Applause is Headed to Mobile World Congress

MWC logoGreetings from Barcelona!….is what Applause staffers will be saying, starting this coming Monday. We’re heading over to Mobile World Congress from March 2nd – March 5th to share our apps expertise, learn about breaking news and, hopefully, pick up an award!

Our co-founder Roy Solomon will be there – along with executives from Applause EU –  to discuss 360° App Quality™ with the worlds biggest brands and hottest startups.  We’ll be located in “App Planet” (hall 8.1) at stand 8.1J9.  Be sure to stop by to discuss In-the-Wild testing, analytics, mobile beta management and more. Learn about why thousands of companies – including Google, Amazon, RunKeeper, Concur and others – use Applause to launch great apps users love. (Oh, and while you’re there, enter to win a free iPad Air).

On March 3rd at the conference, you can find us at the Global Mobile Awards, where we’re a finalist in the Best Mobile Service or App for Enterprise category for our App Quality ToolsIt’s an incredible honor to be nominated, and we’re thrilled to be in such great company. Thanks so much to the judges and best of luck to all of the nominees.

Another member of our team will be there, but with a different mission. Dan Rowinski, the editor-in-chief of ARCwill be covering breaking news from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Blackphone and Microsoft. Dan and ARC will be looking for the what’s hot in the apps economy – mobile payments, IoT, automation, new devices and more. In fact, Dan gave a teaser of his trip to Spain – and his thoughts on LoopPay, Samsung and other items – on TechNews 2 Night yesterday.  For those of you new to us, Dan is indeed the same Dan Rowinski who used to be the Mobile Editor at ReadWrite.com. He joined our team and launched ARC (the App Resource Center) last fall and has been building up a library of deep thoughtful pieces on the apps economy, as well as a top-of-line series of research reports.

So if you’re going to Mobile World Congress, be on the lookout for Dan and the Applause team. If you’re not going you can of course follow all our activity on Twitter at @applause and @Dan_Rowinski.

See you in Spain!

 

Applause Wins Award from IBM for Partnership…and More!

ibmAs the never-ending polar vortex of this winter continues, things are starting to heat up at Applause.

We’re proud to announce that yesterday, during IBM InterConnect, it was announced that Applause has been chosen as the winner of IBM’s Best Partner Integration Technology Solution Award.

You may recall that we announced our collaboration with IBM last July, telling the world of our close work with IBM’s MobileFirst and Rational Software technology teams to develop solutions that help companies better achieve mobile app quality that aligns with users’ perspectives.

You may also recall how our integrated technology was singled out by Forrester in their report, “IBM Reinforces Mobile First,” under a section entitled “The Proof Is In The Pudding” where they mention IBM’s current offerings and services including (sans links) Mobile Quality Assurance, powered by Applause technology.”

Thank you to our friends and partners at IBM for this great award. We look forward to growing our integrated technology and our overall relationship. And If you are at IBM InterConnect this week, please be sure to check out our CEO Doron Reuveni on the “Future trends in mobile app testing and quality” panel, which takes place Tuesday, February 24th at 5:30 in Lagoon G at Mandalay Bay. (More about Doron in a moment).

Co-Founder Talks Testing

In other news, our Co-Founder and VP of Product Management, Roy Solomon, was visiting our offices in Israel recently and stopped by i24News to talk about our global community of professional testers, how crowdsourcing for QA works, and more. The interview can be seen on the i24News site.

Co-Founder and Applause Featured

Last but not least, our other Co-Founder – CEO, Doron Reuveni - was featured in a profile piece on VentureFizz.com. The feature looks at Doron’s background and how he’s grown Applause from humble beginnings, in a small office in the Boston area’s MetroWest, to a global app quality company with offices in the EU and beyond.

There’s much more to talk about on the horizon, so check back soon for more Applause news. And, as always, check out ARC for the latest from around the apps economy.

