Google Launches New App Approval Process – What Developers Need to Know

google play

Google has come up with a new app approval process for the developers who wish to upload their apps on the Play Store. Before publishing the apps on the store, the developers need to get the apps ready, test them and prepare all the promotional materials.

The changes to the Play Store policies will affect every Android developer and they now have to wait for the apps to be approved by Google after submitting the app on the store.

Android App Publishing Process

The Android developers need to be aware about the changes made in the app store in order to improve the quality of apps in the Google’s market.

The Android market of applications has reached a million people in around 200 countries and has differentiated itself from Apple by allowing developers to upload their apps on the app store without any review process.

Publishing the app

It is a general process that makes the Android apps available to the users. The developer needs to perform certain tasks while publishing the app.

  • Preparing application for release

It is a multi-step process and allows the developer to configure the application for release. They need to build, sign and test the release version of the app. They also need to make sure that the application resources are updated and included with the application.

  • Releasing the application to the users

The app can be released through an app marketplace called Google Play. But the developers can also get the users to download their app directly from their own website as well.

They may also release it through an email as well, but the users mostly avoid downloading apps from the unknown sources.

Policies and agreements

The Android developer need to follow the program policies set by Google that are accepted while registering.

Quality test

You need to make sure that the apps meet the basic quality expectations and they target all the major Android devices. A test environment can be set in order to test the apps.

Google Age-Based Rating System

Google has also announced a new age-based rating system for Android games and apps as well on the app store. They will now use the scales provided by the given region’s official ratings authority.

Google do not want to reject the apps and the Android developers need not to worry about this. They only want to have control over the quality of the apps before they reach the user’s mobile devices.

The new rating system will make the Android developers to complete a questionnaire related to the app or game’s content before it is published. The developer will take a single questionnaire that is based on the level of content in the app and at the end they can activate the ratings for different territories.

Google is working with the International Age Rating Coalition bodies (IARC) along with the local ratings bodies on the new rating system. Different countries may have different content ratings that are appropriate for different age groups. The new system will allow the developers to categorize their apps for the right users.

The existing apps that have not taken the questionnaire will be marked as unrated on Google store and they may get blocked in certain countries.

Google will implement the system for all the apps coming in the next few weeks all across the world. This change will give the developers an easy way to communicate ratings to the users and this helps them to receive better app discovery and engagement.

Things to know about the new approval process by the Android developer

  • Questionnaires

A human touch has been added to the approval process. A questionnaire needs to be submitted by the developers before the submission of app for the reviewing process. This will help deciding the age rating as well.

It is necessary for the developers to provide accurate responses to help the app to be discovered by the right users. After a successful approval, they only need to retake the questionnaire if an update has changed the content of the app in a way that it affects the previous ratings of the app.

  • No malware

The developers are worried about getting their apps rejected by Google. The developers with quality apps need not to worry, but the rejection rate of the malware apps will increase and the apps will be suspended that violate the Google’s policies and agreements.

This will make a healthy environment on play store and it is great for the developers as well as the users who are concerned about the quality of the apps.

  • Existing apps

In order to maintain the app’s availability on the Play Store, the developers need to sign in to the Google Play Developer Console and complete the rating questionnaire for each of their apps.

All new apps and updates to the existing apps require completing the questionnaire before they can be published on the store. In the near future, Google will remove the apps from the store that are not rated.

Benefits of Approval Process

There are a number of benefits of the new approval process and are some of them listed.

  • The process is fully automated.
  • It is as open as Android platform.
  • The apps will appear in the stores hours after approving their integrity and the developer need not to wait long like Apple’s reviewing process.
  • The process will make sure that there are no malicious apps and they are not the copy of any existing application.
  • The malicious apps will be removed from the “available to download” list of users.

Factors involved in the app ecosystem

There are basically 3 factors involved in the app ecosystem and everyone will be benefitted.

  • Storefronts

Storefronts like Google need to maintain their own rating system, which can be avoided now. IARC is being managed by global reviewing authorities and Google can focus on their core expertise in order to provide quality apps to the users.

  • Developers

Developers will enjoy a hassle-free age based rating system that was difficult in the past and was performed by different agencies. The ratings generated by IARC are global and can be used anywhere in the world.

