Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’

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Continuing to grow its suite of services aimed at
mobile app developers, Amazon today announced
App Engagement Reports, free app usage reports that
are now a part of the company’s Mobile App
Distribution Portal. The reports are designed for
Amazon Appstore developers in need of information about app performance and revenue. Specifically, the reports include daily and monthly
active devices, installs, sessions, average revenue
per device, and retention metrics, and they can be
filtered by marketplace, viewed in chart form, or
downloaded as a CSV, the company explains in this
afternoon’s official announcement. Developers will also be able to change the data range on the reports
in order to see historical trends. There are six Engagement Reports now being
provided: Overview: A summary of key usage data for your app or game Average Revenue: Daily and Monthly Average Revenue per Device (ARPD) and Average Revenue
per Paid User (ARPPU) for In-App Items Retention: Daily Retention for days 1-3-7 and Weekly Retention for weeks 1-2-3 Active Devices: Daily Active Devices (DAD), Monthly Active Devices (MAD), and Sticky Factor (DAD/MAD) Sessions: Total Daily Sessions and Average Sessions Per Device App Installs: Daily Installs and Uninstalls At launch, the reports are only available for those
apps that were submitted and published after October
25, 2012. For developers who haven’t updated their
apps since then, they’ll need to either republish the
app or submit an update in order to activate the
reporting feature. However, there’s no need to make any other changes to the app’s code or integrate any
additional software. The report will include data for apps running on
Amazon devices like the Kindle Fire and Fire HD, as
well as any other Android devices running the latest
version of the Amazon Appstore mobile app. App analytics and sales figures are crucial to making
Amazon’s Appstore a more complete service – these
things have long been standard features of competing
stores like Google Play or Apple’s iTunes, for
example. Though many developers still integrate
third-party SDKs to allow for increased capabilities and more detailed reporting beyond what comes out-
of-the-box, it’s expected for the Appstore itself to at
least provide some sort of basic insight into an app’s
traction and sales. Amazon says that reports have
been a “popular request from developers,” and that’s
likely an understatement. The addition of the new Engagement Reports comes
on the heels of several other changes Amazon has
introduced in recent months to beef up its Appstore
offerings for developers. Not only has it been
expanding its footprint globally, the company has also
added features like in-app payments, subscriptions, and even its own virtual currency, Amazon Coins, in
order to give developers more revenue generation
possibilities. Now that developers have had a little time to
experiment with those new offerings, it only makes
sense that they should be able to track how well
those features are performing, and whether or not
they have an effect on key metrics like ARPU
(average revenue per user) and retention. Additional information about the various parts of the
reports and how to access them are explained here.
Meanwhile, an Engagement Reports FAQ offers the
answers to even more specific questions about the
new reports.

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Fresh off its $2 million in Series A funding, in-app
mobile payments platform ZooZ is announcing a new
product today: in-ad payments. Yes, that’s right, “ad”
not “app.” The big idea here is to streamline the
checkout process for consumers by addressing some
of the challenges with e-commerce on mobile’s small screen, and now connecting that process to mobile
banner ads to increase click-to-buy conversions. With in-ad payments, mobile users will be able
checkout by tapping once on a visible banner ad
within a mobile app, which then launches ZooZ’s
checkout flow. As with ZooZ’s previously launched in-
app payments product, the fully native checkout
experience here doesn’t require the end user to re- enter their credit card or payment details after their
initial sign-up. For those unfamiliar with ZooZ, the company has
been focused on rethinking e-commerce on mobile,
with a checkout process that’s designed to reduce
cart abandonment. As CEO Oren Levy explained to
us last summer, when announcing a partnership
with MobiCart, “despite the fact that there’s a lot of m- commerce going on, there’s a lack of uniformity in
checkout schemes. Each app creates it own
checkout, its own colors and you don’t know how
secure it is.” The first time a user checks out on mobile using
ZooZ, they will have to provide their credit card or
other payment details (e.g. PayPal, Dwolla, etc.) in a
mobile-optimized screen. But afterwards, all
subsequent checkouts become one-tap payments. At
that point, instead of entering in payment information again, ZooZ simply presents you with an interface
where you can flip through your saved credit cards
and other payment methods, then tap “pay now” to
complete the process. Today, ZooZ’s in-app payments product has been
adopted by 5,500 mobile developers. The company
offers a ZooZ SDK for developers, which integrates
ZooZ’s checkout into mobile (iOS, Android, or
HTML5) apps, and it works with several app building
platforms, including Appcelerator Titanium, Phone Gap, and Basic4Android. Levy says the idea for in-ad payments came to him
when he was stuck in an airport playing mobile games
and clicking on banner ads within them. “We were seeing a horrible experience where we were
redirected to another webpage and then the whole
process was so cumbersome – very long and
unfriendly, to say the least,” Levy explains. Screens
weren’t optimized for mobile, he says, and you would
have to zoom in on the forms provided. “Then, when we started exploring this world a little bit,
we found that conversion rates from banner ads were
so low, there was a need for a quicker and easier way
to purchase items from banner ads – whether that’s
physical goods, services, or coupons, etc.,” he adds. So the team decided to take their core technology,
and make it work with the banner ad medium, too. The newly launching ZooZ in-ad payments solution is
not being aimed at developers, but rather at ad
agencies who will bundle the ZooZ in-ad SDK into
their own. Two big-name ad agency brands are
currently testing the in-ad payments SDK, but Levy
says he’s not able to disclose those by name at this time. He expects the SDK to exit from beta in a couple of
months’ time, however, at which point there will
hopefully be room to discuss who’s involved in more
detail. As with ZooZ’s in-app payments platform, the
company charges a processing fee or per transaction
fee to generate revenue. Fees vary depending on the
type of merchant. When offering the full payment
processing solution to indie app developers, the
company charges 2.8% + $0.19, but when partnering with payment processors where ZooZ only operates
as a technological layer on top of the payment
processing, it charges different flat fees per
transactions. The company, now with $3.5 million in total funding,
has seen most of its adoption to date in European
markets, but is now starting to see some traction in
the U.S. and parts of Asia. In Europe, ZooZ has
found a niche within last-minute hotel booking apps,
Levy notes (e.g. HotelTonight competitors), while in Asia, Japan is its key market. The company is now
thinking about expanding further into that country by
opening an office there. ZooZ’s new in-ad payments option is not available
publicly today, but can be requested by interested
agencies for testing purposes by contacting the
company via email or phone.

