Tag: backend software

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?

Unbuntu Edge crowdfunding breaks record, but that won’t save it

ubuntuedge_large

At Kumulos, reported a little while ago about the Ubuntu Edge, the Linux powered smartphone that, if it gets funding, will be easily the most powerful phone on the market for a good while. The company behind it, Canonical (which also created the Ubuntu Mobile OS), started a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo, to the somewhat absurd tune of $32 million.

There was a lot of skepticism surrounding the crowdfunding project, and understandably. $32 million is 3 times the highest crowdfunding record ever recorded by Pebble on Kickstarter of $10 million. But the makers of the edge continued undaunted and now, they have officially broken the crowdfunding record set by Pebble, pulling in over $10 million.

However, with only a week to go, it seems increasingly unlikely that anyone is going to see their Edge.

This is quite a sad case of too much hope being put in the generosity of strangers, but also an interesting study of where the potential limits of crowdfunding lie. With Pebble and now the Edge topping out at around 10 Million, is it a sign that crowdfunding can only potentially take you perhaps as far as say, $15 million before people’s interest wanes. We all only have so much money after all.

What has been said to Canonical is that they should have been seeking more traditional funding as well, VC, Angel Investors and the likes; which makes sense. These rounds of funding can push a project’s budget up immensely in a short space of time.

This isn’t to say that Canonical have had no interest, they’ve been in talks with large manufacturers and have been praised for going straight to the buyers to find the project; as they are the ones who will ultimately be the users.

With a week left to go, it will be interesting to see if Canonical can pull something out the bag that pushes their successful, but not successful enough campaign over the edge (pun intended).

For now though, we’ll just have to see if the all powerful dual boot Android/Ubuntu monster phone see the light of day. Until that time, if you’re an app developer looking for a Mobile Backend as a Service, we at Kumulos have got you covered with a powerful, customisable Mobile Backed as a Service that’s designed to let you the user, get exactly what you want from it.

So why not get in touch today?

UPDATE 2017: If you stumbled on this article and want to know a little more about the whole Ubuntu Edge episode, here’s the Wikipedia page.

You’re doing it wrong LG

LG-g22-300x217

Marketing is tricky, we all get that. In this all connected world, where we know what everyone is doing, all the time, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. Which is why companies are turning to more and more… interesting ways to put their product out there. So, in that vein, LG decided the best way to attract attention was to tie 100 vouchers for a free, brand new, G2 to helium balloons and then tell people when and where they were releasing them.

The results were, in a word, predictable.

The crowds turned up with BB guns, knives tied to sticks and essentially any kind of weapon that was likely to bring down a balloon; and then they surged when the balloons were released resulting in 20 people being injured. LG have offered to cover all the medical bills of those injured and that they take “full responsibility” and that other events have been called off for “safety concerns”

You can see the reasoning behind LG’s idea. Get people hyped up about getting a new smartphone, and then gamify it so people don’t get all sore (no pun intended) when they don’t get the phone. But really, someone somewhere should have probably been able to predict that telling people they can get a £600 smartphone for free if they bring down a balloon with a voucher attached would result in a situation like this.

Of course, this event puts LG front and centre in the public eye, but it doesn’t paint LG in the best light. This is the really tricky thing about good marketing, attracting attention is not that difficult, but you want it to be the right kind of attention. The Russian tampon advert was good because it had a sense of humour, was edgy and turned heads. The Marmite ad linked earlier has got a lot of negative reactions from people claiming it to be trivialising the plight of real animal abuse cases and the people who deal with them and despite 400,000 views, has had no appreciable increase in sales.

LG will go home and lick their wounds and their next publicity stunt will probably be quite safe and tame, but it will be interesting to see what the ultimate fallout from this event will be for them.

Luckily, Kumulos won’t be asking you to chase balloons through the streets; we just offer a solid Mobile Backend as a Service that promises to make your app development life that much easier.

