Every day 1.5 million newly activated Android devices join the 900 million already out there. It’s hard to imagine the seemingly non stop demand for new Android devices, but here’s proof. The story mirrors and probably eclipses the Apple success curve.
Only 5 short years have passed since Android phones were launched. The positive for Google is that the more of the devices there are, the more apps get downloaded, it’s a perfect model. There are already a total of over 900 million devices worldwide on the Android system and at this rate it’s only going to be 6 months until the billionth device goes live. Staggering numbers which must be daunting for all the competition no matter which part of the world it is coming from.
Ok so niche markets will continue and Apple will continue its fantastic success story but with Google’s Android platform becoming so prevalent, surely something’s gotta give !
But maybe the bigger concept to muse on here is that the position of Android is strengthened by it being increasingly seen as a solution for all sorts of electronic chip based gadgetry. Cameras’ TV box’s, tablets basic browsing laptops and watches all come into the Android sphere with increasing frequency. HP has already started pushing Android on it’s notebooks and PC’s. Next year they will probably start pushing Android to enterprise more seriously, too, and into more sales channels, where they are now pushing Windows PC’s. Google browser, Maps, phones, glass, and so on. Pretty high profile business and pretty good foothold in our modern technology lead lives. Google recently announced 48 billion application downloads and as more devices go live so too will the sale of the Android app accelerate. This diversity gives Android a depth which perhaps rivals will envy.
Google Maps are good, startlingly good. However did anyone get from A to B without one!. I can barely get from home to work without a quick check of Maps every morning. Even more impressive is the Street View feature in Maps, where we can actually navigate up and down a chosen street in and see what it looks like from the safety of our living room. Its always noticeable how fantastic steps forward in technology so quickly become assimilated into our daily lives. The digital technologies of today seem to shower innovations and new ways to enjoy experiences virtually almost without time to catch our breath. But soon after releasing a new technological wonder we all seem to take these new experiences for granted and what’s more we seem to be irritated by any limitations therein very quickly instead of continuing to celebrate the innovation as an amazing step forward. How soon before Google Glass becomes passé ? And its not even out yet !
Its this high expectation which we have become attuned to that now leads us to expect street view to be able to show us everything, everywhere whether in Crewe or Calcutta, Bradford or Bordeaux and with just a few lazy clicks of the mouse. Some may gripe about the odd glitch here and there as a computer struggles to keep pace with the demands of the feature but in most cases …well, its fantastic. .
Now street view has gone one step further (pun intended). You can “walk” up and down, in a virtual manner, the famous and tantalizing Diagon Alley of Harry Potter books fame. Yes, step along to visit the Leaky Cauldron pub or the wand shop where Harry finds his perfect …er magic stick. So what this amounts to is a virtual tour of a virtual world. But it’s a demonstration of the power of street maps because the set where this street exists as a physical reality is in fact in the Warner Brothers Studios in Hertfordshire. It’s a tourist attraction to hundreds of thousands if not millions of potential visitors. The shops are crammed with objects (20 thousand of them) and help bring the reality of the unreality of the virtual world into reality on your laptop….if you see what I mean.
Either way its now possible using Google Maps to tour the street without having to go there. Not the real thing of course (ahem…) but nevertheless a great trip for the armchair enthusiasts among us. Type into Google Maps “Diagon Alley”, hit the link on the left hand side and you’re in! (Alternatively click the link to Google maps here!). See you there, unless you are wearing an invisibility cloak of course.
SmartWatch 2 from Sony, it is with unbridled joy that we can note the forthcoming release of a a gadget that may actually be useful. yes, useful. Hooray ! That’s is to say that there are many gadgets ….who whispered “Google Glass”?….which are “invented” using blindingly clever and exciting state of the art technology and amazing interconnectivity combined with beautiful design properties….but which, are just plain daft. Here though, is what we at Appdevelopersuk believe is a genuinely useful gadget which, we think will be a game changer in the field of wearable technology.
Not only is the SmartWatch2 a useful and arguable beautifully designed device, but its got some great working features too! These include the holy grail of phone protection….waterproofing. Yes, stand under a shower and talk to your loved ones, swim upstream whilst explaining to your boss that you may be late due to adverse river currents, or…well you get the idea. Tip: Maybe best not stand under a shower until you are absolutely sure that the product is fully waterproof.
Lets be honest, the practical value is possible secondary to the fashion value (again we would question the value in that respect of the Google glass product) and this device features an aluminium design, along with the button recognizable from the Xperia Z family of phones and tablets and will come with a range of strap styles and colours. What fun !
In earlier watch/phone devices the screen size has been small and frustrating but this model has a 1.6 inch screen making reading the time, texts or mails is less of a challenge. Its still smaller than a phone screen of course, but what you may miss in screen size, you gain in convenience. This kind of wearable technology is currently predicted to be a strong developing aspect and with devices like this which include Near Field Connectivity as well as a familiar Android interface, then inevitably we can expect exciting and useful development to come.
