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With dozens of different handsets battling for our attention, there is more choice when it comes to buying a new smartphone than ever.

Here is the Telegraph's pick of the best handsets, from the budget to the high end of the market.

8. OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

Screen: 5.5 inches
Camera: 16MP
Battery (talk time): N/A

Previously seen as the budget option that didn't quite live up to the big boys, OnePlus's latest handset is not quite so budget, but also a significant improvement on recent years. Its design and quality is excellent and it comes with useful features like NFC and fast charging.

While it isn't world-beating in any one area, at its price range the OnePlus 3 is a truly excellent phone that can live up to its far more expensive rivals.

Pros: Brilliant value, premium design

Cons: Battery life can be iffy

Price: £386.99

Buy now

7. HTC 10

HTC 10

Screen: 5.2 inches
Camera: 12MP
Battery (talk time): 27 hours

The HTC 10 sports what the company claims to be one of the most advanced smartphone cameras available, with a 5MP front-facing lens and 12MP rear-facing one, both of which have optical image stabilisation. Its biggest selling point is perhaps its advertised two-day battery life, although tests have shown this isn't always the case.

Apart from that, its best properties are its sleek metal design, usable version of Android and great audio, especially when playing through the phone's speakers. It ticks almost all the boxes, but it is still difficult to recommend it above rival offerings from Samsung.

Pros: Battery life, fantastic audio

Cons: Camera doesn't quite match up to best

Price: £569.99

Buy now

6. iPhone SE

iPhone SE
CREDIT: BLOOMBERG

Screen: 4 inches
Camera: 12MP
Battery (talk time): 14 hours

Apple's smaller iPhone, unveiled in March, doesn't have many of the newest features of the 7 or even 6s: 3D Touch, for example, is missing, and there's no water resistance (although yes, there is a headphone jack).

There are two reasons you might choose it, though: At 4 inches, the smaller-handed may well prefer its screen, and at £379 it is significantly cheaper.

Pros: The best value iPhone on the market, best small-screen phone you can get

Cons: Lacks some of the recent iPhones' features

Price: £379

Buy now

5. Google Pixel phone

Google's Pixel phone
Google's Pixel phone CREDIT: GOOGLE

Screen: 5 and 5.5 inches
Camera: 12MP
Battery (talk time): 26 hours

Google's first own-brand phone, the Pixel is joins the higher end of the Android market. Said to have "the best smartphone camera ever", the Pixel and Pixel XL come with unlimited photo storage, a long battery life, Google's intelligent Assistant, and a headphone jack. 

The phones run Google's clean version of Android, which many see as the best experience of the software and is the first to get updates to the operating system. 

As the Pixel phone isn't out just yet we haven't had a chance to do a full review, but based on our initial impressions it's a good phone with high-end specs and one of the closest iPhone competitors you'll get in the Android range. That said, it may be a bit pricey for a phone that feels like an iPhone copy.  

Pros: Run's Google's unskinned Android, great camera, unlimited photo storage, 

Cons: Looks and feels a bit like a cheaper iPhone, expensive

Price: £599

Pre-order now

4. Moto G4

Moto G4

Screen: 5.5 inches
Camera: 13MP
Battery (talk time): N/A

The Moto G4 is solidly at the budget end of the market, but you get a lot of phone for your outlay. The screen, camera and processor are all worthy of a phone well above the £169 RRP, and it is certainly enough for many people out there.

Of course, at that price there are some compromises. Not everyone appreciates the design and the phone looks a little outdated compared to some of the best high-end handsets, but at its price it really is spectacular value.

Pros: Unbelievable price

Cons: Design is not everyone's cup of tea

Price: £169

Buy now

3. iPhone 7

iPhone 7

Screen: 4.7 inches 
Camera: 12MP 
Battery (talk time): 14 hours

Many people hold Apple responsible for the modern smartphone and it continues to make some of the world's best handsets. The combination of elegant design and its iOS software, as well as compatibility with the Mac, iPad and Apple Watch put the iPhone consistently at the top of best-buy guides.

2016's iPhone 7 is no exception. With water resistance, an upgraded camera and stereo speakers, it's also a worthy upgrade to last year's 6s. However, it hasn't been universally popular - the headphone jack is gone, and users have complained about battery life.

