With over two million apps in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, it’s important to do all you can to maximise the chances of people finding your clients app(s). A crucial part of App Store Optimisation (ASO) is selecting the correct app store keywords to use to show both the stores, and your apps potential customers, what your app is all about. This task is much like the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that’s so important to the success of a website – and just like that takes effort, research and expertise.
The article puts forward five tips to help you with your keyword planning and give you the best chance of your app being discovered via searches.
Obey the guidelines
Before you start, you should familiarize yourself with the guidelines both Apple and Google make clear regarding listings for their stores. (You’ll find information for the App Store here, and the Play Store here).
The guidelines Apple and Google set have many similarities, and both companies strongly advise against grey / black hat optimization techniques, particularly involving excessive “stuffing” of keywords into app names and descriptions. However, it’s just as important to learn the differences between Google and Apple’s approach as it is to learn the similarities.
For example, Google Play Store indexes descriptions, so keywords within descriptions are key there (within sensible reason). Apple, meanwhile, focuses on a specific keyword field where you must select keywords up to a 100-character total limit.
As such, it’s well worth taking time to optimize your listings for each store individually. Broadly speaking, there are no big “tricks” you can employ here – algorithms are generally sophisticated enough to reward those who do good research and optimise their listings whilst obeying the guidelines.
Do your research
With the above in mind, it’s clear that research is the key, and it begins with a well-conceived list of the keywords you think you need to target.
Your objectives should then be to:
Learn how many people are searching for those keywords.
Ascertain what the competition is like for each.
Choose which subset of your app store keywords is most likely to bring you traffic.
As with traditional SEO, the idea is to find keywords where there’s a healthy level of search traffic AND a low enough level of competition to stand a chance. Very general keywords such as “camera” may have vast traffic, but will also be so hotly contested it’s hard to stand a chance.
It’s best to use a combination of tools to conduct this research. Traditional SEO tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner are helpful for starters, but dedicated App Store Optimisation tools are a better choice, and will allow you to look at both your chosen keywords and those being used by your competition.
Find your niche
Hopefully you will already have a clear niche in mind for your app, but the keyword research exercise above will quickly reveal if the niche is too broad. With so many apps in the marketplace, yours needs to be different enough to throw up some keywords that hone in on where the app is unique.
These will end up being the search terms that lead people to your app rather than your competition. ASO tools can help you find new keyword inspiration, but it bears repeating that a USP for your app that you can play into some of your chosen keywords is crucial too.
This may not apply to all apps, but if the intended audience spans different countries and languages, you can make use of localization to give you more space for descriptions and keywords – one set per language. Investing time in professional translations of descriptions and keywords can pay dividends if you think it’s likely people could search for the app using keywords in other languages.
In the case of the Google Play Store, “machine translated” localizations are added automatically, but if you’ve used Google Translate you will know that these are sometimes amusingly inaccurate. For a small investment, you can give a professional impression to customers who speak other languages AND give yourself extra space for local keywords.
test different app store keywords
App store optimization isn’t a one-off task. It’s vital to continually monitor both your clients and your competitors’ apps to see how you are ranking for various keywords, as these rankings will never remain static for long at all.
In time, the chances are you will begin to finesse your app store keywords strategy, but in the early days it’s likely you’ll want to do plenty of experimentation with different keyword sets and descriptions. One feature to look for in a good set of ASO tools will include keyword tracking – which will allow you to monitor how keywords are doing over time.
Equally important is to leave them running long enough to extract meaningful results. App store ranking algorithms will always be something of a mystery, but many factors will play a part, from reviews to uninstall rates, to the authority of incoming links to your app. It’s a good idea to do some A/B testing on the app listing – to try out possible keyword variations.
With so many things playing a part, it’s important to work to ascertain what changes are helping or hindering – do too many at once and you’ll struggle to work that out!
In the end, picking the right app store keywords is both an art and a science – but, with a little practice and testing – you’ll soon be able to get your clients apps found in no time.
