4 Steps to Accelerate Image Delivery in Shopify

Shopify is one of the more popular “webshops-in-a-box” solutions out there. It’s very easy to get started and it includes all the functionality users need to start a ready-to-use web shop. Managing product images is quite easy. Images are served from Shopify’s own CDN (Content Delivery Network). However, Shopify’s CDN lacks the crucial functionality to fully optimize images – especially for mobile. Mobile commerce will account for more than two billion transactions by the end of 2017 and will only increase in importance over time. Given this trend and the critical importance of mobile when researching and buying a product online, it’s a smart investment to ensure all your product images are optimized for mobile. This article will demonstrate how to implement ImageEngine in your Shopify theme.
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Detect the New iPhone on Your Website: Coming Soon!

The new iPhone is coming soon, and WURFL.js will detect it in the wild! Soon, you can too.

Apple will release the new iPhone in the short term – most likely on September 12, 2017. Our researchers are already detecting the new iPhone among the more than 2 billion other user agents per month they analyze. If you use WURFL.js, then you will start to see the new iPhone and all other iPhone models. Stay tuned for our official announcement and release.

How it will work

With a simple javascript snippet, WURFL.js can detect the new iPhone and push its device capabilities into your Google Analytics for even more analysis. Without WURFL.js, Google Analytics does not distinguish between iPhone models and identifies them all as “iPhone.” And we all know that the new iPhone will be very different than an iPhone 4. Learn more about getting started here.

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Most Used Chipsets: Samsung and Apple Smartphones

Samsung Chipset Exynos 9Apple Chipset A8Samsung Chipsets

It’s no secret that Samsung uses both its own Exynos chipset as well as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. Our most recent MOVR (Mobile Overview Report) 2017 Q2, found various versions of the Exynos chipsets account for 73%, whereas Snapdragon accounts for 24%.
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Image Compression and Acceleration Potential for E-Commerce Sites

E-commerce sites know that load speed = sales. Users of e-commerce sites frequently abandon if the page they request fails to load quickly. Oversized images are the leading cause of slow loading time. And image compression is a great solution.

Image Compression Testing

We wanted to know how much potential existed on e-commerce sites if they compressed and accelerated their images for mobile devices. We evaluated 314 e-commerce sites. On average, the pages we studied had 20 images on them. The original image payload on that single page was 1.3 Mb. Then, we used the ImageEngine Test to evaluate the site.
ImageEngine is a device-aware resizing CDN that can compress images dramatically without perceptibly degrading image quality. So, how much images payload savings is available?

Image Acceleration Results

After compression of the images, on average the image payload was reduced to only an average of 290 kb, or 78% acceleration. This indicates that many websites have huge untapped potential to improve their user experience by using image acceleration solutions like ImageEngine.
Ecommerce image compression potential

Learn more about mobile trends by subscribing to MOVR – the Mobile Overview Report.

Smartphone Screen Size Trend

Shifts in Screen Size Trend

Anyone who has purchased a mobile phone in the last decade has marveled at the reversal in trends when it comes to size. Long gone are the days when Nokia dominated the feature phone market and smaller meant better. Anyone remember the Nokia 8210? Of course, that was before mobile web browsing was a feasible or enjoyable experience. Today, manufacturers are slowly but surely increasing smartphone sizes to accommodate bigger, high resolution screens.

Smartphone Screen Sizes Continue to Grow

MOVR research data shows that larger screen sizes smartphones have dominated the market. The 5.5 to 6” diagonal screen size is the most popular segment, with 43.3% in 2017 Q2.  The growth in the 5.5 to 6” market has been dramatic, from only 7.5% in 2014 to 43.3% today. This is a 19% CAGR. In fact, over 59% of smartphone traffic comes from phones larger than 5”. Major manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have driven this trend. The iPhone 6 Plus, 6S Plus, and 7 Plus all rank in the top 20 worldwide as of 2017 Q2.

Conversely, the steepest decline comes in the 4 to 4.5” segment, dropping from 33.1% to only 9.9%.

smartphone screen size trend


Learn more about mobile trends by subscribing to MOVR – the Mobile Overview Report.

Tablet Screen Size Trend

The tablet screen size trend is different than smartphones. With smartphones, we see a clear trend that bigger is better – with 59% of the market over 5 inches in diagonal screen size.

Two Tablet Groups: Full Size and Mini

Two screen sizes segments clearly emerge from the tablet group:

1) full-size, larger tablets (over 9″ diagonal screen size), and

2) smaller “mini” tablets (less than 9″ diagonal screen size).

The full size segment is the largest market. In particular, the full-size 9.5 to 10” segment has grown from 46.6% in 2017 to 53.6% in 2017 Q2. The largest sizes – over 11″ – have not grown. In fact, despite Apple iPad’s power in the market, the larger iPad Pro versions do not seem to have gained much market share.

Mini is Now Slightly Larger

Back in 2014, the 7-7.5″ was the largest portion of Mini  tablet market. Now in 2017, the smaller “mini” segment has shifted away from the 7 to 7.5” size and is predominated by the 7.5 to 8” size. The 7.5 to 8” segment holds 31.8% of the traffic in 2017 Q2.