Pros: Water resistant, improved camera, jet black design

Cons: No headphone jack, battery life is not the best

Price: £599

Buy now

2. iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus

Screen: 5.5 inches
Camera: 12MP
Battery (talk time): 21 hours

For the last two years, the "Plus" model of Apple's iPhone has simply been a bigger version with a 5.5-inch screen, as opposed to the 4.7 inches of the standard handset. With the iPhone 7 Plus, though, the differences are starker: there's more RAM, and most significantly, a new dual-lens camera.

The camera allows greatly-improved zoomed in photos, as well as a new portrait mode, that blurs the background of photos while focusing on the subject. While the effect is already being hotly debated in photography circles, the dual camera as well as the Plus's bigger battery, makes it a clear winner over the smaller iPhone 7 for those who can deal with big handsets.

Pros: Outstanding camera, better battery than iPhone 7

Cons: Too big for many, no headphone jack

Price: £719

Buy now

1. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Screen: 5.5 inches
Camera: 12MP
Battery (talk time): 27 hours

After its predecessor, the Galaxy S6, proved a disappointment in sales terms, Samsung returned this year with the S7 as well as its curved-screen sibling the S7 Edge. The phones are widely regarded as some of the finest Samsung has built, bringing back the SD card and improving the battery life.

The S7 Edge is the pick of the two, with a curved design that really stands out and an excellent camera, although it is more expensive. On the other hand, it is pricey and, per Samsung, comes with its usual array of unwanted extra software.

Pros: Great design, water resistance

Cons: Loaded with unnecessary Samsung apps

Price: £639

Buy now

Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Author : Telegraph Reporters

Categorized in Social

Marketers have much more to consider this holiday season as they try to optimize campaigns and turn on a dime. Will gift cards catapult sales through smartphones? How do Google AdWords and Bing Ads play a role in local search targeting? Which direction should brands take when driving foot traffic through search engine optimization and paid search to local stores?


Today marks the start of a shopping frenzy both online and offline as retailers prepare for a combination of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. HookLogic, a Criteo-owned company, released its first round of ecommerce data Monday.

 

HookLogic pulled data in aggregate over the first two weeks of November from its retailer network, which includes Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Toys 'R Us, Macy's and other retailers.

 

Interestingly, online sales fell 5% the day before the presidential election, compared with the year-ago date, and 16% the day of the election. The day after the election, ecommerce plummeted 23% year-over-year.

 

While it fell during the days surrounding the election, ecommerce made a quick comeback -- climbing 24% YoY on the Thursday after the election as consumer confidence rebounded and Americans were ready to get back to their holiday shopping.ecommerce also shows interesting dynamics based on devices used for shopping. During the two weeks analyzed, desktop shopping remained flat while access on mobile phones rose 3 percentage points compared with the same days in 2015. Smartphones took share from tablets, which declined 3 percentage points YoY.

 

 

 

 

Driving purchases through smartphones has its benefits. Adobe Digital Insights predicts that mobile Web site visits will overtake desktop for the first time during the holiday season. But although more Web traffic will come from mobile, the devices will drive only 34% of revenue. Consumers also tend to put less in their  carts when on a smartphone -- an average of $35 less per transaction.

 

Despite the rise of searches on mobile devices, consumers will continue to do most of their buying on desktops and in stores this year. Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow believes many consumers will search online and in store, browse ad circulars and even login to Facebook to find inspiration for unique and memorable gifts for friends and family.

 

Goodfellow's prepared statement, published Monday with survey findings from the National Retail Federation, found that nearly 56% of shoppers have already started buying holiday gifts -- the second-highest level in the history of the survey, down slightly from the record nearly 57% during the same time last year. Only 3% said they were finished shopping.

 

The NRF survey, which asked 7,206 consumers about holiday shopping plans, was conducted November 1 through November 8.

 

Gift card will become a popular gift this year. Most can be purchased online. And while there's no data to back up the fact, it seems the online purchase of gift cards could help to increase sales through smartphones.

 

The NRF shows that holiday shoppers are planning to purchase an average of three gift cards with an approximate value of $46 per card, the second most-popular gift after clothing.Some 61% of shoppers said they would buy clothing.

 

Some 56% will give gift cards; 44%, books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games; 42%, toys; 31%, food or candy, and 30% plan to give some form of electronics.Spending on gift cards is expected to reach $27.5 billion, up from last year’s planned $26 billion. Restaurant gift cards at 35% are the most popular types, followed by department stores at 33%, Visa/MasterCard/American Express at 22%, coffee shops at 21% and entertainment at 17%.

