2 February 2017 — Over half of smartphone users spend no money on smartphone apps (paid-for downloads and in-app transactions), according to a new survey by Gartner, Inc.. However, end-user spending on in-app transactions continues to rise.
“Where users are prepared to pay for apps, spending on in-app transactions is on the rise — up 26 percent from 2015 — while spending on paid-for downloads only increased 4 percent in 2016,” said Stéphanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. In this year’s survey, mean spending on in-app transactions was $11.59, while mean spending on paid-for downloads reached $7.67.
Paid-for downloads are more likely to be associated with smaller amounts of spending. Respondents who spent $15 or more over a three-month period were more likely to have done so through in-app transactions. “This is largely because the vast majority of paid-for mobile apps have a price tag of $1.99 or less, while the activation of in-app transactions usually means that the user has found value in an app and will be happy to spend more on it,” Ms. Baghdassarian added.
Gartner: Most Smartphone Users Spend Nothing On Apps
Figure 1. Amount Spent on Smartphone Apps in the Last Three Months (in U.S. Dollars)
Age and gender also influence spending levels. Older millennials (people aged 25 to 34 years) are the biggest spenders on both paid-for downloads and in-app transactions, with their in-app transactions generating an average of $19 per quarter and their paid-for downloads an average of $13.40. The second-biggest spenders are the younger Generation X (people aged 35 to 44), who spend more on in-app transactions than paid-for downloads.
“As respondents grow older, they seem to be less keen to spend money within an app, and would rather pay for an app upfront,” said Ms, Baghdassarian. “The 18-to-24 age segment shows low average spending on paid-for downloads and high average spending on in-app transactions, at $3.80 against $12.10. This trend is likely to continue as these young millennials grow older.”
The survey also revealed noticeable differences in spending levels and usage between men and women for both paid-for downloads and in-app transactions. Women not only spend less money overall on mobile apps, but also use them less. They are, however, more likely to try a “freemium” approach (the other name for the in-app transaction business model) that lets them try an app before deciding whether to spend money on it.
“Consumers’ increased preference for in-app transactions is a clear sign that technology product marketing leaders working for app providers should invest in this model to provide flexibility in how they engage with app users,” said Ms, Baghdassarian.
Flexibility of business model is not the only requirement for a strong user experience, however. Brands should also investigate new ways of delivering content to users, as mobile apps may not always represent the best user interface. “Bots and virtual assistants could prove better, depending on the user, the context and other requirements,” said Ms, Baghdassarian. “At any rate, new and improved touchpoints are crucial for the success of any brand.”
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Malaysia, 15 June 2016 – Qlik has developed a new web-based app for consumers that allows them to quickly and easily compare the cost of living across eight key cities in Asia Pacific (APAC) – Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.
Built on Qlik Sense, the Qlik APAC Cost of Living app uses embedded visual analytics to enable users to uncover insights into the cost of living across different cities in the region.
The app incorporates a broad cross-section of goods, such as property, transport, education, entertainment, utilities, food, restaurants and clothing, in addition to allowing users to select ‘Budget’, ‘Mid-range’ or ‘Expensive’ across any cost category.
“With the constant fluctuations in Asian economies and changing consumer price indices (CPI), getting to grips with the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living before you move somewhere can be difficult,” said Phillip Beniac, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific for Qlik. “The Qlik APAC Cost of Living app takes the pain out of the process by using visual analytics to compare the average cost of living in various cities. Easy to assimilate visual representations enable expatriates, as well as local residents, to compare selected APAC cities side by side, and drill into the data to find out how their city of choice stacks up against the rest.”
Tokyo most expensive, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney close behind
Japan’s most populated city, Tokyo, takes the overall title as the most expensive city, with costs 39% higher than the APAC average, while Singapore is only 22% above average. However, delving deeper into the data reveals that all is not how it may seem.
