iPhone owners spend 55% more time on their phone than Android users

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New smartphone usage data shows that iPhone owners spend an additional 26 minutes per day on Apple’s handset more than the average Android device user.

While an Android smartphone owner spends an average of 49 minutes per day on their device, iPhone owners exceed that amount by 55 percent, according to usage data published by Experian this week. The average iPhone owner instead spends an hour and 15 minutes on their handset.
Experian
In addition to spending more time on their iPhone, Apple device owners also use their smartphone in very different ways from Android owners. For example, Android users are more likely to spend their time making phone calls, while iPhones lead in texting, email, taking pictures, and social networking.

Android users, meanwhile, devote a greater share of their smartphone usage time to browsing the Web. Talking and texting remain the most popular uses of both iPhones and Android handsets, though iPhone users are evenly split between percentage of time talking and texting.

The data comes from Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons Connect mobile and digital panel, which includes opt-in panelists who have responded to the Simmons National Consumer Study and National Hispanic Consumer Study.

WhatsApp says Google acquisition rumors are false!

The internet was set ablaze last weekend with rumors that Google’s close to acquiring the WhatsApp team and its popular messaging app. One report claimed that negotiations went on for several weeks, and a deal was finallyWhatsApp-messenger-iphone-5-e1353157543579 reached for $1 billion.

Not so fast. According to a new report, the two companies aren’t even holding talks right now, let alone discussing a buyout. WhatsApp’s business development head Neeraj Arora told AllThingsD last night that the Google acquisition rumors are false…

AllThingsD‘s Liz Gannes reports:

Popular messaging app WhatsApp says it is not in discussions to sell the company to Google. Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’sbusiness development head, told AllThingsDigital today that the company is not holding sales talks with Google…

…Arora declined to comment further.”

It’s not surprising that the buyout talk was unfounded; WhatsApp has been the subject of similar rumors in the past. In fact, just a few months ago, TechCrunch reported that the company was in high-level talks with Facebook over a potential acquisition.

So what makes WhatsApp so appealing to larger tech firms? How about its enormous user base? As of last month, the service facilitated messaging for over 200 million users on over 700 networks, in more than one hundred countries. That’s pretty impressive.

Ok, but if it’s not selling out to Google or Facebook, what does WhatsApp plan to do? Well according to the company’s CEO, its immediate future includes bringing its subscription model to iOS. They’ll make the app itself free, and charge users $1 per year.

Google is buying WhatsApp for $1 billion?

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WhatsApp, the cross-platform instant messaging application for smartphones, is rumored to be close to negotiating a landmark acquisition deal with Google. Sources reportedly close to the negotiations claim the Internet giant is considering dropping a whopping one billion dollars on the popular service that as of March 2013 had a cool 200 million users, a hundred million ones on Android alone.

The report ties nicely with talk of a new instant messaging brand from Google called Babble, and even more so given Facebook with its new Home UI layer for select Android devices is basically encouraging its one billion users to use its Messenger service right from their Lock screen or from whichever app they happen to be using at any give moment…

DigitalTrends reports that while the deal started four or five weeks ago, “we’ve been told that WhatsApp is ‘playing hardball’ and jockeying for a higher acquisition price, which currently is ‘close to’ $1 billion right now.”

The acquisition might make sense for both parties.

For WhatsApp, Google’s scale and reach would mean rapid adoption, especially on Android devices. More importantly, the software would probably gain video chatting, a feature it’s been conspicuously missing.

WhatsApp’s 200 million users come from more than a hundred countries and across an astounding 750 mobile networks.The number one paid app in more than a hundred countries, WhatsApp on New Years Eve 2012 alone saw a record eighteen billion messages processed in a day.

DigitalTrends lets us in on WhatsApp’s business model, said to pull in about $100 million in revenue:

WhatsApp has a proven monetization scheme. Its yearly but nominal $0.99 subscription fee keeps the service ad-free. Behind the scenes however, WhatsApp also generates revenue through profitable partnerships with international telecommunications companies.

For instance WhatsApp’s monthly local plan in Hong Kong with mobile operator 3 HK costs just $8HK ($1.03 USD) and an international package will run for $48HK ($6.18 USD) per day. And whatever Whatsapp is doing is working: The app has even had a direct hand in declining SMS usage around the world. 

It’s interesting that although Google played its cards well with Android, it somehow has managed to drop the ball when it comes to the mobile instant messaging playground.

