Category Archives: App Stores

India and Brazil biggest countries for app growth

Research from App Annie highlighted emerging markets are set to account for 45% of global app revenue by 2020, with revenue growth expected to double figures in western economies.

Revenues are estimated to reach $102.5 billion and global mobile app store downloads will reach approximately 288 billion in 2020, as US, the Japan and Western European nations would expect growth to be around 12% CAGR, though this percentage grows to 29% when looking at the developing nations.

As of 2015, the APAC market accounted for approximately 52% of global downloads, and 55% of revenues, though these numbers are increased to 57% and 58% respectively by 2020. It would appear the majority of this growth has been driven by the emerging markets as between 2015 and 2020, the contribution to global downloads will increase from 66% to 75% and for revenues the increase with be from 30% to 49%.

India and Brazil are two countries listed were growth will be particularly strong, mainly due to a large population, strong performing economies and strong smartphone uptake. Estimates highlight there are approximately 200 million smartphone users in India currently, though this number is expected to increase to 317 million by 2019. Over the same period GDP in India was at around $2.09 trillion, and is estimated to rise to $3.1 trillion in 2020. Mexico, Indonesia and China also showed good potential.

First and foremost, games will drive the expansion in the emerging markets, though the more mature regions are beginning to witness more of a subscription based model. Whether this is to be the same long-term in the emerging markets is yet to be seen, as there is little data to suggest similar patterns. India for example would still be considered in the hyper growth stages of development, offering lucrative opportunities for developers who gain traction in the early days.

The report does shed light on some interesting statistics and could offer encouragement to app developers who have traditionally found monetization a difficult task, but it comes as no surprise to hear the report states there is likely to be more growth in emerging markets than mature ones.

Apple augments CloudKit with new APIs – eyes enterprise

Apple cloudkitApple has given developers a new option in CloudKit, a new application programming interface (API) into its servers. The new feature is announced on the Apple developer news blog.

The new web interface gives users access to the same data as a developer’s app. It also makes it easier to read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key, says Apple.

The interface is designed to help developers to extend the use of the iCloud CloudKit database beyond user interaction with iOS, Mac or web apps and run independent code on servers that can add, delete and modify records in the CloudKit stack. Originally, any user interaction with CloudKit was limited to the APIs that Apple provided in apps but now Apple has granted developers greater license for using the technology outside of the confines of its own technology.

Developers had complained that though the CloudKit stack was useful its limitations stopped them from putting the system to more advanced use. One of the complaints was that modern apps rely on servers to perform tasks whilst users are away. The addition of the web API means developers can create a wider portfolio of apps using CloudKit as the backend.

The restrictions had meant that even simple transactions were difficult to set up outside of the confines of Apple. According to specialist Apple user blog 9 to 5 Mac, users were previously restricted from using RSS readers unless they opened a CloudKit-powered app. This, said the blog, was ‘impractical’ and forced developers to use other tools. As a result of the more open API it is much easier to add new feed items to the CloudKit stack from the server.

“Expect CloudKit adoption to rise with this announcement,” predicted blog author Benjamin Mayo. However, the lack of native software development kits for non-Apple platforms may continue to limit uptake, Mayo warned.

With rival cloud framework Parse due to close in 2017, Apple’s addition of a server side request endpoint could position it as the replacement to Parse as a cloud database engine.

Meanwhile, there’s speculation among analysts that Apple is preparing for a move into cloud computing services for enterprise customers.

With Apple expected to invest $4 billion in 2016 on warehouse-sized data centres, analysts at investment banks Morgan Stanley and Openheimer Holdings have suggested that Apple may move its cloud business away from AWS as competition intensifies.

In a report, Oppenheimer analyst Tim Horan mooted the idea that Apple might start its own infrastructure as a service (IaaS) business as it targets the corporate market. IBM and Apple have partnered for enterprise marketing.

Ingram confirms Odin deal to boost cloud app channel

AppsParallels is to sell its cloud management technology Odin Service Automation to IT distributor Ingram Micro for an undisclosed sum in a deal expected to close by 2016.

The deal includes intellectual property and the Odin brand. Odin publishes a range of cloud applications that includes web server management, server virtualisation, provisioning and billing automation. It is used by 10,000 service providers who sell applications to their small and medium sized business clients. According to Parallels around the services reach a subscriber base of 10 million SMEs.

