DEMO 2014: Software Keyboard for iOS and Android
By John Houghton on November 18, 2014
Many people are not aware that it is possible to swap in your own custom keyboard in iOS 8 (a software keyboard, not a hardware keyboard). Such keyboards have been possible on Android for a while. I talked with Ping Wang of iQ Technology and the CEO Ray Chao about their new DejaVu Keyboard product at the opening welcome reception at DEMO Fall 2014.
The main benefit is it helps you type faster and is useful for words that are unique to you or your profession. Let’s face it, the rate a which you can type on a mobile keyboard is a big friction point on mobile devices and DejaVu Keyboard can really speed things up for users. […]
Watch Mobile App Development TV at DEMO Fall 2014 in San Jose
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. […]
The Decline of the Web and Rise of Apps
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 […]
Building Successful Apps: It’s All About The User Experience
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 […]
$19B Acquisition Lighting the Mobile App Developer World On Fire
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 […]
Mobile App Increases Revenue at Walmart
By John Houghton on March 18, 2014
“Customers who use the app actually shop with us two times more frequently and spend 40% more than a customer who doesn’t use our apps,” according to Wendy Bergh, Vice President, Mobile & Digital Strategy at Apps World 2014. While many companies want assurance of a return before they invest, Walmart is an example of an innovative company who took a risk by investing in mobile apps without any clear return in sight. By taking a risk and carefully listening to her customers she was able to provide a substantial return on investment to Walmart through mobile apps. It makes sense that Walmart would find this opportunity, because there is a lot of low hanging […]
Sell Your App Idea With a Prototype
By John Houghton on March 6, 2014
The most effective way to sell a mobile app idea is to create a complete prototype so that your stakeholders can get a sense of the full experience of your app. People are visual, and by showing your idea in action you can capture the excitement and give a sense of what the app really does. That’s the advice of Marco Paglia, Google’s Design Lead. An effective presentation can help you secure funding or get your company’s buy-in on the concept and design.
In other words, your prototype needs to be fully functional and complete with graphics and transitions. In order to sell the idea, the prototype must be striking and visually appealing. Then it […]
iBeacon: Secret Weapon For Retailers
By John Houghton on February 25, 2014
As part of our continuing coverage of Apps World 2014 in San Francisco, I talked to Brent Hieggelke, Chief Marketing Officer of Urban Airship. Urban Airship provides notification services for app developers, and this ties very nicely with beacons that can trigger events like personalized notifications when a user is at a particular location in the store.
Until now marketers could only learn about their customers through their web browsing and mobile app usage, but now data are available on a customer’s physical movements throughout the shopping experience. Can you imagine the possibilities? Thus far, advertising costs have dropped dramatically because of the very precise targeting available through online advertising. Now, retailers can set up all […]
3 Tips for Improving App User Experience
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 […]
Mobile App Developer Hiring Continues
By John Houghton on January 31, 2014
Mobile app developers are in demand and will be for the foreseeable future. According to what I’m seeing in the marketplace, projects that were previously shelved due to lack of funding are now starting to get attention and funding. Apple’s iOS is still the first target for an app’s release, with the iPhone being first, followed at a distance by the iPad. This is despite Android’s dominance and having the market share of mobile devices, but not yet having the mindshare. Apple is the number one brand (according to Interbrand), and everybody wants to be associated with it. All a company has to do is develop a good iOS app; however, that’s not as […]