The company is now rumored to be consolidating its many instant messaging offerings under the new Babble brand so it could certainly use a standout app such as WhatsApp to drive people away from rival offerings and give them another reason to go Android.

The search giant’s Nikhyl Singhal told GigaOM last June that “we have done an incredibly poor job of servicing our users here.”

WhatsApp is thought to be toying with a subscription model on iOS and has suffered its share or privacy-related hiccups. Google previously acquired some other popular developers who made names for themselves creating popular apps for Apple’s iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac.

Most notably, it boughtemail client Sparrow last Jul and mobile productivity suite QuickOffice in June 2012. Last September, the company unexpectedly acquired Nik Software, the maker of the popular photo editing software Snapseed.

Viber, another popular IM app, has for some time been in a neck and neck race with WhatsApp over which service gets to become the default cross-platform messaging solution on mobile devices.

But taking advantage of Viber’s feature shortages and slow pace of development, WhatsApp zoomed past its rival, which as of February 26, 2013 had 175 million users.

Facebook reveals its first TV ad for Facebook Home

Facebook has just revealed its first television commercial for Facebook Home, which is set to hit your television sets soon. The commercial is titled “Airplane” and it centers around a man who livens up his business trip by bringing his friends “on the journey with him”. Every time he scrolls across his Cover Feed, someone will appear, whether its his friends in the overhead luggage compartments, drag queens popping up all around him, or his nephew smothered in chocolate cake.

The commercial also shows off the upcoming AT&T exclusive HTC First, which will come with an embedded version of Facebook Home. The embedded version of Facebook Home features minor differences to the downloaded version, with the main difference being better app notifications integrated into the Cover Feed feature. The HTC First itself is a low-to-mid ranged phone that you will be able topurchase for $99 on a new two-year contract with AT&T. If you want the phone, but don’t want Facebook Home, you can check out our guide to de-programming the embedded Facebook Home launcher.

Facebook Home follows Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy that phones should revolve around people, and not apps. It brings your friend’s closer to you through features like the Cover Feed as well as Chat Head Messaging, which lets you message your friends even while you’re in another app. It will also have Instagram-like features where you can double-tap a photo to like it.

Both HTC First and Facebook Home are set to be released on April 12th. You can download the Facebook Home app for free from the Google Play store. The app will bring all of your friend’s status updates and photos to the forefront of your Android device, but how many of us actually want that? We should know once the app launches

Facebook Home for Android is official, coming April 12 on the new HTC First!

Facebook Home is officially announced

Well, it isn’t exactly a Facebook phone, but it has the capability of turning any Android smartphone into one. We’re talking about the new Facebook Home, which just got announced officially. Simply put, it is an Android launcher – replacing the stock interface of an Android device it is installed on with a new one, built around Facebook social networking from the ground up.
As Mark Zuckerberg himself puts it, Facebook Home is designed around people instead of prioritizing apps like other phone interfaces do. By doing so, the software aims to deliver a more personal experience to Facebook users. At the same time, it should be easy to use with its minimalist, simple interface. As soon as the phone is turned on, the user’s list of notification appears with their profile picture at the bottom. Need to dismiss something? Then all it takes is a swipe to the side. A swipe up brings the list of all installed applications.
Something that’s unique to Facebook Home is the Chat Heads feature (and no, we aren’t making that name up). When you’re in a chat with someone, it puts an icon with their picture in the screen’s corner for quick and easy access. There is even a counter that shows how many lines of text you’ve missed.
Facebook Home will be available only on select smartphones at first, but it should spread to many more after its release. That includes both smartphones and tablets. April 12 is the day when Facebook Home will land on the Play Store.

HTC First announced, coming exclusively to AT&T on April 12th for $99.99

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Continuing its obsession with the number one, HTC has officially announced the First, an Android device with a bit more Facebook influence than most other smartphones we’ve used in the past — including other handsets given preferential treatment from the social media network during the last four years. HTC’s Peter Chou and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega took the stage at the event to announce the phone, which is the world’s first Home-optimized device. What exactly that means remains to be seen, but HTC’s Chou indicated it will be a “unique experience.”

There were no specs announced for the device, other than it having LTE, of course. But, earlier leaks have indicated it will be 4.3-inch, 720p mid-range phone, not threatening the HTC One by any stretch of the imagination. It will be available on April 12th exclusively in the US on AT&T for just $99.99