Tag: backend for mobile apps

Kumulos – the top choice for mobile app agencies & best alternative to Parse

kumulos-updates

Kumulos gets the thumbs up from two leading mobile companies, listing us as the best mBaaS (mobile backend as a service) platform available today and the best alternative to Parse.

Here at Kumulos we are blown away to get two such strong endorsements from two great companies.  Both companies are themselves recognized as thought leaders in the mobile technology space and they appreciate the value that Kumulos brings in helping mobile app development agencies grow their businesses. This further solidifies Kumulos position as an mBaaS market leader and in particular reinforces how much of a good a fit it is for Mobile App Development Businesses.

Best mBaaS and best Alternative to Parse

Waracle are one of the UK’s largest mobile app & IOT development agency working across a range of sectors from pharma and healthcare to banking and utility companies. You can read the Waracle story here.

Waracle says:
“Kumulos has become our favourite mBaaS platform offering a wide variety of awesome features to help you develop, deploy and optimise your apps. What’s great about Kumulos is the fact it works well for indie mobile developers and big agencies alike.”

 

Best Alternative to Parse

Carnival are a world leading push notification & marketing automation platform, working with huge global brands like Coke, CNN &  Dreamworks. We’re pumped to be their top pick as the best mBaaS and best alternative to Parse. You can read the Carnival story here.

Guy Horrocks, CEO of Carnival says:
“Kumulos is an excellent solution for agencies looking to simplify the way they manage mobile data. Their flexibility, support and guidance is unmatched, especially when dealing with complex implementation questions, and their white label option is an elegant way to manage multiple projects. The team really cares about your success, which stands out in a category known for low-touch interactions and self-service.”

Kumulos is one of the longest established players in the mBaaS space. Over the years we have been highlighted by industry giants Gartner and numerous other technology blogs and review sites as one of the best mBaaS providers. We’re extremely thankful for all of the support.

Kumulos – The best alternative to Parse

In January 2016 Facebook announced it was pulling the shutters down on Parse. The Parse platform was acquired by Facebook and billed as an ‘unbundled’ platform-as-a-service for mobile development teams and agencies. Facebook closed the ‘as-a-service’ element of Parse in order to focus on developing and optimizing its own suite of mobile apps. Facebook had originally acquired Parse for $85 million in 2013 and became (to some extent) the focal point of the company’s developer offering. It made huge sense for Facebook to focus on their own suite of products rather than enabling other developers to build competing platforms. But the news sent shock-waves through the mobile app development community, and has forced developers and agencies to source new alternatives to host and manage their app projects via the cloud.

Fast forward and we’re delighted to be acknowledged as the world’s best alternative to Parse. Picking up where they have left off, we are now recognised as the best mobile backend as a service platform for Mobile App Development Businesses & App Agencies. 

Ready to move, then sign up for a trial and check out our Parse to Kumulos Migration guide.

 

The Unstoppable Rise of Backend as a Service (BaaS)

kumulos-updates

For any of you skeptics doubting the commercial feasibility of Backend as a Service (BaaS), you should check out Facebook’s acquisition of Parse for a rumoured $85 million (And then the subsequent fallout in 2017). The acquisition enables Facebook to provide their own proprietary backend solution for app and game developers. The integration between Facebook and Parse will enable the social networking company to provide a superior user experience through enhanced responsiveness and reduced latency.

Parse has been described as BaaS (backend as a service) and XaaS (everything as a service). If you’re an app developer, this means you can focus on the front-end design and development of your apps and games, without having to worry about setting up a server. This can enable app developers to manage messages between users, push notifications and storage of apps and games.

Kumulos is neatly listed as a BaaS provider on both Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backend_as_a_service) and the Developer Economics website (http://www.developereconomics.com/sector/baas/). These various BaaS platforms have been emerging now for nearly 7 years and here at Kumulos we’re proud to say we were one of the first. Kumulos was actually launched before the term ‘backend as a service’ had ever been created.

Find out more about mBaaS and Kumulos here.

