mobile development resource

The Launch of New Mobile Apps Development Kit for Aerospace

A member of IBS Group and a leading global provider of advanced application and product development services, recently introduced a Mobile Applications Development Kit for engineering needs of aerospace and other enterprise, at the Aeromart Toulouse 2012.

The new kit adds another dimension to Luxoft’s existing technology solutions portfolio for engineers and includes a Mobile Bill of Material (BOM), a Mobile Certification Application, and a Mobile 3D-Visualization Tool.

The ultimate goal of each of the kit’s modules is to add capability for the engineers and mechanics to assess tasks “on the go” during a new aircraft inspection, existing aircraft maintenance or during the engineering and assembly process. Combination of mobile secure ecosystem and visualization adds granularity to every aspect of the engineering and maintenance process, streamlining the reporting, giving quick access to the bottom level of detail and bringing the entire process closer to the real-time mode.

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Common Security Threats with Inexperienced App Developers

Some of the most common security gaffs nestled inside of those decompiled and inspected Android apps according to Godfrey Nolan, founder of RIIS and author of both Decompiling Java and Decompiling Android?

  1. Without using obfuscating tools like HoseDex2Jar, people can easily reverse engineer the code in most Android applications.
  2. Sensitive data is being stored unencrypted on devices.
  3. Code that communicates with back-end systems often includes plain text security credentials. That means your security problem is no longer people getting those embarrassing and X-rated images you’ve taken of your ‘front end’, but instead, they now have access to your entire ‘back end’ as well.
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Holiday Opportunity For App Developers

Trickle Down Mobile Economy Is A Big Holiday Opportunity For App Developers

As consumer behavior shifts to adapt to the Mobile Revolution, mobile apps are as much part of people’s media consumption as are television, movies, music and video games. Mobile apps are made to encompass all of those media categories and more.

“In particular, on Thanksgiving day, usage jumped by about 20% for that Thursday compared to the average Thursday in November. Friday was also up by 11% over the average November Friday. The increase in app usage across the long weekend, Thursday – Sunday, is 10%.” – Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for mobile analytics company Flurry

Games are a particular beneficiary of holiday app traffic spikes. Chartboost, a distribution and monetization service for iOS and Android games, noted a 50% spike in traffic to games over the recent Thanksgiving holiday compared to an average Thursday.


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Progress Software Writer Talks About the Future of Application Development

Mobility Changes the Shape of App Development

Dion Picco is Manager, Product Management at Progress Software.  These are his insights on how mobile application development will evolve.

Organizations want to modernize their existing applications, resulting in a much more mobile-first approach. This includes moving the back end from on-premise servers to a more cloud-based architecture (whether that’s public, private or hybrid) and updating the front end to be intuitive and mobile-capable.

Development cycles are shorter, user acceptance is faster and, ultimately, ramp-up is quicker — something vital in the mobile world where the demand for new apps is so great.

We expect this trend to develop into ever more process-centric and rules-centric application development, combined with API-based mashups across on-premises, cloud and mobile applications. This will bring higher levels of agility and support the rapid innovation needed by the world’s best companies.

Mobility is changing the shape of application development. Demand for cross platform support is growing, development cycles are shortening and users’ expectations are evolving.

Exploiting these devices to their full potential means empowering employees to use them to be more productive and enabling customers to be more self-reliant. Changing development techniques offer developers a real opportunity to take the lead in optimising business processes for mobility and stake out an app development strategy, while collaborating more closely with other stakeholders.

Whether it’s developing a native app, a browser-based one, or taking a hybrid approach, mobile apps are a unique species and it’s not possible to just attempt to transfer techniques that worked well for desktop application development. The key is to embrace these new methodologies and seek out best practice from partners and providers to find the right applications to empower users, both within and outside the business.

