Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Mobile Trends

A storm of personal data is coming to healthcare, are you ready?  
  [Expanded from my Jan 14, 2014 post for   ePharma Summit  , where I spoke on Feb 12th, 2014.]  
  At CES 2014, 40 percent more floor space has been dedicated to digital health exhibitors this year than in 2013.  This includes many sensor tech companies that are acquiring data that describes our digital selves. For example, LG Electronics is introducing a fitness band, Reebok is showcasing a skullcap with sensors, and startups like Lively and ZamZee are releasing solutions for the elderly and for children respectively. This quantified-self movement has been heavily funded but is really still in its infancy. 
  As the technology has moved toward commoditization, it will be increasingly included in devices that we already own.  For example, both Apple and Samsung have included technology into their latest phones that includes advanced motion sensing technology, including a custom app by Samsung “S Health”. Apple even has a new patent on an integrated heart rate sensor (   read more here   ). Apple’s M7 co-processor allows efficient motion detection and is now integrated with the FitBit mobile app removing the need for a special purpose device – a smart move. Why? 
 
  Because the future won’t necessarily be about winning on the device side, it will be about how you use the enormous amount of data that is being generated by people to describe themselves in new ways.   
 
 Individuals will want help managing the data, providing access to their data and using it for custom applications that align to their specific needs. This is where healthcare industry players should focus their energy. How are you planning to plug in to this ecosystem? What data will you help your customers acquire or will you ask them for access to their data as it is generated so that you can provide them a valuable service? 
  For pharma,  I’m enthusiastic about both the creation of mobile services that utilize these new data acquisition technologies, and also about the use of this aggregate data to unlock new knowledge that aligns R&D and marketing goals.  For care providers,  new data sources give physicians a new view into cause and effect, and for insurers and employers there can be tremendous gains in enhancing wellness programs and aligning incentives to healthier behaviors. 
  On my end, I’m excited to be involved with two great businesses that are taking advantage of this opportunity today.   Mana Health    is a rapidly growing company that is taking as inputs these many new data points and making sense of it all to patients and care providers.    OysterLabs    is a mobile technology company whose AQUA platform is enabling marketers to use the data generated by mobile app users at the edge to improve audience engagement. In short, I for one am incredibly excited for this storm of data to be here and for all the opportunity it creates, and luckily I brought my umbrella. 
  Written by Raj Amin, CEO of   OysterLabs    
 Keep up with Raj on his   blog  . 

A storm of personal data is coming to healthcare, are you ready?

[Expanded from my Jan 14, 2014 post for ePharma Summit, where I spoke on Feb 12th, 2014.]

At CES 2014, 40 percent more floor space has been dedicated to digital health exhibitors this year than in 2013. This includes many sensor tech companies that are acquiring data that describes our digital selves. For example, LG Electronics is introducing a fitness band, Reebok is showcasing a skullcap with sensors, and startups like Lively and ZamZee are releasing solutions for the elderly and for children respectively. This quantified-self movement has been heavily funded but is really still in its infancy.

As the technology has moved toward commoditization, it will be increasingly included in devices that we already own. For example, both Apple and Samsung have included technology into their latest phones that includes advanced motion sensing technology, including a custom app by Samsung “S Health”. Apple even has a new patent on an integrated heart rate sensor (read more here). Apple’s M7 co-processor allows efficient motion detection and is now integrated with the FitBit mobile app removing the need for a special purpose device – a smart move. Why?

Because the future won’t necessarily be about winning on the device side, it will be about how you use the enormous amount of data that is being generated by people to describe themselves in new ways.

Individuals will want help managing the data, providing access to their data and using it for custom applications that align to their specific needs. This is where healthcare industry players should focus their energy. How are you planning to plug in to this ecosystem? What data will you help your customers acquire or will you ask them for access to their data as it is generated so that you can provide them a valuable service?

For pharma, I’m enthusiastic about both the creation of mobile services that utilize these new data acquisition technologies, and also about the use of this aggregate data to unlock new knowledge that aligns R&D and marketing goals. For care providers, new data sources give physicians a new view into cause and effect, and for insurers and employers there can be tremendous gains in enhancing wellness programs and aligning incentives to healthier behaviors.

On my end, I’m excited to be involved with two great businesses that are taking advantage of this opportunity today. Mana Health is a rapidly growing company that is taking as inputs these many new data points and making sense of it all to patients and care providers. OysterLabs is a mobile technology company whose AQUA platform is enabling marketers to use the data generated by mobile app users at the edge to improve audience engagement. In short, I for one am incredibly excited for this storm of data to be here and for all the opportunity it creates, and luckily I brought my umbrella.

