MobisleApps

26th of October 2012 2

New MobisleNotes is the new MobisleNotes GDocs/Gdrive

We are announcing today that we are discontinuing support for the trusty old GDocs/GDrive version of MobisleNotes for Android, and instead transferring all our paying users to the much improved New MobisleNotes, with free Premium subscriptions to all.

There are several reasons for phasing out Google Docs/Drive support. Let me walk you through it:

  • The Google Docs/Drive APIs have given us a lot of problems in the past, and the latest change to the API from Docs to Drive, which broke the sync for many of our users, was the last straw.
  • MobisleNotes’ app concept is about seamless switching between checklists and plain text, and Google Docs only does plain text. So the Google Docs sync has always been a compromise. And yes, there is Google Tasks, but it’s a whole other service, and pressing the switcher in the app to go to checklist mode would therefore move the whole note to another service, which of course will not fly.
  • One of our core ideas was also to be able to sync notes between all your devices, not just Android, and implementing Google Docs sync on iOS or Windows Phone is much more inconvenient than on Android.
  • All of this made us set out to build our sync service, 100% tailored to our own vision and needs for MobisleNotes. Now we’ve built it, and have the whole ecosystem under our own roof, which we’re really happy with. We can add any features we want, and if anything breaks we know it’s on us, not because of changes with Google. But the problem is we’re now sitting on two apps with two different sync services, which means double the support. And we’re just running the numbers: We’re running into more problems with the Google sync than our own, and we have several times more users on New MobisleNotes than MobisleNotes GDrive.

With all that said, our Google Drive users are paying users, and we’re not just going to abandon them. So, we’ve done a final update to MobisleNotes GDrive to make it work great with the current Google Drive API, so the users that are just hell-bent on Google Apps get what they’ve paid for. AND For the GDrive users that understand the benefits and are happy with switching to MobisleNotes sync, we’ve got some free Premium service coming your way.

We hope this setup will make the very most of our users happy. That’s top priority. And we hope you understand where we’re coming from.

In order to transfer your notes to New MobisleNotes and get your Premium subscription, please follow these instructions:

1. Download the free New MobisleNotes from here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobisle.mobisleNotesADC

2. Create a new sync account (done from the introduction screen or from Settings)

3. Get back to us (at support at mobislenotes dot com) with the e-mail you used to sign up for the account and we’ll upgrade it to a Premium account.

4. Go into Settings and choose option Restore backup to get your notes from MobisleNotes Gdrive.

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9th of March 2012 Comments Off

NeverLate!

For the last couple of months we here at MobisleApps have been working on an exiting new app in a joint venture with navigation services company Appello. It’s an app that uses traffic data in whole new way and puts it to everyday good use for drivers everywhere. We’re calling it NeverLate, and it’s launching for Android very soon.

The problem with traffic data is that even though readily available in most navigation systems, you don’t run your navigation systems most of the time you’re driving because you already know your way around. And traffic disruptions happen so seldom that you don’t turn it on to check because it’s more work than it’s worth. Besides this, even if you do turn it on to check and discover a disruption, you’re most likely already in your car at the regular time you should be leaving, making it so you end up late anyway. This doesn’t make traffic data very useful.

NeverLate turns this all around. It’s a personal traffic assistant that keeps track of all your routes for you, and alerts you only if there’s a traffic situation that requires your attention. NeverLate has your back, whether you’re sleeping or doing whatever, and alerts you in due time so you have time to get ready and leave whenever you have to leave to your destination in time. It’s technology at its finest, invisible until you need it. If you’re driving, you will never have to be late for anything again.

Where currently working very hard to put in the finishing touches on NeverLate and trimming in the traffic data algorithms to make it work as flawlessly as possible, and hoping to launch very soon. If you want to become a premium beta user go to Appello’s website and sign up, and you’ll be kept posted.

With this app where doing Android first due to the greater freedom of the platform, but everything going as planned, look forward to an iPhone version in the not too distant future.

