Spying app for Android smartphones

Android Spying App Review: Improving Smartphone Monitoring for Business

Use of smartphones has become a pretty common thing nowadays. Even we see many businesses providing their employees with Android phones for official purposes. These Android phones are supposed to help businesses become more efficient with their work by helping their employees stay in touch with their colleagues at all times. Even employees can benefit with the help of an Android phone if they install an Android spying app inside their employee’s cell phone to keep an eye on them at all times.

The popularity of Xnspy:

One of the most popular Android spying app in the world is Xnspy. This amazing piece of technology covers really less space inside the cell phone of your employees and provides you with all the data that is stored inside their cell phone. You will love to know that your employee never finds out about the presence of this app inside their cell phone and you get to keep an eye on them with ease. This user-friendly app does not even disrupt any cell phone feature of your employee.

Sharing of data:

All the hTC, LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony, Dell, Acer, Huawei and other Android phones work brilliantly with Xnspy. All these phones must have an operating system of 2.3 or above that. You need your personal log-in details from Xnspy to gain access to your member’s area. Everything that is stored inside your employee’s cell phone will be shared with you.

Record surroundings:

This is a really interesting feature of Xnspy. With the help of this feature, employers may record all the sounds that surrounding their employee’s cell phone whenever they want to. This feature works with the help of the Mic in your employee’s phone. Apart from this, the ‘Geo Location’ feature assists you in tracking the exact location of your employees. This feature works with the help of the GPS navigator inside your employee’s Android phone.

Call and SMS Logs:

All the outgoing and incoming phone call records of employees are provided to employers by Xnspy along with the total duration and the exact time of each and every call. Not just this, all the missed call records are also part of the data provided. Another option for employers is that they shall even record any particular call if they feel they need to. Same goes for all the SMS messages records as well. All the messages sent and received by your employees are shown to you easily by Xnspy.

Added perks:

All the pictures, video files and audio files stored inside your employee’s cell phone will be provided to you with the help of this Android spying app. Even all the contact numbers stored inside their phone will be shown to you along with all the e–mail messages, web browsing history as well as all the bookmarked pages.

Smooth running of your business is a blessing. An Android spying app Xnspy ensures a smooth running of your business by keeping you informed about your employee’s activities at all times.

Mobile Internet share will grow up to 91% by 2017

Mobile Internet will almost kill Desktop by 2017. Is your website ready?

“The world’s online population will grow up to 3.5 billion people by 2017″, Forrester Research predicted in 2012. At that time, there were 2.4 billion people across the world using Internet on a regular basis – via desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Just some curious facts:
In January 2015, the number of worldwide Internet users already exceeded 3 billion people, according to Satista.com. Mobile devices made nearly 79% of the global web traffic at the conclusion of 2014, and their share is expected to overpass 91% (more than 3 billion people) by 2017.

Naturally, not having a website optimized for mobile will mean (and it already does) loosing a lion’s share of audience, leads, and customers.

Basically, there are two main options to make a website mobile-friendly for visitors: use responsive design or create a stand-alone mobile version.

Mobile Internet growth by 2017. Infographic.
Advantages of responsive design. Infographic provided by RebuildNation.

Let’s see the difference between a responsive website and a stand-alone mobile website:

The difference between a responsive and mobile website.
Two approaches to developing a mobile-friendly website. Infographic provided by AMgrade.

How to make the right choice? The best strategy for a mobile-friendly website depends on your specific business goals. As always, it’s up to you to decide!

Also, check Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2016.

Indie games kickstarter cover

5 Tips To Market Indie Game Apps On A Shoestring Budget

This is a guest article provided by Shruti Lele.

The later part of the last decade saw herculean disruptions in the mobile technology space. With the launch of the first ever Apple iPhone in 2007 and subsequent launch of Android phones, the world of mobile technology was forever changed. Today, there are over a 1.5 Million number of apps in both the app stores combined and have together been downloaded over 160 Billion times. These numbers are indeed staggering and show the state of the mobile app ecosystem today.

The era of the indie game gold rush

According to Statistica, the top 5 Apple app store categories as of March 2015 were the following:

Top 5 iOS Apple App Store categories in March 2015

It is evident that of all the apps in the app stores, game apps are the clear majority. Most app developers, whether it is the indie developers, medium sized app development shops or giant game development firms, are trying to ride the popular game app wave.