  • Users

The users are the biggest beneficiary of the new reviewing system. They can now safely trust the ratings of the app before downloading them to the mobile devices. The rating system is globally trusted now and they have chosen the most appropriate apps and games for the users.

Participants of the new approval process

Here is the list of all the participants with Google.

  • ClassificaçãoIndicativa (ClassInd) – Brazil
  • Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – North America
  • Pan European Game Information (PEGI) – European
  • UnterhaltungssoftwareSelbstkontrolle (USK) – Germany
  • Australian Government Classified Board

Google started with the app approval process weeks ago, but no one noticed. This means that the process is going pretty well. This has helped them to spot the issues before an app goes live on the app store that would have previously led its removal from it after users have already downloaded it.

There will be more details in the dev console about the status of the app and the developers will also be able to see the reasons for the rejection or the approval of the app on the Play Store.

Author Bio

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing android game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.

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2013 Might Be Turning Point For iOS And Android Dominance – research2guidance

research2guidanceAccording to a recent report by research2guidance, though Apple and Android account for 82% of all app downloads, 2013 might be the turning point of the dominance for both platforms. The report found that while Apple’s market share of app downloads constantly fell from 81% in 2008 to 39% at the end of 2012, Android’s app downloads increased year over year reaching 42% at the end of 2012. Both platforms now combine 82% of all app downloads.

The report examined if this duopoly will last for the next years or will the market see another major change in the market structure as witnessed 5 years ago when the dominance of Symbian started to fade away? The report found that already in 2013 the market will enter a new phase with more relevant mobile app platforms which would be the beginning of the end of the duopoly.

New platforms, new choice: Microsoft, BlackBerry, Firefox, Ubuntu or Jolla have come up with fresh and new app platforms which will challenge the two market leaders. Some have financial muscles others have cool new concepts and solutions. All seems to attract a lot of market hype indicating that the market got a bit bored with iOS and Android and are looking for something new.

Old problems of the computer/mobile device industry, old strategies: Today, 90% of all smartphones come with an iOS or Android operating system. Maybe mobile phones users can live with this uniformity but most of the smartphone device manufacturers can’t, if they don’t want to compete only by price.  As a consequence new and fresh operating systems will be loaded on smartphones especially from 2nd tier device manufacturers like HTC, Huawai and ZTE to offer something different.

According to research2guidance, this market shift would have an impact on the app initiatives companies have launched over the course of the last years. Every app developer and publisher will have to adjust their app development and distribution strategy to compete in a market with 5-7 relevant mobile operating systems. In essence app development and distribution will become more complex.

The report found that compared to the world today, where most of the app publishers and developers are concentrating on iOS and Android, the need for adding at least Windows Phone and BlackBerry to the “served platform list” will increase over the next 2 years. If companies want to reach out to the community of early adopters they would even have to include new OS platforms like Ubuntu or Jolla to the list. Adding HTML5 makes 7 platforms to watch and/or maintain.  That is good news for the app development industry and multi-platform tool vendors but starts to become a real management task for companies trying to reach their customers with the help of mobile apps.

As per the report, App stores will remain the main distribution channel for apps during the upcoming years. In addition to new OS platforms and their app stores, new app distribution platforms will emerge. They will specifically address e.g. business, health, adult and children app users needs and offer additional downloads and marketing opportunities for app publishers. The number of app stores increase month by month and it is not possible to track all of them, but it is a safe bet to say that there are more than 500 apps stores out there. App publishers don’t need to know all of them but they should be aware of the most relevant for their target groups as well as upcoming service providers that help to distribute an app on dozens and hundreds of app stores. Building and marketing an app is becoming increasingly complex and will demand a systematic fact based approach to handle market turbulences in the coming years.

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Gupshup Launches Mobile Messenger App on Android, IOS,Blackberry & NOKIA S40

GupshupGupshup Technology India  yesterday launched a mobile messaging app, called GupShup Messenger, for smartphone platforms –Android, IOS, Blackberry  and feature phones – NOKIA S40. It uses data services in smartphones to send messages and works like normal SMS service in Java based phones. The company is currently working on enabling the rich media features like pictures and video messaging like Whatsapp.

