor, and Snapchat's CEO said the following: "We haven't heard anything from Mark [Zuckerberg] about a Snapchat clone. We're big fans of Instagram and the Facebook platform and we look forward to watching Mark continue to innovate and grow his company."
Just because Facebook is making a copy doesn't mean Snapchat will go away. In fact, Facebook has previously made clone-like features that were reportedly going to drive other sites out of business. An example, Facebook Questions has been closed after it failed to gain traction.
I wouldn't be surprised if this rumor proves to be true. If it does, Snapchat could have difficulty staying relevant.
Instagram has updated it policies to reflect that it now shares your data with its parent company Facebook. This most likely has no affect on most users and Facebook already has all the data anyway.
The major change here is that the old policy stated that instagram shared your data with "Service providers" and third party advertisers, and now it shares that data with "Affiliates".
None of this should come as a surprise though as Facebook is after all a company that earns its paycheck by collecting user data. Users are still able to choose who their instagram photos are shared with, and they still can choose not to post the photos on Facebook.
Are you a fan of The History Channel, Lifetime, or A&E? If so, you'll want to boogie on over to the iPad App Store and collect three new apps released by the network as you will now be able to watch full episodes for free. There is an app for A&E shows, History shows, and Lifetime shows and movies.
Users can check out all the episodes of the current season for a collection of shows, and the occasional episode from previous seasons. If you are a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, you'll be able to check out all the episodes from previous seasons, not just the ones available for free to everyone.
If you're an iPhone or iPod Touch user, don't fear just yet. A&E is planning on dishing up similar apps in January, and for Android sometime during Q1 of 2013.
The app that the creators swear isn't for sexting has just gotten the ability to send video. That's right, Snapchat, the app that allows you to send a picture which is self-destructed after a set time period can now send videos that do the same. If you've captured an embarrassing video, now you can send it without risk of it getting on Facebook.
The new version of Snapchat is available for free on the iTunes App Store. It allows each video clip to be viewed once, and each clip can be up to 10 seconds. While we still don't recommend using it for sexting, we're sure somebody will, and we'll wait for the moment that something embarrassing happens so we can write about it.
In a move that might lose some users, Facebook have confirmed they will soon start "monetizing" Instagram, the photo-sharing service the social network acquired earlier this year.
Facebook's Vice President of Global marketing Solutions, Carolyne Everson, didn't discuss any specific time frame on when to expect the social network to monetize Instagram, but did say that because of Instagram's popularity that monetization of the application was always "going to happen".
Facebook acquired Instagram back in April for $1 billion and ever since, users have been waiting for changes to roll in. Until now, there haven't been any huge changes in the photo-sharing application. What could we expect to change when the monetizing version of Instagram arrives?
Facebook has finally released an updated Android app, something that has been sorely needed for a long time. The new app, similar to the updated iPhone app, ditches HTML5 in favor of native code, which is capable of running much quicker on the devices. All this culminates into a faster and better user experience.
Zuckerberg has even admitted that going the HTML5 route was a terrible decision. "The biggest mistake we've made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native," Zuckerberg said in September. At least they have admitted the problem and now fixed it on the two major mobile platforms.
The new Facebook app will be available on the Google Play Store later today, though no specific release time was given.
Amazon has released an app for Prime Instant Video for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but it is strangely lacking Airplay compatibility. An app for the iPad has been available for months, so it's not clear what took Amazon so long to migrate that app down to the smaller-screened iPhone and iPod Touch.
It's pretty similar to the iPad app in that you get access to hundreds of videos from Amazon Prime's video library. You can also watch rented and purchased videos from within the app and download videos to watch later when you might not have access to an internet connection, or only a limited cellular connection.
To buy videos, however, you'll have to head to Amazon's website, purchase the video, and then return to the app. VentureBeat makes the point that this is probably because Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app sales. The app is available for free through the App Store, though you'll need to be an Amazon Prime member to use it.
By now everyone has heard that Google Maps is once again on iOS devices, and Apple Maps opponents are rejoicing in the streets. A mere 7 hours after its launch, Google Maps has taken over the top spot in the App Store. A current rating of 4.5/5 with 1,026 users taking the time to rate it.
With built in turn by turn navigation, Google Street View and even public transportation information, users get a more robust and complete experience. Google includes subway, bus, train and walking directions - bringing it up to speed with the Android and desktop versions.
"The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent." Google admits that "it's even better than Google Maps for Android phones", which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus. It is rumored that Google is working to bring it's indoor maps to the mobile apps as well as offering a dedicated iPad app.