Generating more downloads and attracting new users to your app can be (and generally is) an expensive business. It’s estimated that a 5% decrease in mobile app abandonment rates can actually increase overall app profitability from as little as 5% to as much as 95% (Bain and Company). While decreasing app abandonment rates can greatly improve profitability, it costs approximately 700% more to acquire a new mobile app user than to stimulate retention with existing users. If you’re running a mobile app development agency, it’s essential that you represent the best commercial and technical interests of your clients. Their success is your success and the best way to maximize the chances of a successful outcome is to focus on mobile app user retention.
Before we go further, here’s a great panel discussion on some of the issues that we’ll be writing about:
When it comes to developing mobile apps for your clients, your contribution won’t end when you deliver them their app. The days of being able to “drop-ship” an app to a client and walk away are over. Clients now expect you to be with them for the long haul, helping them make their app a success. With any clients app you have to ask yourself the question: how sticky is the app? In the same way that digital marketers are concerned with the engagement levels of blog content, videos and reviews (and a multitude of other types of content), app clients are concerned with one fundamental consideration: are my app users coming back for more? So serious mobile agencies are going beyond the design and development of great mobile apps. They are focused on how to leverage more value from those apps on behalf of your clients’. To do that they are increasingly thinking about how to measure retention.
Getting serious with mobile app retention
There’s a bunch of different ways to measure the retention performance of your clients mobile apps. Getting started with mobile app retention is all about understanding the needs of your app client, and each approach will possess its own merits and shortfalls in terms of selecting the right retention methodology. But the important thing is to focus on what matters. Bringing in new users at the top of the funnel via marketing efforts is totally superfluous if the bucket itself is full of holes and the UX of the app sucks. Mobile app retention is all about fixing the bucket, and making sure that the overall UX of your client’s app is adding genuine value to the experience of the user. So always start with the end in mind. It’s all too easy (and costly) bringing users in via paid channels, but getting them to hang around is a different ball game.
The purpose of mobile app user retention
The goal for each of your app clients is to convert each new app user into a paying customer or loyal advocate (depending on the industry sector and purpose of the app). Your job, as a mobile app agency owner, is to help take your clients on that journey. To to this it’s important to keep the purpose of what you’re trying to do clear: focus primarily on retaining the people you’ve already attracted and learn how to drive more engagement and revenue for your clients.
Here’s a short article to give you some ideas on how to improve app engagement.
If your client’s mobile app is churning too many users after a single use, you have a serious problem, purely due to the cost of attracting new users vs. the cost of retaining existing app users. This comes back to the leaky bucket analogy, because the economics of filling the bucket in order to patch it up are incredibly costly and damaging to your client’s commercial welfare. This is why the economics of mobile app marketing will always favor retention over acquisition. So with this in mind, consider very carefully how and where you invest your clients technical and commercial resources and always keep the end in mind: what does success look like? This is a difficult question to answer, but when it comes to industry benchmarks for mobile app retention, there are some guidelines, which will be covered later in the article. Based on the fact that you can only optimize what you already measure selecting the right retention methodology is the first step in the process.
Each mobile app client will view the science of retention from a slightly different perspective. If you’re developing a mobile game, you’ll live and die by the retention performance of the software on day one. If it sucks first time round post launch, you probably won’t get another chance to fix it. On the other hand, if your client has a B2B app where take-up will be slower, you might need to think about starting to track retention at a much later date, maybe month eighteen. The better you can understand their app, their commercial goals and the journey each of their users take through the app, the better positioned you’ll be to nurture it to success. In order to choose the right mobile app retention methodology to use, you’ll need to understand which options are available. This is where snapshot retention comes in.
What is snapshot retention for mobile app users?