Applause Named One of Forbes’ Most Promising Companies for Record Third Straight Year

applause logo white nameHello fans of app quality! This week, Applause reached yet another milestone. For the third straight year, Forbes Magazine has named Applause one of America’s Most Promising CompaniesComing in at #38, Applause has now placed in the top 40 on the list every year it has submitted for consideration.

The Forbes list of 100 privately held companies with bright futures is based on growth (both in sales and hiring), quality of management team and investors, margins, market size and key partnerships. Given that there was a record number of submissions this year from many amazing, new companies, this back-to-back-to-back set of appearances is all the more gratifying.  To quote an email from the award organizers, Applause is “a great company in great company.”

Also, while Applause is a global company, we are HQ’d in Massachusetts and this year we were the top-ranking company from Massachusetts on the Forbes list.  This most-recent accolade tops a twelve-month stretch that saw some big milestones for our company, including:

Along the way, we made our third-straight Inc. 5000 list, won a Stevie Award for Most Innovative Tech Company for the company size above our class and grew both our business and our testing community exponentially.

We here at Applause know how much hard work goes into compiling a list like this, so we’d like to thank the judges for this honor and offer our congratulations to all of the winners.  For us, making this list is a testament to all who make our holistic, 360 degree approach to app quality possible – the aforementioned global community of professional testers, our employees and board,  and growing list of partners. All of them work tirelessly every day to delight our clients and move the apps economy forward.

One more thing we know….apps. We know apps, and we’re going to keep growing, thriving and helping companies launch great apps their users love, throughout 2015 and beyond.

 

 

Announcing Applause Analytics in France, Italy, Germany and Spain

Bonjour! Ciao! Hallo! Hola!

Applause loves every country (our international test community spans more than 200 of them after all!). But our efforts to expand support for international app stores continues with our latest Applause Analytics release.

Applause Analytics is the award-winning mobile app analytics tool that lets companies transform the voice of their customers into actionable business intelligence. By analyzing the millions of user reviews across iOS and Google Play app stores, Applause Analytics helps developers precisely pinpoint what their users love, and don’t love, about their app experience.

Last November, we added support for app stores in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Today we’re excited to announce the release of support for app stores in France, Italy, Germany and Spain!

FIGS

Want to access the iOS or Google Play app stores for any of these countries? After logging into your Applause Analytics account, just click on the Country menu and select the app store that you want to search.

figsselect

You can also select to search for apps from different countries’ app stores when adding apps to the Comparison Radar. Want to see how users are perceiving your apps, or your competitors apps, across different markets? Applause Analytics makes it easy!

To celebrate today’s release, we thought we’d share some interesting stats that we uncovered.

Have you ever wondered which country’s users are the most vocal? Though each of the four countries feature nearly the same number of mobile apps in their app stores, Spanish users easily out pace France, Italy and Germany in regards to the total number of reviews submitted.

totalapps+reviews

But what about app quality in each country? Who loves their apps more, iOS or Android users? Applause Analytics knows.

Note: Applause Scores are calculated on a scale of 0 – 100. The closer to 100 a score is, the better user perception is of overall app quality.

figsappscore

Want to try out our expanded app store support for yourself? If you currently have an Applause Analytics account, just log in at http://analytics.applause.com.  And if you’re actually in France, Italy, Germany or Spain, you may want to check out Applause Analytics through the Applause EU site.

Don’t have an Applause Analytics account but you’re eager to try it out for yourself? No problem! Just drop us a line and let us know you’d like a free 30-day trial!

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Announcing the Winners of the Ovation Awards for Apps!

ovationLogoLeftBlackHello, faithful app quality fans! It’s been more than two months since we launched the first-ever awards program that measures the love shown for apps from both users and experts. The Ovation Awards have been a huge success, garnering thousands of votes online from YOU the app lovers of the world and having been ruminated over by app experts from Robert Scoble to Hermione Way.

Without further adieu, let’s hear it for the winners RunKeeper and Waze have been named the grand-prize winners – winning the “Standing Ovation” awards for App of Year for Android and iOS respectively.

