Instagram Finally Rolled Out To Android Smartphones

Less than two weeks ago, Instagram tweeted a link to a page where Android users could sign up for the service and be notified the moment it’s made available. Well that wait wasn’t as long as people had anticipated as the popular photo sharing app has made available to download for Android devices.

With over 30 million iPhone owners using the service, Instagram has a massive user base to build from and it’s set to increase that number exponentially as it’s opened up to Android.

Time will tell whether the app will be as big a hit on Android as it is on iOS, but you can certainly bet that the app will gain a couple of million new users worldwide. Now all Instagram has to do is figure out a viable business model that takes advantage of this growing user base and they’ll be set. Android users can download the app on Google Play or head over to Instagram’s site.

Smartphones Will Generate 25% Of Paid-Search Ads Click By Dec 2012

It’s easy to forget that, despite the massive growth of smartphones in recent years, mobile marketing is still relatively young and marketers are still trying to get to grips with the format. However, its importance for marketers continues to grow and while it’s far too early to say whether it’ll explode like some analysts are suggesting, it’s still a sector that will continue to expand over the coming years. The latest report relating to this, most specifically search advertising, comes from search marketers Marin Software and its report “The State of Mobile Search Advertising In the US”.

As part of their findings, Marin has estimated that by December 2012, mobile devices will account for roughly 25 per cent of all paid-search clicks on Google. Marin also estimate that of the total ad spent that Google will receive, 23 per cent of this will originate from mobile campaigns, 45 per cent of this figures will originate from tablet devices.

Another area that was analysed was the click through rate (CTR) and the cost per click (CPC) across the different devices. For 2011, smartphones had the highest average CTR with 4.12 per cent in comparison to desktops which only had 2.39 per cent, showing that smartphone users were more likely to click on ads. Also the average CPC was found to be cheaper for smartphones too ($0.53 per click), the average CPC for desktops was found to be $0.83 per click.

However the parts were smartphones begin to falter is in the conversion and the cost of conversion. Both tablets and desktop computers outperformed smartphones in average conversion rate, (smartphones have an average conversion rate of 2.0 per cent in comparisons to desktop’s 5.2 per cent), as well as having a higher average cost per conversion.

 

However, despite these findings, Marin say that more research and analysis is required before any conclusions can be brought forward:

“Being inherently mobile, smartphones are used differently and many of their conversions could happen in a physical store, making them harder to track. Additionally, the rise of shopping apps makes conversion tracking more complex. As such, the value of smartphone advertising is more dependent on the type of advertiser and product, and marketers should keep an open mind about their efficacy.”

Although it’s hard to say how exactly mobile advertising will pan out, a theory for the higher click through rates could be because that while desktop ads on Google are numerous and smaller, smartphone ads take up the entire screen as Google Ads are usually the first two results you see whenever you search for something.

 

 

 

 

Refrigerator Magnet Lets You Order a Pizza

For the seriously lazy among you. TBWARAAD Dubai created this clever little invention — a fridge magnet that orders your pizza for you.

This little magnet was given out to some of client Red Tomato Pizza’s most loyal customers, with their favorite orders preset. If their favorites chance, they can simply make the change online. It makes us yearn for a future filled with intelligent web-connected objects that will mean we never have to leave our couches again.

A pizzeria in Dubai has unveiled a new refrigerator magnet that actually orders pizza in a single tap. Impulse eaters beware.

Called the VIP Fridge Magnet, the pizza box-shaped magnet is connected to Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai. The magnet is preset to order a pizza online and is connected to the Internet via the Bluetooth connection on a smartphone. Red Tomato Pizza then sends a confirmation text and delivers the pizza soon after. You can also update your pizza selection online at any time.

Red Tomato Pizza also released a promotional video to announce the launch the VIP Fridge Magnet.

 

Living in a Mobile World (Infographic)

 

With the vast growth of Mobile Technologies, the use of Smartphone’s are rapidly growing, which is providing new opportunities for marketers to connect and engage with target audiences, create user experiences, and ultimately build a base of connected and loyal customers.

In the U.S., nearly 90 percent of the population has a mobile phone, and the number is still growing. High levels of mobile adoption present an ideal opportunity for companies to build mobile marketing strategies to reach highly targeted audiences using apps, mobile coupons, QR codes, text messages, mobile websites, and geo-tracking services.

 

Solar Cells in Smartphone Screens

A team at the University of Cambridge, led by IEEE Fellow Arokia Nathan, is working toward a simple goal: a mobile phone that requires charging less often. At the Materials Research Society’s fall meeting in Boston, Arman Ahnood, a researcher on that team,  told scientists that eventually, we might see a phone that never needs to be plugged in.
 

 To extend the time between charges, Nathan’s group built a prototype device that converts ambient light into electricity using an array of  solar cells made of thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon that’s designed to sit within the phone’s screen. The photovoltaic (PV) cell takes advantage of the smartphone display’s large footprint. In a typical organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, only about 36 percent of the light generated is projected out of the front of the screen, says Ahnood. Much of it escapes at the edges of the OLED, where it is useless. So Nathan and his collaborators at his Canadian firm IGNIS Innovation set out to harness this wasted light by putting thin-film PV cells around the display’s edges as well.

 Making the device work required sidestepping another problem: fluctuations in the voltage provided by the solar cell, which could have damaged the phone’s battery. The researchers, who were based at University College London until recently, designed a thin-film transistor circuit to smooth out voltage spikes and extract electricity more efficiently.

 And instead of charging the battery directly, which would have involved adding complex circuitry, they worked with the energy group at Cambridge’s Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics to integrate a thin-film supercapacitor for intermediate energy storage. This combination of photovoltaics, transistors, and supercapacitor yielded a system with an average efficiency of 11 percent and peak efficiency of 18 percent. If the PV array converts 5 percent of ambient light to electricity, the energy-harvesting system can generate as much as 165 microwatts per square centimeter under the right lighting conditions. For a typical 3.7-inch smartphone screen, that equates to a maximum power output of 5 milliwatts, “which is quite useful power,” says Ahnood, though that’s only a fraction of a smartphone’s power needs.

 There are existing CMOS-based switch mode voltage regulators that offer higher efficiency, says Ahnood, but they aren’t compatible with the thin-film technology used in smartphone displays. Furthermore, the team’s thin-film devices can be fabricated at temperatures below 150 °C on lightweight plastic, making them much more attractive for use in mobile phones, where every gram and every penny is a big deal.

 The cellular handset prototype is just one example of such small-scale wireless energy harvesting. Another plug-free power source might be magnetic resonance coupling via an induction coil. Alternating current is run through a coil of conductive material, generating an oscillating magnetic field. That field, in turn, generates a current in a coil embedded in, say, a phone or an MP3 player.

 Jun Yu, a doctoral student of Nathan’s, reported preliminary work along those lines at the MRS meeting. He told scientists that the team had designed a flat thin-film coil that could be used as a receiver in a display. But the team doesn’t foresee the coil producing enough power to run an entire computer. It should, however, be possible to scale down the magnetic coupling scheme for use in mobile devices.

 It will take quite a bit more research to get from prototype to consumer product. For example, the team is exploring different circuit designs and materials with the aim of increasing the energy harvesting system’s efficiency.