Most App Users Stick to the Apps They Need

September 18, 2014

The article on Quartz titled Most Smartphone Users Download Zero Apps Per Month makes that revelation and considers the reasons why. In spite of the statistics that make it sound like everyone is constantly downloading apps, most people get the ones they want and leave the rest alone. The article reports,

“Apple boasted 75 billion all-time App Store downloads at its developers conference in June, and followed up by declaring July the best month ever for App Store revenue, with a record number of people downloading apps… Only about one-third of smartphone owners download any apps in an average month, with the bulk of those downloading one to three apps. The top 7% of smartphone owners account for “nearly half of all download activity in a given month,” comScore reports.”

The article rules out expense or uselessness as answers to why this is the case. Instead most people love their favorite app and spend 42% of all their “app-time” on that one alone. Another possibility is that while Apple’s App Store was a breakthrough in 2008, it is an imperfect search system, perhaps preventing users from finding the apps that they might download. For the app cheerleaders out there, how are those apps doing?

Chelsea Kerwin, September 18, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint Benefits from Apps

August 14, 2014

SharePoint is an extremely popular, but extremely complicated piece of software. Many organizations build their entire information architecture around it, so it is important to have an understanding about how all employees can benefit from different aspects of the system. Visual Studio Magazine turns their attention to SharePoint’s emerging focus on apps in their article, “SharePoint: All About the Apps.”

The article begins:

“SharePoint is one of the more prominent collaboration platforms . . . Implementing such a complex collaboration platform can be a challenge. If your organization is using SharePoint or planning to, you can learn more about developing and deploying custom SharePoint apps at SharePoint Live, as part of Live 360, happening this November 18-22 in Orlando, FL.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a lifelong career out of following all things search on ArnoldIT.com, and reports frequently on the popular topic of SharePoint, on his customized SharePoint feed. He understands the complexity of SharePoint and the necessity of almost constant training and professional development. It is encouraging to see an older software like SharePoint adapting to a new format through apps and other features, but it does take commitment on the part of the user to learn new skills.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 14, 2014

HP Autonomy Opens IDOL APIs to App Developers

July 29, 2014

App developers can now work with HP Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer engine through the company’s new API program. We learned about the initiative from eWeek’s, “HP Autonomy’s IDOL OnDemand APIs Nurture Apps Ecosystem.” The piece by Darryl K. Taft presents a slide show with examples of those APIs being put to use. He writes:

“IDOL OnDemand delivers Web service APIs that allow developers to tap into the explosive growth of unstructured information to build a new generation of apps…. IDOL OnDemand APIs include a growing portfolio of APIs within the format conversion, image analysis, indexing, search, and text analysis categories. Through an early access program, hackathons and several TopCoder challenges, some great apps have emerged. During the weekend of June 7-8, developers participated in an IDOL OnDemand Hackathon in San Francisco, where participants built apps using IDOL OnDemand Web service APIs. This slide show covers several of the early apps to emerge from these events. Enterprise developers are also adopting the IDOL OnDemand platform, with big names such as PwC and HP taking advantage of the developer-friendly technology to accelerate their development projects using the API’s.”

See the slide show for a look at 12 of these weekend projects. Developers should then check out the IDOL OnDemand site for more information. Founded in 1996, Autonomy grew from research originally performed at Cambridge University. Their solutions help prominent organizations around the world manage large amounts of data. Tech giant HP famously purchased the company in 2011.

Cynthia Murrell, July 29, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Whats The Name Of That Song?

June 6, 2014

It is a situation we have all faced. We are watching our favorite program, and then suddenly a song starts to play in the background. As the song emphasizes the action on screen, we have trouble identifying it. A smartphone might not be handy with a song recognition app and by the time it is downloaded the song is over. What do you do then? Beyond the obvious of rewinding (if you have that option), be glad that the Internet has a solution. LifeHacker tells us that “TuneFind Tells You What Songs Are In TV Episodes And Movies.”

There is now an entertainment database for everything online. TuneFind allows users to browse and search to find that song stuck in your head.

“TuneFind’s library is pretty extensive for both TV shows and movies. You can browse by shows, movies, and artists, but you can also browse by what’s popular. It’s pretty cool to see what other users have been searching for the most over the last week, month, and year. For TV shows, the selection goes back a ways, but nothing from the early 90s and earlier seems to be present. I’m probably wrong, but the earliest I could find was 1999′s excellent Freaks and Geeks. For movies the reach back is about the same.”

TuneFind works the same as other online databases and the content is extensive considering it goes back to 1999. If you also see something an actor’s worn on TV, you’ll also enjoy WornOnTV. Does anybody sense the next wave of advertisement and MTV?

Whitney Grace, June 06, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

PageZephyr Search Application Saves InDesign User’s Search Headache

April 4, 2014

The article titled PageZephyr Search on Markzware offers a brief tutorial to PageZephyr Search, an OS X application that allows for the search and view of InDesign documents. The article’s audience is any InDesign user frustrated by the inability to search with a word or phrase from an InDesign document from years past. PageZephyr Search indexes all InDesign documents on the user’s PC to make them searchable. It can also highlight a selected word in a document, and copy a text to your clipboard to make it useable elsewhere. The article also offers this customer testimonial from book designer Matthew MacKay,

“PZ is a one trick pony-and that is a good thing, because it does one trick exceeding well. It saved me hours recently when I was trying to find a version of a three year old InDesign file. I am a book designer, and often receive chapters from other designers. When I need to find a file, I can fire up PZ, go make a coffee and come back and see the file ready for me to work on.”

