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Developer Economics 2013: Best practices for app development & marketing

[As we launch the Developer Economics 2013 online survey, Senior Analyst Andreas Pappas introduces Developer Economics 2013, the fourth in our series of developer research reports. This time we're benchmarking the building blocks of the app economy, from analytics tools to voice APIs. Join us in Developer Economics 2013, take our online survey and win great prizes.]

Developer Economics 2013

Back in June 2012 we launched Developer Economics 2012, the third in our series of reports that focused on app ecosystems, developer segmentation, platform economics and global app trade routes.

Today we are embarking on the evolution of our developer research: Developer Economics 2013 focuses on the best practices for the tools, services and APIs that developers use to build, market and monetise their apps. Take the survey, have your say on your favourite tools and win prizes, including an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy SIII. The survey will soon be available in Chinese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Korean. Developer Economics 2013 is sponsored by AT&T, Mozilla, Nokia, BrightCove, BlackBerry and Telefonica.

A service economy develops around app ecosystems

The mobile development landscape has undergone a massive transformation since the early days of the iOS and Android platforms. In the early stages developers faced a limited supply of tools and services to assist them with crossing platforms, beautifying the UI, bridging fragmentation, integrating with ad networks or analysing user behaviour. They had to create most of the building blocks from scratch using their own means.

As mobile application development continues its growth from 100,000s to millions of apps, the rush for gold has sparked a rush for spades. Across the developer journey, there is now a tool for (almost) every developer need, from app testing to ratings management. The app economy is evolving towards a service economy where developers can pick from a range of tools and services to assist them along the plan – develop – market journey. But best practices are yet far from clear.

Third-party developer services, ranging from user analytics, location APIs, bug-tracking tools, app-store optimisation services, and cross-promotion networks are, today, vying for mindshare among developers. Developer Economics 2013 aims to identify the most popular developer services among these and measure their Developer Mindshare. Furthermore we aim to understand the reasons developers choose the services they do and how they rate them across range of key performance indicators (KPIs), such as reliability, availability across platforms and ease of integration within an app.

The right tools for building an app business

Developer Economics 2013 is benchmarking best practices in a variety of developer tools sectors:

Ad Networks AdColony
AdMarvel
AdMob
AdWhirl
Airpush
Apple (iAd)
Burstly
Fiksu
Flurry
InMobi
Inneractive
JumpTap
Lead Bolt
MillenialMedia
mOcean Mobile
MobClix
Nexage
mopub
Smaato
warp.ly
Back-End as a Service ACS
Applicasa
Apstrata
Buddy
CloudMine
CloudyRec
Deployd
FeedHenry
iKnode
Kinvey
kumulos
mobDB
Parse
ScottyApp
sencha.io
StackMob
Usergrid (Apigee)
Trestle (Flurry)
QuickBlox
Bug Tracking Airbreak
Apphance
BugSense
Crashlytics
Crittercism
Hockey App
TestFlight
Usermetrix
Cross-Platform Tools Adobe AIR
Appcelerator
AppMobi
Brightcove
Corona
Marmalade
Mono
MoSync
PhoneGap
Qt
RunRev
Sencha
Unity
Cross-Promo Networks adDash
AdDuplex
AppCircle (Flurry)
Applifier
AppFlood (Papaya)
Chartboost
clashmedia
Fiksu
G6Pay
GreatPlay Network
Jampp
maudau
RevMob
SponsorPay
Tapjoy
W3i
Wavex (6waves)
User Analytics Apsalar
Bango
Distimo
Flurry
Google
Localytics
MobClix
mopapp
Testflight Live (Burstly)
UserMetrix
Voice Services AT&T
Deutsche Telecom
FonYou
GetVocal
HarQen
Hoiio
Ifbyphone
IOVOX
Jaduka
Microsoft
OneAPI
Sendflow
Skype
Telefonica
Teleku
TringMe
Tropo
Twilio
Verizon
Vivox

Which tool should you use and which one should you trust?

These sectors are becoming increasingly crowded with new entrants while merger & acquisition activity is changing the landscape almost on a monthly basis. The tools and services benchmarked in this survey are becoming the building blocks of modern apps and Developer Economics 2013 aims to establish best practices for the key developer tools sectors across the developer journey.

Developers are often at a loss when it comes to selecting the right tool or partner among the hundreds of services available to them. Cost is just one variable in the selection process but quite often, it is not the most crucial. The reliability of a service, the regional reach, key metrics (such as eCPM or fill rates), as well as the flexibility to adapt to the developer’s needs are sometimes more important than cost, particularly when developers invest time, money and resources to integrate a third-party service with their apps.

Developer Economics 2013 aims to assist developers with the selection process by benchmarking a number of third-party tools and services across a range of KPIs.

We are also helping third-party tool and service providers receive valuable information on how developer rate their services and their key decision criteria when selecting a service. If you’re a tools vendor being benchmarked, now is the time to spread the word to your developers.

If you are a developer your input into this research is very valuable to us and we’d like to invite you to take the survey.

Feedback welcome, as always
- Andreas

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