The iPhone 5C, Apple’s salvation or poison?

iphone5c

The rumour mill has been turning in overdrive since Apple’s announced September 10th 2013 conference date. We all speculating exactly what Cupertino are going to bring to the table after what feels like a long hiatus.

The 5C has had a lot of attention in the leaks circuit. Photos are cropping up daily, but we’ve not had an official yay or nay from Apple (not that’d we expect one, honestly).

The question, and we’ve looked at this a little bit before, is just what the 5C is going to do for Apple upon its release.

Apple is built on a premium branding, it’s whole design ethos is aesthetics, user experience and quality based. Releasing a budget handset seems like a step in the wrong direction when you take all that into account. It seems like it will cheapen the brand, add that plasticy tinge to an otherwise shiny metallic logo.

But then, the 5C isn’t for the premium crowd to begin with.

It’s for the emerging markets in India and China, and it’s for those of us who like our SIM only packages and aren’t as fussed as to whether we have the latest and greatest piece of hardware. After all, and it’s sometimes hard to believe when your daily existence is to keep yourself up to date with the cutting edge, but not everyone wants to be running a 2 month old handset that can run half the stock market on its own. A good majority of customers just want a handset that’s capable, reliable and of good quality; and the 5C will likely provide all that in spades.

It also makes business sense for Apple because their only budget offerings right now are the 4 and 4S, and they’re still being manufactured with aluminium and glass, which is expensive. The margins are low on these handsets now, and their 3.5inch form factor just doesn’t really cut it these days. The 5C will have the same size and shape as the 5 but will be much cheaper for Apple to produce.

When thought of that way, it looks like we could be onto a winner. What it may also do is inspire a whole new range of iOS app opportunities as those who couldn’t afford an iPhone before now suddenly have one in their grasp.

Whatever the case, Kumulos will be here to support your app development project from its initial conception all the way through to its launch and beyond. Our Mobile Backend as a Service is designed by app developers, for app developers. So why not contact us today?

 

Amazon.com goes down as well, not to be alarmist but…

amazon-logo

Almost seems like there’s a pattern here doesn’t there?

In the last week; Facebook’s ban bot went mental and kicked a whole bunch of users, Google went down for a few minutes and took 40% of the internet with it, and finally Amazon.com went down for half an hour yesterday, dragging the Canadian site down with it.

Then there’s the fact that the NYT went down, and CNN and the Washington Post were hacked.

All these big bastions of the internet seems to be dropping like flies right now, and although paranoia is what the internet does best, it seems interesting to the casually observant eye that all of these big services have suffered glitches so close together.

“It’s very unusual to see such a number of high-profile websites all suffering peak-time outages within the course of a few days of each other,” said Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy.

“People are going to be very interested to know exactly what the reasons were for the incidents that are still unexplained because the implications are huge: we’ve seen everything from users being unable to see their email to visitors and third-party retailers who use Amazon’s marketplace being unable to buy and sell goods – all happening seemingly with no warning.”

(source: BBC news)

So what are the explanations?

Hacking groups getting uppity? China or Iranian military trying to steal some more data? Could it be Skynet flexing its online muscles for the coming apocalypse?

Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

What’s interesting is that there’s been no press release from the major companies stating the causes of these faults. We shall have to see.

Until we find out, you can rely on Kumulos’s Mobile Backend as a Service to be reliable, and not associated with any apocalyptic machines. Promise. So why not get in touch?

The future of Apple, is it really that uncertain?

Tim-Cook-Steve-Jobs-300x2

There’s been a lot of speculation in recent days about the future of Apple. They have been quiet essentially all year, with the biggest update to any of their products being the the MacBook Pro. Not that that was any slouch, the jet-engine looking computer promising to be a mid-range server instead of a computer in terms of power.

And it’s not like they haven’t got things in the pipeline, the iPhone 5s is almost certainly coming, and the budget iPhone has been heavily rumoured to be in the works; oh and there’s probably some kind of iPad update coming too. So lots of stuff on the horizon, but it’s being met with an overwhelming “meh”.

