Best Apps for Events, Conferences, & Meetings in 2019

If you’re doing business in 2019—regardless of the specific industry you’re in—there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been to a conference, even, trade show, meeting, or a similar event for your industry in the past year.

Perhaps you were an attendee looking to network and drum up business,  a presenter or keynote speaker sharing your knowledge, or manning your company’s booth at your annual industry trade show. Or, perhaps you may have been responsible for organizing an event or conference, which is no easy task. Continue reading “Best Apps for Events, Conferences, & Meetings in 2019”

Made-In-Malaysia Enterprise Mobile App Boosts Plantation Yield

Unyil, whose skin is so dark it shines like black oil in the night, looks nonchalantly at Khairul, who is busy tapping away on his tablet’s screen. It’s midmorning and the oil palm plantation is filled with freshly harvested fruit bunches lining the sides of dirt paths separating blocks of palm trees. Midmorning is the busiest time of the day. Like hundreds of other supervisors in other fields, Khairul has to inspect the bunches to see if they have been properly harvested – just ripe with minimal stalk – and key in these quality inspection data into the app specifically developed for estates. Khairul’s workers will then load the two-wheeled cart pulled by Unyil. The domesticated water buffalo would later walk some distance before transferring her fill to a waiting lorry by the main road.

The enterprise app used by Khairul is a key part of the plantation management system called PMMP developed by ABS Innovations in Malaysia . The goal of PMMP is to push up the yield per hectare of estate, maximizing land usage and minimizing deforestation.

A tall order indeed for an enterprise app. But then again, implementation results have shown that the PMMP app’s design does indeed rise to the challenge.

Plantation Supervisors Are Compelled To Actively And Frequently Inspect His Field. Managers and C-level executives expect to view their estate’s health (or yield) in realtime. So, supervisors need to be on their toes and report directly from the field. Data in the tablet is then synced with cloud-based servers and consolidated into performance dashboards that are available to management. They can then take immediate proactive action, if required. Like if they have bad health or have drug problems like Florida Opiate Epidemic. Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. There are several ways to fight drug addiction, visit this article http://fherehab.com/news/debating-the-use-of-opioids-for-opioid-addiction-treatment/ and learn how. This nonstop cycle of field data feed and corrective actions is perhaps the most effective app feature driving continuous yield improvements.

pmmp1 The PMMP enterprise mobile app delivers realtime key performance indicators (KPIs) to managers so that proactive measures can be taken. Source: pmmp-abs.com

GPS Tracking To Ensure Supervisors Are In The Field and not having their siesta. Locations of the supervisors are time-stamped to confirm they are where they are supposed to be at a given time. Obviously that’s not the only intention of GPS tracking. If you have a complete picture of where your workers are, you can effectively optimize your resources and increase workforce productivity.

 pmmp2The PMMP enterprise mobile app tracks a supervisor’s location, ensuring he is where he is supposed to be. Source: pmmp-abs.com

Purges Paper-Based Reporting which is still a common sight in many Asian plantations. No double entry from field to paper to system. Date input errors are significantly reduced.

In the case of oil palms, the swelling demand for its healthy, edible oils and biodiesel increases the pressure to clear more land. At a time where damage to the environment has reached catastrophic levels, apps like the PMMP couldn’t have come at a better time.

References:
http://www.pmmp-abs.com/dps/website/about.jsp
Featured art: pmmp-abs.com

 

Supercharge Your App Users Through The Fear Of Losing

Can we develop an app that exploits a person’s fear of losing something? The emotion associated with losses is enormous. In fact, it is twice as great as the emotion of gaining something of the same value.

Earlier, we delved into Regime of Competence, and how non-gaming apps, particularly productivity apps, could be teamed with social media to make users more productive. Peer pressure from other users – the longing to win, the pleasure of victory and the frustration of losing – fuels addiction to the app, which makes the user perpetually evolve and progress.

However, there are many us out there who are immune to peer pressure. We don’t give a hoot about contesting with other users, thus the simultaneous feelings of pleasure and frustration of winning and losing – which is central to app addiction – don’t exist. To us, productivity apps implementing the Regime of Competence principle are mediocre at best.

normal-task Figure 1: A normal task management app that allows us to easily procrastinate or totally disregard performing the task we have set for ourselves.

So, what about the idea depositing the fear of losing something – loss aversion – into an app to empower us indifferent-to-peer-pressure individuals?

