The big buzz from last week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference was the flatter, more two-dimensional look of iOS 7, but the long-term impact may be how it made mobile gaming a lot more 3D.
When you're deeply immersed in a mobile game or app, what would you rather see, an ad that pops up and blocks your view of the app's main interface, or some URLs that run somewhere on the periphery? Perhaps more importantly, if you're a developer, which would you rather your users see?
Few mergers and acquisitions are easy to predict, particularly in the technology space, where certain combinations of software or hardware may only make sense to a few strategic thinkers. In the case of Adobe, however, there was probably nothing more natural, more inevitable and possibly game-changing as its decision to follow up the purchase of Behance with Thumb Interactive.
It started with the earpieces--those ever-so-slightly pretentious examples of wearable technology lampooned on sitcoms like The Office. Now there could be heart monitors, medical devices, smartphones, tablets and, just maybe, Google Glass. Once Bluetooth Smart is better supported in Android, the scope for what's possible may only be limited by developers' imaginations.
To app users, they're a necessary evil at best. For developers, they may be one of the few sure-fire paths to monetization. Marketers, on the other hand, are unlikely to show major interest unless they can be assured their money will be well spent, which is why in-app advertising is about to come under a lot more scrutiny.
Google was obviously trying to earn some goodwill at its I/O developer's conference when it said it would give out free Chromebook Pixel devices to all attendees. But to developers both onsite and watching from the sidelines, the announcement of a new IDE was even better.
There will probably be a lot of chatter about Babel. Those in the hands-on labs might get a taste of Key Lime Pie. A new Nexus device seems almost inevitable. But for the hoard of developers descending on San Francisco for Google I/O 2013, the focus will surely be on one thing: Making the most of the Android app opportunity.
If you're not making at least $500 per app each month, Vision Mobile says you're below the "app poverty line," a zone that includes 67 percent of all developers, according to the firm's Developer Economics report.
When a startup gets acquired by a much larger vendor, it's usually cause for celebration, at least internally. However the purchase of mobile back-end platform provider Parse by Facebook led to a less-than-friendly response by a number of its customers on social media.
Though there may not be a hard figure on how many developers are faced with legal action from patent trolls, the issue has sparked considerable discussion among legislators and app industry advocates.