The iPlayer packs a punch

Click to see

The BBC have just released their Monthly Performance Pack for the iPlayer for January (pdf) and whilst not quite a knock out it certainly highlights the move to mobile.

We’ve done one of our tables on the change between January 2012 and 2013 for  Programme requests (TV only ie excluding radio) extracted from their graphic.



The increase in “mobile devices” ie Mobile and Tablets is incredible. Up from 20 to 75 million that’s a factor of 3.75!

Looking at the, sort of, market share change in the percentage table shows mobile & tablets gaining over 20% from Computers and TV Platform operators (that’s the likes of Sky and Virgin Media carrying the iPlayer service).

Mobile is catching Computers rapidly and is only 12 million or 5.6% behind in January. We guess they could overtake after Easter!

We were somewhat surprised at the comparatively low performance of Internet TV /connected devices but perhaps this is further down the line so as to speak.

The BBC headline from Dave Price, Head of BBC iPlayer is “…..a record-breaking festive period, with performance driven by new mobiles and tablets unwrapped on Christmas Day, and it looks like these devices have yet to be put down.”

Many more interesting statistics in their pack, and we expect some further increase in February as Sky Go has only just managed to update their systems to cater with our Nexus 7 Jelly bean update so we and a few others have been diverted to the iPlayer for the last week or two!



Nominet listens to its activists – Sense prevails

Click to search!

UPDATE PM February 28 – Brands2Life have been in touch and informed us that ” although not labelled as a press release, Nominet did distribute a statement for this announcement to all media in the same way a normal press release would have been.”

Well let’s hope that the message reaches ALL the stakeholders and public!


We should, in the interests of fairness disclose that we did receive just before midday Nominet’s email “Update on” with this header!

UPDATE AM February 28

We are disappointed to see that Nominet‘s announcement remains solely as a News release on their site & unsurprisingly has not been picked up by the “media”. A search on Nominet items in the last 24 hours is, how should we say, derisory on the results front.

With it’s “Public Interest” remit (with the associated 43 million internet users) and to more widely inform its 10 million direct stakeholders surely a Press release is required.

Brands2Life (a leading PR & Digital agency) organised the October 1 Press release announcing the launch of the consultation with the headline “Nominet consults on one of the most significant developments for the UK internet“. Surely the results of that consultation have at least equal significance!

*                                                                      *                                                             *

Nominet have just announced at least a delay and, we think, some commonsense reconsideration of their direct .uk proposals.

The Nominet opening sentence is:

“Following our Board meeting yesterday, we are not proceeding with our original proposal on ‘’ but we will respond to feedback by looking at whether a revised proposal will address issues raised in the recent consultation.” 

The issues raised which Nominet intends addressing are stated to be principally the following:

“As a result, we are going to explore whether it is possible to present a revised proposal that meets the principles of increasing trust and security and maintaining the relevance of the .uk proposition in a changing landscape.

Over the coming months, this work will explore:
  • A revised phased release mechanism based largely on the prior registrations of domains in existing third levels within .uk and in which contention between different applicants for the same domain name should be reduced or eliminated.
  • Measures to improve security across the whole of the .uk namespace. This would include increased focus on encouraging the adoption of DNSSEC.
  • A firm focus on registrant verification and some form of UK presence.
  • Further investigations into the impact on the SME sector.
  • An appropriate pricing model.”

In addition to their announcement ” …feedback from the consultation has been published in two sections:

  1. an overall summary produced by the .uk policy secretariat and
  2. an analysis of the data by Nomensa.”

We have now taken down our “no no minet re” banner as this is exactly what Nominet say they intend doing. But for the aficionados we will retain a link to our and the other published responses we located!

Whilst we have criticised Nominet’s  proposals it is apparent that they have taken account of the feedback and appear to be embarking on a sensible reconsideration.

A further consultation taking place on a revised set of proposals is rather a daunting prospect.  We do though urge Nominet to use their best endeavours to involve directly in that process a greater number of their stakeholders.  We regard the 99 attendees at their nine public meetings offered to them (one of which we understand was cancelled) and the 900 ish consultation responses to be a very inadequate reflection of their 10 million direct stakeholders (ie .uk domain registrants).

Additionally we believe their wider stakeholders the UK internet using community in the UK (over 43 million according to the latest ONS figures) deserve to be involved and informed by an appropriate online and mainstream media advertising campaign.

