Archive for May, 2011

 
      By Apps & Sites, News & Events
The mobile app ecosystem is thriving. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile app revenue will exceed $15 billion in 2011. Distimo reports that in December 2010 alone, the top 300 free applications generated over 3 million downloads, ten times more than the paid ones. Gartner also points out that more than 80 percent of mobile apps are free. So this begs the question, if developers are offering their apps for free, how do they make money?

Developers looking to monetize their free apps can use in-app advertising, in app purchases, or a freemium version.

With the predictions for the mobile advertising space to hit $5.4 billion by 2015 in the U.S alone, mobile advertising is the way to go.

At inneractive, we specialize in generating more revenue from mobile apps by optimizing over 60 global ad networks and local agencies in one simple SDK. Through our work, we have learned many crucial lessons about what works in mobile advertising.

Mobile Ads 101

The following concepts are crucial to understanding mobile advertising:

  • eCPM (Effective cost per mille): The revenue the developer receives per every 1000 impressions.
  • CTR (Click-through rate): This is obtained by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad by the number of total impressions. The primary contributor to a high CTR is the relevancy of the ad and the ad placement strategy. In order to increase the relevancy of ads, the campaign should be of a premium and local nature: You want to display ads to users in their native language, and the topic of the ads should be relevant to the type of app in which the ad appears. In terms of the ad placement strategy, the location and format (text vs banner) of the ad also have a significant effect on the overall CTR. For this, it is important that you work with a company that will walk you through the process following the integration in order to maximize the effects of the ads.
  • Global Fill Rate: The percentage of the total ad inventory that is populated by paying ads. Due to many different factors, in some instances ads will either not appear at all, or a “house ad,” essentially a self-promotional ad, will appear in its place. If your app has a 100 percent global fill rate, out of which 60 percent are house ads (a common number in this case), you are essentially leaving that 60 percent of your potential revenue on the table. In fact, a lower fill rate with all “paid ads” is more effective than a high fill rate with house ads. So don’t be misled by a high fill rate; the paid ads are the only ones that count.

Games generate more clicks

Let’s start with types of apps. Among the 300,000 iOS apps and the 200,000 Android apps, there are many different categories. There are games, utilities, tools, social, entertainment — the list goes on. Each app category has different results when it comes to its CTR.

Click-through rates on apps by category

Our stats indicate that in terms of CTR, the following categories are the top ones for developers:

  • Entertainment
  • Tools
  • Sports
  • Arcade and Action
  • News and Info
  • Brain and Puzzles

We consistently find that games (which fall under both Entertainment as well as Arcade and Action) produce the highest CTR, which isn’t terribly surprising since a user is more likely to engage with an ad that appears in between levels of the game or on the Game Over screen, for example. If your app is social or is an eBook app, other revenue streams, such as in-app purchases, might be more relevant.

Focus on the primary countries

Mobile app click-through rates by country
In terms of geographies, the following locations consistently produce a relatively high CTR, and advertisers recognize the quality of the clicks from the following locations by paying more per click:

  • U.S
  • UK
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Australia

What this means for developers is that when designing and marketing your app, the above countries should be taken into account. That includes in app translations for the relevant languages and targeted marketing campaigns in those specific countries.

More tips to get more traction from your apps

These tips are crucial for maximizing your app revenue, but there are of course other tips we have found to be very useful in terms of gaining traction.

  • Engage your audience with frequent updates and promotions. This keeps your audience interested and loyal. The obvious example of an app that excels at this is Angry Birds with constant and frequent updates.
  • Develop cross-platform. Despite the buzz around one or two operating systems, it is extremely effective to develop a cross-platform app that supports OSes such as Symbian and BlackBerry. In fact, we have found that these platforms have higher CTRs, as users are not as “ad-blind” as iPhone or Android users. Generally speaking, we have found that the early adopter tech community pays less attention to ads than other types of users.
  • Create web and native apps. While native apps are often more robust and responsive, Web apps using HTML5 can also yield a positive response from your audience. However, we have found that for games, the native model works better with faster response times and an overall more robust experience.
  • Enable sharing. Give your users tools to easily share your app across their social platforms. Add some integrated options to tweet or share the app on Facebook. This will provide a very effective method of spreading the word about your app. Some good examples of this are news and info apps that have an option to tweet the article and the tweet then includes the name of the app.