Snapshot retention is a specific method of measuring the retention rates of mobile app users. It refers to a retention methodology that’s based on a snapshot of time of mobile app user activity. This is one of the best places to start if you’re trying to figure out the easiest and most basic way to measure retention rates for your app clients. Start off thinking about your client’s business goals and what they want to achieve. If the launch of the app is being run in parallel with an expensive marketing campaign, and the goal is to generate paying customers quickly, you’ll need to snapshot different time periods. The first day will be essential, but it won’t provide the full picture and help to identify if the app is sticky. This may only become clear after several days or weeks (or possibly months and years), so it’s essential that you work out the best way to measure each snapshot of app user retention in terms of time. But what matters, is that when you’ve decided on the right time frame, you’ll end up with one very concise way to express mobile app user retention as a single metric (or ratio).
The MAU vs DAU ratio for mobile app user retention
The MAU vs DAU ratio is a great example of a snapshot metric, whereby the DAU’s and MAU’s are simply the number of unique mobile app users who engaged with your client’s mobile software during a specific time period. A DAU, or daily active user, measures the number of unique app users in any given one day time period (often you’ll be referring to the performance of your client’s app for the previous day). An MAU, or monthly active user, measures the total volume of unique mobile app users, who are active in any given month or thirty day timeframe. This will typically be a rolling thirty-day time window whereby you can glean performance insight not just by each calendar month, but also by a fixed or ‘windowed’ thirty-day time period.
Once you have your MAU vs DAU metrics for a given timeframe, calculating mobile app retention rate is just a simple process of developing a ratio of DAU’s to MAU’s. Instinctively, when it comes to working with your app clients, this should represent the proportion of monthly app users that are active on a single day. Clearly, when it comes to enhancing the performance of your client’s app, the job is to increase the ratio, ensuring that you maximize the proportion of MAU’s who are liable to actively interact with their mobile app on a single day. Once you have the data, you’ll be in a position to make recommendations in terms of changes that can be made to the app, in order to cause a greater proportion of users to interact with the software on a regular basis. You can also update your push notifications or proximity marketing strategy. What you’re striving to achieve, is a ratio of one, because this means that every single mobile app user who engaged with the app in the last month, is active again on any chosen day.
Again, getting this part right will depend on the type of app your client has. Different apps will have different DAU/MAU benchmarks. It’s all to do with what the expected frequency of use should be. If it’s an app that is to do with something the user will do every day, then you’d expect the engaged user to be using the app daily. A diet tracking app for example. If it’s an app that you’d expect less frequent use, a restaurant booking app, then monthly may be the expected use frequency. It’s about setting the right benchmark use for the individual app. Irrespective, it’s essential to continually track the DAU/MAU ratio, to make sure its getting better and not worse. A falling ratio is a good lead indicator that things need addressing. Rule of thumb, for most mobile apps, 0.20 DAU/MAU is considered to represent decent level of engagement. So generally speaking, if 20% of MAU’s are interacting with the app on a daily basis, this is good. Another option is to consider using a DOD (or ‘day over day’) retention metric.
What is day-over-day (DOD) retention for measuring mobile app performance?
DOD retention is much like the MAU/DAU ratio, but provides a detailed snapshot metric. With DOD retention analysis of mobile app user behavior, you simply establish the ratio of the app users who are active today and yesterday, relative to the number of app users who were only active yesterday. This retention measurement ratio symbolizes the proportion of users who are liable to use your client’s app regularly in a short timeframe. In order to calculate this ratio, you establish the number of users who were active yesterday and today, and divide by the total number of users who were only active yesterday.
The constraints and limitations of snapshot retention for measuring mobile app performance
Helping your clients succeed and nurturing their apps to success, it’s going to be important establishing a mechanism for measuring mobile app users. Some of the methods detailed in this blog post represent a good starting position and will increase your client’s chances of success in mobile. As always, your ability to track the right data points will depend on your ability to garner the right information, and this means having a robust analytics platform. You must always ensure that this has been considered at the front end of your client’s project. You need to think about developing a clear and concise series of KPI’s and understand in detail how snapshot retention can bolster performance over time. But snapshot retention metrics are relatively simple in their nature, and do possess certain drawbacks and constraints:
These techniques will determine all mobile app users who are active only during a certain snapshot, regardless of when their first touch point was with your clients app
This provides very little or no distinction between mobile app users who are completely new to the software, and habitual mobile app users who could be considered as advocates or evangelists
Determining the cause of why specific data patterns appear in the analytics can be extremely difficult and understanding how to improve mobile app performance and knowing what to do can be ever harder.
