Handset Detection Helps R2 with Webcasting

Use Handset Detection to Make More Mobile SalesAt Handset Detection, we often wonder how people and businesses are using our service. Often we hear that a business is using the detection service to find out what kind of phones and tablets their customers are using so they can better serve them. Others use Handset Detection to come up with device-specific features. While these stories are fun, it’s always great to hear how someone is using Handset Detection in brand new ways.

Consider the case of R2, a professional webcasting service based out of New Zealand. They not only stream shows online but also produce them as well; they even have a truck specifically designed for webcast production. It’s a company you would expect in this modern day and age and probably one we’ll see more of in the future.

But owner Richard Naylor had a big problem. His customers were watching these streams on a ton of different devices, each with its own bit rate and format to suit the device and connection speeds. On top of that, viewers are watching from around the world.

“It’s not too hard to plug a camera into a PC and make a web video using a web service such as Livestream.com,” Naylor says. “But to do it at a professional level with fully redundant links, full media asset control and in some unusual locations stretches a few of them.

“For many years a windows PC was pretty well the only thing. Now there are PCs, Macs, phones, tablets and TVs connected via different methods such as Roku, AppleTV, Kindle Fire, etc. So we used to simply offer users a small menu to select the device or type of device they were using.”

Of course this isn’t ideal. Viewers don’t want a lot of hassle when they sign in to watch a simple video. They want to load the feed and watch it with as little as interference as possible. This can even make the difference between a webstream succeeding or failing, which can be a nightmare if you’re producing your own material like R2 is.

Luckily, a broadcaster friend found and recommended Handset Detection to Richard.

“When a viewer comes to watch a live video event,” he says, “we detect their device and switch them to a web page that contains the webstream that works for their device. Handset Detection allows us to be more elegant and hide the complexity from viewers.

“We want them to simply go to a web link and get live video. HD allows us to do that.”

The webcasting world is getting bigger and more complicated, even as viewers and companies alike strive for simplicity. R2 is struggling to keep up with smart TVs, 3000 variations of Android devices alone, and constant upgrades in a digital world that could damage their bottom line.

So we’re glad we can make Richard and his employees’ lives that much easier by streamlining the process. It’s not a use we dreamed of when we started Handset Detection, but that’s what makes it all the more exciting.

Happy detecting!

Handset Detection Heartbleed Update

heartbleedThis week researchers discovered a problem in OpenSSL, a technology that powers encryption in 66% of web sites. Its known as the “OpenSSL Heartbleed Flaw.” At Handset Detection we make use of OpenSSL to secure our website. We have no reason to believe that we’ve been improperly accessed due to this vulnerability, however as a matter of best practice, we recommend that all customers reset their passwords.

To reset your password, here’s what to do:

1. Login

2. Select ‘Change Settings’ from the drop down menu (top right)

3. Click ‘Change Password’.

4. Complete the form and press ‘Change my password’. Thats it!

If you have further questions or any problems contact us at anytime.

More info about Heartbleed:

Wikipedia Page

Helpful XKCD Comic

Should Handset Detection Accept BitCoins?

Earlier this year we surveyed our users about how we could improve Handset Detection. But perhaps we forgot the million-coin question:

Should Handset Detection accept BitCoins?

Is there a demand out there from our users? Are many of you busily mining and trading BitCoins? Is so, why? If not, why not?

From what we can see, BitCoin has distinct advantages:

  • Anonymity – No banks or overzealous payments processors are involved, meaning you could join the ranks of our free plan customers using Handset Detection as anonymously as you please.bitcoin
  • Lower Fees – With no banks involved transaction fees are lower and there’s no chance of a chargeback. On the other hand, this doesn’t affect our end user. A large segment of our users would have to start paying with BitCoins for us to see a significant difference in payment processing fees.
  • BitCoins Know No Boundaries – No currency exchanges, no regulation. On the other hand, BitCoin values have fluctuated heavily throughout the currency’s rather short life.   

On the other hand, nasty DDOS attacks, fluctuations, the shut down of at least one major exchange, and few mainstream places to spend BitCoins (for now) are disadvantages. Of course, if companies like Handset Detection – admittedly not Starbucks – begin accepting BitCoins will the snowflake turn into a snowball?

