On the move: news on your mobile and the rise of e-readers
The advent of 3G technology has changed the expediency of news availability
What is 3G?
3G is the third generation of wireless technologies. It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming. 3G is mostly used with mobile phones and handsets as a means to connect the phone to the Internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, to download and upload data and to surf the net.
With the advent of 4G, smartphone’s will come with even more sophisticated browsers and functionality which will continue to accelerate the rise in popularity of mobile applications and the mobile web.
The number of people using their mobile phones for news access is growing all over the world. In Australia there are just shy of 140,000 people who browse the mobile web each day, with the average session being 4.5 minutes
Top 4 mobile news sites in Australia
News.com.au - 48, 090 unique browsers a day- 3.12 mins average session
Smartphones like the iphone have an array of free and paid news apps that are customisable to your needs.
Social network use in Australia via mobile is increasing dramatically. Almost one in four smartphone owners visit social networking sites like Facebook on their mobiles more than on a computer
Half of Twitter’s users visit the site daily via mobile, 36% of Facebook users visit the site via mobile, whilst 22 percent of MySpace users and 16 percent of YouTube users were making daily visits. On a worldwide basis 100 of 400 million Facebook users access the site via mobile.
According to a study by ComScore, over 45.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones in 2010 and it is the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market, which comprised 234 million subscribers in the United States.
The Telstra Smartphone Index suggests smartphones are beginning to eclipse PCs as the preferred way of accessing certain online content
Cisco expects to see smartphones and laptops with wireless cards to drive 90 per cent of mobile traffic within five years, by which time 400 million internet users will access the internet through a mobile connection only. The report said that the average mobile broadband connection consumes 7GB of data traffic a month, equivalent to about 3,500 music tracks.
Doug Webster, at Cisco says, "The rapid consumer adoption of smartphones, netbooks, e-readers and web-ready video cameras, as well as machine-to-machine applications like e-health monitoring and asset tracking systems, is continuing to place unprecedented demands on mobile networks,".
With the arrival of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Nokia’s Symbian^3, soon to be followed by HP’s WebOS 2.0 phones and tablets, BlackBerry’s Torch and the upcoming Playbook tablet, the multitouch iDevice market is no longer the sole province of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android: the mobile era’s golden age is upon us!
Thanks to the iPad we now finally have tablets available at prices people can afford, with incredible battery life, and all the rest that we know about the iPad story.
2011 and beyond will see the true golden era of the tablet and smartphone emerge with competition flourishing as never before and massive resources poured into truly innovative interfaces, hardware and software for tablet computing. Steve Jobs said that Apple has sold one iPad every 3 seconds since they first launched earlier this year in the US, then spreading around the world, selling so many so fast Apple has left competitors scrambling to respond in its wake.
Although Microsoft has successfully sold what must now be millions of Windows-powered Tablet PCs over nearly the last decade, Apple has sold millions of its iPads too, in just months – and the iPad hasn’t even been on sale for a year as yet.
E-readers: shaping the future for Australian publishers and writers?
As a tidal wave of digital opportunities floods the Publishing industry, Australian writers & publishers are forced to either move with digital trends or remain on the same path with traditional publishing methods.
Tablet devices allow the user to poke, sing, shake or even listen to an eBook and reintroduce the definition of interactivity.
This digital evolution has introduced new products into the global market which has thrown Publishers, writers and even ‘tech’ companies into common waters. Mr. Segaram adds, “During these unfamiliar times, hesitating or ignoring ePublishing opportunities that can be aided by ‘tech’ companies should be the last thing occurring in the Australian publishing industry.”
“ While Australian Publishers & Writers are concerned about the changes into one of the most traditionally unchanged industries, the surge of digital medium will, certainly, re-arrange the landscape and nature of reading, particularly in regards to younger generations.”
“ The whole industry is shifting from major publishers controlling all content, to content providers (writers & illustrators), who in turn will be the forces driving the Australian publishing industry into the digital world,” Mr. Segaram said.
E-readers: shaping the future for Australian publishers and writers?
Australian software engineering companies are shaping the now digitized Australian Publishing Industry, allowing writers to have the upper hand by purely signing up for non-exclusive digital rights. “Market trends are heading towards this (digital) direction and it is up to the Industry to take advantage of these opportunities while they are in place,” said Mr. Segaram.
The level of interactivity encompassed in an eBook has and will continue to affect companies across the entire world; from non-profit organizations, benefiting from ‘click-to-donate’ features within an eBook, to enhanced learning resources adapted by major educational institutions to enhance learn-to-read experiences and/or readers demands.
While eBooks fail to compete with the tangible experience of reading a hardback or paperback book, they excel at being more than just a book: they are and will be an incomparable experience, Mr. Segaram adds.
Rather than replacing the traditional news outlet, cell phones may complement other media, becoming "smart," readable, visual, acoustic and connected, serving readers who access breaking news, sports scores, weather, blogs and stock quotes on the mobile Internet.
M:Metrics, a mobile-data market-research company, announced in March that 85 percent of iPhone users browse the mobile Web for news and information (versus 58 percent for all smart phone users and 13 percent of the mobile phone market overall). Thirty-one percent of iPhone users also watch mobile TV and video on their phones compared with 4.6 percent of all mobile phone users.
Consumers can use any of 500 different handheld devices and 20 different mobile Internet browsers to access breaking news from multiple news sites. All of them are offering, at the very least, a slimmed-down mobile Web site featuring text-based news and links to stories, sports scores, restaurant and movie listings etc
For the Newspapers, the challenge is finding a unique, creative identity in the mobile world, one that builds reader "stickiness," brand loyalty and strong advertising support. It may be that traditional journalistic storytelling won't work on a tiny screen; newspapers will have to adopt a "multisensory" mind-set, in which less text is more (and functions differently, more as a "captivator," less as an explicator), where headlines, sound and video snippets speak volumes, and readers are in constant active control of their experience.