I'm someone who is fascinated by numbers and data points, in this case stats from a well known Symbian developer, Hugo van Kemenade, author of Mobbler, which has been around for all varieties and interfaces of Symbian for years. Meaning that looking at his download numbers and breakdown is very interesting indeed. I wonder if a few other developers might share their numbers too? In the meantime, a little extrapolation brings up charts and stats which will be surprising to many.
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You may recall seeing some pointed comments by me in the recent mini-review of Checkers Deluxe, with a load of opportunities in the game to tap a button to fire off premium SMS to buy such and such a function? The overuse of this mechanism has in fact inspired me to put finger to keyboard in full 'rant' mode. This is all with a Symbian perspective, though elements of my complaints will of course apply to other mobile platforms.
Following on from part one of our look at monetising applications, it's time to look at the most prevalent method. The direct sale of the application, be it from a shareware model or the dual nature of lite/full applications in an App Store, to time limited apps and in-app purchasing, there are a number of choices to get the money straight out of the user's wallet.
The modern smartphone landscape places a huge emphasis on third party applications, but those applications don't simply appear. The developers behind them need to make a living, or at least justify their investment of time. The monetisation of apps is at the forefront of many in the industry, including us here at All About Symbian. Over the next month or so, we're going to look at monetising applications, the choices open to developers, best practices and implementation strategies. First up, an overview of the landscape as it stands today, and how we got here.
TigerSpike is a Sydney, Australia, based business — with offices in London and New York — that has been offering solutions in the personal media space for eight years. The company has recently started working with Qt and I (Richard Bloor) caught up with Chris Watt, product director at TigerSpike to find out about the company’s initial impressions.
While not yet directly relevant to Symbian developers, it looks like Amazon are going to address the issue of mobile app pricing with the launch of their Android App Store (reports Technologizer). Along with the fragmentation of the “Android app story” and leveraging their recommendation engine, Amazon are going to introduce variable pricing of applications. And while that’s the biggest gamble, I’d love to see this on more platforms including Symbian and Meego.
The pendulum swings regularly in the software world, with different ways of making money from software being in 'vogue'. The latest fashion, somewhat predictably, with most applications and games needing a price of 'free' in order to get serious numbers of downloads, is to put adverts inside the app or game and rely on income from these to bring in a similar amount of money to that which you'd have expected if you'd tried to sell the item by more conventional means. The concept is indeed sound - but I'm finding the implementation often lacking. What's needed is more imagination.
While “global” apps, such as Foursquare app and games such as Hero of Sparta HD, grab the headlines, local apps and services play a significant role in Nokia’s future. The new local app focus was revealed at Nokia World in September. Last week I got the opportunity to see how it’s starting to play out at the grass roots, in the form of the inaugural Forum Nokia developer breakfast in Auckland, New Zealand.
Last week Nokia announced a focus on Qt as its sole developer framework across both MeeGo and Symbian and that Symbian would move to a continuous improvement model, with Nokia building future applications and user interface in Qt. Developers were promised that there would be no binary compatibility break and consumers were told that many future improvements would be compatible with, and available for, existing Symbian^3 devices. In this feature article we look at some of the technical details, which explain how some of this will work.
Considering starting Qt development for Symbian? Well if you are there is an interesting series of blog posts over on Symbian.org that’s worth checking out. The final part is due to be posted today, probably by the time you read this post. In four relatively short posts, Salvatore Rinaldo takes you from installation of the Nokia Qt SDK, though the development of a web browser app to the installation of the app on a Symbian phone.