Or perhaps the reason we should accept BitCoins are this, so elegantly enumerated by John Biggs in his TechCrunch article:

“The world needs BitCoins to exist, even if the mass of humanity doesn’t use it. The goal of the currency is to disassociate the old methods of money transfer and to allow people true freedom in their ability to transmit value from one person to the next. A poor grandmother in the home village could receive money quickly and easily from the grandchildren without resorting to fees and trips to Western Union. Those on the move could hold their money in an account that is as liquid as quicksilver, allowing them to perform fee-free transactions anywhere. Refugees would no longer have to carry gold and instead could carry bitcoin. The utopian possibilities are, in a sense, endless.”

Vote in the comments or by sending us a Tweet or Facebook message. Do you want Handset Detection to begin accepting BitCoins?

Image via BitCoin on Twitter

Where in the World are Android Devices Showing Up? [Infographic]

Wondering just how worldwide the Android brand has become? We assimilated data from all over the world to bring you this infographic that may surprise you!

(Click to enlarge)

When in the World are Android Devices Showing Up

Embed this infographic on your own site!

Have A Fat Blog? (600 px Wide)

Have A Skinny Blog? (500 px Wide)

Mobile How To: Deploying Your Handset Detection Stats for Bigger and Better Things

Use Handset Detection to Make More Mobile SalesBy now you’ve used Handset Detection to find out just which handheld devices are accessing your website or online store. It’s undoubtedly been a treasure trove of interesting statistics, numbers, and tidbits.

However, there’s a big difference between knowing this cool stuff and putting it to good use. And if you don’t have any solid ideas on how to use the information you gather from us, what’s the point?

That’s why we’re here to help! Check out the following ideas for ways to implement your info into Handset Detection. Also, let us know below how you’ve used Handset Detection by taking our survey!

Rock Your Site’s Mobile Functionality

Online sales are the big story in commerce everywhere you look. They were a big winner during the holidays in 2012 and they will continue to thrive in 2013 throughout the year. If your website or store isn’t taking advantage of the shoppers you could attract, you’re going to miss out on many opportunities (i.e. sales, fans and loyal customers).

The amount of phones and tablets out there at the moment is honestly a little intense. Granted many of them are knock-offs of bigger brands, but still – there are a ton of options for consumers. That also means you no doubt see some unexpected results when you use Handset Detection.

Unless you’ve somehow managed to get 100% iPhone or Android visiting your site, you’re going to have a mixture of devices to deal with. By no means will you be able to deal with them all. As a result, you have to focus on where you think the most money or exposure will come from. For example, if iPhone users are your biggest customers, focus on making their experience the best possible. If Android users are your main visitors, find out how you can improve their experience on your store. Better yet, focus on both, as you’ll undoubtedly find yourself with a mix of both. But if for some reason Blackberry users, or users of other devices visit you the most, you’ll know about it if you’re keeping an eye on your Handset Detection stats.

Know They Customer, Know Thyself 

You may be able to revamp your product, service, or website entirely just by knowing who visits your site using what device. Up until now you may have struggled trying to figure out what niche your business falls into, but with Handset Detection that becomes much easier.

For example, Apple users tend to skew a little younger demographically. As a result, you may want to rethink your big idea of selling Metamucil online. On the other hand, if you have mostly off-brand users visiting your site, your high-end products might not sell so well. Try to lower costs or shift focus entirely to a cheaper product.

Finding your niche this way can also help you market your store or website. If you’re enjoying lots of attention from Blackberry 10 users, give them some love with a Blackberry 10 specific coupon. Alternatively, if your #2 user base is Windows tablets, give THEM the coupon so you can build them up closer to your Blackberry 10 users.

Have your Handset Detection stats helped you improve your online store or website?

Handset Detection Wants YOU to Help Us Chart Our Course!

We’ve grown by leaps and bounds since our humble beginnings in 2008, but our next step is to make sure we’re growing with our customers. As you see more and more mobile handsets detecting your websites and online stores, you most likely see new challenges and have new questions. That’s why we need to hear from YOU! Take our survey to let us know what you’re looking for an for a chance to get a sneak peek at new Handset Detection features before they go live. Thank you!

