Yes guys, this year is over… Looking back, this year was absolutely exciting, lots of challenges and milestones achieved (not everything, but almost! ;-) ). In my case,  all the changes were fortunately positive, so I hope next year will be even better. Something is sure: let’s do whatever possible to get that! New year resolution 2014 Making a personal overview of this year, I was amazed by some funny numbers and goals:

  • I have been envolved in 4 different and big projects and lots of medium and small projects.
  •  I have been in 8 different countries: Spain, Andorra, France, UK, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Switzerland.
  • I lived in 5 different apartments :-)
  • I met lots of amazing and lovely people!
  • I started learning German and trying to improve my English.
  • The 99% of the people that I worked with, are nice. The 1% will be nice in 2015. (I hope so! ;-) )
  • As proposed at end of 2014, I kept distances of negative and destructive people.

Next year will be a year to challenge to myself, so now it is time to take a small rest, some breath, and crush 2015! Regarding to mobile, I gather some info about the most interesting goals of this year: Relevant tech acquisitions:

  • Beats acquisition by Apple.
  • Facebook completed the acquisition of WhatsApp .
  • Google sold Motorola to Lenovo.
  • Microsoft bought Acompli in order to improve the way of thinking about email.

What happened related to the mobile manufacturers?

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 and Nexus 6 (with not very positive reviews at the moment…)
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus released.
  • HTC continues in the fight with HTC One
  • The Chinese manufacturer OnePlus appeared to be positioned in low-cost devices.

Regarding to mobile operative systems: * Android 5.0 Lollipop and Material Design, first UI-quality-oriented bet by Google. * Yosemite and iOS 8 released, and Swift trying to become an standard. Other interesting news:

  • The number of smartphones connections exceeded the number of humans on the planet (well, depends on the metrics, of course :) )
  • More than 1.2 billions of smartphones were sold (1.9 billions of total phones)
  • Apple introduced the Apple Watch and Google allow high-connectivity with Android Wear.
  • Amazing integration mobile and TV with Chromecast
  • 30 years since Apple introduced Macintosh!
  • Big security flaws in Apple platforms and iCloud with the result of stolen photos and private data.

So, see you next year, that will be even better than this one! ;-)

Bye bye 2015!

Bye bye 2015!

 

This 2014 looks a restless year! Continuing with the changes and aligned with my personal plans of moving outside Spain, now it is time to move to one of my favourites cities of Europe: Zürich!

Zurich_City

After closing some importants projects in Barcelona, Madrid and London, it was time to look for more ambitious projects outside my native country and all my focus was to Switzerland. Why? In my opinion, Switzerland has three of the most important things that I am follow in this moment of my life:

* Potential growth in mobile
* Favorable market trends
* Quality-focused country

Moving to Zürich is like starting from the scratch: new city, new friends, new way of doing things and thinking…wait…everything is new? it sounds like new challenges! :D

Centralway

So, as far as the NDAs allow me to say, I am moving to start working in a very demanding and ambitious project, Numbrs in Centralway, related to banking. This project has a perfect combination of what I am really looking for: high-quality needs, be part of an international team and ambition and very high goals, factors that can make you to fall in love with a product!

So here we go!

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Once again, yesterday we had the Google’s most important event of the year. In this Google IO we were introduced in some new technologies, current stats of Android platform, watches, cars…so let’s take a look to the news and try to figure out how these will change our life for the next months:

Stats:

  • During the 4Q of 2013 315 devices based on Android were sold.
  • Peak of 1B active users during a month!
  • 93 million pictures taken using the frontal camera of Android devices
  • 62% of tablets Android-based.

Android One project:

  • Low price hardware for smartphones based on Android, around 100$ per device.
  • Partnership with indian vendors like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice.

Project Volta:

  • how to increase the performance of the battery.
  • Nothing clear yet, Google is working hard in making the usage of the battery of the Android devices much more efficient.

Virtual Machine:

  • Empowering ART (Android Runtime), a Virtual Machine much more faster than the classical DVM.
  • Dalvik Virtual Machine looks that will be deprecated soon.

Android L:

  • New version of Android coming soon.
  • Improved performance with ART.
  • New changes in design (Material Design provided)

Android TV, Wearables and Android Auto:

  • Google Now focused to the auto sector.
  • Better integration with Google Maps.
  • Android Wear for smartwatches.