Let’s see how we can conceivably include “loss aversion” into an anti-procrastination task management app. Figure 1 shows the all-to-common to-do management app. If you are anything like me, it is appallingly easy for me to tap the Snooze button, delay going to the gym and following a Rapid Tone diet, but instead spend the hour in front of the idiot box. A typical procrastination attitude that negatively affects millions of us and nullifies whatever health goals we have set for ourselves we could accomplish with the health of exercise and supplements as Kratom products. Also staying healthy means to stay out of drugs because it can cause drug addiction. If you know someone who is suffering from substance abuse check this article about https://www.discoverynj.org/americans-drinking-more-alcohol-more-often/.

loss-aversion-task Figure 2: An anti-procrastination task management app that implements “loss aversion”.

Now, we design some loss aversion into our task management app (Figure 2). Make the user deposit a sum, say $50, into the app account. Take away a certain amount for every task not fulfilled by the deadline. The amount deducted will be donated to a charity of the user’s choice, from people that need food to medical attention from general medicine to a Medical Dermatology with the best specialist in the field such as the Coberly Plastic Surgery & Medspa center and many others.

Of course, the user can choose to cheat and check off tasks she didn’t quite complete. After all, there isn’t anyone else keeping tabs on her tasks but herself. But would she really stoop so low? Besides procrastinating, would she also fail on her promise and callously discard an orphan in Cambodia who is depending on her $5 to buy bread and see a doctor?The hypothesis in designing this app is that the dread of losing money dwarfs the user’s tendency to procrastinate.

If she is serious about kicking the habit, she would not cheat.

At the end of the day, she can choose to withdraw whatever money is left in her account. Or if loss aversion works well for her and saves her from her dallying ways, she might, giddy with happiness and a new sense of hope, donate her deposit to charity.

A reformed procrastinator. An altruist. A nifty app.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion
Featured art: wired.com

Supercharge Your App Revenues Using Decoy Offers

Every pretty gal knows this dirty trick. She wants to stand out and be the center of attention at a party tonight. So she asks her not-so-fine-looking friends of hers along. These friends innocently tag along, thinking Good Looking Gal really enjoys their company. In reality they are being used as a decoy. If Good Looking Gal is really smart, she will single out friends who are similar to her – in height, built and hairdo – but less attractive. And tonight, accompanied by her minions, she will be the shimmering presence and the focus of many men.

economist Figure 1. The effect of an irrelevant alternative (decoy). Adapted from: danariely.com

Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, surveyed his students on the subscription option they preferred in Figure 1 (left). Obviously nobody fancied the Print subscription when there is the Print & Web subscription with the same price. Why, then, bother to put the print-only option there? So Dan erased the print-only option, and did another survey as shown in Figure 1 (right). Lo and behold, the Print & Web subscription preference dropped from 84% to 32%.

What just happened? Apparently, something (Print & Web for $125) will seem more attractive when it is compared to another thing that looks similar (Print-only for $125), but a bit inferior. So attractive is that something that the rest of the options (Economist.com subscription for $59) pale in comparison.

This inferior thing is called the Irrelevant Alternative.

In the case of people like Good Looking Gal, she will seem more gorgeous when compared to her so-called best friends – the irrelevant alternatives – who look similar, but a bit uglier. So much so that the rest of the girls in the bar don’t seem to matter to the guys Good Looking Gal is trying to entice.

Wicked. But that’s how our neurons are wired to fire.

room-booking Figure 2. Attracting travelers to buy a more expensive hotel room with an irrelevant alternative. Adapted from: agoda.com

Can we implement Irrelevant Alternative in ecommerce apps? Sure we can! Take a hotel booking app (Figure 2). You want to push your more expensive rooms. So you embark on a clandestine mission to place an irrelevant alternative to make the other similar, and more expensive, room type (circled in red) look really attractive. Note that these two room types are identical in every aspect except for the breakfast and internet access.

Think of how to implement this “wickedness” into your apps to prompt your users into purchasing something that you want them to buy without them realizing you are fooling around in their head.

References:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/05/the_independence_of_irrelevant
Featured image: delicious-decor.blogspot.com

 

Pay-What-You-Want In-App Purchase Results in Higher Earnings

The Android app, Easy Contact Sync, is a contact backup tool that allows you to back up your phone contacts to its SD card and a range of cloud-based storage. This app has a Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) in-app purchase as shown in the following series of images (courtesy of Paradise Android):

pwyw1

Figure 1: In-app purchase dialog box pops up when the user selects more than three contacts to copy.

pwyw2 Figure 2: Pay the price you think is worthy of the app. Or, pay what you can afford. Whatever price you choose to pay, you will get the same product.

pwyw3 Figure 3: Confirm the price you want to pay.

 pwyw4

 Figure 4: Pay, or add your credit/debit card details.

