kodu.co.uk

Cheap iPhones, iPads & Mobile Phones

Blog

Blog

2 April 2010 In news
Movies Now! HD one of Gizmodo’s ‘53 iPad Apps We Want To See’

Movies Now! HD Cinema View @ #39 and Movis Now! HD Featured @ #40.

Click here to view the article.

2 April 2010 In news
Movies Now! Update Part II – Movies Now! for the iPad

Ok, so I’ve been contemplating this for a while. Should there be a Movies Now! for the iPad?

During the iPad launch keynote, when Steve Jobs pulled out the iPad, I noticed he opened up Safari and browsed Fandango, which got me thinking….Does the iPad require a native Movies App to browse the latest movies and buy movie tickets?

At first, I was very skeptical but after giving it some thought, it struck me. Its not just about buying tickets and browsing the latestmovies. Its about how personal and intimate you can make this experience for a user. And with the iPad you can do just that.

I’m sure most of you have tried browsing a content heavy site on an iPhone. If you haven’t, I must tell you that its a nightmare:
•Problem #1 – The screen just too small.
•Problem #2 – Each element on the website is designed with a point & click based input in mind
•Problem #3 – It can be extremely slow at times

For example, see the pic below. It is clearly not optimized for a touch based input. One would clearly have to double tap to zoom in to ensure a tap on the desired element is achieved.

Now, imagine your browsing that website on the iPad. The screen is bigger so that eliminates Problem #1 but Problem #2 still persists (and in some cases Problem #3). Even though HTML 5 is gaining traction, the experience is clearly not as smooth as a native counterpart especially for content heavy sites and from what I’ve seen in the iPad demos and heard from the early reviewers, a native application is way quicker than a WebApp

And then theres the issue of Flash i.e. iPad doesn’t support flash. Many of the Websites including Fandango use Flash to stream their trailers whether in HD or SD. They also use Flash for many of the Ads they have in place.

That said, a recent Wired article talked about Britghcove’s new HTML 5 content delivery platform. To quote, “The apps may not be ready, but Brightcove’s HTML5 video support is being seen as a big deal, and rightly so. Without it, many prominent websites (Wired.com included) that typically use Flash to stream their videos would have been in a bind as far as iPad and other iPhone OS devices go.”

I guess its a matter of time before Websites start supporting both Flash & HTML 5 content delivery. (For a list of iPad ready sites click here).

Its also important to note that Websites such as Fandango, Movietickets.com, Odeon, Cineworld have absoultely no integration into Twitter & Facebook to allow users to interact with their Friends and post ratings etc.

Taking into account all issues discussed above, we have decided to develop a version dedicated for the iPad.

Its called ‘Movies Now! HD‘ and we would love to show to you. Its absoutely gorgeous. Check it out as follows:

Featured

New featured screen to shocase the latest most popular movies out in cinemas.

Movie Info

Easy to access Movie Information. Tap a movie and it flips over into a PopUp.

Cinema + Now!

Cinema View with a dedicated Map View and a dedicated Now! PopOver.

We would love to hear your feedback on these designs! We’re still in early stages of development and expect to have this ready by the end of second week of April.

Keep an eye out for more updates on both the iPhone and iPad versions. We’ll have lots more to show you next week!

1 April 2010 In news
Movies Now! Update: Part I – iPhone app, Data Issues, New Version

Alright, so its been about a month since I last posted here. And I’m glad to say that “we have a lot of new updates for you guys”.

First of all, I want to thank all the people who filled out the survey last month! We got some great feedback and are now in the midst of developing the next version for Movies Now!

Secondly, I would like to talk about the the app in general. Over the last 2 months or so we’ve received many complaints from our users. These issues are mainly related to the data present in the application and on a few counts the app’s performance as well. Being avid users of the app ourselves, we worked hard to rectify these issues and now can now safely say that the performance of the app is great! (Fantastic, if your using a 3GS).

The issue that still eluded us was that of data quality.

We’ve noticed many issues relating to the quality including:
• Missing Trailers
•Missing or Wrong Posters
•Corrupt or incorrect movie information for some movies (including a few popular ones)

And over the course of the last 2 weeks these problems got worse and more corrupt data kept sneaking its way through our system and getting into the app.