Other interesting projects:

  • Google Play Services 5.0, adding support to games and improvements in Google Drive and Google Wallet.
  • Google Fit, as we can see in the MWC 2014 this will be the year of the health. Adidas and Nike will back this project that will let the user to know the details of its physical state.
  • Better Chromebook-Android synchronization.
  • Google Slides, a new application for creating slides.

Assistants:

  • Sundar Pichai, senior VP at Google.
  • Matías Duarte, Android UX Director
  • Dave Burke, Engineering Director at Google
  • Avni Shah, Product Manager at Google
  • David Singleton, Engineering Director at Google
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How Mobile is hardly impacting in the day by day work of the companies? This week I had the pleasure of showing how the Mobile channel and sales will impact in e-commerce companies in Desigual HQs and what will be the next trends in m-commerce and retail business.

I was able to share the speech with Rafa Granados, who told us the details of how Windows Phone, WebApps and Hybrid Apps will impact on IT and will reduce the costs of developing Apps without making a big trade off with quality.

Speech at Desigual

Speech at Desigual

This speech was focused on:

* Introduction to Mobile context.
* Android and iOS history.
* Android and iOS users and behaviour.
* Android and iOS statistics.
* Fragmentation
* New Players: Windows Phone and HTML5
* Windows Phone context and stats
* Native vs WebApp vs Hybrid
* The mobile development process
* Main mobile enterprise architectures
* How mobile will impact in B2B, B2C and B2E areas
* Global quality guidelines.

New challenges!

After more than a year in Vueling and lots of really nice experiences, it is time to open new doors and become part of new experiences and projects!

determined-challenge-accepted-l Let’s do it!

As IT and mobile technologies evolve, it is important for IT consultants not remain still and grow at the same speed in order to not become deprecated. For these reasons, sometimes it is important to take decisions that will make you out of the comfort zone but at the same time will be part of your own experience. That’s why it is time to join a new adventure: becoming part of the amazing Desigual team as Mobile Architect where I’m sure I will live a lot of interesting experiences and situations that will allow me to work with big professionals. I will contribute in making them growing through the mobile channels, where m-commerce (B2C) and mobile strategy for B2B and B2E will be key for the next 5 years.

I’m sure it won’t be an easy way, but of course it will be funny! ;-)

Vueling hackathon

After some months of hard working, it has been time to enjoy the first hackathon of Vueling Airlines focused to develop mobile Apps for mobile companies.
article_188_contents_1291_buttonIn this 24h hackathon (8th and 9th November, Mobile World Center) the developers have to create an App that will help to improve the passengers experience, buying process or whatever related to the whole flight.

After a strict selection process and lots of doubts, 20 teams were selected to become part this hackathon, the first one of an european airline.

Finally, the amazing Megateam (composed by Jonathan García, Beatriz Tejero, Toni Camí and Diego Ruiz) were the winners of the competition.

Congratulations!

How are users able to find my amazing App? It is a common question when planning mobile marketing strategy. Not easy to answer because of the difficult to capture the attention of the potential users in mobile environments, but we have some interesting metrics that will help us in order to focus marketing efforts.

Users discovery mobile Apps channels

Apps Android and iOS iPhone discovery

The “European Technographics Consumer Technology Online Survey 2012″ and via Forrester bring us some data about users behaviours when discovering and using mobile apps. The main top 7 are next:

  1. AppStore and Google Play browsing: it looks like users really love to get lost in the woods of millions of Apps without a clear destination and find something interesting to try out. Human curiosity! 63% iOS users, 58% Android users.
  2. Word to mouth: as usual, one of the most important way to be present in the user thoughts is to be recommended by someone really reliable for  her/him. For me, it is the critical channel. We can spend a lot of money in order to be present and top-positioned in the stores, but making other users talk about your App – in a positive way- is a cheaper and a powerful way to multiply your downloads. Be viral, my friend! 50% iOS users, 41% Android users.

