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Recent Posts of Mark Wilcox

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March 08, 2013
HTML5 Adoption and the Importance of Independence

Last year was quite a bad one for HTML5 in terms of developer mindshare. At the end of 2011, developer sentiment seemed to favour a shift away from native and towards HTML5 for a large range of application categories. As the year went on, there were more horror stories than…

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March 01, 2013
Developer Story: Lyft

Sebastian Brannstrom, Lead Engineer for Lyft at Zimride, talked to us about their app and the business that the technology enables. Sebastian has been working in mobile software since 2006, initially on Symbian and then transitioning to iOS, Android & Web by way of a side project, created in collaboration with designer and product manager […]

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March 01, 2013
How Much Is An Active User Worth?

App store analytics providers have been telling us that almost all of the growth in app revenues in the last year has been through in-app purchases. However is that just because the model has become more popular? Or because revenue has been concentrating at the top of the market, where the strategy is very popular (particularly in free-to-play games)? Probably…

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February 28, 2013
Revenue Haves and Have Nots

While not all developers are in it for the money, most would like their apps to provide an income and the majority of those struggle to earn revenues that will sustain further development. We defined $500 per app per month as a reasonable global “poverty line”, in some countries this is very low while in […]

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February 22, 2013
How Many Users Is Realistic?

One of the most common mistakes developers make when planning the business case for a new app is dramatically overestimating the number of users they will be able to attract, particularly for their first app. The typical argument goes something like this: “My app will be compatible with 400 million devices, if I can reach just 1% of those, that’s 4 million users”. The trap here is…

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February 21, 2013
Tablets go mainstream, TV apps still niche

In our latest developer survey we asked developers about the different screens they target. The results show smartphones are the most popular target, whilst tablets are catching up fast. PCs are most commonly targeted by web developers while TVs are still a niche app market for all developers.

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February 19, 2013
Cross-Platform Tools – Does it pay to use them?

In our January 2013 Developer Economics Report, we revealed that multi-platform developers are better off. Our survey data also reveals, rather unsurprisingly, that users of cross-platform tools (CPTs) target more platforms than those building separate apps for each platform. Of those interested in making money, users of CPTs target 4.33 platforms (3.1 mobile platforms) on average vs 3.46 platforms (2.57 mobile) for those building separate apps. We also know that…

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February 14, 2013
HTML5 vs Native – What are the tradeoffs?

In our latest developer survey we asked developers who use or plan to adopt HTML5 why they do so and also what the technology needs to compete with native alternatives. The results show a tradeoff of increased portability and lower development cost against capability, in the form of reduced API access and a poorer development environment. In this scenario, the key to success with web technologies is taking advantage of their strengths in areas where their weaknesses are less of a handicap.

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February 08, 2013
The Costs of App Security

The security features of an app are often ignored in the rush to get a new product to market. We naturally tend to focus more on what an app should do, rather than what it shouldn’t. Making sure that an app doesn’t have security flaws is a difficult and potentially expensive process. There are…

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February 08, 2013
How to Get App Ideas

Almost half of developers (49%) in our survey decide which apps to develop based on their own needs. Those same developers end up generating the least amount of revenue per app per month, indicating that they have a lot to learn in how they plan their app business. Naturally, planning a business based on own needs may yield a good customer understanding, but lacks the rigor of market research or of extending proven app recipes into new countries or verticals.

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