By: Hillel Fuld
One of the first and main challenges mobile developers have to overcome is discovery. We have all heard the numbers, 300k iOS apps, 200k Android apps, plus BlackBerry, Symbian, and all other platforms bring the total number of mobile applications to the millions. So given these growing figures, how is a developer supposed to get an app discovered?
Of course, without discovery, developers have a difficult time getting download numbers, which means a difficult time generating revenue, whether from in-app advertising or the pay per download model. I already wrote a few quick tips for developers, but a new solution was just introduced, which provides a very unique angle on the issue of app discovery.
There are various companies trying to address this issue, companies like Appboy, Appsfire, Chomp, and more. Each one brings its own angle, but today, Bump, which is in my opinion, one of the most futuristic mobile apps out there, is jumping into the discovery ring. Bump is a cross platform mobile app (iPhone and Android) that allows users to bump their mobile devices together in order to transfer data.
Originally Bump was used to transfer contacts, but it has since evolved to enable data transfer including photos, music, and more. The Paypal app recently integrated the bump technology as well. The newest update scans your iPhone apps and allows you to share your favorites with your friend by bumping the two phones together. As Jason Kincaid points out, the primary difference between this solution and the others is that this is more personal. You are not sharing your apps with your Twitter followers or Facebook friends, but rather with an individual you are currently with, in person. Of course the down side is that you are sharing it with one person and not many, which means less exposure, but this new feature enables good old fashioned word of mouth to take on a new form, actually sharing the app.
In terms of the actual technology behind this new feature, Apple does not have a native API for scanning your iPhone’s apps, so Bump bypassed that restriction by scanning the apps that you recently ran on your device (Appsfire founder Ouriel Ohayon pointed out to me that Appsfire scans your apps as well and also enables you to share them over the air). I have over 200 apps on my phone, but the ones I would be interested in sharing are obviously the ones I use most, so Bump’s solution actually makes a lot of sense.
Personally, if there is one app I think Apple or Google should buy, it is Bump. What do you think of this new feature? Will it really help developers spread the word about their apps or is bumping hands together at a conference something a little too strange to go mainstream?
I would love to know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.