January 4, 2013

This week in digital: Wiki searches reveal, Ubuntu comes to smartphones and online shopping hits a festive peak

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Wikipedia’s most searched articles of the year revealed

As is now customary Wikipedia gave us an interesting view of the world when it released it’s most searched for topics of 2012. The report is broken down by country and, unlike Google’s Zeitgeist, offers some extraordinary insights.

‘Facebook’ was the most searched for term in the UK, ‘cul-de-sacs’ topped the list in Germany and an adult video star was the top hit on Japan. The Dutch were looking for information on Chinese Mountain Hua-Shan, said to have the world’s most deadliest hiking trail, and the Swedes simply wanted more information on their home country!

Post Christmas sales make for the UK’s busiest ever online shopping day
Boxing day saw UK consumers spend 14m hours online, making 113m visits to retail websites. The stats, released by Experian Hitwise, show just how the retail landscape is changing with Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing day figures eclipsing those from 2011.

On Christmas Eve 84m visits were made to online retailers, up 86% from last year, whilst on Christmas Day that figure jumped to 107m visits, an increase of 71% since 2011.

Another interesting statistic for web search over Christmas was the increase in users looking for ‘Skype’ or ‘Facetime’ related terms, suggesting spending time with the family is getting a serious technological upgrade!

Ubuntu comes to smartphones
Ubuntu, the linux-based operating system, will finally get it’s release on android smartphones this year. Initially the code will be released as a file which can be installed on the Samsung Galaxy, to replace the current Android system.
The system will bring the power of a desktop PC to smart phones, and in an incredible technological move, the phone would then act as a fully fledged PC when attached to a monitor.
Although some critics have questioned whether customers really want such a powerful smartphone, Ubuntu’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth has said he is in talks for plans to have devices sold with the system pre-installed within a year.

New smartphone rumours
With the New Year came a number of rumours and speculations about the next new phone release. Developers revealed earlier this week that Apple may already be testing the iPhone 6 and iOS7 operating system. Several app developers reported seeing references and activity for the new device in their usage logs, fuelling rumours that the  new phone could be released much sooner than expected. Experts from The Next Web have other ideas though saying that “Apple has not yet finalised the features that will be included in iOS 7, while the ‘iPhone6.1′ identifier could refer to an early test model or even be a spoof by Apple staff, following their chief executive’s promise to ‘double down on secrecy‘.

Another hotly tipped new release is the Sony Experia Z, which is reportedly set for release in March at around £400. Numerous leaks have led to much speculation but it is expected that the handset will be officially announced later this month.