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Recent Posts of Mark Wilcox

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January 09, 2013
The “Onboarding” Problem

With some types of mobile app, getting a user to download it is just the beginning of the problem. If the application is going to be personalised to a user’s preferences, or allow them to interact with others via some online service, then they’ll need to provide some data before they can start using it. Typically the more information a user provides about themselves, the better job an app or service can do of tailoring the experience to them. Unfortunately, the more steps a user has to go through before they can start using an app, the less likely they are to complete the signup process. Getting this wrong can catastrophically alter the economics of user acquisition.

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January 08, 2013
Different Ways of Winning on the App Stores

A recent report from Canalys highlighted the extreme concentration of income distribution across the iOS and Android stores in the US. The top 25 publishers make 50% of the revenues. 24 out of 25 of those are games publishers (the 1 exception is the Pandora music streaming service). During the first 20 days of November these 25 publishers made $60m from paid downloads and in-app purchases in the US alone. Is there still room left for smaller publishers? How can smaller companies succeed?

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January 07, 2013
Advertising to Existing Users – could re-engagement reap rewards?

Currently the vast majority of mobile app advertising is used to generate new installs. At the same time, for some of the most successful revenue models, a small fraction of the most active users generate the bulk of the revenue. Free-to-play games are a good example of this model but there are similar in-app purchase driven schemes in other categories. Whilst a user is still very engaged with an app it’s likely that the most cost effective way to increase their spend is within the app. However, if an existing user stops regularly using an app then might there be more value in tempting them back in than acquiring a new user?

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December 20, 2012
Cross-Platform Tools – Functionality and Trade-offs

Cross-platform tools (CPTs) are a class of developer tool that aim to enable a single implementation of application functionality to run across multiple platforms. If that definition seems very broad it’s because the category covers a wide range of use cases, technology approaches and forms of app deployment. In our analysis of this sector from February 2012 we identified over 100 tools across three forms of app deployment (native vs. web vs. hybrid) and five different technology approaches

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December 20, 2012
Mapping Cross-Platform Development Tools: Technology Approaches

In our 2012 analysis of the cross-platform tools (CPT) sector, we have identified five distinct technology approaches being used:

  • JavaScript frameworks
  • App factories
  • Web-to-native wrappers
  • Runtimes
  • Source code translators

Each technology targets a slightly different developer audience – from non-developers to seasoned programmers – and addresses different application use cases.

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December 20, 2012
How to select a cross platform development tool

With the wide selection of cross-platform development tool (CPTs) available in the market, how should a developer select a development tool? The exact selection criteria will vary depending on the project and the individual developers involved. However, it’s valuable to look at the criteria other developers have used to select development tool and, even more […]

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December 07, 2012
App Promotion: make or break your app

With well over one million total apps available on Apple and Google app stores combined, plus hundreds of thousands on the other platforms, the competition to get on consumers’ handsets is fierce. As hundreds of apps are added each and every day, app discovery remains a largely unsolved challenge which is only getting worse. With […]

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December 07, 2012
The Faces of Fragmentation: Musings on Versions and Installed Base

How do various forms of fragmentation of the potential audience impact the development economics? The answers will vary significantly depending on the specifics of each app but some general issues are worthy of consideration by everyone.As we pointed out recently, Android is now way ahead of iOS in terms of share of new device sales […]

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December 03, 2012
Crowdfunding: Leanest Way to Launch?

One question that divides opinion among developers is when to start marketing your app. Some say if you start marketing too soon, the early interest you create will dissipate before you actually have something to sell. Others argue that you can’t start talking about your app soon enough, build a following of early adopters and […]

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December 03, 2012
Tradable vs Non-tradable Apps

We’ve previously discussed the major opportunities that are emerging for developers globally, fueled by rising demand from BRIC countries and other emerging app economies, representing at least half of the world’s mobile subscribers. In order to capture these opportunities, developers can focus on two broad strategies: to “reach-out” or to “search within”. Developers that “reach-out” […]

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