With over 700,000 apps available from the top two app stores alone, Apple's App Store and Google Play, it's not surprising to learn from the Wall Street Journal's article, that mobile users today spend, on average, 2 hours interacting with apps each day.
Gartner found that almost two-thirds (63%) of apps used daily differ from those used 12 months ago. However, despite the changing demands, established app publishers continue to dominate.
At 25 Billion a Year, global spending on apps is...
More than Americans spend annually on Pet Foods ($26.2 B)
More than what Americans spend each year on coffee ($47.5B)
Sources: WBEN research, American Pet Products assoc., National Coffee Assoc.
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Bridget Carey, CNET.com
Are there too Many Apps?
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer thinks the Internet company will be able to please more people with fewer smartphone applications.
Mayer told an audience of investors during a Tuesday presentation that she thinks Yahoo will be better served with just 12 to 15 mobile applications, down from a "scattered" portfolio of as many as 75 different programs in recent years.
Offering so many different mobile applications has proven too overwhelming for Yahoo's 200 million mobile users, Mayer said. By jettisoning some mobile applications and combining some elements in the same program, Mayer is betting Yahoo's services will become more deeply ingrained as daily habits that will "delight and inspire" users.
"We don't want to overload people by expecting them to download too many distinct, individual apps," Mayer said. Without saying so directly, she indicated that Yahoo is likely to concentrate its mobile apps on finance, sports, email, weather, entertainment, news and video.
What if your online friends could track your every move?
Facebook is planning to launch a stand-alone app that is designed to find friends who are nearby, Bloomberg reports. Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, the news agency says that the app is scheduled for release in mid-March.
Facebook already has a location-based feature called Places that is similar to services like Foursquare, where users can "check-in"and broadcast a location to friends.
The app, which has not been named, has been compared to Apple's Find My Friends app, which tracks users even if the app is not launched.
Facebook's location-tracking app would be similar to Apple's because users will reportedly be constantly tracked, as well. The idea is that if the app user is near a friend or place of interest, they will be sent notification. It's not clear if Facebook users who do not download the app will also have their locations tracked.
A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment on the report.
A NY Supreme Court judge has ordered a temporary halt to New York City's plans to start a program that would let passengers hail cabs via their smartphones.
Judge Carol Huff issued the temporary restraining order on Thursday. It's in effect pending a hearing over a lawsuit.
New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission in December had approved a pilot program allowing riders to "e-hail" yellow cabs.
Livery cab owners had filed suit against the program in February, saying it would violate a law that bans yellow-cab drivers from prearranging rides with passengers.
Livery cabs aren't allowed to pick up street hails, and depend on pre-arranged rides. Under the pilot program, the system would be tried out for one year. After the free apps start linking customers with drivers, the commission would produce quarterly reports on the program's success, leading to a decision on whether to extend it.
At least a dozen companies are ready to provide the service, including ones now operating in other U.S. cities and overseas.
It works by allowing a potential fare to use the app to request a ride. That request goes out to all participating cabbies within a certain distance, and the cabbie who uses his or her own cellphone to respond first would get the fare.
City law prohibits drivers from talking on handheld cellphones, but they would be able to use them to respond to an e-hail.
VIDEO: Shopping Apps Require Caution
Kelly Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, discusses how to be sure you are getting a good deal by using your smartphone.