Expert advice: Creating, selling and marketing your killer app

Coming up with a killer idea for an app can be a mind bending process. Unfortunately, once you’ve done that, the hard work is only just beginning; you’re competing with millions of other killer ideas, both in apps stores and in the murky business of PR and marketing.

Luckily, we caught up with two guys who have been there and done it, numerous times, to ask them for some insight into the processes and key decisions behind creating successful apps.

Mark Sigal, co-founder and chief product officer at one of the...

By Matt Henkes, 25 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Design, Development Tools, Industry, Marketing, Monetisation.

Android pips Apple to top of the apps

Apple has been ousted as the app download king thanks to the surge in popularity of Android handsets, according to reports.

App downloads on Google's Android operating system have overtaken those on Apple's devices after ABI Research found that Apple iOS made up 31 per cent of total app downloads in the second quarter of this year, while Android apps accounted for an impressive 44 per cent.

The figures may come as a surprise to many as Apple has long been the favourite choice for the smartphone...

By Verity Gough, 25 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, iOS, Marketing.

RIM unveiled new BBX software for developers

Research in Motion is trying to rebuild its damaged reputation with the announcement of its new platform software, BBX, for Blackberry and Playbook.

The software will bridge the gap between the current operating system and its QNX platform, removing developer roadblocks in order to create applications easier.

Due to the increasing number of consumers that use smartphones and tablets, it hopes to bring more programmers in to build more apps for the platform.

It includes new tools, such as WebWorks, Adobe AIR/Flash and a...

By Dani Millward, 24 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: BlackBerry, Development Tools, Devices, Platforms.

$100,000 up for grabs as Samsung launches Bada 2.0 Power App Race

Samsung has launched its global contest to find the most innovative and entertaining app using the bada 2.0 SDK.

Now in its second year, the competition offers the 10 best applications - five game applications and five non-game applications - prize money totaling $100,000.The winning applications will bear a Power App seal at Samsung Apps and receive exclusive marketing and promotion benefits. Kang-hyun Kwon, senior vice president of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics said: "Since its launch, Samsung has improved...

By Verity Gough, 24 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: bada, Development Tools, Gaming, Marketing, Monetisation, Samsung.

Facebook opens HTML5 Resource Centre for developers

Developers now have access to Facebook's HTML5 Resource Centre in order to assist them in developing HTML5 compatible web apps.

The social networking site is keen to promote and support HTML5 development and, in addition to the Resource Centre, has created a HTML5 Blog and Developer Group.

Writing in a post on the new HTML Blog, Facebook engineer Matt Kelly said: "Today we are releasing three new HTML5 resources to help developers learn from our experience and the experience of other industry leaders building...

By Verity Gough, 22 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Marketing, Platforms, Social media.

Freeview goes mobile with new apps for iPad and Android

Digital TV service Freeview has announced the release of a new app for both Android and iPad as well as an update for the iPad app.

Viewers will be able to access TV listings for each Freeview channel as well as enable watch-list sharing through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as email. An additional social media feature that is also included allows users to see which programmes are trending on Twitter. Reminders for favourite shows can also be set up and viewed offline,...

By Verity Gough, 20 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iPad, Platforms, Social media.

Bob the Builder: Coming soon to a mobile near you

Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder might be more at home on the TV screen but thanks to a new partnership between HiT Entertainment and P2 Games, they are set to branch out into the mobile apps market.P2 Games, who recently launched apps for Peppa Pig and Postman Pat, will release mobile games featuring Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder due to release in time for Christmas. Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad will initially have first dibs but the apps will be rolled out to Android devices at a later date.The apps will target pre-school children with...

By Verity Gough, 19 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Marketing, Monetisation.

Will RIM meet app developers' expectations?

RIM has promised to impress developers with its next-generation Blackberry and software.

With the firm’s developers’ conference happening today, RIM is expected to showcase prototypes of its next Blackberry, which will run off a new updated version of the operating system QNX. RIM may also release a software upgrade for their PlayBook tablet.

RIM co-chief executive, Jim Balsillie, said: "You're going to see a number of things that are really catapulting [the] application and...

By Dani Millward, 18 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, BlackBerry, Development Tools, Devices.

Consumers fear 'wave and pay' apps will leave them open to hackers

Consumers fear phone hackers will crack mobile wallets, according to the findings of a new study.

The research, by Intersperience, revealed that while just 17% of Britons are ready to use their phones to make purchases, the fear that use of 'wave and pay' apps will leave them open to increasingly sophisticated hackers.

Of the people polled, nearly half said that 'security concerns' were their number one fear while 24% said using a mobile for payment "feels less secure but I don't know why", and a...

By Verity Gough, 18 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hacking, Security.

Samsung ChatOn app launches on Android

Samsung's free ChatOn Android app is now available in the Android Market however users are already complaining they are unable to get verification codes.

The new app, which supports both one-on-one and group chatting, is Samsung's rival to RIM's Blackberry Messenger and Apple's iMessage. Samsung promises the app will eventually be compatible with all mobile phones and computers that are using a web client and is currently available in 120 countries and comes in 62 different languages.