As you of course remember, we launched the Ovation Awards on November 12, 2014 and determined the winners in three stages:

  • Selecting the 200 Finalists – To accurately measure user sentiment in order to narrow down millions of apps to a field of 200 finalists, a team of Applause analysts and data scientists utilized the mountain of data that fuels Applause Analytics (number of reviews, Applause score to measure user sentiment, et al). The team combined this information with additional data sources to gauge each app’s popularity and impact on the apps ecosystem to come up with a proprietary algorithm that determined the field of finalists. For the inaugural Ovation Awards, only apps from the U.S. app stores were selected.
  • Public voting – Held from Nov 12th – Dec 14th, app users were able to vote for one or 20 apps (one per category, per OS) from our pool of 200 finalists. This data was then given to the panel of judges for final consideration.
  • The Judges weighed in – Our judges then interpreted the data between December 14th and January 9th to determine the winners for each OS and category, as well as the “Standing Ovation” winners, which were selected from the list of category winners. The panel of judges included accomplished mobile engineers, VCs, journalists, CEOs and others who understand apps inside and out.

But enough about all that methodology stuff….you want to know all of the winners! Here then, are the 2014 Ovation Award category winners:

 

Category Android Winner iOS Winner
Business/Finance & Productivity Gmail Evernote
Education Duolingo Lumosity
Entertainment & Fun Netflix IMDB
Games Temple Run 2 Candy Crush Saga
Health and Wellness RunKeeper* MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter
Retail & Lifestyle Instagram eBay
Music & Multimedia Spotify Pandora
News/Info. & Books Feedly Flipboard
Sports ESPN Sportscenter Yahoo Sports
Travel TripAdvisor Waze*

 *indicates app is also grand-prize, “Standing Ovation” winner and App of the Year for the OS.

The 20 category winners and the two grand prize winners will all receive fantastic prizes that acknowledge the current and continued quality of their app. In total, Applause is awarding more than $1 Million in cash and free app quality services. Not too shabby.

Thank you to everyone who argued, debated, and ultimately voted for their favorite app in the first-ever Ovation Awards. We know apps. And we know we already looking forward to next year, and honoring more apps that you – app users everywhere – love.

Applause Announces Mobile Beta Management

mobileBetaManagementSquareLogo60x60Achieving 360o app quality involves collecting and managing multiple inputs from different sources. The goal is to look at your mobile app from all of the different angles possible, to truly understand what’s working and what’s not on both a technical level and the delivered user experience.

In-the-wild testing services from Applause bring the input from professional testers around the globe into your testing workflow. But that’s only one (though important) part of your testing journey. Hearing directly from your users lets you make smart decisions on what to improve or build next and lets you see exactly how your own users think and use your apps. And now we’ve made it even easier to gain this essential feedback from your actual end users as part of your app development process.

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the newest member of the Applause family, Mobile Beta Management. Our mobile-first offering is a premium solution that makes it as simple for beta users to participate, and for beta managers to, well, manage.

Our goal? To remove all of the barriers between beta participants and their ability to share their ideas and feedback. How did we do it? With innovative features like:

  • Over-the-Air Distribution – Lets beta participants accept NDAs and download and install apps easily from their mobile devices. No hoops to jump through, no additional apps or web pages needed. No catches. They just need to be able to receive an email, and tap.
  • In-App Feedback and Bug Reporting – Makes it simple for users to share their experiences, with zero interruption to their mobile lives. A quick shake of the device when they’re using the beta mobile app is all that’s needed. They can even include annotated screenshots.
  • Automated Session and Crash Reporting - Takes the burden of providing technical details completely off of your beta community, while making sure your developers have all the information they need to identify and resolve discovered issues quickly.
  • No Limit Beta Programs – Provides the ability to solicit feedback and collected data from hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of beta participants quickly and easily without limitations or build review roadblocks.

Mobile Beta Management is available now, and you can talk with us today to learn more. Visit http://applause.com/mobile-beta-management  to get started.