That said, having the data that helps you build insight into how the app is performing at least arms you to ask the right questions and dig for the solutions.
How to avoid an unhealthy DAU/MAU ratio
So you’ve spent months, designing, developing, testing and polishing your client’s mobile app and it’s now ready for launch. You’ve established your KPI’s and key measures of success. You’ve also integrated an analytics package that enables you to track mobile app retention performance. Now what?
The classic mistake to make when launching a new mobile app for your client is to focus on creating a bloated MAU ratio. If you accompany the launch of the app with an integrated marketing campaign, you’ll likely see a huge spike in activity in the first day or two after launch. Adopting this type of ‘Hollywood or bust’ approach, whereby you rely solely on the success of an initial marketing flurry, is liable to result in failure and an unhappy app client. Getting this process right requires time and making sure you know when to bring new users in at the top of the funnel. The best time to bring new users in at the top of the funnel, is when you know that your bucket is fixed, and you’ve maximized the probability that the greatest number of users possible will use the mobile app on a regular basis.
The problem is that all too often, an impressive MAU metric is viewed as being a positive thing. What tends to happen, is that users who were acquired as part of a ‘Hollywood or bust’ style marketing campaign, will possess a significantly higher churn rate than other mobile users. The fact of the matter is your client does need a large MAU metric. Your client wants the type of mobile app user who isn’t just a passer by. Your client wants the type of app user who discovers the software and sticks around because the features contained within the app are delivering something of value to them. The net effect of this type of marketing approach, is usually a weak DAU/MAU metric and the key to solving this problem lies in relentless and pragmatic approach to measuring and refining the onboarding and in-app experience. What’s more, an initial burst of marketing activity will impact the MAU metric within the first thirty days, but it wont explain what’s actually happened or why. So a good MAU metric on its own is a vanity measure and one that offers very little insight into whether the app is succeeding or not.
In conclusion, the best way to approach this problem on behalf of your app clients is to tread a careful line between mobile app user acquisition and retention. Yes, you need to bring users into the app in order to test if the bucket has holes, and this involves marketing be it paid or organic. But the trick here is not to over invest in marketing that is ultimately the equivalent of pouring water in a bucket full of holes. You need to pour in just enough water, without over investing; in order to get the right data to inform how you fix the UX issues associated with your client’s app.
If you’re a mobile app agency looking to bolster the retention performance of your client’s mobile app (or apps), Kumulos can help. Our Mobile App Agency Platform comes with integrated app Analytics to let you measure engagement and Push Notifications to manage engagement programs. This lets you offer your clients App Engagement Services that helps drive the right outcome for your clients and get apps on retainer, so you build reliable recurring revenue streams for your business.
We don’t care whether you’re building native apps on iOS and Android, or using your preferred hybrid platform, or a low-code / no-code platform, you can use Kumulos to help you deliver greater commercial success. We partner with a range of technology providers so you can have it your way.
The best way to avoid bad app reviews is simply to plan. A set of bad reviews for a mobile app can seriously undermine the chances of your client’s app succeeding. People are simply less likely to download something with a low average rating, and it’s both difficult and time-consuming to push the ratings back up once a number of poor reviews already exist.
It doesn’t help that apps for almost everything are so readily available. Users lose patience very quickly and don’t hesitate to move on and try something different to meet their needs.
It also makes little distinction if the app in question is free; Whether or not it’s completely fair, people can be just as savage about free apps as those they’ve paid money for. Therefore, ensuring reviews are solid is equally important for both free and commercial apps.