Don’t get us wrong, there will still be people lined up around the block to get their latest iCrack; a good number of us at Kumulos will be right there with them. Apple isn’t one of the biggest companies in the world for no reason after all. The trouble is that we all want more.

And that “we” happens to include the company’s board of directors, who are getting increasingly antsy with Tim Cook, claiming that the company isn’t “innovating fast enough”. Aside from the somewhat questionable untone that innovation is somehow something you can just control the pace of rather than something that comes in unpredictable fits and starts, there’s also the issue of whether Apple is really doing badly.

The answer is no.

Of course it is, they have more money than half of the developing world. Even if they start to bleed money for a couple of years whilst they look for that next big thing; they’ll still be doing better than Microsoft or Google in terms of pure profit. And if money is the goal, then why is everyone worried?

The unlying issue here is of course, that Apple showed absurd growth during the end of the 00s and they kept doing it for years. Whereas most company growth is only in spurts, Apple kept a consistent push going all the way through from the release of the iPhone to around Jobs’ death. And now they’re still growing, but they’re not growing fast enough. Wall St wants them to be pushing that 80% growth mark still, but since when has any company ever managed to do that? The answer is not one (that we know of at least).

Like an athelete who, due to a perfect storm of events, sets a near unbeatable record during one Olympics, Apple have raised the bar so high that they themselves can’t measure up in the long run. But that doesn’t mean they’re doomed, just returning to a more sustainable pattern of growth. Sure, it’s anti-climactic and a little disappointed, but what do you want? A flash in the pan, or a slow burn that lasts as long as you want it to?

The trouble with internet journalism

journalism

Internet journalism. It’s pretty big business these days, everyone’s doing it. Hell, we’re doing it right now. It’s come to the point where the scales have definitely tipped away from print being the bastion of journalistic power, and this is especially true in the tech world. If a company wants to get its product out there and heard of thee days, they know that they have to get in with the tech journalists. If they blogs are saying good things, we’re all more likely to consider the product on offer.

This is where sponsored blog posts come from, companies offering cash for blogs to look at their products. Now, there’s a difference between a sponsored post and a paid review. Sponsored reviews and posts are the company offering the blog money in return for their opinion on the product, regardless of whether they say it’s any good or not. That’s the risk the company takes, that the blog may take their money and then end up not liking what they’re reviewing. The paid review on the other hand, is more of the slip the cash under the table and get a good review regardless of whether the product is any good.

The line between the two is hazy at best, and even then, some are of the opinion sponsored content is akin to paid review, some think they are separate entities.

The article, posted yesterday, details an email he received from LG:

“So enjoy this, LG. The G2 is now tainted and will probably sink. I’m no crusader nor am I innocent of past crimes but this is terrible form.

Hi TechCrunch team,

This is REDACTED from Burson Marsteller Korea and we currently represent LG Mobile as its PR agency, handling the global PR for LG Mobile.

I’d like to inquire possible options on media tie-up opportunities with TechCrunch as LG is launching its new smartphone, the LG G2 in August.

To briefly explain, what kind of topics we are looking to put out:

1. Overall product review on the LG G2 (Display, Design, UX, etc): This can be a series of feature articles

2. In-depth review on a specific feature of the phone (For example – Battery or Display)

3. Product review of the LG G2 in comparison with competitor’s products: 1:1 comparison or 1 against many, including a torching test

It would be great if you can propose the types of sponsored packages as well as a rough pricing information on them.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

REDACTED

REDACTED

Senior Associate”

The comments section on the article is, predictably, riven somewhere down the middle, but the whole thing just brings to light a certain trouble with internet journalism. It’s such an open forum, and now has so much real power over the zeitgeist, that it’s becoming difficult to work out where the hack journalism stops and the real journalism begins. Like we said, everyone and their dog is blogging these days, the internet is awash with usually well written, but unidentifiably researched articles.

The question remains, we all know that companies want coverage, and are willing to pay for it, so where is the line? If an article is clearly labeled “sponsored” is it still a “paid review”? Is the writer of the above mentioned article practicing his own form of internet policing, or is he actually breaking his own journalistic integrity because he’s posting what are probably assumed to be private emails in public to name and shame the company he feels has done things wrong?

