This week the United States Federal Trade Commission gave the thumbs up to Google for its acquisition of AdMob. The irony of the situation is that Apple essentially helped close the deal by announcing plans to launch its own mobile ad network.
Google of course is a major player in the ad space, with stakes in DoubleClick, AdWords, AdSense and Analytics. What AdMob brings to the table for Google is the ability to enable click-to-call ads for mobile content and apps. These will work for ads in mobile content and within mobile apps. The latter could offer a new revenue stream for app makers. We’ll have to watch to see what this means for app development, but given that Google’s Android operating system has a greater market share at present than Apple’s iPhone, it could be a true game changer in the mobile app space.
Mobile App Highlights of the Week:
Microsoft Sees Execs Depart
The Redmond software giant will soon have some empty offices, as 22-year Microsoft vet Robbie Bach, head of E&D since 2005, and J Allard, a 19-year Microsoft veteran, are leaving the company. Reports suggest that Microsoft’s head honcho Steve Ballmer isn’t happy with the direction in which Windows Phone 7 has moved, and thus someone had to take the fall. The new mobile platform is seen as new beginning, essentially a “reset” for Microsoft, so it appears that Ballmer, as CEO, wanted more direct control. We’ll be watching this closely as it will no doubt change how Microsoft focuses on app development in the months to come.
MasterCard Charges Ahead With Mobile
The credit card company has announced that it will let third-party developers utilized its payment systems, allowing it to be used for online and mobile applications. Developers will be able to bypass having to get a merchant agreement or making the consumer enter data each time. The new system will allow for a new open platform to embed payment features in games and e-commerce apps. MasterCard is basically shifting to an approach already adopted by the likes of PayPal, Zong and Boku. Using the phone to pay for “stuff” will suddenly be a little easier and will allow users to skip some middleman services. It will be worth noting how PayPal and other services respond.
Standard Reading on Mobile
The London Evening Standard announced this week that it was introducing a new mobile app that will provide an “extremely intuitive, personalized experience and supports great sharing experiences,” notes the press release. The app will be sponsored by British Airways London City, and will be available for free download to a variety of smartphones including the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android devices as well as the Nokia S60 5th Edition.
After Hours Apps for Memorial Day Weekend:
NatGeo Offers GeoBee Challenge
National Geographic has a new app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users, and this will let users experience the 22nd annual National Geographic Bee, testing users’ abilities to share their knowledge of the world. It features questions from more than 1300 past NG Bee questions, and offers map challenges from more than 1000 locations. The GeoBee Challenge is available from the Apple App Store for $1.99 for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and will be available soon for the iPad for $3.99.