Архив метки: Android Market

Windows Phone Marketplace Tops 70,000 Apps


Windows Phone has been picking up steam lately, launching the platform in China just yesterday and making headway as one of Nokia’s primary partners.

But when it comes to buying Windows Phone, the big hesitation for just about everyone is apps. Both the Android Market and the App Store have surpassed half a million apps each, but today Microsoft has an exciting (albeit smaller) bit of good news to share.

The Windows Phone Marketplace has topped 70,000 apps. That’s up from 50,000 in December and 60,000 in January.

Microsoft knows that variety and quality of apps will be a huge competition point for the platform, and has acted accordingly. The company’s BizSpark program courts developers from all over the world, and the Mobile Acceleration Week specifically ensures that quality apps being built for Windows Phone 7 get as much publicity and attention as they should.

It also doesn’t hurt that Windows Phone is generally being seen as a more legitimate platform as great device makers like Nokia and HTC put their efforts behind it. Plus, Microsoft has said before that the company is more focused on quality than quantity when it comes to apps.

[via Sina]

Windows Phone Marketplace Tops 70,000 Apps

Despite The Name, Report Finds “Mobile Games” Are Played Most Often At Home


Casual and mobile games company Miniclip has teamed up with app monetization platform and ad server MoPub, today releasing a joint study on the behavior of mobile gamers, breaking the group down by age, gender, and content preference. The biggest surprise from the study came in this little nugget of user behavior wisdom: Despite its name and connotation, 44 percent of gamers play “mobile games” on the couch versus playing in … really any out-of-living room location, “including time spent traveling or waiting,” the study says.

Miniclip, which has 15 million monthly active users and 65 million downloads, conducted the survey across its ad-supported mobile games over the course of three weeks, whereupon the data was then collected by MoPub.

Some of the other highlights of the study? Apparently moms rule the iPod Touch, as 73 percent of those who responded via iPod were female. In unsurprising news, apps that are featured prominently in the App Store or Android Market “drive maximum downloads,” as 37 percent of the audience downloaded apps because they were featured prominently. On the flip side, in much more surprising news, the study found that reviews trump the recommendation of friends, as a good review in the App Store was a stronger motivation for downloading at 18 percent, compared to a “recommendation from someone you trust,” at 14 percent.

The study comes on the heels of announcements from the two dominant platforms at GDC that highlighted the growing connection between mobile devices and games, as Google announced at the event that it will be rebranding the Android Market as “Google Play,” what it’s now calling a “digital entertainment destination.”

Less than 24-hours later, Apple announced its latest iPad, prominently featuring several up-and-coming gaming apps to showcase what’s possible in mobile gaming thanks to the device’s higher-res graphics and increased processing power. More from yours truly on that point here.

In a statement today, Parks Associates Research Analyst Pietro Macchiarella said it’s interesting to see the study proving that mobile games, which are fueled by powerful hardware and operating systems, are now beginning to compete for the very same couch that was once owned outright by console gaming. “The growth in tablet penetration will have an enormous impact on the size of the mobile gaming market,” the analyst concluded.

A separate study conducted by Parks Associates, called “Online Gaming and Digital Distribution,” supported the analyst’s supposition, finding that 71 percent of adults and 79 percent of teen tablet owners play games on their tablets for at least one hour per month. And as to which of the leading operating systems is winning the HTML5 gaming race, spaceport.io found in a recent study that iOS performs 3-times faster than Android. Not only that, but iOS devices and browsers (iPhone, iPad, and Safari) outshone their competitor across the board when it came to rendering movement on-screen.

In addition, keeping in mind that this report came out before the release of the new iPad, Spaceport found that the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 scored high above the rest, handling over 200 moving objects and over 300 objects, respectively. Furthermore, the iPad 2 ranked as the top device for HTML5 and apps performance, crushing Android across the board.

Image Credit Chris Kohler

Despite The Name, Report Finds “Mobile Games” Are Played Most Often At Home

Test Flighting: Applover Launches Free, Crowdsourced Testing Platform For Android Apps


Earlier this month, MG broke the news that iOS app testing platform, TestFlight, had been acquired by Burstly. In one fell swoop, TestFlight (which continues to exist in its current, free-to-use form) combined its app testing strengths with Burstly’s app monetization platform, launching a supposed one-two punch with TestFlight Live, a new product that allows developers to view realtime engagement, revenue, audience, and performance data — all in one dashboard!

