DejaOffice responds to Google Disruption

The high tech keyword for our century is Disruption.  Investors seek disruptive partners.

Disruption means an innovative company enters a stable market environment, generally with a low cost service, and knocks the current players out of the market by providing lower prices and better service. In this sense, Google has been disruptive to the Search Engine industry by providing a fast effective tool without visible advertising.  They have also disrupted the Cell Phone OS market, the Internet Browser market, and the Online News market. They have captured a firm lead in all these areas.

There is a second aspect to disruption that investors seek.  Once a company gains ascendancy over the competition, the disruptive company raises their prices to consumers so that the disruptive company becomes highly profitable. Consumers end up being worse off than they were before.

With Google, the profit motive appears to increasingly be made by isolated Silicon Valley based executives, with little feel for how they play out in the real world.  It is a sad truth that where Google once stood for innovation and low cost development tools, now they are nearly a constant headache to fend off their mistaken motivations and increasing prices.

Google Calendar API – Batch Endpoints Change

In March 2018, Google Announced that their Batch Endpoint for many API commands was changing.  The current API URL is to be deprecated March 25th 2019.  Somehow, Google figures that every customer with an API dependent software tool created before March 2018 will update their tool within this year grace period.  Clearly Google Management has no idea how long software cycles are.  We still have customers using Windows XP!  No one likes to change software versions.  More information is available here: https://www.companionlink.com/support/google-batch-endpoint-advisory.html

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase

In June 2018, Google announced that their website Geocode API was going to increase their pricing.  Geocoding is what is used when we look up an address, and replace it with a Logitude/Latitude value for map purposes.  Google Geocoding also includes location pictures and mini-map.  We use this in DejaOffice for iPhone, DejaOffice for Android and DejaOffice on the PC.

The price for a basic lookup changed from $0.005 per lookup to $0.02 per lookup.  What this means for DejaOffice is that our service in map lookups changed from being under $100, to suddenly becoming a $2000 per month bill.  This is for a free APP on the App store!  We quickly changed our Android and IPhone map lookups to the new Mobile Maps API, which was suggested by Google as an alternative. Customers saw this change go into place in November, and it seems to be a good drop-in replacement.

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase – Redux

So in February, Google announces that they “improved” the Mobile Maps API.  We have a six month window to switch to the improved version.  The improved version will change $0.02 per lookup.  Just Wow!

First we have a required App change, and second, we get our $2000 bill back.

So in DejaOffice you can count on mapping changes again in the next four months.  It is likely we will add an in-app tool to add funds for people who use a lot of mapping features.  Also we will be adding more location info to our sync, so once you map a contact or calendar event, you do not have to look it up again, thus avoiding a chargeable item.  Isn’t Disruption fun!

Google READ_SMS and READ_CALL_LOG Permissions

In November 2018, Google informed us that they would be removing all apps that used READ_SMS permission on Android.  In DejaOffice, we use these to add SMS text to Contact History.  We also use READ_CALL_LOG to add call followup information, and DejaOffice Caller ID.

Google’s handling of this issue is largely machine based, and heavy handed.  We have requested an exception.  However, DejaOffice does not fit into their set list of apps that are allowed these permissions.  They will remove DejaOffice from the App store if we do not remove these capabilities from the App.  We have applied twice, but can’t get by their machine blocker (probably named HAL – Open the Bay Door, Hal!)

So in February 2019, we have been forced to remove a number of DejaOffice features from our Android product:

  1. Read SMS Text to Contact History
  2. Identify incoming calls using DejaOffice Contact list
  3. Follow up on inbound calls to add a Contact History item

We are seeking another external tool, maybe Whatsapp, which may allow us to restore this functionality through that tool.  But obviously, Google Android is wanting to limit our access, and cannot be flexible because an innovative product does not fit their rigid expectations.

Google is a great technology partner.  But these moves show they clearly are going the path of IBM, then Microsoft, then Apple, then Google.  An innovative Disruptor, upon market dominance, becomes an intractable barrier to innovation.

12 Awesome Resources For Developers On App Marketing

Developers often dislike marketers. The reasons for that are often quite simple – they had a bad previous experience where the marketer didn’t understand their product enough and oversold it. This only brings poor results and no one is happy.

However, this also comes from the fact that app developers don’t really understand marketing well enough. It has a different approach to the app – marketers are focused on users and what would work for them even though they might not always understand what it takes to make it happen.

This means that app developers, aware of what they can do, should try to learn the basics of marketing in order to market the app themselves or have a better relationship with their marketer. Here are some useful resources to begin with:

Gamasutra

This resource covers game development and the business of making and marketing games in general. In various sections you can find many useful tips on app development, marketing and crowdfunding.

They have a lot of posts and the community posts often as well. Some of the most quality posts come from established game developers but there are also a lot of useful tips from amateurs that can help you with all elements of app development”, – says a content marketer at UK Writings and State of Writing, Sarah Gilles.

Relate – The Digital Mag For Marketers

This app used to be called Appboy but they rebranded and published a great resource for people looking for marketing tips on various elements like deep linking, retention and much more.

People with experience share posts here and they share their personal tips an stories which is great.

Apptweak Blog

This blog is set on publishing fun, thorough and entertaining content on marketing and promotion. Here, you can learn everything you need to know about ASO, beta testing and much more.

Mobile Marketer Blog

This is always a great read because they often do case studies and conduct various research experiments to bring you the best conclusions and information they can. They serve a large market of big companies but also small businesses just starting out as well.

You’ll be able to find a lot of great data here.

The App Guy Podcast

This is a fun podcast which offers a lot of useful information on all aspects of app marketing. There are a lot of episodes and you can hear from app entrepreneurs, startup founders and so on. People really love it and have found it useful in the past”, – says Tina Gruber, an app marketer from Simple Grad and Academized.

App Savvy – Ken Yarmosh

App Savvy is an amazing book dedicated to all app marketers out there. Ken really dedicates his time to elaborate the subject and bring it closer to the reader. This book may be a bit old but its still timeless.

Touch Arcade

This is a forum dedicated to game developers and helping them solve their issues. Here, a lot of experienced people and amateurs alike post their tips and advice in order to help others create a better marketing campaign for their apps.

Tune Blog

This blog is publishing great content from industry experts on several areas, making it one of the most helpful blogs out there for app developers.

Appentive Blog

Appentive makes a point out of creating valuable pieces for their readers. “They cover a wide range of topics but you will most likely be able to find anything you need on this blog” comments April Cordero, a tech writer at Let’s go and learn and Student Writing Services.

Fiksu Webinars

These webinars can help you learn amazing things about app marketing and it’s especially good because you can ask questions at the end of the webinar and get all of that extra information that you need.

iPhoneDevSDK

This is an amazing blog and a great place to exchange some information and tips between independent developers. There are interesting debates and insights from time to time.

Arkenea

This is a mobile app development company that offers a blog on app development and design, app marketing and so on. There are also interviews with successful people from the app and startup industries.

Find The Best Way To Market Your App

Marketing can be difficult and seem terrifying but it becomes much easier once you learn how to do it properly. Who better to market your app than yourself? You know what you can do and what is possible, so learn the basics and dive a bit deeper into the specifics. Hopefully, these resources can help.