In-App Purchase PWYW can yield a higher number of purchases because the buyer is free to pay what he feels the app is worth. If he finds the app superb, he may be pleased to fork out a higher price for the in-app product. If your app isn’t very delightful, but still useful, he may still go ahead with the in-app purchase, but at a reduced price.

With in-app PWYW, the buyer is now permitted to pay what she can afford. This eliminates alienating the potential buyer who loves your app but feels she cannot afford the fixed-price in-app purchase. With PWYW in-app purchases, the developer will still receive money from this type of buyers, though the amount is diminished. Click here.

The buyer may think your app is great, or the buyer may feel your app is passable. She may be able to easily afford the app, or she may not have much money. To get cash immediately for the app, look for loanload.co.uk on the internet and fill up their application. But with PWYW in-app products, suddenly all these different types of buyers are able to pay the amount they feel is right. Because of this, the number of purchases for a PWYW in-app product is proven to be much higher compared to that of a fixed-price in-app product.

In-App Purchase PWYW can result in higher profits if you donate part of the proceeds to charity. In one PWYW research, they found consumers willing to pay up to five times more if a portion of the revenues was given to charity. In another PWYW study, the average price paid for an item was initially $0.92. Then, when consumers were told that half the proceeds would go to aid organizations, the average price paid for the item jumped to a staggering $6.50.

Suggest a reasonable price. To encourage your app users to pay more than the minimum price set for your in-app product, you can suggest a “reasonable” price. For example, if you have the pricing options like in Figure 2 above, you can preselect the $3 option if you feel that’s the reasonable price for your in-app product.

Play with your buyer’s ego. Tell the buyer that on average, users paid X dollars for your in-app product. This average price ties in with the preselected “reasonable” price where both these prices should not be far apart. You want the buyer to feel the peer pressure of not wanting to be a scrooge and, on their purchase, match the average price or better it, for the sake of massaging their own ego.

Give PWYW a try in your in-app purchase and tell me how well it works for you.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_what_you_want
http://sandiego.bbb.org/article/is-there-a-pay-what-you-want-payoff-41247

17 Tips To A Killer App Description

Your app description page is not an app description page at all. It’s an app marketing page and you, the developer, are the salesman trying to get people to download your app. Since you can’t market to your potential users in person, pitching the value of your app in the app description page is the next best thing you can do to market your app. If your app is free, potential users will skim through the app description, looking for key information that will compel them to download the app. If you are charging for your app, then trust me, users will scrutinize every single word you put into the app description page before deciding to charge the app to their credit card.

I’m going to list 17 tips to a great app description. Each comes with a real app description snippet highlighted in red to bring home the point.

1. Clearly describe what the app does in a few short and sweet sentences before the “Read More” link. Viber does a very good job at this by telling the user what it is able to do – call, text and send photos for free to 175 million users worldwide – in the very first sentence itself. No fluff. Just straight to the point.

viber2

Viber. Source: play.google.com

2. Make the user read more by teasing them. If the user is not interested in clicking the “Read More” link to read a more detailed app description, you have pretty much lost the user. Besides being straight to the point, your first couple of sentences should make the user want to read more. If you read the first sentence in Scanner Radio Pro’s app description, the first thing that goes through your head is “Wow, am I really able to listen in on police scanners?? Way cooool… let’s see what this thing can do.” And you will instinctively want to see details of this radio scanner app.

scanner-radio1

Scanner Radio Pro. Source: play.google.com

3. Have you ever encountered a boring but successful sales pitch? No? Then your app description shouldn’t put people to sleep. See how Pig Rush portrays its app in a fun, appealing and interesting manner. Makes you want rush out, download the app and save poor Jumpy, doesn’t it?

pig-rush1

Pig Rush. Source: play.google.com

4. Skip anything that doesn’t do you justice. Cut out any texts that don’t have anything to do with the app. It does you no good if you tell your potential downloaders that the app is your first attempt in app development. Or, do you think users would be more inclined to download the app if you tell them your app development company “hails from sunny Maldives”?