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Stick to One Platform

Tom Verhoeff, app developer and partner at Holland-based Methylium, which created the Windows 8 app for, a popular online hotel reservation site

“What I always recommend is to focus on one platform because every platform has its own tricks and quirks. I don’t think it’s a good idea to build an iOS app on Monday, an Android app on Tuesday and a Windows 8 app on Wednesday because each one is a totally different experience.

“You really have to use the platform in your daily life to develop well on it. I develop for Windows 8 and I’ve been carrying a Windows Phone around for three years now. I don’t use an iPhone on a regular basis and you really need to have the OS with you day-in and day-out.

“You see some companies that are just taking developers who are working on Android full-time and moving them to Windows 8 or Windows Phone or vice versa because a customer is asking for it. That app might end up looking OK but you can immediately notice that the developer did not know the platform as well as he should.”

Steve Isabelle, independent developer and creator of the Jack of Tools app for Windows 8 (and Windows Phone)

“I would follow your skillset rather than follow the demand. If you’ve already worked day-to-day with iOS and the iPhone and iPad or with Android devices you might want to target that platform. You just don’t have time as an independent developer to live with every platform.

“The ease of use of the ‘Metro’ style of Windows 8 does create an opportunity. It is clean and simple and easier for developers to work with. There’s a lot of skeoumorphic stuff on iOS that requires a lot of art assets and skills involved in making apps work with the iPhone and iPad.”

“The cost is another thing. Microsoft Visual Studio Express is free. Microsoft is doing a lot to encourage app development and they are making it inexpensive.

“But people don’t like change and can be finicky, so it’s really hard to say how long it will take for Windows 8 to break through. I think the Windows 8 platform can do well, but I wonder how long it will take for Windows Phone 8 to dig in. They really have to make them seamless companions.”



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How mobile apps developers might combine applications to and functions to provide tools for the user

Amber Case, CEO and her small team at Geoloqi says that we can provide better time saving function for the user.

Most geolocation, (Case insists), is polling-based. Get on a bus, for example, and you need to be constantly aware of the next stop, or else check your phone every few minutes, to make sure you don’t miss the right stop. This interrupts your thinking, which the GeoLoqi staff considerers a sort of evil: Interruptions mean you can’t get things done.

Instant messages present the same problem. If you’re late for a meeting, you text the person who’s expecting you to let him know you’re stuck in traffic. This begins half an hour of back-and-forth IMs.

The alternative is something Case refers to as “calm technology.” On the bus, you could set up a trigger to tell you when the bus is approaching your destination; in the car, you could publish your location on a mapping application so your friend can see your location and gauge your progress.

One of the earliest tools they developed was a game called Map Attack, a sort of real-life Pac Man. Competing teams run to specific points on a grid. Map Attack overlays both the points and the grid on Google Maps so teams can observe each other’s progress. At the end of the time period, the team with the most points wins.

Case and her team aim to make applications that will save time for the user instead of baiting them in an endless back and forth tie to applications that provide less functionality.  Combining geolocation with messaging, alarms and more to provide more function to the user.

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Possible Tips for Getting the Most Out of Mobile App Analytics

Analytics is key to measuring the execution and value of all the hard work you put into the app. There is a variety of platforms and services vying for the privilege of providing you with good app data.

So what can you do?  Here are some things to think about:

1. Start Using App Analytics Way Before Your App Is In The Store

One tool to manage a data-driven beta period is TestFlight  which allows developers to distribute a beta and analyze usage to facilitate quick iterative cycles. A lot of developers get caught up with feature and design changes during beta, but a data-driven beta period will result in a better product.

2. Your Users Might Not Use Your App The Same Way You Do

That’s why it’s so critical to get unbiased (i.e. not your friends and family) users using your app. Apple permits up to 100 users to be authorized per each standard developer account, and developers should really try to take advantage of each of these to collect feedback from a diverse sample of test users. One interesting tool you can use to get qualitative UI feedback is which is a supplemental analyics tool that allows developers to see which parts of your app users interact with using (you guessed it) heat maps. This can give you unbiased, behavioral feedback that goes beyond data, because “The best information always comes from real users.” as noted by CEO, Cyprian Ciećkiewicz.

