Opinion: How can overseas developers capitalise on the world’s largest app market?

It’s a question many in the mobile application sector ask regularly – how do you get an app to take off in the lucrative and ever-growing Chinese app market?

The statistics about the smartphone industry and mobile usage in the world’s largest country are emphatic – 1.3 billion mobile internet users, almost 100 billion app downloads in 2019, half of the global consumer spending on mobile apps, and a mobile gaming industry that accounted for US$15B in the first six months of...

Google’s latest Play Store feature helps users compare apps

Your apps are about to be pitted directly against competitors.

A new feature coming to the Play Store will let users decide between apps using a side-by-side chart similar to comparing specs between devices.

Android Police first reported the feature and posted the following GIF showing the comparison table appearing below the reviews on an app’s page:

Presumably, there will be different comparison metrics dependent on the category of app. In this case –...

Play Store downloads hit 28.3 billion during lockdown

It seems Android users spent their extra time during lockdown trying some new apps.

According to data from SensorTower, 24.3 billion apps were downloaded from the Play Store in Q1 2020. This jumped to 28 billion downloads in Q2 and peaked at 28.3 billion in Q3. For perspective, that represents a 31 percent year-on-year increase.

These were the most popular categories of downloads on the Play Store in Q2 2020:

Gaming (13.49%)Education (9.11%)Business (6.95%)Tools...

Huawei’s Google license expiry means it’s time to support HMS

Huawei’s license with Google has expired, which means it’s time to support HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) or risk losing users.

The US Chamber of Commerce added Huawei to its now-infamous Entity List in May, meaning no American firm can partner with the company without explicit government permission. A temporary exemption was made for existing relations to ensure US consumers and businesses have a smoother transition away from the firm.

Huawei’s existing devices,...

Congress wants Apple and Google to clamp down on foreign apps

Congress is calling on Apple and Google to clamp down on apps that weren’t born in the USA (cue Springsteen).

Trump’s administration is currently mulling a complete ban of any Chinese software but, while that debate is ongoing, Congress wants the two largest mobile platform holders to begin clamping down on foreign apps in less radical ways.

The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform has sent two letters to the CEOs of Apple and Google to request they probe...

Android 10 sets adoption record, updates to get even faster

Google’s attempts to fix Android OS version fragmentation appears to be working, with the latest flavour becoming the fastest adopted yet.

The wide variety of Android hardware and customised software available on the market is both its biggest perk and its most difficult problem.

Android users often boast of features being available on the platform years before iOS, but it can often take years to reach most people’s devices – if at all.

Apple’s limited...

Microsoft acquires Movial developers to work on Android for Surface Duo

Microsoft has acquired developers from Movial to develop the custom flavour of Android for the Surface Duo.

Surface Duo is an exciting new smartphone/tablet hybrid from Microsoft which requires a custom flavour of Android. The “foldables” category is still emerging and Microsoft is betting on it early to make up for its Windows Phone failures.

Microsoft previously contracted the development of the Android-based OS for the Surface Duo out to third-party development...

New developer tools boost Google Assistant’s capabilities

Google has launched new tools for developers which are designed to boost Assistant's capabilities when responding to user requests.

The virtual assistant is regularly found to handle general queries better than its closest competitors, but too often you can think it would just be quicker to do a task yourself. We're still far off from the sci-fi visions of AI assistants like HAL and JARVIS.

Google Assistant, and its rivals, have made large strides in improving areas such...

Google further opens Maps to developers, enables Pokemon Go-like games

Google has improved the access developers have to Maps, providing the ability to build things such as games which offer alternate versions of the real world.

The most obvious example of such a game is Niantic's Pokémon Go which, while not quite as viral as it once was, remains popular today.

Niantic was once a startup within Google – back when it was known for its less commercially-successful but still groundbreaking AR game, Ingress. The company offers a toolkit for...

Microsoft guides Flutter developers on building Surface Duo apps

Microsoft has released a guide on how to build apps for the dual-screen Surface Duo using the Flutter SDK.

The company's flagship developer event, BUILD, begins tomorrow. Like many events this year, it will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's event is likely to be a big one, and it seems Redmond is preparing developers early.

Flutter will require little introduction for many of you; but, for the rest, it's Google's UI toolkit for building native...