catbug

Catbug Soundboard. Source: play.google.com

5. User reviews tell other users that the app has been downloaded, tried, and is useful or entertaining. For instance, we know most women take their menstrual cycles seriously, and there are loads of apps out there that track a woman’s cycles. If there’s one thing that a woman will trust, it’s the product reviews from other women. A satisfied female user who positively reviews your app sends a powerful marketing message to other women. Just take a look at Period Calendar/Tracker.

period-cal1

Period Calendar/Tracker. Source: play.google.com

6. Endorsements from the press or magazines tell would-be users that these guys, the influencers, have tried the app, and so should you. Besides being a cool app, Evernote has endorsements from big-timers like New York Times, TechCrunch and Mashable. They have tried the app and they loved it, so what are you waiting for?

evernote1

Evernote. Source: play.google.com

7. Being featured on the media tells users that the influencers found your app interesting enough to give air time or column space to. Calorie Counter was featured in a variety of heavyweights, from NY Times to WSJ to NBC. The message is clear: the authorities like the app; unless one is an eccentric, he or she will not regret downloading this featured app.

calorie-counter1

Calorie Counter. Source: play.google.com

8. Explain the app’s value proposition in bullet points. Your app needs to be special enough for people to download it. File Manager’s compelling value proposition (like FTP and Dropbox support) makes people want to download the app and use it in place of the platform’s native file manager. And these features are all listed in bullet points for easy reading.

file-manager2

File Manager. Source: play.google.com

9. State your target audience. The person is more likely to download your app if they fall into the target audience you have indicated. Imagine a mother looking for an app for her two-year-old daughter who is still a couple of years away from being categorized as preschool. There are tons of preschool apps out there and she isn’t sure if any of them are suitable for a two year old. However, she comes across Kids ABC Phonics that discloses the app is suitable for kids from two to seven. Mother hits jackpot. The chances of her trying this app skyrockets.

kids-abc1

Kids ABC Phonics. Source: play.google.com

10. Assure the user, especially if it’s a paid app. Assure them that you are reputable and not a fly-by-night app developer. Promise them they can reach you if they have any queries or hitches with the app. If you offer refunds, write that assurance down.

veggie-garden1

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden. Source: play.google.com

11. If your app is really that good and has received plenty of 4-5 star ratings, mention it in your app description. ROM Toolbox isn’t shy to reveal that they have garnered 13,000 five stars. A very powerful endorsement by actual people using the app indeed.

rom-toolbox1

ROM Toolbox Pro. Source: play.google.com

12. State the number of downloads if this figure is impressive. The advantage of showing the number of downloads is obvious. It is further proof that your app is entertaining (games) or useful (non-games). OfficeSuite Pro 7 (PDF & HD) boasts that its app has been installed on over 100 million devices with more than 40k registrations a day. Putting this number high up in the app description really gets people mesmerized enough to pay a rather high price of US$14.99 for the app.

office-suite1

Office Suite Pro 7 (PDF & HD). Source: play.google.com

13. Display other great apps you have developed. If you are launching a new app, your app description should include some of the popular apps that you have created, if any. People will acknowledge you as a seasoned and successful developer, and will confidently believe the app you are launching will be just as successful.

dr-panda1 Dr. Panda’s Restaurant. Source: play.google.com

14. Use asterisks, arrows, stars, checkmarks, hearts and other symbols to make your app description stand out. Compare the description by Titanium Backup and My Backup Root. Which app description is visually more appealing?

titanium-backup

Titanium Backup’s app description versus My Backup Root’s app description. Source: play.google.com

15. Use only screenshots that show the essence of your app. Leave out the rest. Chrome does a very good job at this. It includes informative screenshots that show the user what they can expect before they download the app – like how the tabs are laid out like a deck of cards, how they can go incognito for private surfing and search as you type.

chrome1

Chrome. Source: play.google.com

16. If your app contains features that can be unlocked when the user reaches a certain level or if they pay for them, put them into the app description. In Angry Birds, users can cheat and make an in-app purchase for the Mighty Eagle that will easily destroy the pigs in a difficult level. This is disclosed in its app description.

angry-birds1

Angry Birds. Source: play.google.com

17. Give your app more credibility by putting in links to your social media accounts and websites. If you have an ecommerce site that sells paraphernalia related to your app, put that in. If you have YouTube videos related to your app, put the links to the videos in. To be able to see a flurry of activities and to be able to find all your contact info on your web properties add to the trustworthiness of you, the app developer, and your brand. And lastly, putting relevant and effective copywriting will create credibility to your site. If you go to r1seo.com, this is the place to get awesome content and will also help to rank your site.