 

 

 

Author:  Laurie Sullivan

Source:  http://www.mediapost.com/

 

 

 

Categorized in News & Politics

The ads, which are also being tested on desktop, feature service area maps.

Google’s home services ads are finally showing on mobile. The ads for local service providers such as locksmiths, plumbers, handymen and, more recently, HVAC services and electricians, had been briefly spotted last month on mobile, but they now appear to be prevalent across the California markets where the program is active.

The mobile ad format features a swipeable carousel of listings that feature a map of the service area where the advertiser operates. Here are examples on iOS (left) and Android.

google-home-services-ads-mobile-11-21-16

 

Because the businesses typically cover the entire metro area, the maps are identical in most of the ads. An exception, shown in the screen shot on the right below, is somewhat confusing. The same area is covered by both advertisers, but it is just slightly different; however, it’s not clear what the differences are without having to click through on both.

Google appears to be testing the service area format on desktop as well. Below is a comparison of two formats seen today. The first is the format that has been running for some time, which includes thumbnail head shots of the service providers. The result for “San Diego plumber” shows the service area format. The map reflects the service area covered when you hover over each ad.

google-home-services-ads-desktop-headshots-11-21-16

Standard format featuring pictures of the service providers

google-home-services-ads-desktop-service-area-11-21-2016

 

Service area format being tested

The other update is the inclusion of a “Google guaranteed” tag in each the ads. Spotted by The SEM Post, the verification tells consumers, “This pro is backed by the Google guarantee, which means they’re licensed, insured and pre-screened. Any job you book with them is guaranteed to be done right or your money back.” To participate in the Home Services Ads program, advertisers must go through a background check and verification process.

Author:  Ginny Marvin

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Elasticsearch is an open source distributed full text search engine built on top of Apache Lucene. We recently connected with Gaurav Gupta, VP of Products for Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch to chat about how search is being used to significantly boost both user adoption and improve the bottom line.

He also shared with us what he believes are the three biggest trends in app development and how developers can take advantage.

 ADM: Can you explain how Elasticsearch is used in mobile app development?

Gupta: It helps to start from why Elasticsearch was created in the first place. In 2004, Shay Banon, CTO and Co-Founder of Elastic, began working on a project that become Elasticsearch at a time when AWS didn’t exist, mobile apps were in their infancy, few had even heard the “Big Data” phrase, and search was designed to make money (lots of it) from keywords, not as a tool for developers. What started as a ‘seemingly’ simple problem -- to build a recipe application for his wife attending Cordon Bleu cooking school -- uncovered the many intricate details and challenges behind  modern search. For example, how do you collect data from multiple sources? How do you combine both unstructured and structured data? How do you retrieve data in real-time across hundreds to thousands to millions of variables? How do you store and index the results and use the information to constantly refine those results? Shay saw the need to build a next-gen search engine with all the features we expect today—distributed computing, hybrid cloud support, ease of adoption, scalable, and designed with standard APIs on REST/JSON.

Quickly, because of the virility of open source, Shay learned that Elasticsearch could be used for more than “search”. After being downloaded more than 75 million times since 2012, Elasticsearch has become a de facto element in almost any type of application across multiple use cases for mission critical security systems, logging platforms, analytics, and more.

As the company behind the Elasticsearch project, Elastic today provides a set of open source products called the Elastic Stack -- Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash -- and commercial extensions called X-Pack for security, monitoring, alerting, reporting, and graphing. The Elastic Stack plays a key role in many popular mobile apps and sites we interact with on a daily basis from Dell, eBay, eTrade, Goldman Sachs, Groupon, Guardian, HotelTonight, Mozilla, MSN.com, The New York Times, Spotify, Uber, Verizon, Yelp, Wikipedia, and much more.

ADM: What are some of its common use cases for mobile app developers?

Gupta: Developers use Elasticsearch when they need to integrate real-time data, search, and analytics into their mobile apps.

A common mobile use case is to utilize Elasticsearch in mobile apps so they can react in real-time to user actions, create a more personalized user experience and lead to greater engagement and more effective monetization. Beyond search, another use case is using the Elastic Stack for logging and analytics, using Beats and Logstash to ship data into Elasticsearch and Kibana to visualize and analyze log data in real-time.

ADM: What are some examples of mobile apps that utilize Elasticsearch?

