Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Mozilla Launches Firefox Developer Edition


Earlier this month, Mozilla teased an upcoming version of Firefox specifically for developers. It’s now released Firefox Developer Edition.

The browser replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release process, and features will land in Developer Edition every six weeks, just like Aurora. This is after they have stabilized in Nightly builds.

Developer Edition gives developers access to tools and platform features at least twelve weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel. It will also include experimental tools.

“For example, the Developer Edition includes the Firefox Tools Adapter, which enables you to connect the Firefox developer tools to other browsers such as Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS,” Mozilla says.

The browser uses a separate profile from other versions installed on your computer so you can run the alongside one another. Default preference values are tailored for web developers. Chrome and remote debugging are enabled by default, for example.

You can download and learn more about Firefox Developer Edition here.

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By · Published on November 10, 2014

Facebook’s Mobile App Install Ads Can Now Target Specific Versions Of iOS, Android

In October of last year, Facebook unveiled mobile app install ads. These ads allowed app makers to go directly after mobile users by directing them to their Google Play or Apple Appstore pages. Now Facebook is giving advertisers and app makers even more options when targeting mobile users.mobileappinstalladsmarch2013_320x245

The biggest change to mobile app install ads addresses a major problem with mobile devices – platform fragmentation. Previous mobile app install ads would only take into account whether the user was on iOS or Android. Unfortunately, some users, especially those on Android, couldn’t use the apps advertised as they were built with a later version of the mobile OS in mind.

Now, app makers and advertisers can target users based on which version of the operating system they’re using. For example, an app that can only run on iOS 6 and Android 4.2 can now be advertised only to those using these operating systems.

Going even further, Facebook says that mobile app install ads can now target people based upon their connection. An example would be an ad targeting those currently on a Wi-Fi connection so as to take advantage of the consumer’s decreased reluctance to download large apps.

So, now you can target very specific consumers with mobile app install ads, but is Facebook making it any easier to create these ads? Indeed they are, as Facebook also announced that advertisers and app makers can now easily create and launch mobile app install ads using the ad create tool. Previously, mobile app install ads had to be created with the app dashboard, power editor or the Ads API. Now these ads can be made with the same powerful tools that help advertisers create sponsored stories or Page like ads.

You’ll be able to get your hands on the new ad create tool soon as it rolls out to English speaker first. The tool will then launch to other languages in the near future.

If you want to know more about mobile app install ads, Facebook will be hosting a live Q&A session with its product team on April 17. You’ll have to register for the event, which you can do so here.

For more info, check out this talk from last month on how you can drive app installs on mobile:


Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform

“Since early September, Microsoft has opened the Windows Phone 8 SDK to a small number of developers. Some indie developers, who had already signed up for MSDN, felt they were being snubbed when the SDK wasn’t made available to them. It’s been two months since then and now Microsoft is finally ready to open the SDK to everyone.

At the BUILD 2012 Conference, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone 8 developer platform is now available to all. The new platform includes the new Windows Phone 8 SDK alongside a refreshed Dev Center. That means Microsoft is now open for Windows Phone 8 app submissions from thousands of developers around the world.

Microsoft thinks that developers will flock to Windows Phone 8 for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that Windows Phone 8 now shares a common core with that of its big brother – Windows 8. Developers can now build native Windows Phone 8 apps in C++ and use common APIs that work across phones, tablets and desktops.

Developers in attendance at the BUILD Conference will be receiving a Nokia Lumia 920 to build apps on. Everybody else will be able to use the Windows Phone 8 emulator that’s included in the SDK.

To help get developers on board, Microsoft will offer discounts on Dev Center accounts. In the near future, the regular $99 fee will be discounted to $8. It’s important to note that the Dev Center account will still cost $99 upfront, but Microsoft will refund the difference in 30 to 45 days after the transaction.

Interesting developers can hit up the new Windows Phone 8 Dev Center right now. You’ll find all the tools you need to build the next great Windows Phone 8 app all in one place. You can grab the SDK here.”


5 Essentials for a Mobile-Friendly Website


“Come 2014, there will be at least one billion mobile payment users around the world.” These are the findings of a study undertaken by IE Market research. Given these stratospheric statistics, it is safe to say that at least some of your current website users are visiting on their mobile phones. Subject them to the torturous navigation of a desktop version using their iPhones or Androids and you can be certain of one thing – they will leave. And never come back.

The world of technology is rapidly evolving, so much so that what was relevant yesterday is often obsolete today. It therefore pays to be as informed (and flexible) as possible when developing your site. Here we’ll look at some absolute essentials that need to be implemented on-site to ensure that your mobile visitors don’t head out the door immediately after arriving.

5 Basics – Get These Right First

Create a Mobile Sub-Domain

The first step in becoming mobile friendly is providing a separate mobile-friendly website. It’s justnot wise to try serve both desktop and mobile users on one site. Create a subdomain (generally something like and install a detection and redirection script (there are many options to choose from) on your desktop version to ensure that mobile visitors are automatically sent (or at least given the option to go) to your mobile site.

