Tag: best backend as a service

Mobile Ad Revenue Pushes $9 Billion in 2013

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IAB has recently published a report on Global Advertising Revenue and how it has increased 83% from 2012 to 2013. The majority of this is due to search and display adverts which has been helping to push it towards $9 Billion in revenue during 2012 according to figures by the IAB and IHS. This means that by 2013 we should expect to see more of a consumer growth in this area. As in previous years the rate of growth has been exponential, 83% seems phenomenal until you realise the pace at which technology moves.

The trend we have seen towards a mobile oriented shift means that the market is only going to keep growing at an exponential rate. This means that more and more mobile advertising will become relevant for your online business and if you want targeted traffic then personalised adverts with media rich, interactive content are the way forward. People sometimes will get a sense of scale and believe your company is large if your app follows them from website to website. This is a common trick because Google adwords is good at tracking them and this is the thing that people will be interested in as exposure to your app will create interest in the consumer.

Search remains the biggest of all ad formats and accounts for 53%, or $4.7 billion. This huge chunk of internet marketing is only sure to get bigger as search is an on-the-fly activity. It’s triggered when someone wants to know something, they pull out their phone and hit ‘search’ on google. Since this is quick and effective the demand for the number of handsets can only increase. Thus the number of searches and the opportunity for businesses to target consumers with adverts increases.

It has not been spelled out by the reports but Google which has been the world leader in both the search and mobile OS markets is dominating. They carry almost 80% of internet search traffic and its Android OS which is even more proliferant than Apple’s IOS is keeping the giant firmly at the top. This is something to keep in mind when choosing a platform to display ads on as it will have the largest exposure and thus the largest pool of potential customers to advertise to.

Finally I want to point out that while you should be advertising on mobile, it is an advertising medium in its own right. For instance on desktop online advertising the point is to get the user to click something or take some online action. Whereas with a smartphone you have a lot less screen real estate and so you need to take into account the dimensions of the ad and what you are going to say. Furthermore because users on mobile likely have an even shorter attention span you need to capture their interest with an interactive advert in order to get a long message across.

UPDATE 2017: Mobile ad growth has grown even more since this article. In 2016, mobile ad spend topped $100 billion worldwide

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?

The non-Nexus S4 and HTC One Are Almost Here

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So a short while ago at I/O, we all waited in tense anticipation of a new set of Nexus devices, and the blossoming of demand for Android Backend as a Service. With Apple announcing big things at the end of the year, could we perhaps see a Nexus device arrive early to snap up the (relatively) bored tech loving hordes? Well, turns out no. I/O came and went and we exactly squat to satisfy our Nexus lust. However, all wasn’t lost, as we did instead, get the announcement of the Galaxy SIV Google Play edition. An SIV, with all the power that that allows, without the piles of stuff that Samsung likes to pile in on top of Android. Shortly after that, HTC announced they were also doing a Google Play edition of the One.

Android fans rejoiced.

Now, it’s important to note that it isn’t a Nexus edition. Why is that? Well, aside from being Google’s own brand of phones, the Google Play editions aren’t running pure stock Android because these phones have features that won’t really work without the specialist manufacturer software. So, it’s almost stock, with a couple of little additions to keep the gears turning. That said though, both of these phones are big hitters in terms of performance and feature lists, and being able to grab them unlocked means that you can have them without ever worrying about getting tied into long and/or expensive carrier contracts.

So how much are these super phones up for sale for?

Well, the SIV is going for $649 and the One is just behind it at $599. So Nexus prices these are not, however if you’re planning on keeping the phone for a while they could very well still be the best deal in terms of long term value for money. There’s also some speculation that as these phones won’t be running the *ahem* “Manufacturer software” (read mostly bloatware), their already impressive performance will improve even more.

That remains to be seen however, as they’re not out yet but they’re set to ship starting July 9th.

Until then, well, there are always pictures.

Urban Airship Is Waving Goodbye To Its IAP And Subscription Based Services

Urban_Airship_Logo

Urban Airship, the enterprise push notification service has decided to sunset their IAP (in app purchase) and subscription based services as of the 1st of July. This means that if you track your IAPs or subscriptions through Urban Airship, you’ve got less than a month until you have to either migrate out or cancel these services in your app.