Interestingly, if the message recipient does not have the app installed in his phone, GupShup will deliver the message to him free in the form of a regular SMS.

“Emerging markets such as India and Indonesia have numerous feature-phone users even as smartphone adoption is growing. Services like GupShup that integrate data and SMS, are well suited to the needs of emerging markets”, said Beerud Sheth, co-founder and chief executive officer of GupShup.

GupShup Messenger includes features like public and private messaging in which users can seamlessly switch and easily share messages with followers and friends respectively.

gupsupios1 gupsupios2

The public messaging feature enables users to follow any of GupShup’s numerous communities or post messages to their own. The private messaging feature makes the whole address book active and reachable, unlike other messenger apps that can only reach users that have also downloaded the same app. Also, the app includes a rich collection of emoticons that allows users to express themselves in personalized ways.

Download the app here : Android, IOS, Blackberry

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How Android Became The Most Popular Smartphone Today – Infographic

Here’s an interesting infographic describing how Android has become the most popular smartphone OS today.

You may want to explore  How To Create An Iphone Or Ipad Apps And Games Succeed In App Store.

[via: MBA Online]

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Google's Android Operating System and Android Market's Growth Has Been Incredible

Google, one of the biggest player   in the smart phone market  has been putting its money on the Android Operating system, betting big on the future of smart Mobiles. IOS has been the biggest challenger and is growing faster with quality apps & games, but the biggest question is can Apple maintain its  lead in the App store business. With the newer versions of the Android platform released frequently with better features, one can easily upgrade android versions quickly and experience better usability. Back in 2009 Google first released 1.5 Cupcake , supporting 3 API levels , now after 3 years in 2012 Google has launched a faster , better operating system version 4.1.x Jelly Bean with 16 API levels (a list of OS versions can be viewed at Wikipedia ) . The user experience of using the Android phones have been superb with quality features and excellent hardware from Samsung, LG,Sony, HTC, Motorola   and  other  manufacturers relying on the Open source platform to build their niche.

Apps have been the key to Androids growth. With a robust developer network, android market is growing faster . According to the latest stats release by Google, its Google Play android apps market place has clocked 25 Billion downloads with 675,000 apps available currently and growing, that’s an impressive number. With this current growth, it will soon surpass the Apple App Store.

It is a very close battle between Google and Apple in terms of apps available in the market place and user downloads. So far the stats released have shown that Apple’s App Store leads in terms of paid applications. A study released in 2011 found that Apple’s platform pocketed 90 % of all dollars spent on apps for mobile devices. But this number will soon change in favor of Google, its just a matter of time.

Most popular Android market categories

Entertainment is the hottest category in the  android market. The total number of apps, free apps and paid apps per Android market category is shown below:

AppBrain has provided some excellent stats in the form of a chart above. The usage of apps and games is going to grow in coming months and will largely depend on the experience provided by the Upgraded Android Operating Systems in the future.

 

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Global boom in adoption of iOS and Android devices

According to a recent report by Flurry, the rate of iOS and Android device adoption has surpassed that of any consumer technology in history. It found that in comparison to other recent technologies, smart device adoption is being adopted 10X faster than that of the 80s PC revolution, 2X faster than that of 90s Internet Boom and 3X faster than that of recent social network adoption. The smart device technology is rapidly expanding beyond early adopter markets such as such as North America and Western Europe, creating a true worldwide addressable market.  Overall, Flurry estimates that there were over 640 million iOS and Android devices in use during the month of July 2012.

The report further revealed that, countries which have the largest active smart device installed bases, are experiencing the fastest growth and are most penetrated. Compared to July 2011, the United States and China continue controlling the top two spots, with China dramatically closing the gap on the United States.

According to Flurry, the net active devices in the U.S. grew by approximately 30 million YoY, while China saw more than 100 million new active devices enter the market.  At this rate, China’s active installed base could overtake the United States as early as the 2012 Holiday season.  Compared to last year, 9 of the top 10 countries remain unchanged, excepting Brazil, which pushes Australia just out of the top 10, into the 11th position.

