When designing a program of any kind, you are likely to make many mistakes. Mashable has posted a list of 10 mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them, to help you have a less troublesome time while developing.
Following the much discussed purchase of Instagram by Facebook, it is only logical to assume that another booming app developer will have their app bought by a business. If this does indeed happen, it could pave way for a similar market bubble similar to the “dot-com bubble” at the end of the 20th century. Light Reading Mobile has ranked the most likely apps to be bought out. Pinterest tops their list, as it is the fastest-growing social network of all time.
ReadWriteMobile has published a great resource detailing mobile app testing processes. Testing the app can be one of the most difficult processes, as it is important to find as many bugs as possible during the testing phase. Finding the cause of the bug and fixing that adds additional challenges. This resource’s tips aim to improve your experience during the testing phase.
Mashable has posted an article to help developers overcome the common issues faced when designing a mobile app. The article discusses key decisions, such as choosing a mobile platform.
The market share of Apple’s iPad dropped by 6.8% in Q4 after receiving stiff competition from Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The Fire snagged 16.8% of the global market share after Amazon shipped 4.7 million units. The Kindle Fire is the most popular Android tablet, primarily due to its low price of $199. IDC predicts that the surge of low-priced Android tablets such as the Fire will help Google overtake Apple’s market share by 2015, while they also predict that iOS will still be a more profitable platform.
A tough question that developers face today is whether to build a native app for specific platforms or to build a mobile web app using HTML5. While building a native app allows the app to use more of a phone’s features, a web app allows for access for almost any smartphone. This article will help developers and clients decide if the app they want would be better as a native app or a web app.
Google has been pressuring developers to use its Google Wallet platform for transactions, which is costlier than alternatives. Google is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Apple’s successful business model in the mobile battlefield. Google is giving developers 30 days to comply with their demands to have all apps use Google Wallet. Developers who do not meet Google’s demands will have their apps removed from the Android Market.
Pew Research Center released information showing that as of February 2012, adult smartphone owners outnumber adult feature phone owners. Over 50% of adults own a smartphone in the US. The explosion of smartphone adoption rates creates new opportunities for developers. As the userbase increases, the more consumers there are to reach out to with apps.
Retailers are looking to build another mobile payment system, citing security issues with current systems as their reasoning. This would store user information with giant retailers, creating worry for the consumer. The retailers would be in control of the entire system, giving them access to everything about the consumer.
The Mobile Gov Wiki has been created to help developers create apps for government agencies. On the wiki, developers can share development ideas and strategies. The wiki describes its initiative as a way, “to help federal agencies make a more open, innovative government by providing information and services anytime, anywhere and on any device.” The wiki is open to anyone, so even non-governmental developers can give advice.
Google is reportedly set to launch Android 5.0 in the second quarter of 2012, despite Android 4.0 only being available for 1% of Android devices at the moment. Android updates, unlike updates to iOS and WP7, are not uniform with all phones, and most users have to wait months for their handset’s manufacturer and carrier to push the update. On top of that, many phones are neglected with update support. Developers could find themselves in a dilemma with a new version of Android coming out before the current one has even reached a quarter of devices.
The Federal Trade Commission has stated that Apple and Google need to do more to ensure that mobile apps are not collecting information from children. The FTC also warned app developers that they will seek to punish them if they publish applications that do not protect the privacy of children. Possible penalties include a $11,000 fine per violation
A program sponsored by Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation has been launched in a Queens high school that offers courses to students in mobile app development. The success of a program like this will show how developing mobile apps has become a legitimate, global industry. As kids begin to build apps at a younger age, it will become as common, if not more common than computer programming. Five schools are a part of this test program, with the other schools being located in California, Texas, North Carolina, and Connecticut.
The Amazon Kindle Fire is one of the most popular tablets out there. It is powered by a custom version of Android that does not give the user access to the Android Market out of the box, so despite high sales, it does not give developers new customers to sell apps to. However, using a custom rom like MIUI 4.0(or Cyanogen Mod 7 or 9 if preferred), owners of the Fire can install Ice Cream Sandwich(or Gingerbread) on their tablet and gain full access to the Android Marketplace and all of the stock Android features. More users with these roms equates to more revenue opportunities for developers.
Google announced a new service codenamed Bouncer, which will scan submissions to the Android Market for malicious content. This service is being introduced to deal with the increasing presence of Malware being submitted to the Market. Google’s scanner could create hurdles for genuine app developers if a scenario presents itself where apps are falsely flagged as containing malicious content. The addition of this new layer of security should encourage Android development however, as it will make users less weary when downloading apps from unknown developers.
Apple surpassed LG as the world’s third largest cell phone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2011. This came on the heels of the debut of the iPhone on Sprint in the United States. Apple trails Nokia and Samsung respectively, with Nokia now designing phones exclusively for Windows Phone 7 and Samsung designing phones for Windows Phone and Android. Apple’s achievement of being the world’s largest cell phone vendor, while being the only producer of phones for iOS shows the sheer popularity of the platform, since the other vendors are still releasing an abundance of phones a year for multiple operating systems. Apple’s dominant position in the market shows that iOS is the platform to develop for.
Valve released a beta version of Steam Mobile for iOS and Android devices, which can be obtained on their respective markets. To gain access to the beta, users must log in with their Steam account on the mobile app and then enter an activation code on their Steam client on their PC or Mac. This app allows Steam users to chat with friends and purchase games for their PC or Macs on the go. This app is an example of the expansion of mobile e-commerce, and Valve wants to take advantage of always being able to sell something to their users.
IHS analyst Francis Sideco believes that by 2015, Windows Phone will surpass the iPhone and become second, only to Android, in OS market share. This would come as a result of Nokia, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, turning the tides for Microsoft in the mobile operating system war with their adoption of Windows Phone 7. At the moment, WP7’s marketplace is in a distant third with the amount of apps available, but is slowly growing. If the ownership rates of WP7 increases dramatically over the next couple of years, growth of the marketplace would follow.
A new study published by Adobe Digital Marketing Insights shows that tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone owners at online retailers. Additionally, they spend 20% more than PC users. This research can be used to expand e-commerce to tablet owners who seemingly enjoy the ability to shop on the go on a more convenient platform than the smartphone, but smaller than the laptop.
Samsung claims it is not interested in purchasing Research in Motion, the manufacturer of the ailing Blackberry platform. James Chung, spokesman for the company said, “We haven’t considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM).” This isn’t the first time Samsung has been rumored to purchase a dying mobile platform; last year they were rumored to purchase webOS from HP.
Google has created a design guide for the new Android 4.0 operating system, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The guide shows how to make your app look nicer and easier to use, to make it easier to build a user base. The guide provides tips to keep your app simple, make it look beautiful, and to ensure that you are taking advantage of the screen size of tablet devices.
An app called “Boycott SOPA” was created by two Canadian students trying to raise awareness to the United States’ Stop Online Piracy Act. This bill, if passed, would change the way the internet is viewed not only by Americans, but people worldwide. The app is available in the Android Marketplace, and works by scanning barcodes and reporting to the user whether the product is manufactured by a corporation that supports SOPA.