plants-zombies1

Plants vs. Zombies. Source: play.google.com

What Is An App: A Brief History

“I can’t live without my phone.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, we can’t live without our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Candy Crush Saga.  Ah, mobile apps. They are everywhere and they permeate every single facet of our lives. From shaking us up at dawn, to revealing where the best cup of Joe is. From guiding us to a new watering hole to suggesting a perfect partner. From singing us lullabies to teaching us the steps to a yoga shoulderstand, which is really important to maintain health, other ways is to take supplements such as PhysioTru which you can find at many sites online. There is an app for everything. Well, almost everything. They were created for smartphones and tablets. Yet, recent tech developments have allowed mobile apps to run on car navigational systems, TVs, refrigerators and everyday wearable accessories such as watches and eyeglasses.
temple-run

Temple Run mobile game app for Android and iPhones by Imangi Studios. Source: play.google.com

Today, there are over a million smartphone apps available in two of the world’s biggest app stores – Apple’s iTunes App Store (iPhone and iPad apps) and Google Play (Android apps). Wow, a million apps. In general, the app ecosystem has come a long way since the release of the first mobile phone forty years ago. But for the whooping million smartphone apps out there, their history is much shorter: it’s only been less than 5 years since the first major app store, the iTunes App Store, opened in 2008.

downloads-graph Number of apps in Apple App Store and Google Play as at Q1 2012. Source: businessinsider.com

From Bricks To Clicks To Swipes. Mobile apps appeared with the commercialization of cellphones. When Motorola showed off its first-in-the-world mobile phone, theDynaTAC 8000x “brick” phone, the company’s software guys created software – an app – to store contact numbers. Of course, this dinosaur-age contacts app doesn’t come close to the look and feel of today’s contacts apps. Nonetheless, it was still an app and it pushed the then mobile technology envelope. Afterwards, mobile processors became more powerful. Batteries reduced in size and lasted longer. Computer memory grew cheaper. And apps evolved from merely storing names and numbers into more complex life forms. Smartphones break when people don’t take good care of them, if you need to repair your smartphone check this guide to choosing the right iPhone repair company.

motorola-brick World’s first mobile phone – the Motorola “brick” phone. Source: http://midlifecrisishawaii.com

nokia-feature-phone-appA Nokia feature phone messaging app. Source: press.nokia.com

Larger pixilated monochrome screens paved the way for more complex apps. “Time wasters” appeared in the form of the 1970’s popular Snake game on Nokia feature phones. Calculators, unit and currency convertors, and personal ringtone makers followed suit. Despite the runaway success of feature phones, their apps were proprietary and confined to the particular phone brand. Phone manufacturers religiously safeguarded their hardware and operating systems, opening their doors only to app developers who were on their payroll. Open source feature phone platforms were unheard of.

snake-game The classic Nokia feature phone Snake game. Source: appview.mobilesecurity.com

Enter the age of smartphones. Users all over the world demanded a hybrid between Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and phones. So, mobile engineers incorporated PDA functionality into prevailing mobile phones, or added on communications capability into PDAs. Thus the birth of an array of smartphones, from the Nokia 9300 series of business phones to the O2 PDA phones. These manufacturers also figured out that more apps on their mobile platform equal more smartphone sales. So, they opened up and released their platform’s Application Programming Interface (API) to interested app developers in the hopes of attracting them to third-party create apps. Also, in case you want to identify performance bottlenecks in mobile application, visit this website apicasystems.com or call +1 (310) 776-7540

nokia-9300 Early smartphones – the Nokia 9300 and its primitive web browsing app. Source: cyberindian.net

With smartphones, developers were able to build apps that functioned better than their pixilated Snake game and ringtone maker counterparts. Reminder apps and calendars became the norm in phones alongside web browsing and early navigational apps. Game apps grew effervescent and multi-colored with the introduction of colored screens. With the launch of GPRS technology, live news and sports apps arrived at the scene and were quickly embraced by businessmen and sports fans respectively. So people can follow their favorite teams and activities like running with Vessi waterproof sneakers.