In today’s super competitive mobile space, developers need an edge to get ahead of the competition. I hope these pointers provided that edge.

Hillel Fuld is the marketing manager at inneractive, a company that works with mobile developers to generate more revenue from their apps. He can be found on Twitter at@hilzfuld and @Inneractive.

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, News & Events
Fiat Street Evo it’s the most surprising catalog a car has ever seen.
 

 

It’s an app (for iPhone and Android) that recognizes traffic signs and transforms them into features of the new Punto Evo. The app recognizes traffic signs as if they were QR codes and it associates each sign with a feature directly related to that sign.

For example; a STOP sign will tell the user all about the new breaking system, a CURVE ahead sign will tell the user that the car has an intelligent lighting system that guides you in curves. And the list goes on with every sign and feature of the car.

But it’s no fun just reading a catalogue. That’s why Street Evo was actually a game. To get people to use the app, we hid an actual Punto Evo and hundreds of prizes within traffic signs. The first ones to come across gifts got to keep them. Simple!

Download the iPhone App here: http://tinyurl.com/5tpuaj4
And the Android App here: http://tinyurl.com/6hapy7o

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, Geek & Tech

Mobile, Fixed and Internet operator in Jordan is launching Orange Apps Award 2011 aimed at mobile developers companies or individuals. With applications in Arabic ( english is a plus) for Android/ Blackberry/ Java /Symbian /Windows only are accepted.

Orange Jordan divided the winning prizes into 5 categories: Community Category, Entertainment Category, Business Category, Orange Employees Category, Students top prize on each one is 5,000 USD, then 3,000 USD then 2,000, overall prose: 10,000 USD.

Developers can start registration starting from 16 of May 2011 till 3rd of June 2011, then Orange will start filtering the ideas of the applications and will notify the participants of top 50 ideas by email & SMS to submit their applications. The deadline for submitting the applications will be on 30 of June, 2011. top winners will be awarded during the Award ceremony which will be after med of July.

More info at the Award website.

This is from Arabcrunch

  
 
      By News & Events, OS & Handsets

INQ and Foursquare today announced a new partnership whereby Foursquare will develop a new home screen for INQ’s Android-based Facebook handsets. According to INQ, users will be able to swipe back and forth between the Foursquare screen and more Facebook-oriented INQ screens. INQ handset users will be able to search for and/or recommend nearby places (restaurants, bars, retail stores), all based on user location data and the check-in history of both the user and the user’s network of friends. INQ announced two new Android devices earlier this year, and both should be available in Best Buy in the coming months.

Foursquare.comNew.inqmobile.com

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, News & Events, OS & Handsets

After Apple’s attack against Amazon’s use of “App Store” Amazon sturck back defending itself by explaining that the term “app store” is generic, and recently denied such a claim during the ongoing tiff between the two application providers. Amazon argues that the term “app store” is generic, and when the words are put together, they signify a store where one can buy and download applications.

Shockingly enough, Apple isn’t down with Amazon’s claim.

“Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps,” said Apple in a federal court filing. Other businesses such as Microsoft and Google have found a different way to brand their application stores, with terms like Windows Marketplace or Android Market. Because “app store” is not a commonly used term by similar businesses, Apple maintains that the non-generic term “app store” is an infringement on Apple’s trademark.

Back in March, shortly after the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android, Apple sought a court order to stop Amazon from using the term “App Store” for its application portal. Amazon fought back with an April 26 court filing, arguing that the words, when together, are a generic term that Apple has no exclusive rights over.

As of now, this is far from over. It doesn’t look like either party is anywhere closer to backing down, while both have the resources necessary to keep the fight going. However, if Apple should get the win, Amazon will likely have to start brainstorming for a new name.

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, News & Events, OS & Handsets

According to CVG, Sony has expressed concerns about the sales of games on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone.

