Mobile World Congress 2013 buzzed with Connectivity and Service Solutions

MWC 2013 is annual piligrimage for Mobango team as it gives us opportunity to understand deeper the developments in the App ecosystem.    We caught up with developers,  ad networks, service providers,  and meeting our business partners.

The overall environment this year was more muted than the last year with key players such as Google missing.    We saw several product launches, new ad networks being set up, new ways of promoting apps on main appstores, but there was no breakthrough or moon-shot innovation this year at MWC.   However, from amongst the 100+ meetings that our team had at MWC, these were the key takeaways for the developer community.

3 new OS launches, absence of Android at MWC

The most significant launches were those of the new operating systems from Firefox OS and Tizen from Intel and UbuntuTouch – three new OS platforms.  Firefox OS had aggressively lined up a large number of distribution deals at the event with partnerships with carriers and device manufacturers; however Ubuntu Touch as a product was equally impressive.   There was limited presence of Tizen though at the Intel Booths at MWC.    At Mobango we are particularly excited about the launch of Ubuntu and Firefox as these will no doubt bring in benefits of an open source, low cost OS platforms and capable of developing into independent developer ecosystems.   While Ubuntu Touch had particularly strong reviews of its capabilities from leading tech blogs including CNET, Firefox OS appeared to have progressed much ahead on its roadmap even announcing first set of countries that the new devices will be released in 2014. 

In stark contrast Google and Android were absent with Google likely choosing its I/O event in May to release its next version of software – Key Lime Pie. However, with the recent merger of the Chrome and the Android businesses within Google, I/O will be an event to watch out for in May 2013. 

For the app developers, we saw some innovative technologies which will definitely scale down the timeframe about testing for any developer. An Isreal based company displayed their public cloud service with maximum phone environments which allowed developers to rent these phones by time. Another interesting technology displayed by a UK-based company allowed developers to automate the test for Android devices, record the clicks and go through the playback.

Others worth mentioning are Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and the fascinating technology displayed by Yota, with its second screen feature. This expansion into twin screens opens up a playground for apps and services alike and it would be interesting to think what new services might be enabled when a low power always-on display became available on a smartphone.  

New developments and innovations that support cost effective distribution

We think that developers will benefit with the mid-range devices introduced enabling distribution if they are high on capabilities despite their low price point.
The tablet industry is set to improve with Samsung, Sony, Asus, Lenovo, HP and ZTE launching their new tablet devices. Hopefully this will improve the Android tablet story.  The overall tablet eco-system needs improvements in terms of app development and experience as Google Play does not have compelling number of apps that are suited for tablet as compared to the Appstore. This is a good development though as it compels app stores to dig deeper in this issue.
Another point for developers as alternate distribution points are being set up. Besides the native apps stores such as Google and Apple, start-ups such as Yandex in Russia, Apps Turbo and of course, Mobango has been a long term partner in the app economy.

Besides South Asia, Africa was given high emphasis as the mobile connections are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2012 and 2017, increasing from 683 million in 2012 to 935 million in 2017. These new markets are open to test and will enable developers to prolong the app cycle.

Distribution and monetization partners

From what we saw at the venue, the ad network space is set to increase with the number of new entrants and will get all the more competitive for monetizing opportunities. Along with the buzz of products and technology, this year’s MWC also saw ad networks like Inmobi, Airpush, comScore, Appturbo, Imobmedia, Vserv, Inneractive and several others making noise.    Our take is that currentl there is little differentiation amongst the offerings from these different ad networks and in general fail to provide comprehensive monetization solutions.   Increasingly app owners we spoke to are simply using mediation services to maximize their ad monetization and working with multiple ad networks at the same time.  Disappointingly we did not hear much about some of the latest innovations we are already seeing in the web world such as Demand Side Platforms or Supply Side platforms.  Looks like we have to wait another MWC before we significant traction. 

There was much debate, atleast amongst operators regarding monetization of OTT services. Operators are losing out on usage and monetization from these OTT services which includes popular messengers.  Several operators are launching their own OTT platforms but these are all early experiences.   Operators are keen to explore partnership opportunities with OTT products and service providers that will prevent cannibalization of voice and messaging revenues in a big way.  A recent report put OTT services already taking away upto 8% of operators voice and data services with messaging being the most under threat.   What this could mean to the emerging app owners is simply that they could find interesting partnerships with telecom operators who are looking to aggressively partner with app owners to counter the risk to their core revenues. 

All in all it was great show of technology, innovations and products. We think the implications for developers and advertisers are immense with innovations brought about expanding the arena for innovative business model. And operators too are pitching in to create a holistic environment for the smartphone users. Overall, the coming time promises to be an exciting period in the world of mobility.


Mobango introduces a new improved user experience for Tablets.