Written by Raj Amin, CEO of OysterLabs

Keep up with Raj on his blog

Why I Love Venmo  
 In the past few years, mobile payment apps have flooded the market, with some dominating in specific sections. Apps like   PayPal  ,   Square  ,   LevelUp  ,   Chirpify   and   Dwolla   have all taken their place within the industry. For my group of friends, our go to payment app is   Venmo  . 
 Behind Starbucks,  Venmo is the second most used payment app , racking up an average of  seven payments  per month.  Among age groups, Venmo users comprise the youngest category (18-24-year-olds). Young people love Venmo. It makes paying someone fun and simple. Business Insider recently  reported  that Venmo is now officially a verb. “Like Google, Xerox, and Facebook, mobile payments startup Venmo has already achieved that rare and highly coveted milestone in the product services world: its name has been verbalized.” I’ve heard my own friends say to each other,  “Dude, just Venmo me.”  Venmo has revolutionized mobile payments, making it a social interaction rather than a formal and tedious exercise. 
 There’s instant gratification about being paid right back. Gone are the days of worrying about giving your friend change for a $20 or them paying you back in drinks the next time you go out. You literally can get the exact amount you need within seconds of paying the bill. If you have a credit/debit card and a smartphone, there’s no excuse not to have it … unless you have no friends : ( 
  Featured photo from  Venmo’s 2013 Office Tour  on Business Insider

Why I Love Venmo

In the past few years, mobile payment apps have flooded the market, with some dominating in specific sections. Apps like PayPal, Square, LevelUp, Chirpify and Dwolla have all taken their place within the industry. For my group of friends, our go to payment app is Venmo.

Behind Starbucks, Venmo is the second most used payment app, racking up an average of seven payments per month.  Among age groups, Venmo users comprise the youngest category (18-24-year-olds). Young people love Venmo. It makes paying someone fun and simple. Business Insider recently reported that Venmo is now officially a verb. “Like Google, Xerox, and Facebook, mobile payments startup Venmo has already achieved that rare and highly coveted milestone in the product services world: its name has been verbalized.” I’ve heard my own friends say to each other, “Dude, just Venmo me.” Venmo has revolutionized mobile payments, making it a social interaction rather than a formal and tedious exercise.

There’s instant gratification about being paid right back. Gone are the days of worrying about giving your friend change for a $20 or them paying you back in drinks the next time you go out. You literally can get the exact amount you need within seconds of paying the bill. If you have a credit/debit card and a smartphone, there’s no excuse not to have it … unless you have no friends : (

Featured photo from Venmo’s 2013 Office Tour on Business Insider

6 Essential Music Apps for the Post-Pandora Generation   Pandora revolutionized the music industry by offering on-demand, user-customizable radio stations and an enormous library of music on desktop and mobile. Since Pandora, the industry has seen the rise of several niche services that make it even easier for users to discover new music, personalize their listening, and share their favorite songs and artists with friends. These 6 apps are essential for music listeners who are looking to expand their horizons beyond Pandora.   Shazam |  .com    Shazam lets users quickly identify songs, commercials, TV shows, and more by pointing their mobile device towards the audio source and tapping a button on the app to record and process an audio clip. Once the app has identified the media, users can navigate to the song or video on YouTube or a 30-second iTunes preview. In addition to being a great organic discovery service for users, Shazam has become an important tool for brands. By integrating Shazam into radio and TV ads, brands have been able to re-direct mobile users to custom brand experiences on their devices, which helps with migrating analog audiences to mobile.   Beats Music |  .com    Beats Music has a stylish, sophisticated user interface in line with its coveted audio accessories, and a library of more than 20 million tracks and curated playlists from audio experts like Pitchfork and XXL Magazine. Beats emphasizes personalization above all else. The app offers “The Sentence” — a feature that requests a user’s location, mood, and current activity in order to select the ideal song for the moment.   Songza |  .com    Of the many music apps available today, Songza may offer the most robust personalization features. Songza’s Concierge feature lets users select the time of day, day of the week, current activity, mood, energy/concentration needs, and genre preferences to hone in on the perfect set for the occasion. Telling Songza you’re at work will get you a largely instrumental set — more conducive to sustaining focus — while telling the app you’re pre-gaming with friends on a Friday evening will get you a custom mix of dance and pop songs to put you in party mode.   iHeart Radio |  .com    iHeartRadio is a free digital radio that lets users listen to their favorite live stations and create ad-free custom stations. Users can access more than 1,500 live radio stations from across the country, with genres including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and college. Users can also browse radio stations by genre and location, then tap the scan button to navigate from station to station. A thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system also lets users send feedback to DJs on which tracks are trending.   Slacker Radio |  .com    Slacker offers users hundreds of stations curated by human music experts. Popular stations include “Music Festivals,” as well as custom stations based on user-selected artists. Users can personalize their stations with continuous fine-tuning based on likes and bans on songs and artists.   Spotify |  .com    With a sleek user interface, flexible pricing, and access to more than 20 million songs, Spotify is one of the leading apps of the post-Pandora era. The Spotify mobile app lets you shuffle any artist or album for free, while the tablet and computer versions give users unlimited, ad-supported access to music. Recently added browsing capabilities make it easier than ever to find playlists, and Spotify Premium enables unlimited offline listening and ad-free streaming on mobile.

