Archive for the ‘developers’ tag
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.
Remember how over a year ago, everyone was all excited about the forthcoming Pinterest API? CEO Ben Silbermann even teased its release in a March 2012 email to Pinterest users detailing a Terms of Service change. And API documentation even once popped up on the site, only later to lead to a 404? Well, don’t get all excited again, but the API documentation has returned…um, sorta.*
This week, when Pinterest announced support for more pin types (product, recipe, and movie pins) as well as a new Pin It button that works in mobile apps, it also launched a developer site at developers.pinterest.com. The company says the site will be the home to some of the existing documentation and resources that had previously lived on the Pinterest Business site, as well as the new information on the pins and the mobile Pin It button.
“Over time, as more tools become available to third parties, we will continue to post resources on this site,” a Pinterest spokesperson says.
New tools like that long-awaited API, perhaps?
Though not directly linked on the site itself, an easy guess at the URL structure led to this – http://developers.pinterest.com/api/ - a section which contains some half-written (if that) documentation about the Pinterest API. Details are limited, but the site speaks of a restful, JSON API and offers a couple of sections with very little additional info. (See screenshot below).
Previously, the company had been asking developers interested in an API to fill out the form here to “be one of the first to know when it’s ready.” However, several very interested developers tell us that they have yet to hear from Pinterest about the API or even the new Developer site itself, in fact.
* Of course, after asking Pinterest about this page, it disappeared. (The API page now redirects to the main Developers site). Sorry you can’t see it for yourself.
“We are still working on finishing up this page. It is currently not linked to from anywhere else on the site,” the spokesperson says. “We’re still working on some kinks and want to make all of the content and what’s available is great before releasing.”
This isn’t the first time API docs appeared on Pinterest’s homepage before disappearing, so this appearance alone doesn’t guarantee a timeframe for its arrival. But it’s promising.
Plus, Pinterest’s recent launch of richer pins and mobile buttons shows that the company is now moving forward with its plans to turn Pinterest into a platform. And an API is a necessary part of that longer-term goal, in order to enable developers to build rich, third-party apps on top of Pinterest’s service.
PHP company Zend has just released the results of its annual developer survey. The exhaustive poll of 5,000 developers highlights a few interesting trends and one particularly heartening mobile web factoid.
Clearly, everyone and their dog is thinking mobile first these days. But what’s more interesting in the survey is that the majority of developers aren’t looking to iOS or Android to do so.
From a release on the report:
When asked how they intend to deliver content and services to their mobile audience, 79% of developers identified their intent to leverage web apps and open standards such as HTML5.
Of course, the devops trend marches onward with the increased need for efficiency in deployment. Zend’s results shows 87 percent of developers experience delays in moving their app from development to production, and a full 90 percent have worked weekends, vacations and holidays because of production emergencies.
Here are the results in a handy infographic form:
Image credit: Based on photo from ostill/Shutterstock
Filed under: Dev
Google Launches Play Games Services API For Android And iOS For Multiplayer Gaming, Saving Games In The Cloud
At its I/O developer conference, Google just announced its new Play Games Services API, a new API that allows game developers to save game states and sync them between different machines. This service will be available for Android and iOS developers. The API will also include the usual achievements, leaderboards and multiplayer services that developers have come to expect from similar services.
This new API will roll out today to all Android users on Android Froyo and up. This new API, Google says, will allow for real cross-platform gaming experiences and ensure that users can easily switch between their phones and tablets without losing their game states.
The multiplayer aspect of the service will feature both a matchmaking aspect, but the focus is clearly on connecting you to your Google+ friends. The matchmaking feature, as Google’s Huga Barra noted, will match users automatically and the API in general will handle “all of the hardcore data” worked involved in building a multiplayer game.
Sadly, part of the demo failed at the keynote today, but this is obviously a service that game developers will latch on to. This move also clearly means that Google is getting serious about gaming.