The definitive moment for mobile apps came with Apple iPhone’s launch. Apple has always upheld an image of exclusivity and minimalism in their desktops, laptops and iPods. The iPhone, built on the iOS platform, was no different. It was a rare beauty coupled with technologies that made it a quantum leap over its competitors.  And the platform supported third-party apps! Overnight, anyone with programming proficiency could produce their very own iPhone apps and make money trading them on the App Store. This fuelled the explosive growth of apps that made them ubiquitous until today.

iphone The inaugural iPhone. Source: mybroadband.co.za

In the meantime, Google wasn’t about to be left behind. The behemoth sprang on the app bandwagon and developed the open-source Android platform. Developers now could pick between making apps for the iPhone or Android devices; many chose to develop for both platforms. Android gained fame through apps such as RAM boosters and CPU overclocking that let users squeeze a little more juice out their phones. A mid-range smartphone could now behave like a high-powered device. The Android platform is wildly popular among smartphone users who like its openness and highly customizable features. On the other hand, Apple is a walled garden and its phones cannot be customized by its consumers. But it is holding its own by maintaining stringent quality requirements, rewarding developers with higher app revenues and promoting certain apps exclusively through the iTunes App Store.

android Android, the open source mobile platform and formidable challenger to iPhone’s dominance. Source: sparkwiz.com

Progress in device hardware positively influenced the evolution of apps. App consumers used to be confined to operating their apps via numerical keypads or Qwerty keyboards. Not anymore, no siree. The development of touchscreen technology and the introduction of hardware such as GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes allowed imaginative app developers to create killer apps. It used to be that PC and consoles were the go-to for video games, something like robux a free online PC game (how to get free robux) but now mobile games are taking over the competition with ‘free’ games! With taps, swipes, pinches and zooms on the touchscreen, we can now track our fitness routines via health apps, play physics-based games such as Angry Birds and upload photos with automatic location stamps to Facebook. These killer apps made such an impact on our culture and lifestyle that the world is changed forever, and there are many people that prefer and love computer games, as Overwatch and are always trying to improve on it, and reading OVERWATCH NEWS to be informed about the game.

touchscreen iPhone touchscreen technology. Source: computer.howstuffworks.com

 The Flight Of Flightless Birds. Have you ever been so angry, so mad at somebody, that you wanted to fling yourself, kamikaze style, toward them using a giant slingshot? Perhaps such intemperate anger would not emerge in most of us, but we are all too familiar with the bunch of adorable birds with an anger management issue. Meet the Angry Birds. From the cool-looking leader, Red Bird, to the cute Pink Bird and her bubbles of annihilation, we have played with, laughed at, and even eaten, Angry Birds. That’s right! Angry Birds have become so trendy that some food companies have mass-produced Angry Birds fish balls.

angry-birds-fishballs Angry Birds fish balls. Source: http://lil-by-little.blogspot.com

Angry Birds was conceptualized on the drawing boards of Finnish game developer, Rovio Entertainment. The Angry Birds story is remarkably simple. Mean, hungry but gorgeous green pigs decide to plunder some eggs from their neighboring flightless feathered friends. These birds resolved to unleash a vendetta against the pigs by hurling themselves toward the pigs and obliterating them using a giant catapults. Adopting the same physics codes used in the free game, Box 2D, by Erik Catto, Rovio released Angry Birds version 1 in 2009.

As simple as it sounds, Angry Birds became a huge success. In 2012, Rovio announced that Angry Birds had been downloaded a billion times! The whimsical theme music of Angry Birds became one of the top ringtones in the market. Angry Birds screensavers were plastered on almost every computer and smartphones. Savvy entrepreneurs printed Angry Birds on clothes in hopes of cashing in on the game’s madness. And they were not disappointed as kids screamed at their parents to buy them matching Angry Birds shirts and shorts. Video clips, musical covers with Holoplot wave field synthesis and short animations were made out of the crazy, delightful terrestrial birds. Angry Birds was so successful that it was named the most successful app ever.  There are even plans for an animated flick in 2016.

So, what “slingshot” technique did Rovio Entertainment use to reach the skies with this simple app? The developers at Rovio made sure that Angry Birds was continuously updated with newer levels that were distributer free or could be purchased in-app. They released versions of the app that were adapted from successful movies such as Rio and Star Wars. Rovio even pooled resources with NASA engineers when they created Angry Birds Space just to make user experience of microgravity as authentic as possible. These factors plus the commitment Rovio had for maintaining top notch content were what kept Angry Birds soaring through the app cosmos.