Gupta: Yelp's search and recommendation engine is powered by Elasticsearch to help 23 million monthly mobile app and 69 million monthly mobile web users find just what they want.

The New York Times put all 15 million of its articles published over the last 160 years into Elasticsearch, allowing readers to quickly access relevant information from any device and to see recommendations for other related content.

BlaBlaCar uses Elasticsearch to help 20 million members find ride shares in less than 200ms with its mobile app. Elasticsearch matches drivers and passengers based on any dimension (car type, amenities, favorite drivers, number of passengers, etc.) leading to more rides and revenues.

ADM: What are the key benefits of using search in the context of mobile app development?

Gupta: Speed. Getting to market and or into production as fast as possible is one of the biggest benefits. Depending on the use case, mobile apps will help drive new revenues or cost savings, and more and more their rollouts have visibility at the highest levels.

Innovation. Developers should be focused on developing showstopping or value-added features that drive new and expanded usage of mobile apps, not building and maintaining custom plugins and features

Scale to Millions, Billions of Documents. Consider the Wikipedia app. Although its ~5 million docs is not a large number relatively speaking, they cannot all be loaded on a mobile device. You have to rely on servers that expose a limited subset of the data more intelligently, and you have to give them the right subset quickly. Hierarchical navigation, like you use on your desktop, just doesn't work once you have millions or billions of items and thousands of levels of hierarchy. Search allows you to expand the accessible set of items quickly. Moreover, high-quality full-text search, good result-ranking (people often only look at the top 6-10 results of their search), and speedy results (so people don't sit around waiting) are especially important.

Scale to Millions of Users. Good mobile search is scalable both vertically and horizontally so lots of users can hit your search at the same time. It's fast not just with one active user searching, but with hundreds or thousands of concurrent searches.

ADM: How can adding search into the mobile app experience help drive monetization strategies, user adoption and personalization?

Gupta: Users today expect everything to be searchable instantly from a single search box. Great search used to be a differentiator. Now it’s essential. We think search has to do something more to drive real engagement that can unlock new revenue and user adoption opportunities.

Home Depot is doing some interesting things in this area. The company wants its search to understand the different relationships across more than a million products online to trigger cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. It provides suggestions of comparables and alternatives, automatically determining complementary products and limiting choice to reduce returns. It alerts the user of potential issues to avoid, e.g. “If you buy different brands of roofing shingles, you may void the 30-year warranty.” And it provides real-time updates of availability from your local store -- down to the aisle and bin -- or whether products are only available online.

ADM: Context has been one of the key areas of innovation with mobile apps. How can developers improve the context in their search results?

Gupta: The combination of context-rich search, including personalization, geolocation, filters and more, is natural and a must-have for so many mobile app developers. The same goes for any other data that can drive the optimal consumer user experience or monetization strategies, e.g. recommendations, ads, etc.

Gaurav Gupta

Gaurav Gupta is Vice President of Product
Management at Elastic

For example, context is vital if you're someone like HotelTonight. We want to think of search terms as being signals that provide color to a user’s intentions, so we can bias the results, filter them or both. In terms of geolocation, you don't want to try to offer a hotel in Boston to a user who is in San Francisco, unless you know the person is explicitly looking for it. In terms of personalization, you don't want to push the most expensive items in your inventory to a user who is looking for "low end" and "cheap".

ADM: What kinds of innovations suld mobile app developers look forward to seeing in search in the future?

Gupta: We see three big trends taking place in this area.

- First, one is the growing importance of “geo-aware” capability, especially in context of the search that's being performed. For instance, if I search for "suspension bridge" while standing next to the Golden Gate Bridge, my app could (or arguably should) use my geolocation context to influence results and bubble a result relating to the Golden Gate Bridge higher. Some apps like Uber and Yelp are built so much around this concept that you could argue a significant portion of their business model is dependent on it.

However, many apps haven't even started being geo-aware or are significantly underutilizing this information. We see geo-context-aware search being a really important element in mobile app development in the future. That puts pressure on search developers to have a system that easily incorporates geo information in the search and result ranking efficiently -- without engaging a separate geo database that may be out of sync. This is something Elastic has been spending a lot of time on, including geo in results and enabling the developer to bias results by distance from a geo point. We also have added the ability to even index complex shapes (think delivery zones, states, city borders, cellphone signal zones, etc) so you could answer mobile-important questions directly using a single search solution like "is the mobile user currently in my delivery zone?" or "is my trip going to leave me where I won't have cell coverage?" if you had this data available in your app.