We sincerely apologise. As users of this app, we understand your pain. But you’ll be glad to know that we’ve tracked down the issue and are finally in a position to rectify it. Expect an update on this issue next week.

Now, up till about a month ago, Kodu and Movies Now! had been a pet project for us. Me and Namit started Kodu while at university a year ago with the aim of developing iPhone apps and Movies Now! has been our first and only product to date.

As of today, All That Changes. Both of us have successfully graduated from university and we are now dedicated to making Movies Now! the best experience to buy move tickets on the go. With over a 100,000 downloads across the globe, we realise that Movies Now! has a lot of potential and to that extent we’re working on a completely re-vamped version – Movies Now! v2.0 and are focusing on what the application does best – Buying Tickets & Viewing Movie Showtimes.

Up Next: Part II – Movies Now! for the iPad

18 February 2010 In news
Movies Now! v1.2.1 available for download

Click here to download the latest update from the App Store.

Major Updates:
•Bug Fixes – Fixes and stability improvements including a fix for OS2.2.1 iPod Touches ‘Crash on Launch’ issue
•Only OS 3.0+ Support – We are no longer supporting OS’s prior to 3.0. We want our users to take full advantage of the new features in the app based on latest OS.
•Both versions are now Ad-Free – The performance difference between both versions was significant especially on previous generation iPhones and thus we have decided to remove the ads across the app to improve the user experience.
•Premium Features – From now on we will add features exclusive to the Premium Version of the app with every Major Update.
•Premium Feature: Push Notifications in v1.2.1 – These notifications will give you updates on New Movies out in cinemas and Upcoming movies that you might have Added to your WishList. We will expand the functionality as we release more updates.
•Improved Facebook Integration – Facebook Integration now extends to ‘Movies I’ve Rated’, ‘Recent Friend Ratings’ & ‘My Friends’ categories.
•Twitter Integration – Post Favorites, Ratings and Ticket Purchases to your Twitter Account

Other Updates:
•In-App Notifications – Smarter notifications system. Ability to target different version of the app, different device types.
•UI Tweaks – Updated loading notifications UI

12 February 2010 In news
Servers back up and running. Apologies for inconvenience.

We faced an issue with one of our slices. Everything is back up and running again.

8 February 2010 In news
Update: Movies Now! v1.3 delayed but v1.2.1 in Review

Hey Guys,

Sincere apologies for the delay. Due to issues implementing the Horizontal Poster View we have had no choice but to push v1.3 to a later date.

However, we just submitted v1.2.1 to the App Store with all the following changes:

Major Updates:
•Bug Fixes – Fixes and stability improvements including a fix for OS2.2.1 iPod Touches ‘Crash on Launch’ issue
•Only OS 3.0+ Support – We are no longer supporting OS’s prior to 3.0. We want our users to take full advantage of the new features in the app based on latest OS.
•Both versions are now Ad-Free – The performance difference between both versions was significant especially on previous generation iPhones and thus we have decided to remove the ads across the app to improve the user experience.
•Premium Features – From now on we will add features exclusive to the Premium Version of the app with every Major Update.
•Premium Feature: Push Notifications in v1.2.1 – These notifications will give you updates on New Movies out in cinemas and Upcoming movies that you might have Added to your WishList. We will expand the functionality as we release more updates.
•Improved Facebook Integration – Facebook Integration now extends to ‘Movies I’ve Rated’, ‘Recent Friend Ratings’ & ‘My Friends’ categories.
•Twitter Integration – Post Favorites, Ratings and Ticket Purchases to your Twitter Account

Other Updates:
•In-App Notifications – Smarter notifications system. Ability to target different version of the app, different device types.
•UI Tweaks – Updated loading notifications UI

Thats it for now. In the mean time we’re hard at work on improving functionality throughout the app including new premium features such as the Horizontal Poster View.

