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Outside calls or cold calls will come with a “conversation request,” where the caller pitches the receiver on why he or she should answer and invest their time.

Why Voice is the Next Big Wave” via GigaOM 

Great article that talks about how and why voice is here to stay – and will become a primary way of interacting with technology in the next phase of wearable computing.

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We have too much fear of Apple. The approval cycle alone stifles your creativity.

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/04/features/how-whatsapp-beat-facebook/viewall

Great article on WhatsApp and it’s refreshingly singular focus on a simple user experience, and how their entire development process is built to support it. It also talks about their complex relationship with Apple and shares how the inclusiveness of the App Store hurts their ability to innovate.

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Great data in this report from Business Insider. 

Some great stats in here:

  1. 80% of smartphones globally run Android.
  2. 60% of tablets globally run Android.
  3. 60% of all new computing devices run Android.
  4. Android is now as popular with global developers as iOS.
  5. Android device fragmentation is improving: 61% of users are on Jelly Bean.
  6. iOS is very strong in the U.S., but weaker globally.
  7. “Mobile-first” is now “Mobile-also”; phablets and tablets are growing fast.
  8. Wearables are “new and next” but still in the early stages of adoption.

The Future Of Mobile! [SLIDE DECK]

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Tango, a messaging app and mobile social network, has raised $280 million … Eric Setton, CTO and co-founder of Tango, says 70 million of its 200 million registered users are active every month.

Tango Raises $280 Million via Business Insider

I used Tango for a short while on my Windows Phone before Skype was released on the platform. Not a surprising valuation for Tango given the recent WhatsApp purchase and their MAU’s. Their monetization and virality model seems focused on not dissuading users in any way (i.e. no core functionality behind paywalls). 

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I’m really, really not enjoying the Hangouts app on my Android device. Since it’s a Nexus 5 I have no choice but to use it for SMS; it’s slow, sometimes crashes, and makes me miss iMessage (one of the few iOS things I really miss, a lot). 

It is good, however, to see the convergence Google is doing (as a consumer). I can’t wait to see how big of a lid the big carriers are going to flip when Google allows you to drop your normal carrier and map your number to Hangouts.

Google plans to kill Google Voice in coming months, integrate features into Hangouts

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The experience made it clear that WhatsApp, even with more than 450 million users, by no means has certain domination of the free texting market — and you would think it might if Facebook paid up to $19 billion to acquire the start-up.

For Free Texting Apps, the Market Is Far From Conquered” via NYTimes.

I also have this “which app are you on?” experience whenever I meet people at conferences or networking events, especially internationally. My “messaging” folder of apps gets a workout daily as I switch between WhatsApp (friends in Mexico and Spain), GroupMe (Seattle friends), Skype (work), Facebook Messenger (NYC and Boston friends), then a much smaller percentage of time on Line and Viber (random international folks).

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With an app like Secret, a user could post an original photograph and write a post about it, and people connected to that user can help the secret propagate through the app’s network, as well as through the web.

How Secret May Uncover A New Secret To Mobile Growth” via TechCrunch

I’m interested in what Secret is doing; not so much as an app on its own but instead as a lighthouse for seeing which types of content could find a new home in anonymous posting networks (beyond just NSFW Snapchatting). 

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Most of the smartphones sold last year in China, or 57%, were Android devices that cost less than $350. But there is still strong demand for more expensive handsets. High-end smartphones priced above $500 accounted for 27% of smartphones sold last year; of that amount, 80% were iPhones.

China Now Has 700M Active Smartphone Users” via TechCrunch

“China became the world’s largest smartphone market in November 2011, but sales have gradually slowed as mobile penetration rates increase. Shipments decreased for the first time in more than two years at the end of 2013, according to a recent report from IDC. As the price of smartphones drop dramatically, however, more first-time users are buying their first device.”