Announcing the Ovation Awards (for Apps)!

ovationLogoLeftBlackIt’s been a busy eight days here at the newly-focused Applause Blog. Last Wednesday we let you know about our latest venture – ARC – a new site for and by people in and of the apps economy. Today we’re proud to announce a new, sure-to-be competitive (and fun), initiative – The Ovation Awards

The Ovation Awards are the only app awards that measure what brands & developers truly seek: the love and loyalty of users and experts. The awards launched today, but the fun is just beginning. We’re looking to you, app users everywhere, to  vote for your favorite apps from a list of 200 finalists across 10 categories (and across both iOS and Android). We have a panel of expert judges who will be poring over your selections and making their decisions. Here’s how the awards will unfold:

  • Public voting: Nov 12 – Dec 14 – Vote for your favorite apps – vote for just one, or vote for 20 (one per category per OS) from our pool of 200 finalists. This is a big part of what our panel of expert judges will consider.
  • The Judges weigh in – Our panel includes accomplished mobile engineers, VCs, journalists, CEOs and others who understand apps inside and out. The judges will be looking at YOUR votes –  as well as the analytics that were used by our in-house team of data scientists to help decide the 200 finalists – in order to choose the winners across 10 categories as well as the overall grand prize winner for each operating system.
  • Winners to be announced January 14, 2015 – The winner for each category + OS will be announced, as will the grand-prize, overall winners for iOS and for Android.

So what are you waiting for? Make your voice heard, and vote for your favorite apps in the Ovation Awards today!

Introducing ARC

ARC

Good morning, fans of  app quality!

Today marks a change in the way we here at Applause bring you the app-related content, analysis and research you crave. We’re proud as heck to announce the launch of ARC (the Application Resource Center). ARC is led by our Editor-in-Chief, former ReadWrite Mobile Editor Dan Rowinski - whose work you’ve enjoyed here these past few months – and represents a new day for how we deliver news and information about apps and the apps economy.

So what is ARC? Well, let’s hear from Dan Rowinski himself on the matter:

“The natural inclination is to typecast ARC as something familiar — content marketing, inbound marketing, branded journalism, native advertising—but in fact, this is something starkly different. ARC is a publication for all things related to success in the apps economy — from design to development to testing, and from native to browser-based applications. We want to take this expertise and deep analysis, and make it freely available to stakeholders across the application lifecycle.”

The launch of ARC also includes the launch of ARC’s research arm, ARC 360. ARC 360 will produce reports focused on bench-marking the state of app quality from across industries in the apps economy.  The first ARC 360 reports were also released today and are focused on the current state of the apps economy as it pertains to the retail and travel industries. Ben Gray, former Principal Analyst at Forrester now on staff at Applause, authored the reports.

Alas, as our app-related content moves to ARC, this blog will no longer be named the App Quality Blog. Instead, you can check back here for news related to the business-facing brand, Applause (new hires, big announcements, things we think are fascinating or cool, etc.). Sure we may link to big stories or research on ARC too (or even the goings on over at our friends uTest on the Software Testing  Blog) but mostly this will become a place to hear what’s new with your favorite app quality company.

So, while we’re a little wistful at the end of an era here at blog central, we’re ecstatic about the new day that has launched for people who love apps over at ARC. Take a look at the news and the research over the coming weeks and months and let us know your thoughts. And stay tuned here for all things Applause.

 

 

October Product Updates

No tricks this month, but plenty of treats!

Our product and development teams have been hard at work making already great tools even greater. We get a ton of great and helpful feedback from our customers (keep it coming!) and we don’t just listen, we act. October’s updates feature some exciting updates pulled straight from our “Most Requested” list.

Applause Bug Tracking System Integration 3.0

Integration with bug tracking systems like JIRA, Mantis, Bugzilla and Rally is one of the most asked about, and most utilized, features within the Applause 360o App Quality™ platform. Customers love the fact that they can easily and conveniently push bugs and crashes delivered from their Applause services and products – like in-the-wild testing and the Applause SDK – straight to their own backend BTS implementations.