When technology meets nature, just when you thought it was safe to back out in the countryside….it lurks, it looms ,…. it makes bird calls!
Yes, it seems unlikely but there is a serious problem about apps which can play birdsong and the concern is being aired by the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) amongst others. DWT are fearful of the effect of apps which mimic bird calls on the birds themselves. In general terms these apps are a boon for dedicated twitchers and casual observers alike, enabling them to call up the sounds of the specific birds they are seeking in order to elicit a response or other reaction from the bird. In particular people wanting to get closer to a bird may use these recorded bird calls to lure a bird closer in order to be better placed to take a photograph. What harm could there be in that?
According to the DWT it certainly is harmful and they have issued a warning against it, saying that “it causes disturbances and can be harmful to certain species, according to the conservation organization”. Brownsea Island Reserve Manager Chris Thain said: “The apps are becoming quite common, and are great, but their use needs some guidance I feel. I’m sure visitors would be devastated if they realised the possible disturbance they were causing to wildlife. We need to spread the word that use of these apps is not suitable for nature reserves and can be potentially harmful to sensitive species.”
The key problem is that the normal routine of a bird is seasonally driven and these calls may interrupt or disturb the natural daily routines or activities of the birds. The disturbance may even stop the bird nesting, foraging or feeding its young, none of which will protect the species.
In order to minimize the disturbance to wildlife the DWT has taken the step of issuing a statement to advise that the user of smartphone apps (and presumably any other form of playing back recorded birdsong) could cause problems. The 42 reserves in Dorset have also become zones where apps of this sort are discouraged as tools to lure birds closer to the observer.
Appdevelopersuk developed the iOS version of BirdTrack, organised by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). This is not an app which plays recorded birdsong but it helped enthusiasts to track the seasonal movements of different species in conjunction with the BirdTrack website.
Glastonbury Festival app is now available to help all festival goers get the most out of the event. As any festival veterans will testify the most oft heard query over a festival weekend is: “How do I get to the Pyramid stage” or “where am I?”. The great news is that this free app, created for and owned by the telephone network EE, takes the strain out of the weekend and helps you find your way around the vast site. This is a great tool for all those visiting Pilton during the festival at the end of June.
What we at appdevelopersuk especially like is the Map feature where you can mark the position of your tent (or any other specific part of the festival site for that matter) and always know where you are in relation to it no matter where you may be in within the vast festival site. So, no more “I couldn’t find my tent” excuses from now on ….hmmm maybe a downside in there somewhere folks, better get ready with the “my battery is out of charge” excuse too. But with a re charge tent and numerous other portable battery charging devices available throughout the site this blag could fall on deaf ears.
The app allows you to sort out a schedule of events and acts so that you have more chance of seeing the performances you want to rather than the usual frustration of forgetting who is on where and when which often blights a festival day. Broken up into site areas as well as by stage, the app displays information to enable the modern day festival goer take a more organised approach. No more lolling about in your tent wondering what day it is, the app will alert you to every chosen event, direct you to the venue and keep you informed about any changes to schedule as some performer or other gets held up due to” leaves on the heli- pad” or some such minor disaster.
If you are an EE customer with a 4G plan you will be able to take advantage of higher speed services throughout the festival weekend. EE are also providing a free recharging service for all festival goers. If you are going to the festival why not try this app and then post your experience about it on this blog once you get back.
Apple hit 50 Billion downloads. Android poised to overtake! As reported on this blog Apple are now proud to have announced the 50 billionth app download. It’s a breath-taking number in a breath-taking world of technical accomplishment. What makes this so noteworthy is the fact that at present smart phone penetration is still only around 50% of mobile phone users. It is predicted that by 2017 the penetration rates in Europe will reach 80 to 90%, increasing the number of potential customers for the App store and its competitors. Penetration of Smartphones in the USA lags someway behind Europe. There is therefore obvious potential for this number to accelerate towards 100 billion in the coming years is clear.
The App store has only been open for 5 years. Its “doors” opened in July 2005 with only 500 apps available to download. That number has grown to a current choice 850,000 different apps across 23 different categories. As if that’s not enough, these apps are available alongside a further half a million or so across the other major platforms.
In fact whilst Apple celebrates this milestone the fact is that Google’s Android platform is poised to take a more prominent position in the market and currently there are 500 million more Android apps from Google Play per month beingdownloaded. There are now 900 million Android based devices out there as compared to 600 million Apple devices. Google claims that it has had 48 billion downloads to date and is achieving 2.5 billion per month compared to Apple’s 2 billion monthly downloads. The trend is set for the coming months. Android will be pushing for top spot in the app distributing business sooner than those at Apple may wish to admit.
Apps Magazine awards 5 stars for iPlanSuccess© This comes as no surprise ofcourse but is a welcome addition to other 5 star reviews (see below where a google search reveals CNET and iTunes have also racked up 5 start reviews for the app.)
