We’ve covered a couple of Distimo reports in the past because they provide us with some valuable insights on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market based on the startup’s in-depth analysis of publicly available data. Now the company has added RIM’s Blackberry App World store to the fray, which gives us even more data points to compare the rivals’ app pricing and whatnot.
In the latest report (September 2009), Distimo notes software programs for Blackberry devices are considerably more expensive than comparable apps for competing devices/platforms.
In fact, the average price for apps is more than three times higher than the one for similar apps in the App Store and Android Market, which is sort of unbelievable. There’s not a single category where the average price of an app is lower than its equivalent on the latter two application storefronts, and the more serious, business-related tools are definitely much more expensive. Just look at the difference in fees for apps in such categories as Finance, Productivity, Reference, News, Utility/Tools and particularly, Navigation/Travel in the chart below.
Research In Motion has traditionally targeted more of a business audience with its product line, but is that enough of an explanation why developers are pricing their mobile software programs so much higher than their equivalents on the competing platforms? Or are Blackberry users simply more willing (and able) to pay for apps? If so, than the higher pricing is merely a result of simple relation between offer and demand.
Either way, the difference in pricing is quite clear.
The chart also shows pricing of apps for the most popular listings in Apple’s App Store and Android Market are rather similar, with only Social Networking, Navigation & Travel and Productivity showing a bit of difference in asking pricing.
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We excitedly reported that the Motorola Cliq would be the company’s first Android handset. We showed you the cool MotoBlur interface that would keep you in touch with all your peeps. It turns out that technically it’s not true that the Cliq is Motorola’s first Android handset, as it is not scheduled to be up for pre-orders until Oct. 19 by T-Mobile. Word has just appeared that the Dext, as the phone will be known outside the U. S., is going up for sale on Orange UK on Oct. 7.
That’s only a couple of days away so it looks like the Dext will show up before the Cliq. That would technically make the Dext Motorola’s first Android phone. Confused? These sort of things happen all the time in the crazy world of the smartphone.
As promised, custom ROM builder Cyanogen has delivered an unofficial firmware with speed enhancements, system and app backups to SD cards, and a few other great tweaks—without the copied Google apps that caused a cease and desist last time around. It's definitely a bit more tricky to install this time around—you'll need to install Recovery Flasher for root access, then install an HTC developer's build, then install CyanogenROM, and finally run two quick terminal commands.
Luckily, the Simple Help blog has a step by step, screenshot-stuffed walkthrough of the install process for a G1 phone, and commenters suggest it can be pulled off just as easily on a MyTouch3G (holding Menu to bring up a soft keyboard when needed). As always, back up your phone before blazing forward, and know that you're in murky territory when it comes to warranties and tech support. That said, tell us what you like, and any tips you've got, about this build in the comments.
Adobe has promised betas of a mobile-ready Flash 10.1 for Windows Mobile and Palm Pre late this year, and early next year for Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry phones, as well as NVIDIA-powered netbooks. The only hold-out? The iPhone, of course.
Adobe describes Apple as "closed device" and continues to offer a fig leaf, but given Apple's general stance on opening up new development platforms on their device, it seems a tad unlikely. As Gizmodo points out, though, that might become a selling feature for those annoyed by memory-hungry Flash apps and advertisements.
More notable than even the ability to watch YouTube and Hulu clips on your phone, though, is that Flash 10.1 will support graphic chip acceleration on systems with NVIDIA graphics cards, allowing full-screen viewing on netbooks whose processors might otherwise choke, and giving laptop and desktop users perhaps a bit more performance from low-quality clips. Adobe AIR, the cross-platform app engine that powers apps like TweetDeck, will also see improvements with the release of Flash 10.1.
Promises of multi-platform support "by the end of this year" might not be bank-able, but it's reassuring to hear Adobe's firm expectations on all but one platform. Tell us what you'd like Flash to do, or stay away from, on your own smartphone or netbook in the comments.
Android: It's not quite up to the iPhone's standards, but a free beta test relese of Evernote gives Android users text and audio notes, picture and file uploads, and fairly quick access to their online brains.
The app's not in the market at the moment, so you'll need to hit the Evernote Forums and either load a URL on your phone or download an installer package to your SD card. Once installed and authenticated with an Evernote account, the app presents four standard note input options from its home page.
Audio recording is a pretty simple two-button affair, but I encountered two crashes in testing out recording and uploading a half-dozen times. You can upload pics from the camera or stored gallery shots, and quickly synchronize a text note as well. You could, of course, do all this from your personal Evernote email address as well, but the app's input lets you tag, organize, and add notes to your submissions. Accessing your previous notes is unfortunately done through a browser launch, as are a few other functions of the app.
The "Beta 1" of Evernote for Android is a free download, requires a free Evernote account to use. Thanks Patrick!
Android: If you're unable to read your Android device's screen, either temporarily (while driving) or permanently, the free Talking RSS Reader can jump into your Google Reader account and read the news to you in a synthesized voice.
There's very little that gets in the way of the program's operation, as the only controls are hitting the Menu button to access your Reader feed list, scrolling up or down to find a place to pick up reading, and hitting Back or Forward to move between feed items. The voice is a fairly standard, slightly advanced Speak & Read-type tone, but it's not too hard on the ears if you're listening to feeds while tackling other tasks. If you were really busy, it might be a good way to keep up on heavy Twitter users, or even email feeds if you can grab them.
Talking RSS Reader is a free download for Android devices only.