Newest Adventures In Content Distribution

The content distribution business is constantly growing. YouTube just announced that it is creating subscription channels with its partners. These new channels will be a tough new competitor to the traditional cable networks with their expensive bundles.

On the flip side, Apple is running into trouble getting its own deals together with the music companies. The latest rumors is that Apple tried to lowball the music companies by offering 6 cents per 100 streamed songs. This is half the 12.5 cents per 100 songs that Pandora is already paying. Apple has had to offer more in the deals, such as a share of the ad revenues and even a minimum flat payment in case the customer demand is weaker than expected. It is interesting to see how Apple’s usual bargaining strategies don’t work when they are late to enter the market.

iOS Getting More Integrated

One big advantage that Android has over iPhone is the ease at which developers can link their apps with other apps. With the build-in Android stack, users can be sent to another app like a web browser with a simple URI to the Android operating system. The user can view the content in the web browser and then immediately return to the original app by simply pressing on the Back button.

iOS has no back button and is not wild about apps linking to other apps. However, Google has just release some new tools for Chrome to make it act a bit more like the Android model above. According to Google’s Chromium Blog, these new tools let your iOS app check if the device has Chrome installed. If so, the user can be sent to Chrome to view the content. The best part is that the the top of the Chrome browser will have a arrow button similar to the standard navigation bar buttons in iOS. Only, this button will have the name of the calling app and will send the user back to the app. Cool!

It is a great workaround, but it would be even better if there were a standard way to do this on iOS. Maybe Apple will announce something like this at WWDC in June. Here’s hoping!

Newest Trends In Mobile: Connected Cars

Could two industries be more different than the computer industry and the auto manufactuers? Its differences have fueled websites for decades and inspired many jokes.

Eventually, these two titanic industry would have to come together, whether they liked it or not. Audi believes that the connected car is the future and plans to have 1 million cars with Internet and WiFi hotspots for up to 8 devices on the road by 2015. They just announced their latest partnership with T-Mobile to deliver this data for $15 to $30/month.

The real sign of the new industry focus is all of the car hackathons that are popping up in Silicon Valley. Just in April, there will be the Mobility & Connected Vehicle Hackathon 2013 and the Sustainability Hackathon @ BMW. It looks like Audi and BMW are not just competing in the showrooms but also in the hearts and minds of developers.