Android

The New York Times Goes Pay to Play.

20130626-154603.jpgWhat do you do when you are in a dying business as a print based content provider; when your reader base is shifting to all digital, and primarily mobile and tablet driven resources? In the case of the New York Times, you restrict access to your content and try to drive people back to reading your physical newspaper. Say what? Yes you read that right. Apparently the New York Times thinks this won’t drive any readers away.

Starting June 27th the New York Times is going to limit the number of articles any non-paper subscriber can read on iOS, Android and Windows powered devices. The strategy is to try and encourage readers to subscribe to the print version. If you do, you get full access to all articles on the New York Times site at no extra charge. I say good luck with that, because your readership has left the print world behind. (Doesn’t a newspaper make more money off of ads than through subscriptions anyway? Hmmmm.)

Under the new set up, non subscribers will be able to read a maximum of three articles per day, from twenty five sections of the online paper including blogs and slideshows. Once the limit has been reached, users will be asked to pay for a subscription to further access content.

Up till the 27th, readers who have not subscribed have complete freedom of the “Top News” sections. After the 27th you’ll have an increase in choices of sections, but a lessened allowance of accessible content. Video content for all areas of the site still remains available and free for all.

To ease users into this change, the publication is planning a seven day free trial run when downloading the updated version of the Android or iOS app. I’d really like to see the numbers on how this shakes out for the New York Times over the next year. I’d bet they get very few converts, and possibly lose readership overall.

iOS vs Android, The App Arms Race.

Here is an interesting little infographic for Friday. Trademob has put together a coparison between iOS and Android  to see which platform really is the best for app marketers. The infographic compares the two competing operating systems looking at their user demographic, number of apps available, speed of revenue growth, smartphone market share and tablet market share, to see which OS comes out on top. Is it just me, or is this starting to feel like the “Mac vs Windows” wars of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s? Hmmm, either way, its interesting information.

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A Little Bird Told Me About Wren Sound.

I hate wires. Specifically I hate coaxial cable, HDMI cords, speaker cables, and power cords. So, every time I find a wireless speaker system that promises to deliver superior sound quality and looks good too, I get a bit excited.

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Wren Sound Systems Mike Giffin, (Former Harman International Senior VP) along with a team of other industry veterans worked with product design and brand innovation firm, Ashcraft Design out of LA to develop the Wren V5AP. The system works with iOS, and Android devices to deliver room filling audio via WiFi in a stylish refined package.

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The Wren system is designed to reduce or eliminate resonance and coloration through a unique body design. Rosewood or bamboo veneers cover a half-inch laminated MDF board which sits on top of a 4mm low durometer silicone pad that stabilizes the chassis and absorbs cabinet vibration.  The face is wrapped in a unique internal diamond-matrix grille designed to protect the drivers without distorting the sound.

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Internally the speaker system uses an Intersil D2 50-watt DSP-controlled digital amplifier to power the wo long throw drivers with 4-layer voice coils and two widely spaced 19mm edge-driven soft dome tweeters. This allows you to play your music louder with less distortion.

The system has a great look with simple understated controls. It’s the kind of speaker system you don’t mind having out in a room because it looks so nice. At $399.00 it isn’t cheap, but it is on par with other systems like those from Bowers and Wilkens, and it’s far cheaper than Bang & Olufsen.

Volkswagen Smileage.

The Smileage app for Volkswagen while a very cool marketing tool, has the potential to be one of those apps that floods social media like Facebook and Twitter. It has the potential to be an app that gets blocked by everyone that hates apps like this.  With that said though, the video sure makes it look fun, and I do like the idea of an app that lets you record your road trip in a social fashion.

Powered by Google Maps and developed in partnership with Deutsch LA, The The Smileage app syncs your phone with your car, can connect in multiple drivers, allowing them to combine, photos, milage, checkins, comments fist bumps, and more. All of this helps to calculate your Smileage score.  Click here to pre-register.