Category Archives: Web
With dozens of smartphones spanning multiple manufacturers and all four major U.S. operator networks, it was inevitable that Android sales would surpass the iPhone sooner or later, and that time is now. Android represented 28 percent of first quarter s…Continue Reading: Android sales pass iPhone–but for how long? →
The Wholesale Applications Community, a global group of wireless industry players headed by the world’s biggest operators, said its application value chain will be up and running in time for next year’s Mobile World Congress trade show in February. The ultimate goal of the group is to ensure wireless operators get a cut of the revenues generated by the sale of applications to mobile users.
- Whether applications submitted through the group will be available via application storefronts like Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Marketplace.
- What percent of application revenues will be allocated to developers.
- And whether major platform vendors like Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Google, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will participate in the effort.
Nonetheless, WAC proponents continue to promise the push will result in success: “It’s going to create a lot more choice for a lot more people,” including consumers and developers, proclaimed Tim Raby, the WAC’s acting CEO and managing director of the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (which is working in concert with WAC).
As for the timeline, in July the group plans to form a not-for-profit company to oversee WAC operations and, more importantly, it will provide business model details including the revenue share for developers and app store owners. In September the group will publish materials and documentation for developers, in November it will hold its first developer event, and in February of 2011 it will “open for business at Mobile World Congress.”
Major U.S. operators AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), Sprint Nextel (NASDAQ: S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and T-Mobile USA are listed as WAC members, as are Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG–though none of the major platform providers like RIM or Google is yet participating. WAC executives said announcements about additional members could be made in July.
WAC’s Raby explained that the group hopes to provide a single entrance for applications that can work across the networks of the group’s two dozen participating operators.Continue Reading: WAC pledges to be ‘open for business’ by next year →
CSS – Easier Coding and Better Website Access By Clara Ghomes The rapid development of internet has result in constant advancement in web designing and coding. HTML has emphasized more the content of a web page rather than its aesthetics. However, times have changes and immaculate web design is a key to a website’s reach [...]Continue Reading: CSS – Easier Coding and Better Website Access →
Google’s Android mobile operating system now boasts more than 50,000 applications, up from about 40,000 roughly a month ago, according to tracking service AndroLib. The AndroLib numbers span inventories across close to a dozen different app download po…Continue Reading: Google’s Android surpasses 50,000 applications →
LAS VEGAS–AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph de la Vega used the company’s annual mobile developer event here to announce the company’s four-pronged approach to strengthening its wireless business. The conference, held at the Palms Casino and Resort the day prior to the opening of the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, attracted more than 1,000 mobile developers–nearly three times the number that the event attracted in the past.
Specifically, de la Vega said AT&T wants to help developers by reducing all the fragmentation that makes mobile app development so expensive and difficult. De la Vega said AT&T will strengthen its smartphone portfolio by supporting all the various mobile operating systems. He said the carrier would help developers sell more apps by supporting all the major OEM app stores, and by offering apps to consumers who own mid-level wireless devices (not smartphones). Finally, de la Vega said the firm will strengthen its app developer program and continue to invest in its network.
AT&T plans to launch five exclusive smartphones that support Google’s Android operating system (see related story here) from Dell, Motorola and HTC, and it also will launch two devices running Palm’s webOS operating system. Those webOS devices will be exclusive to AT&T and will be announced later this year.
Regarding app stores, de la Vega said the company will support all app stores from the major OEMs, and will provide technical support for those app stores. In addition, AT&T customers who buy apps from Nokia’s Ovi storefront will be billed directly through AT&T.
But perhaps the most surprising news from AT&T was that it will use Qualcomm’s BREW MP platform to allow consumers with mid-level messaging devices to buy applications. “We want to make apps available to a bigger segment of the market,” de la Vega said. He added that by 2011, AT&T expects 90 percent of new AT&T messaging devices to sport the BREW MP platform.
A new AT&T SDK is available for the BREW platform. And BREW MP will be backward compatible, making it easier for existing BREW developers to transition to BREW MP.
AT&T currently supports Java applications for feature phones.
According to David Christopher, the chief marketing officer of AT&T Mobility, the company also is developing a new storefront strategy, call the App Center, which will focus on discoverability and offer direct-carrier billing. Specifically, AT&T is offering a 70/30 revenue share for all new contracts.
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AT&T declines Moto’s Android advances?
Report: AT&T may launch Dell Android phone in 2010
LAS VEGAS–Palm took the wraps off its developer program, and announced several new developer initiatives aimed at generating interest in the company’s webOS platform. However, at least one major mobile services company–VoIP calling company Skype–plans to wait on the sidelines until Palm’s offerings to catch fire with consumers.
During a wide-ranging press conference here on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show here, Palm said its webOS developer program is now “open for business.” Previously the company had only been working directly with a select group of developers. Palm also announced a new distribution deal with wireless heavyweight Verizon Wireless, as well as upgraded versions of its Pre and Pixi devices. (See related story here.)
