Viewpoint / Enterprise

Solving the pain points of mobile developers

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker pointed out the following facts in the 2012 Annual Internet Trends report and the Cisco Visual Networking Index report:

  • There are 953 million smartphone subscribers today;
  • The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2012;
  • Cloud-connected services will account for 71 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2016.

According to a recent survey conducted by mobile development and cloud platform provider (and one of my portfolio investments) Appcelerator, mobile developers are enthusiastically embracing cloud services.

However, there are some key pain points mobile developers face today including:

  • How do I develop my native app for multiple platforms?
  • How do I provide a rich user experience?
  • How do I increase user engagement through media (camera, video)?
  • How do I use local to provide context?
  • How do I increase reach and engagement through social features?
  • How do I get distribution for my app through other app providers?
  • How do I drive loyalty with my customers?
  • How do I monetize my app using advertising, freemium, pay, or subscription models?
  • How do I understand the user flow of my app and its performance?
  • How do I use third-party cloud services to build my app?

And above all

  • How do I use the existing development skills of my team and provide them a delightful experience?

For VentureBeat’s upcoming MobileBeat conference (July 10-11 in San Francisco), we have assembled a panel of innovative founders whose companies are solving some of these pain points. In the panel, which I’ll be moderating — “Delighting the Developer: Designing Cloud Services That Work” — we will discuss the general developer mindset but also focus on the following topics:

  • Simplicity: Kiip’s offering for game developers is pushing the envelope on making it easy and lucrative for developers to integrate the Kiip SDK into their games, by providing a self-service version of its ad platform. It recently announced a Build fund, which provides $5,000 to 20 developers who build games that are Kiip-enabled from the get-go. By making the onboarding process simple, Kiip is creating an ecosystem of small and medium game developers who have an easy way to give players a reward when they reach pre-set achievement levels. Kiip delights the developer and gives them an easy way to engage their customers.
  • Choice: Appcelerator Cloud Services offers 15 different cloud-based services, including photo storage, user administration, and custom database searches. All of this is accessible to mobile application developers with a simple JavaScript command line from Appcelerator’s Titanium development studio. This capability enables developers to use a simple line of code to build their own services such as creating custom fields and searches, manage user access, or add point-of-interest (POIs) or photo storage to an application.
  • Engagement: Urban Airship’s platform for integrating high-performance push messaging into mobile devices helps mobile brands build strong relationships with their customers. The company is developer-centric, offering reliable support and the convenience of a library of APIs for push notification, rich push, push composer, reports, in-app purchase and newsstand publishing. Urban Airship is also investing in educating the industry about the benefits of “Good Push” and through its thought leadership and easy-to-use APIs has emerged as the platform-of-choice for marketers.

Many platforms and services will emerge, enabling mobile developers to rapidly scale, integrate, and build applications that implement innovative social, data-driven, and connected services. The companies that will win will be the ones where the entrepreneurs understand the developer and the needs of their end users. These developers demand sophisticated yet delightful implementations of technology, and are seeking solutions to their many pain points.

This post originally appeared in VentureBeat.

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