Tag Archives: problems

Five smartphone problems you’d think they’d have fixed by now

As fun as it can be to marginalize and criticize them, smartphones are magical pieces of technology. From something as benign as an iPhone to a device as futuristic as a G Flex, today’s pocket communicators are modern miracles of miniaturized intelligence. As I say at the top of every Weekly podcast, these real-life tools are the manifestation of many childhood dreams, mine included … and it’s incredible to stop and think about just how complex they really are.

All of which makes it doubly frustrating when these supposedly “smart” devices screw up so spectacularly. Here’s five smartphone problems we deal with on a daily basis that should’ve been fixed a long time ago.

Putting your phone down rotates the screen

We’ve all been there: while holding your phone in your hand, you call up a webpage in the browser. In the middle of scrolling through the latest hot news from the world of alpaca farming, you decide to put your phone down alongside your computer so you can take notes on what to feed Tina while grandma’s out of town. You plop your phone down on the table, angling it ever-so-lightly to get your hand out from underneath, and: boom. Suddenly you’re in landscape mode and nothing about the world makes sense anymore.

Dear God why?!

Dear God why?!

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it didn’t happen nearly every time you put your phone down, and if it hadn’t been happening for so damn long. But we’ve had accelerometers in our phones for over seven years now; it’s about time they got a little smarter.

Notifications ruin your music

This isn’t a problem on all platforms; iOS in particular fields this one pretty well, and Windows Phone isn’t far behind. With this one we’re looking squarely at Android, and we’ve been looking at it for years.

This out-of-context graphic should illustrate my feelings nicely.

This out-of-context graphic from a far more important story encapsulates my feelings nicely.

Anyone who gets a lot of notifications and listens to a lot of audio on the go (and does these simultaneously) should be familiar with the issue we’re talking about. When a notification comes in, the podcast, FM stream, or music track you’re listening to will suddenly cut out to accommodate the chime, then return just as abruptly. Like the screen-rotation issue above, it’s not the worst thing in the world when it happens every once in a while, but if you’re in the midst of a rapid-fire text exchange or you’re copied on one of those insufferable reply-all email chains, it renders whatever show or track you’re trying to hear unlistenable. To Google’s credit, this isn’t as big a problem as it used to be: both Google Play Music and Spotify will now intelligently duck the playing audio to accommodate the inbound alert and then scale it up shortly afterward. But if you use a service like Stitcher or TuneIn to stream podcasts or local radio and you get a lot of messages over the course of the day, expect to have your listening experience interrupted on the regular.

And Windows Phone’s not totally blameless, either: system sounds like the little raindrop screen-unlock effect result in a partial muting of playing audio for a few seconds after the sound playback is complete. We appreciate the concern for our eardrums, Microsoft, but c’mon. We’re more rugged than that.

Speaking of which …

Your phone is an overprotective nanny

"Also, haven't you been spending enough time on your phone? It's a beautiful day outside; go get some exercise! And have you cleaned your room?"

“Also, haven’t you been spending enough time on your phone? It’s a beautiful day outside; go get some exercise! And have you cleaned your room?”

Android, stop with this. One warning out of the box is enough. We don’t need to be reminded about potential hearing damage every time we want to crank up the volume on The Very Best of Enya. For God’s sake, let us rock out.

Leaving a WiFi hotspot gives it separation anxiety

Ever try loading a website, podcast, or Facebook page while you’re in the dreaded death zone between WiFi and a cellular data connection? Ever succeed?

No you haven't, you liar. Go get truthful and try again.

No you haven’t. Stop lying.

Wireless carriers love to train your smartphone to prefer a WiFi hotspot above all else, because it takes the strain off their own overtaxed networks. We’ve seen this trend strengthen over the years with software “features” that command your phone to look for WiFi even when WiFi is off, timers that reconnect WiFi after a certain period of dormancy, and default preferences that force your phone to try to connect to every Starbucks and McDonald’s access point you get close to (despite not actually having enough signal to pass any data over that connection).

