Latest Commentary

What the Virus Shield fiasco says about Android security

Virus Shield may go down as one of the strangest failures to launch--or at least launch properly--in mobile app history, but that doesn't mean the scores of consumers who downloaded it were making a big mistake.

Why developers should carefully watch what Twitter does with Cover

Maybe it's because I work in publishing, but I get e-mails from search engine optimization firms all the time, and the subject line is almost always the same. "1st page of Google guaranteed!," they promise, meaning that if you use their services, your firm's website is more likely to be found by potential customers online. Good SEO is hugely powerful, and in the mobile world, the best equivalent may be what just happened between Twitter and Cover.

Don't worry, the best app developers won't live with their moms forever

In the countercultural 1960s, the catchphrase among Flower Children used to be "turn on, tune in, drop out." Today, it might better be described as "turn on, tune in, make apps." A recent post on the Harvard Business Review blog explored the dark side of self-taught entrepreneurialism. What happens, for example, when young people pin their hopes on becoming an overnight app store hit and let their homework slide?

What a Microsoft takeover of Xamarin would mean

There aren't a lot of ways Microsoft will be able to follow up its recent announcement of Office for the iPad, but confirmation that it will acquire Xamarin would come pretty close. If the rumors are true, though, it would suggest that Microsoft is aggressively moving in a mobile-first direction that leaves much of its legacy baggage behind. 

Finding inspiration from Kwazy Cupcakes, the most addictive mobile game that never existed

Whether or not you're a fan of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," the show gets kudos for introducing Kwazy Cupcakes to the world. The episode that featured the fictional and addictive mobile game offered a few nuggets of inspiration worth discussing.

Why $10,000 isn't enough to buy BlackBerry developer loyalty

As if it wasn't difficult enough for BlackBerry to get more apps created for BB10, recent controversy over a botched developer contest probably will not help matters. The contest snafu is just another sign the company hasn't quite gotten its act together. 

What Facebook's revamped News Feed should teach developers about iterating

Leave it to Facebook to teach developers how to stay friends with users--or at least avoid making any enemies. The redesign of the social media giant's newsfeed late last week is probably the biggest UI overhaul to happen on a major platform so far this year, and as usual, it will undergo a lot of scrutiny.

5 Samsung Galaxy S5 design elements all app developers should steal

When Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 in Barcelona, Spain, last week, it did so without a lot of the flash that accompanied earlier product introductions. Samsung said it had boiled down its design priorities to a mere handful. As Samsung marketing exec David Park and others walked through these priorities, it struck me that they could provide an equally compelling roadmap for the developers who will be making apps for the Galaxy S5, or even competing devices like the iPhone 5s, for example.

The downfall of Intel's AppUp experiment, explained

The stats from just two years ago sound pretty good to me: A new user every 56 seconds. A download every 16 seconds. More than 2.6 billion possible devices to run the apps on. And yet, there's nothing too surprising about Intel's decision to close its AppUp app store, other than what took so long. 

In defense of Flappy Bird creator's decision to shut his mobile game down

The only thing that seemed to happen more suddenly and quickly than the success of Flappy Bird was the vilification of its creator after he shut it down. I think you have to remember that consumer apps and mobile games are entertainment, and there is a long history in the entertainment industry of superstars who have tried to walk away from their greatest success.