For example, those that are planning a trip to Shanghai, will find that it is the most expensive city to sample the street food, yet is the cheapest when it comes to cognac and imported beer. In terms of booking budget accommodation, a 1-star hotel in Sydney is 56% more expensive (than Shanghai, or the APAC average), while Kuala Lumpur offers the cheapest rates across APAC.
“APAC is well regarded as an attractive location for expats and also sees a great deal of mobility from within the region, with potential to accelerate due to recent initiatives such as the Asian Economic Community formed in December 2015,” commented Professor Wong Poh Kam, National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School.
“Part of this attractiveness of the region is the perceived low cost of living in various countries. However, cost of living standards can often be misunderstood unless people have access to a good level of detailed information that informs them what it will cost to live their particular lifestyle. For example, not everyone wants or needs to own a car, which can be a particularly expensive proposition in some APAC cities, especially Singapore and Tokyo, where the public transport network is already extensive,”
Deeper insights with visual analytics
Using heat maps, the Qlik APAC Cost of Living app instantly illustrates how the prices of individual items in various countries differ from the APAC average, with red highlighting the costliest and blue denoting the least expensive.
A ‘Highs and Lows’ page enables users to track prices of particular items – from alcohol and entertainment to clothing and household essentials – across APAC, and literally watch the colors change.
With so many variables to choose from in the app, some of the most interesting insights include:
Although Shanghai’s cost of living data places it 11% lower than the APAC average, it is the most expensive city to stay in shape, with a monthly gym membership costing US$157 and a session with a personal trainer costing US$393. In contrast, although Seoul has a similar overall cost of living to Shanghai, coming in at 10% lower than average, a monthly gym membership will set you back just US$30, while a personal trainer session costs only US$72.
While Sydney is known for being a gourmet paradise, it is also the priciest place in APAC to eat out in hotel restaurants, with a meal for two costing up to US$247. That is about twice what it costs in Shanghai (US$133) or Tokyo (US$116), while Seoul is the cheapest choice (US$53), followed by Mumbai (US$61) and Hong Kong US$70).
In terms of finding a place to live, Kuala Lumpur is most attractive option for people who like to live in the city center, with property costing US$331 per square feet to buy and US$1.11 per square feet to rent. Hong Kong tops the city center list at US$2,002 per square feet to buy and US$6.52 per square feet to rent. On the other hand, if you are interested in renting in the inner suburbs, then Mumbai (US$0.24 per square feet), Kuala Lumpur (US$0.41 per square feet) and Sydney (US$0.9 per square feet) are the most attractive choices.
The app also casts light on some enormous cost disparities. For example, the cost of sending one student to an international school in Shanghai (US$45,229) is the equivalent of sending 22 to an international school in Mumbai (US$2,016).
“In the same way that organizations now routinely use business intelligence, individuals are seeking ways to use everyday data to analyze and derive insights into what’s going on in their lives. The Qlik Cost of Living app is a great example of how you don’t have to be a data scientist to get useful insights from data, by using visual analytics,” added Beniac.
Qlik APAC Cost of Living App Availability
The Qlik APAC Cost of Living app built on Qlik Sense, is based on data collected from varied sources including desktop research as well as surveys of regional retail chains and hotels. The app is available at www.qlik.com/apaccostofliving
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Kuala Lumpur – March 08, 2016 – LINE Corporation has announced the upcoming addition of themes to “LINE Creators Market,” enabling creators to design and sell their own LINE themes, scheduled for late April, 2016.
Prior to the global service launch, the official creation & review guidelines for creators’ themes have been published on the LINE Creators Market site.
“LINE Creators Market has enabled many artists globally, including Malaysia, to share their work with many others. The expansion into allowing creators’ to create their own themes is an extension that enables them to exercise their creativity,” said Patricia Yeoh, Public Relations Manager of LINE Malaysia. “LINE is thrilled to provide this platform that will not only benefit the creators, but enhance the users’ experience to a whole new level as well, especially for Malaysians.”
[adrotate banner=”4″]With creators’ themes, anybody who has a LINE account, be it individual or enterprise, can create LINE themes which, after passing the review process, can be sold to LINE users all over the world through the LINE app’s theme shop and LINE STORE.
