The App Economy

This infographic summarizes some key points about the App Economy, such as the half a million US jobs created by the App Ecosystem, the key players in the ecosystem and that more than 50% Android apps are free versus just 25% for iOS apps.

Apps Infographic

See the original infographic here.

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More Cloud Wars: Another 50gb giveaway by Box.net

Box.net is giving away another 50gb free to its existing and new users. This coincides with their launch of the Box for Android app, which introduces bulk upload, commenting and collaboration features. To get this free upgrade, users have to access their Box.net account from an Android device.

 

box.net

box.net (Photo credit: thejedi)

 

A note – iOS users who availed of the free 50gb offer last year cannot use this offer to get a 100gb account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more at Android Users Get 50GB FREE. Get Your #Box50GB and Enter the Box Mobile Giveaway | The Box Blog and Bonjour! Box for Android Adds New Collaboration Features and a 50GB Upgrade to Boost Productivity | The Box Blog.

 

 

More recap of news from Google

Besides the Great Google Data Merge, the past couple of months have seen some other interesting news about Google. It was business as usual as Google announced the discontinuation of several products and the introduction of some others. Google Sky Map was open-sourced into a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (similar to the App Inventor model with MIT), and Picknik and the Social Graph API were retired. On the other hand, Google released updates for the Google Bar and Google Docs for Android and introduced Chrome for Android. There was also the small issue of receiving approvals from the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility.

 

 

 

MIT launches App Inventor Beta

Google‘s App Inventor has been reborn. The MIT Center for Mobile Learning has announced the opening of the Beta version of App Inventor to the public.

App Inventor provides a graphical interface for programming, thereby allowing users to create Android apps without the need for fancy programming skills. While Google discontinued its support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, it tied up MIT to opensource the project.

Català: Interfície App Inventor

Image via Wikipedia

MIT’s involvement in the project has made it more class-room and educator friendly. MIT also plans to add several learning resources to its APP Inventor website.

App Inventor will now be suitable for any use, including running classes.

A list of education resources for App Inventor can be found here.

We will also be developing more resources and support for using App Inventor as a learning tool. We look forward to working with you over the coming months to build the community of App Inventor educators.

Read more at Announcing: MIT App Inventor Open Beta Preview | App Inventor Edu.

Using Layar Vision to implement Augmented Reality

Layar Vision, which is an extension of the Layar Augmented Reality browser,  offers another means by which iOS and Android App developers can use Augmented Reality (AR) to interact with physical objects. Compared to the Qualcomm AR SDK, the Layar Vision API takes a different approach by pushing the image identification processes to the server-side and having a usage based freemium pricing mechanism.

Below are a few videos of the power and potential of this product.

 

Here is a video introducing Layar Vision.

 

More explanations of Layar Vision

 

A sample of three applications

 

Read more about the API and associated toolkit here.

Qualcomm’s Augmented Reality SDK

Qualcomm‘s Augmented Reality (AR) SDK allows developers to design Android and iOS apps that can augment a live image from a camera  with superimposed virtual content (such as graphics, data, media, etc). The SDK, which is distributed free, provides several features, including virtual buttons, 3D objects, frame markers and targets.

Here is a video of the sample apps that are provided in the SDK

The below video of the winners of the Qualcomm AR Challenge (from Feb 2011) helps to fully appreciate the power of this toolkit.

Download the SDK here.

Read more at Augmented Reality | Products and Services | Qualcomm.

Android Fragmentation

App developers and users have complained about the fragmentation of the Android market for a long time. This wonderful graphic and accompanying post clearly illustrates the extent of this problem and shows why many Android users are stuck with older versions of the OS.

 

 

Read more at the understatement: Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support.