Indie game developers are a special breed of app developers that are very innovative and passionate about gaming. It was somewhere around 2008 that the indie game world first experienced massive success with games likes Braid and World of Goo, which then started the era of the gold rush towards indie games. More recently the mobile indie game world saw the phenomenal success of Flappy Bird. It was stuff that indie game developer fairy tales are made of. The game became a global phenomenon in a matter of few weeks, raking in more than a whopping $50,000 per day. From then on, every indie game developer worth their salt started believing that they could develop the next big successful indie game and achieve gaming glory. If an indie developer sitting in Vietnam could achieve such success so could anybody right?

However the reality was a little bit different. Let’s look at some statistics:

  1. The average indie game developer makes less than $500 per month while it takes an average of $6000 to develop a game. (According to AppVee)
  2. Gartner projects that by 2018, less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps will be considered financial successes by their own developers
  3. 95% of indie games are not profitable (According to Indiegamegirl)
  4. 500 new iOS games and 250 Android games appeared in their respective stores every 24 hours (Venturebeat)

What does this mean for the indie game developers?

While there are many challenges in the way of indie game developers, the biggest one is having unrealistic expectations. What indie game developers need to understand is that they don’t have to only look at the two extremes: complete failure or epic success like Flappy Bird, and that there is a happy middle where their games can slowly succeed with time.

Mobile gaming continues to dominate the app stores, generating the maximum revenue compared to any other category. According to a study published by Newzoo, the estimated total revenue of mobile games industry in 2014 is at $25 billion out of which $4 billion is gained by Apple and $3 billion by Google.

Global Games Market Report by Newzoo, Q3 2014

Source: Estimated Mobile Games Market Growth for 2013-2017 by Newzoo

Clearly, mobile games are here to stay and there is a huge market for indie game developers to tap into. With the right marketing plan and exposure, indie game developers can achieve app success.

Marketing indie game apps on a shoestring budget

One of the top challenges indie game developers face is app discoverability, which is a challenge across all app developers. It takes aggressive and consistent marketing to make an app stand out and get noticed. A big myth that a lot of indie developers have is that marketing an app requires a gigantic budget. That is just not true. For the best results it is recommended that indie game developers should start marketing their game long before it is actually released. Marketing usually takes time to plan and implement and it’s best not to lose precious time once a game is launched. If the foundation is laid properly, it will help get the maximum exposure for the game and increase it’s chances of success.

Here are some tactics that every indie game developer can use and most of them are completely free or have marginal costs:

1. Create a website and blog

This is the first most important task you need to do as an indie game developer. If you are a serial developer you should have one main website which lists all your games and then individual pages for each of the games. As a best practice it is important to have landing pages for each specific game that should feature high quality screenshots, overview of the game/top features and links to download the game. In addition the page should include social sharing icons and the trailer of your game.

The main goal of the website is to increase awareness about your game and get people to download it. It is thus crucial provide a seamless user experience where the readers are able to learn more about the game and easily download the game if they like what they see. Here are some examples of great landing pages for games:

QuizUp mobile game landing page
QuizUp: https://www.quizup.com/en
Dots mobile game landing page
Dots: http://weplaydots.com/dots/

A blog is where developers can write interesting stories about the process of game development, update their players about new releases or in general keep in touch with the player community. It helps loyal users keep in touch with the developers. Consistent blogging can not only help build a loyal community but also increase organic reach with due to SEO. In this age of search and social, it can’t be emphasized enough just how important it is to have a website and a blog for your indie game.

2. Create a short trailer

Trailers have been all the rage for a while now and it is a tried and tested best practice. It is the fastest most efficient way of showcasing a game and it is a must have for a website. Trailers are a great tool to entice gamers and help build the first impression in their minds. Here are some tips to help you create awesome trailers for your game app:

  • Hardware and software needs: You can create decent trailers just using your laptop, a video editing software like iMovies and some screenshots of your game. There are various tools and softwares in the market that you can choose from if you are looking to create high quality videos and are ok to spend some money. Gamasutra posted a great article on creating trailers. Check it out to learn more.
  • Keep it short and sweet: The trailer video should be attention grabbing, short and sweet (ideally no more than 90 seconds) and include real in-game footage. A good trailer can help convince a gamer to download your game so make it good and make it short. No one has the time to sift through long boring trailers and you will likely lose the gamer of your trailer is too long.
  • Include game title and your company name: It is recommended to include your game’s title and your company name clearly in the trailer. This helps with brand recall and helps players remember who you are.