The 5 Biggest Mobile Stories of 2012

We saw quite a few things go down in the mobile world in 2012. There were many launches, like the iPhone 5 and the Windows Surface tablet, which experienced a wide variety of results (success and failure, respectively). Some stories, though, clearly stood out from the rest as the real water cooler moments of 2012. Here are some of the ones we think will make the most impact in the years to come.

1. Apple Versus Samsung

This is easily #1 when taking into account the effect it will have on mobile generations to come. The patent lawsuits started out legitimate but quickly devolved into nonsense (rounded corners patents?). The saga looks to continue into the future as both Apple and Samsung find little things to be angry about.

Of course these lawsuits won’t just have an impact on these two companies. Mobile companies everywhere may try to fight their way into a better flanking position in years to come as they realize they had some miniscule innovation first. Heck, just a few weeks ago the Brazilian company Gradiente started selling their “IPHONE” brand which was trademarked before Apple’s was. This could lead to hurt feelings and more lawsuits, and it surely won’t end there.

2. Apple Maps Fails Miserably

The last ten years has seen Apple reach success after success, so it’s a little strange when they drop the ball as hard as they did with Apple Maps. When Google announced they weren’t releasing Google Maps for the iO6 update, Apple had to do something. Their answer was Apple iO6 Maps, and it was a total disaster.

It has to be said the whole thing was a rush job, as they surely weren’t expecting Google to pull their Maps support. However, they might as well have not released anything at all, especially since the terrible app almost got some people killed. Google finally released Maps for the iO6 and CEO Tim Cook apologized for the debacle.

3. Samsung Beats Nokia

Despite being at war with Apple, Samsung saw another of its battlefronts pay off as they finally overtook Nokia as the #1 cell phone company in the world. Nokia had worn the crown for 14 years before Samsung nabbed it right off their head this year.

Nokia’s firm grasp on the lead slipped this year as their smartphone share plummeted. As their Symbian platform went defunct they had no real backup plan and have scrambled to adapt to the Windows Phone OS. In the meantime, Samsung snuck ahead, and congrats to them. One wonders how long this will last.

4. Phones and Tablets Get Confusing

Imagine you’re brand new to the tablet and smartphone world. You walk into your local shop to grab one for yourself or maybe a loved one for a present. As you look at the various selections, you can’t help but wonder: by size, which is a phone and which is a tablet?

With Apple’s successful launch of the iPad Mini and various smartphones increasing in size, the line between tablet and smartphone is blurring considerably. It doesn’t help that both devices do many of the same tasks; it’s just that one makes calls and the other does not. Since actual phone calls are becoming more of a rarity, that almost doesn’t make much of a difference. 2013 may blur the line even more when it comes to these distinctions.

5. RIM’s Ups and Downs

Blackberry was once at the forefront of all the smartphone buzz, and they held all the marbles for quite a while. These days, though, the tune is much different, and we’re all just waiting to hear the final bell.

However, 2012 was supposed to be a change in form, as the much talked about Blackberry 10 was set to launch. It’s received some excellent pre-buzz and by all accounts will be a great release – if it ever does (will the January date hold?). 2012 came and went and no BB10. 2013 looks to be potentially be the last hurrah for the once-powerful Canadian company.

What was your favorite or most memorable mobile story of 2012?

Why Handset Detection is Even More Important During the Holidays

Knowing who is checking out your website and store is very important all throughout the year. There are so many devices out there and they all have their own little nit-picky nuances that can severely harm your sales. If your store is optimized for Android but iPhone users are who buy from you the most, then you’re missing out!

While this is vital information in every season, during the holiday season it’s absolutely crucial. There are only a few weeks left in this very profitable time, so it’s important to use everything to your advantage. Here’s why you should use detection programs right now before it’s too late.

Limited Time

Not to make you even more stressed than you are, but your business has a small window to take advantage of holiday sales. There’s a ton of money to be made right now, but only if you have everything in place. If your store isn’t optimized for the right people, you’re going to miss out.