6 Essential Music Apps for the Post-Pandora Generation

Pandora revolutionized the music industry by offering on-demand, user-customizable radio stations and an enormous library of music on desktop and mobile. Since Pandora, the industry has seen the rise of several niche services that make it even easier for users to discover new music, personalize their listening, and share their favorite songs and artists with friends. These 6 apps are essential for music listeners who are looking to expand their horizons beyond Pandora.

Shazam | .com

Shazam lets users quickly identify songs, commercials, TV shows, and more by pointing their mobile device towards the audio source and tapping a button on the app to record and process an audio clip. Once the app has identified the media, users can navigate to the song or video on YouTube or a 30-second iTunes preview. In addition to being a great organic discovery service for users, Shazam has become an important tool for brands. By integrating Shazam into radio and TV ads, brands have been able to re-direct mobile users to custom brand experiences on their devices, which helps with migrating analog audiences to mobile.

Beats Music | .com

Beats Music has a stylish, sophisticated user interface in line with its coveted audio accessories, and a library of more than 20 million tracks and curated playlists from audio experts like Pitchfork and XXL Magazine. Beats emphasizes personalization above all else. The app offers “The Sentence” — a feature that requests a user’s location, mood, and current activity in order to select the ideal song for the moment.

Songza | .com

Of the many music apps available today, Songza may offer the most robust personalization features. Songza’s Concierge feature lets users select the time of day, day of the week, current activity, mood, energy/concentration needs, and genre preferences to hone in on the perfect set for the occasion. Telling Songza you’re at work will get you a largely instrumental set — more conducive to sustaining focus — while telling the app you’re pre-gaming with friends on a Friday evening will get you a custom mix of dance and pop songs to put you in party mode.

iHeart Radio | .com

iHeartRadio is a free digital radio that lets users listen to their favorite live stations and create ad-free custom stations. Users can access more than 1,500 live radio stations from across the country, with genres including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and college. Users can also browse radio stations by genre and location, then tap the scan button to navigate from station to station. A thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system also lets users send feedback to DJs on which tracks are trending.

Slacker Radio | .com

Slacker offers users hundreds of stations curated by human music experts. Popular stations include “Music Festivals,” as well as custom stations based on user-selected artists. Users can personalize their stations with continuous fine-tuning based on likes and bans on songs and artists.

Spotify | .com

With a sleek user interface, flexible pricing, and access to more than 20 million songs, Spotify is one of the leading apps of the post-Pandora era. The Spotify mobile app lets you shuffle any artist or album for free, while the tablet and computer versions give users unlimited, ad-supported access to music. Recently added browsing capabilities make it easier than ever to find playlists, and Spotify Premium enables unlimited offline listening and ad-free streaming on mobile.

How to Choose a Platform for your Mobile App   
 Whether you’re a Fortune-100 brand or a one-person business, choosing which platforms your mobile app will support can be a confusing process. The past few years have seen the rise of Windows and Blackberry app markets, but for most businesses looking to build a mobile presence the choice comes down to the two major platforms: Android and iOS.  
 This morning I had a  Twitter exchange with Charles Nutter  after he tweeted: 
 
  “Am I crazy, or is it madness to release mobile apps with no support for Android devices now? And to have no plans to ever support them?”  
 