Cydia, a platform commonly thought of as the alternative app store for jailbroken iPhones and iPads, has just today arrived on Android of all places. Though Android is by its nature more open and customizable than Apple’s locked-down iOS, it now has a growing collection of apps designed for power users who root their devices – a process that’s similar in spirit to the iOS jailbreak. Cydia for Android could soon become home to some of those same tweaks in time – or at least allow developers to port them to the Android ecosystem, whether or not they’re housed in Cydia directly.
Jailbreaking an iPhone makes a lot of sense because customizing Apple’s software, including its lockscreen and homescreen, is all but impossible. However, on Android, the perception is that many of the quirks and customizations you may desire can be managed through the installation of third-party apps, ranging from Android launchers that can change everything about the device (like Facebook’s Home application, for instance) to very specific tweaks that can change the device’s default behavior.
That being said, rooting an Android phone gives users even more power to do things outside of the scope of what’s possible out of the box. In addition to being able to upgrade to newer versions of Android ahead of “official” releases, various apps for rooted phones and tablets allow users to adjust CPU settings, define custom multitouch gestures, record video of their screens, undelete files, gain access to apps not offered in their country, adjust cache size, change permissions, and a host of other delightfully geeky things.
Cydia for Android could one day become a centralized place to find all those things, but at launch it is merely the framework. The only Cydia-enabled extension available at this time is WinterBoard, the “theme engine” that grew popular on iOS over the years as a way to customize more than just the phone’s background. On Android, WinterBoard works with themes provided by other customization platforms, including ADW Launcher, GO Launcher Ex, Launcher Pro, dxTop, and the T-Mobile/CyanogenMod Theme Chooser platform.
According to a lengthy and detailed description on the Cydia Substrate app in Google Play, the software will run on Android versions 2.3 and up, plus “equivalent” versions like CyanogenMod or the Kindle Fire. It will also work on ARM or Intel CPUs and even on Google Glass. (Are people rooting Glass? Do tell.)
The Cydia substrate has been tested on a number of Android devices, but as with rooting itself, it’s not the sort of thing for a layperson to undertake without a backup in place…and a backup plan, too, on the off chance things go awry and you end up bricking your phone.
If, however, you feel comfortable going beyond the bounds of what’s officially approved, to get started with Cydia (after first gaining root), you can install the APK from the new Cydia homepage or Google Play, then grant Superuser access to Substrate when prompted.
Videos showing Cydia in action on Android have already started popping up on YouTube if you’re more curious than motivated for now:
Cydia for Android is new, but its iOS counterpart is now being used by tens of millions of users, according to Cydia creator Jay Freeman.
Facebook has partnered with the women-only hacker bootcamp Hackbright Academy to create a special scholarship for moms.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Moms In Tech program will help women who once worked in the tech industry then left to pursue parenthood.
Hackbright will take 10 weeks to train the moms accepted into the program. During this time, old skills will get a refresh and new skills will be taught. The women who participate will be prepared to return to the tech industry not as front-line code monkeys but as “technically hands-on leads, managers, or directors,” the program application notes.
For the scholarship, Facebook will cover the entire $12,000 Hackbright tuition. Applications are open until May 17, 2013. The program will begin exactly one month after the deadline.
Attrition of women who become parents is a big concern for a lot of the folks we talk to at large tech companies. Taking steps like this may help give tech-minded moms a path back to work at top-tier companies.
Hackbright was founded by Christian Fernandez and David Phillips and is based in San Francisco.
Image credit: Shutterstock
Filed under: Dev
Google’s annual I/O developer’s conference is coming up next week in San Francisco, and 6,000 lucky geeks will be flooding the Moscone Convention Center for all kinds of Google goodness: Chrome, Android, Maps, Ads, and — of course — Google Glass.
But what if you’re not one of the 6,000?
No worries, you can participate too. Google is “going live” from I/O, and pretty much anyone who wants to participate can join in. Here’s how:
Google will stream the major presentations from 9AM to 7PM PST for both May 15 and 16.
- Interviews with Googlers
Google Developers Live will feature interviews with Google developers and managers throughout Google I/O.
- News updates
The Google Developers Google+ page will have updates (as will we — see below)
- Full sessions
And full sessions will be broadcast on the Google Developers YouTube channel. No word from Google on when exactly they’ll go live, but Google says they will be recorded an made “rapidly available.” Hopefully, that will be same-day.
