By John Houghton on November 22, 2014
At the DEMO Fall 2014 conference what we do is watch other companies debut their products and then take feedback from a panel of judges. I watched Brad Lawler of Draft present and the judges liked his financial services solution and they commented a lot on the excellent look-and-feel of his app.
Sorry to say, but appearances make a huge difference in just about everything these days and mobile apps are no exception. Incredible to me is that Brad designed the app himself. He says he studied design for a few years on his own, and when it came time to design his app, he worked with a few different agencies, where he learned a lot […]
By John Houghton on November 18, 2014
One of the things I love about conferences like DEMO Fall 2014 is they get you outside of your normal way of thinking, and that’s what is necessary to be truly innovative. Who ever thought of turning people into ATMs? It’s pretty crazy and it could either go wrong or it could go right. Just like the mobile carriers were disintermediated by WhatsApp, this payment solution by Ali Goss of HelloBit could push banks aside for at least one of their services – money transfer.
International money transfer processes are full of friction. It’s hard to pay vendors overseas, there are hefty fees involved, and it usually requires a special trip to the bank where you fill […]
By John Houghton on November 18, 2014
As host of Mobile App Development TV, I’ll be covering DEMO 2014 to bring you the very latest in app development trends, best practices, strategies, and insights.
I’m excited about the lineup of speakers including Andrew Mason, CEO of Groupon, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and cofounder of Twitter, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, Peter Thiel, Former CEO of PayPal and Matt Rogers, Founder of Nest. That’s a heavy hitting lineup, straight from the heart of Silicon Valley. We’ll be here November 18, 19 and 20.
A number of successful companies have launched at DEMO, including Salesforce.com, Evernote, Jawbone, Cisco WebEx, Vmware and many others. I’m especially excited to hear about Steve Wozniak’s latest venture. […]
By John Houghton on November 17, 2014
The Wall Street Journal wrote a good article on the decline of the web, “The Web Is Dying; Apps Are Killing It.” The article cites Flurry as a source, but Steve Jobs also noted back in 2010 at D8 that users were spending most of their time in apps, rather than the web. You can’t say we didn’t have any notice on this one.
Some companies did well with the web, some did just OK. Whether you did well or didn’t, now the new thing has come along, and it’s still early. It’s time to gain/regain ground.
Why apps versus websites? First of all, people are more likely to pull out their mobile device instead of running to a […]
By John Houghton on October 28, 2014
When we look at Apple’s products, such as the iPhone, it is no wonder the device caught on so quickly. It’s so intuitive and easy to use. The simplicity of the product is what gives it such traction in the marketplace. The reason it’s so simple and intuitive is because Apple invested heavily in something called user experience, which is more than just design.
It encompasses the totality of the experience of interacting with your brand through a specific piece of software. When when you go off the beaten path of the top apps, the most common experience with the average app is a feeling of frustration, because most apps are poorly conceived and designed.
Best practices for […]
By John Houghton on March 26, 2014
They say that the rising tide floats all ships. What about a tidal wave? Many people are dumbfounded at the valuations that app companies are receiving, especially in the messaging world, but looking back at history can provide some perspective.
Messaging has been hot for a while, starting with AOL in the 90s, then platforms were developed that integrated the many messaging solutions. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, and although that wasn’t an app deal, it set the tone. Facebook then bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012; the biggest app deal to date, and it seemed like a lot, but that deal has been totally eclipsed by Facebook’s latest $19 billion dollar […]
By John Houghton on February 14, 2014
Last week I went to Apps World 2014 in San Francisco with the intent of interviewing thought leaders on a variety of topics, including User Experience (UX). Why user experience? Because if an app isn’t useable, it will fail; and many apps are failing because of usability. When you consider all of the other factors, you can max out each of them, but if your app’s UX (user experience) is poor, the app will fail. The UX of an app is one of the most determinate factors of success. This is why it’s so important for app developers to figure out what good UX is and implement this in their app. A good UX makes […]
By John Houghton on January 31, 2014
According to Indeed the average salary for an Android Developer in San Francisco is $124,000, while a Senior Android Developer makes $150,000 (as of 1/30/14). When compared to iOS developers, I’ve been seeing evidence of Android developers making more, $122,000 and $139,000 respectively. This is reflected by the dominance of the Android operating system in the marketplace, and due in part to the success of Samsung.
Overall, I find that Android programming (which is done in Java) goes quicker than iOS programming, but there are significant holdups when it comes to QA (Quality Assurance – testing). There are so many different types of Android devices, and for a mainstream app, you can’t ignore them. To test, […]
By John Houghton on January 30, 2014
I get a lot of questions about the requirements for iPhone app development, and wanted to write a post to clear up some of the confusion. In order to create an app, you need a software development kit, or SDK. It’s best if you get the native SDK from Apple. “Native” means that it is the primary tool that Apple intends for you to use when writing your iPhone app. This SDK can also be used to code apps for the iPad. I recommend that you use the SDK that Apple provides. It is possible to download non-native SDKs from different providers, such as Appcellerator or Phonegap, but by using these non-native SDKs, you become […]
By John Houghton on January 27, 2014
Not everybody who is responsible for a mobile app project knows how to use Twitter inside and out, so if you are one of those people, this article is for you. Whether it’s iPhone, iPad or Android app development, for a while now it’s been possible to add Twitter functionality to an app, so if a user likes a piece of content within a mobile app, they can share it in the form of a tweet. I sometimes get requests to build a Twitter function exclusively with the ability to tweet a fixed message, or to retweet a message (without the option to edit it). This post is targeted toward people who want those capabilities […]