- Second, mobile devices are taking on more and more sensors. We used to think about mobile as laptops and cellphones. Now we have tablets and more exotic wearable devices which have mixed inputs, all of which contribute to the search context. There's a lot of research going on to try to get computers and search to understand multimedia inputs like cameras and microphones. More immediately, we have "exotic" inputs like GPS/speed, heart rate, and temperature light sensors that are tied to our devices either directly or through wireless syncing like bluetooth. All of that data can be taken into consideration with something that might be considered a "search" today, and that creates both opportunities and challenges. The advantages are potentially massive. For example, if my device knows that it's hot outside and that I'm sweating when I search for "coffee," maybe it should bias results toward nearby places known for their cold brew, iced coffees and air conditioning. The obvious challenge is making sure the right information is properly secured and available only to the people you want. As a result, security will play a greater role than has ever existed in even the most locked down of search systems in the past.

- Third, mobile devices are taking on more and more form factors. These new form factors are things like smartwatches and activity trackers with tiny screens or screens that are completely absent and running on minimal hardware. The minimal hardware underscores what we said earlier: if you can't store all of Wikipedia on your smartphone, you're definitely not going to fit it on your smartwatch. Being able to offload that workload out of the device is really important. Which, in turn, creates a need for good API design in the search layer so that developers can access the result sets in the language of their choosing in the way of their choosing. Small or nonexistent screens require really good ranking algorithms. The expected result needs to be first or second so the user can take action right away.

Author:  Richard Harris

Source:  https://appdevelopermagazine.com

Categorized in Online Research

Mobile has officially overtaken desktop as the primary means of using the internet.

Questioning this yet? Look no further than Google’s latest change in their algorithm. The internet search giant recently announced that they would release a mobile search index separate from their existing desktop index. This is the way Google scans websites and ultimately determines where sites come up in search rankings. This change alone is already a major change, but the clincher is the fact that this new mobile index will be the primary method of determining search ranking.

Considering how fast people are adopting smartphones and tablets, it’s a wise move that flows with the logical progression of the web. Desktop searches, once Google’s lifeline, have been overtaken and account for less than 45 percent of all searches done on the web for some time now. As it turns out, more often people do use mobile devices to look stuff up.

But now that this decision by Google to index sites via mobile first is here waiting to be rolled out, there are more questions than answers. How exactly is the mobile index going to work? How will this affect websites that put less content on their mobile site than their desktop site? How often will the desktop index be maintained?

The answers to these questions will be much clearer in the coming months, but it’s safe to say that the following insights can help your business plan ahead now:

Make your site mobile-friendly

You’d think most sites already have this, but a surprising number still don’t. If you’re one of those businesses who’ve been putting off a mobile version, you now don’t have much choice left but to adapt. Otherwise, your site will rank poorly on search engine result pages, and that’s something you don’t want to happen. Google takes into account in search rankings whether your site is mobile friendly or not.

Fill your mobile site with relevant content

Due to the compact sizes of handheld devices, a lot of mobile sites carry far less content than their desktop counterparts. This can make it for easier viewing on smaller screens. But with Google’s new algorithm, mobile sites will also have to be optimized, more so than desktop sites, and need to carry the full website content. No longer can there be a simpler mobile version with less content. If this is the case, that site will hurt in searches. The key would be to have a responsive website, one that “responds” to the device (mobile, tablet, desktop) that the user is on, and that at any device size it has the full website content.

Design a mobile strategy

Mobile used to be an alternative, an option. But things have changed. It’s now the default, relegating desktop queries to minority status. This means you need a mobile strategy more than ever. If you’re still attached to the desktop, you have to change your mindset and make mobile your primary concern. Font size, page load speed, scroll depth, and responsiveness are just some of the design elements you must consider for your mobile site. As well, lead capture is important to consider. How can you have a great mobile user experience that helps you capture leads? That’s a great strategy piece to have in place!

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The world is going mobile, and so should your site. Google is already at the helm, so act now if you don’t want to be left behind.

Mike Gingerich is President of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of TabSite.com and Waftio.com, leading software tools for contests and lead capture. Listen to his social media and web podcast, Halftime Mike, available on iTunes and at www.MikeGingerich.com.

Author:  Mike Ginerich

Source:  http://www.goshennews.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Late last week, Google started testing mobile-first index. Publishing Editorial Search Engine Land has prepared a list of common questions about this change and the responses to them.