And, of course, we’ll be at Google I/O. Our own intrepid Jolie O’Dell and Devindra Hardawar will be at the event, seeking out the best news and reporting almost-live here on VentureBeat.
Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t been to Google’s I/O home page, give it a click. Then click the “I” and the “O,” and build some binary code at the bottom of the page.
Cloud storage powerhouse Dropbox will host its first-ever developer conference — dubbed DBX — on July 9 in San Francisco, the company announced today.
Apple, Microsoft, and other big tech companies often use their developer conferences as a place to build enthusiasm and launch new products. It’s unlikely Dropbox’s first conference will have that level of fanfare, but this will at least offers developers who rely on Dropbox the chance to connect and get insight direct from the Dropbox team.
Dropbox says it will use the event to talk to devs about the capabilities of the Dropbox Platform and use it as a connection point for all Dropbox developers. The company also says attendees will become the first to learn about new products that are making their way into the platform.
The event will take place at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Developers interested in attending the conference can request an invitation here. You can also get updates from the DBX Twitter account: @dbx2013.
Image via Dropbox
Today, Adobe’s creative software for development and design is getting 15 full-version upgrades to its apps, a total rebranding with a new versioning system, and a payment plan and future upgrade path overhaul.
The most important thing for you to know is that Creative Suite is gone. In its place is Creative Cloud. That means no matter what you use, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use it; it also means you’ll never again have to wait two years for a bug fix or a crucial feature you need to keep up with others in your industry.
As for the new features and news apps, we’ve got a full rundown, and they’re pretty exciting.
“They’re lightweight, task-specific tools to get the job done,” Adobe marketing director Scott Morris told VentureBeat in a phone call last week. “We have a beautiful vision of where creative workflows are going.”
A lot of what you’ll see in Creative Cloud is fuller integration between desktop and cloud; for example, you will be able to syncing fonts, colors, and assets between all your devices.
You’ll be able to create Behance posts directly from Photoshop to show off what you’re working on.
Also, Adobe is killing off the Adobe Application Manager. Instead, a Creative Cloud app will be automatically installed on the desktop along with any CC software. The Creative Cloud app will also send you notifications on software updates and Behance activities in an activity stream and will help you keep assets, fonts, and style synced.
The 15 new apps and new app versions come with hundreds of new features and revamped features, which we’re highlighting below in painstaking detail for every kind of developer and designer.
New for Photoshop
One of Adobe’s most popular pieces of software is getting a thoroughly modern overhaul. There are new features here that everyone — web designers, pro photographers, photo-happy grandmas — is going to love.
“Whether your blur was caused by slow shutter speed or a long focal length, Camera Shake Reduction analyzes its trajectory and helps restore sharpness.”
- The new Smart Sharpen feature will minimize noise and haloing while leaving your pics super crisp.
- Intelligent upsampling lets you make your images larger without all that sloppy-looking noise and blurring.
- Photoshop CC will include the video and 3D editing features in Photoshop Extended, too.
- Photoshop CC will support Camera Raw edits for any Photoshop layer or file, which will allow for better heal edits and vignettes.
- Adobe is giving Photoshop users editable rounded rectangles and multi-shape and path selection to let you select more than one path, mask, layer, or shape at a time.
- Conditional Actions use if/then statements to automatically choose between different actions based on rules you set up.
- Photoshop is also getting expanded support for Smart Objects, so you can blur and liquefy in a nondestructive way, even after you save the file.
- For 3D painting, live previews have gotten a lot faster — up to 100x faster, the company says.
New for designers
Here are all the new Adobe software features you’ll want to know about before you decide whether your CS package needs an immediate upgrade.
“Illustrator can now generate CSS code for you, even for a complete logo that includes gradients. Copy and paste the code right into your web editor.”
- Adobe Ideas is a new, free iOS app that lets you create freeform vector illustrations on Apple touchscreen devices.
- Kuler is a new mobile app that takes a photo and creates a color palette that can be synced across your whole system.
- Touch Type is a feature that lets you manipulate individual letters via multitouch, stylus, or mouse. You can also instantly switch between area and point type.
