All Apple Apps must be optimised for iOS 7 from 1st Feb 2014

Apple Ios7

Apple is requiring all apps submitted to its App Store after 1 February 2014 to be optimised for iOS 7 and built using the latest version of the Xcode 5 development framework. The change applies to both new apps and updates.

Over the past few years, Apple has been encouraging developers to support the latest editions of its OS more rapidly.

This is likely to be even more important with iOS 7, which represents the biggest upgrade in terms of functionality between versions of Apple’s mobile OS, featuring a distinct new look that older apps will not fit into.

According to Apple’s developer support centre, 76 per cent of all iOS devices are running the latest version, compared to 20 per cent using iOS 6.

Xcode 5 includes 64-bit support and access to features such as multitasking APIs. An app can be built against the latest version of Xcode without having to be redesigned, according to TechCrunch, but may need to be reworked to function correctly for iOS 7.

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Windows Phone Store reaches 200,000 apps

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Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store now has more than 200,000 titles, with the app store seeing more than 12 million ‘transactions’ per day, the company revealed.

In a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix, director of the Windows Phone apps team, said the company is “already seeing momentum build” in the Store, driven by promotions and the run-up to Christmas.

Brix urged developers to finish their Windows Phone titles or update those they already offer to take advantage of the Christmas uptick in demand and slew of recently-launched Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft introduced gift cards to encourage users to discover and purchase apps on their new devices, with the company forecasting that more than $100 million worth will be available in user accounts across 41 markets.

Microsoft is establishing more direct billing relationships with operators to boost uptake in markets where credit card penetration is low. According to Brix, there are now 51 operator connections in 31 markets for direct billing, “substantially more than any other smartphone platform”.

The company has seen a six-fold increase in transaction volume in developing markets where direct billing has been introduced.

Brix also promised “creative new approaches” in the new year to help developer reach users.

He also recommended developers focus on a number of areas to boost downloads and revenue.

These include selecting the global distribution option in the Dev Center when submitting apps to boost geographic reach, and publishing to markets where direct billing is available, as this has been shown to boost downloads.

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GM India launches ‘myChevrolet India’, the smart mobile owner application

chevrolet

chevroletAs part of its commitment to continue providing customers with a value proposition, yesterday GM India announced the launch of its owner mobile application, ‘myChevrolet India App’. The mobile application will assist customers with a number of tools relevant to their vehicles post purchase. It will be available free of cost on Android and iOS platform for GM India customers.

Commenting on the launch of the ‘myChevrolet India App’, Mr. Rajesh Singh, Vice President Sales, Marketing & After-Sales, GM India said, “GM India goes the extra mile to enhance its customer experience. We have developed ‘myChevrolet India App’ mobile app to provide features that give real- time benefits to the customer and provides a one stop shop. We feel the application will allow them to experience GM India services in an exciting new digital platform. This is another step in leveraging the potential of mobile technology to offer convenience and value to our customers,” he added.

The application brings all Chevrolet services at the owner’s fingertips. Now Chevrolet owners can contact the company, schedule a service, access vehicle information and do a lot more at the push of a button.  It features a list of services that spells smart access, ease of use, comfort and convenience.

Schedule Service

The myChevrolet App stores your preferred dealer’s information so that you can quickly schedule a service appointment. If you are on the road, the application locates the nearest dealer and makes contact easy with the touch-to-call feature.

Parking Reminder

Never mind if you forgot where you parked. The application lets you store information about your parking location on the myChevrolet App. Take photos and notes to capture parking details. The application will guide you to your car using Google Maps.

Owner’s Manual

When you have time or whenever you need to – get to know more about your Chevrolet. For the myChevrolet App brings your owner’s manual at your fingertips.

Add to it a host of other features like storing the customer profile, Locate a dealer, Connectivity with various Chevrolet platforms on the web and so on and you have one smart app to complement your Chevrolet vehicle. The multifaceted ‘myChevrolet India App’ application can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play Store and Apple App store.

