Archive for December 2012
The Web as we know it have been born and matured on computers, but as it turns out now, computers no longer have dominance in it. According to a recent report by analyst Mary Meeker, mobile devices running iOS and Android now account for 45 percent of browsing, compared to just 35 percent for Windows machines. Moreover, Android and iOS have essentially achieved their share in just five years and their share is getting tremendously larger.
According to some forecasts their worldwide number of mobile devices users should overtake the worldwide number of PC users next year. If forecasts come true, this shift will not only continue, but accelerate. Based on data from Morgan Stanley, Meeker estimates roughly 2.9 billion people around the world will be using smartphones and tablets by 2015.
What does it mean now that more people are accessing the Web through tablets and smartphones rather than laptops and desktops? And is it really a big deal? Anyway, Internet is intended to be accessed from anywhere and thus from any device. Well, it is quite a change at least in terms most people consider the Web and how it gradually adapts to be used on mobile devices.
As mobile devices take over, the use of today’s desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will decline. Mobile browsers are already very capable and will increasingly adopt HTML5 and leading-edge Web technologies. As mobile devices naturally have less screen area, the sites need to function more like mobile apps and less like collections of links. So the sites are likely to look like apps.
Apps may rule
Native apps for smartphones and tablets almost always surpass websites designed for mobile devices because they can tap into devices’ native capabilities for a more responsive and seamless experience. This is most likely to change in the nearest future – most experts agree HTML5 is eventually the way of the future. This is already the status quo in social gaming: for example Angry Birds and Words with Friends. Some services won’t be available at all to traditional PCs — they won’t be worth developers’ time.
Less information at once
Web sites and publishers will no longer be able to display everything new for users and hoping something will catch the user’s eye. Smaller screens and lower information density means sites will need to adjust to user preferences and profiles to customize the information they present. Increasingly, the Internet will become unusable unless sites believe they know who you are. Some services will handle these tasks themselves, but the most likely contenders for supplying digital identity credentials are Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and mobile carriers.
Sharing by default
In a mobile-focused Internet, anonymity becomes rare. Virtually every mobile device can be definitively associated with a single person (or small group of people). Defaults to share information and experiences with social circles and followers will be increasingly common, along with increasing reliance on disclosure of personal information (like location, status, and activities, and social connections) to drive key functionality. As the Internet re-orients around mobile, opting out of sharing will increasingly mean opting out of the Internet.
Emphasis on destination
Internet-based sites and services will increasingly function as a combination of content and functionality reluctant to link out to other sites or drive traffic (and potential advertising revenue) elsewhere. These have long been factors in many sites’ designs but mobile devices amplify these considerations by making traditional Web navigation awkward and difficult. Still URLs are not going to die – people will still send links to their friends and Web search will remain most users primary means of finding information online.
Going light weight
As people rely on mobile, cloud, and broadband services, the necessity to do things like commute, store large volumes of records or media, or patronize physical businesses will decline. Businesses won’t need to save years of invoices, statements, and paperwork in file boxes and storage facilities – cloud storage comes as their rescue. Banks will become purely virtual institutions consumers deal with online via their phones. Distance learning and collaborative tools will let students take their coursework with them anywhere — and eliminate the need to worry about reselling enormous textbooks.
Going mobile is an obvious trend today. Experts envisage that nearly every service, business, and person who wants to use the Internet will be thinking mobile first and PC second, if they think about PCs at all. Do you agree? And what other related changes can you imagine?
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts :)
One of my latest articles was about the android app advertizing networks, where I tried to enumerate one of the best and most popular networks existing at the moment. And what about iPhone networks ? – I thought. Developers and publishers can certainly make money with iPhone apps as well as with Android ones and receive quite good money. So in order not to be accused of being a “mobile platform racist” I`ve tried to prepare the list of some interesting ad networks that iphone app and game developers may use :) You could pick the one you like and use it to monetize your iPhone app. Let`s get into the list….
iAd – iAd is considered to be one of the best Ad network that is directly owned by Apple and it is serving the most number of iPhone Apps already available in the market. iAd claims that currently every 100′s of their publishers are earning $50,000 per quarter in average. iAd shares the owners of the apps 60% of the income generated by the iPhone App.