3. Pick KPIs that Make Sense For Your Target Audience

For instance, a content publishing app might be more concerned with user retention, while an ecommerce app is invariably primarily interested in purchase conversions. As Wayne Chang, founder of crash reporting provider Crashlytics notes, “A bunch of useless numbers on a screen are not helpful. But, the right information, at the right times, can provide incredible insights that are actionable for the developers.” Be sure to define an analytics strategy that aligns with your app’s core offering.

As Suhail Doshi of mixpanel notes, app analytics isn’t about pageviews. Instead, “focus on measuring things that matter like specific engagement related to [your] app.”

4. There Are Different Analytics Providers for Different Types of Apps

For instance, Playtomic might be a good fit if you’re developing a mobile game, whereas Localytics might be a better choice if you’re building a content delivery app. Not all apps are created equal, and neither are all analytics platforms.

5. Analyze Market Data to Avoid Mistakes Competitors Have Already Made

There are a few analytics providers such as Distimo that offer market data. While you may find it a bit expensive to access, this type of data is useful to see what similar apps are doing in the marketplace relating to price and number of downloads. Armed with market data, developers can make well-informed decisions and potentially avoid mistakes that they see competitors making. For instance if a competing app is performing poorly at a $2 price point, you may be able to better determine the appropriate price for your app.

6. Make Sure You Install the Analytics Platform Correctly

Be careful to install (SDK’s) correctly, because an analytics platform that’s supplying faulty data is no good and counterproductive. Another important point when installing an SDK is to be mindful of how it might affect your app’s speed. When in doubt, consult your analytics provider’s support team to make sure everything is as it’s supposed to be. They might also be able to offer some helpful pro tips to help you get the most out of their product.

7. Pick a Provider You Can Grow With

If you’re considering monetizing your application through in-app advertising, you might want to use an analytics provider that also has partnerships with ad networks or strong ad delivery models.

8. Mobile App Analytics Shouldn’t End With Your Mobile App

Most notably, social media can offer hints about user sentiment pertaining to your application. Social media is also a good tool to detect flaws and connect with users, because users are usually the first to point out if something isn’t working as it’s supposed to or could improve.

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Brightcove, Application Craft aim at PhoneGap with cloud-based development tools

“Brightcove’s native plug-in architecture for its App Cloud and Application Craft’s launch of Mobile Build are the latest examples of how cross-platform development tools for mobile apps are becoming increasingly cloud-centric.”

Brightcove’s new plug-in architecture does something else…

“It allows developers build that particular piece of functionality themselves, and add it to their application,” said Costa.

You can try out these services here:

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Product Manager Michael Sharon Talks Strategy Improving the Facebook Mobile Application Experience

Facebook product manager talks Facebook for iOS & retooling the mobile development process

Facebook product manager Michael Sharon shared how it has retooled its development process and integrated features from its standalone app into Facebook for iOS.

retooled our development process–from making every product team responsible for their experience across desktop and mobile, to switching to native code and timed release cycles–we’ve been able to make sure the best of each standalone app is represented in the core app experience…

To make it into the core app, a feature has to add significant value to the integrated experience, regardless of how critical it is in one of our standalone apps.  While the swipe gesture to reveal the camera roll works really well within the Camera app – we chose not to include this in the core app because the gesture doesn’t make sense with our persistent top navigation bar.

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Freshdesk Launches MobiHelp, the Free in app Help for Developers

With Freshdesk’s MobiHelp SDK, app developers can integrate their Freshdesk help desk into their apps with just a single line of code. Developers get to use all the powerful customer support capabilities in Freshdesk to automate workflows, identify critical issue areas and complete the conversation loop with their users.  The Freshdesk MobiHelp SDK is free. What’s more, since Freshdesk already offers a freemium pricing model where the first agent is free forever, app developers can download the MobiHelp SDK, integrate it into their apps, and get started supporting customers through Freshdesk.


