Tag Archives: google

The Rise of Mobile SDKs

The last 2 engineers I spoke to who had quit their jobs to do a startup are working on building 3rd party solutions for app developers. There is clearly a trend of more folks trying to build services for various apps. From Analytics to payments, ad networks to notifications, there our services for everything, even Emotion Tracking and Augmented Reality.

How these 3rd party services tend to be used across various apps is by integrating their SDKs (essentially including code libraries from other providers into your apps).
Let’s consider an example of an e-commerce mobile app. Here are some of the features/attributes
which might be needed

SDK

SDK

  1. Accepting Payments
  2. Analyzing usage (clicks, pageviews, conversion funnels etc)
  3. Sending notifications (push notifications about offers/promotions etc)
  4. Campaign Management (to track installs and their behaviour from various paid install campaigns)
  5. A/B testing
  6. User Engagement/Rewards
  7. Messenger/Chat and so on

This list would vary from app to app and the developers have two options, Build each one of these functionalities or integrate existing solutions (Mobile SDKs that provide one or more of these services).  While the benefit of integrating an SDK to do say user behaviour analysis is immense (and in most cases the only option and you can’t possible build this functionality on your own) it is where the problem starts and one wonders, “how will this scale?”

SDK overload

SDK overload (via @WahWhoWah)

 

How many SDKs can you possibly embed in your app? The performance and maintenance issues are plenty. While from app developers perspective the challenges are obvious (which ones to choose, how to migrate data from one to another in case of switching, how to attribute any problem to one SDK in case of multiple SDKs etc), what worries me is how upcoming start-ups with their business model built around offering SDKs to developers will come about.

Distribution, is possibly the most important thing for a startup and I foresee getting various app developers to use your SDK (and not building a cool service) as the biggest barrier to entry/success.

I’m sure you might have built a great user analytics/customer lifecycle management/campaign management etc SDK but how many SDKs can a developer possibly try and integrate?

Concluding Thoughts
1) Building an SDK that offers to replace an existing/prevalent one like Flurry or Mixpanel though comparatively easier to build will be extremely tricky to distribute/sell
2) Building an SDK that offers to replace multiple existing/prevalent ones (Flurry, Testflight, Admob etc) though extremely difficult to build will be comparatively easier to distribute/sell
3) Mobile platforms (Apple/Google etc) might improve their offerings around various fundamental needs and start including them into the platform APIs like iOS did with Facebook and Twitter. A native Analytics/campaign management service will be difficult to compete with
4) Some app developers might be privy to share their data (for say Customer Lifecycle Management SDK)

This space is quite exciting and I’m really interested to see how it shapes up. What do you think?

 

 

 

Re-activating gmail on Blackberry after setting up 2-step verification for Google

After reading this viral post, ‘How Apple and Amazon’s security flaws led to my epic hacking’ I decided to set up 2-step verification for my Google Account for good. If you are reading this, chances are you already know what 2-step verification for Google is and if you don’t, read this.

If you have integrated your gmail on Blackberry, after having set up that 2-step verification your mails will stop working on your phone.  Here’s what you need to do to fix it

Option 1: While you are on https://accounts.google.com/SmsAuthConfig, click on Blackberry link (on right) in the Mobile application section

On clicking Blackberry, you’ll see this

I couldn’t get to use this method as the authenticator link didn’t open on my phone, so in search of an alternate I discovered another way out(option 2)

Option 2: Open https://accounts.google.com/IssuedAuthSubTokens and generate password from here (You can use any name you want, say my BB)

After clicking generate password, you’ll see the application password. In another tab open the website for your blackberry internet service provider (https://airtel.blackberry.com in my case). While editing the email id, it will ask for gmail password. Once you validate that, it will again present you a screen to validate your gmail password.

Now instead of inputting your gmail password again here, you need to input the application password that was generated doing the step mentioned above (copy paste the generated password and click ok).  This should work just fine

 

Looking for someome? someone is on Facebook?