In closing we at would like to thank all respondent’s to the consultation and others who may have influenced the decision – WELL DONE EVERYBODY!

The iPad is Good for Business

Good Technology “analyzed the mobile devices activated by its corporate customers over the final quarter of 2012” (pdf) and found that iPad activations in the last quarter of 2012 led Android by a factor of almost 9!

“With over 4,000 customers across every major industry, including half the Fortune 100™, Good® has a clear view into global mobility trends and the adoption of new mobile platforms and devices” So they re talking about a not insignificant sample.

Click to enlarge

Unsurprisingly, to us, there is a heavy bias towards the financial sector and business & professional services. ”Together, these two industries make up more than half of the activations” reported in Q4.but the depth of the varying sectors impressed us.  Over here yesterday we encountered  a Green Deal Assessor using a ruggedised iPad in earnest.

Click to enlarge

Looking at the wider enterprise mobile activations the Apple dominance continues as “The iOS platform secured nearly 77 percent of total device activations, up from 71 percent in Q4 of 2011.” Of the Top 11 devices Apple holds 8 with only Samsung (#’s 6 & 11) with a couple and Droid at #10.


Canalys  last week projected worldwide mobile device shipment compound annual growth rates through 2016 of:

  • 35.3% for Tablets and
  • 17.9% for Smartphones

Whilst tablet volumes trail smartphones by a distance they are still forecast to increase from some 16% in 2012 to 28.5% in 2016 at a little under 400 million.

The business/enterprise market for mobile devices is, we think likely to grow at least as fast as the combined rate for Smartphones & Tablets of over 20% per annum.





Nominet held a board meeting yesterday to consider the outcome of their consultation on the uk direct domainspace proposals. If they announce their decision we will bring it to you with our instant comments. We think it is not unlikely that a further period of reflection may be involved!

Pending our comments you may wish to check their:

Super, Best in Britain, Brands

A double header, early bird, best in Britain, listing of the top twenty brands for 2013 has appeared:

  • Consumer Superbrands (Business to Consumer B2C) together with
  • Business Superbrands (Business to Consumer B2B).

The technology (our definition) brands do rather well, we think, with unsurprisingly Apple leading the field in both categories. To us Microsoft has a remarkably strong showing and Samsung is somewhat weaker than we would have expected. Amazon will be underwhelmed!

Superbrands brought you, last year, the Coolest brands and again use a similar methodology involving a huge number of brands (1,700/1,100 consumer/business) at the beginning of the process which are whittled down by “expert councils” to around 1,000 and are then voted on by a large number of consumers/business people (2,900/1,900).

The definition provided is:

“A Superbrand has established the finest reputation in its field. It offers customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over its competitors, which customers want and recognise.

In addition, the voters are asked to judge brands against the following three factors:

  • Quality.
  • Reliability.
  • Distinction. “

As well as the overall top twenty category winners are chosen and our technology group figure as follows:

  1. Consumer (from 41 categories)
  • Google – Information Search & online services
  • Facebook – Social network and dating (that’s the category rather than a definition!)
  • BBC – Media – TV stations
  • Apple – Technology – Computer hardware and software
  • Sony – Technology – General
  • BT – Telecommunications and Broadband
  1.  Business (43 categories)
  • Google – Advertising solutions
  • IBM – Software and computer services
  • Apple – Technology – Hardware and equipment
  • BT – Telecommunications and Broadband

We seem to recall being somewhat confused on the coolest  categorisation front last year and this continues into this year!.

It’s still a most comprehensive survey and we thoroughly recommend a visit to their extensive website.

Oh and by the way Rolex won the overall Consumer Superbrand category!

PayPal here here here and here!

Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council  said: “We scarcely notice the steady changes in the way we pay, yet someone in their thirties today will see more change in their lifetime than in the entire history of money.”

Quite so & PayPal hereTM will be “available in summer 2013 in the UK”. (In fact we reckon they could go with an ® as the trade mark was registered with effect from 15 February last year).

You can register now for the service.

It’s, in our words, a chip and pin service which can be offered by small businesses using a PayPal card reader, the businesses smartphone (iPhone or Android) and some software app(s). Cost is likely to be a not unreasonable (or possibly no) charge for the reader and then, as usual, a per transaction charge.

The system has already been piloted over here and the, guilt free, “Greedy Goat”already has some hands on experiences to relay! (It’s goat’s milk ice cream!)