 

Android’s market share only keeps growing, now close to 80%

android-phone

Android’s market share is now becoming a story that we’ve all heard before, the reports of its dominance in terms of pure handset numbers have been coming out for the last couple of years. We all know that Android can move handsets; but this new data from IDC is showing that Android is starting to really forge a proper lead that could result in some interesting changes coming to the smartphone market in the next couple of years.

According to IDC, 187.4 million Android smartphones were shipped in the last quarter, that number being equal to 79.3% of all smartphones shipped during that time. iOS is still easily the next in line with 31.2 million units, coming to somewhere around the 13% mark of full market share. Android has seen very strong growth in the last quarter as well, with all of the major OEMs seeing sales in the double millions of digits.

The other stand out here is Windows Phone, which has grown some 77.6% year over year, with its market share sitting somewhere around 3.7%, making it certainly the strongest 3rd place OS. There was only more bad news for Blackberry however as they managed to drop a full 2% of their already small market share, leaving them at 2.9%.

As the table shows, only Android, iOS and WinPhone had any growth at all recently, with every other competitor starting to fall away. IDC attribute Android’s continuing growth with two main factors: The release of high quality, premium handsets like the S4 and HTC One and the continuing movement of emerging markets from feature phones to budget smartphones, where Android is currently king. The big event to watch at the end of this year will be Apple’s supposed, and now heavily leaked, budget iPhone, and what that does to the market tables.

 

Moto X, a second opinion

MotoX

We talked last week about the new Moto X. This is Motorola’s entry into the high end smartphone market, the Big One. The new contender that we all hoped would shake everything up. But looking at the specs, looking at the questionable release schedule and the very gimmicky customisation options, we’re left with an overall feeling of “Meh”.

The Moto X looks like it’ll be a decent phone, it does, but it’s a phone that arrived about 6 months too late. In the Android world, the S4 and the HTC One are great examples of what high end Android smartphones can be if the manufacturers put their minds to it. They have ridiculously fast computational power (for phones), slick interfaces, more features than you can shake a stick at and the One also has incredibly high construction standards.

In comparison, the X only has mediocre specs, some mostly inconsequential visual customisation and a set of sensors that are cool, but an always on mic during the ongoing PRISM and NSA spying debacle is probably not what people want in a phone.

It’s doubly disappointing that this phone came out of a manufacturer that is, essentially, under the flag of Google; who gave us the continually excellent Nexus line of hardware. The Nexi balance specs, build quality and price to make for almost irresistible offers if you’re an Android user. But Motorola don’t seem to be following the same path. Instead they’ve given us a middling to high end phone with gimmicky customisation and a price tag that rivals the One’s, except with none of the benefits that the HTC brings.

The fact that Motorola seem to be trying a different strategy than “Make it faster and give it a bigger screen!” which has been the high tier Android race to the top for the past few years, is interesting and admirable; but they just didn’t bring the goods with the hardware. They are rumoured to be bringing out a budget handset next, but budget isn’t how you make it big in the current mobile hardware business; Apple has proven that. Unless this is all some kind of bait and switch game, we’re going to call it and say that Motorola have missed the boat.

It’s sad really, after years of being silent, we all hoped that the original mobile phone maker could come up with something more, but legacy does not equal success.

 

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.

How not to be friendzoned by your customers.

friendzoned

Have you ever been friendzoned?

Likelyhood is that you have at some point, it’s certainly not an uncommon occurrence. Many question why this happens, and many theories and even books have been written on this subject (from our own experience, it’s because you were too chicken to make a move, just saying). The fact of the matter is that ultimately, friendzoning comes from the other person liking you enough to want to hang out, but finds you too boring to want to sleep with you. You might not actually be boring, but it’s all about how you come across. If you’re just going to sit passively and expect them to do all the work to come to you then to the friendzone you shall go.

The interesting thing is that this is the exact same problem that many app developers face with their customers.

Many developers will make a good app, but only a handful will have any success. Why is that? Is it the zeitgiest not wanting what they’re selling? Is it that the app isn’t to the majority’s taste? Or is it that they didn’t put any effort into showing people why they should buy the app?

