Altabel Group's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘application

There are many opinions about Google’s new privacy policy among bloggers, journalists and friends. After studying all of them I have some questions left: Is Google’s new strategy of replacing separate policies for each application with one shorter policy — one which allows them to share our data across all those applications with no way to opt out short of pulling out of Google’s ecosystem completely — simply a matter of adding user (and vendor) convenience, or a gross violation of our privacy? And if the latter, is it so egregious that those of us who are invested in that ecosystem should consider pulling out?

This last option — which is currently the only one available to those who truly object to Google’s new policy — could be very difficult, especially for Android users. And most especially for those who have recently invested in Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus Smartphone, which is pretty much useless outside of the Google net verse.
I must admit, the idea of being completely unable to opt out of specific privacy issues has me very troubled. My immediate reaction is to read Google’s policies, check out some of the more knowledgeable commentators on the subject, and if I find that I do agree with those privacy activists who believe that Google has stepped too far over the line, to join those hoping to pressure the company to alter its new policy.

Google’s new Privacy Policy will go into effect on March 1, 2012. It specifies what information Google collects, how it uses that information, the control users have over their information, accessing and updating personal information, and which information Google will share. The only applications that will not be part of this policy are Chrome and Chrome OS, Books and Wallet.

Google Terms of Service, which will also go into effect on March 1, 2012, includes the clause “Google’s privacy policies explain how we treat your personal data and protect your privacy when you use our Services. By using our Services, you agree that Google can use such data in accordance with our privacy policies.” There is a general explanation of Google’s policies and principles. The latter states explicitly, “If you continue to use Google services after March 1, you’ll be doing so under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.”

Google’s applications and products have become an important resource for a large number of people. Their new policy has just been announced, and has over a month to be put into effect. Things can go several ways at this point: Google could simply stick to its guns and hope that the resulting fallout will only be a bit of bad publicity and a relatively few lost users. But if enough Google users become uneasy, Google could back off (the way Facebook has several times over the last few years), at least in it’s “all or nothing” opt-out policy. It will be interesting to watch.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

It’s well known that Android is fragmented or, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt contends, “Differentiated.” In a bid to codify design principles for the operating system’s look and feel, Google unveiled Android Design at CES 2012.

This website seeks to help app developers create apps with a more uniform look and feel for Android 4.0, also known as “Ice Cream Sandwich.”
“[Google] definitely wants to have a uniform look. They never have provided a style guide before,” Melissa Skrbic-Huss, creative lead at Amadeus Consulting, told LinuxInsider.
“This is Google’s attempt to try and rein in the craziness of how Android apps look,” said Al Hilwa, a research program director at IDC.
The major issue with Android’s fragmentation “is the loss of brand identity,” he told LinuxInsider. “If you call a device an Android device, what does that mean?”

The Android Design website goes into great detail. Among other things, it spells out Google’s creative vision, design principles, style, themes, typography, patterns, gestures, building blocks, and switches and dialogs.
Google has three overarching design goals for its core apps and the Android OS at large.
One is that apps should be sleek and aesthetically pleasing on multiple levels, with crisp, meaningful layout and typography, and clear, fast transitions. The experience should be “magical,” Google said.
The second is that the apps should be intuitive and easy to use, without overwhelming users with too many choices.
Third, the apps should empower people to try new things and use the apps in inventive new ways while feeling personal.

The Android Guide is Google’s attempt to inject a level of standardization in Android’s look and feel. Google is probably trying to resolve some of developers’ complaints about Android.
Developers have to worry about differences in the UI of different versions of Android, differences in hardware specs, and differences in the versions of Android that run on various hardware platforms, Simon Khalaf, president and CEO of Flurry, told LinuxInsider.
“Software and applications are the fuel of an ecosystem, and software developers make that fuel,” he pointed out.
Fragmentation enabled the rapid pace of R&D development — “a key factor in Android’s success,” according to Hilwa — but the problems with the OS “will become more prominent to the extent that the market matures and the growth rates flatten.”
Schmidt’s discussion of fragmentation “is evidence that it’s an issue for the brand and the platform,” he argued.

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Ideally you have created an app that is so incredible that everyone will want to tell all their friends about it. Even if this is true, there are cases where the merits of your app alone may not initiate the momentum you desire. To draw more attention to your app, it is good to have additional content that you can use to persuade potential users to take a look at what you have to offer.
Exposing your app in places outside of the App Store is essential in maximizing your potential user base.

Here are methods that any app developer who wants to draw more users to their apps can use.

Create code
Either dedicate some time to a related project or spin off a snippet or segment of your project into something you can publish through open source or other code outlets. When you post your code, oftentimes you will be allowed to post a support URL. Most code sharing sites, like other social sites, have profiles where you can also post links to your site. If your code is useful or interesting, you will have a shot at attracting links.

Create content
Tutorials, articles, white papers, video clips, and other types of content are ways to draw attention to your app. Extra content can be used in places to get targeted traffic. If your content is good enough, other places may use or link to your content and create more awareness.

Create feeds
Combine input from your content and other content sources into one consolidated feed of information that can be syndicated. Even an aggregation of feeds can still represent good content if the feeds are chosen well. A good news feed source will get picked up by automated systems and draw the attention of individual publishers.

Create a group
There is more to the social Internet than Facebook and Twitter. There is a world of forums and other social arenas where you can post information, opinions, and links. You can then interlink these sites to create your own network of interrelated profiles that ultimately lead back to your content and app.