The reason, according to UA, for this is due to their messaging products taking off in such a big way that they have been unable to support these services and have now decided that it is better to sunset them rather than have an effectively unsupported product sitting there. This is sadly often the case for companies providing services, one section takes off and the rest gets left behind.

An interesting question is whether this trend is likely to continue throughout the mBaaS industry. After all it’s not unusual to see a business slowly streamline itself over time until they are providing a specialised service that they have been guided to by the market. Could this mean that this may be the start of a migration into more specific service based products for mobile app development? Urban Airship are moving into messaging, but there are plenty of other areas for mBaaS providers to supply a service.

This, on the other hand, seems to be a reverse from the major trend in tech where companies start off specialised and then slowly start absorbing other companies and services until they can provide users with a cross platform and cross service experience. UA’s decision points to them growing faster than they can actually handle at the moment, which shows us an interesting dilemma of modern business, growing too fast.

Like anything, too much growth can cause a business to become overstretched and implode rather than expanding to meet demand. Whilst they didn’t lose control and have instead only folded away a small part of their service in response, it’s worthwhile noting that this could have gone much worse for them.

Meanwhile, here at Kumulos, we’re still offering push notification services that include powerful features such as channels and segments that gives you the power to laser target your app user base.

So if you’re not using Kumulos yet, get started with a FREE trial today!

The SAY Award App and Kumulos’ Role

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The Scottish Album of the Year Award happened last Thursday night, and aside from being a great night (with apparently excellent cocktails according to the members of our team who went along), it also is a fantastic chance for up and coming Scottish artists to compete and establish their names. At Kumulos, we’re all about helping the little guy get themselves going, that’s pretty much the whole purpose of our Mobile Backend as a Service after all, helping developers get their apps out there.

Kumulos’ Backend is also used by our sister app development company Waracle quite regularly to develop client apps, and one of those was the app for the SAY Awards. Waracle have made the app for the awards for two years now, and Kumulos has been there to support the development process. The app itself is designed to let users listen to the various albums on the awards list, watch the music videos of the artists involved and vote for the albums they want to see in the short list.

Kumulos hosts the lists of which albums to show on the app, and when they should be shown, holds artist and album bios, tracklistings and tracks user votes. Without Kumulos all of this would have to be held on a bespoke Mobile Backend, which, as most developers know, is a pain to create and makes things like upgrading and maintenance more difficult. SAY Award is also cross platform, covering iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which, again, Kumulos made much easier for the folks over at Waracle by allowing the various app versions to reach the same information without having to fight about incompatibilities.

Why App Developers Should Be Paying Attention To The Middle East

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Here at Kumulos we talk a lot about trends in mobile and in particular back end as a service. The markets in the US, Europe and Asia and how they’re driving the mobile world. Emerging markets in India and China are the next wave, ready to break on us at any moment. But there’s another market in the middle of all this that’s got huge potential and numbers. Where? The Middle East of course.

You may or may not know it, but the Middle East is a hotbed for mobile right now. The United Arab Emirates has one of the highest smartphone penetration percentages in the world at 62%:

mobile back end as a service trends

If you look at the graph you’ll see that that’s a substantial amount more than the US and Europe, whilst a little better, isn’t doing much better.  There’s also some interesting numbers that show that mobile users in Egypt use their smartphones for shopping much more than those in the west. How much  more? 80% of smartphone owners say that they’ve used their phone for shopping, compared to 62% in the US and 56% in the UK. Google also have noted that mobile advertising is more effective, with 90% of users surveyed saying that they have noticed adverts and many had also clicked on them.

The demographic in the Middle East that are using smartphones are overwhelmingly young, more than 72% of smartphone users are under 34 and more than 60% are male. When surveyed over half of respondents said that they wanted a smartphone as their primary electronic device, citing the portability and flexibility of the devices as their main reasons.

It’s also reported that in many of the more affluent countries in the area, having more than one smartphone is so common that phones outnumber people; this is an especially prevalent thing in Saudi Arabia apparently.