Only a few thousand sales have been registered to date.

Cool Boarders 2 for example only did between 100 and 500 downloads on the network, just like MediEvil, but Jumping Flash managed to hit rock-bottom with 50 to 100 sales. Destruction Derby is the most popular, but didn’t cross 1K downloads yet.

Sony’s head of market development Dominic Neil-Dwyer said it’s probably due to the lack of titles. On the other side, they are very happy with the Playstation Certified programme’s performance.

It is not surprising though that this is happening considering the poor reviews that the new Xperia has had like this one :

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, OS & Handsets

Multi-platform application storefront GetJar has acquired technology provider Infrinity, which offers online customer lifecycle management tools to assist mobile app publishers with their acquisition, monetization and retention efforts. Financial details were not disclosed. Infrinity founder and CTO Anand Venkataraman will join GetJar as its vice president of discovery technologies.

According to GetJar, Infrinity’s recommendation engine will enhance app discovery, recommendations and the overall app store user experience. A GetJar consumer survey issued in March reveals that only 25 percent of users discover the apps they’re seeking via app store browsing–almost half instead discovered apps online, and 17 percent discovered them through word of mouth or social media.

Late last month, GetJar integrated Facebook social networking tools into the newest version of its mobile portal, enabling consumers to share app download activity, recommendations and comments via wall posts and news feeds.

“Leveraging the social graph is the first step to understanding the user and personalizing their experience,” said GetJar Director of Mobile Products Mario Tapia in an interview with FierceMobileContent. “Social media is more relevant to discovery than search. We look at friends’ recommendations as a far bigger influencer than trade magazine reviews or store bestseller lists.”

GetJar offers more than 75,000 applications to consumers in over 200 international markets. Consumers have now downloaded more than 1.5 billion apps from the store. GetJar supports over 3,000 device models spanning platforms including Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian.

  
 
      By Apps & Sites

Get into the Royal Talk with style ! Ever wanted to voice your feeling? Here’s your chance.

ROYAL TALKRoyal Wedding is the ultimate national Groundhog Day. All those cartoon faces doing the all the same things, except it end in a gloriously different way. And however cynical you feel at the outset, it’s impossible to resist the potent images of history bonding

The ROYAL TALK is an iPhone app by SILK-APPS.COM contains fantastic photos of the Royal couple Kate & William and the clicks taken on their wedding day with all the wedding guests: Hat maniacs, Cartoon Faces, Funny gestures plus the wedding efforts and preparation and cute and funny moments of the event and some clicks from their private life.

This app is ‘just for fun’ to share your humor with your friends and be in the buzz in main

European languages: English, French, and Spanish & Portuguese. You will see new images of the royal family on regular basis.

So stay tuned with us and now grab the iPhone App from iTunes Store

Future versions of the app will consist gossip section to keep you up to date with the Buzzzzzzz…!

Ø Try playing around, adding thought and text bubbles.. make conversations. Have a laugh :)

Ø Share your fun creations with your friends on Facebook or by email.

Ø Check out the latest scoops and gossip.

  
 
      By News & Events, OS & Handsets

Most apps still appear on the iPhone first

Which smartphone OS is easiest to develop mobile a

With so many different operating systems in the smartphone space, deciding where to launch a new app is no longer as simple as saying, “iPhone.”

Sure, the iPhone dominates the market. But Android is quickly growing and there are circumstances when the much smaller BlackBerry or Windows phones might make sense. Developers are also keen on Windows’ tools for developing.

“We’ve been witnessing the Web-to-mobile transition and the pace at which it is happening is staggering,” said Shehryar Khan, CEO of mobile software digital agency Ubermind, Seattle.  “There is a lot of innovation coming out of the mobile space and a lot of interesting apps continue to be released.”

Choosing an OS

Developing apps for mobile phones is competitive, however.  “It is not that easy to build these apps and there are only a handful of companies that do it well,” Mr. Khan said.

Development tools for Android rate highly

Which smartphone OS is easiest to develop mobile aOne of the first questions most companies looking to build an app will ask is: “Which is the best phone for reaching my target audience?”