    Google Play featured contents

    Google Play Apps

  3. Promoted by stores: well, similar to the main choice, featured Apps have a special place in the user heart. I will write a post with the best ways to be featured by both markets, but you know, they really love quality and high value apps.34% iOS users, 25% Android users.
  4. Preinstalled app into device: mmm…it’s ok, but there is not much thing to do about this. iPhone users really like to use the well-known iApps. Android users are more promiscuous in this sense, but if you can be part of a new manufacturer custom Android release for sure you will have a lot of things won.20% iOS users, 23% Android users.
  5. Social Media: my second favourite way to reach the user’s eyes. Social Media is a powerful tool in order to expand through the user’s friends. But in that sense I think we should be careful: bad Social Media plans, stupid-agressive and undesired notifications make me think about future changes in the Social channel behaviour. Be social, but dont be irritating!19% iOS users, 15% Android users.
  6. Internet browsing: typical navigation is still a way to find apps. Not so important as the others, Internet browsing has not to be discarded yet.16% iOS users, 13% Android users.
  7. Classical search engines: I heard Google? :-) Yes, the medieval way to find things is still working. Dont forget it. 14% iOS users, 16% Android users.

In next posts i will talk about the main options in order to make our App visible, some interestings platforms – as AppGratis, recently banned from Apple Stored –  that becomes interestings bridges between user and mobile apps developers.

 

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…what would happen?

Yesterday we received an interesting rumor for mobile world: will Google acquire WhatsApp?

According to an unknown source both companies have been trying to close a deal in the last month, and the estimated price is close to one billion dollars. Of course, that deal is not closed yet, so it is possible that that number changes over the next few days or even they abort this negotiation.

WhatsApp penetration

WhatsApp penetration

But, how can it be possible that a company like Google is interested in WhatsApp? What about Google Talk? Will they close this service, as they did a few weeks ago with Google Reader? We don’t think so…

At this time, Google has a lot of services related to messaging: GTalk, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts…It is possible that Google plans to merge all user communications – with Babble- in order to improve their “quality information”. The question is: why? In my opinion, having access to “real time” private communications is a powerful tool to learn more about users and a good way to face other real time information sources…we said twitter?:-) Obviously without breaking any privacy policy rule…
Whatever Google plans, what would it mean for Google’s competitors and mobile environment?

*    Facebook: both Google and Facebook are fighting for messaging features and centralizing information – see Android Home services -. It would be a fist in the face of Facebook so it is possible to see an aggressive reaction in the next months.

*    WhatsApp: with a revenue of about $100million, fifth in the App Store, 100 million downloads from Google Play, and Sequoia Capital as main investors in venture capital, the compan

Facebook vs WhatsApp

Facebook Messenger vs WhatsApp

y founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum – Yahoo- will be turn into Google’s communications hammer.

*    Line: trying to overcome the number of download of WhatsApp, it would be a step backwards in its aggressive race against them, but still maintain a good position in the Asian market, a hard battlefield for communications especially for WhatsApp.

*    Apple: it is possible that its closed ecosystem and relative expensive platforms and services becomes a problem if they really want to be a serious competitor in messaging. iMessage is a service for iOS based devices, with a record of 2 billion messages per day versus 17 billion of WhatsApp. Lot of work to do in that sense…

Let’s wait for news and see the next steps!

 

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Obviously quality – by definition- implies certain subjective factors. But it is true that exists a global perception that – for the time being- there is a qualitative superiority of Apps iOS-based compared to Android. Warning, i dont want to be tendentious! Android  improved much from the first versions – 1.5, 1.6…- but I think they have a lot of homework pending yet.

After almost 5 years in mobile marketing and development with Android, iPhone – Blackberry also-, our experience has shown us the 5 main qualitative differences why Android Apps are not better – yet – compared to iPhone:

  1.  No restrictions in Google Play - old Android Market-: it is easy to virtually upload any App to the store. No minimum quality. Apple is very clear: try to send us an App that doesnt contribute the community and you will lost two or three weeks in the revision process. :-)

    Android low quality Apps

    Android low quality Apps

  2. Fragmentation: it sounds really happy to have available a new version every 3 or 4 months of the platform. But reallity hits your face: you have to maintain the quality in the wide ecosistem: 2.3.3, 3.x, 4.1.x, 4.2.x…Although Google ensures backward compatibility with the majority of the plataform features, our experience reveals that it is not really true. One of the most used word for Android Developers is: WORKAROUND – do some tricks to make something work-. And i will write an articule about the hidden fragmentation: manufacturers Android customization.
  3. Bad – very bad -Android API documentation: what should be a reference for developers contains documentation incomplete, inconsistent and careless. A little example: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/ProgressDialog.html#setProgress%28int%29. Stackoverflow becomes the main information source for Android Developers.
    In that sense, Apple takes care about developers, bringing them documentation with quality. Not perfect, of course, but it is something.
  4. Technical complexity: it is impressive the quantity of files, XML, and lines of source code to create a little feature in your Android App. Simple things as apply a simple style on a screen results on creating or modifying lots of files: styles.xml, colors.xml, AndroidManifest.xml, creation of shapes, drawables, backgrounds, selectors…Obviously, more things you get, more things you have to test, especially when you have much lines of codes for a simple feature.