Among the other unique programs introduced by GM India to further bolster the Chevrolet ownership experience are unmatched Product Warranty of 3 Years/1,00,000 KM, Chevrolet U-First Free Service Camps and the Chevrolet Promise Cost of Ownership Program that offers assured low cost of maintenance.

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Opera Mobile Store Now Serves More Than 140,000 Apps To 75 Million Visitors

opera

operaRecently, Opera Mobile Store announced that it has tripled the size of the store in the last 12 months, currently offering more than 140,000 apps. The Opera Mobile Store provides more than 75 million monthly visitors, an increase of 63%, with mobile apps and games across most platforms, including Android, Java, BlackBerry, Symbian and iOS.

The number of daily visitor to the Opera Mobile Store has increased from 1 million to 2.6 million in the past year. While the United States jumped five positions to take second place in terms of Opera Mobile Store visitors since last year. India remains no. 1, while Indonesia has moved to no. 3, continuing to reflect the Opera Mobile Store’s strength and popularity in Southeast Asia.

Upcoming markets such as India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia continue to grow and by the end of September 2013, their cumulative download share represented 35% of the Opera Mobile Store’s global downloads. The biggest market share for mobile apps in these countries still belongs to the low-cost, J2ME-powered mobile devices, with over 49% of the total downloads. These statistics confirm that Android-powered smartphones are slower in penetrating developing countries.

However, Android is showing growth in the above-mentioned countries. Android’s market share in these four countries has grown from 11% in September 2012 to 32% in September 2013. Concurrently, the popularity of Java apps in these countries has decreased by 29%, falling from 78% to 49%.

Across all countries, total downloads of Android apps from the Opera Mobile Store grew 18.5% to 38.4% of total app downloads in a year, Java apps downloads have decreased from 67.8% to 43.9%, Symbian has gone from 10.3% to 9.9% and Windows Mobile has shifted from 1.9% to 0.4%. Gaming apps based on the recently-introduced HTML5 online-gaming platform has had 2.6% of downloads on the Opera Mobile Store.

The Facebook app, Tubemate Youtube downloader, Angry Birds App, WeChat are among the top 10 downloaded apps in the Opera Mobile Store.

Users can access the Opera Mobile Store via Opera’s flagship Opera Mini, Mobile Classic, Opera for Android mobile browsers as well as by browsing to apps.opera.com on their phones.

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Puma Launches PUMATRAC, An Innovative New Running App

puma

pumaRecently PUMA launched PUMATRAC, a unique running application for the iPhone. Incorporating a user-friendly design with pre-loaded Tictrac technology, PUMATRAC analyses how external conditions affect your running performance. By providing these unique insights into running behaviour, the app is designed to motivate athletes to get out the door and discover ways to get the most out of a workout while having fun along the way.

PUMATRAC requires little to no input of data in order to receive these insights, a differentiation factor from other apps in the market.  Instead, PUMATRAC predominantly uses data available based on specific environmental factors such as: moon phase, weather, location, altitude, music playlist, time of the day, day of week, season and social media activity.

The PUMATRAC app will let you know so you can take advantage of the conditions that work best for you. “Lay off the snooze button, your average speed is faster in the mornings” is just one example of an insight notification a runner may receive.  When your run is complete PUMATRAC will show you your score, compiled of your distance, personal insights and weather/time condition bonuses. These insights can be shared with friends and other runners in the region. Moreover, a user can unlock specific milestones and get rewarded for running in tougher conditions – like late at night, or in the rain. The more milestones and rewards you accumulate – the greater your Run Score and better the discounts on PUMA gear that runners can then benefit from.

Besides sharing scores, PUMATRAC allows users to share running routes to keep their routines new and fresh.  When travelling, the GPS locator within the app shares with you some of the best running routes in your current location.

Runners will also gain insights on their personal running style and can share with friends through social media in real time. PUMATRAC also includes the more traditional functions that runners depend on within their running apps: distance, GPS, calories burned, integration with their playlist and tracking performance over time.