3. Get on the social media bandwagon

Yes you heard right. Social media is not only for the millennials. Social media marketing is a great free way to spread the word about your game and help generate word-of-mouth interest for it.

Here are some tips to help you kick-start your social media presence:

  • Create social media pages: First thing to do would be creating some social media pages for your indie game. Do some research beforehand to find out what are the social media channels that indie game players spend the most time in. Pick the top 2-3 most popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and create your pages there accordingly.
  • Optimize your social media pages: Each social media page must include a brief description of your game along, trailer video, links to the website and to the app stores. In addition, you should make sure that you use high-resolution screenshots and cover pages for your social media pages. Keep in mind to incorporate the image guidelines for each of the channels.
  • Actively engage in conversation: Make sure you consistently post across all the channels. Be sure to post things about other games and/or industry news in addition to stories about your game. No one would like self promotion and you are to make sure you put out content that your players will be engaged in. Once you start building a community and start getting players interact with you, make sure you actively respond to all the messages. It helps your potential players to get to know the human behind the game.
  • Optimize posts: It is ideal to post during peak times like 11am to 11pm EST. It has been found that posting at 11am on a Monday works best. You should post multiple times through the day to be able to reach the maximum number of people. You can use tools like Hootsuite to schedule tweets and posts.

4. Reach out to the press

It is a very important and effective skill to know how to contact press. Everybody does it but not everybody does it well. Getting press coverage by a game journalist or getting featured in a game specific publication can be invaluable in getting the much-needed exposure for your indie game. While there is no magic pill to do it right, here are some tips on how to get the basics right:

  • Create a press kit: Journalists get thousands of emails on a daily basis and often don’t have the time to go through different links. It is extremely important and useful to have a press kit ready that they can download with the click of a mouse and get all the necessary documents they need to get about your game. Things to include in the press kit are: screenshots of your game, trailer/video of the game, team/company info page, any press mentions/awards received, links to social channels and logos.
  • Create a wish list of journalists and publications: Do your research and create a list of journalists who cover indie games and write for the type of publications that you want to be featured in. This step is very important because getting featured in the wrong type of publication doesn’t help as the audience of that publication might not be ones who are interested in indie games. Create an excel spreadsheet to list down the names of the journalists and also note down links to their social media accounts and the publications they write for. Maintaining a spreadsheet like that helps keep track of everyone you need to contact and ones who already have been contacted. It helps to start building a relationship with your target journalists by following them on social media and engaging with them long before you need something from them.
  • Draft an introduction email: It is always helpful to draft a generic introduction email to send to journalists so that you don’t waste time drafting a new one every time you need to reach out to a new journalist. Make sure the email is to the point and crisply answers why you are reaching out to the journalist. Remember, journalists get thousands of emails about “the next best game” so your email must be able to stand out from the others. Keep the email brief, pleasant and include a line about why they should care about your game.

5. Build relationships with the indie developer community

This is an absolute must if you are a newbie indie developer. It really helps if you build relationships with fellow indie game developers. This community can be an invaluable resource in learning new things, getting support, cross promoting and much more. There are various forums and groups like the Indie Games subreddit, that indie developers participate in. Make a list of the top forums and groups you want to start engaging in and then make it a habit to carry on regular conversations and slowly build relationships with the fellow indie folk. Also, make sure that you extend any help and support you can because that will go a long way in building strong relationships and those developers will be more than happy to return the favor when you need it.

Conclusion

Marketing indie games is almost as important as thinking of the game idea and developing it. To summarize this article, must-have steps to start marketing your indie game are:

a. Create a website and blog
b. Create a short trailer
c. Get on the social media bandwagon
d. Reach out to the press
e. Build relationships with the indie game community

Remember, no matter how great your game is, it won’t matter if no one hears about it. So if you think you have the next big indie game, start marketing it now!

