Twitter is going to make third-party apps worse starting in August

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Twitter has long had a strange disdain for third-party Twitter apps, but it’s allowed many of them to pass under the radar for the last several years. That’s starting to change this summer, when Twitter will revoke a key piece of access that developers currently have to the service, replacing it with a new access system that limits what they can do. The changes aren’t going to make third-party Twitter clients useless, but they are going to make the apps somewhat worse.

The changes, which go into effect August 16th, do two main things: first, they prevent new tweets from streaming into an app in real time; and second, they prevent and delay some push notifications. Neither of these are going to break Twitter apps completely, but they could be very annoying depending on how and where you use it.

The first change means the Twitter timeline has to be manually refreshed. That’s not necessarily a huge deal on mobile, as you’re probably used to pulling to refresh the timeline anyway. Luke Klinker, the developer behind the Android Twitter client Talon, said that only 2 to 3 percent of his users ever turned on the auto-refresh feature, or what’s known as streaming to Twitter client makers, because it was such a drain on battery. Craig Hockenberry, a senior engineer at Iconfactory, which makes Twitterrific, said it would be a bigger problem in some scenarios, like when you’re watching an event on TV. “Pulling to refresh in those cases works, but is awkward and feels ‘slow,’” he writes in an email to The Verge.

On the desktop, the lack of streaming could be a bigger issue. Twitter apps can still request that your timeline be refreshed, but they can only do it so often. If you’re the kind of person who absolutely needs to see every tweet the second it’s tweeted, that’ll be a problem.

But it might still be fine for some users. Tapbots co-founder Paul Haddad, who’s behind the Mac and iOS app Tweetbot, says that his apps are already set up to automatically check Twitter for updates “every so often” when a user has streaming disabled. “As an anecdote, we’ve had users running without streaming for months for one reason or another and not even notice,” he writes in an email to The Verge.

Push notifications could be more of a problem. On mobile, it sounds like they’re either going to vanish or be severely limited. Klinker has never had access to the developer tools that allow for push notifications, so the Talon app has never supported them. He has been able to create workarounds, like having the app occasionally request updates in the background, but it can’t receive all types of notification and, again, it’s a drain on battery.

That’s an annoying change, especially since the type of people who download third-party Twitter apps are probably the type of people who like to stay engaged on Twitter. It could also be a major issue for Twitterrific, which is available for free on iOS but charges $3 for access to notifications. That in-app purchase is Twitterrific’s “primary revenue stream,” according to Sean Heber, an engineer at Iconfactory. The feature will essentially be broken, or at least partially broken, once Twitter enacts these changes. “So this is a big problem,” he wrote in a tweet.

On the desktop, notifications will be limited, but not as dramatically. Haddad says that like and retweet notifications will stop working on Tweetbot for Mac, and other notifications will be delayed by one to two minutes.

There may be other, unexpected issues too. Heber said it’s still unknown if direct messages will work on mobile. Haddad said he expects issues on mobile to primarily revolve around push notifications, but that he wasn’t ready to detail the exact impact yet.

Twitter will offer developers a way to buy access to a new API that will enable all the old, real-time features. But the service appears to be extremely limiting and prohibitively expensive for consumer app developers. I suspect it’s likely meant for companies doing data analysis or offering financial services; something that can be sold for much more money. Twitter’s pricing comes out to $11.60 per user per month, and that’s only if an app doesn’t go above 250 users. Any more than that and they have to negotiate a deal for greater access. And given Twitter’s well-known disinterest in third-party Twitter apps, it’s unlikely this would be an option for developers.

While developers aren’t exactly thrilled with the way Twitter’s changes have turned out, it sounds like they aren’t too shaken either. “We’d obviously prefer to continue to offer things in as real-time a manner as possible, but not being able to do that is not the end of the world,” Haddad said.

Klinker said most users of Talon and other recent Android Twitter apps won’t notice any changes, since they never had access to push notifications anyway. They also aren’t likely to get some new Twitter features, he said, like polls. “My users won’t see any changes, but Twitter has restricted what I hoped to be possible for the future,” he wrote. Klinker said he was excited for the API changes because it could have finally granted his app access to notifications, but Twitter’s pricing makes it “clear that push notifications for third-party apps is the last thing Twitter wants these APIs used for, which is disappointing.”

Twitterrific for iOS should “mostly keep working without push, in theory,” wrote Heber. He said Iconfactory will “still expect to keep the app running with reduced functionality for as long as we can.”