“We look forward to working with you (developers),” said Katie Mitic, Palm’s senior vice president of products, in announcing the company’s developer efforts. She said Palm’s App Catalog currently holds around 1,000 apps (whereas market leader Apple counts fully 100,000 apps in its own digital storefront) but Mitic said Palm “expects that to grow even more, and faster.”
Palm’s developer program splits app revenues 70/30 (developer/Palm), after applicable taxes. The membership-based program has a $99 annual fee, which the company said will be waived for developers who opt to distribute open source Palm webOS apps on the Web.
During the company’s press conference, Mitic highlighted a number of Palm efforts aimed at exciting developers to its smartphone platform. Specifically, she detailed Palm’s new $1 million Hot Apps bonus program, which will run Feb. 1 through May 31. The program will award $1 million to the most successful applications distributed during this timeframe. The developers of the top free and paid applications each will earn a $100,000 bonus; in addition, 40 developers will receive $10,000 (20 each for free and paid), with 400 developers awarded $1,000 (200 each for free and paid).
Separately, Mitic hyped the company’s webOS Plug-in Development Kit, which she said enables new functionality such as 3D games. Indeed, EA Mobile showed off 3D versions of its “Sims 3″ and “Need For Speed” games running on the Pre.
Finally, Mitic said Palm will open up its database of webOS applications data, thereby allowing third parties to access app descriptions, ratings, stats and screen shots. The goal, Mitic said, was to allow app developers the freedom to promote and distribute their apps as they see fit.
“We give developers freedom and choice with how they take their applications to market,” she said, a possible knock at iPhone maker Apple, which has come under fire for its tight control over its iTunes App Store. “We’re taking a completely new approach to application distribution. … That’s better for everyone.”
Despite Palm’s efforts to tout its webOS platform–which is first announced a year ago at the 2009 CES show here–a few major players in the industry remain unmoved. Christopher Dean, chief strategy officer for Skype, said webOS is the only major smartphone platform that Skype does not yet plan to support. Dean said webOS does not have enough momentum behind it to make it worthwhile for Skype to invest in the platform.
- see Palm’s announcement
If 2009 was the year that manufacturers and developers fully embraced Google’s Android mobile operating system, then 2010 is already shaping up as the year consumers follow suit. According to new data published by research firm ChangeWave, 4 percent of smartphone owners surveyed in mid-December say they’re currently using Android, up three points over September totals; more significantly, 21 percent of respondents planning to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days say they’d prefer the device run on the Android OS–a 15 point jump in just three months. ChangeWave notes that as of September 2009, Android was tied for dead last in consumer preference among the major operating systems–now, it’s in second place among future buyers, behind only the iPhone OS X at 28 percent, down 4 percentage points in the last three months. Android’s rise also comes at the expense of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Palm’s webOS–6 percent of consumers say they plan to purchase a WinMo device, down from 9 percent in September, while webOS slipped from 6 percent to 3 percent quarter-over-quarter. Only Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS held relatively steady between September and December, increasing from 17 percent to 18 percent among prospective smartphone buyers.
ChangeWave forecasts that Motorola’s Droid stands to benefit most from consumer demand for Android devices–in fact, 13 percent of shoppers say they plan to purchase a Motorola smartphone in the next three months, a 12-point jump over September 2009 and the handset maker’s first increase in a ChangeWave consumer smartphone survey in three years. In addition, 9 percent of prospective smartphone buyers are now eyeing HTC devices, up from 5 percent in the previous survey, corresponding with the November release of the Droid Eris. Word of mouth is also working in Android’s favor, with 72 percent of current Android users telling ChangeWave they’re very satisfied with their smartphone, behind iPhone users at 77 percent but well ahead of BlackBerry (41 percent), Palm OS/webOS (33 percent) and Windows Mobile (25 percent).
Not all Android purchases are looming in the immediate future–it appears that a large number of consumers received Android devices over the holidays as well. Mobile application analytics provider Flurry reports Android Market app downloads increased 22 percent between November and December, with downloads to Droid units up 93 percent on Christmas Day over previous Fridays last month. In all, the Droid now accounts for 49 percent of all Android Market downloads, followed by the myTouch 3G at 18 percent, the HTC Hero at 17 percent and the G1 at 16 percent. Flurry adds that Apple’s App Store download volume is still more than 13 times greater than Android Market–regardless, Android has made enormous strides over the past year, and that trend will continue in 2010. -JasonContinue Reading: Android explodes into the consumer consciousness →
Microblogging giant Twitter announced the introduction of new Developer Site as well as a series of enhancements that should lead to richer functionality across the Twitter application and services ecosystem. In an email to programmers, Twitter director of platform Ryan Sarver writes that developers have now created more than 50,000 Twitter-based applications, with the firm planning to improve support for the ecosystem in the year ahead–first up is a 10x rate limit increase on the number of times an application can request information from Twitter for a single user from 150 requests per hour to 1500 per hour. “With the recent launches of Retweet, Lists and Geotagging we have seen applications struggle to provide the experience they want for their users within the 150 req/hr limit,” Sarver notes. “We are excited to open the skies up a bit and provide some more room for developers to work within… Basic Whitelisting still exists and is unchanged. We look forward to what this means in terms of the increased richness around the user experience in Twitter apps.”