What will change after the launch of mobile-first index?

Google wants to search the index meet the needs of the majority of its members. Currently, the owners of mobile devices.

search engine index is a collection of pages / documents that are indexed by robots.Previously, Google has scanned the Internet in terms of desktop browser now it will do so from the standpoint of its mobile browser.

What if I do not have a mobile website?

In Google claim that do not worry. The search engine will continue to index the desktop version.

If there are two versions - mobile and desktop - make sure that the content and links to them are the same. This is to ensure that Google ranked mobile site as well as an earlier desktop.

The mobile version of the content is less than the desktop. Do I need to worry?

Probably yes. In Google said that ranking algorithms will evaluate the relevance of the mobile site. Consequently, the search engine will only see the version where there is less content.

That's why Google advises to use an adaptive approach in which the contents of the pages on the desktop and mobile versions of the same.

What about the content hidden beneath the tabs?

On the desktop site content hidden beneath the tabs, links, and "accordion" getting lighter and could be ignored by the ranking algorithms. After starting the mobile-first index mobile sites such content will receive full weight.

As the launch of the new index will affect Google rankings?

Google spokesman Gary Ilsh and Paul Haar  believe that the launch of mobile-first index does not affect the ranking. In fact, they want its influence was minimal. At the same time, they note that it is too early to talk about it.

When the mobile-first index to be launched for everyone?

Google said that now mobile-first index is tested on a limited sample of users. The official launch date was not specified. It is expected that testing will take several months.

Will it mobile-friendly content advantage in the rankings?

Previously, Google representatives have warned that the content is not optimized for viewing on mobile devices, will not rank as well. After starting the mobile-first index, this situation will continue.

Now desktop content is indexed, and is used to display search results in both mobile and desktop users. Then, a special mobile-friendly algorithm increases in delivery content optimized for mobile devices. Content that is not optimized for mobile viewing, gets a lower position in the search results.

Source : searchengines

Categorized in Search Engine

A neural network -- and a human touch -- help Google figure out which apps belong in which categories.

Google has begun using artificial intelligence to categorize Android apps on its Google Play store, the company said Tuesday.

Using technology called a neural network, which is based loosely on the way human brains work, Google processes app names and descriptions to try to figure out which ones to show in search results. It's not hard to show the Snapchat app when people search for it by name, but the AI technology is designed to do a better job when people just type in categories like "selfie," Google AI researchers said in a blog post Tuesday

But the technology still needed a human touch. Google had to train its system by letting people assess how well the categorization worked and thus steer it toward better results.

With hundreds of thousands of apps to pick from, discovery is a major challenge for app stores. When you search or browse for apps, companies like Google and Apple have to balance new apps with popular standbys, weed out malicious apps, and curtail developer efforts to get their own apps to show up high in search results.

Source:  cnet.com

Categorized in Science & Tech

Apple hasn't yet managed to keep up with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus demand, suggesting that the company's new iPhones are a hit. In fact, iPhone sales in the September quarter came in slightly higher than Wall Street was expecting, even though supply of both new models was severely constrained. But even though Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have been so far, demand for next year's new iPhones is expected to dwarf this year's models thanks to a massive iPhone redesign that Apple fans have been waiting for.

As exciting as next year's new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sound, however, new evidence suggests that Apple is working to bring an exciting new feature to its iPhone lineup that could be the biggest smartphone game-changer the world has seen since the first iPhone was released nearly a decade ago in 2007.

According to a number of solid early reports, next year's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are going to feature huge improvements in a number of key areas. First, they'll sport the first big iPhone redesign since 2014, when Apple released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Since then, Apple has used roughly the same design on 2015's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, as well as on the new iPhone 7 series.

In 2017, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will supposedly feature a fresh new design with a glass front and back that are connected by metal around the edges. The display, which is believed to be an OLED screen for the first time ever on an iPhone, will reportedly take up much more of the iPhone's face thanks to the removal of the home button on the front of the phone. A next-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner will then be embedded beneath the display, and 3D Touch gestures will take care of the rest of the home button's functionality.

Apple's upcoming new iPhones are expected to feature plenty of other enhancements as well, such as better cameras and a new A11 Fusion processor that is even faster than the A10 Fusion chip in Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. But mounting evidence suggests that the company is working on the biggest game-changer that the smartphone industry has seen since the very first iPhone was unveiled nearly 10 years ago at the Macworld convention in January 2007.