Create a Smart Navigation

The second thing you should do is to create a smart navigation. What this means is generating a clean and unobtrusive navigation for your website by considering the practical implications for a mobile user:

* Are the key areas of the website easy to access using big buttons (or is it more likely that a mobile user is going to hit another button by mistake?)

* Are important pages prioritized and other de-prioritized? It’s unlikely that mobile users are that interested in your privacy policy or community initiative. Get them out of the way and make buying/inquiring easier for the mobile user.

Basically, you need to offer visitors distinct and clear methods for getting to your most essential content.

Write Clear, Concise Content

Next on the agenda is content. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise and to the point. Now more than ever, you will want to seize the reader’s attention right away. Ensure you have persuasive headlines which enable readers to know what they are going to experience. Content should also be unique, original and informative. Get to the point and initiate a call to action as quickly as possible. As far as mobile copy is concerned, less is definitely more.

Scrap the JavaScript and Flash

The fourth essential is to avoid all JavaScript and Flash. All justifications aside concerning the significance (and aesthetic appeal) of Flash, it is typically a safe wager that not all cellular devices can support both of these technologies. The ideal practice would be to maintain plain HTML standards for your mobile website. Remember that you’d rather have a user see a slightly less “exciting” page than no page at all.

Mobile Preview

The last step is always to run your website through W3C Mobile to ensure compatibility across web browsers and devices. Be sure to dig as deep as possible and not just settle for a simple homepage check. The last thing you want is a poor conversion rate caused by a dysfunctional contact page script.

Wrapping Up

Whether we like it or not, the fact is that more and more users are accessing the web via mobile, and we as marketers need to adapt to this. The mobile space is incredibly dynamic and ever-evolving, and as such it really does pay to stay informed and up-to-date with mobile web development, or partner with someone who does.

App Store Bug Causes Newly Updated Apps To Crash

Sometimes in life, the littlest things can be the most exciting. When you’re young and living on your own for the first time, you get a little thrill out of checking your mail and seeing stuff addressed to you, even if it’s junk. When you got your first email address (all the way back in 1997 for me; get off my lawn), getting email was great. Nowadays, checking the App Store on your iPhone and discovering you’ve got updates is nearly always fun (especially when it means new levels for Angry Birds).

Except when it isn’t. Numerous reports have been coming in since yesterday that certain recently-updated apps have been crashing on launch. The earliest report came from Instapaper developer Marco Arment. According to a post on his blog, he was “deluged” with support messages following Apple’s approval of an update to his app. It seems the app would crash immediately after launch. Users tried deleting and reinstalling the app clean, and the same thing happened. Arment began investigating and found that his own archived copy worked just fine. He ultimately concluded that the App Store’s copy of the app had gotten corrupted somehow, and that the corrupted copy of the app was causing the crash. Within a couple hours Apple put up a functional version of the app and the problem was resolved. For users who installed the bad app, though, the only solution is to delete and reinstall it.

Arment is clearly annoyed about the situation in the post. He encourages developers with non-critical updates ready to go to wait a few days:

Because if this happens to you, all of your most active users, the people who will install updates within hours of them becoming available, will be stopped in their tracks. They’ll think you’re careless, incompetent, and sloppy for issuing a release that doesn’t work. And they’ll leave you a lot of angry 1-star reviews.

Because it seems that Instapaper isn’t the only app affected by this problem. The App Store has apparently been releasing corrupted copies of dozens of apps. Arment has compiled a list based on user reports:

  • GoodReader
  • Readdle Scanner Pro
  • SmartScan+OCR
  • Angry Birds Space HD Free
  • Lords & Knights
  • The Early Edition 2
  • Gaia GPS
  • Meetup
  • Pair
  • Redshift
  • Flick Soccer
  • iBike Moto
  • Please Stay Calm
  • Pinball Maniacs
  • Lucky Slots
  • Stack the States
  • Gluddle
  • Qwak
  • Bunker Buster
  • MemoryBrands
  • Threadnote
  • Checkout Helper
  • Metronome+
  • Cocktailpedia
  • Phoster
  • Melodies Pro
  • MoPho
  • FlattrCast
  • iCoyote Europe
  • @View
  • Huffington
  • Tap’N Ride
  • Dosecast
  • Stat E&M Coder
  • SMARTReporter (Mac)
  • PDX Bus
  • CommBank Kaching
  • CincyMobile

That’s 39 apps in all. While Instapaper is working now, it’s not clear whether Apple has gotten the others fixed. If you have any of the apps on the list and have downloaded the most recent updates, you should check to make sure it’s working on your phone. If they’re not working, try deleting and reinstalling. Apple may have gotten them fixed, in which case you should get a functioning app. If you have any of the apps and they work, you might want to wait a few days before downloading any updates, otherwise you risk getting the corrupted version and having to delete and re-install the app.

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