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Facebook is not the only company to invest in
development of products that take better advantage
of the Android homescreen. South Korean messaging
app KakaoTalk also recently announced its intentions
to release a rival Android launcher. And
now, Highland Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and others have invested $1.8 million into Aviate, an ex-
Googler backed intelligent homescreen for Android
devices. The round also included participation from Freestyle
Capital, Draper Associates, and other angels, most
notably Dan Rose, Facebook VP of Business
Development and Monetization, and Keval Desai. The
company actually closed on the funding in December,
but is only announcing now. The funds will be used to grow the team quickly, and further develop the
product. The company behind Aviate, Palo Alto-based
ThumbsUp Labs, was founded in November 2011 by
a team with backgrounds in computer science, search
and OS development. Co-founder Mark Daiss majored
in Cognitive Science at the University of California,
and previously founded Pupil, an image based Q&A app, where he also focused on the problem of bringing
relevant information to smartphone users when it was
most useful. Meanwhile, Stanford grad Will Choi worked for Google
on its front-end search team; and Paul Montoy-
Wilson, also a Stanford grad, worked as a Product
Manager for the Android Marketplace (now Google
Play), and had previously co-founded customer
feedback app HaveASec. Each founder had his own take on how to make
mobile phones more effective – Daiss having seen
the app discovery and engagement challenges
firsthand; Montoy-Wilson with insight into the Android
ecosystem itself; and Choi coming at the problem
from the search perspective – he wanted to rebuild mobile search from the ground up. What Aviate Does With the Aviate, the goal is to help mobile users de-
clutter their Android homescreens, and instead view
relevant information adapted to their surroundings,
rather than a grid of apps. Where Facebook Home
has taken over the Android environment as something
of an “apperating system,” to use the term coined by Wired (referring to something in between an app and
operating system), the team at Aviate believes
there’s more that can be done with such technology,
beyond simply optimizing your social networking
experiences. Users today have a number of mobile applications on
their devices which they access regularly, and that
serve a wide variety of functions. It may not make
much sense to give over complete control to just one,
such as is the case with Facebook Home. (Early
adopters of Facebook Home seem to agree, ranking and reviewing the new app poorly.) Other means to view app information comes in the
form of push notifications and homescreen widgets –
neither of which tend to be personalized or
contextually aware, outside of location-aware weather
widgets, perhaps. In addition, app notifications these
days are borderline spam, as developers feel increased pressure to get their app’s users to return
and re-engage. How It Will Work Aviate wants to be different by working with your
favorite applications to pull in information and surface
it when you need it. (The app is not yet available for
testing, so we can only speak of the company’s
intentions here, rather than the real-world results.) What we do know – and the team is being cagey so
far – is that the app will be downloadable from Google
Play, and after installation, it will integrate deeply with
the phone to upgrade the overall experience. Like
Facebook Home, it’s more than an Android launcher.
Aviate will organize all your applications for you, and then based on context (time, location, etc.), it will
begin to adapt to you individually as it learns what
apps you need, when and where. For example, Aviate will know that when you’re at
work, you may need one subset of apps, but when
you’re at the gym, you might use another. It also
learns what information you need at your fingertips,
and surfaces that more proactively, and in a more
personalized manner over time. Details on that aspect are still sparse. Frankly, it sounds a lot like the Google Now concept,
but applied to the broader world of mobile
applications. Already, it seems like something Google
would want to snap up for itself, but it remains to be
seen how well it all really works. The company is in
the process of filing several patents around the technology now, however, and if granted, those could
make the company more valuable in time. Though obviously Android is where such innovation
can take place, Aviate says it has plans for an iOS
version in the future. The app will launch into private beta in the next
couple of months.