The Week in Mobile: September 6-12, 2015


Apple announces new devices and OS updates, Google launches Android Pay, Facebook upgrades Business Pages with “Storefront” capability and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Apple Announces Next Generation of iPhones, Apple TV, iPad and OS Updates

Last week, Apple made several announcements at its annual event, introducing the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and the iPad Pro, which will run on Apple’s new operating system, iOS 9. Leading up to new OS’s September 16 launch, Apple has released the first beta of iOS 9.1 alongside the Golden Master build of iOS 9, which represents the final build in the beta software production cycle and will match the final version. iOS 9 offers a number of updates and added functionality, including improvements to Siri, which will now come with a Proactive feature that serves up information tailored to each user. And it’s clear that Apple is committed to advancing its digital assistant offering as the company ramps up its hiring of artificial intelligence experts.

Additionally, Apple introduced the next generation of the Apple TV, which will include an OS called “tvOS” that will allow developers to create apps for the updated device. Apple TV developer kits are already available. That means a select number of pre-registered developers can test out apps on the new hardware ahead of general release.

Interested in hearing more about Apple’s latest set of announcements? Check out our roundup of key announcements from the Apple Event here.

Google Launches Android Pay in the U.S. and Discover Decides to Accept Apple Pay

Google made two strong moves this week to establish itself as a leader in the mobile payments space. First, the company re-launched Google Wallet as a direct competitor to Square and Venmo, with bank account integration and instant pay capabilities. Additionally, Google formally announced the U.S. launch of Android Pay in an effort to recapture market share belonging to Apple. In other payment news, Discover confirmed that its cards will work on the Apple Pay starting September 16.

Facebook Upgrades Business Pages with Mobile Storefronts for Shopping and Services

Facebook has upgraded Pages with a new mobile layout that allows businesses to display storefront sections where users can buy products and view offered services. The upgrade also includes a redesign of call-to-action buttons such as “Call Now”, “Send Message” and “Contact Us,” so that they are larger and more prominent on the page. The changes could transform Facebook’s Pages into a mobile shopping destination and a utility for businesses rather than just a social media presence.

Report Says People Spend More Time In Apps Than Watching TV

A new report from Flurry—released just prior to the latest Apple TV announcement and amid uncertainty about the future of cable—indicates that people today spend more time inside apps on average than they do watching TV. According to Flurry’s findings, people are using apps for 30 minutes more than channel surfing each day. Flurry’s statistics do not include time spent on a mobile web browser, but TechCrunch notes that if they did, the number would increase significantly.

App Store Boosts Nearly 11,500 Apple Watch Apps Prior to watchOS 2 Announcement

According to a recent report from app store analytics firm App Annie, Apple’s App Store now features nearly 11,500 Apple Watch apps. And that’s the number of available apps before last week’s watchOS 2 announcement. The new report highlights a major increase in apps from the 6,352 apps available in June and the 7,567 apps available in July. App Annie also reported that the category with the most apps is “Games,” which is surprising considering the limitations of the small screen size. The next largest category is “Utilities” followed by “Lifestyle” and “Health and Fitness”.