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.
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.
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?
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.
Maybe John Chen would benefit from learning what it's like to make a cross-platform app. The CEO of BlackBerry raised eyebrows recently by making the unusual argument that definitions of "net neutrality"--the notion that Internet traffic should be treated equal regardless of its source or user--be extended to mobile apps and games.
I love those moments in some movies where the filmmakers speed up the action so that, in the space of a few moments, the viewer can get to see an entire house or some other long-term project get assembled from start to finish. In a way, that's sort of what Ustwogames has done about the story behind its hit mobile game, Monument Valley.
Earlier this month, Marco Arment, an iOS developer based out of Westchester County, N.Y., posted something that will probably end up proving far more viral than any app he or most of his peers will make. It was a post about Apple.
If they're trying to be really proactive and competitive, app developers have probably been getting used to terms like lifetime value of a user, customer engagement and smart push. On the other hand, I doubt many are spending a lot of time thinking about the "cognitive overhead" they have to overcome.
For a lot of app developers, this might feel like the time to take a breather. After all, the holidays are when a lot mobile games and other apps first make their way to consumers who get new smartphones and tablets as gifts. If that's the case, and if installs and engagement are happening, then congrats! Enjoy a little downtime. And maybe use it to think through and reflect on your strategy for the year to come. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
"Panic" seems like the appropriate name for an app developer when you hear about a recent App Store fracas the creator of Transmit iOS recently got into with Apple. As the firm recounted in a strange (and no doubt sympathy-inducing) blog post, it recently removed what sounded like a popular feature in its file management tool: the ability to share files to iCloud, Dropbox and similar services. Anyone who has grappled with Apple in the past will probably not be surprised about iCloud.