Similar to AdMob, iAd facilitates integrating advertisements into applications sold on the iOS App Store. If the user taps on an iAd banner, a full-screen advertisement appears within the application.
LeadBolt App Advertising – With this Mobile App network, you could integrate their SDK to monetize your Apps. They support different formats of advertisements like Text Ads, Banner Ads, Video Ads etc. You could customize the Ad placements like entry Ads, exit Ads, Menu Ads and test around to maximize your earnings.
Smatto App Advertising Network – This is one of the highest paying Ad network which gives 90% of Ad earnings to developers and publishers and keeps only the remaining 10%. It has simple APIs which gives access to multiple Ad networks around the countries and you could pick the required Ad networks. However, to join Smatto you must generate 30+ million page impressions per month . It is compatible with iPhone iOS, Android, Nokia OVI, windows, blackberry.
iPhoneAlliance – Alliance represents about 50 million page views delivered from 10 million App users around the world specialized in iPhone App advertising. They are providing an end-to-end Ad solution which helps to configure, manage and to optimize ad performance so that you could maximize the earnings from iPhone Apps.
Mobclix App Advertising – This is one of the ad network which supports real-time bidding for advertisers and hence there are more possibilities to maximize your earnings. They have impression based earnings and your App gets the power to earn from each Ad impression it makes. Like other programs, it connects with multiple ad networks and gives single payment.
MobFox – MobFox is world’s highest-paying mobile advertising network for US & EU Traffic on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 applications and mobile websites. Instead of working with hundreds of different advertisers and networks, they concentrate on placing the most engaging and most paying premium ads on users applications or mobile websites.
Here you see a short list of interesting iPhone add networks available and I hope this list will be of interest and use to you :) Have you ever tried to promote your iPhone apps and games through some ad network? It will be great if you could share your experience.
Nowadays, more and more people use their mobile devices for the majority of their computer needs. That’s why mobile web application frameworks are in high demand for developers. There are several great mobile web frameworks that allow you to create an application with a native “look and feel” interface. Among them are jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, iWebKit, DHTMLX Touch, etc. If you have decided to develop a web application for mobile devices and you want to use a client-side framework to achieve this, Sencha Touch (ST) and JQueryMobile (JQM) seem to be the most serious options. What are their strong and weak points? Let’s see.
ST comes with a MVC framework which leads to a well structured code base. It is really a big plus, especially for large projects. Using ST you will likely not have to write a lot of HTML as the DOM (Document Object Model )is generated out of the objects models / widgets that you use. Besides, a wide range of UI widgets to choose from, as well as robust data, layout and component models are at your disposal.
Speaking of device support, ST website actually supports iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. It works really good on iOS. As for Android, it can be slow on large lists. Some problems may occur with Blackberry, so it may be better to choose another framework for this device.
ST also has enhanced support for touch events such as double tap, swipe, hold, pinch and rotate.
Developing on your desktop you should keep in mind that ST does not support all browser engines. You are required to use a browser based on Webkit (like Google Chrome or Safari). You are not able to view Sencha Touch apps in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any other browser not using the Webkit engine.
ST is not easy to get running on the fly. It is almost a purely programmatic model, as you don’t design pages in HTML, but programmatically add elements to a page. So sometimes it’s difficult to make web design separately in HTML.
As for converting sites to work with the framework, it may involve a full front-end rewrite and it is very hard to debug and fix errors in ST.
Pros: MVC codebase; good support of iOS; enhanced support for touch events; great API documentation and sample demos
JQM is Touch-Optimized Web Framework for Smartphones & Tablets. It is a unified user interface system across all popular mobile device platforms, built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation.
JQM is really quick to develop with. You can just start with clean HTML markup and then apply “progressive enhancement techniques” or extra HTML element attributes to integrate mobile features into an existing semantic structure.
As for MVC, JQM doesn’t have it. So lot of care has to be taken while organizing the code.
The framework claims to offer a broad level of support across a wide range of platforms, and progressive enhancement for older devices and operating systems. Instead of writing unique apps for each mobile device or OS, the jQuery mobile framework will allow you to design a single highly branded and customized web application that will work on all popular smartphone and tablet platforms.