IT distributor Ingram Micro has been a customer of Parallels since 2014 when it began using the Odin system as a cloud distribution service, allowing it to repackage applications to its channel partners who then white label them, resell them or manage them for clients. Ingram’s partner base includes resellers, managed service providers, system integrators and hosting provider customers.

Ingram branded its Odin-enabled cloud brokering service as the Cloud Marketplace.

The sell off will enable parent company Parallels Holdings to concentrate on its core business and divest itself of a commodity, according to its CEO Birger Steen. “Now we can sharpen our focus as a company and continue to deliver market leading products under the Parallels, Plesk and Virtuozzo brands.”

Parallels’ solutions business unit will continue to operate as a standalone company. Its Plesk web management business unit will operate as a standalone company under the Plesk brand. The Virtuozzo business unit, which develops container virtualization technology, will operate as a standalone company. All three business units will continue to be owned and controlled by Parallels Holdings Limited.

It looks good for Ingram but not for Parallels, according to one analyst. “I was surprised when Parallels spun off Odin as a separate company, I felt it had some real value,” said Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom, “Ingram looks like it has gained control of a system that helps it deliver its own products to the channel and allow it to become a cloud aggregator.”

Where this deal leaves Parallels is more of an issue, said Longbottom. “It missed the boat when Docker made more noise on containers, leaving Virtuozzo in the mud. It has not managed to make enough noise for people to know that it is there, trusting instead on word of mouth and just being known. I think that Ingram comes out well from this. Meanwhile, watch out for others buying up the rest of Parallels.”

TIBCO launches code-free cloud app builder

AppsSoftware vendor TIBCO has launched a new system that it claims will allow users to build cloud applications without any knowledge of languages or programming.

The Simplr tool is an attempt to extend the consumerisation of IT, as witnessed in mobile apps, to enterprise cloud computing, according to TIBCO CTO Matt Quinn. The system is designed to give business cloud subscribers the same user experience they may get from their phone, according to TIBCO. The barrier to productivity gains, however, is that it’s currently impossible to provision infrastructure and organise resources without knowledge of several computing languages and operating systems. TIBCO Simplr is a new business service built on a ‘no-code’ principle, it says.

The beta version of the system has been made public for cloud users to conduct free trials.

Personal automation allows the non-programmer to easily create a ‘recipe’ (as TiBCO calls it, i.e a simple set of instructions) for automating tasks. This might mean setting up a system for taking an input of sales leads from a Salesforce application then creating an instruction to filter out leads on a distinct set of criteria and having that data automatically flowed into a Google apps spreadsheet.

Another user-defined application might involve a marketing executive creating several questionnaires using a variety of systems such as Surveymonkey, Wufoo and TIBCO Formvine. The user could then set up a ‘recipe’ that forms a set of instructions to compile the emailed survey answers and automatically enters the results into relevant parts of a Google sheet.

Other potential self-made applications could move files from Box to Dropbox and Google drive, or swap sales leads between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

“People have become accustomed to great app experiences on their personal devices, and they want their business applications to provide that same level of speed, quality, configurability, and ease of use,” said Quinn.

New Mendix system replaces programme writing with system modeling in the cloud

AppsDevelopment system maker Mendix claims its new system can speed application development by replacing the programme writing with application modeling.

It claims the newly announced Mendix 6 system makes it possible to build digital applications quickly by importing and exporting a range of previously made models. It has also introduced a mechanism that supports offline functions in mobile applications, so that mobile workers can still use their cloud applications when cut off from a network.

Mendix claims developers can build mobile applications that make use of static resource storage, and use data and data entry caching in order to maintain consistency of user experience and performance when offline.

The Mendix 6 Model API (application programming interface) and open source platform software development kit will help companies avoid vendor lock-in, help them migrate from or modernize legacy systems, automate tasks and – through fault finding analytical systems – create a new level of quality assurance, claims Mendix.

The processes of legacy migration and modernization are supported by a ‘model importing system’ which, in effect, allows would be developers to use development models that have worked successfully in similar situations elsewhere. This, claims Mendix, allows organisations to ‘accelerate application modernisation at massive scale’.

The model exchange function also aims to save time for clients by making it easier to examples for documentation, to move applications to other platforms and to increase transparency.

Customers running Mendix apps on the open source platform service, Cloud Foundry. will work with simpler configurations and enjoy more resilience said Mendix CTO Johann den Haan.

“Application development doesn’t run fast enough for many companies,” said den Haan, “now you don’t have to programme apps. You model them in the cloud and click run.”

Mendix is available in the Amazon Web Services Marketplace.