Latest Commentary

Four things app developers should take away from Apple's Guided Tour video for the Apple Watch

Who exactly is supposed to watch this "Guided Tour" video that Apple has made for the Apple Watch, and when? If it's consumers, presumably the video would serve as a sort of multimedia owner's manual, though it might help to demonstrate how to properly recharge it. If it's to help media outlets explain the device, four minutes and 45 seconds is a little too long. And if app developers are the intended audience, there are really less than a handful of things you really need to think about.

It may be best to strip 'ASO' from app developers' vocabularies before it's too late

It might not be too long before developers come to define ASO as not standing for "app store optimization" but "a scary outcome." At least, that was one of the takeaways from a story on Cult of Mac, where developer Graham Bower writes about a decision he made to change the name of his app to include some potentially useful keywords. When he later wanted to change it back, the original name of his app was gone.

The stories app developers must learn to tell

As much as it would be helpful, there is no guaranteed owner's manual to running an app development business, but if there were, a title like "How I Got 2.3 Million Downloads (Without Spending A Cent On Marketing)" would work quite well. Instead, the recent post on Medium by Stuart Hall offers the kind of crash course that puts most universities and part-time courses in iOS or Android development to shame.

How app developers should define 'explicit authorization'

For a lot of app developers, the word "explicit" may not come up a lot unless you're referring to some of the more violent content you see in certain mobile games. Apple, however, wants to make it a much bigger part of their vocabulary.

Why WhatsApp is taking an all-too-familiar approach to third-party client apps

Even though it is now officially owned by Facebook, the recent actions of WhatsApp toward developers might best be described as "pulling a Twitter."

The big payoff Android Pay could bring to app developers

There's a world of difference between the names "Google Wallet" and "Android Pay," and it all comes down to what some of those worlds mean in the physical rather than the digital world.

How developers should approach Apple's first public beta of iOS

When Apple last updated iOS, I saw a lot of comments on Twitter that went along the lines of, "Is it safe to install?" and "So. Many. Bugs." This could explain why, according to 9to5Mac and others, Apple is considering its first public beta for the operating system with version 8.3. 

The cost of Apple's 'Pay Once and Play' category for iOS developers

With one small step, Apple has effectively segmented the "good" mobile games from the "evil" mobile games. The recent introduction of the "Pay Once and Play" category on the App Store was clearly designed with consumers in mind. Consumers, that is, who are increasingly feeling uncomfortable with the limitations of playing a game in exchange for being bombarded with in-app purchase (IAP) requests. 

Why app developers should hope for something better than a Hollywood ending

It may not be the kind of line that drives people to the box-office, but it was certainly an eye-catching headline. "The app economy is now 'bigger than Hollywood,'" The Atlantic declared recently, with little sense of how developers, or anyone else, should react. What were we all supposed to do, clap? 

Why all developers should think about obeying Marissa Mayer's 'two-tap' rule for apps

I'm sure you could learn a lot from all the rich and famous minds who assembled for the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, but for app developers, the biggest takeaway probably came from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.