Whilst the first two will probably have a certain impact, it’s the third one that is the most likely candidate for your app’s seeming non-starting. If people don’t know about your app, don’t know how good it can be for them, and if you don’t put the effort into essentially charming them into buying what you’re selling, it’s very likely it won’t sell.

There was a study done later last year that said that 91% of app developers think marketing is important. That’s good! But that also over half of developer don’t put any budget into marketing at all. That’s bad.

That second reason is why 80% of app developers don’t make enough money to operate as a standalone business.

If you don’t put any effort into selling your app to your customers, letting them know what they an potentially get from it, they’ll get bored quickly and move on without ever actually buying your app. In other words, they’ll friendzone you. After that, unless you release something drastically different and exciting, customers will keep not only your app, but your development studio in the “meh” category.

So if you want to avoid that, get marketing. We know it takes effort, and if you put all that effort in and your app still doesn’t do that well then it redoubles the failure, because you actually tried to make it work. But the statistics don’t lie, if you don’t make any effort, you’re not going to make an impact all, regardless.

Want to get out of the friendzone? Kumulos features like app store optimization, client reports and our white label app portal all show your customers that you’re serious about being their app developer – and just a friend.

As the endlessly quotable Wayne Gretsky once said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Here are a few apps that you probably can’t afford to use…

private-jet-Asia

Here are a few apps that you probably can’t afford to use…

The app business is built on the idea that you’re not paying for big, bulky expensive programs like you would for desktop. You’re paying for a small, quick app that fulfills a very specific role. It’s rare to see an app that costs more than $10 unless it’s very special. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t crazily expensive apps; or apps that aren’t doorways into a world that only the mega rich can move in.

There was the famous “I Am Rich” app a short while ago, that did literally nothing, but you paid $999.99 for. It was simply an app that you could buy to prove that you were richer than your average smartphone user. And to that end, here are a few more apps that unless you have a load of cash in the bank, are quite likely to stay out of your reach.

Blackjet

Private jets. Do you have one? Probably not, but then neither do most people. This app, however, is aimed at people who can afford it, but are looking to streamline their private air travel. Blackjet is designed to be a one stop shop for on-demand private air travel. Of course you need $2,500 to join the club in the first place, and each flight will run into the thousands of dollars each time. No idea as to whether that is better than owning and running your own plane, but we can dream right?

UPDATE 2017: No longer around

Inspirato

Arriving on the luxury travel scene with a name that sounds like it should be only spoken in the smooth latin tones of Antonio Banderas, Inspirato is where the rich go to find a holiday that is equally as expensive as their private jets. Think Experia for those with wallets deeper than the Mariana Trench. Again, whether this works better than just getting your PA to find you a holiday they know you like we don’t know but just saying the name “Inspirato” makes us feel slightly classier.

UPDATE 2017: Looks like they’re doing fine. 

Boatbound

Luxury cars are all very well and good, but nothing says “I have far too much money.” like owning a boat, or a few.  But what if you have this boat and can’t currently use it? Isn’t it a shame for it to just sit there gathering weed and barnacles? Well, now you can hire that boat out to another rich person to use for a while using Boatbound. Why would you do that with something that can easily cost more than the average house? No idea, maybe you just like the idea of your boat being free on the waves rather than tucked away in some marina.

UPDATE 2017: Looks like they’re doing fine. 

Speaking of houses though:

Onefinestay

Airbnb has done incredibly well for itself as a kind of “couchsurfing for those who actually want a damned bed” style service. Did you know that there’s a rich person variant? It’s called Onefinestay and basically, you get to stay in another rich person’s house rather than a hotel. For those who are used to the comforts of home, or just those who like the idea of having sex in someone else’s custom designed bed.

UPDATE 2017: Looks like they’re doing fine. 

So now that we’re all sufficiently jealous of how the other half lives, we have but one thing left to do; to remind you that whilst these services might cost the average person a Kidney; Kumulos certainly does not. You get a lot of bang for your buck with our Mobile Backend as a Service and we can guarantee your app development project will move much faster than you ever thought possible.

So why not talk to us today?