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:

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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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?

10th of November 2009 23

Lost opportunities in the Android Market

I have read numerous articles complaining that the Android Market does not give developers the best possible conditions to make a living out of being an Android developer. While they are doing a good job pushing for the Android platform to become more widely spread and are making incremental updates to the Android Market, there are still some major obstacles to overcome to make it a more competitive market for developers. The first one is actually letting all developers to charge for their apps.

There are many ways to improve downloads through the market and get your potential users’ attention. One of the best ways to be successful in the market must be scoring high in Android Developer Challenge. This will give your app great exposure and surely the download frequency will go up. When the ADC 2 now is on the way and the top 200 apps have been presented, the attention to these apps will naturally go up. In normal cases this will be a very good thing but not for the developers around the world located in a country not able to register for a “Google Merchant Checkout account”. Of course this is good in some ways for these developers, but they miss out on a very important part of the benefits of the “free” exposure. They are not able to earn money from it.

Every potential customer that goes to the market to download one of the apps that they know a lot of other people think is good, including the judges at Google, will be unable to find the app, and a customer will be lost. This is in my mind catastrophic for the fairly newly born community of Android developers. Especially for those companies with salaries to pay that try to focus on Android. Why Google doesn’t put more effort in this is still a mystery to me but they must have their reasons. Hopefuly they will not take to long to fix this problem because developers are bleeding around the world!

So what can a developer do while waiting for Google to act? Well there are a few things you could to. When we entered the ADC 2 with our app MobisleNotes and the first round of judging began we got a few e-mails asking for the app. We then decided to make an “ADC 2 version” of the app to satisfy our fans. This is a great way to keep the buzz up and not loose potential costumers. We have all the basic features in this but are saving some killer-app features for the paid version. We decided to keep this app on the market as a free version since the Merchant account is still absent in Sweden despite promises of an October release. We will probably keep it as a free version to promote upcoming apps and a way to test MobisleNotes before buying the paid version.

Another, and much more complicated solution, is to start a company in one of the countries that lets you create merchant accounts. We have been looking in to this possibility, but even if its quite easy to set up a company in, lets say, England, you will still have significantly bigger problems setting up a bank account and are required to have an accountant that will set you back at least $2000 (probably more). You need to sell a few apps for that.

Hopefully with enough pressure from the community we can make Google realize the importance of this possibility for developers to actually get paid for their job. At least if they wan’t to be able to compete with the iPhone in the app-field, which really is the core of the platform. At the moment developers are loosing opportunities in the Android market!

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