- Images can be turned into brushes, and pattern brushes have auto corners.
- Font search in Illustrator and InDesign, and font preview, and font favorites in InDesign.
- Syncing for fonts, styles, preferences, you name it, across your whole system.
- Multi-file place in Illustrator.
- For InDesign, the new version is faster; has a new, dark UI; supports HiDPI and Retina displays.
- An InDesign QR code creator.
- Parallax scrolling and in-browser editing in Muse.
- InCopy comes to Creative Cloud with HiDPI/Retina support, font search, and a dark UI.
New for developers
Adobe has been placing a ton of emphasis on web design and responsive mobile design lately. Here’s what the company has planned for the more technical side of creative teams.
“The Flash timeline panel lets you swap symbols or bitmap images on the stage. Select multiple objects on a layer and distribute them to key frames with a single click.”
- Flash has been reengineered for performance with 64-bit architecture.
- Flash now has hi-def export options, better HTML publishing, and a simpler UI.
- The new Flash brings a powerful code editor and comes with Adobe Scout, which detects potential problems in your code.
- With USB connections, you can now do real-time mobile testing in FLash with iOS and Android devices.
- Edge Animate now has motion paths, templates, and support for swipe gestures, as well as an Akamai-hosted content delivery network for your runtime files.
- Edge Reflow is getting an Assets panel and Typekit integration.
- Dreamweaver has a new CSS Designer, a Typekit-powered font library, and a simpler UI.
- Dreamweaver has PhoneGap integration and an upgraded Fluid Grid layout for doing responsive design.
- As with all the other new CC products, Dreamweaver supports syncing of files, preferences, and settings across your whole system.
New for video
Video pros and special effects folks will also see a lot of the syncing, collaboration features popping up elsewhere in the Creative Cloud family. But Adobe’s video apps are also getting their own special dose of refreshed magic.
“Use the new Premier Lumetri Looks folder to apply rich, beautifully styled preset color grading effects. Apply LUTs or exported SpeedGrade looks to clips or adjustment layers with the Lumetri effect.”
- Premier is getting a redesigned Timeline to make editing more efficient.
- Link and locate in Premier will help you keep track of the thousands of clips in a big project.
- Collaborative editing in Premier and After Effects is easier with new sync options. You can also use Anywhere features to edit on the go from a shared server without running into versioning issues.
- Premier Pro now supports closed captioning.
- A few Premier features focus on more precise audio control, including a clip mixer and new plugins.
- In After Effects, you can use tools like Refine Edge, Warp Stabilizer, and Pixel Motion Blur to up your creative game and create higher-quality visual effects.
- After Effects has new tools for 3D video with Cinema 4D support.
- Audition is getting new features for sound removal, previewing tracks, and multitrack editing.
- Adobe is also announcing minor feature upgrades for Prelude, SpeedGrade, and Story Plus.
Image credit: Adobe
Filed under: Dev
For all y’all oldsters who remember the days before Adobe Creative Suite ever existed, get ready for history to play itself out all over again: Adobe is switching versioning nomenclature and will now be using CC instead of CS.
So, for example, the next version of Photoshop will be Photoshop CC, not Photoshop CS6.
The “CC” stands for Creative Cloud, Adobe’s new paradigm for delivering and upgrading software that allows for creativity, collaboration, and a sense of community among like-minded professionals across the creative industries.
The rebranding isn’t just a change in name only, however. Adobe is shifting everything about its business, from how it collects software fees and licenses its products to how often its features get updated within the various apps.
There are a lot of big changes coming, but for Adobe to continue to maintain its dominant position in the evolving world of design, those changes are necessary.
“The writing is on the wall for where Adobe is headed, but people are surprised we’re going all in as soon as we are,” Adobe marketing director Scott Morris told VentureBeat in a conversation last week.
“That’s the direction things are heading. This model lets us meet the new world way better than the old model ever would have.”
Read on for more details on how the new Creative Cloud paradigm might impact your finances (for better or for worse), and the new features you’ll be seeing rolled out ever more quickly.
Image credit: Adobe
Filed under: Dev