JQM includes a great AJAX-powered navigation system which enables animated page transitions while maintaining back button, bookmarking and clean URLs.
The framework comes with a CSS theme styling system that enables a simple project to get off the ground very quickly. Then this can be easily extended with your own custom styles. But the CSS theme styling system has limited options so sites built can look similar.
The bad thing is that page transitions and animations don’t feel ‘native’ enough and can be sluggish sometimes.
Pros: JQM is quick to develop with; supports all major browsers and platforms; has a great AJAX-powered navigation system; CSS theme styling system enables a simple project start very quickly
Cons: no given code structure (MVC); CSS theme styling system has limited options (sites may look similar); page transitions and animations don’t feel ‘native’ enough
So after comparing these two frameworks on some points, we see that ST has a given code structure and feels more like coding in Java/C# while jQuery Mobile is more like web with the HTML you write. So it’s better to use ST if you are used to Java/C# and only want to support such devices as iPhone and Android. And if you are a webdeveloper, used to jQuery and HTML and want to support the majority of devices and browsers, using jQuery Mobile seems to be more sound.
And what are your thoughts? I’m eager to know which mobile web application framework will you define as the best solution for developing a web app for a mobile device? Will it be Sencha Touch or jQuery mobile or some other great framework? Thanks and looking forward to your comments!
Posted December 6, 2012on:
Unity as a company has one mission: help games developers be more successful. Unity is one of the top game development platforms, routinely seen powering the biggest games on a multitude of platforms such as Castle Warriors, Battle Bears, Max & the Magic Marker, CSR Racing, Temple Run and Shadowgun and now it is the turn of Windows Phone to get in on the Unity action!
The decision to bring Unity to Windows Phone was driven by an upwelling of requests from developers and gamers alike. Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason has announced during the opening keynote of the Unite 12 in Amsterdam the 6th Annual Developer Conference that its game creation platform Unity will be supporting Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 after the update to Unity 4 version.
“Our mission at Unity has always been to provide solutions for developers to effortlessly bring their work to as many different platforms as possible,” said David Helgason.
Microsft senior director of Windows app marketing John Richards added: “We are excited that the Unity community will now be given the opportunity to develop world class titles for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
Let’s try to see why it is a big deal for game development world to support and bring game development on windows 8 and windows phone 8 !
Helgason claims that 53 per cent of mobile developers have made use of the Unity engine, with 300,000 of them active on a monthly basis.
Unity licenses are available for almost all other modern gaming platforms — including iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3 — and the engine has been used to create popular mobile games such as Shadowgun.
Now the developers community is ready and willing to bring their games to the new versions of Windows. While do we have guarantee that developers will do it painless and not taking too much time and efforts?
It is the known fact that Windows Phone 7 never really got off the ground as a gaming platform, but its successor got an early boost today in the shape of Unity support. Windows Phone (like iOS and Android) has some heavy and understandable restrictions on how things can be done. Helgason previously said that Unity didn’t support Windows Phone 7 due to its “relatively closed” nature, but expressed hope that Windows 8 would prove easier to work with. David was keen to point out that it’s no more a problem of Windows Phone 8 than any other mobile OS. Only in the last few months has the project reached the level where they are confident they are able to deliver the goods.
Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 are to share the same core so it was of interest to hear David’s thoughts on just how similar the two are platforms really are. He thinks that the two resemble more closely how Apples iOS and OSX look in terms of game development. The desktop OS naturally gives up huge amounts of resources whilst the mobile OS is far more restricted. Whilst the cores are the same, the amount that can be achieved on each platform varies greatly.
When it comes to Windows Phone 8, we’re going to see an entirely new base specification, improved GFX handling and dual core CPU. David’s feeling is that Microsoft are putting out sensible guidelines for their next gen hardware. It’s a well-known problem with Android that often times the superior hardware can’t be utilized properly or devices simply aren’t capable of rendering 3D at all. In this regard, Microsoft is making the right move by ensuring the spec of the devices remains a known constant.
But to my point of view it is hard to say either way if Microsoft have done enough with their next OS to ensure it’s a rock solid gaming platform, it’s still too early to tell.
Personally me along with many developers and just game lovers have a really good sense that Windows Phone 8 is going to work really well as a gaming platform.
