Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planet of Apps conference -November 24th

By Bhavya Siddappa on Planet-of-the-Apps Conference in London, November 2nd-4th.

Teleca recently attended the Planet of the Apps conference in London taking the opportunity to meet with developers, potential customers and to discuss the latest trends in the European applications market.

Some of the key takeaways form the conference were
- The mobile phone is the one device that most people don't leave home without and this will not change any time soon. Everyone across the value chain is starting to realize that the power is in hands and there is a huge revenue and market waiting to be concurred
- Mobile advertising is now starting to deliver on the promise it has held for many years. Retailers are starting to take mobile advertising much more seriously and the platforms are providing better services to support them.
- Applications are taking many forms, Free, Paid, Widgets, “Super apps” etc
o Super Apps are always on proactive notification, integration with native apps, contextualized, social, connected, efficient and that change user behavior.
- It’s not a two horse race - the market is very regional with Apple and Android strong in Western markets and Nokia remaining very strong in emerging markets.
- Retailers are now taking their mobile strategies very seriously. Everyone is doing something in mobile even if they don’t have a detailed strategy.
- The more advanced retailers are pulling their mobile teams back in to their main line business functions in order to make mobile a core part of their business.
- Monetisation options are increasing with a strong focus on in app payments and operator billing to enable great market reach.
- Community, Community, Community, building stand alone apps is unlikely to be enough. Users now expect great social networking and community services.
- RIM and Palm are trying to fight back by offering better developer services. RIM is trying to make a play on “Super Apps” around RIM OS 6.
- MasterCard may be first with a focused mobile payments strategy

Keynote talk on Delivering Differentiated Apps and Maximizing Revenue with BlackBerry: by Tyler Lessard
Starts by saying, ”Super apps” are applications that people use every day, as opposed to disposable ones. They are launching “InApp” payment, but believe that the future is most likely free apps with added features purchased within the app. They are connected with operators to open operator billing, enabling customers without credit card to access the services.
Advertising is become a big part of their offering and analytics are becoming a full part of the platform. BBM will be soon open to developers in order to support building a social platform. RIM will have right device to support Adobe technology. BlackBerry PlayBook is delivering a high end internet experience. They didn’t want to take phone platform to make a tablet so they went for a full fledge high end computing OS – That was the move of buying QNX.

Building applications that utilize location-based services: by Raimo Van from Layar
“We’re adding experience on top of your world”. The Layar ecosystem is composed of 3 parts: Publishing on your computer, a Discovery Browser and a Player Browser. Just as Youtube, they decided that the player should be available for developers to integrate it in their apps. Challenges are on the side of sensors, integration and testing, android porting. They have 1m + users worldwide. Concluded by saying, “don’t be an app, be a platform/browser don’t do it alone!”
Powering Communities to create an index of the real world: by Jan-Joost Kraal from eBuddy
eBuddy apps are on iPhone and Android. While discussion their case study they shared that they use in app ads. The click through rate is higher on a native app than on a browser version”. For mobile advertising funding model, a lot of traffic is needed. Discoverability/Findability is an issue, so they changed their name to ‘eBuddy messenger’ because people search for ‘messenger. HTML5 looks like a good opportunity but they are lacking the distribution channel.

Partnering with social media to achieve profitability: by Romain Ehrhard from Tellmewhere
“Use the social network to kickstart your community, Make sure that you still remain independent from the social networks, you never know what happens”. Branding is important so the tip was “Don’t have localized name, fails to work for internationals.”

Build vs Buy? – What will lead to long term commercial success?: by Dave Addey from Agant
Do you really need an app, or do you just want one? Apps are there to kill time. If you have a great idea and you know it makes sense, go for an app, but just do it well. They think that iOS is the best platform: stable, appstore, being long time in the business and are established platform.

Apps vs Browser: by Mark Curtis from Flirtomatic
Currently it is very hard to make browser compete with app because; Touchscreen UI brings expectations of Sideswipe, Pinch and expand and Access to key functionality like camera, gallery, GPS but Google has an answer “HTML 5”.

Both need to capture attention in noisy market and advertising works but hard to sustain. Viral on mobile not yet as effective as web. Browser search becoming very cost effective, but the question is where is app search and not to forget Mobile App Security is still a concern.