“PUMATRAC seamlessly integrates data to deliver personalised, actionable insights”, says Rajiv Mehta, MD, PUMA India. “We work hard to inspire runners and PUMATRAC is very much a part of this strategy; it’s clean, user-friendly and the first of its kind to provide such usable information and all in a unique PUMA way. With the boom of fitness and running in India, this app includes an element of fun and motivates all the runners to achieve various challenges. So get inspired to run and think about running differently!.”

E-store integration also enables PUMATRAC users to see some of the latest running products PUMA has to offer, allowing users to click and locate a store near them. PUMATRAC is available to download from the iTunes app store beginning 16 September 2013.

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Annual Downloads From Mobile App Stores To Reach 102 billion in 2013 – Gartner

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gartnerAccording to a recent report by Gartner, annual downloads from mobile app stores will reach 102 billion in 2013, up from 64 billion in 2012. Total revenue in 2013 will reach $26 billion, up from $18 billion in 2012. Free apps will account for 91 percent of total downloads in 2013. Gartner said that in-app purchases (IAPs) will account for 48 percent of app store revenue by 2017, up from 11 percent in 2012.

Commenting on the insights, Brian Blau, research director at Gartner said,”Free apps currently account for about 60 percent and 80 percent of the total available apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, respectively.iOS and Android app stores combined are forecast to account for 90 percent of global downloads in 2017. These app stores are still increasingly active due to richer ecosystems and large and very active developer communities. However, we expect average monthly downloads per iOS device to decline from 4.9 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2017, while average monthly downloads per Android device will decline from 6.2 in 2013 to 5.8 in 2017. This relates back to the overall trend of users using the same apps more often rather than downloading new ones.”

According to the report, IAP purchases will drive 17 percent of the store revenue in 2013 and increase to 48 percent in 2017. However, as with downloads, IAP is expected to have strong growth in 2013 and 2014 and slow in later years. This is due to smart devices reaching more mass-market consumers whose willingness and/or affordability to spend on IAPs is lower than early adopters. Nevertheless, IAP will become a major monetization method for apps stores and developers.

Research shows that IAP contributes to a significant amount of Apple’s App Store revenue from iPhones worldwide. Other platforms have not reached such high levels as the iPhone, but analysts expect they will also see IAP contributions increase in the future.

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ixigo.com Launches “ixigo PNR status”Application For Android

ixigo

ixigoTravel search engine ixigo.com has launched an innovative mobile application “ixigo PNR status” that enables automated management of all train and flight trips along-with intelligent alerts and notifications for status changes. This first-of-its-kind intuitive application has been launched for Android smartphones and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. The app supports Indian Railway (IRCTC) trains and all ex-India flight PNRs and their statuses.

Some key features of ixigo PNR status app are:

  • Automated PNR discovery – This application automatically reads the PNR confirmation SMS sent by the airline or train and uses it to automatically to update its “my trips” list
  • Reviewing PNR status alerts: Once the app reads the sms residing in the same mobile set, it starts sending out regular PNR status alerts (RAC to confirmed, cancellations etc.) on real time basis
  • Sending train and flight delay alerts: Intimates passengers about flight delays and train delays a few hours in advance so that they can plan accordingly
  • Sending flight web check-in alerts – The app alerts users to notify the opening of web check-in for flights
  • Paperless boarding for trains and airplanes: Environmental friendly application takes out the need to print tickets. Specially useful at the airport gate and for showing your PNR confirmation to the TTE on trains
  • Ability to track all trips at one place: Enables easy management of all your trips and PNRs with a single view

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, ixigo.com said, “We are breaking new ground with the ixigo PNR status app. It works like magic to read, manage and notify everything important related to one’s flight or train trip. All you need to do is to install the app and ensure you get SMS confirmations for trains and flights on your phone. We’ll take care of the rest!”

