Will more App Stores make h(app)ier developers (and ultimately customers)?
JAN 28, 2014

Will more App Stores make h(app)ier developers (and ultimately customers)?

While 2014 will be a year for Wearables and Internet of Things, another movement is gaining traction (again) – app stores. Sure, we all use Apple’s and Google’s app stores but now you can also download apps from Microsoft, Blackberry or Amazon stores. Every new device and new manufacturer seems to revitalize the idea of niche app store.

Pebble, one of the pioneers of the new smartwatch movement (and to date the largest kickstarter campaign raising over $10M back in May of 2012), announced at CES that they have shipped more than 300,000 devices and developers are building apps specifically for their devices, which will be distributed via their own app store. How many? 3 Million apps in categories such as Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Fitness, and Watchfaces. Who knew I would need – or want – so many options in my wristwatch?

At Samsung’s Developer Conference last October, the world’s largest device manufacturer announced the release of 5 new software development kits which would help developers build apps for their smartphones, tablets and TV's in an effort to help build on their existing app store and leverage their hardware in new Samsung specific apps. Given their current dominance on the hardware market, they are able to present a compelling area for developers to work and play in.

With these new platforms, development teams are being asked to manage significantly larger code bases than they needed to just a decade ago when it was web only. Today teams now have to code for the web, mobile web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and Nokia platforms. For those in the media sector like Netflix, they also have to build apps for Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Boxee, Smart TV’s, Xbox, Playstation and Blue Ray players. Now add to the options places like Pebble and Samsung. Holy Code, Batman!

With these new and growth access points for software, app quality will have to be forefront of the development process or companies will have to face not only customers who uninstall apps just as fast as they install them but also face a world where every user has a voice and review in the app store.

While Pebble is a company to watch in the coming months, they will also have to keep an eye on their store quality as these are changing times and the ecosystem with the best functioning apps are bound to keep customers strapped in.

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