Most Popular Google Play App Categories 2014

This is not your standard chart based on app numbers per categories. This chart is based on data from 342.000 Apps isntalled on over 100.000 Devices recorded from April-October 2014. This gives a better overview on what on how popular a category is with smartphone users - not just how popular it is with developers. If you go by lists from Appbrain or App Annie you might think that Business, Photography and Social are hot categories ... but they are not or even worse, they have plenty of downloads, but only from  a few apps. Trying to push an app in these categories might be very difficult. I did not lump Games into one value here to give the full picture - but all game categories combined is about 50% larger then Tools, the single most popular app category. And here is the list:

  1. TOOLS
  2. PERSONALIZATION
  3. EDUCATION
  4. ENTERTAINMENT
  5. LIFESTYLE
  6. BOOKS AND REFERENCE
  7. TRAVEL AND LOCAL
  8. GAME,PUZZLE
  9. NEWS AND MAGAZINES
  10. MUSIC AND AUDIO
  11. PRODUCTIVITY
  12. GAME,CASUAL
  13. BUSINESS
  14. GAME,ARCADE
  15. FINANCE
  16. APPLICATION,SPORTS
  17. COMMUNICATION
  18. HEALTH AND FITNESS
  19. SOCIAL
  20. TRANSPORTATION
  21. SHOPPING
  22. MEDIA AND VIDEO
  23. PHOTOGRAPHY
  24. MEDICAL
  25. GAME,ACTION
  26. GAME,CARD
  27. GAME,RACING
  28. GAME,SPORTS
  29. APPLICATION,WEATHER
  30. GAME,EDUCATIONAL
  31. GAME,SIMULATION
  32. GAME,FAMILY
  33. GAME,ADVENTURE
  34. GAME,STRATEGY
  35. LIBRARIES AND DEMO
  36. GAME,TRIVIA
  37. GAME,CASINO
  38. GAME,ROLE PLAYING
  39. GAME,BOARD
  40. GAME,WORD
  41. COMICS
  42. GAME,MUSIC

Generate Android Assets with new Photoshop CC Extract Tool

The newest Photoshop CC 2014 update brings a new tool for Android and iOS Developers to extract the assets you need in the various screen resolutions. Since Adobe is always leaning towards iOS/Apple than Android the preset settings are geared toward iOS. Here is the quick 6 step workflow to make it work for Android.

  1. Create your Assets for the highest resolution (xxhdpi right now) and rename all the layers to the filenames you want to give. Make sure that all you layers are vector based or converted to smart-objects extracte_assets_step1
  2. Resize your document to mdpi = 33% (if you start resolution was xxhdpi) extracte_assets_step2
  3. Then, choose File > Extract Assets (or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Option + Shift + W (Mac) | Ctrl + Alt + Shift + W (Win). Go into Settings and set the resolutions like this extracte_assets_step3 extracte_assets_step3b
  4. Extract the assets by clicking extract extracte_assets_step4
  5. Go into the folder with the assets and create a drawable-mdpi folder
  6. Move the mdpi assets in the root of the folder to the drawable-mdpi folder extracte_assets_step5

Android Webview Complex Table Problems solved

Android Webviews are a great way to display content from a website. So most websites that have a companion app use webviews to show the comment. And most of the time everything will work just fine - but if you use advanced table layouts you might encounter a problems.

The culprit is .setLayoutAlgorithm(LayoutAlgorithm.SINGLE_COLUMN);

Normal tables don't seem to be affected by this setting, but complex tables using scope="row" or scope="col" or both. To fix this just replace the LayoutAlgorithm to normal.

Example:  mMessageContentView.getSettings().setLayoutAlgorithm(LayoutAlgorithm.NORMAL);

Thanks to Stackoverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14624841/webview-is-not-displaying-table-properly-in-4-0-in-android

Wordpress MultiSite on Google App Engine PHP Beta

I'm experimenting with Google App Engine PHP Beta to host Wordpress installs. As expected there are some hickups but they are trying hard to make it as easy as possible. With some great plugins etc. The next step for me is obviously to try to make a MultiSite install - and I succeeded. The main challenge is that you need a separate configuration for the local install and the remote one. Here are the steps for a succesful Wordpress Multi-Site install.

Note: This article is in flux and I will update it as soon as I find out more - so come back of follow me on Twitter @derFrankie or Google+ to get updated.

