Week 6

Comparison of Message reactions between iOS and Android.

Google Tapback. Google will start displaying iMessage reactions on Android devices. An ongoing messaging issue between iOS and Android users — along with the notorious green bubble — "tapbacks" will now be translated more appropriately on Google Messages. What's not clear from the article is if it the reactions can also be sent from Android to iOS. If you're a standards nerd like myself, you'll also appreciate the inclusion of a table documenting the tapback translations.

Mobile QA. Automated mobile testing service gets a $15M boost. In an attempt to address scalability issues, startup Waldo has built a script-less testing platform that's easy to set up and maintain. Using an emulator, you can record a manual workflow, touch-events and all, which the tool can later repeat as an automated test in a chosen environment. If it works as advertised, it will definitely fulfill a need many of us have on product teams.

5G… still needs its 'killer app.' Two issues ago, I shared an article about the challenges the 5G rollout was facing with the airline industry. A buddy of mine responded with, "Do we *need* 5g?" This article gets at that very question by listing the features that came with 4G (like live streaming, refined geolocation, and mobile gaming). Tl;dr We need a must-have app that leverages 5G-specific capabilities to pave the way.

Review Bombing. Yelp shared new stats on pandemic related negative reviews. The company took down more than 15,500 reviews — up 161% YoY — that violated new policies regarding COVID-19. This is just a symptom of the bigger issue misinformation that has spread so rampantly over the past several years. It also speaks to the challenges that product teams face outside of design and development, especially for apps that have any sort of a social layer.

BlackBerry… to sell mobile pattens for $600M. Mostly resulted to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networking, the patents have been sold to a US-based company. It will be interesting to see if the technology being sold has future impacts on device development. Regardless, it's the end of an era indeed.

From the desk of…

App Annie's annual report on the mobile industry dropped this past week. As it's still warm off the digital presses, I'm still poring over all the stats and digesting the data. But since it's timely and clearly topical, I thought I'd give a quick past over the macro trends.

Not surprisingly, usage rates are up globally due to the pandemic. What may be surprising, however, are the countries that spend the most time in mobile and which apps have seen the biggest increase. You may also be surprised to learn that the mobile ecosystem is healthier than ever, with 2M new apps and games released on both Android and iOS. Short version: Mobile is alive and well and still a good place to base your career.


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