The sooner you find out who (and what device) really visits your site, the better an experience you can make it for them. Presumably, this will lead to more sales, as they’ll have an easier time finding what they need and checking out. The harder it is for them, the less chance they’ll make it through the whole process.

Also, it’s not like the info you gather now will automatically go out of use when the holidays are done. You can optimize your website for the season then continue the trend well into 2013 and beyond.

Troubleshooting Holiday Sales

You don’t own every device. While you may know that your shopping cart works great with your iPhone and your mom’s Android, what if your customers live in a place where another mobile device is common? Detecting which handsets are accessing your website allow you to ensure that you are all set to make sales. After all, you don’t want to lose a big order just because the “submit” button mysteriously disappears on your customer’s mobile browser.

And while you’re looking at your website, keep in mind that since it’s the holiday season, customers everywhere are trying to find the biggest and best deals on the web. If that happens to be your store then you’re going to have a great season indeed. So try to lure in those users with a percent-off coupon or something else special.

Also useful is a separate page made especially for your holiday sales. This way, customers can find all the best deals you have to offer this season without a lot of searching. You can use the information you gathered from Handset Detection to make the page perfectly useful for your best customers.

How Engage:BDR Solved the Analytics Puzzle with Handset Detection

Engage:BDR is an international display ad network that offers  advertisers marketing solutions fully integrated with the latest  technology and branded entertainment. They offer clients a full service and self-service ad network, a mobile/video network, and an advertiser network ad server they license out in order to drive performance.

However, as wonderful as the web analytics they offered their clients were, Engage:BDR didn’t have a solution on hand for reporting which mobile handsets were accessing their clients’ sites. So they decided to hit Google and see what came up.

As engage:BDR accelerated its mobile strategy, it looked to Handset Detection to help report which mobile handsets were accessing their clients sites.

“We discovered Handset Detection about 6 months ago when we first started setting up the mobile side of our platform,” said Ted Dhanik, president, engage:BDR. “We use them in our self-serve mobile platform so advertisers can target specific kinds of handsets when they are buying media.”

“Handset targeting is a prerequisite to using any platform to buy mobile. Handset Detection is providing industry leading targeting that helps us in every mobile campaign we perform for our clients,” he continues.

In fact,  that’s exactly how we at Handset Detection got our start – we just couldn’t keep up with mobile device detection and realized that doing so would require a whole separate company.

We hope you’ll follow Engage:BDR’s example for when you need mobile device detection for your company. Just head to our website at   handsetdetection.com.

The Galaxy Nexus 4 is Just around the Corner…Here’s Why

Rumor in the mobile world has it that Android 4.2 is coming out, maybe even as soon as next week with Google’s Nexus announcement.

Well, we have a strong indicator that the rumors are correct. Starting earlier this week, we suddenly began detecting a plethora of mobile devices running Android 4.2. Check out where we’ve found Android 4.2 running in the wild:

List of Devices Running Pre-Release Versions of Android 4.2

Manta (Google’s 10-inch Nexus Branded Tablet, rumored to be announced next week, too)

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP01) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Safari/535.19

Sony Ericsson LT18i

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-gb; SonyEricssonLT18i Build/4.1.B.0.431)  AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30

Occam (New Motorola Smartphone)

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP05D) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile Safari/535.19

Galaxy Nexus

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP10E) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30

Nexus 4

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 4 Build/JVP15L) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile
Safari/535.19

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 4 Build/JOP19B) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile
Safari/535.19

HTC Rezound

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2.1; zh-cn; HTC Rezound Build/IML74K) UC AppleWebKit/534.31 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile Safari/534.31

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2.1; zh-cn; HTC Rezound Build/GRK39F) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2.1; zh-cn; HTC Rezound Build/IML74K) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile
Safari/534.30

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2.1; zh-cn; HTC Rezound Build/GRK39F) UC AppleWebKit/534.31 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile Safari/534.31

HTC X515E

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.2.2; zh-cn; HTC X515E 4GS Build/IML74K) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0
Mobile Safari/534.30