News

50% of in-app revenues come from 0.15% of users

It's becoming conventional wisdom that paid downloads are out and the freemium model is here to stay, but half of the revenue from in-app purchases come from a meager 0.15 percent, according to Swrve's Mobile Games Monetization Report. 

Siri API reports spark developers' imaginations

Reports surfaced that Apple is considering offering up the Siri API to third-party developers as it potentially creates an "iWatch" or some kind of wearable computing device that runs on iOS. Though Apple, of course, has admitted nothing, that didn't stop a number of developers on Twitter from getting really excited about the possibilities.

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 automation of lifetime value: How developers can track LTV

Lifetime value (LTV) can be defined in many ways, but for the most part it's a determination of how much revenue each customer will generate based on the length of time they use a particular app. Working with LTV takes some getting used to, but it can be extremely helpful in letting developers be more strategic with the way they market their apps and how they attempt to monetize them.  

How devs responded to BlackBerry's new Z3 and Q20 devices

BlackBerry managed to surprise onlookers by launching two new devices of its own at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Developers on Twitter didn't take long to render their verdict on the prospect of new BlackBerry hardware.  

Vserv survey: 82% of developers struggle with monetization

An overwhelming majority of developers have a hard time making money, but as they add more apps to their portfolio, that begins to change, according to Vserv.mobi. The company recently released the results of a survey that looked across a broad range of issues among independent app developers.

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. 

Cross-platform apps? There's a tool for that

The questions facing developers who decide to take a cross-platform approach to apps must be endless. Are the code bases parallel? Is the user interface consistent? And perhaps most importantly, is this really worth all the effort? A lot of tools are available to developers who want to take a cross-platform approach, but finding the right solution may be almost as much work as building the app itself. 

Report: Digital content market grows 30%, driven largely by mobile apps

The digital content market surged 30 percent between 2012 and 2013, with apps driving much of the growth, according to a report from IHS and App Annie. The joint research study also looked across digital games, music and movies and found that overall consumer spending on mobile apps jumped 2.3x year-over-year.

Facebook's $16B WhatsApp purchase has developers dumbfounded

There was a time when developers might have been envious of Instagram and its history-making acquisition by Facebook, but Facebook's recent $16 billion purchase of WhatsApp has raised the stakes even higher.

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.

Pebble shares its perspective on smartwatch opportunities for app developers

The world is still waiting to see if Apple makes an iWatch, and Samsung's plans for Galaxy Gear are still in the early days, which means Pebble still has a window of opportunity to dominate the market for wearable computing apps.

Android on Microsoft phones? Developers are sharply divided

If the rumors about Microsoft bringing Android to its mobile phones are true, the company can expect a sharply divided developer community.

Millennial Media: 60% of devs plan 5 or more new apps in 2014

More developers than ever are focused on creating more apps to add to their portfolio of products, according to Millennial Media. The company's State of the App Industry Snapshot 2014 report is based on a survey it conducted last November with developers from around the world.

The magic that's missing from Alibaba's mobile gaming strategy

Talk may be cheap, but Alibaba is getting ready to start having some very expensive conversations with mobile game developers. Last month, according to a report in the South China Morning Post, the Chinese e-commerce firm said it was launching a new platform for developers to create mobile games, the kind of announcement that might not have gotten a lot of attention were it not for the pricey incentive that came along with it.

Facebook talks about Bolts, its open source framework to help app developers

When Facebook celebrated its 10-year anniversary, there was plenty of opportunity to reflect on its past, but just a few days beforehand the company launched something that may give a good indication of what its next decade might look like. 

Vision Mobile: 60% of developers living below 'app poverty line'

The majority of developers still make less than $500 per app per month, but the overall "app poverty line" has moved from 67 percent to 60 percent, according to Vision Mobile's Developer Economics Q1 2014 report. The analysis firm researched data from more than 7,000 app developers from 127 countries, from the United States and China to Kenya and Brazil.

Mobile game devs taken aback by Amazon's deal to buy Double Helix

Some might say Amazon has always had a killer instinct, but now it owns Double Helix, the team behind the popular "Killer Instinct" game on Microsoft's Xbox One console. The news came out through a recruiting event jointly hosted by the two organizations. Amazon did little more to confirm the acquisition than to say the transaction is "part of our ongoing mission to build innovative games for customers.

What the NSA's use of Angry Birds will mean for other developers

There are probably a number of app developers who would like to fling something painful at Rovio. And you could hardly blame them. Not that the creators of Angry Birds would be the only targets. Since the New York Times reported that the NSA and a similar organization in Britain have been culling personal data via smartphone apps, the floodgates for criticism and even hacking have been blown wide open.

Why Microsoft is finally winning over Windows Phone 8 converts

It's the kind of strategy that might catch iOS and Android developers off guard: a mobile OS platform provider going out of its way to make it easier to publish on its app store.