Tag: android mobile app

Google Assistant now features Santa tracking

The Android mobile app and service is letting kids of all ages check on what Old Saint Nick is up to.

Christmas is creeping up fast and as Santa and his elves make last minute preparations, Google Assistant is allowing kids to check up on jolly old Saint Nick. The popular Santa Tracker has been worked into the artificial intelligence-powered digital personal assistant app. Kids of all ages can now say “Track Santa” or ask “Where is Santa” and find out the latest about Father Christmas.

At the moment, the Assistant is providing text answers to the question, though full maps are available.

For instance, when using the mobile app or desktop site instead of Google Assistant, a full map response is provided to the inquiry about Santa’s location. That said, the Assistant has a few additional lighthearted options, such as a number of different Santa-themed jokes.

Google Assistant - Santa TrackingThe majority of the responses currently shared about Santa’s location have to do with the last minute preparations he is making with his elves. For instance, one reply from the Santa Tracker indicates that he just finished checking the weather reports for Christmas Eve.

The Google Assistant app is available for mobile devices based on the Android operating system.

Typically, the Assistant helps mobile device users to be able to conduct internet searches, to look through their pictures or complete a range of other basic tasks. However, for the holiday season, Google’s Santa tracking system has been integrated into the Assistant to allow users to find out when he might be flying near to their location.

That said, the holiday features aren’t just exclusive to people who celebrate Christmas during the holiday season. Google has also worked in a cute option meant for Jewish kids who are getting ready to celebrate Hanukkah, too. For instance, if you ask the Assistant to “spin the dreidel,” it provides a digital simulation of the spinning four-sided top. This can allow kids to play regardless of whether they happen to have an actual dreidel handy.

For mobile device users who have gadgets based on an operating system other than Android, the features Android users are enjoying with Google Assistant are still available. Google’s full Santa-tracking website is available for all smartphones, tablets and laptop/desktop users to be able to keep up with the very latest with the Jolly Old Elf.

Economics of mobile applications evolving

Mobile Application EvolovingPricing disparity in mobile applications is gaining notice

The world of mobile applications is evolving. App developers are beginning to push the boundaries as new, more advanced mobile devices are introduced to the global market. These devices are governed by their operating systems, of which the most prolific are the iOS and Android platforms. Each operating system boasts of a devoted consumer base, which often clash against one another as the two flaunt the performance and capabilities of their favored platform. The disparity between the two platforms is becoming more apparent in the arena of mobile applications, however, and the divide separating the operating systems is quickly becoming one of cost.

SoundHound shedding light on pricing disparity

SoundHound is a simple instant music search and discovery application. It is not the first of its kind, but has become very popular with mobile consumers around the world. The application is available to both the Android and iOS operating systems  and is used quite regularly by consumers in both camps. Mobile applications are typically cross-platform, but their universal nature is punctuated by the fact that they do not cost the same on every platform. This issue is becoming highlighted by the SoundHound platform, as well as many others that are available to consumers.

Differing costs resulting from business model experimentation

SoundHound is available on the Android for $6.99 through Google Play. On Apple’s App Store, however, it is available for $5.99. The price disparity is not gargantuan, but SoundHound is one among many mobile applications that do not have singular pricing across all mobile platforms. This is because developers are beginning to test various business models and pricing points in several markets. Notably, the SoundHound application is available for the Windows Phone operating system for free.

Experimentation may be a risky venture in the mobile applications business

Testing new business models and pricing points can be very risky when it comes to mobile applications. Pricing disparity can often confuse or enrage consumers, leading to heavy criticism and causing applications to fail in the market. SoundHound has not been free of this criticism, but has managed to avoid the prospect of failure. The app has also begun to highlight the fact that the economics of mobile applications continue to evolve and that no concrete business plan has yet emerged to create a standard in the mobile space.