ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

We Need More Windows 8 Devices Like Acer Iconia W700

10/22/2012 7:04:16 PM

I’ve blogged a couple of months ago about how I imagine my next PC. Windows 8 launch is just few days away and there’s only one device on the market that somewhat satisfies my criteria and it’s Acer Iconia W700.

It has things I’m looking for:

  • Reasonably powerful Intel Core i5 CPU
  • 4gb of RAM (could’ve been more, but most of the competing products come with 2, so I’d settle for 4 for now)
  • 128gb SSD (256 would be better but most tablets max out at 64 so 128 is already good)
  • 11.6” Full HD IPS screen (10” is too small for my intended second screen use)
  • Up to 9h battery life (I don’t buy it, but if it holds 6h+ I’d be happy)
  • Has a desk docking station
  • Doesn’t dock into a keyboard (mostly useless dust collector/space waster for my intended usage)

A few things I still miss:

  • A real docking station. This one acts only as a stand and USB hub to be honest. I’d like to have my external monitor and headphones hooked up to the dock so I don’t have to plug/unplug them every day. Plus this one is pretty ugly :)
  • A model with more than 4gb of RAM and 256gb SSD

Other than that it looks close to perfect (at least on paper) and I’m probably going to buy it. Even if to express my support for this form factor. Looks like it went ignored by other OEMs and I don’t like that.

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Ad Rotator (Gergely Orosz and Simon Jackson) on AppBizDev

10/15/2012 4:00:53 PM

If you monetize your Windows Phone (and Windows 8) apps with ads you probably know not to rely on a single ad network. Some do better in one region and have nothing to show in all others, some pay more in some countries but less in the others, etc. And the fill rate is never 100%. So to make sure you utilize your ad space to the max you use multiple ad providers.

It’s not too difficult to implement a system that will switch from one ad provider to some other when there’s no ad to show. But if you want to do it really well you’d probably need to have different defaults for different locales. And to make things more complicated performance of different ad networks changes regularly. So you don’t want to hard code any of these settings into your app and issue an update whenever market situation changes. You can still implement an intelligent system like that yourself, but why reinvent the wheel?

There’s an open source project called Ad Rotator which can do all of the above and more for you. We’ve interviewed lead contributors to the project – Gergely Orosz and Simon Jackson on the latest episode of AppBizDev podcast. Check it out and make sure you subscribe in Zune, iTunes or any other tool to get new episodes automatically.

And, btw, if you have some music skills in addition to your awesome dev skills, you can get a MILLION free ad impressions on AdDuplex network by contributing a theme music to the podcast. Check out more details here.

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The Last Act of App Gold Rush

10/11/2012 3:46:20 PM

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App gold rush is over. Creating an app and going straight to refreshing your bank account is not a feasible plan anymore. Even if you are extremely naïve, it’s unlikely that you still think it’s possible.

There are more than 700,000 apps on iOS, almost 700,000 on Android and, even on Windows Phone, we have more than 100,000 apps. Yes, analysts still predict that the mobile app market will grow to $25 billion by 2015 and I don’t disagree with them. It’s just that the lions share of that grows will be collected by the likes of Electronic Arts, Zynga or Rovio. Not hundreds of “2-guys-in-the-garage” teams like it was possible just a few years ago.

So no, you won’t get a medal or a pile of cash just for posting an app into the store in 2012.

The app gold rush is over. Almost over. There’s only one act left.

More than 16 million people have tried pre-release versions of Windows 8. That’s more than iPad 1s ever sold. One of the early apps on the platform – Cocktail Flow – has already seen more than 100,000 downloads, even though the OS is not publicly available yet. Microsoft expects to sell about 400 million copies of Windows 8 in its first year.

And there are only 2,000 3,600 apps (the number is growing fast but it’s still very low) in the Windows Store at the moment. And the official public launch is only few weeks away.

So, the app gold rush is almost over, but there’s still one act left. And you are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. Being there at launch means that you have great chances to be mentioned in early OS reviews across the web, get early adopters who will spread the word about you to their friends, low competition, etc., etc. This is a luxury that costs a lot of money and effort later on, but you can get it for free by acting fast.

I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon while it’s still hot. I’m pretty sure this is the last opportunity in this cycle and it won’t repeat until someone invents some new revolutionary concept. App stores are done for the small guys and this is the last launch that matters.

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