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17th of November 2011 2

Creating for Mobile – Day 2 and round-up of SIME

For day two of SIME, and as a round-up of the whole conference from a mobile perspective, I thought I’d focus on creating in the mobile arena, and bring up some of the interesting tid-bits from our day.

The first presenter that really grabbed everyone’s attention during the day was 12-year old Puck Meerburg, founder of Puckipedia. He’s a young, very curious kid who has single-handeldly created and released 2 apps to the Apple AppStore, learning English in the process to be able to understand the programming language. Interesting is that an American kid, Thomas Suarez, also 12, just circulated the web for having done exactly the same thing, and speaking at TEDx like a pro. This is just incredible, and says a lot about how easy it is to get into digital creation today if you’re curious enough and don’t see limitations. I also think it says everything about the mobile field. It’s so accessible and tangible, you feel apps are more of an object than software, which makes the concept less abstract to young people. And mobile is simple, it’s about doing small things in a delightful way, which is very easy to get in to. Have there been other young kids creating their own apps for desktop computers before? Definitely. But most probably not as many, and definitely not reaching out to as many people as these kids are today.

The day’s other big mobile evangelists were Maks Giordano, a digital guru now running a mobile agency, and Leif Eliasson, mobile expert at TradeDoubler. Leif is a numbers guy, once again showing the stats on why mobile is on track to outgrow desktop computing within the not too distant future. Maks is a Creative, and presented some great examples of interesting things that are being done on mobile that I’ll present you with below. What both of these people mentioned though, and also Zennström, Hjalmar, and a lot of other speakers at this years event, is that today, right now more than ever, all the bits are in place for truly great services and marketing to be created on mobile. We have the right hardware at a mass consumer price point, we have the software distribution ecosystem, we have the payment solutions, we have the networks and the bandwith, and most of all we now have the users.

But, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to think hard when you start creating for the mobile space. On the contrary, it’s important to really have mobile mindset when creating, and remember that it’s all about context. And also, something isn’t “fun” just because it’s in a mobile space, but contrarily we are more inclined to get tired your campaign or service if you’re not making it easy enough.

Here are some companies that have gotten it right:

  • Heineken Star Player, an app that taps into people’s multitasking behavior when watching football (ie soccer) games, and for doing it right they’ve gained the opportunity to have a whole 90 minutes of brand interaction with it’s users.
  • Nike+, a mobile app that helps you get your running going. The app, apart from being great in and by itself is probably the best example out there of how to leverage mobile and social networks to add value to your brand.
  • Chase QuickDeposit, an app from the bank Chase, that has enabled it’s customers to cash their checks (US company, obviously) from anywhere just by photographing them with the app. It’s also worth noting that Swedish banks have enabled paying bills using their apps and the phone’s camera, but the user experience is unfortunately very bad, which is inhibiting adoption.
  • Target, the US retailer has made great apps for iPhone and iPad that are shopping companions that help make shopping at Target more pleasant experience. Here the execution is of greater importance more than the concept, and Target got it right, giving them high App Store ratings which is unusual for a marketing app.
  • Jamie Oliver has a set of apps that align perfectly with his brand, making cooking a pleasant experience, and recommending his favorite restaurants.
  • Northface in China launched a location based game where you could claim land, which is totally in line with the explorer mentality of the brand, and the winner had placed over 4000 flags over all of China.
  • Google Wallet, Google’s initiative to let you make your phone your wallet. This is happening, it’s just a matter of who will rule, and Google is a good canditate to say the least, going down the NFC path for money transactions.
  • Tesco in Korea, launched Homeplus Subway Virtual Store where they put up virtual stores in subway stations where you can shop using your phone, scanning QR-codes on life-size grocery shelves while waiting for your train, and having the groceries delivered to your home when getting back from work. Genius, and the only really good use of QR-codes to date.
  • There are several price comparison apps, like Prisjakt, where you can scan the barcode of a product anywhere and quickly receive a list of where you can get the item at the lowest price. Retailers – be worried.
  • Mobile makes the perfect companion for house/apartment shopping, where Zillow and Trulia on the US market are among the most prominent, telling you what’s for sale around you, letting you peek in before you go in, and telling you if the price is reasonable, all on the go.
  • Rabble, a Swedish app that provides digital redeemable coupons based on you location. Providing cheap marketing opportunities for local businesses.

