After recently announcing the next version of Android, “Jelly Bean,” Google touted some impressive numbers surrounding the Google Play ecosystem. With 1.5 billion installs a month, 600,000 available apps and games and 20 billion app installs, Google is quickly closing the gap between Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

New industry research indicates that Apple's iOS devices generate the most traffic for ads, while another study this week reveals the burgeoning growth of the mobile search and discovery market. And while we don’t know when it will arrive or what it will look like, an industry commentator predicts that an iPad Mini has the potential to “crush” Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.

The Future of Privacy Forum released an encouraging new study this week indicating that app developers are becoming more privacy savvy on both Google and Apple operating systems. And as the Apple App Store celebrates its birthday week, an industry expert compares the App Store’s first four years to the early commercial Web. In international mobile news, breaking reports show that China has pre-empted Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 launch.

The Apple App Store is celebrating its fourth birthday this week, and the company has quite a bit to celebrate.

As mobile app usage continues to grow exponentially, marketers are pouring more money into in-app advertising. In fact, a new study projects in-app spending to reach $7 billion by 2015. And in the battle for smartphone dominance, Google’s Android continues to lead the way with a 50.9 percent of the market share for operating systems. Finally, a recently granted patent has rumors swirling that Apple is exploring the possibility of creating an “enhanced viewing experience” for the user.

Writes Thomas Hazlett for the Wall Street Journal: "On June 29, 2007, thousands of fan-boys and-girls camped in long lines to inhale a wisp of sweet techno fairy dust. The new iPhone rocked the world. Revolutionary in design, function and ecosystem, it set off the mobile data tsunami. In three days, Apple sold a million of them."

Rumors are swirling around Apple’s potentially significant changes to its search algorithm in the App Store. And a new report reveals how much of a killing Apple has made from the iPhone over the past five years. In other news, Google is ramping up for its big I/O conference in San Francisco this week, where the company is expected to make some major announcements.

As we’ve discussed in depth on our blog over the past several months, Apple’s planned phase-out of the UDID has resulted in significant confusion across the app marketing community. During this time of uncertainty, some marketers are looking more closely at Google Play to fuel their continued growth in mobile.

Buzz surrounding Apple’s 2012 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) has dominated headlines since the highly anticipated keynote which drew attendees from 160 countries to the Moscone Center in San Francisco to learn about the new gadgetry and software Tim Cook and Co. have lined up for Apple lovers worldwide.Though the iPhone 5 remained elusive, and the company did not unveil a UDID alternative despite wide speculation before the show, Apple did reveal its brand new iOS 6. Read on for more…

Wall Street Journal View on Privacy – Some Food for Thought

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