CNET and iTunes rack up 5 Stars for iplansuccess
Since its release just before Christmas, the iPlanSuccess© App has been succeeding in the self help space where others have fared less well. The purpose of the app is to enable users to track their progress over a number of key areas of their lives. They plan for success by using the app as a companion to remind, to log and to inspire. Now we all need a bit of help these days to organise and prioritise in as simple and clear a way as possible and that’s why this app has gained a substantial fan base already!
iPlanSuccess© is a practical application that allows you to be more successful. It helps you:
- Identify what is important to you; what you value and makes you feel good
- Assess your own capabilities; your strengths and how you might limit yourself
- Develop well thought through goals and appropriate actions; identify support to draw on, and set realistic timescales
- Monitor progress with a clear real-time overview and…
- Achieve more, in all likelihood, than you would have done.
iPlanSuccess© is much more than another one of those task or reminder lists. It is a serious tool for people who really care about achieving their ambitions. It ensures you identify the goals and actions that are right for you.
AppDevelopersUk developed the app on behalf of two professional workplace consultants who have been developing the concept behind their unique approach to this for many years. They came to us with a paper based version which was already tried and tested in many blue chip companies on their client lists. The task of turning this into an iPad app was one we relished. Working across numerous iterations our development team produced a fine tuned final version which was released in December 2012. To date there have been no updates or upgrades (testimony to our developer’s skills as well as to a fantastic brief!) but in the future there is scope for white labelling as well as feature upgrade work. If you are interested in white labelling this app do contact us and we will be happy to put you in touch with the company who designed the app.
Mobile capture and browsing of the internet via tablets and mobile phones together with laptops and notebooks and the desktop computer have all helped push video sharing. In fact video watching and sharing in particular has grown enormously to the extent that You Tube uploads 100 hours of video content every minute.
On its 8th anniversary, the popular site has grown beyond expectations to say the least. In 2005 the sharing of personal videos was revolutionary and a relative minority activity. These days You Tube boasts a billion users per month.
But far from being a place to catch merely the weird and wonderful, the pointless and the self-indulgent vanity home movie style nonsense, the site now hosts much useful and frankly liberating content that it has become a first point of reference for many. People don’t just gawp at their Smartphone’s a la Homer Simpson but they interact by teaching themselves how to do things as varied as changing the thermostat of a specific brand and model of fridge, how to do quadratic equations, learning the next belt moves for Karate or Judo .
You Tube hosts a huge bank of content for learning musical instruments, fixing engines, learning to fly. Certainly much dubious, vacuous content remains to entertain and titillate, but overall the YouTube site can serve as a really useful On Demand source to enhance so many of modern life’s necessities.
Is there remaining in the UK a single history teacher who does not link a laptop or tablet to their classroom projector to help with their lessons? What better use of the technology can there be than to have immediate and cost free access to in full colour or stark black and white, the moving images of the historic events, people and places which populate the curriculum. Likewise Geography, Mathematics and English literature, French, Religious Studies and more all are served well by the tremendous choice of content available at the touch of a mouse. The only danger of course, like Wikipedia, is that some content can be of dubious origin, or inaccurate. But in a democracy there are no content editors so the wide array of content does need gate keeping by the individual or perhaps by a trusted teacher.
As advertising models and user patterns segmentation and reselling have become so much a part of our digital lives the potential business advantages so clear, that the You Tube model will continue to develop. The increasing commercialisation of the service has led to ever more professional content being created especially and doubtless these videos will have a strong market. But for some, the historic archived film remains YouTube’s most intriguing and validating aspect.
Most Apps are downloaded for free, But that doesn’t mean they are not making money for their owner. In App purchases are really adding up and generating profits for their owners. If you are thinking about app development as a revenue generator then a free app is often the most profitable route to take and why free apps rule in the app stores.
In 2012 the total download was 25 billion apps. Of which 22 billion were free downloads. The total number of apps downloaded across all platforms so far in 2013 is a staggering 46 billion. Most of these are on the Android and on Apple platforms. According to data from consulting firm App Manifesto, more than half – 58 per cent – of apps in the US Appstore are free, with a further 21 per cent costing just 99p.
So why provide an app for free? Answer: “In app purchases”.
Most apps which come free contain some form of I app purchase element whereby the user is invited to purchase additional services or functionality once they have the free app. The free app is acting like a shop window. The actual goods for sale are there in the “window” and purchasable seamlessly as in app purchases. App Developers UK have released many such apps and our experience suggests that the trend towards free apps is strengthening rather than decreasing.
May of the gaming apps contain in app purchase opportunities as we featured recently with regard to the Ofcom investigation. However there are also a huge slew of business or self-help apps with in app purchasable content so its important not to think of this mechanism as purely a gaming app phenomenon because it applies across the whole spectrum of apps.