Planet of the Apps ’10

Developer Day

Tyler Lessard, RIM

Products and services = experiences, this is what RIM wants to promote in its products, as an example 30M people regularly use Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on a regular basis.

Currently experiencing 1.5M downloads from Blackberry App World. Whilst downloads are less than ‘others’, the apps that are downloaded are stickier i.e. likely to be used more and for longer.

The ‘super apps’ concept has been successful. Super apps being those that have a high level of integration to the handset. A super app is defined by:

– Always on

– Proactive, notification driven

– Seamless integration with native apps

– Contextual, personalised

– Social and connected

Example: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is integrated into the email application so you can instantly see the profiles of the people that are sending you mail. You can also send LinkedIn mails from the Blackberry mail client. The phonebook is also integrated with LinkedIn contact details.

Because of the backend nature of Blackberry services this lends itself to being able to provide a seamless commerce experience whether that be payments or advertising. Ads are contextual with location where appropriate and therefore more personal. RIM provides an API that includes click to call, click to phonebook, click to calendar.

An example of a socially engaged app is Sky Sports. The app adds the fixtures of your favourite team into your address book.

In sync with the HTML5 debate and what other manufactures are doing, RIM will provide HTML(5), CSS and Javascript packages for apps on the device called Blackberry Webworks. This will also be available on the Playbook.

Raimo Van Der Klein, CEO, Layar

Augmented reality = content, not tech.

Android = Software

Handset = Hardware

Sensors = Interpretation

Android makes up 85% of users with iPhone making up the other 15%.

Porting between platforms takes approximately 4 months.

Layar is not an app, they define themselves as an augmented reality browser. It is up to other people to provide the content/application.

Layar advises that content, distribution and marketing should be done by someone else. But analytics should be done in house. They have not found a third party that will can meet their needs.

Jan-Joost Kraal, VP Product Development, Ebuddy

Ebuddy is an Instant Messaging solution that has had over 100M downloads. Biggest numbers are in Egypt and Indonesia with India ramping fast. Mass market is Java phones which account for more than 50% of downloads. Android and iPhone clients are available. Current order of usage in terms of client:

  1. Java
  2. Browser
  3. iPhone
  4. Android

GetJar is a good source of downloads and OVI is getting there. Advertised on GetJar to get some traction.

Monetisation:

  • Advertising is working and creating revenue
  • Ads – using bannering, nothing too exciting
  • AdMob working really well. Other SDK’s causing problems
  • iAds will be next ads platform to be supported

User payment

  • Pro and free versions
  • Upselling from free to paid version using own advertising

Insights (product development)

  • Obsess over detail
  • Keep improving base before considering new features
  • Iterate
  • KISS

Use Distimo and Flurry for for measurement and steer. From Flurry data they found that if the screen shots on the app stores were changed to those features flagged as being most used then downloads increased.

Updates, usage grows 30% for the week after an update is made.

Check, check and double check. If an error gets into the acceptance process then it takes about 10 days to rectify.

Pricing, try different pricing. $4.99 is usual price, reduced the price to $0.99 and saw a massive spike in revenue but it only lasted a few days. Don’t be afraid to increase the price.

Future path is android, uptake is huge in the US but not so much elsewhere. Have issues with handset versions and manufacturer skews.

Dave Addy, Founder, Agant

Apps that work?

Do we need an app?

  • Can it fill dead time?
  • We know where you live – but don’t use location because you can but because it is appropriate

Will it achieve what we want?

  • I want to make money
  • I want to build a brand or community
  • I want to promote something

Do it well – develop once, write anywhere tools create bad apps for every device.

Developing for iOS as it is the most consistent platform and people are willing to pay for apps.

Keep it focused. Listen to feedback whatever and whenever it is. Rovio marketing guy responds to every tweet directed at them.

Mark Curtis, CEO, Flirtomatic

iPhone web app worked but did not see a good conversion rate. Web views had to be used and this compromised the experience. Had the same issues with Android. Whilst a web is valid route to market it is a compromise, app needs to be done natively to get the best experience.

Wrappers i.e. native wrapper around a web app (to get to handset services), also a good route to market and can offer fast platform portability. Nokia WRT and QT, Blackberry Webworks etc.

Android and iPhone makeup 16% of overall usage and 27% of new users. 13.5% GetJar/Blackberry.

Other observations include; photo upload higher with apps but billing is lower.

Apps win over browser due to expectations of touch. Touch web does not yet give the experience that native touch apps do.

Apple approval process is bad when it does not works. Flirtomatic 8 weeks in approval. 2.5 review stars in iTunes (perceived as bad) but many household names in apps in the same position. Heard of competitors of other apps purposely giving bad reviews to reduce stars but no evidence that this is the case. Review process is unknown, have not got the scale or location to build type of relationship with Apple that they would like.

Marketing – Advertising works but this is hard to sustain as a startup. Apps drive advertising (in-app).

Day 2

Russel Buckley’s Panel

Fjord, web runtime way of the future.

Brands etc want to know how apps/Internet/point of sale all fit together. App or mobi? Brands wanted apps, but now looking at mobile web before considering apps.

Insight driven brand experiences for people on the move, apps can do this but the cloud is becoming interesting. However cloud services are not available because of infrastructure /cost around the world. Approximately 2Bn people do not have access to the internet in the same way that we do if at all.

Europe/US creative lead, Korea/Japan technology lead.

Andrew Tills Panel

Key challenges: Which platform when, monetising info (assets).

Companies started dealing with mobile as a side issue. Now mobile is a key piece of marketing and considered in bigger picture. However who will maintain platforms/codebase across all the various options (nightmare!).

Virgin (airlines) – Not making money from apps, more to do with a custom feed and services. App not used to sell tickets but to upsell, upgrades etc. iPhone was chosen as first platform due to its strength, next platform will be chosen through customer feedback.

Autotrader – 50% of traffic is iPhone, next .mobi then Nokia, RIM, Android.

Lastminute can only support 3 platforms. RIM gets left behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *