China is now #2 in iOS revenue, behind the U.S.

Earlier this year, app store analytics firm App Annie predicted that China could overtake both the U.S. and Japan in terms of revenue generated from iOS applications as soon as this year. The year isn’t yet half over, but that prediction appears to be on its way to coming true: China has just moved past Japan to take the number two position for iOS revenue – up from third place back in January.

The country was already the leader in terms of iOS downloads, a spot it acquired in Q1 2015 following growth in the market influenced by adoption of Apple’s larger-screened devices, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Prior to that, in 2014, China had been the second-largest country for iOS downloads.

But getting apps onto users’ devices and generating revenue from those apps are two totally different things. That’s obvious, too, when you compare iOS downloads and revenue with those from Google Play, for example. Last year, Google Play downloads were 1.5 times that of iOS downloads, but Apple’s App Store still leads in revenue.

According to App Annie, China’s iOS revenue growth grew nearly 2.2 times from Q1 2015 to Q2 2015. This growth is being contributed to in-app purchases, however, not paid app downloads. It’s also almost entirely driven by games – and not just games in general, but several very specific titles, says App Annie.

A handful of core games are helping to contribute to the revenue growth, including Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey Online, Hero Moba, and The Legend of Mir 2.

However, while games are driving the growth for the time being, App Annie notes that games are often a signal of larger trends to come.

That said, because of the revenue these and other titles are generating, China also passed Japan in iOS Games revenue in addition to Overall iOS revenue.

So how close is China to grabbing the number one spot for iOS revenue? App Annie says the U.S.’s lead is still wide – a sizable 30 percent, in fact. But if China’s App Store revenue continues to grow at the same pace, it’s on track to pass the U.S. in the “coming quarters.”


An energy miracle is coming, and it’s going to change the world

According to Bill Gates: An energy miracle is coming, and it’s going to change the world!

“If we could bring the cost of solar electric and wind down by another factor of three, and then have some miraculous storage solution, so that not only over the 24-hour day but over long periods of time where the wind doesn’t blow, you have reliable energy. In the $3 trillion a year energy market, for someone who really is cheaper, the rewards will be quite fantastic.

At some point, that risk-taking private capital can take over, and have patents and trade secrets and things that let them lead the way, which happened with the steam engine and some other things, although with energy, the time of adoption is a lot longer than it is with, say, IT products or even medical advances, like drugs and vaccines.

Other paths would include making nuclear fission cheap enough and safe enough that people broadly embrace it, so that could be scaled up. Or, if you really could take the CO2, when you burn hydrocarbons — coal, for example — if you could really capture the carbon and sequester it — they call it CCS — if the extra capital cost, energy cost, and storage costs over time didn’t make it super expensive, then that’s another path that you could go down.

I could name about a dozen paths, and you’d like to have a whole bunch of research on all those paths, and then, eventually, at least four to five companies with really significant financing try and get to big scale, going down and really trying to prove it out. It’s the same way that when the car got going, people thought it would be an electric car, people thought it would be a steam car.

think most of the infectious diseases like malaria — our foundation is very involved — once we’re finishing polio eradication, then starting up this malaria eradication, and getting that done as fast as we can.

So on the demand side [for energy], there have been a variety of policies that globally have been way over $50 billion a year of tax credits, raising the price of electricity through things like renewable portfolio standards, so the total amount of money that’s gone into sending a price signal to push up demand versus what would happen without it has been gigantic. On the supply side, for innovation, you’d say, go look at those R&D [research and development] budgets, and they haven’t moved in the last 20 years.


Facebook Remains The Top App Of 2015!

Facebook this year continued to hold the number one position as the top app installed on U.S. smartphones based on the average number of unique users, according to a new report out this week from Nielsen, but its mobile messaging application clocked in as the fastest-growing app of 2015. Having foreseen the shift from more public social networking to private communications, Facebook forced users to install Messenger in spring 2014 by ripping out chat from its main app. In the months since, the app has soared to the top of the App Store’s charts. Over 2015, Messenger grew more than any other app, the new report says – with a 31 percent increase in users from 2014.

That’s slower growth than Messenger saw in 2014, when it rose 242 percent over the year prior thanks to Facebook’s huge push. The question now will be whether or not Facebook can do the same for its next most-promising creation, the private photo-sharing app Moments which is now replacing photo-syncing on Facebook’s social network.

Also in the running for fastest-growing app was Apple Music, which saw a 26 percent year-over-year climb. However, that’s a bit of different situation from Messenger, given that Apple’s streaming music service only launched this June.

In terms of the top apps by users, Facebook led the way with more than 126 million average unique users each month, up 8 percent over last year where it was also the top app. And YouTube was hot on its heels with 97 million average unique users each month, up 5 percent over last year.


Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature

Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature

Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature

Kozzi-businesswoman-with-electronic-pad-441 X 294Watch out, Pinterest, you’ve got new competition. Google has now rolled out a new feature on its search engine that offers users an easy way to save to save images they find to collections they can reference at a later time. The search giant suggests you could use the feature for saving things like hairstyle examples to show your stylist, or snowman ideas to have some winter fun. Yep – the same sort of “inspirational” content that Pinterest users often collect and pin their many boards on the service.

In Google’s case, however, the new feature is only being made available to mobile users for the time being, and is only rolling out to those in the U.S. The feature will work across all major browsers on both iOS and Android, the company says.

In order to save images, you’ll also have to be logged into your Google Account. That makes sense not only as a way to pull up your saved items from multiple devices, but also because “collections” are one of the new focus areas within Google’s revamped social efforts on Google+.

Instead of trying and failing to take on Facebook, the updated Google+ is now more interested in helping users create and participate in online communities or share groupings containing images, links and more with their circle of friends or the wider public. In other words, Google+ is now aiming to compete with social services like Reddit, perhaps, or Pinterest.

Getting users to build out personal image collections by way of Google Search is actually a fairly clever trick, then. It could kick off users’ participation in the Google+ collections feature in the future, as it presents a practical use case for building an online image collection via Google in the first place.

To be clear, Image Search collections aren’t currently tied to those collections you make on Google+, but an integration looks like a possibility further down the road.

The new image search feature itself is fairly easy to use, if you have it available. But we did encounter a few bugs, which indicate that it’s still something of a test.