Theme prices can be set by the creator at 150 LINE Coins (approximately MYR12.24), 200 LINE Coins (approximately MYR16.33), or 250 LINE Coins (approximately MYR20.42). After handling fees for App Store and Google Play (30%) are deducted, 50% of the remaining amount (35% of total sales) will be paid to the creator.
Creators themes can be based on photos as well as illustrations. Since various graphic elements, such as backgrounds, icons, and menu buttons, are made as separate parts and combined into a set, creators have a lot of freedom in turning their ideas into themes.
Those users who have already created stickers will be able to leverage their own characters into themes, thereby creating more in-depth worlds for their characters, taking advantage of the fact that unlike individual stickers, an interface theme is continuously on display once applied. Artists and entertainers will be able to feature characters or caricatures in their promotional and merchandising activities.
New “LINE Creators Themes” Availability
LINE released the official creation and review guidelines for creators’ themes on its LINE Creators Market official site. Theme submissions for review are expected to commence on April 15, 2016, and the sale of approved themes are expected to start in late April.
Through LINE Creators Market, LINE aims at developing a creator-activity based ecosystem. LINE will continue to move forward with its global platform as an important part of the world’s smartphone based communication infrastructure.
LINE Creators Market is a platform that enables users to sell LINE stickers they have created themselves. The sale of approved creators’ stickers began in May 2014. Participants hail from all over the world and as of today, the number of registered creators has grown to 520,000 users, who have created over 230,000 sticker sets. There are even numerous examples of characters originating from these stickers being merchandised or featured in tie-ins with various businesses, expanding their scope far beyond their original sticker usage.
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More often then not I get asked what are some of the must-have Mac OS X apps by friends and family members who’s just got their hands on their first Mac. So much so that I had taken the effort to put them up in an article listing exactly that. With the recent release of OS X El Capitan, it’s time for a refresh of my top apps recommendation for the Mac platform again.
I’ve previously written a similar article back on my own blog site in 2013 when OS X 11 was released. In this article, I’ve now refine the list to a set of top 5 apps and the rest in a secondary list. This is by no means that apps are not as great but instead are ones that would depend on personal preference if you need such apps or not. Just as an example, as great Affinity Photo is, not everyone needs a powerful alternative to Apple’s own Photo app.
Ok. enough of this chit-chat. Let’s jump straight into the top 5 apps that you need to have.
Top 5 Must-Have Mac OS X Apps
1. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 14
Even when I work in a predominantly Mac user workplace, I still need to deal with a lot of NTFS-formatted external storages. More so if you work in an environment that’s largely Windows dominated. And as you would probably already discovered, OS X by default can only read NTFS formatted drives and not write into it.
Thankfully, the good folks at Paragon Software provides us with an implementation of NTFS support for OS X. The latest version 14 provides full NTFS features and supports the latest OS X El Capitan. This alone makes it the top of the must-have Mac OS X apps list. Paragon Software has also made the installation process a lot easier on this latest release, making it simpler for non-techies to install it.
I’ve been using Paragon Software NTFS for Mac OS X for a long time and it’s really stable! And I would also say that this is a software that’s pretty much mandatory for anyone with a Mac, unless of course you exclusively only work on OS X.
With all the password hacks going around the web, it is time everyone starts using stronger passwords for all your online accounts. Not just a single strong password being re-used, but a unique strong passwords for each online account you have. And if that is to be, then you would need to use a password manager to help you remember all those passwords, unless of course you are one of those unique individual who can simply just remember everything. I’m surely am not, and therefore swears by the use of 1Password for this specific use!
When it comes to password management, 1Password is really in a league of its own. What I like most about 1Password is it’s ability to not just store and manage passwords well, but it’s ability to seamlessly sync the stored passwords across all your iDevices (iPad, iPhones and iPod Touch) via iCloud or Dropbox, as long as you also have the 1Password app on your device. It also stores not just passwords, but also credit card numbers (which is really helpful for all your online shopping needs), software license keys, accounts, and much more!
