By this time I don't know if Windows Phone users ever thought it would happen, but Instagram has finally released its app in the Windows Phone marketplace. Just to make you still feel like you're on the Windows Phone platform, Instagram is still working on video support, however an official app is better than nothing.
One app seems so trivial to make or break a phone, but in my recent experience it did affect my purchase decision. My old iPhone had too much fun kayaking and choked in the briny deep (RIP), and more than missing the ability to call people, I really missed having a camera in my pocket. Surveying the handset landscape I had my eyes on the Nokia 1020, whose monstrous camera is basically designed for fauxtographers like myself. But what's pictures if you have no one to share them with? Instagram has grown up to be more than just silly filters; I use it to check up on what my friends around the world are up to since few "a day in the life" pictures make it on Facebook, which is reserved for baby pictures and wedding photos. So Finland, if I killed Nokia by buying another iPhone for a stupid camera filter app, please accept my apologies.
Helsinki-based Jongla has now put its messaging app on its fourth platform, releasing it now on Windows phone in addition to their iOS, Android, and HTML5 apps. The app is targeted towards 15-24 year olds, and provides free messaging its users and syncs with your phone's address book to find contacts, rather than relying on a user name.
CEO Riku Salminen tells us that launching on Windows Phone has had positive effects within apps across all platforms. "We doubled our daily downloads and registrations and windows was yesterday the most downloaded app. What is really exiting is that the WP users are very active and thank's to viral they push also Android and iOS downloads and registrations up +25%."
Editorial note: This is a sponsored blog post by Microsoft as part of their series Hear it from startups.
Imagine Cup is an annual competition aimed at students worldwide, who are looking to change the world. Each year students compete against each other in many different categories for the best application. Applications are judged by their real world potential in changing the world, but also how viable they are business wise.
This year the finals will take place in Sydney, Australia and Microsoft Finland will be sending one team from Finland to the finals. The team however, has to win the semi-finals in Finland first.
Imagine Cup has multiple different categories available, but if you choose to enter the competition local semi-finals will be held for the Windows Phone Challenge as well as the Software Design categories.
While you would think Microsoft would have leveraged the Windows Phone platform to get add more use of its search engine, Bing, but things are looking otherwise in Russia. The news coming from Russia’s Search Giant, is that Yandex is going to be used as the default search engine on all Windows Phone based devices in Russia. This announcement includes the company’s announcement of partnering with major mobile manufacturing giants like Nokia, HTC and Samsung.
There’s a lot of noise lately about whether or not mobile apps are sustainable, or have any future. But so far, and despite some real challenges and issues, mobile apps have been nothing short of success.
The challenges for developers working on mobile apps range from visibility and pick up rates to loyalty and monetization. The majority of revenue generated by app stores today still comes from the top 100 apps and the “long tail” is often ignored. As the demand for smartphone real estate increases, the cost of acquiring new mobile customers is rising rapidly as well. Seamless payment and customer acquisition methods are other big challenges that apps are struggling to solve. Not to mention how inhomogeneous the two leading platforms - iOS and Android- are.
We've covered Microsoft's new Windows 8 quite extensively this week on ArcticStartup from the Build conference, but the truth is - all this will have a lot of implications in the different ecosystems regarding mobile operating systems, app stores and what not. Furthermore, enabling Xbox Live to run as an application on Windows 8 OS will have huge possibilities for gaming companies.
Yesterday at the Build conference Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise visit on stage to talk more about how the company views new technologies and what this means for developers. He came out to further promote the importance of Windows 8 for Microsoft and what it also means for the whole company, looking forward. In addition to this, he also mentioned Nokia in his talk, but not in an extensive fashion. According to Ballmer, not only does Windows 8 change the approach to pretty much everything Microsoft works with, but it also changes the way how Microsoft views technology - the release itself will make Microsoft pivot and look at new technologies in a Windows centered fashion.
ArcticStartup is reporting from Anaheim, California this week from the Build event taking place until September 16th. I'm pretty excited about the new things Microsoft presented today to an audience of about 5000 developers. Why so, you may ask? With Windows 8, Microsoft basically outlined their tablet strategy and it has implications to their mobile platform as well. This of course makes the news extremely important for developers and startups looking at this space, including those working with Windows Phone and Nokia.
Nokia and Microsoft have stated that the WP7 release by the codename "Mango" has been pushed onward to manufacturing. This means we should see it in stores before the year end. Mango is the name given to the latest version of the operating system installed in WP7 phones. Nokia has announced a few more details about the phone in their Ääni blog (in Finnish). Nokia has also confirmed that this is the operating system that will be in use in their first Windows Phones.
Nokia Ääni blog, which is the Finnish equivalent of the Nokia Conversations blog, has just released in the past few days some interesting material regarding the Nokia Microsoft Partnership. The information trickles from a video with Kai Öistämö from Nokia's Corporate Development. In the video Öistämö outlines some interesting issues why Nokia chose to work with Microsoft.
All About Symbian's Rafe Blandford was on Sunday in Barcelona to listen to Stephen Elop and Jo Harlow talk on how Nokia plans to transition to Windows Phone over the years and what this eventually means to the developers and consumers. Naturally, many feared that no one would be interested in developing software for the platform anymore now that it has been publicly announced that its development won't be continued indefinitely.