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RAIN 5/21: Google charges ahead with wireless, mobile Flash developments

Posted on: 05/21/2010

GOOGLE PREVIEWS FLASH ON ANDROID, WIRELESS iTUNES STREAMING

At Google’s I/O conference yesterday, the company previewed an assortment of coming features including the ability to run Flash 10.1 on Android mobile devices.

This may open up some web-based webcasts to Android mobile users, though the Flash is slightly handicapped (sites like Hulu, for example, are not functional). Additionally, Engadget notes (here) that Flash requires Android’s as-of-yet unreleased 2.2 OS update (nicknamed “Froyo”). And considering some Android phones like Sprint’s HTC Hero just got the update to 2.1, it may be a while before most Android users are enjoying Flash on the go.

Google also showed off the ability for users to wirelessly stream their iTunes libraries from their desktop machines to Android phones. The feature uses technology from Simplify Media, a company Google recently bought. “The demo was quite slick,” notes Engadget (here). “You just open the app and push ‘all,’ and all your music is instantly available.”

NPR DIGITAL MEDIA EXEC: FOCUS ON MOBILE WEB, NOT APPS

Robert Spier is Director of Content Development for NPR Digital Media. He was interviewed by MobileActive.com and talked about NPR’s mobile strategy. He spoke specifically about NPR’s mobile web site — redesigned in December with Finnish mobile software company Conmio, and made accessible to all web-enabled phones.

Spier revealed that NPR’s mobile audience is “much more loyal, they engage more deeply” than visitors to NPR.org. What’s more, the iPhone and Android apps generate six times more page views per visitor, and mobile users spend more time, than visitors to the web site. “We also know that it’s a much more 24/7 audience. We see our traffic hold up 18 hours a day… whereas on NPR.org it’s always been a workday, workweek phenomenon.”

Spier says, long-term, media companies should focus on their mobile web presence more than worrying about developing apps. “Make sure your mobile web is in good working order before you get too far down the road in terms of apps. Apps are very compelling right now, they’re very sexy, they’re very appealing on any number of levels. But they’re hard, they’re very demanding, they are different from one [device] to another […] Your mobile website will enable you to serve all audiences, so I would argue that you should start by making sure you have a good, solid mobile website and then from there be very selective and mindful about whatever apps you deploy.”

Read more in MobileActive here.

IPADS, OTHER TABLETS EXPECTED TO BECOME MUCH MORE MAINSTREAM OVER NEXT 5 YEARS

Market research firm IDC predicts worldwide sales of media tablets (like Apple’s iPad) to explode from 7.6 million this year to 46 million in 2014. IDC expects Apple will lead the category then, as it does now. The firm also says that while the devices are currently marketed for entertainment, the machines will also gain ground in the enterprise market through productivity apps, and will become necessities for many consumers. Read more in MediaPost here.

SMARTPHONE SALES UP 49% IN Q1

The Wall Street Journal reports that smartphone sales continue to grow, with 54.3 million units sold in the first quarter — a 49% increase and the “strongest annual increase since 2006.” Indeed, smartphone sales are driving the mobile phone market, WSJ reports. That means there are more and more potential online radio listeners out there every day. Read more from the Wall Street Journal here.



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