Ego searches on Google aren’t uncommon and one of the most recent ego searches made me notice something unusual.

facebook adYes, that’s an ad by Facebook for the name “Mayank Dhingra”. Out of curiosity I made a random India name search and

facebook ad

Sure enough Facebook is upto something, A couple more random searches on Indian names confirmed it

facebook ad

random facebook ads

Looks like Facebook has taken a lot of Indian names(random?) and bought Google ads for them. A SEM trick to get more traffic and signups?

Gmail now has ‘Undo Send’ feature

While this definitely isn’t a new update it’s a useful one and I am not sure if many people are aware of it.

For those who didn’t know, Gmail now has a undo button which can prevent you from sending erroneous emails. The way it works is that Gmail holds up your email for about five seconds(or more?) before sending it and you can undo sending of email in that time window by clicking the undo button

gmail_undo

But mind you this isn’t a default setting, you’ll have to work a bit to get this working. By default when you send an email you’ll be getting the same old message

gmail_sentTo incorporate this change go to Gmail settings(right top) and go to the labs section.

gmail_labs

Labs section is a collection of lots of new(and mostly useful) features that are in testing stage and haven’t been released for masses.  Look for the “Undo Send” feature there, enable it  and you are done.

gmail-labs-settings-undo

Though the Gmail Blog says the time in which you can do an undo is 5 seconds I’ve found it to about 9 seconds when I tried to time it a couple of times.

So what do you think about this feature ? Useful  ? Not Useful ?

First Google Analytics Conversion Univeristy Conference in India

I along with a few friends from Twitter attended the Google Analytics Conversion University Conference at Gurgaon. This was the first such conference by Google Analytics in India and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. The agenda of conference included introduction of GA for begineers, sharing more about their partnership programs, advanced features, adsense/adwords integration, webmaster tools and website optimizer.

The conference had about 100 attendees(or less?) from mostly, sem/ppc background. Folks from Digital Agencies and SEM companies formed the major chunk. Interestingly enough about one third of the attendees were from outside Delhi/NCR, with people from Mumbai and Kerala forming a considerable chunk. Most of the speakers too were from outside of Delhi with Jesse coming straight from Mountain View to present at the conference.

Given the professional and business oriented audience, the content was strictly focussed around getting most out of GA and eventually how you can use it to get more/spend less $$. The thing about analytics is that everyone knows it but not everyone does it, so the conference was a good reminder that you need to actually checkout the data being captured and use it to drive results.

Jesse made his point by saying “Not having goals on GA is like being a 35 year old guy who doesn’t have a job and doesn’t know what to do with his life, no goals” . So if you too haven’t configured goals in your GA, it’s time to do it and if you don’t know how to go about it, ping  me.

Tracking Bounce Rate, Outgoing Traffic, Custom Segmentation etc were some other things that I was reminded to spend some time on. BTW Are you tracking them ?

The best thing about Google Analytics(other than the fact that it works) is that its FREE, free not just for individuals but free for enterprises. Isn’t that cool ? Another great thing is that you as individual get access to the same set of features that an enterprise gets, i.e. it’s not that the free version has lesser features than paid enterprise ones.

Is it a good question to ask if Google Analytics is free, how does  Google benefit ?
Vivek, one of the speakers mentioned that amongst other things GA drives more money to adwords. Fair enough

All in all, GA conf @ Google’s gurgaon office was a fun event with great learning and networking opportunity.Good food and free wi-fi were nice addons.

You can also checkout people’s tweets by searching for hashtag #gacu

Thanks to the guys at getgaready for organizing it.

Conference Goodies

1) GA Tooth Brush: Yes, a Tooth Brush that reads “promoting good website hygiene”

GA tooth brush2) GA Thumb/Pen Drive:

GA Thumb Drive

3) GA Tee-Shirt:

GA Tee Shirt

Update: Here’s Tatvic’s presentation on Conversion Tracking from the conference

View more presentations from anilv13.