Generate strong passwords for your logins
And on the latest version of 1Password, it has a mini interface that is accessible with a quick shortcut key that allows you to quickly search the information you need and immediately copy it into the clipboard and allowing you to paste it where you need it to be.
[adrotate banner=”4″]Before, you would only be limited to the browser plugin that helps you automatically login with the stored user id and password, or opening up the full application to gain access to the secured information.
You can even create multiple vaults to be shared across different team or family members for those accounts that are meant to be shared, while keeping your own personal logins accessible just to yourself.
$49.99 and $17.99 may seem steep for an OS X and iOS app, but this amount worth spending so to allow you to start managing (and strengthening) all your online accounts. Getting your password hacked is far more annoying and potentially a costlier affair too!
Alfred is one of the few utility apps that I can’t live without now on my Mac. Essentially, it’s a search utility, working pretty much like Spotlight of OS X. However, it does it in a far more elegant way. It also provides you with the quickest way to launch applications. Find out more about what Alfred can do for you here. The basic version of Alfred is available free on the Mac App Store or from their website as well, which makes it a real no brainer to have it installed on your Mac.
Effortless search with Alfred
But I highly recommend using Alfred with its Powerpack which only costs you £15 as the extra features is really worth the cost! One of the greatest features that the Powerpack includes is the ability to create global shortcut keys that allows you to launch not just apps but also to open a commonly used folder, activate an AppleScript, run system commands, and much more. It also provides a quick file system navigator that’s really handy in many situations.
Extend Alfred with Workflows!
In addition to that, the Powerpack also enables the ability for you to create workflows! You can find many cool examples of the use of Alfred Workflows here. Personally, I use it as a replacement to bash scripts that executes or starts up servers which I would have to do on the terminal.
Starts up a web server and opens up the browser all with a quick keyword
Personally, I think Airmail is the OS X mail app that should have been. I’ve used Airmail from the very early days of its beta releases and now that the app is officially released on the Mac App Store, I’m highly recommending it to anyone who has looked out for an alternative to the default Mail app, especially if your email is based on Google Mail. Airmail is built from ground up to support Gmail natively.
What’s really great about Airmail is its highly responsive interface. It also have a very intuitive user interface which most mail apps have come to adopt since. One thing I like most about Airmail is its awesome support for multiple email accounts, support for a multitude of email services, including support for Exchange, IMAP, POP3, Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com and many other providers with IMAP or POP3 support.
Also, Airmail’s iOS app is on the way and when it is released, it would likely be the first mail app that supports the iOS and OS X Handoff feature.
Uninstalling applications on the Mac is really easy. Unlike Windows which requires an uninstaller to do the job right, on the Mac, you simple would just delete the application. It’s that simple! However, it still does leave some traces on your Mac, in the form of settings and configuration files. If you plan to reinstall the application later on and would like to have all the settings and configurations intact, then that’s fine. However, if you like to wipe it all clean, then AppCleaner does exactly that for you with just a simple drag and drop.
I would basically keep AppCleaner on my dock and simply drag and drop any applications I like to removed on the AppCleaner icon on the dock. The other options is to simple open up AppCleaner, click on Applications (or Widgets or Others) and search for the app in question and then click on “Search”, confirm that you want to delete the app and its related files, then delete them,
As I’ve mentioned earlier, these 5 apps are must haves and I would recommend them to anyone who’s on the OS X platform. The total amount so far is about US$120 (US$97.92 + £15 which is roughly $23.00).
The rest of the must-have Mac OS X Apps
These next set of apps are really great to haves depending on how you use your Mac and the work that you do with it. I’ve decided not to put it up as top apps as not everyone needs to use these apps if there’s no need for it. Read on to find out more about them and see if you too have a need for them as I do.