 

If sheer reach is the goal, then the iPhone wins, for now.

IOS has the largest installed base right now, per Mr. Khan. Android is a close second and is growing very quickly while BlackBerry and Windows still have relatively small installed bases.

 

 

BlackBerry’s develoment environment isn’t optimal

Which smartphone OS is easiest to develop mobile aHowever, the marketplace is quickly changing. 

A recent report from Gartnerpredicts that Android will become the most popular smartphone operating system by the end of 2011, with its greatest opportunity lying in mid- to low-priced smartphones.

The report also suggests the Windows Phone will become the third largest platform by 2013 thanks, in large part, to Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia.

Apple’s iOS will remain the second biggest platform worldwide through 2014 as the company maintains its premium pricing strategy.

Research In Motion’s share of the market will decline.

Going for aesthetics?
Besides the iPhone’s large customer base, developers also often turn to it for its cache.

“If the desired app is not only a functional application but also a statement of technical edginess, then we have to get an iPhone app done first and foremost,” said Patrick Emmons, director of professional services at Adage Technologies, Chicago.

However, if a company wants to reach a specific audience such as healthcare workers, lawyers or those in the financial services, then BlackBerry or Windows, which have strong penetration into these markets, may be the right decision, per Scott Michaels, vice president of app development firm Atimi Software, Vancouver, Canada.

Sometimes it is not about reach, however.

“If the customer is more focused on reduced cost of platform development, then we can start with the Android platform,” Mr. Emmons said.

In fact, several industry experts interviewed here pointed to the growing trend of developing apps for the Android at least in tandem with the iPhone and sometimes prior to it. The development tools and end-user experience is considered a close second to these for iOS.

There have been some problems around ActiveSync due to unique implementations of the open-source Android platform. However, these are likely to be ironed out soon, per Mr. Emmons.

When it comes to the actual development process, there is not a consensus over the superiority of iOS, with some insisting Android has the best development tools, database access and multitouch capability.

Others, however, point to Apple’s emphasis on speed and reduced battery consumption, which means working without the bells and whistles of java or .net.

“It’s difficult to develop a corporate app [for iOS] that leverages external xml-based data repositories due to its lack of xml parsing,” Mr. Emmons said. “It will take longer to write an app for iPhone than it will for Android or Windows.”

BlackBerry vs. Windows
When it comes to the BlackBerry, developers mostly agree that the environment is not optimal.

“BlackBerry was already in full-on decline,” Mr. Emmons said. “Its development tool and its user experience were not keeping up for a while. The Playbook was the final submission of defeat.”

Windows, however, is considered an up-and-comer. It offers developers a strong set of tools, including lots of tools for building mobile Web sites, per Ubermind’s Mr. Khan.

And, with the merger of Nokia, Microsoft has an opportunity to take a stronger stance on the actual device.

“If Microsoft can leverage its merger with Nokia to improve the quality over Android while still providing more than one phone option, then Microsoft might become a bigger player,” Mr. Emmons said.

One trend that several sources pointed to is the growing use of HTML5 for portions of an app that can then be easily leveraged across platforms.

“Most shops use a lot of HTML5 inside apps,” Atimi Software’s Mr. Michaels said. “That Web piece is most easily translatable between iOS, Android and somewhat to Windows but not so much RIMs.”

In the end, developing a successful app for mobile phones is all about keeping up with what consumers are expecting in a mobile experience.

“The overall expectation of the level of quality has been raised for apps,” Mr. Michaels said. “Today, you could never get away with some of the early apps that came out.

“People have now spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing apps and if you’re not going to compete at that level, you’re chances of success are so much lower,” he said.

Final Take

This is from Mobilemarketer.com

  
 
      By Apps & Sites, News & Events, OS & Handsets

Finally AT&T get it right. Their newest Android device does it correctly. Up till now AT&T Android devices blocked  apps from sources other than Android market. So this meant that trying to install an app from Amazon Market, neXva or GetJar would be refused.

The excuses they gave for that were that “bad apps” could take down their network !! Whatever that means. As if Android market checked even apps ! Anyway that bad policy is now changed.