Planet of Apps Europe 2010, Day 2 , 3rd Nov 2010 “Conference Day 1”
This conference had a look at how apps have changed our lives, meet some of the creators behind them, and figure out just how big a business they really are.
Rory Jones, from BBC News opening remarks focused heavily on Google's smartphone operating system, with references to Adobe's Flash player and bit of favoritism towards Apple's strategy galore.
Russ Shaw from Skype delivered a keynote on “App or Die - How to be a success in the growing pps market”: Started off with good news, mobile video calling is coming to wide variety of platforms. By the end of 2014 mobile apps market will be worth more than $70 billion. The statistic shown by him was impressive, 4.6 mobile subscribers worldwide vs 1.5B PC users, so why make apps for netbooks if we have such huge mobile customer base? Skype is connecting the eco-system but their major challenge is moniterising. By partnering with Verizone they prove that they are not competitors for Networks but plan to bring in more innovation in network.
Tom Daly from Coca-Cola “Creating the business models of the future”: Gave an impressive answer to all those who want to know “Why bands should step into mobile apps space and how it would benefit them”. It was very clear that Coca-Cola pays attention to culture and market trends and they use mass media to connect to their fans. Key words of their business model were “Sharing, Connecting, Distributing and Amplifying” and they could make all this possible with mobile applications. Apps must empower storytelling so brands win the hearts & minds of consumers. Concluded by saying the revolution is just started, jump in & play well before it’s too late.
Derek McManus from Telefonica 02 UK was on the stage to answer the question, “Why and What carriers need to do to attract developers”. Stated that developers mindshare is become the hottest commodity in the mobile business. As he proceeded unlocking about developer mindshare he predicts that in US half of the market will be smartphones by 2014 and Android will be winning on.
Rethinking on developers perceptions he suggests that beauracy needs to in control, market must be transparent, complimentary to needs & is fundamentally fair. They wish to empower developers to do things differently, to lead decision making and give what they wish. Developers basically need connectivity to market, money for their efforts and community support for which they established 02 Litmus in 2009. Summed it up by saying “We have lots to do and we have started on our journey by forming new relationships, engaging and building learning, supporting monetization and encouraging collaboration.”

Panel debate: Establishing the future of mobile advertising: No more a debate where everyone agreed that Mobile advertising has emerged as an integral part of any brand’s marketing campaign today.

Current trends:
- Brands have started fan club communities and sponsoring sections of mobile Internet portals
- In-game advertising is increasing
- Pre–call ad inserts, ad caller ring-back tones (CRBT) as well as video ads on the mobile phone are gaining traction
- LPA – Location Point Advertising that’s what user expect on their mobile

Mobile advertising is a win-win proposition for all the stakeholders including consumers, brands and telcos. Customers can avail of some great opportunities, discounts, prizes and much more. The panel summarized by saying - Although the market seems relatively small now, the potential for growth is inarguably huge.

Panel Discussion: How brands can use apps to distinguish themselves in the marketplace
This panel session was made up of a number of enterprise companies such as British Airways, Last, Deutche Post, Trader Media Group, Virgin Atlantic, and explored how they are currently addressing the mobility challenging. While all the companies are deploying mobile services, mainly to consumers, and view it as a key part of their future strategy, it was clear that they are facing significant challenges in dealing with the number of platforms they need to deploy on in order to achieve a high level of market reach.
Several key themes came out during the panel session.
· iPhone, Symbian and Android are the key platforms that these companies are focusing on first.
· Some are using HMTL/web services in order to try and achieve wider market reach.
· Mobility is being folded back in to the core marketing / web strategy instead of being a small separate team doing its own thing – a clear sign that the importance of mobility is growing.
· Companies are using a mix of internal and external resources today but most believe that as mobility becomes more important that will make greater use of outsourcing.
The panel was chaired by our own Andrew Till.

Henri from Facebook was interviewed by Jemima Kiss from the Guardian: It was a very interesting presentation. Facebook is said to be the “3rd largest country” and its popularity is touching the sky. As per statistics 60% traffic is on and and they have 150 million monthly active mobile users of Facebook. People were comparing Google with Facebook, but the question was why as we haven't seen any search features on Facebook. Features like tag your friend, virtual currency, create events and check out has taken them to be on the top of the Social Networking sites. The most Retweeted tweet on twitter for this talk was
“When I'm opening fridge I can see Facebook. #planetapps. One day Facebook will be everywhere. I don't know if it's OK for everyone”.
Will Apple continue to remain the dominant platform that developers choose?: The panel seemed very much biased toward Apple platform. They forgot to take the statistic for 3Q 2010, Symbian had 37% of the smartphone market, Android was second with 25% (it was at 2% 18 months ago), and iOS in third place with 16%. RIM (Blackberry) was next. Windows was losing.
iPhone is higher quality, the Android has more features and is more open, which allows it to appeal to a greater number of people. Andrew Till took over the show by saying, the idea question “Android/iphone/BlackBerry/WinMobile7/Nokia – Which platforms should developers target?” was never discussed.

