Friday, 25 October 2013

The Fastest Growing App This Year

For every smart phone owner, apps have become a part of our everyday lives from an alarm clock waking us up before work through to an Angry Bird’s game that keeps us entertained on the train during the journey home.

There are millions of Apps available in Apple’s App Store and this is always on the increase, but with so many apps available, which one has been the fastest growing in 2013 so far?

Before we reveal all, we will go through a couple of the other top growers among users this year. For some people these will come as no surprise whatsoever but for others it could be quite surprising.

We will start with the app that sits in third position in terms of fastest growth this year and that is Instagram.  Instagram is an online photo-sharing, social network that also allows you to share videos, add filters to images and share your experiences with other social networks. It has been at the top of many peoples’ download lists since its launch in 2010 and this year it has seen massive growth.

In the silver medal position is image hosting and video hosting website, Flickr (pronounced flicker). In March of this year, it was reported that Flickr had around 87 million registered users and 3.5 million images are being uploaded daily, that ought to do it then! With such a huge user base, it’s no surprise that Flickr makes it into the second spot for the fastest growing app this year.

The quite aptly named winner is Vine, who likes its name suggests it has climbed to the top. Vine has been a massive hit since its launch in January this year. Unlike the other apps we have mentioned, Vine has grown a massive user base over a quick space of time. Vine is a mobile app owned by Twitter and it is the perfect place to create and post short video clips all under 10 seconds. Our winner has seen a 403% growth this year already, making it the fastest growing app of 2013.

As you can see, the top three fastest growing apps are all video and image sharing apps but the top ten include the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Skype and Foursquare, but they all missed out on the accolade this year. Who do you think will take the crown next year?

Friday, 18 October 2013

What You Need To Watch

When it comes to technology, there have been a lot of new introductions already this year but there is one product that has been on everyone’s agenda, a smart watch.

Smart watches have been one of the hot topics of the last few months and with Samsung announcing their Galaxy Gear, more technology bigwigs are starting to give us something to think about.

Rumours surrounding the Apple and Google headquarters are becoming louder and louder and we have already seen a number of concept ideas from the former.  In fact, only recently did we feature an article about Apple’s iWatch.

Google themselves are being closely watched too. When they bought Wimm, a maker of Android-based smart watches, back in September, many technology enthusiasts thought it was inevitable that the search-engine giants would be rolling out a new smart watch very soon.  Google actually look set to be the next tech giant to launch a smart watch following on from Samsung’s introduction.

According to reports surrounding this topic, the smart watch from Google will use many of the utilities that are commonly found in the Google Now software, which is an intelligent mobile digital assistant, so it could be a very useful watch indeed.

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear already has a 320 x 320 pixel Super AMOLED screen in 1.63-inch and a 1.9-megapixel camera installed too. It also boasts a 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, so it will take some serious technology from Google and Apple to knock it of its perch.

These three techno-wizards have a rivalry that far surpasses just watches though, as we all know, and they are constantly trying to out-do one another.  So Google and Apple, we’re sure, will be using the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear to their advantage in order to create a model of smart watch that is all singing, all dancing.

There are other smart watches available on the market already though, like Sony’s Smartwatch 2 and the Pebble Smartwatch, so we can fully expect to see more and more companies crawling from the woodwork and jumping on the bandwagon.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Are Apple's Paid Apps Dead?

If you buy paid apps, you will think ‘no’ and if you only purchase free apps, you will be thinking ‘yes’.  The truth is, paid apps have slowly declined since their first release when the App store was born but people do still pay money for their apps

App producers are finding it more difficult to make money on their paid apps, but many are resorting to in-app purchases.  Although many people are questioning whether paid apps are dead or not, the revenues made through apps on both the Apple’s App Store and Google Play are on the rise and have been all year.

Apple introduced in-app purchases to its App Store in 2009 alongside the release of its iOS 3.0 software. This has opened up a whole new source of revenue for developers.  The idea behind this was, instead of purchasing an app from the outset, developers could create a free-to-download app which can offer in-app purchases for added extras to the original gameplay, for example.

These are called ‘Freemium’ apps and have rapidly become the standard for many of the most successful apps and games within the App Store.  In fact, according to new statistics, in-app purchases within the U.S’s App Store make up 76 per cent of their whole revenue. Paid apps only make up just 5% of this revenue.

So, what is the future of app pricing, you ask? Good question. The main problem app developer’s face is that finding the perfect combination of impressive download numbers, high conversion rates and high prices can be difficult. An app like Candy Crush Sage though, ticks all of these boxes and does it well.

When considering an app or an idea, it is worth keeping on top of the latest trends like this to see which will be a good return on investment for you. Freemium apps might be the way to go in the interim but every App Store customer is different, so paid apps are a long way off becoming extinct.

We would like to know what you do when downloading apps. Do you buy fewer paid apps but always end up making in-app purchases, or are most of your apps paid for before downloading? Let us have your comments.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Microsoft Scratch The Surface, Again!

Yes, that’s right! Microsoft is looking to launch their next generation of tablets after unveiling them at a press conference in New York towards the latter part of last month.

Does this mean it is time for the Surface RT to move over? No, but the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface 2 are definitely looking to take the hot seat for a while.

The Surface 2 is much cheaper than the Surface RT and at £359 it’s an exciting prospect on price alone. But what you get for the money is what you really want to know. Well, it comes with an improved 1080p screen, but that isn’t all. You can also expect to see Microsoft Office already pre-loaded onto the tablet, as well as a faster processor.

The Microsoft Surface 2 seems to have come a long way since it’s younger brother, so Microsoft have learnt from their previous mistakes. The tablet is much sturdier when it is in your hand and this could quite well be due to the kickstand at the back adding another layer of sturdiness. Although the Surface 2 is one of the larger tablets on the market and is much sturdier, it still manages to keep the lightweight feel and is easily manageable in just the one hand.

The screens size, 10.6 inch, is great for practicality too, especially for those people looking for a practical tablet to take with them. Writers and those that work with spread sheets are definitely going to want one of these. The processor, like we mentioned earlier, has also been improved which means application switching is virtually effortless.

The Type Cover fits perfectly onto the tablet and is another improvement on the previous Surface model. Typing is quieter, more sensitive and has a lot more touch capabilities too. Being able to glide your fingers across this new keyboard-slash-cover means you can literally do anything at the touch of a button if you don’t want to use the screen.

We have no doubt that this new model from Microsoft with outshine any of their previous releases but will it out-do the iPad 4 and the Nexus 10 … We’re not quite sure yet. It definitely has a fighting chance though!