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The Pros and Cons of Developing for all Platforms using PhoneGap

Mobile Development: Using PhoneGap to Build Apps that Run in Any Mobile Environment — Good or Bad?

PhoneGap uses standard HTML/HTML5, CSS and Javascript.  PhoneGap provides hooks in Javascript that permit access to native device functionality, like geolocation,  the camera, and the accelerometer.  PhoneGap applications basically run on the native browser for the mobile device, but they are packaged and made to appear to the user as native apps.

The AgilIQ blog has an interesting story where they dissected and analyzed exactly what goes on under the covers between a PhoneGap HTML app and the native device.  It’s not too pretty.  While the iOS communication stream isn’t too bad, the back and forth messaging that happens in the Android implementation creates a heavy overhead.   These observations explain why there are frequent complaints about PhoneGap apps on Android being not too snappy.

Attempts have been made to develop CSS themes that mimic the look of a native app running on each of the different possible target platforms.  Often in order to get the theme you need to load up on another framework that supports the theme, but adding another framework to the mix can further impact performance.  Trying to create pixel-perfect screens that match up with native ones can, for example, can also involve complicated CSS renderings that draw on the machine’s processing power and further affect performance.

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A Trio of Tactics and Six Services to Keep Carriers Ahead and Keep Developers in Tune with How the Tech may Change

Predictions of the technology landscape can aid developers understand what could be needed in new application designs.  Keeping in pace with disruptive technology can make an application design.  Here are some services to not only help carriers but also developers stay in stride.

Mobile Operators Strategies Analysis Service

MOSA – The only web-based service providing unparalleled granularity on global 4G deployments and business models

Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch has long been considered the world’s leader in 4G coverage. The Maravedis-Rethink wireless expertise is led by Caroline Gabriel, a well-known speaker and analyst for the 4G community who has authored a number of groundbreaking reports in this area.

Clear Spectrum

ClearSpectrum is a wireless regulatory service covering more than 110 key countries. The service is comprised of two databases: a licensing database with detailed information for over 1,700 international license holders and a weekly-updated technical database that defines critical product research and development efforts.

RAN Service
The RAN service covers issues affecting the radio access network – trends including macro cells, small cells, Cloud-RAN and carrier WiFi.
Backhaul Service
Covers the whole backhaul industry with an special focus on small cells and wireless technologies, including PTP, PMP, NLOS and other emerging technologies.
Total Disruption Service
The Total Disruption service covers long term (ten year and beyond) disruptive areas of the mobile and wireless market.
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Tablets Drive Worker Solution App Development

As more enterprise users show up at the office with tablets, organizations are increasingly looking for creative ways to leverage these devices for business use. Recent research shows that a significant number of organizations will deploy mobile line-of-business apps in the next year, with many of those efforts geared toward tablet-specific enterprise apps. As enterprises bolster those tablet development plans, IT will need to adjust to the latest twist in enterprise application strategy, including new demands for IT support.

Enterprises that plan to build apps for mobile devices should consider how best to take advantage of the platform. For example, Fino advises clients to regard enterprise tablet apps as content-centric, and phone-based apps as a way to check on status.

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Samsung Opens New Opportunities With Arndale

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced the availability of Arndale, a new community development board designed around its Exynos 5 Dual system-on-chip (SoC). The Exynos 5 Dual features the implementation of both the world’s first dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A15 MPCore™ processor and the world’s first quad-core ARM Mali™-T604 GPU based on 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. Priced at an affordable $249.00, the newest board offers the open source developer community a rich environment for producing the highest caliber of mobile applications, including in the areas of gaming, security, multimedia and user interface on multiple operating systems.