Twitter’s revamped Developer Site promises to consolidate existing communications channels and tools into a single destination while adding tools including new reference documentation, search, API console, API status dashboard (external monitoring service) and clearer documentation of policies. “We are investing heavily in this area and will continue to improve the tools and content for the ecosystem to make sure that you have everything you need to get started and for continued support,” Sarver adds. Twitter also is planning a two-day developer conference dubbed Chirp, scheduled to take place in San Francisco sometime this year.
For more on Twitter’s developer efforts:
- read this Twitter Development Talk message
Looking back at 2009, the biggest story shaping the mobile development landscape was the emergence of Google’s Android open-source operating system as a truly viable rival to Apple’s iPhone. Android seemed to gain momentum with each passing month this year–during the company’s third quarter earnings call in mid-October, Google CEO Eric Schmidt contended all the “necessary conditions” are now in place to galvanize the platform’s global growth, with close to 20 smartphones now available worldwide and many more in the pipeline. Looking ahead at 2010, it appears Android will continue to dominate discussion, but not all of it positive: Fragmentation fears continue to escalate, and Google itself is behind the latest wave of concern, albeit indirectly. A recent post on the Android Developers Blog underscores the complexities to come: According to the Device Dashboard, a new online tool providing data about the relative number of active devices running a given version of Android, 54.2 percent of smartphones currently run Android 1.6, 27.7 percent run Android 1.5 and 14.8 percent run 2.0.1. (Android 2.0 runs on 2.9 percent of devices, and 1.1 runs on just 0.3 percent.)
That’s not all. “Starting with Android 1.6, devices can have different screen densities and sizes,” writes Google software engineer Raphaël Moll. “There are several devices out there that fall in this category, so make sure to adapt your application to support different screen sizes and take advantage of devices with small, low density (e.g QVGA) and normal, high density (e.g. WVGA) screens. Note that Android Market will not list your application on small screen devices unless its manifest explicitly indicates support for ‘small’ screen sizes. Make sure you properly configure the emulator and test your application on different screen sizes before uploading to Market.” Moll also reminds developers that all Android 2.0 devices will upgrade to 2.0.1 before the end of the year, recommending updates for applications using features specific to 2.0.
While the stated objective of Moll’s post is “to provide [developers] with the tools and information to make it easy for you to target specific versions of the platform or all the versions that are deployed in volume,” the Device Dashboard nevertheless paints a sobering portrait of an Android ecosystem that’s splintering off in an increasing number of directions. Insiders even suggest that one of the motivating factors behind Google’s rumored development of its own branded Android smartphone is to guarantee a consistent user experience across its applications. For now, developer interest in Android remains strong: According to data released by applications tracker AndroLib, Android Market added 3107 new applications in November, and 2732 new apps so far this month. But with so many new Android devices in all shapes and sizes expected in 2010, the question isn’t whether the platform will grow too big for developers to ignore–it’s whether it will grow too big for them to manage. -Jason
P.S. Please note FierceDeveloper will be on publishing hiatus until Tuesday, Jan. 5. Have a memorable and safe holiday season, and see you back here in 2010.Continue Reading: As Android grows, so do fragmentation fears →
Google announced it is presently trialing a new Android-based device, referred to as a “Google phone” by an employee testing the product and officially called the Nexus One according to The Wall Street Journal, which adds the web services giant designed virtually all the software powering the device, from applications to the user interface of each screen. “We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe,” writes Google product management vice president Mario Queiroz on the Official Google Mobile Blog. “This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.”
While Queiroz adds Google cannot share specific product details, employees are tweeting about the Nexus One and showing it off to friends. TechCrunch notes that one program manager posted on Twitter “…we all got the new Google phone. It’s beautiful” while other Twitter users report seeing the handset up-close, adding the unlocked HTC-produced smartphone runs on Android 2.1 and does not feature a physical keyboard. “A sexy beast,” Twitter user GreatWhiteSnark writes. “Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”
In the past Google has consistently denied speculation it would introduce a branded Android handset, but the buzz has grown louder in recent weeks–in mid-November, TechCrunch reported the web services giant plans to release its own Android smartphone in early 2010, followed weeks later by a Gizmodo report stating prototype devices were on the way to Google’s Mountain View, Calif. Campus, all running a new version of the Android OS.
For more on the Google phone:
- read this Official Google Mobile Blog entry