Some other examples Maks mentions, it think fail in the fact that they’re gimmicks, and don’t deliver any real value to the end users in the long run. These apps will be removed very quickly from the users phones after the novelty has worn off and waste the potential you have of making truly meaningful long running relationships with your users or customers.

  • Beck, the beer brand, has an app that helps you get home safe from a night out. It automatically calls a cab for you to get home if you don’t pass the in-app sobriety test.
  • Axe Auto Romeo, an app that helps you stay on good foot with all your girl acquaintances, gained of course because of the “Axe effect”, by sending the girls your not with texts while you’re on dates.
  • IKEA Interactive Catalogue, which lets you test placing IKEA furniture in pictures of your home using augmented reality. See the video at the bottom of the linked page to get an idea of how it works.
  • Ebay launched an app that tries to deflect the biggest problem with buying glasses online; you don’t know how they will look on. Using augmented reality technology, you can try their glasses on live using you mobile phone. (Interesting to note is that Favoptic launched this concept long before Ebay on our advice, but their execution was just not up to par)

These are all interesting examples of what can be done with the technology that exists today in mobile. Only your imagination sets the boundaries. But I would really like to stress the importance of thinking about the bigger perspective when working in mobile, and make something truly engaging, that adds real value in the lives to your target group. It’s always possible, and if not taken advantage of you waste a big opportunity in working with mobile, or even the digital space at large. It might require a bigger budget in the short run, but will keep on giving long after your usual “campaign period”.

To send you off, I would like to bring up, a very relevant question was posed at the M-Commerce workshop that I feel didn’t get a good answer. Why, when mobile is showing such large numbers in adoption, is it still such a small part of the digital commerce? I think it’s quite obvious why. A minute part of businesses have yet to adapt to mobile. When we’re talking about companies and services that have been rethought for mobile, we’re talking about very small percentages. How much business do you think a retail store would make if it had locked doors or a 1 m ceiling height, next to a normal one? We have to get to work adapting if we want to get that business.

And lastly, a BIG thanks to SIME and everyone behind it for inviting us to cover our passion, and for being such great hosts for the bloggers this year. Really hope we get the opportunity again. Now back to creating great useful and valued mobile experiences. And keep in touch if you want to hear more.

By . Categorized under Rant. Tagged with , , .
16th of November 2011 Comments Off

Day one at SIME, a mobile perspective

Panel at SIME Stockholm 2011

© Image by Petter Karlsson

This week, MobileApps and me, Christoffer, have been selected to watch the mobile space at SIME Stockholm, the largest conference in IT and media in Scandinavia. We are very excited about it, and since we’re watching the mobile space closely anyway, we thought it would be a really good opportunity to share our thoughts here on our blog.

The first day at SIME Stockholm has delivered some great shows and presentations, and a lot of it touching on, or being directly about the mobile field. We thought we’d summarize it all with the one all-encompassing key take-away:

We’re going mobile, and there is no turning back

First of all, it’s evident already today, that if you’re mindset isn’t in mobile, you’re doing it wrong. How do we know this? Just look at the two biggest actors in the digital field today: Google and Facebook. Google, shifted their main focus on to mobile last year. Now everything they do is mobile first. Facebook, they have already today just under 50% of their 800 million users accessing Facebook on their mobile phones. The shift to mobile has already started to happen in a huge way.