China has the highest growth in active devices. It leads the world with an astounding 401% year-over-year growth, demonstrating the power of the country’s vast population coupled with its rapidly growing middle class. Notably, all four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are represented in the top 10-ten growth countries for smart devices, reinforcing their new stage of advanced economic development.

The report also measured the markets that are mostly rapidly nearing saturation. This was done by comparing the number of active devices in each country relative to its adult population, between ages 15 and 64 years old.  While Singapore, Hong Kong and Sweden form the top three countries in terms of smart device penetration, indicating their strong consumer technology economies, each country has a relatively small total population, ranging between 5 to 10 million.  By comparison, the United States, the fifth most penetrated country with 78% of its adult population using smart devices, has a total population of more than 310 million.  South Korea and the United Kingdom have the 2nd and 3rd largest populations among the top 10 penetrated markets, with roughly 50 million and 60 million respectively.

According to the report, the volume of application usage across the globe comprises of approximately one fifth of all worldwide app sessions on iOS and Android. Year-over-year app sessions in the U.S. declined as a proportion of WW sessions between July 2011 and July 2012, from roughly one-half to a little over one-third.  The balance of the top 10 (ranks 2 -9) grew from 27% in July 2011 to 36% in July 2012.  The rest of the world also made gains from 21% in 2011 to 28% in 2012.  In total, 64% of all app sessions now take place outside the U.S.

For this report, Flurry has used data from more than 200,000 applications that it tracks, running on more than 640 million devices worldwide.

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Apple & Android account for 85% of Global Smartphone market

According to a recent report by IDC, smartphones powered by Android or Apple software accounted for around 85 per cent of the global market in Q2 of 2012. As per IDC analyst Kevin Restivo, “The mobile OS (operating system) market is now unquestionably a two-horse race due to the dominance of Android and iOS. There is still room for some mobile OS competitors to gain share, although such efforts will become increasingly difficult as smartphone penetration increases.”

In Q2, Google-backed Android accounted for almost 68.1 percent of all smartphone shipments, while BlackBerry and Symbian shares went down to 4.8 and 4.4 per cent respectively. According to another IDC analyst Ramon Llamas,”Android continues to fire on all cylinders. Android smartphone prices were well within reach to meet multiple budgetary needs, and the user experience from both Google and its handset partners boosted Android smartphones’ utility far beyond simple telephony.”

As per the report, electronics giant Samsung has been responsible for Android’s success in the market, which so far this year has made 44 per cent of all shipped smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software.

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Exclusive Interview with Kavin Bharti Mittal

Bharti Softbank (BSB), a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese Internet firm Softbank Corp, has launched Hike, a peer-to-peer (P2P) messaging app that uses both data and SMS to deliver messages.

Unlike the cross-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp, hike lets you message those who don’t have it, so now you can message a non-hike user as well.In other words, users need not install the app on their phones to receive messages. Hike also claims to have in-built filters that block spam SMS.
WirelessDuniya spoke with BSB’s Kavin Bharti Mittal ,Head of Strategy/New Product Development in an exclusive interview on the launch of the hike messaging app .

 

WD: Why did you guys chose to launch a Messaging app, when there are lots of apps available already ?

Kavin: India is crazy about messaging. There are over 400M SMS users in the country that send on average close to a 100 messages a month.

We see two big problems with messaging.

  1. Too much spam. SMS has become a channel for tele-marketers to try to get their messages across. Messaging over SMS isn’t pleasant anymore.
  2. Secondly, the SMS replacements are closed networks which means one needs the app at both the sender and the receivers end to communicate. This defeats the whole idea behind SMS which is open and ubiquitous communication.

We asked ourselves, why isn’t there an app that combines the real-time, free nature of an Instant Messaging app with the openness of SMS thats completely spam free? We couldn’t find a single app that did this hence we decided to go built it ourselves. We call it hike

WD : What are the key features of the hike app that sets it apart from the competition?

Kavin: I’d like to highlight the four key features that set it apart from the competition:

 1. It is Open
Messaging couldn’t be simpler than the hike experience. As long as you have hike, there is no need to worry whether your friends have hike or not. Send a message and hike handles the rest. If a friend isn’t on hike, we send the message over SMS to which your friend can reply to at normal SMS rates. The message comes straight back to the hike application making the conversation a lot more seamless. For both you and your friend messaging remains as its always been, though a whole new experience.