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Ericsson releases WebRTC enabled mobile browser

Ericsson has released what it is terming an “experimental” WebRTC-enabled browser on the Apple’s USA App Store and on Google Play. The browser is called Bowser.  The browser “will finally enable web developers to add audio and video functionality to their mobile web applications” the company said. WebRTC is based on work ongoing within the World Wide Web Consortium and the Internet Engineering Task Force to develop a standard, interoperable approach to real-time communication (RTC) using audio and video in Web browsers without the need for any plug-ins.  Ericsson said that the browser enables html5 apps to access the local camera and microphone on a phone, as well as establish audio and video calls to another device using the WebRTC API.

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Newsweek Abandons the Printing Press for Mobile Publishing

The first issue of Newsweek was published february 17, 1933.  Seventy-nine years later, after significant drops in revenue, the last print edition of Newsweek in the United States will be the Dec. 31 issue.

In 2013, under new editor-in-chief Tina Brown, the publication will go completely digital as Newsweek Global.  In a Press meeting, Brown announced:

“our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast. Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution – a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism. By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.”

As publishing companies move toward paperless publications, the medical industry moves towards EMRs and education moves toward online teaching platforms, mobile development replaces the necessity of leveled trees for a good read.



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Article Suggests Companies Must Manage Their Mobile To Succeed

“Digital-first companies thrive on mobile disruption.  Everyone else struggles.”

The main idea of this article is this, “organizations can’t succeed in our new multi-platform, mobile world unless they transform themselves into digital-first businesses.”  It suggests that businesses need to “stop treating digital as a bolt on” and think of it as the primary platform and designing their updated web content accordingly.  The company has to serve its mobile users first.  They have to perform some mobile service to start out and then expand from there.


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Qualities of a Well-designed Educational Application

Disruptive Devices: Mobile Technology for Conversational Learning

Mike Sharples-

A dilemma at the heart of networked learning is that learners can command an increasingly sophisticated set of communication and computing devices, which they are forbidden to use within formal education because they disrupt lessons and lectures. Meanwhile, schools, colleges and universities are starved of IT resources, and in many cases are failing to make best use of those resources they have. This (essay) discusses how this dilemma might be resolved, through the design of mobile technology that could support effective learning within and outside the classroom.

The following are some keys to designing successful educational applications;

–  highly portable, so that they can be available wherever the user needs to learn;

–  individual, adapting to the learner’s abilities, knowledge and learning styles and designed to support personal learning, rather than general work or entertainment;

–  unobtrusive, so that the learner can capture situations and retrieve knowledge without the technology obtruding on the situation;

–  available anywhere, to enable communication with teachers, experts and peers;

–  adaptable to the context of learning and the learner’s evolving skills and knowledge;

–  persistent, to manage learning throughout a long period of time, so that the learner’s personal accumulation of resources and knowledge will be immediately accessible despite changes in technology;

–  useful, suited to everyday needs for communication, reference, work and learning;

–  intuitive to use by people with no previous experience of the technology.

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The Form Factors Developers Expect in the Next Wave of Mobile Revolution

Survey results found that developers anticipate these five things to change the world of application development:

1. Television: Google TV vs. Apple TV vs. Vizio TV.  Even though televisions are far from mobile, the apps they’ll likely be furnished with will have mobile roots and probably borrow heavily from and sync with their mobile counterparts. The TV content industry is ripe for disruption, and armies of developers appear up to the task.”

2. Connected Cars: Instead of using dangerously distracting touch-interfaces, cars now use voice recognition, frequently powered by market leader Nuance Communications (NAS:NUAN) . The company has partnered with General MotorsFord, and Toyota Motor, among others, powering the voice interactions for their respective OnStar/MyLink, Sync, and Entune platforms.”

3. Game Consoles: The Android-powered Ouya project has such disruptive potential, because it uses components typically found in mobile gadgets, whose gaming performance continues to soar exponentially. It will have lower barriers to entry for smaller developers, spurring competition.”

