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.
It isn't easy competing with Apple and Google for developer attention, even when you're a software company like Microsoft.
Consumers appeared to have moved immediately from their Christmas stockings to their smartphones, with 2.5 times the number of app installs as compared to an average day in the first three weeks of December, according to Flurry. The company looked specifically at U.S. data for its research on app activity.
Most people probably first heard about drones last year when Amazon, in one of the most outlandish strategies it has ever put together to serve its customers, began talking about using drones to deliver products and services to customers. But drones--also known as unmanned aerial vehicles--are becoming something that can be used as easily and inexpensively by consumers as they are by large enterprises for business purposes. And smartphone and tablet apps are taking a driving positon in the development of the drone space.
"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.
From new smartphones, operating systems and all kinds of APIs, this has been a year with more opportunities for app makers and just as many challenges. FierceDeveloper reached out to a handful to get their take on what hit home over the past year.
Nearly 50 percent of enterprise app developers say their organizations fail to lock down user interface within an agreed upon timeframe, adding huge challenges to getting them done, according to a recent report from Kony.
It may not have quite the punch of Apple's iPhone 6 launch, but BlackBerry's attempt to re-ignite interest in its platform by bringing out an updated version of one of its most popular smartphone designs got some surprising reactions from app developers.
I feel kind of guilty admitting this so publicly, but I recently uninstalled Circa. It's a great app, but I have too many others that I use more often, and my smartphone only has so much room. That being said, I wonder if I owe Matt Galligan a review.
Even with many of today's analytics tools, you can't tell a lot about your app or game's users besides their gender, age and so on. However, a range of tools are coming out that attempt to track everything from "sentiment analysis" (how people feel about an app) to predictions about future behavior.
The recent Cyber Monday saw app usage grow by 30 percent in the U.S. and 10 percent around the world, according to a report from Quettra, trumping app usage on Black Friday, which saw an overall lift of 25 percent in the U.S. and 5 percent worldwide.
Even for what has arguably become the world's most successful online retailer, Amazon surprised some app developers with its decision to start charging for high-end mobile games.
Suffice it to say that Spotify is just as concerned as Taylor Swift about making enough money. Just a few weeks after the superstar pulled her entire catalogue from the streaming music service (reportedly over compensation issues), Spotify updated the terms and conditions of its SDK. At first glance, it looks like huge, positive news for developers, because it lets those that integrate Spotify in their apps earn revenue through Apple's App Store and Google Play. However, that doesn't mean all apps will be treated equal.
Midverse Studios exec explains how Invest+Publish program will pair developers with the best branded IP
There are no "sure things" in mobile gaming, but creating something on a story or concept that has been a blockbuster in other mediums is about as close as you can get. That's the thinking behind Invest+Publish, a developer program launched last month by Mountain View, Calif.-based Midverse Studios. FierceDeveloper talked with Jim Rainey, Midverse Studio's vice president of growth, to get more details on the program.
Developers are always hoping for more customers, but forcing users to watch video install ads on their smartphone may not be the best option, based on social media commentary.
Seventy-five percent of people in the U.S. and Canada who use apps at work are happy in their jobs, according to a report from Softchoice. The managed services firm, which sells apps via the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, gathered responses from 1,000 professionals for its research.
For a company that's recently been trying to repair its relationship with app developers, Twitter's move to track other apps among its users may not be helping much.
It came out a little early to be considered a holiday gift, but if it had been, app developers might be approaching Apple about exchanging the first version of the WatchKit SDK for something that would let them make better Apple Watch apps.
I have an idea for a mobile game: Consumers get bombarded with statistics after statistics, which they have to quickly assess and press a button when they think they've seen something that will prove the app stores are now crowded beyond all sanity. The game would be called "Peak App."
Chat is the most highly used app function for 80 percent to 100 percent of Android and iOS users, with social apps following closely at nearly 80 percent, according to ABI Research and Mobidia. The two firms partnered on a report that evaluated applications exceeding two hours per month (roughly four minutes a day) of usage and 10 percent monthly use within a large population.