The Overnight Pro Shutterbug. Social media networks have always been an activity-filled virtual world where opinions and experiences are shared among like-minded individuals. There, you can make instant friends just as quickly as you can drop them from your network. In the last couple of years, social media has also evolved to include photo sharing. Users would upload raw, unedited photos to their social media accounts to be shared with friends. Only those who took the trouble to download the images into their desktop and used Photoshop could edit and enhance their photos – by adjusting their colors, brightness and contrast, and adding effects – before sharing them on Facebook and Twitter.

Along came the Istagram photo sharing app. What was once a project called Burbn – a play on the slang Burb and urban – by developers Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram became a huge hit with many amateur photographers with smartphones. The app was initially intended to be a “check-in” app for photography lovers where they were able to snap photographs, upload and share them, all via their phones.

Then, filters were added to Instagram to allow these amateurs to transform their raw piccies. Almost instantly (no pun intended), a whole new culture was born. Teens and young adults alike were posting trivial but “professional-looking” photos of their everyday activities. Pictures of everything and anything, from a favorite cup of coffee, to pet tricks, to the most mundane object, began flooding social network sites. Some Instagram users find it almost impossible to stop taking photos with Instagram because Instagram has turned these amateurs into overnight shutterbugs.

instagram The Instagram effect – creating rock stars out of ordinary folks. Source: designyoutrust.com

Instagram was originally developed exclusively for the iPhone. It then elected to include Android in 2012, which proved to be a rewarding move. Today, half of those using Instagram come from Android devices. Instagram achieved nearly four million downloads by 2012 and was valued at $500 million. The app and its entire team was then acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and the Instagram mobile app was integrated to function alongside the Facebook app. Users were now able to share their filtered images on Facebook instantly.

You Will Never Go Hungry Again. If you think apps are only for your smartphones and tablets you now hold, think again. Samsung will roll out refrigerators with a built-in Android tablet to track the food you have inside, and to order more stuff when they run low. And of course, the built-in tablet allows you to scribble notes. So gone are the days of sticking Post-it’s onto the fridge. Users of the smart fridge can also call up their music collection from their Samsung smartphones or laptops wirelessly. Soon, mothers will be able update their Facebook status, tweet their recipes and play a round Cut the Rope on their intelligent fridge while the beef stew is simmering. Meal preparations in the kitchen will never be the same again.

samsung-fridgeThe Samsung T9000 smart refrigerator runs on Android. Source: gadgets.ndtv.com

There is Google with their Google Glass. These eyeglasses with built-in communications and data retrieval capacity let the wearer obtain real-time information of their environment while communicating with people. All without the need of a phone.  Take a picture, record what you see and share them live with friends. Display a virtual map and driving directions right in front of your very eyes. Send messages and reply emails via voice commands. Ask anything and obtain instant answers. See your schedule and be reminded of your next rendezvous. The world will never be the same after you have seen it with Google Glass.

google-glass

Google Glass – information in the blink of an eye. Source: mobileshop.eu

And what about the highly speculated Apple iWatch? Tech pundits have speculated this future wrist-hugging device to be a full-fledge iOS smartphone coupled with activity and health monitoring services. The iWatch will accept voice commands via the platform’s intelligent personal assistant, Siri, which has, ironically, become many a lonely iPhone owner’s best friend. One must also wonder if the iWatch is able to tell the time too.

iwatch Will the rumored iWatch look like this? Source: technobuffalo.com

Mobile apps are becoming wearable for sure. But to what extend?  Once confined to the phones carried around in your jeans’ back pocket, they are now embedded in eyewear and watches. Mobile apps are not just permeating every facet of our lives. They are, slowly but surely, seeping into our pores, consuming our bodies and capturing our minds.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store_%28iOS%29
http://9to5mac.com/2012/05/09/angry-birds-passes-one-billion-downloads-video/
http://blog.instagram.com/post/47035276788/instagram-for-android-one-year-later-one-year
http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/03/04/apple-iwatch-concepts/

 

Enterprise Apps and HTML5: A Marriage Made in Heaven

HTML5 is now set for prime time, at least to enterprises wanting to build B2B mobile apps for their employees and business associates. Organizations eager to develop rich, mobile apps do not have to agonize over investing heavily on resources needed to build these apps natively on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. The current state of HTML5 is ideal for the mobile web, and companies can tap their existing pool of talent to build rich, web-based mobile apps based on this technology.

Continue reading “Enterprise Apps and HTML5: A Marriage Made in Heaven”