 2. It is Spam-free
hike has smart filters built in that block the spam you might see on SMS. These smart filters not only block spam but learn over time to be more efficient and predict in advance who spam users might be.
But just in case one or two slip out we give users the full set of tools to take control. Blocking spam users is just a tap away.

 3. Its absolutely Free
On top of all that, messaging on hike is completely free. You can message your friends and family for free especially those who aren’t on hike. hike to hike is always free but our users receive 100 free hike SMS every month to message those who aren’t on hike.

Think 100 is too little? No problem. The more friends our users invite the more free hike SMS they’ll get. Each user earns an additional 10 free hike SMS per month for each friend that joins hike because of him.

 4. Its Beautiful and Simple with a great intuitive user experience
We keep challenging ourselves to build a great intuitive user experience and simplicity is at the center of it. Its very complex to build something very simple. Most people believe adding features is what makes a product better. We believe in the exact opposite. That to us is a great user experience.

We also spend a ton of time making our apps pixel perfect. As a result, hike has turned out to be a stunning app, absolutely gorgeous and that isn’t only on the higher end devices.

You’ll have to look hard to find an app thats simpler to use and that looks this good.

WD: On what mobile platforms is the “hike” app currently available ?

Kavin: We have currently launched the Hike app on the Android platforms. You can download the app on your Android device by clicking on this download link: bit.ly/Nm6YZv .
Hike will also be available soon on , iOs, WP7, Blackberry, Nokia S60 & Others.

You can check our Facebook  page  Facebook.com/hikeapp  and also follow us on Twitter @hikeapp

Our website: http://get.hike.in

 

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Travelport launches ViewTrip Mobile App

Travelport, a global, broad-based business services provider has launched a free travel app called Travelport ViewTrip Mobile for iPhone and Android smartphone users. This fully integrated, GDS-powered travel itinerary app delivers time-critical information to empower users with more control over their travel arrangements.

So how does ViewTrip Mobile App work? The ViewTrip mobile app is an itinerary management tool that works with the Travelport ViewTrip website to push travel itineraries to a the iPhone or Android mobile devices of users and offers flexible itinerary management, service and support across all stages of their journeys. It involves a one-time registration process after which, users can automatically sync all future trips to their smartphone. Users can manage their travel itinerary and stay updated with flight statuses and weather forecasts through live alerts. Apart from this, users can  use the app to plan the rest of their journey, including parking, currency, sightseeing, local events, weather, and much, much more.

“ViewTrip Mobile is an exciting step forward for travellers as it provides them with rich trip information along with a wide array of destination content and tools, all in the palm of their hand,” Matthew Jones, product manager at Travelport said. “We are constantly developing new products that satisfy the needs of the travel community and are thrilled with the positive impact ViewTrip Mobile is making.”

The white label version of ViewTrip Mobile App is not free of cost and aims to enable travel agents to control content including agency-specific help and advice and directly communicate with the traveler in case of any change in the travel itinerary.

The app, already present in the United Kingdom, will be now available to users in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, and later on to other Asia-Pacific countries. ViewTrip Mobile is free for all Travelport travel agency customers currently using the Travelport ViewTrip itinerary solution.

Travelport is a privately owned company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with approximately 3,500 employees worldwide. It powers the travel industry on a global scale by connecting buyers and sellers through agency, online and corporate travel channels. It is predominantly a global distribution system (GDS) business, which operates in approximately 170 countries and includes the internationally recognized Worldspan™ and Galileo™ GDS platforms.

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One year old Instagram app got picked by Facebook for a Billion Dollars, WoW

InstagramFacebook is all set to pay a billion dollars in cash and stock for Instagram a silicon valley startup with 12 employees and 1 and half years old without any revenues. This is Facebook’s largest acquisition and will help give it a stronger position on mobile devices.

Instagram,  a social network built around photography on mobile with a Iphone app and a recently launched android app allows people to add various effects to their photos and share with family and friends.

Instagram has about 30 million users, uploading more than  5 million phot.

 

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