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Now you can shop for Android apps without Android | VentureBeat March 17, 2010

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Google has limited app discovery in its Android Market store to Android-powered devices. That makes it hard for people who don’t own a phone, or who want something faster and bigger than a Droid screen, to search for and learn about apps.

AppStoreHQ has solved the problem with a browser-based Android directory at AppStoreHQ.com/android-apps. The directory works like AppStoreHQ’s iPhone directory.

The company has also made it possible for other sites to tap into their Android listings. You can see the API-like info at DroidDog and AndroidTapp.

AppStoreHQ founder Chris DeVore sent me this list of features:

  • Keyword search and category browse for any app in Android Market.
  • Web-based profile pages for each app that include price, description, screenshots and recent user feedback.
  • Direct buy links for Android device users.
  • For Web visitors, barcode-based buy links and an email-to-phone option.
  • Easy social share actions for any Android app via Twitter, Facebook and email.
  • “Hottest Apps” rankings based on worldwide Android app mentions on blogs and Twitter,with results updated several times a day.

Seattle-based AppStoreHQ is run by DeVore, and funded by Founder’s Co-op, also in Seattle. The company won Best Mobile Service Startup at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2009 conference.

via Now you can shop for Android apps without Android | VentureBeat.

Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 November 17, 2009

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After last week’s news, I’m pleased to tell you that Windows Marketplace for Mobile has today reached another major milestone by adding support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 devices. This is an especially proud day for Microsoft because it marks our fulfillment of the Marketplace vision that we put forth only 9 months ago at Mobile World Congress. Last week we expanded the Marketplace experience to the PC and updated the developer portal to include stronger anti-piracy protection features for developers. Today, Marketplace is delivering some great free new features that enhance and expand the Marketplace experience to even more Windows Mobile customers.

Now available for phones with Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1

Initially, Marketplace was available for the new Windows phones with Windows Mobile 6.5. Today, almost all people with phones running Windows Mobile 6.0 and above with a supporting data plan can now access Marketplace. We’re delighted to bring the benefits of Marketplace to even more people, and give Windows phone developers the opportunity to reach more than 30 million devices worldwide. To get Marketplace for a Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 based device, customers can simply point their phone’s browser to http://mp.windowsphone.com to start the download process; from the Web, customers can visit http://windowsphone.com/getmarketplace or simply click here. Then browse and shop a wide range of quality applications for work and play; roughly 90% of the apps in our catalogue already support Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 devices.

[…]

via Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 – Windows Phone Blog – The Windows Blog

T-Mobile USA Will Add Its Own Channel And Carrier Billing to Android Market November 5, 2009

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T-Mobile USA is increasing its investment in the Google Android platform even more, by improving the application experience, according to a keynote given by CTO Cole Brodman said this morning at Open Mobile Summit this morning in San Francisco.

The company said that in time for Thanksgiving, T-Mobile will introduce a T-Mobile Channel, which will provide recommended content for the Google Android devices. Already, T-Mobile is providing a so-called “AppPack,” which suggests 34 free and paid apps. The bigger announcement today is that T-Mobile will soon enable carrier billing, which will allow customers to buy apps using their monthly bill, rather than having to use Google Checkout. […]

Here’s what T-Mobile has witnessed in terms of myTouch consumer behavior:

  • About half myTouch users visit the Android Market at least once per day.
  • 80% of myTouch users browse the web at least once per day, and 2/3 say several times per day.
  • Nearly half of myTouch users say they have “completely customized” their myTouch.
  • More than 40% of myTouch users access social networking sites multiple times per day.

via Updated: T-Mobile USA Will Add Its Own Channel And Carrier Billing to Android Market | mocoNews

The App Store Effect: Are iPhone Apps Headed for Oblivion? – The app store effect October 18, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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A really great article about Apple’s AppStore and how business is going there could be found on the following link:

via The App Store Effect: Are iPhone Apps Headed for Oblivion? – The app store effect – Gizmodo.

A short summary  on it:

It’s uncanny. When known software gets repackaged for iPhones and iPod Touches and passes through the hallowed gates of the App Store, something happens: Almost invariably, it gets cheaper. Waaay cheaper. Good right? Well, not always.[…]

The App Store is a strange new place for developers. Veterans and newcomers engage in bareknuckle combat, driving prices down to levels people wouldn’t have imagined charging just a few years ago. Margins drop to razor-thin levels while customers expect apps to get cheaper and cheaper, but with ever increasing quality and depth.