Prerequisites: Having a working wordpress install locally and on GAE following instructions https://developers.google.com/appengine/articles/wordpress

Basic setup

1. Enable Network Support

Edit wp-config.php and include

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

above /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

2. Deploy your install to GAE 3. Create a local network

  •  Login to your local Wordpress Dashboard and disable all plugins.
  •  Then go to /Tools/Network and create a Network
  •  It will tell you that you can only use folders and that you need to copy some information
  •  Create the .htaccess file and forget about the rest (I give you the tight config later on)
  •  Go to the next step

4. Create a network on GAE

* Login to your Wordpress Dashboard on Google App Engine and disable all plugins * Then go to /Tools/Network and create a Network * Choose Folders as install method * Go to the next step

5. Edit Configuration to work locally and on GAE Open your local wp-config.php and enter the following lines above /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

Don't forget to insert YOUR_PROJECT_ID

if(isset($_SERVER['SERVER_SOFTWARE']) && strpos($_SERVER['SERVER_SOFTWARE'],'Google App Engine') !== false) { define('MULTISITE', true); define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false); define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'wp-dot-YOUR_PROJECT_ID.appspot.com'); define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/'); define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1); define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1); }else{ define('MULTISITE', true); define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false); define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'localhost'); define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/'); define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1); define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1); }

5. Deploy to GAE 

You can now login to both installs and re-enable the plugins if you like and create sites etc. But the sites won't work completely as yet-

Make Sites accessible

Now we want to add additional sites and therefore we need a couple of additional settings.

1. Add some handlers to app.yaml

You need to add these handlers above the other ones

- url: /wp-admin/network/(.+) script: wordpress/wp-admin/network/\1 secure: always

- url: /wp-admin/network/ script: wordpress/wp-admin/network/index.php secure: always - url: /([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*\.(htm.*$|html.*$|css.*$|js.*$|ico.*$|jpg.*$|png.*$|gif.*$)) static_files: wordpress/\2 upload: wordpress/([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*\.(htm.*$|html.*$|css.*$|js.*$|ico.*$|jpg.*$|png.*$|gif.*$)) application_readable: true

2. Add additional handlers for every site you add

- url: /YOURFOLDER/wp-admin/(.+) script: wordpress/wp-admin/\1 secure: always

- url: /YOURFOLDER/wp-admin/ script: wordpress/wp-admin/index.php secure: always

3. Ignore local wp-content/uploads

I use the local installation to test out the whole system  - so I have local assets uploaded that don't need to get deployed. To ignore those files add these lines at the end of app.yaml

skip_files: - wordpress/wp-content/uploads/.*

UPDATE July 9th.: Added url handlers to gain access to the admin section for sub-sites UPDATE July 10th: Fixed access to Admin Pages - works now normally

 

Add linked Google+ Page of a website directly through Google+ Notifications

Google thinks that Google+ will be the new way to follow updates from websites ... which it isn't since there is no easy way to push your content to a Google+ Page. Anyway - if a user has installed the Google+ Notification Chrome extension he will have the posibility to add the Google+ Page of a linked website directly while visiting. It's sounds complicated but should actually make it easier for users.

I enabled it but couldn't yet see any difference ... but maybe this will solve some of the "subscription issues" that many blogs have since the demise of RSS.

Twitter doesn't want to become the Identity Service of the Internet

Twitter is closing down it's API. After cutting links with LinkedIn now they cut the cord on Instagram. This will happen more often. It's a shame, because Twitter was on it's way to became the identity service for the internet. Deep integrations from Apple and numerous online services brought Twitter to the attention of the millions, but know it looks like that they want to become just another content service. Ask Yahoo and Myspace how well that went.

I can see how the ambitions can drive you to become more than just the infrastructure - but there lies also the trap.

It's no secret that the value of any social network (yes you can argue that Twitter is not a social network) lies in the users and their content, and if the social network itself tries to become the content player, then it starts to be confusing.

I think that Twitter will go down the path of Yahoo/Aol/[insert media conglomerate without vision here] if they continue this route, not just strategy wise, but also business wise.

#twitter   #business   #api   #strategy

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Google Analytics with better Google Play Integration

Many App Developers use Google Analytics to measure user interaction on their mobile Apps. That's nice and there will be new features coming for this purpose, but the biggest news is that you can mease "Google Play traffic sources". That is something you cannot do in the Appstore and will give a huge advantage to developers on the Android Platform using this service. To know where your customers/users are coming from will help to market the apps better, especially in the crowded app stores.

Go ahead an read all the new features over at the Google Analytics Blog.

#mobile   #googleanalytics   #googleplaystore

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Measuring a Mobile World: Introducing Mobile App Analytics - Analytics Blog Mobile is changing the way that people communicate, work and play, and much of the growing adoption and innovation we're seeing in the industry is driven by mobile apps. There are already more than 60...

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Don't kill a website SEO efforts during a redesign

Sometimes it’s not the big changes that have the biggest impact. If you redesign a website for a client you also have to pay attention to the small details … like Page titles.

New content for the redesigned website

Beyond showing off some of my work I always tried to share insights and my perspective on new developments in the design and web technology space. Not only to empower designers to communicate better with developers, but also for developers and businesses to help them understand the creative process. With the newly redesigned website I go one step further by adding 2 new categories where I will post specific content aimed at businesses and developers. Main goal for businesses is to help them understand where the web is going and what technologies and trends they should pay attention to. For Developers the main topics will revolve around new tools that will help them deliver the crazy ideas designers come up with.

Since these articles are geared towards my clients and not so much towards designers I will share them on the Google+ Page dedicated to Frankie as a business, not my personal one. So circle this page if you haven't yet, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

#blog #development #businesses

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