There had been invested so much into the platform and to be honest it is designed very well. The Unity lovers have a good feeling that Windows Phone 8 is going to be big.
For developers using Unity and the company itself, the prospects for mobile games sales are huge. Even if the platform remains the third of fourth eco system, it will still present a valuable extra market for developers to target. For a game developer, once they have made a game in Unity, porting it to another platform is very straightforward. The economics of porting the games to other platforms like Windows Phone are actually very attractive. That should bode very well for future games releases on WP8. With little or no work in actually porting, there is almost nothing to lose in releasing to the Marketplace.
To show a positive perspective I would give the example of Microsoft’s Build developer conference held at the company’s campus in Redmond, WA, where Tony Garcia, Unity EVP of Business Development, took the stage during the mobile keynote to talk about Unity’s commitment to Windows Phone 8 by demonstrating just how empowering development for the platform can be for new and existing Unity-authored games and apps.
Tony spoke while Field Engineer Corey Johnson toured the Unity development environment, using a level from Madfinger’s Shadowgun as the example project. The short demonstration provided onlookers (both on-site and online) unfamiliar with Unity a good idea of the power, versatility, and efficiency of the tools. As Tony talked, Corey demonstrated how easily projects can be changed between platforms and built for Windows Phone 8 in Unity.
Shadowgun was then demonstrated running on a Windows Phone 8 mobile device and it looked mighty fantastic.
It’s clear that Unity is going to play a big role in the early months of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 device availability with games like Shadowgun, Ski Safari, and Temple Run headlining a number of other amazing Unity-authored titles. And as the Shadowgun level demonstrates, things are looking good!
“The number of high-quality Unity-authored games for the PC, Xbox, and mobile devices already created is staggering and we’re looking forward to seeing these products appear in the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Marketplace,” senior director of Windows app marketing at Microsoft John Richards said.
To summarize all said above I would say that I am both excited and positive about Windows Phone 8’s gaming future. Unity should help light up Windows Phone 8 as a gaming platform. With Unity, Porting games to and from Windows Phone should take only a couple of days isn’t it great?!
While we couldn’t learn about future games coming to Windows Phone 8, I were assured that we are going to be very excited to see what’s coming. It is really interesting to observe who and how many developers are switching to developing for Windows Phone now that Unity is coming to the platform? How quickly people will be following it? What thoughts and “forecast” do you have in mind? I have a strong feeling that Things are about to change :) .. And you?
Lots of companies think about developing mobile clients for their services for Widows Phone and Windows 8. In most cases mobile clients for iOS/Android have already been created and company’s objective is to port them to Windows mobile platforms. In this article I’d like to talk about questions/problems/peculiarities companies and developers can face porting their apps to WP and Win8.
What’s important to know about Modern UI interface?
Windows Phone and Windows 8, unlike iOS for instance, are authentically digital platforms. What it means can be easily explained on the example of a bookshelf for iOS, where human’s behavior while reading a magazine or a book is imitated from the real life – we go to the bookshelf, take a magazine, open it and flip it through. The same process for Windows Phone looks absolutely separated from the real life and is initially oriented to the digital world, where the concept of “bookshelf” is missing at all.
A second distinction from iOS/Android is an emphasis on content and action orientation. In Windows Phone and Windows 8 phone numbers and e-mail addresses are written in small fonts, while actions like “call” or” “send e-mail” in the big ones. Large fonts and shifts is another Metro feature. It should be definitely taken into account while designing interfaces.
Other peculiarities of the platforms
1) Mostly, Android is tied to Google eco-system, iOS – to Apple, Windows Phone and Windows 8 – to Microsoft eco-system accordingly. This can be both an advantage and a drawback. For example, it will be easier to work with office documents, but instead of tight integration with Dropbox you will be proposed to use SkyDrive.
2) Platform limitations. Windows Phone is a rather strict platform. There are clear limits for application start time, sizes of downloaded files depending on the kind of Internet connection, quantity of background operations etc. Due to such limitations even “native” for Windows Phone Skype doesn’t always work as it is expected from a proper messenger.
