Latest Commentary

The Unity sell-off rumors explained

The comments from "ZenGarden" are not particularly well-worded, but they show just how easy it is for rumors--in this case, a potential sale of the mobile gaming tool provider Unity--can turn into crazy speculation.

What app developers should do with Facebook's 'like button'

It might have been more surprising if, instead of offering app developers access to its "like" button, Facebook had provided an API for the "poke" button. A poke could mean a sort of "hello," or it could be a sort of teasing provocation. This may be exactly the spirit with which developers should think about deploying the actual "like" button into their apps and mobile games.

Ello's success may be the playbook app developers should follow

Like thousands of others over the past two weeks, I submitted my e-mail address to request an invite. I'm still waiting. I periodically wonder when, and if, I will be accepted. When, and if, I finally do, I know I'll probably immediately log in and spend considerable time exploring everything about it.

Google's address policy is just the beginning for app developers

There are still some small businesses--admittedly, very, very small businesses--that still don't have a website. Unless it's a convenience store or something so mom-and-pop that you get to know the owners really well, it's hard not to think of such firms as fly-by-night. The same thing applies to app developers with no visible means of contact, which explains why Google is cracking down with an unpopular new policy.

Think 100 years ahead to design the best mobile apps now

Of all the new books coming out this fall, it's probably a little weird to be obsessed with the one I'll never get to read, but I just can't stop thinking about Margaret Atwood's next work. The way in which it's being released could even provide inspirational for app developers.

Facebook offers example of what good user experience design looks like

It can feel awfully lonely when you post something on Facebook--a funny status update, a beautiful vacation photo--and get nothing back in the way of comments or "likes." Even Facebook itself occasionally experiences something like this, such as a recent feature that should have made developers very happy.

The best way for Apple to keep iOS developers loyal

What has become accepted wisdom in app developer circles--deploy to iOS to make money, deploy to Android for reach and engagement--may soon be debunked. A few weeks ago, a company called Tapdaq published a blog post that pulled together the results of an informal survey it conducted with 50 independent app developers. Tapdaq asked about discoverability on Apple's App Store, questions they would like Apple to answer and their overall experience with the platform. Then came the doozy: Half of the developers said they would ditch iOS if they could generate the same revenue elsewhere.

Tom Hanks is not the threat app developers may think he is

He's played everyone from Forrest Gump to Walt Disney, but Tom Hanks as app developer? There are some things so crazy even Central Casting couldn't come up with them. The success of Hanx Writer, the simple iOS app that brings back the sounds and feel of tapping on a manual typewriter to an iPad, has raised nearly as many questions about the future of development as it has eyebrows among the mobile crowd. 

The 'ka-ching' factor driving Amazon's Live App Testing service

No matter how many apps and mobile games they have in the market, developers should never use the entire world as their focus group. That's why Amazon is joining the ranks of companies to help developers create an inner circle of testers.

'Like' it or not, Facebook's developer program change is the right decision

According to Facebook, all app developers using its platform should be able to honestly quote a version of Sally Field's famous Oscar acceptance speech: "They 'like' me! They really, really 'like' me!"