4. Foldable Screen: Pushing that technological revolution forward is Universal Display, which develops IP for the technology and licenses it to display makers like Samsung or LG Display. Costs remain high, as OLED is in its relative infancy, but a foldable screen could potentially give developers access to other mediums, like magazines and newspapers.”

5. Google Glass: The opportunity for developers in wearable platforms is limitless and entirely untapped. It’s encouraging to see such a positive response among the developer community for a device that has yet to even be commercialized and only a handful of people have even experienced firsthand.”

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WebRTC Promises to Enable Communications Between Web browsers and Other WebRTC-enabled Mobile Devices

“The goal of the project, which started in mid-2011, is to enable applications such as voice calling, video chat andpeer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing without plugins. According to the site, the standard is a free, open project that enables Web browsers with real-time communications capabilities using simple Javascript APIs.”

This advancement in technological ability will be disruptive to “Many traditional VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service providers… and the phone network you know today will be gone for good.”


mobile development

The St. Charles Entrepreneurial Symposium

September 29th, 2012 from 8am to 12pm, developers and startup company leaders can get advice from entrepreneurs on getting their business ideas into effect.  Attendees will hear from Randy Schilling, the keynote speaker (, Linda Duree, and Ron Mueller.


1.    Assisting the community to find and access appropriate entrepreneurial resources

2.    Advancing a multi-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship training, research, and outreach

3.    Informing the community of entrepreneurial activities at Lindenwood and throughout St. Charles

4.    Building synergies by connecting people through mentoring and collaboration

The First Annual St. Charles Entrepreneurship Symposium will utilize workshops to train and motivate local entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. Everyone is welcome to attend FREE of charge. The workshop speakers represent multiple aspects of entrepreneurship including Finding Money, Branding, Social Media, Employee Management, Online Business, Business Plan Creation, Idea Generation, Enhancing Efficiency, Home-based Business, Fine Arts, Human Resources, and much more!

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How Cloud Computing Impacts Mobile Application Development

The cloud represents disruptive technology in the way that it changed the way we store and retrieve information.  Here are five of the most effective ways that mobile developer can take advantage of the cloud:

1. Hosting services: Amazon is only one of the many players in this growing field, and in many cases, IaaS plays like EC2 are being pushed aside in deference to various Software as a Service (SaaS) plays, where clients surrender a certain amount of control over their operating system and runtime environment for the promise of fewer configuration issues and a lower administrative overhead.

2. Payment gateways: Several cloud-based providers of payment gateways have emerged, making it easy for application developers to perform financial transactions with their clients without the worry of lost sales due to reliability issues or software bugs that might arise if similar financial transaction processing systems were built in-house.

3. Web analytics: This highly focused nature of mobile applications allows developers to quickly turn Web analytics and the usage information they gather into product enhancements and application upgrades.

4. Application monitoring: When it comes to monitoring your mobile application’s uptime globally, and having some type of reporting structure to conform to depending upon whether your system has been down for two seconds, two minutes or two hours, you need an external system to do it, and no one would be better to do it than a cloud provider with systems that are designed with reliability and failover in mind.

5. Development: Facilitating the interests of these application developers are cloud-based issue tracking systems, source code management systems, load testing tools and even full scale IDEs that take the desktop out of the equation when developers are writing code.

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Windows Azure Takes Away the Infrastructure Step in the App Development Process

Microsoft is trying to make it easier for developers to design and modify applications.  Developers no longer have to be system administrators.  This is Microsoft’s cloud platform from which “users can deploy anything from single applications to full virtual operating systems from within the Azure interface.”

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Easy Interfaces are a Necessity for Applications Used While Driving

It is difficult to stop people from using their phones and applications while driving.  With that in mind, the designers are called upon to make applications that are simple and intuitive for drivers.  For example, if a designer want to make a new music application, they should make it simple enough to use without distracting the driver.  Large buttons, pre-made playlist functions, voice-command systems etc. will be beneficial to users when they are on the road.