    Android vs iPhone satisfaction

    Android vs iPhone satisfaction

  5. IDE immaturity: there are a lot of alternatives for Android development, as Intellij and Netbeans. But Eclipse remains as the main and favourity IDE for Android. In my opinion, here we have two main problems: operative bugs, intrinsec to Eclipse and its plugins – constant memory leaks, crashes, workspace corruption…- and Android problems – migrainous visual editor and visual XML leaks makes developer write their UI in raw XML, pitfall for visual bugs. It is easy to find Apps that are not visually correct in some types of screens.

It is my experience, sure we can make this list bigger or different. Did you find any other reason? I will appreciate it if you make me know! :-)

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By 2014, mobile users will exceed desktop users (Morgan Stanley), and will be remembered as the year when there will be more smartphones that people on Earth :-D. Amazing? Maybe. But what does it mean for us? To face the challenge of making about 7,3 billion smartphones and their users happy :-). Mobile web browsing will also overcome Desktop web browsing.

Mobile Web usage growth

Mobile Web usage growth

This growing smartphone penetration has brought high expectations for quality and response time (resumed as UX or Mobile User Experience). Failures are not forgiven: if you cannot address the real user expectations about your company, all efforts will be turn into:

  • Fast decrease in revenues, whatever being your business model: sell channel, in-app purchase, content provider…
  • Brand damage: user can be an ally, but also can be your worst enemy, no empathy with him and you will have viral and negative branding.
  • Low ratings: some companyes are not aware of how dangerous can be not making efforts in quality. If you have a negative review, you will have to get married with that: you cannot delete it,you cannot ignore it, you can correct your mistake but…the review will be there. Forever. I repeat: failures are not forgiven!
Mobile Testing priorities

Mobile Testing priorities

Thats why we strongly believe that moving your business into mobile can be a really good revenue channel, but as they say, real business means real risk. So it is important to have a good quality assurance. Couriously, majority of companies focused in Q&A has a primary focus on testing the performance of the Apps further than functionality. Usual priorities such as functionality, security have lower-priority, and companies are focused on demands of end-user, totally different of desktop user!

Extracted from Perfecto Mobile, there are some strategies to take into account in order to build your mobile quality and test plan:

Measure what matters

It is important to clearly define KPIs – Key Performance Indicators- in order to measure what is acceptable for our App and what is not. For example, in a booking process, it is important that whatever your App does in background and no user-significative tasks never impacts on that process. So a good KPI in this case could be the time from the beginning of the transaction to the commit.

Never ever our Mobile Test Plan can include KPIs such as: the booking process has to be as fast as possible. Show me the time!:-)

Select the right devices

Most devices with the same OS – Android, iOS- has common functionalities. Especially in Android, specifications says that if you have the correct OS version, you can access a set of functionalities, APIs, and so on. It is true, but not totally true. It is easy to think

Challenges to Mobile Testing

Challenges to Mobile Testing

that testing an App with Android 4.2 on a Sony Ericsson Xperia will have the same results as testing the same App on a Samgung Galaxy SIV. Totally wrong. Our experience has shown how difficult can be to deal with the brand devices user alternatives.

Network conditions

Network Mobile testing is the major headache for the tester. It is really difficult to simulate all the real conditions that our App will be executed on, and it is a common pitfall that makes a lot of Apps crash. Manage the connectivity is a must in a Mobile App, and you can never assume that the request will reach the server, or the response will find the App, or the response will take less than 30 seconds…etc. Always try to simulate worst cases, delays, packet losses, bottlenecks…whatever your instinct says is a potential risk for your App.

Also, it is important to get the values of that indicators in real-world conditions. Mobile network is different to Desktop Apps networks: lower bandwidth, faster transactions and lower response times.  And remember, testing on a Wi-fi life looks happy :) but try to do the same with 3G or LTE when taking a bus :)

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