Shruti Lele

Author Bio:
Shruti Lele is a Sr Digital Marketing Manager at Personagraph, a mobile user insights company. She has a keen interest in all things digital including search, content, SEO and social. More recently she was responsible for conceptualization, deployment and content creation of a knowledge academy at Personagraph. For more interesting articles on the mobile ecosystem please visit Think Tank.
Follow Shruti Lele on Twitter and connect with her on Linkedin.

Defend Ukraine: iOS and Android game in support of Ukrainian Army. Download on iTunes and Google Play

Defend Ukraine: Charity Mobile Game Developed by Volunteers (Updated: now on Google Play)

An unusual iOS game called Defend Ukraine had been launched on the App Store a in November 2014. The main purpose of the game is to raise funds for Ukrainian Army which is fighting against Russian military aggression in Eastern Ukraine. All funds collected via this game will be transfered to Wings of Phoenix foundation, which supplies Ukrainian Armed Forces with necessary equipment, implemented over 10 large-scale charity projects and gathered $3.3 million so far.

Defend Ukraine is an arcade game compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

In March 2015, the game was released on Google Play. The Android version is free with ads, but you’ll only see them if you loose the game.

Download the app on Google Play

Download ‘Defend Ukraine’ on Google Play

In this game your mission is to help a cossack, your main character, to defend Ukraine from Russian invaders. All you need to do is simply tap on the caricature of a Russian president Putin as it hovers above different regions of Ukraine. The game requires your prompt reaction, as the enemy attempts to capture new territories.

Finally, if you succeed to keep all the regions of Ukraine free from aggressor, you’ll hear Ukrainian anthem. If not, you’ll hear the anthem of the USSR and then you may restart the game. Besides, Defend Ukraine game has three player modes for you to choose: easy, usual and hard.

Defend Ukraine is developed by GBKSoft, a software development company which is based in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine. If you have any ideas regarding the game improvement or just want to spread a word about it, feel free to join the game community on Facebook.

Download Defend Ukraine on the App Store for $0.99. Additionally, if you like to provide extra help to Ukrainian Army, click on the Donate button inside the game. It will redirect you to the Wings of Phoenix’s website where you can donate as much as you want.

Download on the AppStore

Top 10 languages for mobile games and apps localization

Top 10 Languages for Mobile App/Game Localization with Maximum Revenue

Promoting a mobile app or game only in one language is not enough. Actually, an app publisher should create multiple localizations in order to cover the top grossing and emerging geographical markets. We recommend considering no fewer than 10 languages for mobile app localization.

App Store Superpowers are the countries holding leadership in terms of downloads and revenue. The latest stats show that the United States is not the front-runner anymore. In 2014, Japan and South Korea surpassed the United States by revenue on Google Play. At the same time, Japan is hot on the United States’ tail on the App Store, where it is #2 by revenue.

According to App Annie’s infographic presented at GMIC Silicon Valley event in December 2014, the following three countries form the App Store Superpowers: Japan, South Korea and the United States.

iOS + Google Play worldwide app revenue & download growth by region, Q3 2014
iOS + Google Play worldwide app revenue & download growth by region, Q3 2014. Infographic by App Annie.

When building the list of the top 10 languages for mobile app localization, we should keep in mind other English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, where mobile apps and games gain high revenue as well. Collectively, the English speaking world is still dominating on the mobile app market.

Another significant player on both iOS and Android is China, which became the top 2nd gaming market by revenue worldwide in 2014. Bear in mind that games drive up to 75% of total revenue on the App Store and nearly all revenue growth on Google Play. App Annie Index Market Q3 2014 report puts China to #3 by revenue on the Apple’s App Store. The only reason why this country has not reached similar revenue rank on Google Play is that it got numerous Android app stores, and only 13% of Android market share in China belongs to Google Play.

Android app stores in China
Android app stores in China

As a matter of a fact, simplified Chinese, which is common for Internet and mobile users in China, goes to the #4 in our list of top ten languages for mobile app localization, following English, Japanese and Korean.