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Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 8 SDK Developer Preview Program

In a blog post on Wednesday, Microsoft announced that they started accepting requests for access to the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Developer Preview program.  Developer have to apply by Sept. 17 at 5 pm PDT. If accepted, developer will be directed how to “download the Windows Phone 8 SDK and get support.”  Microsoft’s hope is to round up the developers of popular applications to optimize those apps for the Windows Phone 8, a key to the success of the new operating system.

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InMarket Team Discusses Lessons in Application Development

The  inMarket application CheckPoints, a free shopping application has earned the company more than 20 million users since 2010. Todd and Mark DiPaola, the president and CEO respectively, explain what they have learned in their experience in Mobile Application Development.  These are lessons that might aid developers in making disruptive technology.

1)”The fewer registration buttons, the better” – If your user is impatient, they will look for any excuse to find another application.

2)”Watch out for feature creep” – Do not add too many extra features which take away from the functionality of the application’s intended purpose.

3)”To make people devoted to your app, offer features no one else has–but make sure the design is flexible, customizable and intuitive.”

4)”Sweat the small stuff” – Consider every feature along the lines of “efficiency and functionality.”

5)”Don’t be afraid to make last-minute tweaks or to let a trusted outsider test your product.”

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Mobile users grow more concerned about data privacy


According to a recent study, users are weary about apps that are questionable along the lines of privacy and security.  Consumers become better educated about how apps work and how their information may be used and accessed.

Full Article:

More than half of all mobile-phone app users surveyed have either declined to download an available app or deleted one from their device because of concerns about the collection of their personal data, according to the survey released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.


Fifty-four percent of U.S. mobile app users surveyed have decided not to install an app when they discovered how much personal information it would collect, according to the survey. Thirty percent of app users have uninstalled an app after learning about the personal information it collected. With significant crossover between the two groups, 57 percent have either refused to download an app or deleted one over privacy concerns, the survey said.

The survey has implications for the mobile industry, said Mary Madden, coauthor of a report that accompanies the survey and a senior research specialist at Pew.

“At a time when the use of mobile applications is steadily growing, we find that many app users are taking privacy considerations into account,” she said in an email. “This data suggests that the way personal information is shared or collected by an app can make or break a user’s decision to download or otherwise engage with that application.”

Mobile phones have accelerated the pace at which users collect and generate data, the report said. “Users’ cell phones are now rich repositories of memories and content that chronicle their lives,” the report said. “A staggering archive of personally identifiable information exists about cell users — a reality that is both the consequence of and driving force of the networked age.”

About 17 percent of mobile phone owners surveyed said they use their device for most of their online browsing. Forty-three percent of mobile phone owners now download apps, up from 31 percent in 2011, the Pew survey said.

“Consumers are amassing apps on their cell phones in record numbers,” the report said. “At the same time, some app developers are quietly amassing sensitive and personal data from their users.”

The survey, of 2,254 U.S. adults in March and April, found that 88 percent of the respondents use mobile phones. Thirty-two percent of mobile owners have cleared the browser or search history on their devices, and 19 percent have turned off the location-tracking feature on their phones because of privacy concerns, the survey said.

Nearly a third of mobile phone users surveyed said they have lost a device or had one stolen, and 12 percent said they’ve had another person access data on their device in a way that raised privacy concerns.

The survey shows that mobile consumers are becoming better informed, said Morgan Reed, executive director of the Association for Competitive Technology, a trade group representing a number of mobile app developers.

“Consumers are making individually appropriate decisions about what they want to share,” he said in an email. “As developers, we look to build apps that provide cool features in a way that keeps the customer happy.”

Separately, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday released a guide to help app developers protect user privacy.

Mobile app developers should “tell the truth” about the functionality of their apps, disclose important information clearly and conspicuously, and honor their privacy promises, the FTC’s guide said.

“Chances are you make assurances to users about the security standards you apply or what you do with their personal information,” the guide said. “App developers — like all other marketers— have to live up to those promises.”