The Problem


Most iPhone apps had no life before the App Store, and currently have no life outside it. But with those that did, you start to see a pattern. App prices could reasonably be expected to fall over time—an older game is worth less to customers than a newer game, and with other types of software, a late-stage price drop is a great way to scoop up late adopters. What’s strange, though, is how prices dramatically collapse after hitting Apple’s store.[…]

The Economy

Some of this is pure Econ 101: The store serves a massive, captive audience that’s pre-trained to spend money in iTunes. The promise of higher volume makes it easier for developers to lower prices, which they use, along with interesting features and clever marketing, to set themselves apart from the competition.[…]

It’s true that prices are falling as more and more iPhone and iPod Touch owners enter the market. But prices won’t stop falling.[…]

The Culture

Giz stories rage about app prices all the time, and in your own private way, so do most of you. Buying $1 songs and $2 TV shows has given us an expectation that apps should be cheap, no matter what their use. The glut of free apps you see filling out the app charts every day doesn’t help either. Software is worth less to us now, even though we use it more.[…]

Apple

From the outside, it appears that Apple is encouraging a race to the bottom. The top 10 lists in each App Store category—one of the only ways for an app to get any meaningful amount of iTunes visibility—are almost exclusively the territory of low-priced impulse buys, and are hard to cling onto for more than a few weeks at time. Flexer, of Duck Duck Moose, says she’s experienced it firsthand:

The ranking by volume (as opposed to revenue) on the App Store seems to drive the prices of apps down. Aside from being featured by Apple, exposure of an app is dependent on its ranking in the top lists, so developers lower prices to obtain a higher ranking.[…]

With yesterday’s announcement that Apple is allowing free apps to include in-app purchases, things just got even more tumultuous. Depending on how this is handled, the top “free” apps could all be paid apps in disguise. Either that or the paid app rankings will be dominated by free-on-a-trial-basis teasers. In either case, the rankings open themselves up for opportunistic abuse, and the highest goal for any honest, talented app developer—to just crack that list—just became more uncertain.
This is disastrous for developers, even if it’s mostly incidental, and a function of Apple trying to sell apps like they’ve been selling music for years, despite a totally different set of product types and customer needs. But Apple’s effect on pricing goes well beyond incidental. At least in some cases, Apple calls the shots.

What Happens Now

So what does the App Store Effect mean, right now? In the short term, we’ll get lower prices. This is great. But in the long term, it might not be sustainable.

The promise that sales volume will make up for the rock-bottom prices you need to charge just to be seen in your app category seems increasingly hollow, and to put it bluntly, if developers don’t have a chance in hell of recouping their fees, they’ll stop trying. And I’m not talking about 99-cent iFart app spammers here—I’m talking about big players who already make money selling software. If the navigation companies, the big game studios and the premium content providers can’t thrive in the App Store, they’ll have to leave; even playing in Apple’s sandbox threatens and undercut their (sometimes much more crucial) product lines elsewhere.

And don’t forget, Palm and Android fans, this App Store Effect sends ripples well beyond the App Store. Customers expect to see functionally identical apps priced the same way across platforms, because to us, that’s what makes sense. Can devs really afford to port an app to the webOS to sell to the tens of thousands of Pre owners, when they’re expected to tag it with iPhone prices, calculated for a base of millions? Whether by Apple’s design or totally by accident, everyone who doesn’t own an iPhone will suffer for it.

The App Store Effect illustrates a new kind of economy, and it’s not going to go away. In fact, it’s going to get worse. Developers will either adapt, die or leave. But where will they go? Until there are 50 million Android handsets and 50 million Pre offspring out there, the rest of the mobile software world is pretty much screwed.

via The App Store Effect: Are iPhone Apps Headed for Oblivion? – The app store effect – Gizmodo.

Apple App Store Crosses Another Threshold September 28, 2009

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A quick update from the land of Apple: The company announced on Monday another set of remarkable numbers for the app store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Customers have downloaded more than two billion apps in the last year and a half, up from a billion in April and a billion and a half in July. Apple says there are now 85,000 apps available for the phone, up from 65,000 in July.

The blog Apple Insider further parses the numbers, calculating that an average of 6.3 million apps are downloaded a day, up from 4.1 million earlier in the year. The breadth and depth of Apple’s app store is a big reason why the iPhone continues to maintain its lead against up-incomers like the Palm Pre and the phones running Google’s Android operating system.

Of course, there is one figure missing from the latest news out of Cupertino: How many of those apps are still being used after they’re downloaded? (We’re curious—what percentage of apps you’ve downloaded do you regularly use?)

“The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement. “The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it.”

via Apple App Store Crosses Another Threshold – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com

iPhone Devs: Lite/Free mobile apps really pay off August 1, 2009

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The creator of iCombat wrote an analysis of his experience making and giving away a free “lite” version of his app alongside his paid, full version. The result? It makes economic sense to create a lite version early on and update it often to goose the users into downloading – and paying attention to – your app.

His global conversion rate was 9% which meant that a considerable cohort of lite users bought the full version. He discovered a number of best practices for iPhone devs and allowed us to post them here. His most important takeaway? He should have made a lite app much earlier in the game. The conversion rate once the lite app was made available was quite impressive and meant a lot of lost revenue.

1. Should have released lite version from the beginning – There was no point to waiting and sacrificing the initial new release buzz. Since it is harder to get featured once your app is launched, say for app updates, it is important to strike early and hard with your app release.

