FORTUNE -- Airbnb wants its hosts to get out of the house.
At a press event Tuesday at the company's San Francisco headquarters, co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nate Blechzarczyk introduced redesigned Apple (AAPL) iOS and Google (GOOG) Android apps with an emphasis on improving the mobile experience for the company's 350,000 hosts.
"Hosts said they don't have all the tools that they need, and second, that it's actually not that easy to use." explained Chesky, also the company's CEO. He pointed to feedback from a host who complained the previous app was so complicated they had to wait until they were home to access the website to complete a transaction.
Airbnb's new apps aim to fix that with a streamlined mobile experience for hosts called Host Home that allows them to accept bookings, manage guests, and request professional photography of their places. Another feature in the app, Host Groups, enables hosts to create online neighborhood-based groups for them to communicate.
For many tech companies, mobile has increasingly become a priority, and Airbnb is no exception. Chesky said he believes that the majority of Airbnb's users, who have booked over 10 million nights since the company was founded five years ago, will book more rooms via mobile vs. desktop. Indeed, Chesky is so bullish on mobile he told Fortune he believes the majority of Airbnb's business will be conducted on the app by the end of 2014.
Chesky also hinted that next year will see a raft of new products and features depending on user feedback, including potentially the ability to book synchronized cleaning sessions and to alert hosts when their guests check in. Airbnb also announced new initiatives like a rewards program for hosts to receive the travel credits for their own Airbnb vacations and GetMobile, a series of tutorials to get mobile users up to speed on the new apps.
All these new features and releases are intended to deepen the company's relationships with its room-renting providers. Emphasized Chesky: "We are a hospitality company."
Just about everything, writes Charles Arthur in the Guardian. It's a must read.
FORTUNE -- These two charts at right, taken from a YouGov survey and chosen for demonstration purposes by Charles Arthur in the Guardian last week, illustrate nicely what's wrong with statements like this (from TheNextWeb): "Android represents somewhere in the region of 80% of the smartphone market."
That's "simply wrong," Arthur writes.
"Here's the reality: at the time this was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 10, 2013 8:35 AM ET
comScore's August data show iOS outselling Android even without the new iPhones.
FORTUNE -- Apple's (AAPL) iOS may be losing market share to Google's (GOOG) Android worldwide, but in the U.S. its share continues grow, as the latest comScore numbers show.
See chart, above.
FURTHER READING: Daniel Eran Dilger's Data bites dogma: Apple's iOS ate up Android, Blackberry U.S. market share losses this summer. A sample:
"The continued U.S. growth of iOS at the expense MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 5, 2013 11:02 AM ET
Horace Dediu estimates that Apple will sell its billionth iOS device some time in 2014.
FORTUNE -- One of the great things about the Race to a Billion chart above, posted Friday on Horace Dediu's Asymco blog, is that it suggests that all computing platforms eventually reach a natural limit, where their growth starts to level off.
PCs running Microsoft (MSFT) Windows were the first reach 1 billion, but because the platform took MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 7, 2013 8:36 AM ET
Samsung accounts for one out of four. The rest are also rans.
FORTUNE -- Ad impressions as reported by Millennial Media (MM), the largest independent online ad network, offer an imperfect measure of market share. But they do indicate the way things are trending.
The chart at right, for example, taken from the MobileMix report that Millennial issued Friday morning, shows that Google's (GOOG) Android now accounts for more than half (51%) of the ad MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 6, 2013 8:03 AM ET
The popular mobile game has expanded its universe through transmedia, and the bestselling fantasy author is one of the architects.
By John Gaudiosi
FORTUNE -- Brandon Sanderson grew up playing video games on Nintendo (NTDOY) consoles, a hobby he never gave up. Now the New York Times bestselling author (2009's The Gathering Storm and 2010's Towers of Midnight) is actually helping to craft video game stories. Sanderson, who is writing multiple science fiction projects and MORESep 3, 2013 9:08 AM ET
iOS' worldwide Web share hit an all-time low as Android's surged to an all-time high.
FORTUNE -- Tim Cook likes to cite NetApplications' monthly usage reports to show that no matter how much ground they lose to Google's (GOOG) Android in terms of unit sales, Apple's (AAPL) mobile devices continue to dominate the Web.
It will be curious to see if Cook cites the Web analytics firm's stats at Apple's next special event, because MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 1, 2013 7:04 AM ET
Android accounts for 79%, the government warns police, fire, EMS and security personnel.
FORTUNE -- The memo, prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis and released last Friday, is titled Threats to Mobile Devices Using the Android Operating System. It's stamped UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, but it's the kind of information you'd think the government might want to share with the mobile phone buying public as well.
On MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 27, 2013 7:57 AM ET
For undergrads, finding new friends (and dates) may be as simple a smartphone alert.
FORTUNE -- For the average college freshman, the first few months are stressful as they navigate a new place and make new friends. Cory Levy, a University of Illinois student and co-founder of One, found that out for himself in 2010.
"My first day, I hardly knew a soul and had no idea what events were happening around MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 18, 2013 7:56 AM ET
StatCounter's "Internet Wars" report, if true, would be a big deal.
FORTUNE -- StatCounter, a Dublin-based Web traffic analytics company, reported Wednesday that Samsung has overtaken Apple (AAPL) for the first time to claim the No. 1 spot in worldwide mobile Internet usage.
If true, that would take the wind out of one of Apple's last bragging points -- a point that Tim Cook reiterated just last March at All Things D: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 10, 2013 8:39 AM ET
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