Of course, the issue is that, while TestFlight and Burstly most likely have it in the works, the service doesn’t offer support for Android. Oh, the shame. Not only that, if you’re of the same mindset as TeliportMe Founder Vineet Devaiah, no one does — at least not well, or for free. While Android makes it easier for app developers to push updates to their apps, the amount of different phones and OEMs using Androids makes fragmentation a wee bit of a problem. Because of this fragmentation, Devaiah thinks that simply providing an SDK for tracking and testing won’t cut it.

As with so many things, this conclusion was informed by experience. TeliportMe’s image and panorama crowdsourcing app, “360″, which we covered back in July, is Android-only. Naturally, as a panorama app, 360 needs to be tuned with the camera, compass, gyroscope, JNI and hundreds of other activities, all while running complex stitching algorithms at various processing speeds — just to serve up decent results.

Given Android’s fragmentation, this made developing 360 a tricky process — no doubt something with which many Android developers are familiar — to varying degrees. Not only that, but during early development, Devaiah says, the team didn’t have access to multiple phones or, really, many beta testers. In fact, only to, as he says, “the lowly HTC Wildfire.” When the app launched on the Android market, Devaiah writes in a blog post, they “got killed” with 1-star ratings, because, for some reason those downloading the app were all using HTC DesireZ phones. Despite bug-fixing like mad and praying to the Google Gods, “every day some new phone popped up with a new bug.”

The only solution, they found, was to have access to a certain number of phones that could “augment the entire subset of Android phones,” which is why the team created Applover. Applover is essentially a community product, an app that crowdsources Android users and phones to create an organic testing platform that grants developers access to hundreds of different Android phones as well as real, live beta testers.

Prior to launching Applover, Devaiah says, the team was stuck at a 3.1 average rating on the Android Market — for three months — daily receiving an equal number of 5 and 1-star ratings. After sourcing and building the testing platform to help improve their iterations, 3-months later, the app is up to a 4.1 rating and still rising, according to the founder. Over that period, the total number of ratings increased nearly five-fold.

“While we made a lot of changes in our application which you could document as the reason for this increase in ratings, the fact is that our iteration rate got better and better,” Devaiah says, “we were able to push updates at a much faster rate and help build a better product and test faster.” Thus, the founder believes that Android stands to benefit significantly from a crowdsourced testing platform — to a much greater degree than iOS. So, this weekend, Applover opened up its platform to 200 beta testers and 20 app developers, who collectively have 5 million downloads on the Android Market.

Sure, that number is still small, but Devaiah says that he wants the platform to be open, crowdsourced, and transparent, all the things that supposedly contribute to making the platform itself desirable. And with a smart, open community, and access to hundreds of phones and near-instant feedback from other developers and rabid Android users, the founder believes the testing platform can grow organically.

Of course, there’s the question of just how Applover can incentivize beta testers and app developers to join the community and help out their fellow developers and Android users. There are plenty of popular solutions out there, like Apphance, which offer instant, accurate testing solutions for Android (and iOS). Of course, if you want testing on over 40 phones, Apphance will cost you $200 per month, per application. And, more generally there are sites like StartupLift, or BetaBait, which aim to help startups and app developers find beta testers and get actionable feedback.

But those aren’t app developer-specific (or Android-only), like Applover. And although the team knows that they’re potentially relying on the fickle good-nature of the crowd by offering intangible incentives, they’re hoping that by building a strong community and offering a game-ified point system, the platform will eventually manage itself — all in a way reminiscent of Stack Overflow.

And they might just be onto something. After all, the TeliportMe-spinoff startup has already had a few acquisition offers. Of course, the team is playing it straight and wants to see where the road of independent operation can take them — to victory, or the deadpool.

For those interested in signing up, check out Applover at home here. The first 100 or so readers should be fast-tracked. Then come on back here and let us know what you think.

Test Flighting: Applover Launches Free, Crowdsourced Testing Platform For Android Apps

Eric Chu Steps Away From Overseeing Android’s App Store, Jamie Rosenberg Expands Role


There was more than meets the eye with this week’s rebranding of Android Market as Google Play.

