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The Changing Times of Mobile Communication

Gone are the days when calling, texting and e-mail dominate the lines of mobile communicate with others. Now we are in a period were social apps are the preferred line communication platform by many consumers. While Facebook, Twitter and Skype dominate mindshare for online communications they have been facing stiff competition from other messaging apps.

Recently On Device, a mobile marketing research firm, conducted research on the messaging apps used on smartphones. In their findings On Device found that WhatsApp is the second most popular app in the U.S, beating out the likes of Twitter and Skype for that spot. When delving deeper into the demographic profiles WhatsApp is only trailing Facebook Messenger by mere percentage points in the always important 16-24 and 25-34 age groups.

The use of WhatsApp only increases when moving to the four other markets that was polled in this study. In fact, WhatsApp is the dominating messaging app in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. This dominance in other countries has helped the messaging app jump past Facebook Messenger when totaling up the results of the 5 markets with 44% of those polled saying that they use it at least once a day.

What’s interesting to note in all of this is the fact that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been gaining traction amongst messenger platforms. At the time of this study being published BBM launched on iPhone and Android three weeks ago. In the study it found that BBM was actually used once a day by 13% of those surveyed. This is compared to Twitter, which is #3 in messaging apps in the U.S., was used once per day by 24% of those surveyed. With BBM coming to the two biggest platforms it could be the biggest wildcard in the race to become the #1 messaging app in the U.S.

Interestingly when looking at the most popular platforms for sharing photos it is not Facebook or Instagram. The leaders for online photo sharing are in fact Snapchat and WeChat, with 400 million pictures shared a day on each platform. The one caveat to the number of pictures shared on these platforms is that it is not clear if it’s counting the total pictures or pictures sent since the same picture can be sent to multiple recipients. Another important fact about Snapchat is that it is still only showing popularity in the 16-24 year old market, with 20% that demographic stating they use it at least once a week. This is compared to only 3% of the 25 and older demographic using Snapshot on a weekly basis.

With mobile devices becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives the lines of communication are continuously changing. Even popular online communication powers, such as Facebook and Twitter, are facing stiff competition from WhatsApp and other messaging apps here in the US. With the release of BBM for Android and iPhone a few weeks ago the shift in the way we communicate will only continue to change.

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Source: On Device

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Any.do Review: Do Everything as Planned

Platforms: Android, iOS,

Price: Free

With Any.do you can view your tasks and goals by category or by date. Dates can be specifically broken down to the minute or something more general such as “tomorrow” or “someday.” This task-manager app is all wrapped in a visually appealing design.

What sets Any.do apart from other task-management apps is its signature feature called Any.do moment. This feature is a setting that you set-up which will remind you to review your upcoming tasks. When this scheduled time happens the app will begin by telling you it’s time to review your tasks. It will then show you the tasks that are in your schedule for that day. The idea behind this feature is to train you to have the habit of reviewing your tasks list on a daily basis.

A benefit for iOS users is that Any.do can be synced up with the Cal app so you can automatically see your tasks within your calendar. This feature is not available for Android users since Cal is not currently available to be downloaded on Google Play.

One minor problem that I came across was that if you added or changed a reminder within a task it would not show you the name of that task in the time and date page. This may cause a problem for long to-do lists as it could be easy to forget the name of the task if it does not show up.

Positives

+Categorizing tasks to the minute or specific

+Visually appealing

+Any.do moment feature

Negatives

-Added or changed tasks to a reminder don’t show up in app pop up.

-Cal sync not available on Android.

Overall Impressions

When it comes to downloading a Task-management app you want one that will support all the basic functions of your daily lives and Any.do does that for you. The   Any.do app that hits all those primary concerns while giving users just a little bit more to explore.

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Instagram Beta Review: Exciting but It’s Missing Something.

Platforms: Windows Phone (also on iOS and Android)

Price: Free

On November 20th one of the Apps that Windows Phone users asked for the most to come to their platform finally arrived: Instagram. Well that is not the whole truth as the app that is listed currently is called Instagram Beta. Having spent time with the app on my Windows Phone over the weekend there was one thing that stuck out at me. That was that this was not the same Instagram that I’ve enjoyed over on other platforms. Instead, as the name of the app suggests, this was a true Beta version of Instagram because we while Windows Phone user get most of the features of Instagram, not all of the features are readily available as of yet.