“One thing I’m concerned that Twitter doesn’t understand: a lot of the folks who use our apps are longtime users who are highly engaged with the service,” Hockenberry said. “These folks aren’t served well by the official client and are likely to find a different outlet for their social media needs.”

[“Source-theverge”]

Samsung’s Gear Sport and Gear IconX earbuds will be available for preorder starting tomorrow

Samsung has announced that the Gear Sport and its second-generation Gear IconX earbuds (also known as Gear IconX 2018) will be available for preorder starting October 13th.

Priced at $299.99, the Gear Sport comes in blue and black and will be available nationwide from October 27th through Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s, and U.S. Cellular.

The Gear IconX 2018 will come in black, gray, and pink, for $199.99 and will also be released nationwide on the same day through Samsung.com, Amazon, BestBuy.com, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular.

The Gear Sport features a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, a built-in GPS, and is waterproof (up to 50 meters) with the ability to track swimming times and your heart rate. That makes it useful for those who are constantly on their feet and need something a bit more durable. (Samsung says it’s “military-grade” durable.) It also features 4GB of internal memory, which will be useful since the watch is compatible with Spotify’s offline mode for those who want to listen to music but don’t want to take their phones with them when they’re working out. It’s also compatible with iOS, so Apple users who aren’t too keen on the Apple Watch can use this model with their iPhones, too.

The Gear IconX 2018 are cord-free earbuds and Samsung’s second generation of the line. They’ve got longer battery life than the original, with Samsung promising seven hours of listening in a standalone mode, or five hours if you’re streaming music. The charging case also holds one extra charge. The buds’ 4GB of storage roughly equates to 1,000 songs, and they’re Bluetooth enabled so you can make phone calls, too. For Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 smartphone users, you can control your music and phone by tapping the bud and using Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant. Samsung says the Gear IconX also features a built-in running coach that can track your running routines, which is pretty useful — though if you’re already wearing a fitness watch, it might be a bit superfluous.

[“Source-theverge”]

7 Things to Consider When Starting a Mobile App Company

7 Things to Consider When Starting a Mobile App Company

The rise of online DIY app builders has made it easy for business minded people to enter the mobile market. White label app building platforms give entrepreneurial minded individuals all the tools they need to start their own mobile app company without the need to add expensive developers to the payroll.

White label is by far the simplest way to get involved in the mobile market. DIY app building platforms give you full control of your business. From branding, to pricing, to sales and marketing, you are completely free to implement your own business model. Easy to use drop and drag interfaces make meeting the mobile needs of a variety of different small businesses as simple as point and click.

If you are looking for a low-risk business option, white label app creation is as easy as they come. And, with the rising demand for mobile, now is the time to do so.

Here are seven things that you should think about to help put your white label app venture on a successful path.

Questions to Ask When Starting a Mobile App Company

What Industries Would You Sell To?

The most important thing you need to ask yourself is, “Whom do I want to sell to?” Are you looking to sell strictly to restaurants, or do you think you can corner the education app market?

This question is literally the most important one to ask because you will need to find a white label platform that offers the right components to drop and drag your apps into existence.

In addition, determining what industry or industries you want to sell to will allow you to start to develop your marketing plan. It’s not wise for anyone embarking on any business endeavor to dive in headfirst and hope. A bit of planning and some foresight are the cornerstones of any business venture — especially one that involves such a rapidly growing market like mobile apps. Think, plan, and then start to play.

How Would You Sell to Your Preferred Industry?

The mobile app market is competitive, so you need to be prepared to do your due diligence. It’s more than pointing and clicking an app into reality and then walking away. Like any business, there are sales and marketing involved to keep your business afloat.

So, you need a solid sales plan in place before you start investing in a white label app platform. If you are new to the mobile app business, you should look for a platform that offers training in sales and marketing relative to the app market. Do a bit of training, and spend some time putting together a solid sales and marketing plan.

You need to learn some successful sales and marketing tactics such as:

  • What is the best way to sell to small businesses?
  • How do you best market your mobile app company?
  • Which pieces of functionality really help a business grow?
  • Where will you find leads to sell to?
  • What should your presentations look like?

The list could go on and on. But the bottom line is very simple — learn what you need to learn about how to sell the product you want to make. This too will help set your white label app venture up for success.

How Will You Brand Your Business?

Your brand is how your clients know you, and it’s incredibly important. Developing a brand takes a lot of research, thought, and trial and error. Do not take this step in the process lightly. What makes it so important?

  • Your logo is how your customers will recognize you.
  • Your tagline is what will make your customers remember you.
  • Your vision is what will make your customers believe in your product.
  • Your mission is what will make your customers trust you.