The payment service already exists (in varying formats) in:

and is due for introduction in Australia  later this year.

The triangular swipe and sign facility are used in the above four countries but it looks as if Australia is going for a smartphone only solution.

The possible transaction charges (courtesy in certain instances of Google translate) appear to be:

  • USA & Canada 2.7%
  • Hong Kong 3.9% – 4.2% + $2.35 transaction charge
  • Japan 5%

Let’s hope they’re nice and competitive over here!

To celebrate last night’s Oscars ceremony we’ll leave you with Apple’s iPad advert, which we rather liked which previewed during the event.


Disclosure: We use PayPal as a payment facility service

Keep an I on our week (Google-eyed edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Go  with the SwiftKey flow
  2. Internet Sales reach 16.1% All Retail Sales (excl Food)
  3. UK Internet usage reaches 85.1% in Q4 2012

Topic of the week has to be Google Glass  who are looking for “explorers” to join in their development project.

  • Good news – All you have to do is in 50 or fewer words tell them what you would do if you had glass.
  • Bad news you have to be a US citizen.

This is …. “How to apply

We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting.

Using Google+ or Twitter, tell us what you would do if you had Glass, starting with the hashtag #ifihadglass.

  • Your application must be 50 words or less
  • You must include #ifihadglass in your application
  • You can include up to 5 photos with your application
  • You can include a short video (15 secs max)
  • Be sure to follow us on Google+ (+ProjectGlass) or Twitter (@projectglass) so that we can contact you directly
  • You must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. to apply
  • For more details, please see our full Terms  and FAQ

The deadline for applications is February 27th”

Our 50 words might start “ #IfIhadGlass we would certainly  keep an I or two on your exciting Google-eyed journey……

And here’s our photo!

Now Google surely just one pair in the UK would be OK! Give us a shout at @Idotcodotuk

In other news Jeff Bezos’s wife Mackenzie has written a new book called Traps which is available from  ……..

Nice little quote, we thought, from a comprehensive article in Vogue “Bezos acknowledges that having a husband who is worth $20 billion is a stroke of luck—especially for someone who wants to write literary fiction,”

We’ll leave you with the Google Glass video:


Disclosure: We have Affiliate Marketing arrangements with Google & Amazon

UK internet usage at all time high of 85.1% in Q4 2012

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have just published their Internet Access Quarterly Update 2012 Q4 (pdf).

It shows internet usage by adults reaching a new high for the year of 85.1% (adults defined as 16 years old +). This is an increase of 0.4% in the quarter and 1.6% on quarter 4 of 2011.

The breakdown by nation (in alphabetical order!) is as follows:

  • England 88.7%
  • Northern Ireland 78.7%
  • Scotland 83.8%
  • Wales 81.7%

The ONS headlines is 7.42 million adults (15%) had never used the Internet. What we found as worrying was that 100k (0.2%) apparently didn’t know whether they’d ever used the internet!

Top 10 nationwide regions

  1. 90.3% Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire
  2. 89.9% Inner London
  3. 89.0% Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire
  4. 88.1% Surrey, East & West Sussex
  5. 88.1% Outer London
  6. 87.9% Devon
  7. 87.7% Leicestershire, Rutland & Northamptonshire
  8. 87.5% Hampshire & Isle of Wight
  9.  87.2% Gloucestershire, Wiltshire & Bristol/Bath are (Hurrah!)
  10. 86.9% Eastern Scotland

Top region by country:

  1. England – 90.3% Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire
  2. Scotland – 86.9% Eastern Scotland
  3. Wales – 85.7% East Wales
  4. Northern Ireland – 73.7% Northern Ireland

We’ll leave you with a nice little graphic from the ONS

Go with the SwiftKey Flow

It’s the smartest yet, it’s simply the best, it’s British and right now it’s only £1.491.

It is the SwiftKey 4 app for Android and it comes from TouchType Ltd who are based in Southwark (London).

The type prediction app now incorporates “ ….a unique take on gesture typing called SwiftKey Flow … which combines the mind-reading capabilities of SwiftKey’s personalized autocorrect engine with the speed of gliding your fingers across the screen. This revolutionary approach to continuous input begins predicting words from the moment a user touches the screen and goes on to predict their next word when they let go. A unique feature called ‘Flow Through Space’ also makes gesture typing more powerful than ever before by allowing users to enter entire phrases simply by gliding to the space bar between words.”