So with all this evidence out there, why are app developers ignoring this location? Get out there and start bringing your app development skills to the table and tap into this under reported but eager market.

Looks Like Google’s Not Happy About PRISM Either

google-prism-backend-as-service

Unless you’ve been in a cave for the past couple of weeks (and thanks to Google’s new balloons you may have had internet access there), you’ll know that PRISM has been a big deal. The backlash has been almost universal and many have been horrified that such large scale surveillance has been going on. And right in the thick of all of this have been the major tech companies: Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and more have all been linked to this.

These companies between them know more about us than we probably do, and they are being constantly hammered by government agencies for data.

Apple have been making great efforts to step away from the furore by releasing data on what requests they’ve taken from the NSA, but a lot of the data is lumped together. This means that requests for data from law enforcement and such are together with requests from the intelligence agencies so the data isn’t particularly accurate. This isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in these companies and despite their best efforts, suspicion is only growing.

Google are looking to assuage this by refusing to comply with the government deal that Apple took which meant all the requests for data were together in one lump, and then putting in a request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to be able to release data on requests not as a lump, but in separate categories which will let users see just how much data has been released to these NSA requests and how many people have been affected.

Google have stated that out of around 8-9k data requests only around double those numbers of users have been affected, so it’s not like one request = 1 million users data gone. There is, however, still the problem of we don’t know what “data” the data given actually encorporates. Is it email? Gchat? Our texts on Android? Search histories? The data supplied could make the difference between people being mildly uncomfortable and horrified (admit it, your search history is the one you’d be horrified about).

It will be interesting to see what comes of this petition of Google’s, but it is nice to know that Google are willing to go out of their way to prove that they are not being frivolous with our data. And considering how much of it they have, that’s probably a good thing. For now though, it’s probably better to concentrate on more important matters, like that app you should probably be developing rather than reading this.

Google Enters the mBaaS Space with Mobile Backend Starter, Mountain View

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Google are a company that seem to be on an ever expanding quest outward in the tech world. They are slowly bringing together a host of disparate but connected services under the one multi-coloured banner of Mountain View. For some this may seem like a slowly growing monopoly attempt, but for the majority of us it only spells good things. Gmail has long established itself as one of the best email clients out there, and Google’s cloud services have managed to separate themselves from the herd of other providers by being as useful as they are simple to use, mostly.

With that in mind, Google have recently announced that they are moving into the Mobile Backend as a Service market. The logic here makes sense, Google make Android, so why not also use the tools they’ve made to support app development on the OS? This move also manages to put Google into competition with Facebook, who recently acquired mBaaS providers Parse (UPDATE 2017: We all know what happened there.) in a move that continues to fuel rumours Facebook wants its own app-space and maybe even its own phone. Although after the dismal fail that Facebook Home has been, those rumours are sounding less and less likely.

Google have described their mBaaS solution as: “a one-click deployable, complete mobile backend that allows you to reap the benefits of a cloud backend with none of the headaches. It provides a ready-to-deploy, general purpose cloud backend and a general purpose client-side framework for Android.”

Alongside the new Android Developer Studio IDE that Google also announced at I/O, it seems that Mountain View is wanting to capture app developers and get them sitting firmly inside the Google camp by providing them with a range of services that are, usefully, all in the one place and can talk to each other well. They want to make the Android app development eco-system developer friendly and, in some ways, nurture them so that the next generation of high quality apps can be on Android and not iOS.

They’re not alone in this space though, mBaaS is becoming big business, and at the moment Google’s foray into the space is not exactly as well equipped as some of the big players in the area and if they want to stay competitive, they’re going to have to push some new features out there, and fast.

iOS and Android Are Not In Competition Says New Flurry Report

google_vs_apple

It’s one of the biggest business battles of the modern mobile age. iOS versus Android, the two mobile titans in a constant struggle for dominance over the market, their power so absolute that other competitors are relegated to picking up the scraps of whatever they leave behind and occasionally nipping at their ankles. And it seemed like recently Android was making tracks towards becoming the winner in this battle.