You cannot take any of these things for granted. You need to build trust and loyalty, and a solid brand is the key to doing so. If you do not invest your time and energy in this step, you are making your business vulnerable to your competitors who have.

Your brand is what you represent. You need to believe in what you are doing so your customers will too.

What Features are Most Important to You and Your Customers?

Now with the foundation in place, you can start to look at the type of apps you want to create. The easiest way to do this is to look through the app stores. Ask yourself:

  • What do my competitors’ apps look like?
  • What are the reviews saying they are lacking?
  • How can I do what they are doing even better?

Don’t be afraid to talk to people in the niche market you want to build your app for. Find out what the people who will actually use the app would like to see implemented.

All too often, we go to the heads of companies to pitch ideas. While the owner of a restaurant may have the checkbook, the servers and the people in the trenches are the ones who will be using the app.  See what they need to simplify their jobs. You are bound to get some good feedback and some great ideas.

How Much Support and Training Will You Need?

Remember, you are not just going to build an app, throw it in the app store and hope it’s successful. There is an entire cycle you have to go through to get your app on the device of the users who will benefit from it. So, you need to take a good hard look in the mirror and examine your strengths and weaknesses. Are you good with computers but bad with sales? Are you an excellent sales person who is totally turned off by technology?

Your technology IQ today may be great, but what will it be next week? You need to ask yourself, “How much support and training am I going to need to stay in this business for years to come?” And more importantly, you need to ask yourself, “In what nuance of this business do I need the most training?”

Then, you need to make sure that you find a white label platform that offers training in the areas you will need assistance with. A good hard look in the mirror is difficult for most of us, but when you are considering investing time and money into a business venture, looking at your faults, flaws and weaknesses and developing a plan to strengthen them is a lot cheaper than paying for the mistakes they will create later.

Are You Able to Design Apps Yourself or Will You Need a Graphic Designer?

While looks are not everything, it would be a lie to say that people never judge a book by its cover, right? We are naturally compelled to lean towards things that are more pleasing to the eye — even if it’s not always the smartest decision.

Do you possess the skills to design the graphics that will make your app stand out amongst the competition? While most white label platforms have templates that you can choose from that will compliment your niche, if you can design something that will stand out, you will be putting yourself in a position to have your app chosen over your competition.

You might want to think about partnering with a graphic designer. While looks are not everything, they certainly are a great selling point.

What is Your Goal for Your End Game?

Ultimately, you need to know what your end game is. Do you expect to corner the market on educational apps, or are you just looking to supplement your income and pay off a few bills?

Starting a mobile app company can help grow your income moderately, and if done right, it can replace your full time career. It all boils down to how much time and energy you want to invest in making it a reality. Make sure that is clearly established in your mind when you start to put your company together.

Conclusion

White label goods and services have been around for decades. In every industry you could imagine, businesses create products that are rebranded by their partners to sell as their own.

The technology industry, and the mobile app sector in particular, is no exception. As consumers go mobile by the tens of millions, businesses are rushing to catch up, and cash in.

If you are planning on starting your own mobile app company, you have to make sure you do a lot of planning and ask yourself some really hard questions. A good solid plan, and a good analysis of the industry in which you hope to compete, can go a long way in setting your white label business venture on the path to success.

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

7 Things to Consider When Starting a Mobile App Company

7 Things to Consider When Starting a Mobile App Company

The rise of online DIY app builders has made it easy for business minded people to enter the mobile market. White label app building platforms give entrepreneurial minded individuals all the tools they need to start their own mobile app company without the need to add expensive developers to the payroll.

White label is by far the simplest way to get involved in the mobile market. DIY app building platforms give you full control of your business. From branding, to pricing, to sales and marketing, you are completely free to implement your own business model. Easy to use drop and drag interfaces make meeting the mobile needs of a variety of different small businesses as simple as point and click.

If you are looking for a low-risk business option, white label app creation is as easy as they come. And, with the rising demand for mobile, now is the time to do so.

Here are seven things that you should think about to help put your white label app venture on a successful path.

Questions to Ask When Starting a Mobile App Company

What Industries Would You Sell To?

The most important thing you need to ask yourself is, “Whom do I want to sell to?” Are you looking to sell strictly to restaurants, or do you think you can corner the education app market?

This question is literally the most important one to ask because you will need to find a white label platform that offers the right components to drop and drag your apps into existence.

In addition, determining what industry or industries you want to sell to will allow you to start to develop your marketing plan. It’s not wise for anyone embarking on any business endeavor to dive in headfirst and hope. A bit of planning and some foresight are the cornerstones of any business venture — especially one that involves such a rapidly growing market like mobile apps. Think, plan, and then start to play.