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant’s e-mail address is

Sourced from

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UDID breach outlines mobile tracking and privacy issues


Due to the use of UDID in mobile app design, user privacy is in flux.  There may be an alternative to UDIDs but such alternatives may cause a loss of advertising funding.

Any alternatives to UDIDs may represent disruptive technology.

Full Article:

While it is not entirely clear how many iPhone and iPad identifying codes hackers may have gained access to this week, the news of a possible large-scale leak has reinvigorated the discussion around the need for an alternative to UDIDs.

Hackers this week claimed to have stolen more than 12 million identifying codes attached to Apple devices while over 1 million of these UDIDs were released online. However, both the Federal Bureau of Investigations – which the hackers say are the source of the data via an agent’s laptop – and Apple insist they do not know where the data came from.

“This leak highlights exactly why ‘permasolutions’ like the UDID are not viable options for today’s privacy-concerned environment,” said James Lamberti, vice president and general manager of AdTruth.

“UDID is permanent and is always associated with a specific device so once the UDID is exposed and out there, that device – including any and all information associated with it – is directly traceable back to the user,” he said.

Growing concern
UDIDs have been a growing focus of privacy concerns because it is possible to link these indentifying codes to a specific user and the information shared with third parties.

Apple had previously said it would begin deprecating UDIDs, in a move to address the privacy issues. However, it quickly became apparent how much of an impact the overnight disappearance of UDIDs would have on advertisers.

Mobile marketers would be particularly hard hit if UDIDs were to disappear since this information is used to track how well an ad converts into an action on iOS. This data helps determine how much advertisers and ad networks pay for in-app ads.

One report from MoPub found that a pp developers could see their advertising revenues drop by as much as 24 percent if Apple were to eliminate UDIDs.

Apple does not want to be in the position of policing the activity companies operating on iOS. However, it also does not want to be responsible for shutting down marketing activities by eliminating UDIDs.

“I don’t speak for Apple but it does seem that they recognized that completely getting rid of MUDIDs overnight was going to have a huge negative impact on the mobile industry and that would in turn have an impact on consumers,” said Alan Chapell, co-chair of the Mobile Marketing Association’s Privacy Committee and president of Chapell and Associates.

“If, all of a sudden, nobody could an UDID without an alternative, I’m not sure that advertisers are going to want to spend in mobile,” he said.

“Apple is caught between a rock and a hard place because they don’t’ want to be seen as facilitating bad privacy practices but they also don’t’ want to destroy the mobile advertising ecosystem.”

Looking for alternatives
This week’s news about a possible leak of UDID brings new urgency to the search for a replacement because it provides regulators and privacy advocates – who are keeping a close eye on mobile – with an example they can point of how mobile can compromise consumers’ privacy.

Any alternative to UDID needs to be embraced by a wide enough cross segment of the market for it to be meaningful to marketers.

One step marketers can take right now is to insure that they do not run afoul of regulators is to de-identify data so that it is not attached to an identifying code in perpetuity.

“If you are taking reasonable steps to delink the data, if you can demonstrate this, you may be viewed differently should any issues arise,” Mr. Chapell said.

An alternative approach embraced by AdTruth is to use a probabilistic model, one that does not connect an individual permanently to a specific device and that does not leave any type of identifiers on the device itself.

The AdTruth model uses a hash that would need to be decoded in order to be associated with an individual. The hash changes over time so the connection with an individual is temporary.

The approach works across all devices whether desktop, mobile or any other internet connected device.

“It may be appealing to continue to use UDID while it lasts, the reality is that UDID is obviously not privacy friendly – nor does it work well for non-iOS devices or understanding app vs. mobile web behaviour,” Mr. Lamberti said.

“Clearly the risk of exposure is a serious concern for consumers, so it’s likely that UDID’s days are numbered,” he said.

“Now is the time to make the switch to tracking technology that can work across device-types, can identify a user across web and apps, is consumer friendly and future secured.”

-sourced from