McKay also points out that PageZephyr Search protects him from his own file naming system (or non-system, as it may be.) If you are interested in testing the service before purchasing it, the demo option might appeal to you. You can try the demo for 15 days and evaluate its usefulness before making a final purchase.

Chelsea Kerwin, April 04, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

The Enigma App

April 1, 2014

Information can be an enigma, which is probably why the developers named their new app that. Visiting the Enigma Web site opens on a picture of either New York or London with the headline “navigate the world of public data.” It is an intriguing idea that one would think could be accomplished with search engine or academic database. Then again when you think about the process and how time consuming it is, it would be handy to have a search engine that did most of the work for you.

Enigma was built as a solution to this problem. The company says they have:

“Enigma is amassing the largest collection of public data produced by governments, universities, companies, and organizations. Concentrating all of this data provides new insights into economies, companies, places and individuals.”

Enigma’s services do come with a fee, however. They offer public data search and quick analytics for free with sign-up, but if you want API access and online support you need to upgrade to plans that start at $195/month. The data search must be gold, when you consider that many of these records are available for the public. It is worth exploring to see how the service differs from a basic search engine, but it is hard to sign up. The registration page is finicky.

Whitney Grace, April 01, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Addiction Model Measures App’s Addictiveness Over Retention

March 28, 2014

The article on re/code.net titled Mixpanel: How Addictive Is Your App? presents a new analytic report called Addiction. Under a picture of a wrist cuffed to the smartphone it holds, the article cheerfully explains that fifty percent of social app users engage with the service for over five hours a day. Enterprise apps are used more during the business day, and messaging apps show a lesser addiction in their users, supporting the idea that people are now using social media apps for most of their communications. The article explains,

“Addiction adds an extra layer of insight that allows companies to analyze user behavior on an even deeper level. One thing that’s clear is that addiction is inextricably linked to function: If your product is a social app that people don’t use more than once a day, that’s a red flag — and not one you would have previously been able to catch if you relied solely on Retention.”

The article stipulates that the most important feature of Addiction is that it enables companies to visualize how “embedded” their service is in user’s daily schedules. This will allow them to better follow the effect of their smallest adjustments in the app and really see how their customers react. Whether or not this is a dangerous ability is not considered.

Chelsea Kerwin, March 28, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

New App Helps Norwegians Find Recipes for Locally Foraged Food

February 27, 2014

The article titled The Seasonal Recipe App: Tapping into the Mental Model on Comperio’s blog explores the new demo app aimed at helping Norwegians find food in nature. According to the article, the app will allow for searching by places where one might find certain foods and when in the year one would be most successful. They would also be able to search for recipes by the ingredients they have found. The article explains,

“Since a lot of people in Norway actually go into the nature and forage, fetch, pick, shoot and fish their own food, we wanted to divide into some of the most typical and normal places where you can find those types of food. We then have two variables for our search: Place where you find the food and Time of year (Month)…. The places we’ve chosen [are] The sea, the farm, the garden, the forest, the mountain.”

The app shows a query matrix organized by types of ingredients. The app uses Elasticsearch in order to combine all of the types of information, from the foods grown in the area of the user, the time of year and the recipes themselves, according to the article Sourcing Local Food with Comperio Search, Qbox.io, and Elasticsearch on Qbox.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 27, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Quick Apps for SharePoint

February 14, 2014

The name of the game for SharePoint 2013 is customization. And while research shows that customization directly correlates to improve satisfaction with SharePoint, it is a time consuming process. So while companies want to invest in customization, they also welcome tips or tricks to streamline the process. Search Content Management addresses this topic in their article, “Easing SharePoint development with Quick Apps for SharePoint.”

“This feature, which Microsoft calls Apps for SharePoint (formerly Web Apps for SharePoint) reduces in-house application design burdens considerably. Placing code within Apps for SharePoint relieves the app designer from having to code from scratch workflows, metadata access and usage. A custom app can access the existing SharePoint code for that functionality without extra effort.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and frequently covers SharePoint on his Web service, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that customization is a highly valued feature of SharePoint 2013, and many companies are looking to third party add-ons to help deliver customization quality and efficiency.

Emily Rae Aldridge, February 14, 2014

The State Server Side and Client Side Software

February 5, 2014

Software in 2014, the article on the blog Tbray.org offers a state of the software construction. The overall news is positive from the article, with satisfied server developers and good tools for constructing software. The question the article poses is where 2014 will lead in terms of client-side software, and the answer is uncertain. The article suggests that HTTP is universally acceptable and easy to use while almost everything is “built with an MVC or equivalent level of abstraction” in spite of some apps still being created in PHP and Spring. The article posits that storage options are also multiple and strong. However, it also gets into the client-side difficulties the industry faces in the coming years.

The article states:

“When I said “Mobile sucks”, I wasn’t talking about engineering suckage… Crucially, for most of the things you’d want to put in a UI, there’s usually a single canonical solid well-debugged way to do it, which is the top result for the appropriate question on both Google and StackOverflow. But look at all the energy going into browser tech; surely it’s going to catch up with mobile tech any day now?”

The article offers no easy forecasts for the future of the client side. The redundancies in Web, iOS and Android, the mobile form factors among other mobile issues are all problems without simple answers. We are curious what Tim Bray would say about enterprise search software.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 05, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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