How Would You Sell to Your Preferred Industry?

The mobile app market is competitive, so you need to be prepared to do your due diligence. It’s more than pointing and clicking an app into reality and then walking away. Like any business, there are sales and marketing involved to keep your business afloat.

So, you need a solid sales plan in place before you start investing in a white label app platform. If you are new to the mobile app business, you should look for a platform that offers training in sales and marketing relative to the app market. Do a bit of training, and spend some time putting together a solid sales and marketing plan.

You need to learn some successful sales and marketing tactics such as:

  • What is the best way to sell to small businesses?
  • How do you best market your mobile app company?
  • Which pieces of functionality really help a business grow?
  • Where will you find leads to sell to?
  • What should your presentations look like?

The list could go on and on. But the bottom line is very simple — learn what you need to learn about how to sell the product you want to make. This too will help set your white label app venture up for success.

How Will You Brand Your Business?

Your brand is how your clients know you, and it’s incredibly important. Developing a brand takes a lot of research, thought, and trial and error. Do not take this step in the process lightly. What makes it so important?

  • Your logo is how your customers will recognize you.
  • Your tagline is what will make your customers remember you.
  • Your vision is what will make your customers believe in your product.
  • Your mission is what will make your customers trust you.

You cannot take any of these things for granted. You need to build trust and loyalty, and a solid brand is the key to doing so. If you do not invest your time and energy in this step, you are making your business vulnerable to your competitors who have.

Your brand is what you represent. You need to believe in what you are doing so your customers will too.

What Features are Most Important to You and Your Customers?

Now with the foundation in place, you can start to look at the type of apps you want to create. The easiest way to do this is to look through the app stores. Ask yourself:

  • What do my competitors’ apps look like?
  • What are the reviews saying they are lacking?
  • How can I do what they are doing even better?

Don’t be afraid to talk to people in the niche market you want to build your app for. Find out what the people who will actually use the app would like to see implemented.

All too often, we go to the heads of companies to pitch ideas. While the owner of a restaurant may have the checkbook, the servers and the people in the trenches are the ones who will be using the app.  See what they need to simplify their jobs. You are bound to get some good feedback and some great ideas.

How Much Support and Training Will You Need?

Remember, you are not just going to build an app, throw it in the app store and hope it’s successful. There is an entire cycle you have to go through to get your app on the device of the users who will benefit from it. So, you need to take a good hard look in the mirror and examine your strengths and weaknesses. Are you good with computers but bad with sales? Are you an excellent sales person who is totally turned off by technology?

Your technology IQ today may be great, but what will it be next week? You need to ask yourself, “How much support and training am I going to need to stay in this business for years to come?” And more importantly, you need to ask yourself, “In what nuance of this business do I need the most training?”

Then, you need to make sure that you find a white label platform that offers training in the areas you will need assistance with. A good hard look in the mirror is difficult for most of us, but when you are considering investing time and money into a business venture, looking at your faults, flaws and weaknesses and developing a plan to strengthen them is a lot cheaper than paying for the mistakes they will create later.

Are You Able to Design Apps Yourself or Will You Need a Graphic Designer?

While looks are not everything, it would be a lie to say that people never judge a book by its cover, right? We are naturally compelled to lean towards things that are more pleasing to the eye — even if it’s not always the smartest decision.

Do you possess the skills to design the graphics that will make your app stand out amongst the competition? While most white label platforms have templates that you can choose from that will compliment your niche, if you can design something that will stand out, you will be putting yourself in a position to have your app chosen over your competition.

You might want to think about partnering with a graphic designer. While looks are not everything, they certainly are a great selling point.

What is Your Goal for Your End Game?

Ultimately, you need to know what your end game is. Do you expect to corner the market on educational apps, or are you just looking to supplement your income and pay off a few bills?

Starting a mobile app company can help grow your income moderately, and if done right, it can replace your full time career. It all boils down to how much time and energy you want to invest in making it a reality. Make sure that is clearly established in your mind when you start to put your company together.

Conclusion

White label goods and services have been around for decades. In every industry you could imagine, businesses create products that are rebranded by their partners to sell as their own.

The technology industry, and the mobile app sector in particular, is no exception. As consumers go mobile by the tens of millions, businesses are rushing to catch up, and cash in.

If you are planning on starting your own mobile app company, you have to make sure you do a lot of planning and ask yourself some really hard questions. A good solid plan, and a good analysis of the industry in which you hope to compete, can go a long way in setting your white label business venture on the path to success.

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]