All of these actively diminish the experience of using a smartphone, and some actually prevent the device from fulfilling one of its primary functions: notifying you of inbound alerts. Because when your phone is ignoring the strong 4G signal shouting to it from a cell site down the street in favor of the unusable WiFi signal from the cafe in the building across the road, it’s not able to send you that Snapchat that tells you where the secret house party is. And that sucks.

No matter how clean you are, your screen is usually filthy

That'll teach you to eat and tweet.

That’ll teach you to eat and tweet.

In the switch from small clamshells to tablet-sized cutting boards, we gained a lot of screen real estate and a much richer multimedia experience on our smartphones. But we also provided a much bigger canvas for all that skin oil to spread out on, and the result has been a world full of the filthiest slabs of oily glass ever countenanced.

Some phones do better at managing this organic oil slick than others; pick up a low-end smartphone like the Lumia 635 for a firsthand look at what happens when you skimp on oleophobic coating. But even the highest of top-shelf handsets on the market today have a tendency to hold on to finger and face oils with a grip that defies efforts to dislodge them. Even phones specifically designed to handle foreign droplets with “wet screen tracking” technology usually don’t work that well after the first good spray hits them. And if the all-glass front is mirrored on the back side for fashion’s sake, the problem is doubled. Don’t get me wrong; the all-glass smartphone is still a very hip look. I just wish it didn’t come with the caveat that I’d have to wear gloves every time I wanted to pick the thing up, or risk looking like the world’s greasiest man.

Go take a shower, ya filthy animal.

Go take a shower, ya filthy animal.

Think you’ve got a better list of the world’s biggest smartphone problems? Let us know about it down in the comments, then check out what else we’re shaking our canes at in our editorials on why Windows Phone shouldn’t be trying to ape Android and 8 ways to tell if your mobile app sucks!

 


Pocketnow

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact owners reporting flash bleed problems

A smartphone camera’s flash seems almost deceptively simple: it needs to illuminate a scene while a picture’s being taken. With a xenon flash, timing can be a little tricky, but the LEDs so common on phones make the process a snap. As a result, we can begin to take a properly working flash a little bit for granted; it’s only when problems arise that we really take notice. Unfortunately for new owners of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, things have taken such an unwanted turn, and it seems that a design flaw may be interfering with the phone’s flash.

The issue is manifesting as light from the phone’s flash appearing to travel directly through the handset’s casing to the camera sensor itself. As a result of this “light bleed,” images taken with the flash active can seem washed-out, especially along one edge (above).

Owners noticing this problem have been posting their findings to various online messageboards, and one interesting aspect to the reports has been how the phone’s color appears to affect the severity of this condition. Specifically, the colored versions of the phone (as opposed to the black or white neutral tones) may be worse off when it comes to the internal bleed-through.

For the moment, we haven’t heard of any response from Sony.

Source: Android Hilfe (Google Translate), Sony support forums
Via: Xperia Blog


Pocketnow

iWatch problems, Nokia Lumia Icon, Intel’s dual Windows-Android plan & more – Pocketnow Daily

Watch today’s Pocketnow Daily as we talk about Microsoft’s recent claims that Windows Phone has surpassed the iPhone in 24 markets, and what that really means. Nokia follows the news as Verizon has just spilled the beans on the Nokia Lumia Icon. Ubuntu is next as Canonical has just confirmed hardware for later in 2014. Apple then takes the stage as more reports on the progress of the iWatch sound badder than we expected. We end today’s show talking about Intel’s plans to bring us dual OS platform chips in the near future.

All this and more after the break.

Stories:
Microsoft claims that Windows Phone beats the iPhone in 24 markets
Nokia Lumia Icon confirmed: Verizon spills the beans on official name
Multiple Ubuntu smartphone models enter the running for 2014
Apple iWatch running into trouble? What rumored setbacks could mean
Intel to focus on dual OS platforms between Windows and Android