Key take away by the end of the day was:
- Google TV, an android adaptation that puts regular television and the Web in one user interface--stole the show, complete with support from some of the consumer electronics industry's biggest players.
- Smartphones market is very fragmented, HTML5 is the best answer to this issue.
- Cool Meego Devices: Set Top Box, Netbook, Tablet interacting together by Intel. Intel SDK looks like was made for crash reports and AppUp Center integration on Atom devices.
- The best way to promote your app is to build a good app
- Metro UI is amazing and hopes apps will be as good as on iOS

Planet of Apps Europe 2010 Day 3 ; 4th Nov 2010 “Conference Day 2”

Our lives are increasingly relying on mobile phones not only as phones but also as devices for obtaining information and conducting transactions—be that buying movie tickets or checking flight times. Apps have brought in a new revolution in the world. Thus this was one another day where all the delegates were trying to explode the opportunities in this space.

Opening remarks by Dr Windsor Holden from Juniper Research: The explosion in the number of mobile phones and associated services is here to stay. In fact, innovations in this piping hot field are taking everyone by storm. Powerful and innovative applications in this handy device have resulted in an all new ball game.

Using apps to get consumers to consume content on their mobile by Emma Lloyd from BskyB: Great Sky presentation. Lots of cool announcements for Sky users. Sky Sport News looks promising on iOS for both iPhone and iPad. It will be available soon on android and BlackBerry. Sky Sports have 2 million downloads so far. Driving mobile content consumption is the key lesson to be learnt from their success story.

Panel Debate: Is the music industry prepared? Android music app “Shazam” success actually put an end to the debate. In today's mobile world, it's all about music thanks to falling mobile Web access prices and new music download services. Mobile music is not just the next big thing. It brings together the digital home with the mobile data revolution. Those who enjoy music on their home computer will be able to enjoy this content anywhere, anytime on mobile handsets, smartphones and converged devices.
Challenges in terms of user interfaces, ease of operation, open file formats and sound quality. The panel summarized by asking operators to offer a wide range of the best music phones and unlimited data plans that give subscribers a full range of choices for accessing their music. Low-cost access and choice will bring the power of the mobile Web and music phones to their full revenue and lifestyle potential.

Mobile and the future of publishing by Juon from Pearson: They are facing an explosive growth in eBooks % of consumers, that means there is a lot of opportunity, challenge and a call to work with developers closely. Today there is a transformation from newspapers to multiplatform news. Happy with the grand success of US pilot; first-ever complete social studies curriculum on ipad. Says “It’s not the end of Books, Papers or reading, this is a challenge/opportunity for; new devices, new content experiences and new business models. Very soon it’s gonna be an era of e-reader, tablets with dual displays. Concludes wit an interesting line “There is no OLD Media vs NEW Media, There is the BUSINESS of digital media”.

“Paid vs free apps” by Ilja Laurs from Getjar: Shares his thoughts on the most effective method of monetising the apps market by giving an example of most successful app ‘Angry Birds”. It’s a free app on Apple market and for android it’s free with Ad support. Shared few Monetization Models; Advertising, subscription, pay as you use, free to use – pay to service, freemium and eCommerce i.e Virtual goods.

Debating how best to promote your app: The quick tip from the panel was when advertising app, you want to be where your potential customers are – online. Internet marketing offers you many ways to spread the word and boost your sales, even on a small budget. Few key mantras to promote apps in the market ;

– Make a Youtube video, choose app name and price app wisely, create some outstanding app icon, integrate social networking APIs and finally advertise and market the app via Facebook, twitter and blogs.


  1. You should mention this only supports one account at a time. I have both a personal Google account and a separate work Google account. The Android phone seamlessly lets you use both accounts

  2. Awesome!
    Would have appreciated if it was broken in parts....