Tablet Screen Size Trend

Usage of the Full size and Mini markets is also interesting.  Read more about the prevalence of portrait vs. landscape orientation here.

Learn more about mobile trends by subscribing to MOVR – the Mobile Overview Report.

Smartphone vs Tablet Orientation: Who’s Using What?

Screen Orientation by Size

Smartphones and Tablets have become a part of our everyday lives, but how are they typically held and used? People use both Portrait and Landscape orientation to conduct their everyday tasks such as watching a video, taking a picture or even browsing the internet from their device. Why is this important? Ultimately, what we need is versatility among the tablets and smartphones of today and tomorrow. We need websites that can predict and that adapt to a user’s orientation. In the MOVR 2017 Q2 report, we have updated a study that measures the orientation at the time we detect the device (usually the initial page load).

Smartphone vs Tablet Orientation: Who’s using what?

Most smartphones are used in portrait orientation, with the most popular size (6 to 6.5”) showing 91% portrait usage. In 2017 Q2, only 4.2% of all tablets were shown to be <7” in size which most likely explains the increasing trend in landscape orientation usage.

Smartphone screen sizes of 5.5 to 6” grew from only being 7.5% in 2014 to 43.3% in 2017, which is a monumental increase in the percentage of them in the market. The trend continues to grow and with it we see that the screen size of the most used smartphones (5.5 to 6” and 6 to 6.5”) directly correlates to the sizes with the highest use of portrait orientation.

As you transition from the large smartphone size (6.5” to 7”), you encounter two tablet categories:
1) smaller “mini” tablets (less than 9″ diagonal screen size), and
2) full-size, larger tablets (over 9″ diagonal screen size).

Moving from the large smartphones to the “mini” tablet size (7-8”), there is an immediate 34% increase in landscape orientation usage. Landscape usage continues to grow as tablet size increases. (The 8 to 9” category is the only exception to this trend, but it is still 17% higher than the large smartphone category).

Larger tablets are more likely to be used akin to a desktop computer with users purchasing a keyboard and using it in landscape orientation because the screen size is naturally bigger. There are certain applications that also force the user to use landscape orientation such as Netflix and YouTube which are more likely used more on larger tablets for viewing pleasure. However, the “mini” tablet segment is more likely to be used as readers – or for reading websites that are more prone to a single vertical column.

Apple and Everyone Else

Apple is the only brand with more landscape orientation. This can be attributed to the Apple iPad Airs (9.5 to 10”) which hold the most significant market share for tablets.  Samsung controls the tablet market share in both South America and Africa with their Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (7 to 7.5”) but that still pales in comparison to the grasp Apple has on the market. The smaller screen size tablet could attribute to a more even distribution of usage between portrait and landscape orientation.

Learn more about mobile trends by subscribing to MOVR – the Mobile Overview Report.
By Rahul Reddy


What is Device Detection?

Have you ever wondered how the model and characteristics of your phone, TV, or computer are being analyzed and used? Well that’s device detection! It allows a website to create a page that’s optimized for a device model, browser, and operating system. Using device detection, websites can ensure a great user experience and improve performance.

User-agent strings

Device detection analyzes the user agent (UA) string sent by the browser. UAs help identify what device is currently accessing the site. This can include browsers that are running email applications, app web views, operating systems and, most importantly, the device itself. UA strings are designated in the HTTP standard, which says that a UA is made up of multiple product tokens indicating the software and hardware characteristics of the device. Unfortunately, the rules involved in creating UAs aren’t strict. Browser makers and hardware manufacturers, who are responsible for naming the hardware in the UA, are free to format information about the device or the browser as they see fit. And with all the variations of devices, the task of accurately detecting devices is complicated and time consuming enough that simple hacks fail to do the job.

Our solution

A device detection solution must be sophisticated enough correctly interpret UAs, avoid false positives, and stay current with the ever-growing array of device models. ScientiaMobile holds a patent on its WURFL device detection API (application programming interface). By using this API to analyze the UAs from your website, we can provide device intelligence that let’s you optimize your browsing experience.

How Device Detection Works

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Samsung Galaxy S8 June 2017 Update

Samsung Galaxy S8 S8+
Samsung released positive financial results on July 7, 2017. They forecasted record earnings for the second quarter of 2017. A good portion of Samsung’s success came from their semiconductor unit. But they are also seeing a rebound in their smartphone business. The positive reception of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is driving the smartphone turnaround. The question is, how positive is this reception?

Samsung Galaxy S8 is Now 30th Most Popular Smartphone

We have previously tracked the S8 release here and here. With our MOVR  (Mobile Overview Report) data, we can analyze real-time usage information that shows the % of market share for any specific device model. As of July 9, 2017, the Samsung Galaxy S8 had 0.68% market share. This makes it the 30th most popular device (in the USA). Likewise, the Samsung S8+ (a larger screen) had 0.53% market share and was the 36th most popular device.

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