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Day October 12, 2010

[Sponsor] Pi Cubed: Touch Your Equations

This is an excellent app. I wish I had it when I was a student. The ability to compose complex equations visually and then evaluate them instantly makes the iPhone a superior scientific calculator that, with this app, takes the concept to a new level. You literally touch the equation to edit it and can enter values to evaluate it. The visual representation lets you instantly recognize errors in composition, unlike formulas encoded in textual representations. You can share it, use templates and re-use it. It even exports to PDF for use with other documents.

If you are a student of any discipline where math is used, this $9.99 app is a no brainer. If you are a professional engineer, scientist, or an analyst like myself, this is an app you can’t afford not to have.

Available at the App Store here.

Highly recommended.

Apps attract more viewer attention than most TV shows

Social games on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices are competing for television viewers.  In fact, these apps, tracked on the Flurry network alone, comprise of a daily audience of more than 19 million who spend over 22 minutes per day using these apps.  Treated as a consumer audience, its size and reach rank somewhere between NBC’s Sunday Night Football and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and only 4 million viewers shy from beating the number one prime-time show on television, FOX’s American Idol.

via Flurry.

Escape from license-land: Measuring phone vendor commitment to licensed mobile platforms

Windows Phone had its day in the sun yesterday. After discarding its previous seven-year effort with Windows Mobile, Microsoft started with a clean sheet of paper. However, whereas the software has been re-built, the business model has not. WP is still a licensed operating system whose primary customers are mobile phone vendors. With Symbian mostly out of the picture, WP becomes only the second viable commercially licensed mobile OS, after Android.

So with two licensed platforms in the running, how do we measure success in the licensing business? Units sold to end users is one metric. But that data will have to include the performance of vendors and operators and other distributors. And it will take a year to do valid comparisons. The only indicative metric we have available today is how many devices have been committed by vendors.

As WP is out of the gate with device announcements, we can actually measure this. We can plot each vendor’s commitment to various platforms as an early indicator of strategic success. To that end, here’s the methodology: I took all smartphone vendors and tallied how many SKUs they have announced or leaked for either the WP or Android platforms (source: pdadb.net). I then plotted each vendor on two “commitment axes” (see notes below).