Google Analytics Conference in Gurgaon: 8th August

Hey Guys,

Wanted to share the news that there’s going to be a Google Analytics Conference under Google’s “Conversion University” in Gurgaon next month.

converation_university

The speakers for the conference include

conference_speakersYou can checkout the complete list here.

The event is completely FREE of charge. You can Register on the website and your attendance will be confirmed by email a week before the event. The invite is non-transferable and there will be no spot registration.

Here’s the agenda for the conference

conv_agenda

Date: 8th August

Place: Gurgaon

Venue:  Google India Pvt Ltd, 8th and 9th Floors, Tower C Building No.8, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon, India.

Map:
http://www.getgaready.in/venue.html

Checkout  http://www.getgaready.in/ for more details

Add your mobile number for Gmail’s password recovery

If you know it already, good, but if you don’t, here’s the thing

Now you can also add your mobile number as one of the password recovery mechanisms for Gmail

gmailaccountrecovery1

So now there’s another option to retreive your Gmail password and what’s cool about this is that you don’t need to depend on your seconday email anymore  . I think this should make life a simple in case someone looses their Gmail password.

Forgot your password ? Go to password assistance page and enter your username/email. Google will sms/text you a code on your mobile which you can use to get back on track.

Here’s a test for the new work flow

Step 1:

password_assistance

Step 2:
reset_pwd

I just added my mobile number and went for the recovery option.  Contrary to what Google says, I haven’t received any sms, though I did get an email on my alternate email account. So for now we can’t say it this option is working for India but in any case the new feature/change sounds good(and safe) and I think we all should  go for it

Ego Search

Disclaimer: This post is just to stroke my ego 😛

I often do Google ego searches about my name and key words that should point to some post(s) that I wrote. The results tend to range from Awesome to WTF, depending on where my entry stands in the search engine results page.

I did a Google search for some keywords/phrases and was happy to find links to my post among top 15 results. Find the keywords and the screenshots below

1) Keyphrase: “LK advani marketing” , # 11

lk_advani

Rank #11 in about 155,000 results. Read the post here

2) Keyphrase: “Dev D Marketing” , ” marketing dev d”  # 3
dev_d_marketing

Rank #3 in about 322,000 results, Read the post here

2) Keyphrase: “Marketing Ghajini” , # 1
marketing_ghajini
Rank #1 in about 10900 results :), Read the post here

Here’s a bonus video of SRK proclaiming he’s the God of Marketing 🙂

Goodbye Google Reader ?

I’ve been thinking, I’ve been wanting and I’ve been trying but with no avail.

I am talking about my relationship with “Google Reader“. As much as I love reading blogs I’ve never really got too much into using RSS readers to follow blogs I like. That said, I started using Google Reader more actively a couple of months back, reading posts, sharing them and even favoriting some(do you actually go back and read what you starred ?). Things were fine till I was just following 5-7 blogs but once that number crossed a dozen, things started becoming difficult. I know, anything less than 40-50 blogs on the RSS reader is not a problem with many and some can even manage reading(or just manage) 100’s of blogs in their reader but incidentally “reading blogs” is not that only thing I do and thus have a  problem keeping track of large number of blogs and using another tool for it all together.

I happened to skip checking out my reader for a weekend(while out of station) and had a really tough time getting back following it regularly. While I was not doing any good at being regular reading post from blogs I like and the things my friends share this happened. I’ve made good friends with my gtalk and gotten it to do all sorts of things thanks to our kwippy gtalk bot. It’s been a regular affair now to check my google reader once-twice a week and to quickly glance through the new items and the way things are going I have a hunch that despite all its goodness I might just have to stop using it all together as now I can get new posts from blogs I like or what’s being said about social media marketing on twitter delivered straight to my gtalk which is nothing short of spectacular.

So, what’s your story ?