Week 2 Recap
While the first week of Talk Mobile 2013 was all about mobile gaming, in the second topic we tackled broader issues with apps, developers, and app stores. As with last week, we're working to move past the debates over features and specs and spark a discussion on what really matters: how these advanced devices have actually impacted our lives.
We're going to continue to tweak the Talk Mobile formula as we go, and your feedback is always welcome as we work to make Talk Mobile the best that it can possibly be. So feel free to sound off in the comments about what you think of Talk Mobile so far.
As with our first week's recap, we want to focus on the discussion that was generated, because that's really what we're after here. We've seen a lot of great comments spurring even better conversations about what's great and not so great about apps today, and we'd like to take a few minutes to highlight the best.
We've combed through the comments from apps week to find the very best, and you'll find them below. Those that we've picked out as the winning comments will be getting some awesome prizes - so be sure to watch your email.
We're also happy to have a reader survey for apps week, and by simply filling it out you can be entered to win a $100 gift card to Best Buy. Incentive? Check.
Talk Mobile 2013 Week Two: Mobile Apps
Day 1: Why is it so hard to find great apps?
Day 2: Racing to the app grave: the dead, the zombies, and the parasites
Day 3: What will it take to get every app on every platform?
Day 4: Developer Affairs: The agony and ecstasy of app stores
Day 5: Rich Dev, Poor Dev: Why some succeed where others fail
After years of smartphones (Blackberry, Android, iPhone) and iDevices, the excitement of discovering cool new apps has worn off. I've spent too much money on apps that duplicate device native apps, but nowhere as well. Or, they are so complex they self destruct. Or they get no love from the developer and fade into history with OS updates. Arelunde's thoughts on why is it so hard to find apps?
For me it's not the total number of apps in any one app store environment, but rather whether or not the app fills a need I have. I tend to perform a rather quick scan of what others are saying about the app and I take note of the # of positive votes versus the # of negative ones. Next I prefer to have an option to test the app out either on a trial basis or via a free version - and it's always nice to hit the jackpot where you can use a non-crippled version of an app before having to make a buying decision. ro1224's thoughts on why is it so hard to find apps?
Day One Winning Comment!
I don't think it is hard to find great apps. i think a great app is subjective to what you need and want. if there is an ecosystem that has many of the same kind of app then you may need to try them all to see which one you like best. just because it is in the top 25 or 50 downloads folder doesn't mean its great for you. eve6er69's thoughts on why is it so hard to find apps?
While the app is relevant, the developers are paid and have access to the utilities they need, then yes we can depend on our apps. Outside of that we can depend on the fact that the app will fall behind, get bought out or be terminated. So from a consumer standpoint we can pay for the apps and the rest is politics. metllicamilitia's thoughts on Can we depend on our apps?
You can depend on apps like you can depend on any other software. As an end user one has to be prepared for the software to possibly become a dead end. Armada's thoughts on Can we depend on our apps?
Day Two Winning Comment!
It would be nice if we could depend on all of the apps we get, but the fact is we can't. For me it comes down to the core ones that help me do my job that I have to 'depend' on. Email, banking, and the calendar I need to depend on... Illustrator Joe's thoughts on Can we depend on our apps?
...We must make our voices heard. We need to let the developers know we want their apps on our platform. BlackBerry has made it incredibly easy for Android developers to port their apps to BB10, and yet many still hesitate. This is where we need to take action. We need to let them know there is a demand. We tweet, we go to their support website, we email, etc, we contact them by any means possible and let them know we want to see their app on our platform! pkcable's thoughts on cross-platform apps
Well, no more fragmentation for starters! If I were a dev, having to code for different platforms is already a nightmare, so adding fragmentation for the same platform on top only makes it harder (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Android... and don't get me wrong, I love Android, but fragmentation is an issue we can't deny). SpookDroid's thoughts on cross-platform apps
Day Three Winning Comment!
A Star Trek like world where money doesn't exist and everyone exist for the betterment of mankind. It takes a ton of resources to develop for 4 different platforms. If you want good apps, you have to play to the nuisances of each platform. rushed cookie cutter apps benefit no one. BenRoethig's thoughts on cross-platform apps
The SDK provided to developers will in almost every instance be the deciding factor for how well the platform will succeed. If the SDK provided isn't very feature-full or well put together, you won't see developers putting the time into giving their apps that sense of 'magic'. b3ll's thoughts on the agony and ecstasy of app stores
Trial software. I'm looking at you, Apple. People simply have to have a good idea of what they are buying before making a commitment. This is good for both consumers and developers, and kudos to all the other platforms that have figured that out. dandbj13's thoughts on the agony and ecstasy of app stores
Day Four Winning Comment!
I think for this one, it would be safe to say, that in order for platforms to support the developers...first and foremost, the proper tools have to be made available (be it webkit, or an SDK). Along with that has to come the necessary help from the company..ranging from answering all of the questions that a developer might have, to help in getting the app approved, to receiving payout for the app. Basically, help has to come from all across the board. Eli_B's thoughts on the agony and ecstasy of app stores
I try to search through the featured apps in the App Store daily, but many times, the featured apps just seem to be the same ones repeating.. Mainly the big name apps get featured, and it's just kind of ridiculous. Flip4Bytes's thoughts on why some apps succeed where others fail
There are so many bad apps out there that as a consumer I tend to only install apps that have a great description. I want to know in detail exactly what your app does. The best thing a developer can do is include a link showing their app in action. In a way making a mini commercial. It's also the easiest way for me to pass the information onto others. NFLPLAYBOOK's thoughts on why some apps succeed where others fail
Day Five Winning Comment!
Research. I read and look for what suites me. I think the devs need to focus more on reaching their target audience. Five star reviews are nice and all but I really only want apps that will be useful to me. And they should be cross-platform even web based. Has to be functional and have a nice minimal look. Google Currents is a good example. I can sift through the news of the day and do it quickly. In my opinion whoever releases the first super easy editable spreadsheet app gets my money. booboolala2000's thoughts on why some apps succeed where others fail
Conclusion and what's next!
We've come a long way when it comes to getting apps on our mobile devices. Every platform, from Android to BlackBerry to iOS to Windows Phone now offers one or more on-device stores where apps are only ever a few taps away, and the transactions are so transparent they seem almost magical. More apps are now available for more things in more places than ever before, and developers have made billions of dollars from selling them.
Yet as far as we've come, we still have a long way to go. Trials and refunds aren't always available or easy, neither are promo or gift codes. Discoverability remains a challenge, as does dependability. To many apps are too hard to find, and some of our favorites still get taken away from us. Some apps, including some of the most popular, still aren't available on every major platform, and even the best developers and the best apps are still, more often than not, searching for sustainable business models.
As the future becomes increasingly about software, apps become more and more important for the future. While we've had great success starting this conversation, it's clear we have a lot more talking to do!
And we're absolutely going to be doing it, starting next week where we put the focus squarely on social and on communications. From Facebook to Twitter to Hangouts, from SMS to IM to iMessage to BBM, from how we engage to how we protect our privacy and the privacy of our children, we'll be starting a whole new conversation, and starting it right here on Talk Mobile!
Now it's your turn again -- what did you think of Talk Mobile Apps? Tell us what you loved, what you hated, what you'd like to see more of, what you'd like to see changed, and what you're looking forward to next! The comments are yours!