But it’s OK, you’re there to help your client deliver that awesome app and equally awesome in app experience for downloaders. So, what can you do to help your clients minimize their chances of bad app reviews?
Thankfully there’s plenty you can suggest to help:
Testing = Good. Testing Paralysis = Bad
Testing Paralysis is a condition where you just don’t know if your app is ready, so you keep testing and testing and testing. You want perfection, you don’t want to risk bad reviews and you know you only have one crack at getting it right. Well the reality is that no app is borne perfect first time. There will always be things that just don’t work as you expect. But that’s OK. It’s about striking a balance between getting your app out there and learning from real users experiences and making if function well so the user experience is awesome. Learning and Refining is the way to go. But, and it’s a big but, make sure that the core features and functions of your app, the things that you expect users to get most value from, are up to scratch.
The key way to make sure an app makes the grade is really understand your Product MVP, and with that they most important features of your app and then test these as extensively as possible. The defining with your client what’s really really important within the app and the pre-release testing phase are some of the most important parts of the development cycle. Testing carefully against the MVP in particular should never be treated as a superficial part of the process.
With all this in mind, when you are planning the project make sure you avoid project crunch, and if you need to crunch, make sure that testing isn’t the first thing to go.
Make Sure App Users Know What to Expect
Sometimes, poor app reviews are less about fundamental problems with the app and more about users misunderstanding what to expect from it.
It’s therefore imperative to build in ways to ensure app users have realistic expectations. This begins with the store descriptions, but also involves including useful introductory pop-ups that explain how the app works, and easy access to concise documentation so people learn what they’re doing before losing heart and ranting in a review.
Take a look at these App Store readiness guides for more useful information about getting this right for iOS and Android.
Also video overviews are becoming increasingly used and are powerful ways to get the essence of the App across, so downloaders will know what to expect from the app. We can help show you how it’s done, just get in touch and ask about our App Explainer Videos.
It essential to encourage clients to step back from their own knowledge of their app and their business and see things through the eyes of someone expecting the app to solve a specific problem. “Oh, but that’s not how it’s supposed to work” should never be a reaction to a bad app review. If it is, an opportunity’s been missed to properly inform the user. One way to really dig into that with clients it so ask the right questions up front. Here’s the 20 most important questions to answer up front with your clients.
Keep Communication Open With Users
One way to avoid bad app reviews is to actively encourage contact if downloaders are struggling to make the app work as they need.
If downloaders are, for example, proactively and politely persuaded to contact a support team who will efficiently help them, this could stop bad reviews in their tracks. In fact getting this bit right turns doubters into fans instantly.
It’s also worth noting that while app producers have a “right to reply” to bad reviews in the Google Play Store, this is a little like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, because not that many people are likely to retract a bad review.
Test. Test and – yes – Test
Yes, this refers back to testing, but it’s important enough to warrant a mention of its own.
It’s especially relevant to Android apps, because the huge number of device and operating system options can frequently throw up unexpected anomalies. However, it’s still important with iOS too, as there are plenty of iPhone and iPad variations out there.
Realistically, you won’t be able to arrange for your client to test on every device out there, but the general rule should be that the app should be tried out on as many device types and screen formats as possible.
It’s hard to beat the natural inclination to get the app “out the door” and into the store.
In fairness, clients and developers often have an equal sense of haste regarding this. The clients want to see their app on the virtual shelves as soon as possible, and developers often need to free themselves up for the next project.
However, an app launch delayed by a couple of weeks that results in decent reviews is always preferable to a rushed launch resulting in a nasty average rating in the app stores.
Urgency to sign off is often self-inflicted, so it’s worth considering if there’s really any commercial damage that will be done by delaying until final issues are ironed out. This is one situation when good things come to those who wait.