 The question is a good one since many businesses out there are wondering the same thing. My reply was: “Yes it’s madness.”  
  To clarify: if you are just breaking into mobile,  it may not be madness to begin by only supporting iOS even though it controls  just 15% of the global market  as compared to Android’s 78%. But to rule out Android support completely is to ignore a huge potential source of users and revenue.  
 The key question to ask yourself is how much you plan to charge for your app. Despite Android’s huge lead in global market share,  Apple pulls in an estimated $5.1M a day in App Store revenue , compared to Google’s daily $1.1M from Google Play. That means that the average iOS user spends roughly 25x as much on apps (and in-app purchases) as the average Android user. So if you plan to release a paid app, it may make sense to start by allocating your development resources to a quality iOS release rather than splitting your budget between parallel iOS and Android builds. 
 At  OysterLabs  we’ve worked with many clients who went that route and then re-invested a portion of their iOS app earnings into a follow-up Android release. For cash-strapped businesses and startups in particular, this is a time-tested approach that may not yield huge revenue right off the bat but almost certainly won’t break the bank.  
  Not everyone is interested in the paid app model, though.  Businesses whose apps rely on in-app purchases, ads, and/or incentivized downloads for revenue may see Android as the priority platform given its much larger user base. If your app’s revenue model relies on many users downloading and using your app – what industry insiders sometimes call “eyeball potential” – then it makes sense to prioritize support for the platform with more users.   
 But that raises a secondary question about how to get those eyeballs focused on your app. Big brands can rely on their marketing budgets to drive installs and impressions, but less well-endowed developers often must resort to clever usage of social media and paid distribution channels. Google Play offers an advantage to the small guys here with its superior search capabilities that enable users to find apps even when they misspell keywords. 
  Final Thoughts   
Your decision-making about mobile platform support should be driven by your app’s revenue model and available budget for development and distribution. The ideal scenario is to support both iOS and Android, but that may not be a reality for every business at the start.
  If you’re thinking about developing an app, give us a shout at  Hello@OysterLabs.com  and we’ll help you develop a mobile strategy that meets your business’ goals and requirements. 
 View the full infographic at   Beutler Ink

How to Choose a Platform for your Mobile App 

Whether you’re a Fortune-100 brand or a one-person business, choosing which platforms your mobile app will support can be a confusing process. The past few years have seen the rise of Windows and Blackberry app markets, but for most businesses looking to build a mobile presence the choice comes down to the two major platforms: Android and iOS. 

This morning I had a Twitter exchange with Charles Nutter after he tweeted:

“Am I crazy, or is it madness to release mobile apps with no support for Android devices now? And to have no plans to ever support them?”

The question is a good one since many businesses out there are wondering the same thing. My reply was: “Yes it’s madness.” 

To clarify: if you are just breaking into mobile, it may not be madness to begin by only supporting iOS even though it controls just 15% of the global market as compared to Android’s 78%. But to rule out Android support completely is to ignore a huge potential source of users and revenue. 

The key question to ask yourself is how much you plan to charge for your app. Despite Android’s huge lead in global market share, Apple pulls in an estimated $5.1M a day in App Store revenue, compared to Google’s daily $1.1M from Google Play. That means that the average iOS user spends roughly 25x as much on apps (and in-app purchases) as the average Android user. So if you plan to release a paid app, it may make sense to start by allocating your development resources to a quality iOS release rather than splitting your budget between parallel iOS and Android builds.

At OysterLabs we’ve worked with many clients who went that route and then re-invested a portion of their iOS app earnings into a follow-up Android release. For cash-strapped businesses and startups in particular, this is a time-tested approach that may not yield huge revenue right off the bat but almost certainly won’t break the bank. 

Not everyone is interested in the paid app model, though. Businesses whose apps rely on in-app purchases, ads, and/or incentivized downloads for revenue may see Android as the priority platform given its much larger user base. If your app’s revenue model relies on many users downloading and using your app – what industry insiders sometimes call “eyeball potential” – then it makes sense to prioritize support for the platform with more users.  

But that raises a secondary question about how to get those eyeballs focused on your app. Big brands can rely on their marketing budgets to drive installs and impressions, but less well-endowed developers often must resort to clever usage of social media and paid distribution channels. Google Play offers an advantage to the small guys here with its superior search capabilities that enable users to find apps even when they misspell keywords.

Final Thoughts

Your decision-making about mobile platform support should be driven by your app’s revenue model and available budget for development and distribution. The ideal scenario is to support both iOS and Android, but that may not be a reality for every business at the start.

If you’re thinking about developing an app, give us a shout at Hello@OysterLabs.com and we’ll help you develop a mobile strategy that meets your business’ goals and requirements.

View the full infographic at Beutler Ink