Because it’s such a popular feature, it’s also a feature that we get a lot of user feedback about. Well, we listened. We’re excited to announce the release of Applause BTS Integration 3.0!

3.0 streamlines the integration process and introduces support for customized field mappings and automations. You can now seamlessly integrate Applause into your internal BTS workflows. Want to automatically assign all critical bugs from Applause to a particular engineer, while setting custom severity and priority values to synch with your in-house BTS workflows? Now you can.

For a more in-depth look at the what’s and the how’s: Click Here

Just want to get started, but aren’t sure where to start integrating Applause with your BTS? Click Here

Applause Analytics

International App Store Support

The world of mobile apps is just that, the world. App developers have a global audience that they reach through a multitude of localized, international app stores – and all of those app stores are flush with user sentiment.

We’ve introduced  support for app stores in the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia, but we’re certainly not stopping there. We have support for  a new batch of supported countries scheduled for release by the end of the year, with support for additional countries coming after that at a fairly quick cadence. The world is talking, and now you can listen to it with Applause Analytics.

For information on how to access international app stores: Click Here

Review Alerts

Applause Analytics can do more than offer actionable insight into how your users are defining app quality, it can also be your 24/7 eyes and ears. Just tell Applause Analytics what topics are most important to you and when your users start talking about them in their app store reviews, Applause Analytics will let you know. Applause Analytics can also keep an eye on user sentiment trends for you. If user sentiment begins to rise or fall, Applause Analytics will make sure you’re in the know.

To learn how to set up your own Review Alerts: Click Here

Search Optimization

We’ve gone to great lengths to improve mobile app search, making it even easier for Applause Analytics users to find just the app they’re looking for within the metaphorical app store haystack.

  • We’ve improved on how we’re ranking search results based on relevancy and priority.
  • Bad spellers, we’ve got your back. Applause Analytics will now make a “best guess” based on user input, and will return search results ranked by the popularity of the closest search terms.
  • We don’t like junk apps any more than you do. Junk apps will now be pushed to the bottom of the search results.

There’s plenty more to come before the end of the year, so stay tuned!

Windows 10: Microsoft Takes Steps To Streamline Windows

microsoft_build_adapt

Microsoft skipped a number … and took its first steps to streamline the entire Windows operating system.

Microsoft was widely expected to announce Windows 9 today, the successor to its much-maligned Windows 8 operating system that introduced the “Modern” (formerly Metro) user experience dominated by a Start Screen instead of a Start Button of previous versions of Windows. Windows 8 (and later Windows 8.1) features a dual “Classic/Modern” interface that was both contrived and confusing. Microsoft only updates its Windows operating system about once every three years, so 2015 was widely expected to be time for Windows 9 that was expected to answer some of Redmond’s perplexing user experience questions.

But Microsoft opted to skip past Windows 9 and has announced Windows 10, coming to the public mid-year 2015.

Windows 10 for PCs and laptops skips the dual-persona noise of Windows 8, focusing on bringing enterprise-grade tools and experience. It combines the user experience of Windows 7 for keyboard and mouse users with elements of the Modern user interface for Windows 8. Microsoft promises that all of the user interface of Windows 7 apps that businesses have come to know will be able to work in Windows 10. At the same time, Modern apps will still be supported in Windows 10.

It is a bit of a reversal for Microsoft. In Windows 8, the default mode has been the Modern touch mode with the desktop hidden and Classic apps hidden in the background. For PCs and laptops, Classic style will now be the default, with Modern UI support tacked to the backend.

The Start Screen has been eschewed on Windows 10 for PCs, replaced by a new and improved Start Button that brings elements of both the classic and Modern Windows user interface. Essentially, the new Start Button looks like the button from Windows 7 with a flat “hubs and tiles” Modern interface tacked on to the side.

Microsoft is not completely ditching its touchscreen users on two-in-one tablet/laptops though, bringing a new Start Screen to touch users. It is the inverse of the new Start Button in Windows 10, with the Start Screen coupled with elements of the button tacked to the left side of the screen.

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