We also heard a lot of other interesting stats, spottings, and predictions from the speakers, supporting the mobile trend:

  • Mobile searches have increased 4-5 time under the last year alone
  • 30% of all restaurant searches are done on mobile phones (a big stat considering how many non-mobile optimized, or even Flash(!) restaurant sites that are out there. Here’s a great exception by the way)
  • 79% of Smartphone users use a smartphone to help with shopping and 70 percent use phone in store.
  • Youtube has 200 million playbacks from phones per day (up from 100M a year ago)
  • 550.000 new Android Smartphones are activated per day (and Apple is adding another 200.000 iPhones to that)
  • Two of this years biggest conference stars iZettle and Wrapp, are businesses completely focused around mobile
  • All TV discussions are surrounding the interaction between TV and the mobile devices taking up more and more of the watchers attention
  • The biggest websites in Sweden are all seeing exponential growth in mobile visitors, with Aftonbladet, Sweden’s most visited website, predicting mobile surpassing desktop in 1-2 years

The big disparity here is that with all this mobile web usage, very few websites are actually optimized for mobile use. Of advertisers, less than 25% have a mobile optimized site, even sometimes linking to it through campaigns geared towards mobile users. This is why Google has launched a mobile initiative, GO MO, helping businesses go mobile. The initiative is great and we of course love the push from Google telling people to go mobile. When you’ve visited the site and seen what you should do, contact an experienced developer like us to help you get sorted out.

MobisleApps view, that’s supported by what we heard at SIME today, is that mobile is indeed where all digital communication is headed, and we think it’s quite evident. The era where we had to sit down in front of a desk, screen and a keyboard to do everyday interactions was just a phase, forced by the limitations of technology. While we might want to do certain high concentration tasks in a controlled desktop environment, we think the barrier for what these are is being erased, and everything else is just very unnatural to do on a PC on a desktop. Period.

Want to hear more from MobisleApps? Follow us on Twitter.

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27th of May 2010 11

Sign our petition to allow paid apps for all countries on the Android Market

Hello everyone!

If you’ve been following us for a while you know that we are frustrated, to say the least, about not being able to survive as a company on just making great apps and releasing them on the Android Market. Why is this? Well, being in Sweden, Google won’t allow us to sell our apps on the official market for Android apps that they control. The Android Market is now almost two years old, so we ask ourselves, how can this be? Google, wake up!

If worse comes to worse and Google can’t see this as a problem and do something about it, we have to move on to another platform where we can make great apps and get something back for it. If you want to help us out, and you think that this is an outrage too, we’d love nothing more than for you to sign the petition we’ve started to try and get Google to acknowledge this problem and fix it. Please visit the petition and sign it now and get the word out to all your friends and followers so we can keep on making the Android Market a better place for everyone.

(And to the happy users of our current Android apps we just want to assure you that signing this petition will not risk you having to pay for the free apps you’re already using today. These will always stay free. But we’ve had many users asking for premium features that we just can’t put time into developing if we can’t get paid for our effort.)

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24th of March 2010 Comments Off

DEMO presentation of our Rebtel app

Here’s the video from the presentation of our Rebtel app in action at the DEMO Conference in Desert Springs. The Rebtel guys did a great job. Thanks guys!

By . Categorized under App release. Tagged with , .
12th of January 2010 Comments Off

Why the Nexus One is a Big Game Changer for Android

As we’ve said in an earlier post, we think Google’s Nexus One is a great device. We tried it out, we loved it, and we begged our oversees friends to get a couple of them shipped to Sweden. While we’re waiting for them to arrive we though we would give our thoughts as to why we think the Nexus One is such a big deal.

Every time a new premium phone is launched with the latest and greatest tech specs, of course people are going to want it. It was the case with the first Android phone, the HTC Hero, the Droid, and now the Nexus One. But it’s different this time. Some might argue that it’s because an Android phone is finally catching up with the iPhone (for real this time), but we think it’s different this time because of Google finally showing it’s true commitment to the platform they launched over 2 years ago.

