It's just so weird: When Apple launched the iPad Pro, a lot of people were comparing it to Microsoft's Surface. Now the industry is wondering whether Microsoft will take the Surface experience and squeeze it into something that could better compete with the iPhone.
It's a little awkward writing about the concept of ad-blocking technology when you work in a sector that is largely monetized through advertising, but here goes: The fact that ad-blocking apps rose to the top of the App Store charts shouldn't have surprised anyone, least of all app and mobile game developers.
With major studios like Rovio announcing layoffs, abandonment rates continuing to climb and increasing challenges with in-app monetization, there have to be days when even the most optimistic mobile game developer wonders if the best days of the industry are behind it.
One of the most challenging things in a mobile game is knowing when to call it quits. If you're the developer of the mobile game in question, it might be all about what makes best sense for your business. Earlier this month the mobile gaming community was taken aback by a decision from Electronic Arts (EA) to discontinue a dozen of its titles.
If you work for a technology success story long enough, you're bound to eventually get the question Phil Libin recently struggled to answer: "What are your favorite apps?" The former CEO of Evernote was a guest in an episode of the Tim Ferriss Show podcast, and he was quizzed about his personal preferences on all manner of things. When it came to mobile apps, though, he sounded stumped. In fact, he gently suggested the death knell for apps is nearer than developers may realize.
When Amazon recently said it would change the way it pay writers whose work is available on Kindle Unlimited based on how many pages consumers read, the literary world flipped out. The authors of books aren't accustomed to being tracked so granularly, and to some it seemed unfair because there are plenty of people who buy books they never read, but want to save for later (or for some kind of bragging rights). The same is not true for mobile apps -- we don't have friends admiring all the unused mobile games in our smartphone "libraries" -- which is why Amazon's "actually free" category in its new Amazon Underground app store sounds intriguing.
While the world starts to get to know its new virtual assistant, there's at least one thing app developers can be pretty sure Facebook M won't do: help them to create a more engaging mobile experience.
Even if it's basically about throwing things at a flying target, it seems somehow unfair to take a shot at Rovio when it's down. Its success not only showed how lucrative this gaming area could be, but effectively set the bar for untold numbers of other studios and even indie developers who might have hoped to follow its lead. A recent report from Superdata Research, however, pours water all over that image, with some insights that may be worth thinking about as mobile game developers create their next apps.
When people picture the summer months, they probably imagine long walks on the beach, swimming or cooking on a barbecue. Before too long, though, playing a mobile game could be added to that list.
The worst thing about our flat screen TV is when, in the middle of watching one of our favorite shows, the system announces there's a software update and wonders whether we'd like to apply it right now. This is the kind of disconnect Apple needs to avoid with the new Apple TV it is reported to be working on and which may, according to various sources, come out as early as this fall.