Let’s not forget about the Old World. Traditionally, the lion’s share of revenue generated by mobile apps and games in Continental Europe belongs to its most developed countries: Germany, France and Italy. It is worth noting that the estimated revenue from mobile games in Western Europe, according to AppLift and Newzoo, reached $3.2 billion at the end of the year 2014. Which makes Western Europe the third region in the world by revenue from mobile games, after North America and Asia Pacific.

Global mobile games revenues by region
Global mobile games revenues by region. Source: AppLift & Newzoo

Following English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, the next positions #5 to #9 in our top 10 languages for mobile app localization go to major Western European languages. Let’s take a look at the chart provided by Statista listing the leading gaming markets worldwide in 2014:

Leading gaming countries worldwide by revenue in 2014, Statistic
Leading gaming countries worldwide by revenue in 2014, Statistic

Germany is the leading European market by revenue from mobile apps and games. In App Annie Index: Market Q3 2014 Germany was reported the #4 country by revenue on Google Play. in our list of the top 10 languages for mobile app localization, German language wins #5, and #6 goes to French. Italian (#9) follows Portuguese and Spanish which take #7 and #8 respectively. The reason why Portuguese ranks better than Italian and Spanish is that Brazil’s market share of Google Play downloads increased more than any other country worldwide in Q3 2014. In total, estimated year over year revenue growth in Latin America’s mobile gaming segment exceeds 60%, which is bigger than elsewhere.

In the end, we recommend looking at another huge emerging market, the Southeast Asia. As stated by Newzoo in 2014 Global Games Market Report, the following six countries represent 97% of game revenue in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Phillippines and Vietnam. So, Malay becomes our #10 language for mobile app localization, which is the most widely spoken in this region.

Let’s summarize, here’s our top 10 mobile app localization languages for 2015:

1. English
2. Japanese
3. Korean
4. Chinese
5. German
6. French
7. Brazilian Portuguese
8. Spanish
9. Italian
10. Malay

UPD: check out the top 10 countries by total, online and Facebook population with infographics: Global Population: Online and Social. Infographics.

Hot Mobile Games Industry Trends for 2015

Hot Mobile Games Industry Trends For 2015

2014 has been a jammy year for the mobile games industry. In the last 12 months, games have been shining at the top of grossing charts on mobile app marketplaces like the Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Despite the visible success, it’s not as easy as it seems to figure out the landscape of mobile gaming in the upcoming 2015, as this industry probably remains the most disruptive and dynamic in the modern hi-tech segment.

Below are the major trends that, as stated by different experts in mobile gaming, will affect the industry above all in 2015.

Games are the best money generating mobile apps

Games drive the most revenue on both App Store and Google Play, compared to other categories of apps.

According to App Annie Index: Market Q3 2014 report, the lion’s share of Google Play’s worldwide revenue has been generated by gaming apps. From July to September 2014, this trend continued to persist, that led to the increase of games’ share in overall revenue on Google Play. The highest earnings occurred in the United States and South Korea, where games accounted for nearly all revenue of the platform.

This becomes even more evident when you look at the “Best of 2014” list released by Apple earlier this month. 9 of top 10 grossing apps throughout 2014 were games, and only 1 was a non-gaming app. Macquarie Research reveals that in 2014, games will deliver an estimated 75% of income on the App Store. Huge, isn’t it?

Non-gaming apps on the Apple's App Store
Non-gaming apps on the Apple’s App Store

On average, each of the two best selling games earned more than 1 million dollars a day on the App Store during October 2014. Supercell’s Clash of Clans, which is a #1 top grossing game, had an average daily revenue of $1,387,620, and King’s Candy Crush Saga, which is a #2, made $1,097,578 a day.

Top grossing gaming apps on Apple's App Store in October 2014
Top grossing gaming apps on Apple’s App Store in October 2014

Gamers want it for free

Since mobile gaming became an integral part of modern pop culture, the so called ‘devaluation of games’ began. An average user no longer wants to spend any money at all to install the game. 90% of revenue generated by games on App Store this year came from free-to-play titles.

Global Games Market Report by Newzoo, Q3 2014
Estimated Mobile Games Market Growth for 2013-2017 by Newzoo

Research from Newzo published in Q3 of 2014 estimates the total revenue of mobile games industry at $25 billion, $4 billion of which will be gained by Apple and $3 by Google. It’s surprising, but all that revenue is driven by a very tiny segment of gamers. Only 2.2% of users ever pay in free-to-play games, and 46% of the total revenue comes from just 0.22% of the total amount of mobile users, Swrve reports.