Accompanying the new name and look is a shift in how the store is being managed. Eric Chu, who has worked on the Android team for four-and-a-half years, is stepping away from overseeing Android’s app store and is exploring other options inside Google.

Jamie Rosenberg, who has been a director of digital content for Android and was the public face for the Google Music launch, gets increased oversight for apps and games inside the store. (His title isn’t changing though.)

Rosenberg came to Google two years ago from Microsoft. Before that, he was vice president of premium services for Danger, the company that Android chief Andy Rubin co-founded and that went on to make the T-Mobile Sidekick.

Paired with the Google Play rebranding, the move shows how Google is changing the way it thinks about distributing and selling digital content on Android and the broader web. Google wants to have an online storefront that encompasses much more than apps and that isn’t just limited to Android device owners.

The internal management structure for Android Market was problematic from the start, according to a source who has worked closely with the team. Eric Chu headed up developer relations and business development while David Conway handled product management. Because there were two heads with relatively equal power, it was difficult to understand who had final say and that led to unnecessary politics.

The team behind Android’s app store also needed more resources for years. Because Rubin judges the success of Android primarily through device activations and mobile search revenue, the app store has been a secondary priority inside the group. This is even though apps are a key reason consumers might choose one type of device over another.

interviewed Chu on-stage at the Inside Social Apps conference last year. We had talked about all the ways Google planned to improve the Android ecosystem over 2011. At the time, he said in-app billing would come out soon (which it did in March of last year) and that the store was going to find ways to give more exposure to apps (which it also did at Google’s developer conference I/O later in May).

While Android has definitely improved over the last year as a revenue source for developers (especially with the in-app billing system Chu rolled out publicly in March), it still causes frustration for some. This past week, indie developer Mika Mobile said it would stop supporting Android because the revenues didn’t make up for the complexity of developing for such a fragmented ecosystem with many devices and versions of the OS.

Eric Chu Steps Away From Overseeing Android’s App Store, Jamie Rosenberg Expands Role

What’s Next For Google Play? Audiobooks And Magazines

Audio books - Google Play Help

Yesterday, Google announced the launch of Google Play, a rebranded Android Market which consolidates all of Google’s media offerings, including apps, music, movies and e-books, into one portal. But it appears that Google’s ambitions to create its own iTunes-like experience won’t stop there. In the Help Center for the new Google Play, empty pages titled “Audio Books” as well as “Magazines and journals” have appeared, hinting at Google’s plans into its future content offerings.

The Audio Books page was first spotted by unofficial Google news site Google Operating System, which also discovered two genres for audiobooks listed on the site (“audio books” and “audiobooks”). However, because of the duplicated spellings, this last bit is not as telling as the placeholder page in the Google Help Center. It could be that the genres are automatically generated, the blog speculates.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Google to move into audiobooks, though, an obvious complement to their current offerings, as well as into magazines, newspapers, catalogs, educational content, TV shows, and everything else that Apple is doing now within its iTunes universe. If anything, the rebranding effort with the Android Market (as much as we may hate it), seems to speak to a desire for it to be seen as a more robust, richer offering than “just” an app store.

To that end, Google even registered several domains that suggest its ambitions. These unused domains include googleplaymagazines.com, googleplaynewspapers.com, googleplaynewsstand.com, googleplaytv.com, and many other variations on those themes.

Google is also developing a consumer-facing experience for organizing purchased e-books at the home of its former online ebookstore, an Amazon-like shopping portal found at books.google.com/books. To be clear, that’s a separate storefront from its books search engine books.google.com (which also now points to Google Play). The stalled effort at creating a home for users’ purchased ebooks now has a second chance, complete with a library of books on Google Play, including a few pre-loaded classics like Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice. Audiobooks would fit in well here, if Google moved in that direction.

Also of note, there are magazines available in this ebooks portal too, but not in the Google Play store. It’s clearly only a matter of time before the two sites (Play and Books) are even further merged making those magazines easy to find and purchase using the revamped Android Market…err…Google Play service. After all, if you have ‘em, promote ‘em.

Not surprisingly, there’s a placeholder help page for that, too, dubbed “magazines and journals.” Newspapers and TV placeholder help pages don’t yet exist, however.

What’s Next For Google Play? Audiobooks And Magazines