Mobango always focuses on improving the user experience (UX)  for its developers and users. This means we are constantly reviewing and updating the usability as we did with the registration and uploading area. Now going a step further we have redefined the complete UX for tablet users across all operating system which support HTML browsing.
With the new interface for tablets, the user experience on Mobango will improve amazingly. The new changes also allow us to provide more visibility to the developers and their apps. some of the key changes are-

  • Responsive interface – We have ensured that the user has a fabulously smooth experience. The interface has been associated to provide the best arrangement of the content as per the Tab’s orientation. The navigation of the site is promoted to be effortless and very touch-friendly with increased display size of icons and other info.

  • Big Banner space for promoted/ featured apps – The topmost area of the site is allocated for a big banner space to provide premium visibility to promoted apps. A larger area is allocated for these apps on the screen giving instant visibility.

  • Enhanced media details page – The media details page has been improved to include multiple screenshots of the app within the same screen space to give a better understanding of the app. The star ratings and reviews are now given a better placement thus giving prominence to information which is a deciding factor  for a user before initiating download.

  • Social media – The new Tab version includes more social media badges to promote sharing on more platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

  • New properties – Mobango has introduced 3 new properties which will provide more visibility for the tablet users.
    • Editor’s choice – This section is a collection of the best apps hand-picked by Mobango team for its users.
    • Trending apps – This is a dynamic section showing the most downloaded content in the last 6 hours. This is to ensure that users get a fresh installment of apps everytime they come on the site.
    • Top developers – Mobango select the best developers based on the quality and performance of the apps they have and these developers get a chance to be featured in this area. This gives a lot of visibility to the developer upfront.

We would love to know your feedback on these new changes as we believe that the users are the best judge . You can share your feedback here or feel free to leave a comment or connect with us through Linkedin, Twitter, Google +, Facebook

Notice a new “Google Settings” icon in your app drawer? Don’t be alarmed

Well judging by our inbox, quite a few of you are freaking out over this. Shortly after Google announced the latest version of Google Play Services, the company pushed out a silent upgrade to the Google Framework Services API that enabled a new “Google Settings” icon in your apps tray. Don’t be alarmed — rest assured that this is from Google, and most of you will be seeing this on your device in the coming days. So what, exactly, is it?

It’s an extension of the settings menu you already have under Settings > Accounts > Google. Really, it’s the same exact thing. The main difference is that using the Google Settings icon will grant you access to control Google+ sign-in settings, whereas the menu within Settings doesn’t.

We imagine Google wanted to make sure every phone had the functionality built-in as folks like TuneIn and Banjo begins offering Google+ sign-in functionality right away, but manipulating the normal Settings menu would most likely require an upgrade from OEMs and carriers. We know how long those upgrades tend to take, though, so we reckon Google found no other way around it than to stick another icon in your app drawer.

The icon is quite useless unless you’re looking to fine-tune those sign-in settings, and you can probably just hide it depending on what launcher you’re using it. We wouldn’t flat-out disable the app — some of this stuff is important — but it should be easy enough to get it out of your way if you really don’t want it. Handle it however you see fit and go on about your business, folks.


Mobango launches HTML site, updates it’s Android App

We are thrilled to share our exciting news with you all. Last week was another epic moment here at Mobango. We launched both the new HTML site and the next version of Mobango App for Android Touch-screens!

The HTML project’s key focus was the performance of the site making it optimal without any compromises. On performance vs. feature arguments, we have gone clearly with priority for performance. We have consciously taken a decision to not make the site heavy with features that will slow the experience.  We want the users to feel the comfort of speed with the new UI to help discover from among thousands of free apps and games with Mobango. With this new site, all smartphones with HTML capability will see a much enhanced performance of the Mobango site.

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Christmas is almost here!

Still no Santa wallpaper on your mobile phone? Or a Christmas tree? No Jingle Bells ringtone? Well, it’s time to get one now for FREE on Mobango! Check out the thousands of choices and download your favorite backgrounds and X-mas videos. Of course you can also share your own files with just your friends or all the other Mobango users. The easiest way is to go to our Search page and search for christmas, xmas, Santa or jingle bells.

Here are some of our favorite wallpapers and ringtones that you can put on your phone:

l believe
user: mlaycock48
tags: Christmas

Merry Xmas
user: m_sharapova
tags: Christmas

user: nina44
tags: Christmas


Do you have some Christmas stuff? Photos? Audio files? Videos?

Share it now with all the Mobango users. We’ll love you for it!

It is also very easy to access the Mobango Mobile site with your phone:

  1. Open the browser on your mobile phone and access
  2. Now simply search for “christmas” and you’ll get an amazing list of free wallpapers, videos and ringtones that you can download quickly and easily for FREE to your cell phone