It’s tricky, but at Kumulos we’re going to have to come down on LG’s side. Asking for content for your new product, paid, is not wrong. It smacks a little of wanting a cheap ad, which is essentially what a review is, but there doesn’t seem to be anything in that e-mail that stipulates that the writer do any more than they normally do with new products anyway.

The big irony here is of course, if TC want to be current, they’re going to post a review of the new LG phone anyway.

The Moto X arrives! (but only in the US)

MotoX

It seems like we’ve been hearing about the Moto X for ages. There have been rumours of Motorolla’s new phone kicking around online since mid-2012, with occasional design leaks and other info trickling out over the course of early 2013. That is until today, when it was finally unveiled to the world.

Sporting a 4.7inch 720p AMOLED screen with over 300ppi, a 10Mp camera with full HD recording, Android 4.2.2, 2Gb of RAM and a 1.7Ghz dual core processor it might not be the top in specs, but the Moto X is planning to make up for that. How? By allowing customers to fully customise the look and feel of their new phone as well as a host of advanced sensors collectively called X8 that allow the phone to know about its current environment and adjust accordingly, along with specialised language processors so voice commands work better than ever before.

As for the customisation, you can choose your back, front, and accent colours, the storage space and order any accessories you might want. The cases seem to come in a range of colours ranging from attractive to garish and everything inbetween. The phone is set for a probable release around the end of September, so we can all get excited about this new phone right?

I mean, it’s going to be released internationally right?

Right?

Guys..?

Turns out no, the Moto X is only getting a release in America currently, with “no current plans” to bring the phone to Europe.

“We are firmly committed to building a portfolio of products in Europe that show the best of Motorola as a Google company, but at this time don’t have any immediate plans for Moto X to come to the region,” Motorola said in a statement.

Well f*** you too Motorola.

Ubuntu Edge: Pipe dream, or the future of mobile?

ubuntu-edge

Is it us, or are the advances in smartphone technology getting a little… samey? Since the beginning of the year we’ve seen multiple new handsets arrive on the scene and whilst they’ve all brought something new (the S4 probably being the standout here), they’ve not really brought anything too inventive to the table. The S4 brought the fastest processing we’ve seen yet on the market, HTC gave us the best sounding phone speakers and Apple… we’re yet to really see what they’ve got up their sleeves, but we can only hope that something interesting.

The Ubuntu Edge is hoping to change this, by aiming to do what smartphones and mobile devices seem eventually set to do anyway; and that is replace our desktops entirely. How will it do that? Well, according to the indiegogo page, it’ll do it by being absurdly powerful. Aside from having a screen protected by sapphire crystal, reportedly so hard that only diamond can scratch it (although no mention currently of how it takes a solid knock to the corner); the Edge is set to have “the fastest multi-core processor”, at least 4Gb of RAM and 128Gb of storage. That and the battery is apparently going to use silicon-anode technology so it’ll have more power than the nearest equivalent tech. In terms of mobile, these specs are massive; the S4 is only about half as powerful as the Edge promises to be. Heck, the Edge is looking to be more powerful than most mid-level laptops.

What the Edge is looking to do is be the all-in-one, the desktop and the smartphone. Using Ubuntu’s docking capability, it can attach to a monitor and the usual PC peripherals and instantly become a full blown working for your work. The implications are big, especially for big business. Suddenly they don’t need to fork out for 2 devices, they just need to buy one and it can do everything. Lower costs, and easier device management, win-win right?

So what’s Canonical, the UK based company behind the Edge, looking to get as their final crowdsourcing figure? $32,000,000. Yes, that’s 32 million dollars. With the current highest earning Kickstarter being just over $10,000,000, it seems something of a pipe dream to ask for 3 times as much as that for something that is essentially an incredibly geeky item. Whilst we in the tech world know Ubuntu and Linux, it isn’t exactly a frequently talked about thing between friends over drinks. And also, we’re starting to drift into the Alienware style marketing for mobile. Just as AW claim to make the fastest computers out there, the Edge is looking to do the same, but most of us don’t need a phone or computer than can run the economy of a middle sized nation.