Avoid Bad App Reviews
Hopefully these tips will help avoid bad app reviews. Some are inevitable, as some people are simply impossible to please – but many are easily avoided. Poor public perception of an app reflects on the developer and the client alike, so it’s essential that everything possible is done to avoid it.
It’s been a very busy week for app developer news. Dominated by Google IO, we take a quick look at what the announcements mean for app developers as well as few other stories in the app developer news that have been overshadowed by Google’s flagship developer conference and you may have missed.
Google IO 2016
The app developer news this week has obviously been dominated by the spectacle of Google IO 2016. However, what grabbed the headlines is perhaps not the most important piece of app developer news this week…
The app developer news headline grabbers
First, lets take a quick look at the headline grabbers, starting with Google Home, which goes head to head with Amazon Echo. You can ask it questions, use it as a speaker and control Chromecast with it – finally gives those of us who backed Chromecast over Apple TV a fighting chance during the water-cooler debate (even if it does look like an air freshener)!
The first Beta of the new version of Android shipped to developers yesterday and will be named in an Internet competition. Presumably if the British public have their way, this will therefore be NDroid McDroidface! This will build in support for split screen apps (which Samsung and LG owners already have) and remove the annoying App optimization “helper” (that didn’t last long).
Two new apps were announced. Duo – a one-to-one video messaging app with one very striking feature to let you see the caller before you answer the phone. This makes perfect sense, but it might be a stretch to suggest that feature alone will be enough to worry the incumbent apps in the space.
The second app to be announced was Allo, a messaging app with the new Google Assistant at its core. Google Assistant aims to provide a universal, cross-device platform for voice queries that will, unlike Google Now, get contextual answers. What this means for Allo is that if you and your friends are discussing a subject (e.g. food), a subtle icon will appear to indicate Assistant may have information that can help if you tap (e.g. restaurant suggestions) – your very own chat bot! What could possibly go wrong…?
Well, quite a lot really! Will the icon be subtle enough not to distract and disrupt the conversation? And if you cannot preview the information until you click on it, it had better be relevant (or veryeasy to dismiss). While we should keep an open mind, the acceptance that the volume of data is more important than the actual algorithm does make one worry that the quality (in a contextual sense) of the information may remind us of something we’d all rather forget!
The one app developer news story that really matters
In my opinion, the most significant app developer news story of the week is the announcement of Android Instant Apps where you can use part of an app without having to download the entire app and install it. For example, at the airport, tapping your phone against the NFC enabled checkin machine causes that airline’s checkin app to pop-up, get the information it needs and the disappear completely.
This had been rumored and expected, but perhaps not quite so soon. But what will this mean for apps and app developers? Firstly, the app will need to be developed in a modular fashion – arguably good practice. However, what about ongoing user engagement and measuring Recency, Frequency and Monetization (RFM)? If your client pays you a lot of money to develop their app, grow their audience and engage their users, how will they feel about their users being able to use the app without installing it? How will you, as their developer, measure this.
Yep, this is the app developer news story that we all need to pay attention to and see what impact this will have on the fledgling app store optimization and RFM space.
And the rest…
Other notable announcements include the Daydream platform for Virtual Reality and associated standards for handsets, controllers and apps.
Numerous new features have been added to Android Wear 2.0, the most significant of which is full offline apps that continue to function even if the paired handset is out of battery or out of range.
Chrome mobile has hit 1 Billion Monthly Active Users (MAU) – that’s 14% of the world’s population and an adoption rate that most app developers can only dream of! Not bad! Guessing it won’t be an Android Instant App?
They are also making a significant investment in Firebase, which reinforces the trend for developers consuming services rather than servers for their app backend. However, Google, like so many others they still fail to acknowledge the fact that most businesses do not have the in-house app development knowledge or skills needed to build apps themselves and as a result continue to neglect the growing number of specialist app development agencies whose needs, as we at Kumulos understand, go beyond that of a tool for building apps.
Finally, there was the token compiler news with the preview release of Android Studio 2.2 – it is a developer conference after all (who am I kidding – it looks awesome)!