Big players get hold of app stores

2014 was the year when massive game publishers monopolized cash flows from app marketplaces. Two companies (King and Supercell) own nearly half of top 10 grossing mobile apps in the US (hence, they get the major portion of revenue). No wonder, there’s a lack of new products in top charts: 8 of top 10 grossing games were published in 2013 or earlier. At the same time, 80% of 1.2 million apps available on the App Store got no downloads at all.

Under such conditions, small game developers approach big publishers for marketing expertise and promotion. This makes some game industry giants that used to focus solely on in-house games launch publishing programs for third-party game developers. For instance, Rovio Entertainment, a company behind Angry Birds title, announced its mobile game publishing ititiative for game developers under the new brand named Rovio Stars in May 2014.

Next steps for game developers

New approaches to marketing games

Given the fact that an average cost of install in mobile advertising is overpriced and probably will rize up to $10 for native mobile apps next year, indie game developers and publishers need to find alternatives to get their apps discovered. And maybe, the solution can be found in the technology that game developers used to pay no regard for. Yes, it’s HTML5.

PuzzleSocial, a game develpment studio based in NYC, unveiled a case study about leveraging mobile web to drive high-quality installs for their game called “Daily Celebrity Crossword”, which is available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. They built a lite version of the game on HTML5 and distributed it via mobile web. In 4 months, this resulted into 320,000 unique game plays and, which is more important, 10% of those players proceeded to download the native mobile app.

Roughly, this new marketing model can be presented as follows:

  • An HTML5 based lite virsion of a game provides limited game play with a few levels available for free;
  • Users discover the lite game version via one of the mobile web distribution networks and can start playing it right from a mobile web browser without needing to install an app;
  • If they like the game, they can follow the link to download the full game version from an app store, that is shown to them at game over;
  • A game developer is charged by a distribution network only when a user downloads a native app.

Another promising user acquisition channel is at the back of social video services like YouTube and Twitch. So called “Let’s Players”, people streaming their game play with comments online, have been on the stage since the establishement of YouTube. But in 2014, game developers fully realized the strong potential of Let’s Players which became a full-fledged, powerful media. It’s highly important for game developers to build relationships with popular Let’s Players, who can broadcast a game to millions of their own fans. PewDiePie, a Let’s Player of the year 2014, has 33 million subscribers on YouTube. He’s also popular on Twitch (440,000+ followers), a game-specific video broadcasting service with 60+ million monthly active users. There’s a lot more Let’s Players who are interested in new games to comment, check them out.

Alternative mobile app platforms

It’s been a while since the messaging service Kakao Talk, which is no.1 in South Korea, succeeded as a mobile gaming platform. At the end of 2013, it had 140 million registered users, $203 million revenue and 426 games available. However, Europe and North America always preferred traditional mobile app stores. 2015 may become the year of revolution for mobile games in this area, since Viber decided to follow Kakao’s path. Earlier this year, Viber announced the launch of Viber Games, a marketplace for mobile games. The company plans to make this feature available globally in January 2015. Yet, 5 countries have been selected for soft-launch in December 2014: Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, Malaysia and Singapore.

Viber Games: Android app screenshot
Viber Games: Android app screenshot

Initially, Viber Games launched with two titles from Storm8 (Viber Candy Mania and Viber Pop) and one title from Playtika (Wild Luck Casino). All of them are free-to-play, and Viber will make money from in-app purchases inside those games. Besides, users can synchronize games with their Viber account in order to send gifts and share achievements with friends. Viber Games is not a stand-alone platform, it’s rather a separate section within Viber messenger which redirects to a native store to install a game on a user’s device.

As we can see, Viber is taking the leaf from Asian messengers like KakaoTalk and Line, and that will probably cause a shift in the way users discover games.

Promote your games in Asia and be aware of emerging markets

China, Japan, South Korea, as well as Southeast Asia, grab more and more interest from game developers. Indeed, Asian market looks stronger than ever: Japan and China took positions #2 and #3 respectively (right after the United States, which still holds #1) by downloads and revenue on the App Store in Q3 of 2014. On Google Play, Japan surpassed the United States by revenue taking the #1 from the US, South Korea reached #3 and Taiwan closed the top 5. As for emerging markets to consider, there are Brazil and India, which gained #2 and #3 by downloads on Google Play respectively.