When someone asks you about your biggest pain point, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Survey after survey suggest that battery life is at the top of most lists. Even the iPhone 7 Plus, which is among the best smartphones in the world when it comes to battery performance, needs to be charged at least once each day. Many phones won't even carry you through a full day of usage without needing to be recharged.

Fast-charging tech is great and current wireless charging solutions are nifty as well, but what if you never had to even think about charging your smartphone again?

Earlier this year, we turned your attention to some early evidence that suggested Apple was working with a company called Energous to build next-generation wireless charging into future iPhones. When I write "wireless charging," I'm not referring to the technology that's already on the market in a number of Android phones and other devices. This is something completely different, as I mentioned almost two years ago when I first previewed the tech.

Using technology developed by Energous, a smartphone or just about any other gadget can be charged wirelessly from across the room. A small chip on the phone's main board connects wirelessly to a base station and can charge a device's battery from distances of 15 feet. In other words, a view strategically placed base stations in your home and office could ensure that your iPhone is charging constantly while it's in use or sitting in your pocket, on your desk or anywhere else.

Ahead of Energous' third-quarter earnings report on Monday, new evidence surfaced that seems to further suggest the company may be working with Apple to build this exciting new technology into iPhones in the near future. I don't need to go back through all of the earlier indications that tie the two companies together, but in a nutshell: Energous has repeatedly stated on earnings calls that it is working with a "tier 1" smartphone manufacturer, and all signs in the past have pointed to Apple.

Now, the company announced that it is has taken a $10 million strategic investment from Dialog Semiconductor, a company that builds power management solutions for consumer electronics. As noted by technology analyst and Disruptive Tech Research founder Louis Basenese, Dialog Semi's top customer is Apple. Energous also took an investment earlier this year from Pegatron, another major Apple partner.

The other possible partner that has been tossed around as the mysterious "tier 1" smartphone maker Energous keeps referring to is Samsung, but that's looking less likely as time moves on.

"According to Bloomberg data, 68.56% of Dialog’s sales come from Apple (AAPL)," Basenese wrote in a note to investors on Monday. "The next biggest contributor is Panasonic at 1.23%. Samsung checks-in at a scant 1.03%. So this is another [Energous] partner that is a major AAPL supplier. You’ll recall, Pegatron, which WATT announced as a partner in March 2016, derives 52.98% of sales from AAPL and 0% from Samsung. The evidence in support of APPL as the Tier 1 continues to outweigh evidence pointing to Samsung."

Again, this is all just speculation until Energous or Apple confirm something. Also, the biggest question surrounding this potential partnership remains unchanged: Why wouldn't Apple simply acquired Energous for peanuts (the company's market cap was about $280 million as of Monday's close, and that was after a big spike from these new rumors) and lock in exclusivity?

Only time will tell if these rumors pan out, but don't expect anything to materialize from this supposed partnership in 2017 with the iPhone 8. If and when Apple does add long-distance wireless charging to its iPhone lineup, however, it will be the biggest disruption the industry will have seen in more than a decade.

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Source : yahoo

Categorized in Science & Tech

Google announced on late Friday afternoon plans to use a website's mobile version as the primary content source for ranking sites for its search engine's results, in a move that its engineers have hinted at for the past year at several SEO conferences.

A few years back, in order to encourage webmasters to support mobile versions of their websites, Google started adding a "Mobile Friendly" tag next to certain search results and later started ranking these sites above desktop-only content.

Today, most websites are already mobile friendly, and earlier this year, Google removed the "Mobile Friendly" tag from search results, saying that over 85% of the sites it indexes include a mobile version, making the tag redundant.

Furthermore, a market study also revealed that searches from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets surpassed desktop searches for the first time last month, in October.

Google hinted at this change for more than a year

Google engineers also saw this shift in the search market. Gary Illyes, a Google Search engineer, had hinted that Google might split its search engine index into a mobile and a desktop version last year, at the SMX East 2015 conference.

The same Illyes, speaking at the Pubcon 2016 conference in early October, also hinted that the split is closer than most people think and that Google will prioritize the mobile search index above the desktop one, with the first receiving updates and real-time search results before the other.

Google put its official seal on this shift in police on Friday when it said that if a site has a mobile and a desktop version, its Googlebot will look at the mobile version for the latest content.

