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Week that was in tech & mobile: February 27, 2015

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The lines between digital, mobile, technology and apps are blurring in today’s world. We at Robosoft are keen followers of developments in this arena. At the end of every week, we will share with you highlights of news items which caught our eye in this space.

Google Play app store to test paid placement in search results

Discoverability is an issue which every app developer grapples with. Google is to begin testing of what it called ‘sponsored’ search results within the Play Store. According to Recode, the move is intended to help developers better promote their apps in a store that boasts more than a million choices.

Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for Apple Watch and more

Apple announced a special event, ‘Spring Forward’ to be held on March 9th. It is widely believed that more details of the Apple Watch will be presented at this event, among other things. Via.

Speaking of Apple Watch, the advertising campaign for it has started in earnest: it got a 12-page spread in the March issue of Vogue magazine. We at Robosoft believe that Apple is pressing the right buttons with its positioning of Apple Watch and look forward to exciting times.

Popular news app Circa has a web offering too

Close on the heels of Flipboard, the popular news app launching a web-version of their product, comes the news that Circa has followed suit. Is this an acknowledgement that omni-screen presence is a must for news brands? Via.

Unbundling in action at Facebook and BuzzFeed

Facebook has been a pioneer in unbundling of its apps, hiving off separate apps for Messenger, Pages Manager, Facebook Groups and even Stickered for Messenger. This week they launched Facebook Ads Manager, a new mobile app designed for advertisers to better manage their ads. BuzzFeed is experimenting with apps too – they launched Cute or Not, where you are presented with a picture of a cat or dog and you swipe right if it’s cute and left if it’s not. Well, ok. There are takers for that too. The philosophy of doing one thing and one thing well at play here.

What are your views on these developments? Do comment in.

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Mobile apps and brand engagement

24 February, 2015

Brand owners face a daunting challenge today: how do I engage with my consumer across so many channels & media? Brand presence in social media has... #Opinion
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Mobile apps and brand engagement

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Brand owners face a daunting challenge today: how do I engage with my consumer across so many channels & media? Brand presence in social media has become de rigueur for several years now to address this issue. Add engagement through mobile, especially mobile apps and the task is even more challenging. Consumers are in love with their mobile phones and apps play an important role in that experience. Flurry Analytics reported in November 2014 that time spent on mobile devices grew in the US by 9.3% – from 2 hrs and 42 minutes to 2 hrs and 57 minutes – all in 9 months. ComScore reported in August last year that mobile apps account for a majority of our time spent (higher than desktop usage or mobile web surfing) on digital media. But there is a caveat to such usage: consumers have a limited repertoire of apps they turn to most often. A majority of the apps downloaded may be used very rarely, which does not help in brand engagement if brand owners are considering bespoke apps.

So how do we overcome this problem? Turns out that if the app is of some use (utility, productivity or entertainment value) chances of the app being used are higher. Of course, that is no magic pill either. There are issues of app discovery, relevance and promotion which come into play. In this context, what furniture major, IKEA created recently represents out of the (app) box thinking. They did not create an app in the classical sense but created a keyboard shortcut, IKEA Emoticons, which functions as a communication tool. The link to the brand? Most of the icons relate to the home: couches, shelfs, drawers and so on.

Games are another great way to engage with consumers through bespoke creations with a strong link to the brand essence. Compared to traditional advertising, advergaming has a better chance of engaging with the consumer as gaming is an inherently immersive activity.

Brands need the right partner to create engaging mobile apps which help in deepening the consumer relationship. It calls for sound strategy, a robust process and a capable design team. If you are a brand owner seriously considering a bespoke mobile app, why not write to us? We will be happy to engage in a conversation.

Anila

The story of Anila Andrade: beating men at their own game

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Anila Andrade, Producer at our subsidiary 99Games was profiled at HerStory – a site dedicated to showcasing women entrepreneurs and leaders. Anila started her career at Robosoft as a quality control engineer and within two years, graduated to Requirements Analyst, responsible for architecting products. She then moved to 99Games where the first game she worked on was WordsWorth, a word game that she conceptualized and designed for iPhone. WordsWorth went on to being #2 in the Word Game Category and #33 overall in the US store.

In her eleventh year at 99Games, Anila says that the ‘role of a producer requires you to don different hats simultaneously’…not only do you need to be a designer, you also need to understand game balance and monetisation, be a good coordinator and get things done. You also need to have a good grip on marketing, study game metrics and be a team motivator’.

In a domain that is considered to be male centric, Anila proves to be a welcome exception. Her message to women: ‘for all the aspiring women who want to venture into the world of gaming, it is a challenging, ambitious and fast moving sector. This means that there are so many opportunities to seize. Just believe in yourself, explore your creative talent and take the leap.”

Read the complete article here.

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