8 February 2010 In news
Submitted Movies Now! v1.2.1 for Review

26 January 2010 In news
Fandango blatantly copies our ‘Now!’ feature, calls it ‘GoNow’.

They’ve even taken a swipe at our UI (see below) although the result is nowhere near as good as Movies Now!:

24 January 2010 In news
Movies Now!™ v1.3 Preview

Movies Now!™ v1.3 Preview:

24 January 2010 In news
iPhone accounted for 99.4% of all mobile app downloads in 2009! Come 2010, the battle of the App Stores is just beginning…

What a year its been for the iPhone App Store. It took 9 months to reach 1 billion downloads, 6 months to reach the 2nd and only 3 months to reach the 3rd! Thats right the App Store has witnessed over 3 billion app downloads.

A recently released report from Gartner, a market research firm suggests that the mobile apps industry is huge and that it expected to grow significantly over the next few years. It estimated that $4.2 billion was spend on mobile apps in 2009 and the iPhone App Store had a 99.4% market share of all downloads in this space thus likely being the front to almost every single $$$ spent on mobile apps last year – ‘Apple literally owns this market‘.

According to the report, 2.5 billion apps were downloaded from the iPhone App Store in 2009 and at a 99.4% market share that puts the total app industry at 2.516 billion apps leaving only 16 million app downloads from other mobile platforms such as Android Market & Blackberry App World. Thats an extremely low number considering there are over 20,000 apps these ‘Other App Stores’. Heck, Apple itself witnessed 10 million downloads during the first weekend after the App Store was launched. (Even though there were only 800 apps available at that point).

The question that every developer is probably asking himself is ‘Why in the world should I bother developing for the ‘Other App Stores’?’

Well, lets not write them off just yet…

Taking a look at the most recent market share figures for mobile platforms:
•Android •The Android platform owns approx. 3.5% of the market in Q309 according to Canalys putting the handset numbers at just under 1.5m for this quarter and estimated at a cool7 million in 2009.
•According to recent numbers published by ChangeWave Research and AdMob the Android platform is definitely growing in popularity, meaning it will soon be a contender for a hefty slice of that the app store pie in years to come.
•Many big handset manufacturers have seriously adopted the Android Platform and we should expect to see a proliferation of Android based devices in 2010. Motorola itself is expected to launch between 20-30 Android based phones globally this year.
•With Android 2.1, the latest version of the platform and devices such as the Motorola Droid (which has almost sold a million) and Nexus One (even though the first week sales stand at 20,000), it is very clear that the Android platform can be a big competitor in the smartphone market.
•Android mobile devices are estimated to top 32m units in 2013 and Android equipped products (PC-Like, portable devices) are expected to reach 126m units in 2013.

•Blackberry •Blackberry had a 21% market share in Q309 with sales at 8.7m for the quarter and estimated to sell close to 40m devices in 2009.
•RIMM had a very strong Q3 and reported a 59% surge in earnings, 82% of which was due to its line up of Blackberry Smartphones. It expects to sell even more devices in Q409 which is not surprising considering the new found consumer appeal that blackberries have which in turn will help drive its app store sales.

•Symbian •The main driving force behind Symbian is Nokia and even though the Ovi Store launch was complete disaster here we are one year later and Nokia is ready to launch Ovi v2.0. This in mind is going to kickstart the Ovi Store.
•Nokia already has an established user base of over 60m smartphones and thus this platform shouldn’t be overlooked.

•Smaller Platforms – WinMo & Palm •One of the most disappointing Mobile OS’ that I have witnessed over the last few years has been Windows Mobile. It seems like they’ve just ported the desktop experience over to the mobile device and in my opinion it looks outdated. Microsoft are set to launch WinMo 7 although it is not expected to hit markets until the end of the year.
•Palm is still a small player in this market. It was estimated that Palm sold close to 1 million Pre’s last year but that still isn’t enough to compete with the big boys.The App Catalog is also small with only 6-700 apps.

Gartner estimates the Mobile App Industry is going to generate $29.5b in revenue in 2013. Thats huge..!

Considering that the Android and Blackberry devices are selling so well and with Nokia bringing a whole new look to Symbian this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if these ‘Other App Stores’ account for 25-30% of that revenue, i.e. approx. $7.5 – $10b worth of sales.

Tremendous opportunity, wouldn’t you say?

Related Posts: The guys at Ars have posted a fantastic article on the App Store numbers released by Gartner. Be sure to check it out here.