"We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously," Doantam Phan, Product Manager for Google says. "We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience."

Some things you should consider

Because webmasters chose to support mobile sites via various techniques, there are a few things that webmasters need to know, according to Google.

  1. If a site is responsive, meaning it serves the same content to both mobile and desktop users, just in a different layout, then admins don't have to worry about a thing.
  2. If a website uses a filtering system to serve different site versions, with different content for mobile and desktop users, then webmasters need to make sure the mobile version gets their full attention from now on. This includes both content updates but also search engine optimization operations.
  3. Webmasters that use the Google Search Console to get alerts of how their website is fairing in search results should also add their site's mobile version.
  4. Webmasters using a desktop-only version of their site should be aware that Google will continue to index their sites regardless, but their site won't show up as high in mobile search results as they do on a desktop.

Source : bleepingcomputer

Categorized in Search Engine
Mobile first has become a common call to arms for anyone involved in any online enterprise. It's supposed to be a reminder that audiences now use smartphones first and browse on desktop later. But there's a problem with this yawn-inducing adage: as mobile continues to become the primary method of interacting with the web, it's becoming totally meaningless.
 
We're emotionally connected to our mobile devices like nothing before. According to YouGov, 82pc of smartphone owners check their phone within an hour of waking up, while 86pc of 18-34 year olds do so within half an hour. The smartphone is now the primary source of news for 30pc of owners, rising to 42pc among 25 to 34 year olds.
Desktop, by contrast, is becoming a work terminal. A recent ComScore report referred to it as a "secondary touch point", which now only accounts for a third of all digital time spent. The same report found that 65pc of digital media time was now mobile.
By almost every measure mobile is now the main man. Last week media agency Zenith produced its Mobile Advertising Forecasts, which examines 60 key markets. Zenith found that mobile accounted for 40pc of internet use in 2012, but will grow to account for 75pc of global internet use by 2017, rising to 79pc in 2018.And where the users go, the ad dollars follow. Zenith expects global ad spending to hit $539bn this year, for example. And mobile will become an ever-increasing part of the advertising equation.
Zenith predicts mobile will spike 48pc this year, reaching $81.3bn, which is slightly higher than its previous forecast. Zenith has also boosted its 2017 forecast for mobile advertising growth to 33pc, up from its June prediction of 29pc.Mobile's ascendency is borne out across all markets. According to the IAB in the UK, mobile has now overtaken desktop. UK advertisers spent £802m (€905m) on mobile display ads in the first half of 2016, compared to £762m (€860m) on PC and tablet display advertising.
That's an increase 56pc on the same time last year. While, recent figures from the IAB in the US were even more staggering. The 2016 Half-Year Report stated that mobile revenue climbed to $15.5bn(€13.9bn), up 89pc from $8.2bn (€7.3bn) for the same period in 2015. It now represents 47pc of total internet advertising revenue.
On this side of the pond, the IAB has just released its Mobile Audit Report, which audited the top media spending in retail and finance across seven European markets. It turns out that over 80pc of retail and finance brands in Europe have sites optimised for mobile; over half of retail brands and three quarters of finance brands have a dedicated mobile app; and two thirds of all retail brands have a functioning ecommerce mobile site.According to ad tech firm Criteo, we've reached a tipping point in terms of mobile transactions. Its recent report on the state of mobile commerce analysed over 3,300 online retail businesses and 1.7 billion transactions across desktop, mobile sites and apps. It found that the leading mobile retailers are now seeing 50pc of their sales generated from mobile, apps are twice as powerful as the mobile web for generating sales, and that verticals like fashion and luxury, mass merchants, sporting goods and home have all enjoyed double digit growth year on year.
But the most telling indicator of the growth of mobile didn't come from any report or study - It came from Google's decision to split its web indexing in two, making the mobile index more prominent than the desktop version. This idea isn't new. It was first mooted by Google at last year's SXSW festival, with the latest announcement coming at Pubcon in Las Vegas last month.Currently, Google has a single index of documents for searching the web. However, the search giant recently announced that it is soon to create a separate mobile index which will become the primary index that the search engine uses.
A separate, secondary desktop index will be set up and maintained, but it won't be updated as regularly as the mobile index. It'll be a second-class citizen of search.Once desktop is relegated by Google, it may well join Betamax, the Apple Newton and laserdiscs on the scrapheap of technology curios.
Source : independent
Categorized in Science & Tech
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