With 29 days to go, there’s still plenty of time for the Edge to prove us wrong, but at the moment… we’ll hedge our bets.

So what happened with the Edge? We posted a followup to our original post here.

 

Backend as a Service: The Latest Market Trends & Drivers

kumulos-cloud

The global backend as a service (BaaS) market is set for phenomenal growth between now and 2016. The key driver in the adoption of BaaS technologies is the need to make app development less complex. Today we want to explore some of the factors that are creating this demand, such as the vast influx of smartphone and tablet devices. As consumers increasingly shift from desktop PC’s (sales have been down 15% on average, every year for the past 5 years) to mobile, the demand for mobile apps has skyrocketed.

As the demand for mobile apps and devices continues to explode, so too does the demand for BaaS technologies like Kumulos that make the whole app development process so much more intuitive and quick. When running a comparison of backend as a service companies, you’ll find the market has been flooded since 2009 with all types of offerings. With Kumulos, the pricing for using backend as a service is simple, scalable and you only pay a tiny amount when your app actually goes live. We’re tried and trusted by indie developers and app development studios from across the world.

One of the key things to look for when conducting a review of backend as a service technologies, is understanding how quickly and easily you can access your data. With Kumulos, there’s no minimum tie-in and you can access and retrieve your data whenever you like. But what will the backend as a service market look like by 2016? The mobile landscape and the demand for mobile technologies is growing at an astonishing rate. As the demand for mobile services, apps and devices becomes more vigorous, so too will the need for flexible, scalable and affordable backend as a service platforms.

Kumulos has been developed by app developers, for real app developers. We’re not VC backed and bloated – we’re profitable. Kumulos has been developed in a real world app development studio, helping a dedicated team of app developers to ace their projects, whilst enabling us to test and deploy lots of cool new features. What’s more, is that we have over 2000 app developers and app development studios using the platform across the globe. We’ve been doing this now since 2007, so we understand a whole bunch about successful app development and what’s going on in the backend as a service ecosystem.

China now 24% of the global smartphone market

Chinese_flag_Beijing

When we talk about app development and the smartphone market, it’s easy to only think of that market as being only the EU and US. But of course, the global market is just that, global, and in that market China is dominating.

Last year Flurry pointed out that China was the fastest growing market for iOS and Android devices, passing the US for the first time in terms of mobile. The knock on effect was of course that many manufacturers started to sit up and take notice of the Chinese smartphone market in a way that they hadn’t before. Apple have been pushing the iPhone hard, Samsung rule the roost and a range of other smaller Chinese companies are snapping at the giants’ heels.

Flurry have continued to track the Chinese mobile app market and have just released a report on mobile activity in China, which is worth its weight in gold to any developer thinking of moving into that space.

Chinese mobile gaming is big

Perhaps not being a huge surprise considering the gaming pedigree that Asiatic countries have (like that guy who died playing Starcraft 2 for 3 days straight), but interesting to know none the less. There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the Android and iOS numbers, although Android does have a stronger gaming contingent, whereas iOS has a higher productivity and news reading side, which points to iPhones being used by more business orientated users.

OS bases are predictably two sided

As with the rest of the world, Android and iOS are easily dominating the market with Android sitting close to 70% of the share. Samsung are the biggest Android manufacturer, as you can see, holding 15% of the market all on their own, with iOS taking respectable 35% over all; which in the Android heavy Chinese market is nothing to sniff at. One interesting tidbit is Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi who have been doing increasingly well and have been touted as the “Chinese Apple” in some areas. In a market as flooded as the Chinese one with different manufacturers, the fact that a homegrown company can grab 6% of the market is impressive and is definitely one to watch in the near future.

It seems that overall China is a market that, as an app developer, you should really be considering. With its growth still through the roof and with the smartphones there modernising and (starting to) standardise away from the endless masses of cheap knock offs and replicas, Western app developers have a solid opportunity to move into a brand new market.