At 70% market share in device numbers, Android has become a powerhouse in terms of user numbers. The numbers are difficult to track exactly, but the most recent reports point to Android having some 564 million active devices across the globe now. iOS has also grown, but Android’s growth has just outstripped it in recent years But the latest report from Flurry paints a slightly different, and more complex picture of the competition between the mobile market’s two horses.

For one, Android may lead with pure active devices, but iOS is still leading with App Market Share. What that means is that whilst there are more Android users, iOS users are using more apps and spending more time inside them than Android. At one point Android and iOS were closely matched in this aspect but the iPad 3rd gen pushed iOS back out in front and it has stayed there ever since.

So there’s a certain disparity between device share and app share. Flurry reckon that this is due to a couple of different factors:

“One is that at least up until now the two dominant operating systems have tended to attract different types of users… A second possible reason for why Android’s share of the app market lags its share in the device market is that the fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem creates greater obstacles to app development and therefore limits availability of app content.”

Essentially it boils down to iOS users went out and bought their iPhones because they wanted to run apps, and the apps are given pride of place on iOS. The whole reason they own the phone is to run apps, so it makes sense that they would use more apps. The other of course is the big stumbling block for Android, fragmentation. Due to the split nature of the platform, Android developers find it hard to push their apps to the entire Android customer base, even if it is bigger than iOS. iOS on the other hand, is relatively streamlined and gives developers a greater chance to reach a wider audience and earn more revenue.

The conclusion here is that both OS are no longer competing for the same crown. Android is likely to keep winning on pure device numbers, but iOS is likely to continue to be the strongest in terms of apps and generating revenue for its developers.

Whichever OS you develop for though, Kumulos have you covered with our Mobile Backend as a Service that we can guarantee will make your app development easier, faster and more efficient. If that sounds good to you, get in touch with us and see what we can do for you today.

iOS Still Platform Of Choice For Business Says Forrester

mobile commerce

In way, this shouldn’t really surprise many who work in the mobile industry, but it makes for interesting reading all the same. Forrester have just released their latest report on spending in the mobile markets and iOS once again is the favoured platform for making purchases. According to the report iOS users are roughly 30% more likely to make a purchase on their phones and 15% more likely to use their phone for research than Android users are. Firmest signal yet that iOS Backend as a Service will become the default infrastructure to power enterprise mobility.

(UPDATE 2017: Still holding mostly true, as this report shows that 77% of purchases were made in iOS in 2015.)

This isn’t exactly a shocking turn of events, iOS has long established itself as the primary purchase platform. The gap between iOS and Android purchasing has shortened considerably in the last couple of years as Android becomes more and more dominant in terms of device numbers but iOS is still ahead. The recent NSA scandle that Apple has been trying to distance itself from at every opportunity will probably affect these numbers, but overall iOS should stay in the lead.

What this translates into is businesses who are looking for apps are going to iOS first. 99% of all businesses surveyed who were wanting an app said they were looking at iOS. Money talks after all. That doesn’t mean that Android is being left out in the lurch though, with 96% of businesses saying they were also considering an app on Google’s platform as well. Between the two giants, in terms of commercial interest, there really doesn’t seem to be much difference. Everyone wants a piece of their app-le pie (puns never get old).

The same cannot be said for Windows Phone or Blackberry though. There is apparently a very steep cliff of interest once you go past the two fortresses of iOS and Android, with only the biggest companies considering the two smaller OS for business apps.

This comes from the ebusiness sides of companies only having a (relatively) small budget, and when you factor in two high end apps on iOS and Android, there’s not a lot left usually for the other OS to be there at the party. The model seems to be splitting a little, with iOS and Android becoming so big that even if you wanted to develop for other OS, the inherent costs and extra effort required inhibits many from going for it.

This is where HTML 5 and hybrid apps will come into their own. There is a big debate on the performance of these apps compared to native, but as the mobile OS market expands outwards, it will make more and more sense to invest time into building cross platform rather than narrowing it down.

Luckily, Kumulos supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone, so if you’re looking to build an app and need a Mobile Backend as a Service, we’ve got you covered. So why not get in touch with us today?