3) Specific requirements for Windows 8 scenarios. There are so called contracts in Windows 8 – Search, Share etc., with the help of which such scenarios as “search in application”, “repost smth in social networks” or “open the file in another application” are performed. It should be separately said about Settings and Share – in Windows 8 they should be only in the sidebar. Duplication of functionality inside the application is highly undesirable.
Navigation bar in Windows Phone and Windows 8 differ. Windows Phone has mostly linear navigation (non-linear navigation is allowed only in exceptional cases and thoroughly tested), while Windows 8 is more loyal to the navigation model. Moreover, you will have to think over the possibility of a quick access to the application main screens from any screen.
4) Windows Phone 7.5 vs. Widows Phone 8. You should remember that at the moment there are several main Windows Phone versions:
• Mango — Windows Phone 7.5 (512 MB of memory);
• Mango — Windows Phone 7.8 (512 MB of memory) — the update has not been released yet;
• Tango — Windows Phone 7.5 (256 MB of memory);
• Apollo — Windows Phone 8.
If you’ve decided to support 7.x platform, you need to think whether the application will support Tango devices (budget ones) that are more sensitive to the memory used by the applications. In case you need NFC or in-app purchases (IAP), you should straightway focus on Windows Phone 8.0 or support two versions of the application (7.x and 8.x).
Thanks for consideration. In case you have some thoughts to add on the topic or even have already ported some app from iOS/Android to WP or Win8, I’d be glad to see your comments here.
My previous article was dedicated to promotion of the applications on the AppStore but in this one I would like to focus on the Android application promotion. So you are welcome to read my article and to find some useful tips in these regards.:)
It is known fact that nowadays Android becomes more and more popular and there are a lot of individual apps uploaded to the Google Play every day. Thank is why it is also crucially important to take all the possible variants to promote your application and make it worth to be downloaded. Below I’m sharing some of the working tips which you can utilize and create a buzz about your latest app developed by you.
- First of all you before you submit your Android app to the market, you should not to forget that the application has to be fully complete and should have a good interface. It is not a good idea of submitting a partial app. Submitting a partial app will lower your users ratings and will blow your plan permanently. Also it is known that google’s play market algorithm will take your app higher if the users rate well in the initial stage. That’s one of the tricks to improve your download count.
- App stores: Submitting your app to several app stores is an easy free way to make the application more visible. The first stop should be made on Google Play. You could submit it to GetJar and Amazon Android Market places as well. But I would like to note that Google Market + Amazon take a revenue share of money you make from either selling your app or from any in app purchases (IAP) that are made through their billing solutions which is the trade-off for exposure. Getjar only accepts free apps and allows you to implement your own billing solutions if you use IAP.
- Get an eye-catching icon: Make sure that you have an attractive and eye-catching app icon that best represents and sells your application to the user. Poor icons blows you app to the bottom and will indicate an unfinished or poorly made app. Optimize and beautify your icons.
- Launch the free “Lite” version of the application. The free apps gets the user base and then it will tend the user in buying add-ons or the full version if he likes it. Or you can simply launch a free app with ad and promote an add free with some advance feature in your premium version. You can also consider launching your app for free for first 2 weeks to increase the user base and later on you can upgrade the price.
- Promoting through reviews: before someone would like to download your application you should take care of its promotion. So the best method to market your app from my experience is through content and reviews. You can have reviews in the form of small description about your app, ratings of the apps, review date. This will help people to know about your android app.
- Video marketing: The video marketing is important tool for internet advertising. We can explain the features of our apps by creating videos. The videos can be placed on various websites to attract the audience. This can serve as great tool for promotion of android apps. So you can make a couple of YouTube videos showing how the app would look like and how people can use it. Also try to make the video using a better clarity and understanding which is also worth sharing.
-Use of Social media, Forums & Blog posting: We can use various social websites such as FaceBook, twitter, linked-In, You-tube for promotion of android apps. We can participate in the forums & blog posting for the marketing of the android apps. It will help to share the information about your apps. You may also sent emails to any bloggers for review of your app, make sure that you also send them your video link. This will help a blogger to understand your product better and will help them to write better app reviews.
These are some ways to promote an Android application that just came to my mindJ. Please feel free to add any variants you’ve had a chance to try and they worked well for you and what is more important that they were effective.