The latest report from Kantar World Panel shows that Android’s dominance of the smartphone OS market waned a little in 2014. Across the big 5 European markets (Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain) Android still runs on two thirds of smartphones sold in the 3 months ending November 2014 but this share has declined 3.2 percentage points from the same period last year while Apple’s iOS is up 6.3. It’s a similar story in the US but the Android/iOS split is now much more even (48.4% to 47.4%). The swing to Apple is most pronounced in Britain where iOS market share is up 12.2 percentage points since last year. The Apple resurgence is bad news for Microsoft as Windows Phone market share has been squeezed in most markets, down to 8.3% across the 5 EU countries and down to 3% in the US.
The New Year brings changes here at Rectangular Software. We have moved into a new office in the village of Stelling Minnis, which is at the heart of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We’re still close to the city of Canterbury (about 7 miles) and despite the more rural location, still well-connected to continue serving businesses in the UK and beyond.
As a result of the move, we have a new address and telephone number should you need to get in touch by traditional modes of communication.
Rectangular Software has recently been working with Natasha Hurst, creator of the IntoTrim Plan, to develop native iOS and Android apps to support the launch of her new IntoTrim Plan book for people who want to lose weight or maintain their ideal weight once they have reached it.
The free apps provide a food diary to monitor calorie intake meal-by-meal and a weight tracker so that you can plot your progress. If you install one of the apps and register a free IntoTrim account, you’ll also qualify for a discount on the paperback version of the book.
In addition to the native mobile apps, Rectangular Software has also delivered a responsive web app version for IntoTrim that you can use on any computer, tablet or mobile device. We built the web software usingPython and the Django framework. This is an example of how Rectangular Software is not just about mobile apps but can also provide broader solutions to support the mobile apps and to target non-mobile users.
Pitch Invasion, the UK’s leading provider of 5-a-side and 6-a-side football leagues has merged with team sports specialists Top Corner to become Powerplay, the new name in team sports, offering football, netball and other sports leagues. In support of this new era, Rectangular Software has delivered rebranded and updated versions of the existing Pitch Invasion football apps for Android and iOS as well as new netball-specific apps on both platforms. The free apps allow thousands of football and netball players across the country to track their fixtures, results and league tables and to pay their match fees on the move.
In the last few days several Appmonger users have reported that the app fails to authenticate with Google Wallet and therefore cannot download their latest orders. This is due to changes made by Google on the Google Wallet website.
In order to retrieve the data it retrieved previously, the app now needs to send your Google account’s SID cookie to Google Wallet. Version 2.5.6 of the app, released today, will now do this but it requires you to grant Appmonger permission to access this cookie when prompted to do so (you will receive a system notification giving the option to grant or deny access). Theoretically, being able to access this cookie might allow Appmonger to access more than just the Google Wallet part of your Google account. Unfortunately this is the only way that we have been able to restore the previous functionality. In practice, Appmonger will only use this cookie to retrieve data from Google Wallet. We will continue to investigate alternatives so that hopefully in a future version it is not necessary for you to grant this additional level of trust to Appmonger.
Last week the Stack Exchange team announced the launch of the new official Stack Exchange app for Android, complete with full write access including the ability to post and answer questions. In light of this StackAnywhere, Rectangular Software’s unofficial Android client for the Stack Exchange network, is now obsolete. As such, after nearly 3 years serving the Android users of Stack Overflow and its related sites, there will be no further updates to StackAnywhere.
We have removed the ad-supported Silver Edition of StackAnywhere from Google Play and made the ad-free Gold Edition free-of-charge to anybody who still wants to use it (it may still be of use to users of older Android versions that are not supported by the new official app). Thank you for using StackAnywhere and, in particular, thank you to those of you who showed your support by purchasing the Gold Edition.
Following on from the success of Learn Pro Blackjack for iOS, Simplicent has today launched an Android version of its flagship blackjack training app. As with the iOS version, the Android app was built for Simplicent by Rectangular Software.
Learn Pro Blackjack teaches users the fundamentals of Basic Strategy – the essential knowledge for maximising your chances of winning at the table. Blackjack typically has the smallest house edge of all the games at the casino, making it a better proposition than the likes of roulette, but only if you know what you’re doing. Basic Strategy is a proven set of rules that determine what you should do in every possible situation to give yourself the best chance of winning.
Learn Pro Blackjack combines a set of training flashcards with a comprehensive strategy test consisting of 340 scenarios. The app includes tailored Basic Strategy advice for each of four major rule variations (Las Vegas, Atlantic City, single-deck and double-deck), both with and without surrender, as well as additional tips to help you get the most from your gaming experience.
Google’s hitherto slow migration of Google Checkout users to Google Wallet appears to have accelerated massively this weekend – at least judging by the number of e-mails we’ve received about Appmonger no longer working. The problems that these users are seeing are the same as those that others have been experiencing since the transition began in April. At that time we took the decision to suspend sales of Appmonger until it was possible to make a version that would work with Wallet.
The good news is that Rectangular Software’s own merchant account has now been migrated, which means we finally have access to Google Wallet for testing. Hopefully we’ll be able to release an Appmonger update this week that works with Wallet.
In the meantime, if you were using Appmonger with a Google Checkout merchant ID and key, you can continue to do so as the Google Checkout API is still functioning (and presumably will until Checkout is shutdown in November). You will though need to have already made note of your ID and key because you can no longer access the Google Checkout website to retrieve them.
UPDATE (8th July 2013): Version 2.4 with Google Wallet support is now available from Google Play.
Kantar World Panel today published its latest smartphone market share report, this time showing sales figures for Q1 2013 in nine key countries. The numbers show an increased dominance for the Android operating system, which is number one in eight out of the nine territories, with Apple’s iOS in second place. The odd country out is Japan where iOS is a few percent ahead of Android. Android sales are a long way in front everywhere else except for the US where the race remains close. iOS share is down marginally everywhere but the biggest loser is Blackberry, which now accounts for less than 1% of the market in six out of the nine featured countries and has fallen behind the increasingly popular Windows Phone in all of them.
Here in Britain, Android phones were bought by 58.4% of smartphone buyers in the first three months of the year, with Apple devices favoured by 28.7% and Windows Phone in third place on 7%. Across the five largest EU markets (GB, Germany, France, Italy, Spain) the picture is similar though skewed more in favour of Android, which accounts for nearly three quarters of sales in Germany and a massive 93.5% of Spanish sales.
Kantar is predicting further gains for Android in coming months due to sales of new flagship devices such as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Google is currently in the process of replacing the Google Checkout merchant centre with the new Google Wallet. Some users have already received this update and are reporting that Appmonger is no longer working for them due to the changes.
Unfortunately we do not currently have access to the new Google Wallet merchant centre and are therefore not yet able to investigate what changes are necessary to get Appmonger to work with the new site. At the very least it appears that it will require changes to authentication and support for the new sales report format.
Until we are transitioned to the new service, which could take several days or more, this work cannot start. In the meantime we have temporarily removed Appmonger from the Google Play store to avoid selling to users for whom it will not work.