Create a persona
For inbound links and link-bait, forums are great because you can communicate directly with people who may have an interest in your content or app. Often forum users with their own sites are great contacts for word-of-mouth plugs. You can also use related content to indirectly promote your app in these places.

Create a community
Social network sites and places for users to congregate are easier than ever to build. The challenge is attracting users and moderating content. If you can build your own community around content that is related to your app, it is easy to get those community members to find interest in your app.

Create a news source
Newsletters have not gone away, they have just matured. You can still create a quality mailing list and promote your apps and content while also sharing information with existing and potential users. If you are creating or collecting regular news or information as part of your strategy, you can republish your content into a newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to get additional use from your content and deliver it to a receptive audience. If your newsletter is good enough, people will share it and spread the word.

Create a buzz
You should include your URL in all of your emails, signatures, photos, videos, articles, and anywhere else you are permitted. Different places have limitations or restrictions on what you can link, but make sure you use all of them when they are available. If you go somewhere online, you should make it easy for people to know about your content and app.

The success of your app is dependent on how many users you acquire. The App Store is a great source of initial traffic, but it is unwise to rely solely on it to carry your sales. Depending on your niche, getting targeted traffic can be very competitive, so you will need every advantage you can get. If you include these essentials in your marketing efforts, you will boost the number of eyeballs that see your app.

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – professional software development

A recently published Distimo report states that “It is more challenging for developers in the Google Android Market than in the Apple App Store to monetize using a one-off fee monetization model.” Obviously, the reason for that is dominance of free apps on Android Market.

Of course, ad based apps are a well known way to monetize free apps, however there are some other indirect ways to gain profit…

1 – In-app purchases
App users are inclined to purchase more levels, currency or other bonuses within apps they’re already hooked on. Leading potential users into your app, free of charge delivers an opportunity to introduce in-app purchases to your users. Instead of determining a one off fee from the get go, develop an up-sell long term strategy by introducing more of what your users really want.

2 – Leveraging Free Apps for Paid Content
One of the most utilized marketing methods on the app store is the “Cross Promotion” strategy. Successful developers have learned that it’s much easier to have paid apps discovered and monetized, when there’s a network of free apps cross promoting it. A quick look at the top free apps on the android market shows a host of free apps such as flashlights, clocks, notepads and other basic apps, developed with the main goals of either generating revenue through ads or cross-promoting paid apps.

3 – Increased Download Rates
Free apps have the advantage of generating more than 10x times the downloads then a similar paid app priced over the $0.99 USD tier. For branded apps that are developed in the interested of increasing customer engagement, free apps open a channel of communication never before possible. So branded apps that are either useful to the company’s core audience or just entertaining enhance the company’s product and the company’s publicity.

4 – Generating and monetizing traffic to your website.
The idea is in the following. You should invite your user to visit your website (e.g. to view high scores, read info about application, etc.). Popular application can generate quite significant traffic to your website, where you can monetize the site itself.
Showing ads on a landing page is not the only thing you can do with a traffic. If you have products or services relevant to your Android application theme, you may want to try to sell it instead (or in addition) of showing ads. The idea here that you may drive your target audience to your web site via Android application.

Do you know any other ways to monetize Android free apps? If so, it would be really helpful to find out about them. Please, share your ideas with us!

Thank you so much,

Aliona Kavalevich
Altabel Group

Are you on Facebook? I’d like to know the quirks, issues and annoyances you deal with on this social network. Whether you use Facebook to connect with friends or to manage your company’s brands, chances are you’ve found the service lacking. It could be something inherent to the site (like confusing security controls), how your friends use it (to invite you to play FarmVille) or something the site doesn’t do at all but should (such as offer a dislike button). Bellow you may find LI members’ opinions about FaceBook’s lacks.

“Incessant invitations to join it. And these are invitations from people whose names I don’t recognize.”
Martha Retallick

“1. Ads on the right column. I’ve installed a plug-in to hide them in my Safari 5
2. Ads…ops did I say ads twice? :-)”
Artyom Diogtev

“I think Facebook is like any other application. It has its place alongside LinkedIn and Twitter for those wanting to use it. You need to learn the best ways to use it for yourself, be wary of intrusions on your privacy, and then enjoy its positive aspects (like finding people you’ve lost touch with and never expected to connect with again). To answer the question, games are my biggest pet peeve.”
Pat Lovenhart (Tiliakos)

“What annoys me about facebook isn’t really “about facebook.” It’s more about the common situation of people who don’t realize the impact of what they post and talk about. Be smart, be careful.”
Barb Muessig, APR

“The fact that I cannot control everything that I do there, to whom my info is shown (like posts, comments, etc.).”
Sandra B.

“What annoy me are the advertisements & requests to play a game. You can see them on the right hand side of the screen; there are too many of them.”
Daniel L.

“The only thing that gets me really about Facebook is all the applications that you have to be really careful of when it comes to privacy. Some of them can basically relay anything that you post to whoever they wish. I have minimal applications installed and have adapted the ones I do have installed to protect my privacy.”
Simon Barrington

“Everything. It’s too public, too messy, too hard to find out how to use even the smallest feature, too everything!”
Carol Smith

“As a recruiter, one of the things I like about LinkedIn is being able to look at who is looking at me. Facebook doesn’t have that capability. I’ll offer to connect with people here who I might have a mutual interest with. I can’t do that with Facebook.”
Michelle Shemenske

Have something to add? Your opinion is welcome!

BR,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group


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