I thought that on the final day of voting it would be worth recapping the “experience” which has been our listing as a PayPal X Developers Challenge finalist. For us there are statistics which, to us, indicate that something has not been quite right with the way the contest has been run. These are; PortaPayments was featured in the PayPal FOWA Presentation. PortaPayments wasrecommended in one of the largest on-line Android blogs (Android Guys), and that article was re-tweeted and re-used on other sites.
[Update: Within 12 hours of making this post PayPal made the voting stats public again, briefly, and then they dissapeared once more] Some of you may wonder why I’ve stopped updating a previous post with the current percentage of votes PortaPayments has in the PayPal X Developers challenge. There’s a simple reason; PayPal have taken away the ability to see how many votes have been cast. Whether this has something to do with a sudden leap of 1,000 cast votes over 24 hours a couple of days ago, or being able to see that even though they sent out an email stating they were aware of “Incentivized voting” they hadn’t actually penalised anyone for it, or it could be related to me pointing out that, at one point, the system was showing more votes than users (despite each user only suppose to be able to cast 1 vote), or possibly even if it’s because they don’t like the fact people are making stats about voting available, is completely unknown.
[This body of this post was updated on the at 08:45 GMT - 28th Feb 10 with the latest statistics] When we entered the PayPal X Developers Challenge we hoped for a good result (who doesn’t when they enter a competition?). After the problems we saw with the way it’s being run we decided to use the number of votes we received to determine what to do with the project in the future.
Update : I’ve put a list of 17 apps out of the current 54 which we believe don’t comply with the rules. You can find the list here. Towards the middle of December 2009 I came across details of the PayPal X Developer Challenge, which is a contest to write apps using PayPals adaptive APIs. There were two prizes, one of $50,000 cash $50,000 in PayPal fees, the other $25,000 cash $25,000 in fees.
I thought the effect of “New customer only” deals on long term business were well understood, but, in the last month, I’ve seen some examples which show that some companies still haven’t grasped their long term effects. Its' true that “new customer only” deals get people through the door (which every business needs), but for businesses that survive on regular payments (e.g. subscriptions or credit repayments), or want customers to continue to use them, it also has a crippling side effect.
With my companies Funky Expenses Android applicaion we have two versions; An ad-supported version and a pay-for ad-free version so that users can choose how they help to fund development (yes, we do get requests for a free ad-free version, but unfortunately that won’t keep the company afloat). The ad-free version is available from Google Market (which currently has the largest user base by a long way) and AndAppStore, and the pay for version is only available in Google Market.
During my morning check of Twitter I came across this tweet from Google; “Introducing the #Google Chrome OS http://bit.ly/N1rNZ” Which started to raise some concerns. It had widely been predicted that we’d see Android making it’s way onto netbooks in the near future, but with this one announcement that idea has taken a huge knock backwards. The reason is simple; Androids design is primarily focused on touch screen devices, Chrome OS is focused on netbooks, and netbooks rarely (if ever) have a touch screen.
(If you want to tweet this please use the tag #O2iPhoneRipOff) Is it me or is the new O2 iPhone pricing policy looking like a bit of a rip-off? First off, there is the cost of the ‘phone. At Apples WWDC it was announced that in the US; 3G 8 GB goes from $199 to $99. 3GS 16 GB to be $199 (same as old price for 3G 8GB) 3GS 32 GB to be $299 (same as old price for 3G 16GB).
There seems to be a lot of variation on how many stars people give an application on Googles Android Market. Some give 3 stars for an app they find hard to use, others give 1 star because the developer chose not to make the applications source code available (even though this doesn’t affect the application as delivered to the user). I’m trying to stick to the following marking scheme and would welcome comments and feedback as to any changes people think would make sense.
Android developers have been waiting for the ability to list pay-for applications in Googles Market, but now most of them wish it had never arrived because the experience it’s giving users may just turn them off Android forever. The first joy is the “copy protection” offered by Google. Developers can turn this on for their apps but doing so can stop a the application running at all regardless of if it’s been copied.