The Nexus One shows that Google got tired of all the inferior phones created on a whim by hardware pushing companies using their platform and decided they needed to show them how it’s done. To show how good an Android phone can actually be. Having done this, we think this is just the beginning of an era of Google trying to take control of the mobile market and pushing it’s Android platform. We think they’ve already succeeded in making a groundbreaking device, now they need to work on the other parts of the platform where they still lag behind Apple, which is mainly the Android Market, but also content distribution (ie. music, audiobooks, magazines) where we think interesting things will happen. We (wishingly) think that this is what’s next for Google. Just as Apple released the iPhone a year and a half before the AppStore, we think Google needed an Android phone they were really proud of before they could focus on the Android Market and the developer community. I mean, what better way to persuade developers and content producers than to create a really cool device for their stuff? And add to that the increasing Android market share that the Nexus One hopefully will spur. More Android devices, bigger market, more money.

Another point of interest is the potentially big advantage that Google now has over Apple and other competitors, being in control of so many of the web services that mobile users already are dependent on, and ending 2009 with a slew of groundbreaking new services that will take competitors a long time to catch up on. Google are offering these as open source with their Android releases but as we saw with the Nexus One, we suspect they will keep releasing these ahead of the competition coincident with new Google phone releases.

To sum up, we think Google are on right on the track with their mobile strategy. Now they just have to keep pushing and working hard to create great products and services and perfecting the complete Android experience, and we’re confident that Google has the right people to get the job done. The biggest strategic question they have to handle right now is how they are going to tip-toe around the fact that they now are competitors to other Android handset makers. But the move has been made, and we think it’s the right one.

7th of January 2010 3

Biggest Flaw of the Nexus One

The Nexus One looks to be the thing of the future for Android. We’ve tried it, we love it, and think it’s actually the big turning point, or rather catalyst, for the platform. But more on that in a later post. Having read all the rave reviews of the device dropping in what we thought was most interesting was this quote from Garrett Murrays blog on one of the biggest issues with the Nexus One:

The Android Market is a terrible mess. Nearly every app I looked at had nothing but spam comments. Literally things like, “Follow me on twitter at @blah” and “Ladies, hit me up on AIM at blah” which is embarrassing and sad. Makes the entire thing feel like cheap garbage. When you add the fact that nearly all the apps are free, and most are a UI mess, it doesn’t come off too well.

Now we have a device one the market that in no way has to stand in the shadow of the iPhone, now Google needs to take control of it’s ecosystem to make it a fully perfect competitor in every aspect. We’re very optimistic and think that this will be one of Google’s focus points in 2010.

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1st of December 2009 1

Why the Market Needs to Be More Like the AppStore

Just read two good summaries of the Skyhook Developer Report surveying 30 Android developers on their experiences with the platform, and there was a lot to complain about. The most significant point that arose was that developers aren’t happy about their earnings through the Market. We of course agree since we as Swedes can’t even sell our apps in the Market yet, but even so, the Market leaves a lot to be asked for.

We all know who’s set the benchmark for how to sell apps. But there seems to be a bit of bitterness towards the AppStore in the Android community which is really undeserved. The fact is it’s really well though-out and works really well. Apparently. Developers are complaining it’s hard to get noticed in a store with over 100.000 apps and that the Android Market is better because there are just 10.000 apps there. This is really short-sighted thinking. When comparing the different stores we have to look at the most defining variable which is the amount of money spent on apps per phone user. And here the AppStore outshines the competition with their integrated business model.

We as developers want Google to bring the spenders and then, however which way you put it, it’s always going to be a fight for the money among the developers. Yeah sure, today you have to stand out among 100.000 apps in the AppStore and only 10.000 on the Market, but there’s a reason there’s only 10.000 apps in the Market. You won’t make any money there! The statistically calculated ROI from putting your apps in the Market is still lower than the AppStore. And if we take into account the extra man-hours having to be put into making your apps compatible with all the different Android devices the ROI will be even lower.

Mind you, we at MobisleApps are still very optimistic towards the Android platform but we think a lot has to be done to make the competition fairer between the iPhone and Android. You can’t just put this thing out there and hope for the best, you have to take control of the platform and show the way. Google, are you listening?