Find out more about the Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2016.

Mobile apps vs mobile web

Mobile APP or Mobile WEB? How to Make the Right Choice for Business?

As the total amount of mobile devices worldwide is estimated to be more than 7.7 billion by the end of 2014, it is crucial for basically any business to build a proper mobile marketing strategy. Probably, at this stage, a big challenge to many entrepreneurs can be deciding between a mobile responsive website and a native mobile app.

Mobile apps dominate mobile websites in terms of time spent online.

There’s at least one important fact that speaks in favour of mobile apps. Users spend much more time with apps than with mobile browsers. Another fact is that over 90% of the top 100 brands have their own mobile app. With the variety of apps that are available for mobile devices nowadays, a web browser is just one out of the numerous tools for searching and exchanging content. According to stats revealed by Flurry, there’s a huge shift towards mobile apps at the expense of mobile websites this year. It states that an average US user spends 2 hours and 19 minutes with apps out of 2 hours and 42 minutes spent with a mobile device in total per day. The share of apps increased from 80% of the total time in 2013 to 86% in 2014.

Mobile apps vs mobile web usage in 2014 compared to 2013
Time spent online: mobile apps vs mobile web

But if we take a closer look at the following infographic, it becomes clear that only specific apps categories are used with high frequency. And the biggest share in that respect belongs to games, followed by social networking and messaging apps.

Mobile apps categories 2014
Mobile apps vs mobile web usage breakdown 2014

So, if your app doesn’t belong to one of the most popular categories, it’s probably not likely to reach very high download ranks very fast. Just think of it, there’s about 400, 000 apps with zero downloads out of nearly 1 million apps on the Apple’s App Store in 2014!

Google to encourage mobile friendly websites

Google isn’t going to be out of the swim in the ‘mobile apps vs mobile web battle’. It has introduced a new search label which indicates a website’s ‘mobile friendliness’ and gives it a boost in search results.

Google's mobile friendly search label for websites
Google’s mobile friendly search label for websites

To own the label from Google, a website must meet a number of criteria:

  • not use Flash, which is unrecognizable on mobile devices;
  • links must be optimized for tapping;
  • text must be readable without zooming and scrolling;
  • a web page must load fast enough.

In brief, a website must look great both on mobile and desktop devices. Anyone is able to check a website’s eligibility for the Google’s lable by running a mobile friendly test.

Mobile friendly website
An example of a mobile friendly website

In conclusion, the best strategy for business to compete in this rapidely changing envirornment is to have a mobile friendly website by default. But a native mobile app can be a good solution to enhance the added value for customers, though its development, maintenance and promotion requires additional costs and resources.

Best Android Apps of 2014 on Google Play

Google Play Roundup: Best Android Apps of the Year 2014

As the year 2014 is coming to an end, it’s time for a roundup. Google was among the first mobile industry leaders to come up with its year-end list and unveiled the collection of the “Best Apps of 2014 ” on Google Play.

According to Google, below are the most remarkable Android apps which deliver incredible user experience and great functionality. What is also important is to note that not all of the apps in the list already have millions of installs. Likewise, some of them are free while others are paid. Therefore, it’s difficult to figure out which exactly criterea Google considered to make up the list of the best Android apps 2014.

Keep this collection in your pocket, as it can help you to browse out of nearly 1.5 million apps available on Google Play and choose the one you need most!

Here are some of the best Android apps on Google Play in 2014:

Productivity


  • Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks

    by 6 Wunderkinder GmbH

    An app that allows you to keep and organize to-do lists in your Android smartphone.


  • SwiftKey Keyboard + Emoji

    by SwiftKey

    Alternative smart Android keyboard for fast typing.


  • IFTTT

    by IFTTT

    Aggregate Internet content in one app and organize flows between your channels.

    IFTTT - screenshot


  • Sunrise Calendar

    by Sunrise Atelier, Inc

    Beautifully designed mobile calendar.