All in all, it certainly was a spectacle, but as one app developer news commentator alluded to “Real artists ship”
On the same day as the Google IO keynote, a significant piece of app developer news was Microsoft announcing they were selling their feature phone business in a complicated transaction to a subsidiary of FoxConn. Deliberate or co-incidental timing? I was assuming deliberate until I re-read that the announcement refers to feature phones, which are basic mobile devices that can run some apps, but are not as powerful or full featured as smartphones. Microsoft said they will continue to develop its Lumia range of Windows smartphones.
However, this has not stopped another round of app developer news stories decrying the end is nigh for Windows Phone pointing to declining sales and low volumes. Understandable given the Lumia range has managed 110m units in last five years compared to 4.5bn iOS and Android phones in same period. Why is this? With Nokia’s heritage, the hardware should be good enough. The concept of one desktop for phone, tablet and PC is admirable and I even overheard one of our iOS developers admit he quite likes the Windows Phone UI.
Well, I would suggest that this good ‘ol fashioned bar chart explains it all… lack of apps compared to other platforms.
With a tenth of the apps of Apple and Google and sandwiched between Amazon and Blackberry, developers simply aren’t targeting the Windows Phone platform. Given the Nokia deal came when the man of the infamous “Developers developers” speech was in charge, this is somewhat ironic. Also explains why Xiaomi’s new monster (size) small (price) handset will be running Android.
However, with the recent acquisition of Xamarin, Microsoft do indeed remain an important player in the mobile app development space. Earlier this week in the app developer news, Realm, the cross-platform mobile app database, announced Realm for Xamarin has been added to their Java and Core Data versions.
Away from the spectacle of Google IO and the complicated world of M&A, there have been two more sobering stories in the app developer news as 167 million LinkedIn logins have been compromised and are being offered for sale. A stark reminder for app developers that the design of their App Backend is as important as the UI/UX of their App Frontend. Would recommend changing your LinkedIn password now, if you have not already done so.
There was also the news that new Android malware had bypassed Google’s security checks and made it into the Google Play and other stores, in some, even topping charts.
In the same week, that Android Pay launches in UK, this is a potent reminder that security needs to be at the heart of all app development activities. That said, given the popularity of contactless payments (which are arguably as insecure as they are convenient), convenience will always be the driving force.
One notable absentee in the app developer news this week is of course Apple. The Apple WWDC is in San Francisco from 13th June – 17th June and I’m sure we can expect that week to be just as busy for app developer news. This year’s conference is being tagged as “game changing” and will focus on some similar themes to Google IO, specifically wearables (watchOS) as well as home entertainment and automation (tvOS).
Rumours circulating in the app developer news that Ferris Bueller is intending to skip school to attend are of course unsubstantiated.
However, there are also rumors circulating around vehicle automation and the expected development of an Apple Car (iCar?) and any announcements relating to this at WWDC certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise. Related to this aspect of the app developer news, a new startup called Otto has announced plans for kits that can be retro-fitted to existing commercial lorries to turn them into self-driving vehicles, which further strengthens the views that we are likely to see self-driving trucks on our roads long before self-driving cars.
That is of course assuming that the FCC do not re-assign the 5.9 GHz spectrum band allocated for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Several major Telecom providers (including Google?) have written an open-letter to The White House arguing that the auto-industry is not sufficiently utilizing the spectrum and that it should be opened up for public Wi-Fi, the growth of which is creating an “unlicensed spectrum crisis” (which apparently has nothing to do with copying tapes for the classic Sinclair computer). Understandably, the auto industry has written a counter-letter along the lines of “Give’s a chance – this stuff is hard y’know” (okay, maybe not in those exact words, but you get the gist).
Earlier this month, the UK Telecoms Regulator announced plans to create a new spectrum license for Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, so at least that element of Google and Apple’s strategy doesn’t yet face any regulatory hurdles!