However new users are...

By Verity Gough, 17 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Samsung.

Google VoIP is pulled from iPhone App Store

Google’s VoIP app has been removed from the iPhone App Store after reports of crashing within the new version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5.

According to reports, the reason for the crashes, as well as which smartphones and operating systems are more prone to problems, is still unclear.

In an interview with Engadget, senior product manager for Google Voice, Vincent Paquet added: "Our last update of this week had a bug that caused the app to crash at sign in. We removed it so it did not...

By Verity Gough, 17 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Devices, iOS.

Google Android's 190 million devices turn to ice cream

Google’s Android now has 190 million activated devices around the world.

The next version of Android OS, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, is designed to join smartphones and tablets together. The system may be out by the end of the year.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “I’m super excited about the soon to be released new version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich. That’s right, Ice Cream Sandwich. You don’t believe what we’ve managed to get done in this...

By Dani Millward, 14 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Monetisation.

Samsung TV apps reach 10 million downloads

Samsung Apps has hit the 10 million downloads mark after just five months in the market place.

The world’s first HDTV-based app store’s meteoric rise has seen it recently celebrate the milestone of 1000 registered applications and 10 million downloads.

Downloads have grown 100 percent just five months after reaching 5 million downloads in May 2011 and it currently has an average of 50,000 downloads per day—twice the number registered for May.

In addition, online video applications remained...

By Verity Gough, 14 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Development Tools, Platforms.

New tool to connect Smart TV with mobile launches

A new tool for software developers allowing them to create convergent apps that bring together Smart TVs and smart phones or tablets has been released.The MOVL Connect Platform, the latest offering from Atlanta-based technology company, MOVL, allows various devices to communicate in a shared experience and supports the creation of multi-user, multi-screen applications such as multiplayer games, second-screen TV experiences and interactive advertising.The tools can either be directly connected or hosted in the cloud. Direct Connect is...

By Verity Gough, 13 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Design, Platforms.

Should app developers choose Android over Apple?

Developers are taking notice to the increasing number of Android app downloads, which could soon overtake Apple’s iOS system.

Both platforms will hold around 3.2bn downloads by June 2012, according to a report by download tracker Xyologic.

Apple are currently still in the lead to Android, with 1.45 billion downloads compared to Android’s 640 million last month.

This means that developers are now choosing to create apps...

By Dani Millward, 12 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, Development Tools, iOS.

iPhone 4S or wait for Android Ice Cream Sandwich?

With eighteen month contract-driven upgrades the norm now in the UK, it’s always a challenge to decide whether it’s the right time to pull the trigger on buying a new phone — or to wait for the next big thing.

With Apple’s anticlimactic introduction of the iPhone 4S on Friday, the big question for many phone owners is whether to grab one when it ships on Friday or wait for the expected Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) phones from Google’s partners.

In favour of the...

By 3Squared, 12 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Devices, iOS.

New Blackberry service provides enhanced analytics for developers

Blackberry has released a new free Analytics service, to help app developers find out how their apps are being found and used.

Powered by webtrends, the Blackberry Analytics Service 1.0 is available for Java-based apps, enabling developers to get an insight into whether their app is being used the way they intended.

The reports it generates provide insight on how users are engaging with apps, allowing developers to enhance user experience in order to drive more downloads, learn how to market their apps more...

By Matt Henkes, 12 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, BlackBerry, Development Tools, Monetisation.

New app uses brain waves to measure sleep quality

A new app has been developed that claims to be able to improve the user's quality of sleep.Sleep Manager by Zeo, works by using brainwaves to track the amount of time spent in different stages of sleep.The app works by synchronising with a soft-sensor headset measuring brain activity, eye movement and muscle tone in light, deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, as would happen in a medical sleep-analysis clinic. However the app is most likely to be for consumer use.“The thing about...

By Verity Gough, 11 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Development Tools, Industry.

Amazon Fire will Restrict In-App Purchasing

Developers of Android apps for the upcoming Kindle Fire will have to live within Amazon’s more closed idea of the Google mobile operating system.

Early indications are that Amazon will be carefully reviewing the apps that make it onto the Kindle Fire and will also ensure that it gets a piece from any revenue streams that come through the apps. While Fire will be running the Android OS, the Amazon interface will restrict users to apps within the company’s own apps store.

Late last week Amazon...

By 3Squared, 10 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Development Tools, Devices, Monetisation.

iPad app instrument is featured in Bjork's new album

Bjork may be known for her 'out there' musicality as well as her unusual fashion sense but the Icelandic singer has gone a step further with her latest release which features an iPad app being played as an instrument.‘Biophillia', is available to download on the NPR website and the artist is inviting listeners to play the app on their own iPads.Bjork is also allowing all 10 tracks to be listened to on the website for free. Fans can then buy the whole album or opt to purchase specific tracks.While her music is often referred...

By Verity Gough, 10 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Devices, iPad, Monetisation.