[Source: Business Wire India]

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Panasonic Partners With WeChat – Application To Be Preloaded On All Upcoming Panasonic smartphones

wechatIn a bid to provide enhanced user experience to its smartphone customers, Panasonic has partnered with WeChat for its upcoming smartphone products.  As a result of this initiative, all the upcoming Panasonic smartphones will have the WeChat application preloaded.

Panasonic has also opened an “Official Account” on WeChat called “Panasonic Smart”. “Official Accounts” is a special feature of WeChat, that can be utilized by companies and merchants alike to build interactivity with their fans in a new and innovative way – through which Panasonic Smartphone users can stay connected on WeChat and stay tuned to latest Panasonic updates. Consumers can share their views & queries related to their Panasonic smartphones through text, voice or video messages; consequently enhancing the overall customer experience.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manish Sharma – Managing Director, Panasonic India said, “Indian mobile phone market and we are committed to continually enhance the user experience on all Panasonic phones. Social networking and messaging apps, which continue to grow in popularity, are the best ways to provide our customers with an enhanced user experience. We are excited about our collaboration with WeChat and look forward to working closely with WeChat to bring even more innovative features to our customers across all our phones.”

 

[Source: Business Wire India]

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PriceDekho.com Launches Mobile App For Android

pricedekhoPrice comparison and shopping portal, PriceDekho.com has launched the PriceDekho App to enable online shopping on smart phones and tablets. The mobile app offers online shoppers practically all the features that are available on the PriceDekho site when accessed on a PC or Notebook.

PriceDekho App is available Free of charge in the Google Play store and is an excellent way for consumers to browse thousands of products prices and deals from a variety of deal Websites, including SnapDeal, MirchiMart, Kaunsa, Tradus, Infibeam, HomeShop18, ShopClues and many more. With more than 10,000 downloads already, the PriceDekho app has quickly become a go-to shopping app.

PriceDekho features more than 100 participating online sellers. Sellers find that PriceDekho is a new and exciting mobile shopping experience, providing them with the opportunity to increase sales by reaching out to thousands of existing and new customers.

The number of smart phone users in India have been growing exponentially over the last few years. The Financial Times estimated the growth of smart phone sales in India to be over 160% against 86% in China and 19% in the US; however, it is also true that the Indian growth is calculated from a comparatively lower base of around 3%. Nonetheless, such growth is impressive. According to a Google research, reported in the Economic Times, the number of Indians using smart phones to access internet is more than the number of Americans who use smart phones for the same purpose.

Commenting on the launch, Anurag Jain, CEO, PriceDekho said, “We are excited to be launching PriceDekho App in time for the shopping season. We are committed to making sure our users get the very best prices on their purchases and to helping Online sellers build a lucrative mobile sales channel. PriceDekho accomplishes this by allowing users to quickly compare prices and make purchases either at the online store on the go.”

 

[Source: Business Wire India]

 

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Google Introduces New Maps App For Android Smartphones and Tablets

google mapsGoogle has introduced a new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets, also coming soon to iPhone and iPad. The app will also be rolled out globally in Google Play and will be available soon in the App Store. Announcing this, the company stated,”The new Google Maps for mobile builds on the design we released for iPhone last December and improves on it with a few useful search and navigation features. And it’s the first dedicated app for Android tablets and iPads. We’re also retiring Latitude and are making some changes to offline and My Maps.”

Some key features of the new Google Maps App:

  • Explore: Explore is a fast and easy way to visually browse and discover new places without even typing. You just have to tap the search box to see cards showing great places to eat, drink, sleep and shop.
  • Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, the app contains two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
  • Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads.

google maps image

  • Reviews, Zagat and Offers: The app has a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places.

Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9. In place of this Google has added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android (coming soon to iOS). The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available. Instead Google has created a new way for you to access maps offline by simply entering “OK Maps” into the search box when viewing the area you want for later. The My Maps functionality is also not supported in this release but will return to future versions of the app. Users who want to create powerful custom maps can still do so with Maps Engine Lite on desktop.

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