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Why Android Takes Forever to Get Cool Apps

Why Android
Even though there are more Android phones than iPhones in the United States, the number and variety of Android apps lags compared to Apple’s offerings. For instance, Android users had to wait a year before they got Instagram or Pinterest apps. New research helps explain why.

There’s got to be more to the story than the number of phones. Flurry, a mobile-app analytics firm, released a report this week that helps explain the problem, laying out the challenges app developers face. It also shows that Android apps are unlikely to catch up and that small developers coding for either device will get squeezed out of the market.

For app developers to make a decent living, they have to sell 50 apps an hour, 24 hours a day, for $1 each, Johan Emil Johansson, a developer in Sweden, said in a blog post outlining the difficult conditions facing today’s app developers. New app versions are expensive to make, especially in light of the proliferation of devices.

App developers have long had to grapple with an overwhelming number of connected devices. Flurry counted 331 different models of smartphones and tablets that developers would have to code for if they wanted make their apps available on about 90% of devices.

Too ambitious? If developers can content themselves with only 50% of devices in use, the programmers would still have to make versions for 18 different models. And the complexity doesn’t stop there; developers must also adjust apps for different operating systems. For instance, any iPhone 4 user could be running iOS 4, iOS 5 or iOS 6.

But iOS still represents fewer phone and operating system combinations than does Android . And fewer combinations means less development work and testing for cash-strapped programmers.

Flurry also found an even bigger incentive to make an iOS app rather than one for Android: More people will use the apps, and more often.

“Device models running on the iOS platform average 14 times the number of active users compared to device models running on other platforms,” Mary Ellen Gordon, a Flurry analyst, said in a blog post.

In other words, one iPhone user is worth 14 Android users  , based on how frequently the apps get used.

And even when Flurry isolated Samsung, the most popular Android device maker, one iOS user was still worth seven Samsung users.

Manufacturers will continue to make new devices in the hopes of standing out from competitors. The last year alone has seen the explosion of the “phablet ,” a phone the size of a small tablet. And the operating system mix of old and new will grow even more complex.
So much for the whiz kid  with a quirky, brilliant app idea, like 14-year-old Robert Nay who created Bubble Ball.

“Putting all of this together, we expect a future in which app developers are less frequently individuals with a creative idea and a laptop, and more frequently companies designed to develop, produce and distribute apps at scale,” Flurry said.

Yahoo Killing Message Boards Site and Other

Yahoo announced in a Friday afternoon blog post that it’s killing seven products from its line of consumer offerings.

The doomed products include Yahoo’s BlackBerry app and Sports IQ. The BlackBerry app will still be available to users who have already downloaded it, but support for it will cease. The Yahoo Message Boards website is also set for shuttering, although users will still be able to access message boards for individual properties such as Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Finance. Yahoo avatars will no longer be supported either, while the Yahoo Clues beta product, Yahoo App Search and Yahoo Updates API round out the list of casualties.
All the changes take effect April 1, except for the Yahoo Updates API, which will stick around until April 16.
“Ultimately, we’re making these changes in an effort to sharpen our focus,” Jay Rossiter, Yahoo’s executive vice president for platforms, wrote in the blog post announcing the changes. “By continuing to hone in on our core products and experiences, we’ll be able to make our existing products the very best they can be.”

Twitter Outages = Snow Day On The Internet

Why the schadenfreude, you might ask? Why take delight at the misfortune of others? Well, let me be clear. I have endless compassion for the brilliant engineers at Twitter. They’ve built something unbelievably powerful, and it’s a testament to their talents that it runs at all. But I think the human users who spin the wheels of that real-time interruption machine could use a break every once in a while.

When Twitter is down, it’s like a Snow Day on the Internet.

I understand that most people can and do use Twitter by choice. That’s a very good thing. As an intentional hobby, Twitter is immensely valuable. Just dipping into the stream can provide an hour’s or a day’s worth of news, humor and even friendship, if you keep your Twitter feed tidy enough. “Twitter is my rosary,” my word-hero Erin Kissane once said.

Haters As A Leading Indicator Of Success

The only thing worse than dealing with haters of your company or product is not having any at all. The product without haters is destined for ignominy and failure. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that your product’s success is positively correlated with the volume of venom directed at it.
But first, let’s define a “hater.”

There’s valid criticism, and then there’s hate. A hater, according to Urban Dictionary, feasts upon schadenfreude: “A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.” Jealousy factors heavily into a hater’s temperament.

  • Quality
  • Entertainment
  • Interesting
  • Amazing
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Yes, jealousy. After all, no one hates a loser. That company with 1% market share? No one bothers to expend energy trashing it. Not seriously, anyway.

Brand Marketers Totally Miss Social Media Influencers

Any illusions that marketers have gotten this whole social media thing down pat will be blown away by the latest findings from Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, which suggests that for everything the media spends across social platforms, the most desired influencers aren’t even being reached.

The new report points out a huge disconnect: only 11% of corporate social media budgets are devoted to advertising on blogs and influencer sites. But fully 86% of the influencers these corporate brands are trying to reach are using blogs as their primary publishing platform.

Brands And Advertisers: It’s All About Facebook

The mismatch is pretty clear in Technorati Media’s report. Typically, just 10% of the total digital marketing budget is devoted to a social ad strategy. Of that slice of the pie, 57% gets tossed at Facebook ad buys, 13% at YouTube and another 13% at Twitter’s sponsored tweets. Just 6% is spent on influencers and 5% on blogs.

Why Can’t Johnny Write? Don’t Blame Social Media

Books were my best friends, when I was growing up. I read all the time, but wrote little. It wasn’t until I hit my teens that I began to write regularly for fun. None of it was very good, but I had, thanks to countless hours between book covers, learned a little something about structure, grammar, even spelling. This made me a better-than-average writer for my age and someone who peppered his conversations with big words (mostly because I loved the sound of them).

My teenage children read less than I did when I was their age. The two of them spend hours on their phones, ingesting viral content or chatting on Facebook, while I spent my time with books and TV.

Despite the generational shift in reading habits, my children are above average writers (although this could be because their parents have writing backgrounds). I’m actually surprised their writing isn’t worse.