2. Lite does NOT cannibalize sales – If your app is a gimmick then it might not make sense but in all other cases it only helps to increase sales (see our previous post on this topic)

3. Get the bugs out for your lite release – users churn lite apps and are fine giving you 1 star if they don’t like the experience. This is especially bad because the App store prompts users to rate an app when they try to delete it

4. Lite sales trail off too but paid sales remain higher – if you don’t have the x-factor that is needed to spread the word your lite downloads will fall as they have for iCombat, but in our case paid sales have continued to sell at a minimum rate several times higher than the pre-lite period

5. Frequent releases do juice downloads – Pocket God and other frequently updated apps have benefited from a weekly sales bump as they show up in the new releases section of the app store (users also like this episode style model)

via iPhone Devs: Lite/Free mobile apps really pay off.

Why Apple’s iTouch Tablet Will Become Its Flagship Product — Seeking Alpha July 26, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Digital content has been available for years, but the right vehicle to consume the content has been lacking. We still cut down trees and hand deliver newspapers to people’s homes. That worked in 1900, but 2009? Are you kidding me? The iTouch Tablet is about to change society as we know it. The demand for this product is going to overwhelm Apple (AAPL).[…]

Will the tablet have a substantial impact on Apple’s core business? I see this device taking its place at the high end of the iPod family; it will be a larger version of the iPod Touch. This product won’t fall quietly into place however. The iTouch Tablet launch is primed to be the most significant in the history of Apple. The following four reasons provide support for the claim:

1) Apple Finally has an App Machine. Steve Jobs has mentioned that he has never seen anything like success of the App Store in his career. If he is saying that, then I’m saying that this 9.7 inch iTouch that has been designed to optimally utilize the apps will become the flagship Apple product.[…] The trend is in place that shows consumers will desire an app rather than visit a website. Perhaps we will one day see that apps are more popular than actual websites. The unspoken secret about the iPhone is that it wasn’t designed to become the ultimate App Store device. The screen is too small. The order of operations for the iPhone are phone first, iPod second, Apps third, and Internet browser fourth. This new iTouch is principally designed to take advantage of the App Store gaming, books, news, entertainment, social networking, etc… (more…)

How HP Integrates Digital and Social, Kathy Durham, VP Marketing July 25, 2009

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Jeremiah Owyang wrote in his blog Web Strategy about Internet Strategy Forum in Portland and about a conversation with Katherine Durham VP of Marketing at HP.

Topic: Integration of digital median and conversational marketing

Trends that HP sees:

  • The more things change the more they stay the same, reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time, and in the right place.
  • Digital is getting marketing what it used to be. Talks about the old corner store, how relationships were built in real life, digital is doing the same now.
  • “If content is king, context is queen” Jeff Berman, MySpace
  • 14hours per week are spent online by consumers (40% of time) however companies only spend 5% online.
  • 5 years ago only one of the 10 top sites were social (myspace), now there are several in the top 10 youtube, facebook, wikipedia
  • Social media isn’t just for kids, many are not accessing it from twitter.com but are using mobile devices.
  • Talks about forkfly.com a mobile social network that enables customers to show restaurants coupons while at the table.
  • 77% of Americans watched a video last month
  • The importance of reviews are important as they give credibility. 87% of customers would rather ask a friend and trust them than see a critics view about that product.
  • Negative reviews can convert
  • Gives a customer reference to BazaarVoice, who helps increase results. (more…)

Flurry offers Android mobile app analytics July 21, 2009

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Mobile app analytics is becoming a big business, thanks to the desire from developers for as much data as possible about how their apps are performing against the market.

Flurry is one of the companies looking to provide those analytics, and recently launched a channel partner program, letting developers using Flurry’s platform share performance and usage data with their brand clients.

It’s available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry developers, and is being targeted at the more than 9,000 developers who have already signed up for Flurry’s free app analytics platform. […]

via Flurry: ‘Brands want mobile app analytics’, feature, Flurry, PocketGamer.biz

Apps or browser? GetJar vs. Google on the future of mobile services | VentureBeat July 20, 2009

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The most over-the-top statements and biggest disagreements at our MobileBeat 2009 conference last week circled the same question: Will the future bring a jillion smartphone applications, or a jillion smartphone web sites?

The BBC even reported about how executives from GetJar, the largest independent mobile app store, and Google completely disagreed at MobileBeat on whether developers should focus on platform-specific phone apps or run-anywhere browser apps.

“Apps will be as big, if not bigger than the Internet,” GetJar chief executive Ilja Laurs (left) said at one point. Google vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra (right), in a separate forum, delivered the event’s most-discussed line: “We’re not rich enough” to support multiple mobile platforms. Put it in the browser, Gundotra said.

In the coming year, this will be the biggest fight in the tech industry — even bigger than Blu-ray versus HD-DVD. Google’s browser-based approach brings the internet mindset to the phone: Products and services shouldn’t be tied to one company’s hardware platform or operating system, and it’s better to sacrifice a few features in order to have an application that will run on any phone.

Alternatively, GetJar pushes an app-centric future, in which apps built for specific platforms do things you can’t do in a browser. GetJar serves millions of Windows Mobile, Palm and BlackBerry apps to its customers and has spent years building up relationships to be the app provider for large carriers outside the U.S. like Virgin Mobile and Sony Ericsson.

(more…)

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