  • ( OFFTIME ) – Life Unplugged.

    by OFFTIME

    Are you starting thinking that you have spent too much time online? OFFTIME will take care of incoming calls and messages while you can keep doing something important.

Education


  • TED

    by TED Conferences LLC

    TED provides great talks from outstanding people. Over 1700 videos and audios available in 22 languages.


  • Lumosity

    by Lumos Labs, Inc.

    Self-training app which helps you to improve your memory and attention by simply playing built-in puzzle games.


  • Child Mode & Time Education

    by Mindquake

    With this app kids are safe when using your Android smartphone, for you can choose apps they are allowed to use and set appropriate timeframe for that. Due to gamification, kids learn how to manage their own time and cope with negative emotions in a nonintrusive manner.


  • Craftsy Classes

    by Craftsy

    Online classes in your mobile phone. From cooking to photography and art.

Photography


  • Over

    by Over

    This app enables you to add text and artwork to photos taken from your Android device.

    Over - screenshot thumbnail


  • Camera ZOOM FX – FREE

    by androidslide

    Android camera app with tons of stunning effects.

Music & Audio


  • edjing – DJ Music Mixer Studio

    by DJiT – Best free music and audio apps for Android

    Compose and edit your own mixes from 50 million tracks available!


  • Equalizer + mp3 Player Volume

    by DJiT – Best free music and audio apps for Android

    This app is to improve your music listening experience. It offers customizable effects and presets for a flawless sound.


  • musiXmatch Music Player Lyrics

    by musiXmatch

    Mobile player which lets you enjoy your favourite songs with lyrics.


  • Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords

    by Ultimate Guitar USA LLC

    Do you like to play guitar and travel? Then take tabs and chords to your favourite songs with you, so you never run out of songs to play on your guitar!

Social


  • SlideShare Presentations

    by LinkedIn

    Enjoy slides on the go! SlideShare is a so called “YouTube for presentations”. Isn’t it wonderful to have an official SlideShare Android app?


  • Viadeo

    by Viadeo (APVO)

    Professional social network (LinkedIn analog) with 60+ million members worldwide. However, it’s more popular in Europe than elsewhere. If you’re in France, you might now about Viadeo.


  • OkCupid Dating

    by okcupid.com

    It’s all about online dating. Go and find your match!

    OkCupid thumbnail

Want more awesome apps for your Android device? Proceed to Google Play’s “Best Apps of 2014”:

Best apps of 2014 Google Play
Best apps of 2014 by Google Play
iTunes Store Shutdown 2014

Prepare Your iOS Apps for iTunes Connect Shutdown 2014

Apple announced the shutdown of iTunes Connect for this year’s Christmas holidays. The service will be unavailable to iOS app developers from December 22 through December 29, 2014. During the shutdown, developers will be unable to release new apps and updates on the App Store. Pricing changes will not take effect until after the shutdown as well. iTunes Connect will be back on December 30.

It is recommended to schedule your updates prior to December 18. Keep in mind that a review by Apple can take 4-7 days, but it can be more time-consuming during peak periods.

Downloads reach their highest level on Christmas holidays, as many people are presented with new iPhone and iPad devices. One of the reasons for the Christmas shutdown might be that Apple is trying to maintant those peak downloads and in-app purchases. On the other hand, this can help to prevent developers from unfair competition. After all, Apple guys may want to spend Christmas holidays with their families, too!

WhatsApp: 5 years on the mobile market. Infographics.

WhatsApp Infographics: Instant Messenger’s 5 Years on the Mobile Market

In November 2014 WhatsApp celebrated it 5th birthday. It’s a cross platform mobile instant messaging app that allows to transfer text, images, videos, audio, share locations with contacts, etc. WhatsApp runs on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry smartphones, as well as Nokia S40 and Symbian mobile devices.

Co-founded by Jan Koum (who was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States as a teenager) and Brian Acton in 2009, WhatsApp messenger gained 600 million monthly active users and 50 million messages processed daily, as of August 2014. WhatsApp’s founders rejected $10 billion acquisition offer from Google, and not long after the company was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion in cash and stock.

A digital marketing agency DPFOC collected infographics that illustrate “The WhatsApp Story” – how a startup turned into a revolutionary instant messaging app with hundreds of millions of active users worldwide.

The WhatsApp Story