What did arrive on Windows Phone with Instagram Beta were the core features that made the social media platform so popular. The user interface is a bit different than on other platforms, with the Home, Liked Posts, Explore and Profile located at the top right. One ‘major’ change is that Instagram has given the Search and Explore function dedicated buttons on the UI.

These UI differences aside, it was great to have the ability to take the pictures I’ve taken with my Nokia 928 and post them on Instagram without jumping through hoops. Even though it has been rumored that you can’t take pictures within the app that rumor is not true as I was able to take pictures directly on the app and then use the filters provided just like on other platforms.

All that said it is disappointing that Instagram Beta lacks photo tagging and video recording. This may cause some confusion for users because Instagram is advertising the video recording feature on their app listing, as of Nov. 25th, even though it is not yet available. In their blog post Instagram had the following to say:

“We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram’s core features. We’re not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible.”

Hopefully once more Windows Phone users download the app it will push Instagram to release updates that will make their app have all the features that are on other platforms

Positives

-Easy to use UI

-Photo Filters

-Great way to share pictures

Negatives

-Beta version missing features on other platforms.

The beta version is available for download from Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store, or by searching for Instagram on your phone. We haven’t heard when all the missing features will become available, but for now Windows Phone users can enjoy the core features that many Instagram users on Android and iOS have enjoyed.

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5 Apps to Get You Through Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is around the corner and there is always a lot that goes into getting ready for that day. Whether it’s cooking, planning family events or making sure you know when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade there is a lot to do. To help you make things a little less stressful here are five helpful apps that will get you through this Thanksgiving weekend.

1) Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (Android, iOS)

For most the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the kickoff to the Thanksgiving festivities. Now you can begin the kickoff a little earlier by downloading Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade app. With this app your able to immerse yourself into the parade festivities even more with up-to-date news about the upcoming parade, create your own virtual parade balloon and behind the scenes glimpses of balloon prep.

2) AllRecipes Dinner Spinner (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

You don’t have to break your brain with having to decide what to cook for Thanksgiving dinner with the handy, dandy AllRecipes app. This is one of the apps that I discovered while testing out the Windows Phone OS a few weeks ago and have already found some great recipes for sides to make for Thanksgiving. The added shopping list feature to the app is also very helpful in finding exactly what you need to cook certain dishes.

3) thnkfl (iOS)

Thnkfl challenges you to think of three things to be thankful for each day. Once you have those three things you’re thankful for your encouraged to write a note, take a photo, draw it, or use all three. Once that is done you drop whatever you did to show your thanks into your glass. Afterwards you can review your thankful moments and share them with your friends and family whenever you want.

4) Cookie Dozer Thanksgiving (Android, iOS)

Looking for the next great time waster with a Thanksgiving flavor to stick with the holiday? Than Thanksgiving Cookie Dozer is the app you’ll want to download. It has all of the addicting qualities of another popular bird game. The point to this game is to add new cookies to the table while pushing the existing cookies off of the end of the table in to the prize basket without pushing them off the sides, unless you want to lose the points and prizes that is.

5) Food Network In the Kitchen (Android, iOS)

Taking the Food Network addiction into the kitchen with the official Food Network in the Kitchen app. This app will give you great cooking tips from the likes of Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. The navigation is simple and broken down to what kind of food you want to cook this Thanksgiving or on a regular Tuesday night.

What do you all think? Any surprises in the study? Be sure you follow GoWireless on Twitter and Like GoWireless on Facebook to let us what you think of this study.

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Study: The Dos and Don’ts of Smartphone Use

We’ve come a long way since the Zack Morris brick phone was what people thought of when thinking about cell phones. With cell phones, specifically smartphones, becoming a normal thing to see everyone around you using a basic set of socially acceptable rules has been evolving around their use.

Now we have a new study from University of Essex detailing what people would and wouldn’t do with their smartphones. While the study only polled 100 people it did have some interesting findings as a result of this study. In the study it was found that 50% of millennials approved of texting during a meal, while only 15% of people 30 and above approve of that same action. Similar results occurred that showed that younger people are more accepting of using smartphones in a way that go against traditional etiquette.

What do you all think? Any surprises in the study? Be sure you follow GoWireless on Twitter and Like GoWireless on Facebook to let us what you think of this study.

Source: Mashable

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