Some say that the company’s software is incorporated in over 100 million smartphones and that the app was the biggest seller on Google Play last year but all we know is that a reviewer has described it, following some hands/fingers & thumbs on, time as “ The best Android Keyboard we’ve reviewed” and it warrants a 5 star “Spectacular” rating from Cnet. This stellar review is well worth a read.

It also highlights the rather novel tablet split keyboard to cater with those thumbs in landscape mode – interesting!

You can even convert the SwiftKey 4 into a 7 or a tee shirt! They are running a little promotion with a Nexus 7 and said tee shirt as prizes. All you have to do is:

“… make sure you’re following @SwiftKey and just tweet ”I’m tweeting with SwiftKey 4 to win a Nexus 7! Try Android’s smartest keyboard now – #swiftkey”. We’ll pick the lucky winner next Wednesday (27th February) so be sure to check your Direct Messages then!” T & C’s available on clicking!

Click to investigate!

Started in 2008 they have grown to over 90 people and provide short bio’s of most of the members of the team on their site which, not only become colourful on investigation but can even be filtered by discipline!

Headquartered in a three-story office in Southwark, central London, SwiftKey now also has offices in San Francisco, New York, Beijing and Seoul. They may well have more to follow as apparently the app is available in an impressive 60 languages.

We’re off to give it a go and are vacillating between have decided to get both the phone and tablet versions. We may report back at a later date.

Say hello to their videos.


1 This is a promo price which converts to $1.99 over there and for existing users the upgrade is free. It’s available on Google play

Disclosure: We have no commercial arrangements with SwiftKey / TouchType Ltd.

Five win 4G, but Tesco doesn’t!

Ofcom  today announced the winning bidders for the UK 4G networks.

Accepted bids totaled £2.3 billion v’s the, sort of , expectation (by some) of around £3.5 billion. We guess longer term this may mean reduced charges for consumers and greater profits for the providers. We shall see!

In terms of roll out, after EE’s sort of false start last year, spring to early summer of this year is mentioned in the Ofcom press release as the networks target for consumer services availability.

They also predict that “Almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.”

USwitch  welcomes the announcement (pdf) and look forward to services being available within 6 months or so.

The other winners announced today by Which  come from their supermarket ranking;

  • Waitrose 82%
  • Aldi  74%
  • Lidl 69%
  • Marks & Spencer 68%
  • Morrisons 59%
  • Sainsbury’s 58%
  • Asda 53%
  • The Co-operative 48%
  • Tesco 45%

This compares with their (slightly older) survey of online supermarkets Overall we hope that all this should shorten & speed up the weekly online shop!


We watch nearly 9 weeks of TV a year

Thinkbox  have today released some preliminary research from BARB  (the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) and others ahead of their comprehensive 2012 Annual Review which they publish at the beginning of March.

The bottom line is that we still watch 4 hours and 1 minute of TV a day on ye olde traditional TV set (or in fact on our all Samsung singing and dancing connected variant).

Of this time just under 90% was watched “live” ie not “time shifted” via  DTR’s (Digital TV Recorders). Apparently 51% of us have DTR’s now but usage is stabilising.

They reckon 66% of the content viewed comes from the commercial broadcasters.

We’ve had a quick look and reckon a random week might in viewing terms show (e & o e):

  • BBC – 35%
  • ITV- 22%
  • Channel 4 – 11%
  • Channel 5 – 4%
  • The rest – 28%

It’s difficult to break out Sky, Virgin Media etc but channels with Sky in their names seem to have about 7%.

Click to enlarge

Wikipedia, as ever, have some analysis and we’ve borrowed one of their graphics which sort of comes up with not wholly dissimilar figures back in 2008.

But it’s in the process of changing . Thinkbox from information currently supplied by the broadcasters, and confirmed by BARB’s estimates reckon we currently watch TV for a further 3 minutes a day on other than TV sets ie mobile and lapotop / desktop  devices.

BARB are in the process of setting up the ability to monitor/measure laptop / Desktop and tablet usage to watch TV and we think this will, if not explode then at least add significantly to the current 1.2% level of viewing.

So as with Twitter & Nielsen combining to reflect the social side of the digital world so too with BARB and Thinkbox on the TV broadcasting one.

Our 9 weeks comes from 4 hours and 1 minute + 3 minutes = 244 minutes a day = 89,060 minutes a year = 61 days 20 hours = 8.8 weeks!