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69 Percent of Mobile Users Won’t Leave Home Without It

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to notice how many people are using their mobile phones. Grocery store, train station, walking in the park. Two people sitting across from each other at a restaurant — both using their phones. On the freeway (yikes!)  And don’t forget those people who appear to be talking to themselves. They’re using an earbud, so they’re probably never off the phone.

Of course, all these people aren’t on a call. They’re texting and playing Words with Friends, and they’re looking for a place to have lunch, or a new pair of shoes.

A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows that 69% of mobile phone users never leave home without their trusty mobile companion. For many, it’s become an extension of their arm and there are days when even I wonder how I managed without one.

More than Half of All Mobile Phone Owners Own a Smartphone

There are three of us in my household and two of us own smartphones. My husband is the only one with a feature phone and yesterday he was talking about upgrading. He’s the rare bird that only uses his phone to make calls and text but lately he’s been eying some of the apps I have on my phone and he’s close to making the switch.

According to Nielsen, more American phone owners are making the switch than ever before, with 2 out of 3 choosing a smartphone over a feature phone in the past three months.

Who knew my family was so typical? I never would have guessed.

As of June 2012, smartphones were in the hands of 54.9% of all U.S. mobile phone subscribers. Android is still leading the pack in sales due to their wide variety and lower price points.

The Rise of Couch Commerce (Infographic)

Online sales by way of a tablet has been dubbed Couch Commerce, but could as easily be called Bed Commerce since nearly equal numbers of people do it from either location. Then again, I suppose people could easily misconstrue “Bed Commerce” so it’s probably best that we stick with the couch.

The furniture in this equation is important because it represents a shift in how we shop online. There’s a psychological difference between sitting down at a desk and firing up the PC to shop, and sitting on the couch shopping while you watch TV in the evening. The size of the tablet and the touch screen makes it more engaging and since you’re sitting there watching a Storage Wars marathon anyway, there’s no need to rush. In other words, tablets turn shopping into entertainment and we humans do love to be entertained. (As evidenced by the fact that we’re watching Storage Wars.)

Simon and Schuster Links Online and Offline with Book Cover QR Codes

Remember QR codes? We haven’t talked about them in awhile because. . . well. . . the only people that seem to care about them are the corporations who stick them on everything.

Publisher Simon & Schuster is one of those corporations. They’re putting QR codes on the back cover of their new  releases. Why? They figure people will scan them, visit their website, and maybe sign up for a newsletter which they’ll get by email.

Yeah, good luck with that.

S&S does get props for their attempts to mix offline and online readers. They have a number of excellent, book related mobile apps and according to PaidContent, 26% of their sales are now digital. Nice, but I still don’t see how the QR code fits into the mix.

AOL’s Project Devil Ads Go Mobile

Back in September 2010, AOL announced a new kind of desktop ad system they called Project Devil. Devil ads are mini, branded playgrounds that serve up interactive content in the same places you’d find traditional banner ads.

A Devil ad for Nordstrom’s includes a fashion show video and a store finder. An ad for a movie includes the trailer, the buzz on Twitter and a link to buy tickets. Tour the inside of a car and click to get details on the features. Learn how to bake a cake then create a shopping list right from the app.

AOL says Devil ads have 4x the engagement rate, 3x the engagement time and increase purchase intent by 263%. And now, they’re coming to mobile.

Offline Maps for Android Goes Live

Now you can get a map of an area downloaded to your Android device so that map can be viewed offline. As we see this is only for Android devices (at least for now) the divide between iOS and Android grows wider and wider.

Along with this announcement comes an improvement in the Street View functionality as well. The Google Lat Long blog tells us

Google Takes to the Sky to Promote Scifi Style Hardware

When you’re presenting a highly-anticipated conference to the entire world, it behooves you to come up with some exciting antics to keep the audience engaged and talking.

I’d say Google succeeded when they hired skydivers, extreme bikers, and a mountain climber to deliver their latest product to the stage. Even more amazing, they followed the progress using Google+ Hangouts. To quote an old TV show title, that’s incredible!

The product was Google Glass, the lightweight, “unobtrusive” pair of glasses that doubles as a webcam and mini-monitor. When you wear them, you can broadcast a first person video of whatever it is you’re doing.