If you're based in the UK and like to read digital magazines on your mobile devices, Google have just launched Magazines in their Play Store. Google's ever-increasing catalogue of magazines is now available for purchase on both Android-based devices, and the web.
Some people might not be able to see the new section in their Play Store, so try going into Settings then Apps and force closing, clearing the data, and re-starting the Play Store app. This usually fixes it all up and Magazines will detect from now on.
If you want to read your content, you'll need to grab the Magazines app from the Play Store - but Nexus 4, 7 and 10 owners should see an "enable" button instead of an install button, as the app is already on the device and just needs a little push. There are reportedly plenty of UK-based content on offer, which is great. TV shows are the last push for Google in the UK, and I'm sure we'll see them in the new year.
[UPDATED]Quick and short news! iOS users will be happy to know that AllThingsD are reporting that Google have plans to release Google Maps for iOS, tonight. Apple deserted Google as their go-to guy for Maps when they offered their own internap Maps app in iOS 6.
Google had, until then, been providing Apple with navigation power since the original iPhone was released in 2007. Google's Maps for iOS won't be the new default, it'll compliment the iOS Maps app, so you'll have to download it yourself from the Apple App Store.
We'll update this post with more news as it comes.
Update: It has been released! You can grab it right here!
Who among us has not either received or given a gift card as a present during the holidays? I have been given more than my fair share over the years, and lost enough of them to really dislike them as a present. Thankfully the gift card industry is finally starting to catch on. Gyft, a gift card service for your smart phone has finally made its way to Android.
Originally only available on iOS devices Gyft takes the hassle out of organizing, storing, and using gift cards. Everything is stored on your phone and the cashier is able to scan a bar code straight from your phones screen! Gyft also allows users to purchase and gift cards to other Gyft users.
Today, Android users can get on board the Gyft bandwagon, as its headed to the Google Play store. Gyft's doling out $10 in free cards to fast track its android user base, so head over to the Google Play store and snag your free money.
If you've been toting around your Nexus 10 and wondering why the YouTube app didn't exactly look right - well, you're in luck. Google have updated their YouTube app and it's now available through the Google play store.
This new update sports a new layout for the larger 10-inch tablets out there, so the Nexus 10 isn't the only one that will benefit. The updated app provides a two-pane experience, and looks swish while doing it.
The new, updated YouTube is said to sport the concept of Android fragments, which is capable of letting both act independently from each other, but have influence on one another. The smaller 'fragment' on the left is used for navigation and selection, with the content displayed on the right. This is a great way of getting apps displayed on larger screen devices.
Your YouTube app should automatically update, but if it doesn't you can grab the updated YouTube for Android right here.
Pandora has been dipping its toes in Australia and New Zealand for a while now, but it has been a web-based trial only. But the full service has just launched in both countries after the trial wrapped up.
People can now sign up and enjoy fully-functional Pandora accounts which includes access to apps on both the iOS and Android platforms. Pandora have said that 75% of their traffic in the United States comes from their mobile apps, so when launching in other countries this is a very important part of the launch.
Australia and NZ are the very first countries outside of the US to have full access to Pandora. Usually we Australian's get everything months later, in half-baked releases, so it's nice to see Pandora doing things right the first time around.
Christmas is nearly here, folks, with just 15 days left. Yes, fifteen days. Well, if you're a Windows 8 owning parent, this news might help you.
NORAD is here, and has provided a bunch of apps that allow you to 'track' Santa across the world as he drops presents off to good little boys and girls across the world.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, have released apps for Windows Phone, iOS and Android as well as your touchscreen Windows 8-based device. The app will also work on a Windows RT-based device, so if you're rocking a Surface tablet, you won't feel left out.
Here are some downloads links for your Santa tracking needs! Remember the milk and cookies, kids!
Spotify talked up their subscriber numbers a little earlier on today, and at the same time we saw the CEO and founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek, noting that members love the service when they know what they want to listen to, but if users are looking for something new - Spotify isn't that great.
In order to work around this, Spotify are set to unveil a new Discovery section which will help people find new music that they might be interested in listening to based on their listening habits. A new Collection feature will also be released, which will let listeners bundle all of their music into a single space versus having multiple playlists. Ek said that a third of all playlists on Spotify are just albums that people have saved - and that's true, I'm one of those people.
Ek added that the Collection view is all about making the experience easier for the listener to save music any way that they want. The final feature is Follow, which will facilitate friends or celebrities. Once you've followed someone, the music that they listen to and the playlists that they compile will display in the soon-to-be-released Discovery section.