6. Scroll Reverser
If you use both a mouse with a scroll wheel and the TrackPad with OS X’s natural scrolling direction, Scroll Reverser is the tool for you. The screenshot below shows the exact settings I’m using, specifically to keep using natural scrolling on the trackpad and maintain the expected scrolling direction for mouse’s scroll wheel.
Natural on the Trackpad and “normal” on the mouse scroll wheel
If you find OS X’s Finder lacking, consider trying out PathFinder 7. I’ve written a pretty comprehensive review of PathFinder 7 here in comparison to OS X Yosemite’s Finder. But even when compared with Finder in OS X El Capitan, the points I made in the review is still valid and I continue to use PathFinder 7 today.
8 customisable modules in both the bottom and right shelf
I won’t go deep into the features of PathFinder that makes it my choice of Finder replacement here on this article but here’s a summary of it.
File Operations Queue
Bookmarks and Favourites
Highly customisable and a whole bunch of features like…[adrotate banner=”4″]
Calculate file checksums with MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA224, SHA-256, SHA384, and SHA-512
Built-in hex editor
Built-in image editor
Archive files and folders with zip, gzip, bzip, dmg, Stuff, tar, and more
Ability to quickly get the dimensions of an image file and copy the dimensions into the clipboard as the following text: width=”###” height=”###”
If you need a good photo editor that has all the key features you look out for in Adobe Photoshop, but does not really need something as powerful as Photoshop, then Affinity Photo is the editor for you. First thing first, Affinity Photo is REALLY fast. It really is something that you have to use to believe how fluid the controls are. But more importantly, Affinity Photo provides most of the familiar features and capabilities as Photoshop, the industry benchmark for a professional photo editor app.
Affinity Photo also includes a pretty powerful RAW Processing capabilities as well which is very similar to Adobe’s Lightroom. I’ve not yer personally explored the RAW Persona deeply as I continue to use Adobe’s Lightroom for RAW development. But in my limited use of it, I find it as functional as one would expect from a RAW processing app. However, it does lack the rich support for camera color profiles and lens profiles as Adobe has. And because of that, I would likely continue to use Lightroom to develop my RAW files and then edit them in Affinity for post-processing.
Develop your RAW photos with Affinity Photo’s RAW Persona
If you have MacBook with limited SSD storage space, that means you’re more likely to fill it up faster as well. This is where an app like DaisyDisk is really handy.
As you can see form the screenshot, DaisyDisk presents your storage usage in a beautiful flower-like graph which acts as the intuitive visual map of your disk. It also doubles up as an interactive interface where you can discover what’s taking up all that storage space while allowing you to also select and remote the files within the app itself.
So if you find yourself to be running out of space on your Mac, DaisyDisk is the app to use to figure out what you can remove to gain back the space you need.
Just as my recommendation for DaisyDisk, If you use a Mac with limited SSD storage space, any apps that helps you figure out how you can free up files that you don’t need anymore would be very helpful. And with Gemini, it does exactly that by searching your storage for duplicate files.
Gemini does it really fast and elegantly. Due to my highly collaborating work environment where I share a lot of files with my colleagues, there’s bound to be files that are duplicated pretty much all over my MacBook’s storage. Gemini has been a really great tool in helping me find all those duplicated files and allowing me to decide if I would want to delete them. I’ve so far been able to remove about 10+GB worth of storage wastage.
If you use the terminal and work on the command line a lot, then I highly recommend using iTerm 2 as the replacement of OS X’s Terminal. Just check out this list of advanced features of iTerm 2 here and you’ll never go back to Terminal. Trust me.
For all the paranoid in you, Little Snitch is a great app that helps you protect your Mac from the outside world. How it works is quite interesting as it essentially is an anti-firewall, protecting not what’s incoming to your Mac, but what’s going out from your Mac to the Internet. And in some ways, this protects you better than just using a firewall as Little Snitch will prompt you every time an app requires to sent anything out to the Internet, unless you’ve already allowed it to do so permanently.
You can find out more about Little Snitch here. But if you are as paranoid as I am about what’s getting out of your Mac, Little Snitch is a great tool to help you keep that in check.