#apps

Michael Sippey:

I’m hopeful that Apple making per-app battery usage visible to the end user in iOS 8 will be the push that developers need to start paying closer attention to how their apps consume power, and when. There’s too much folklore out there about how users can extend the life of their devices (turning off geo services, background app refreshing, push notifications, etc.), when really this should be the responsibility of the developer.

100% agree. Are smartphone batteries perfect? No. Are smartphone OSes perfect with regard to battery life? Certainly not. But poorly developed apps are often to blame for many battery woes and now we’re going to see which are the worst. And we shall shame them into doing better.

Sequoia partner Jim Goetz:

From the moment they opened the doors of WhatsApp, Jan and Brian wanted a different kind of company. While others sought attention, Jan and Brian shunned the spotlight, refusing even to hang a sign outside the WhatsApp offices in Mountain View. As competitors promoted games and rushed to build platforms, Jan and Brian remained devoted to a clean, lightning fast communications service that works flawlessly.

It’s hard to do anything but admire this heads-down, focused approach. And it paid off. Very much literally.

The First App You Open In The Morning

You wake up. You grab your phone. What’s the first app you open?

This sounds like a silly question — or worse, an insulting one.1 But I find it’s a rather enlightening question. Depending on when the question is asked, the answer can either be telling about the current state of apps or the current state of you.

Personally, right now, the first app I open in the morning is Twitter. But it hasn’t always been. A year ago, that app was Path. A year before that, that app was Instagram. Before that, it was probably Twitter again. Or Foursquare. Or Techmeme (technically, the web browser). At some point it was Facebook. And way back when it was probably — shudder — email.

Read More

The Apps I Actually Used In 2013

December 31, the day of a billion lists. Best of. Recaps. Predictions. Resolutions. Rather than subject you to any of those, I thought I’d use the day to answer a question I get asked quite often: what apps do I actually use?

By “apps” here, I mean mobile and tablet apps. There are obviously still a number of web/desktop apps I use regularly, but mobile/tablet has all but taken over my life and basically all the services I use regularly now have apps.

I plan to do such a recap every year going forward. I think it will be interesting to see how my own usage of apps changes over time and whether that mirrors any larger industry trends or whether I’m a strange outlier.

Read More

Jordan Kahn:

Bloomberg also has plans to integrate new features into the experience that will be first of their kind on the Apple TV. Most notably, the company is planning integration with the existing push notifications it delivers as “tune-in alerts” through its iOS apps. Users will eventually be able to select preferences for notifications right within the Apple TV app that will be displayed on both the TV and mobile devices connected to the same Bloomberg account. The company didn’t say how exactly notifications would work on the TV, or if Apple is involved with the development of the feature. It’s also considering interactive ads. As an example, Okaro described a user pressing a button when viewing an interactive ad to pull up more in-depth product information. Before those features, the company will roll out an update in coming weeks that will enable playlists that sync between Apple TV and its iOS apps.

Creeping ever closer to the future of apps on Apple TV…

From Matthew Panzarino’s story on the launch:

Offline differs from many other magazines on iOS in a couple of very important ways. First of all, it offers both text versions of stories and professionally produced audio that you can listen to at any point in an article. And it also boasts a unique cost structure that the team hopes will allow it to pay 2-3x what normal freelance writers see for contributions.

The audio integration is brilliant. I actually already listen to a lot of content on my iPhone/iPad but do it using a sort of hack: the speak selection accessibility feature — but that’s essentially Siri reading to you, this is professional voice actors. 

And, of course, I support any publication trying to find new ways to pay writers well.

Adam Satariano & Douglas MacMillan:

Ultimately, it comes down to where developers can make money — and that’s not with Microsoft, said William Hurley, a co-founder of Chaotic Moon, a maker of apps for companies including Walt Disney Co. He said the company’s most recent game, “Dragon Academy”— which is free to download, with consumers paying for upgrades — generated more in one hour of sales on Apple devices than was made through all of Chaotic Moon’s releases globally for Windows Phone in the past year.

Ouch. Even spending an infinite amount of money, it’s hard to see how Microsoft overcomes this. It’s exactly why being so late to the game was so damning.