September 3, 2014

On The Ground with APPNATION Part 1

We have no idea how Ray conned his way into this.

Our own Ray Walters was on the ground in San Fransisco, live at the APPNATION conference.  We have no idea how he worked his way into speaking at APPNATION, but he looks good doesn’t he?  Below find his report on day one of the APPNATION event.

Hey there Android Guys and Gals, as I write this I am standing at the Android Guys pod in the expo hall here at the Moscone Center in San Fransisco, Cali.  I apologize for the delay in getting this report to you, but it has been a whirlwind of activity.  At this conference I have been a press attendee, an exhibitioner (not the kind you are thinking you dirty minded people), a moderator/speaker and an attendee.  I have literally done everything that you can at this conference, and it has been a great experience.

I have been asked by many of readers through twitter, emails and phone calls what exactly appnation is about, it being a brand new conference for the mobile tech scene.

Drew Ianni, Founder of APPNATION

Drew Ianni, the founder and president of the event describes it best when he says that APPNATION is about a movement into net 3.0. In his keynote on Day 1, he referenced Chris Anderson’s article in Wired magazine talking about the death of the web, and how mobile apps have supposedly brought that about. I may not totally agree with Anderson’s article, but I do agree that we have moved into net 3.0, because of the different way that we interface with the internet nowadays. That way being, of course, mobile applications.

Think about the way you check your email, facebook and twitter accounts on your mobile device. You usually are not opening a browser anymore, but a dedicated application for each of those items. In the case of facebook and twitter, I cannot remember when was the last time I actually visited their sites. Can you? This is what APPNATION is about, focusing on the fact that the future of monetization in mobile is through application development, and sound strategy on how to get an application noticed in an increasingly crowded market place.

APPNATION is about bringing developers on all mobile platforms together to talk shop, give them space to collaborate, and to strategize about monetization of the mobile economy. After living through day 1, I think they have done a tremendous job, especially in the fact in opening up to the other mobile platform out there besides iPhone, namely Android.

It is easy to do an event around the iPhone and iPad. Those are known quantities, and appeal to a mass market. APPNATION has seen the fact that Android has exploded in recent months, and is opening their arms wide to the Android community, to help to bring them to the forefront, giving them the space and people they need to be successful in the increasingly crowded app eco-sphere.

As for specifics of happenings in the Android world here at APPNATION Day 1, there is not a tremendous amount to report, but that is not because of APPNATION itself or it’s staff. While the staff here is incredibly pro-Android, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that business executives at several big companies simply don’t get Android as a platform. I am going to break this down in another article, because I think it really needs a closer look to see if they have a point or not, but the main idea that execs kept putting across on day 1 was that Android is too fragmented to be a successful revenue platform for big business. I think this represents a tragic misunderstanding and a lack of education in the Android platform.

Keynotes and big execs aside, what I have noticed for the Android community that is here is the amount of collaboration that is going on. I literally have a brick of business cards 60-70 deep with people who are working hard to develop some awesome stuff for the Android platform. Everywhere I look I see people talking about their apps, making them work together, creating strong partnerships. I have had numerous conversations with some excited people today, which is infectious to say the least.

One of the major trends I am noticing is that companies are desperate to get in contact with Android developers. I was asked at least 10 times today if I knew any devs that specialize in porting programs from ios4 over to Android. What I think we are seeing is an emerging market place that is going to be a lucrative market for freelancers who are versed in both ios4 and Android. If you are a developer who can do this, you need to contact me at [email protected], I have several companies to put you into contact with.

A highlight for the world of Android was talking with Martin from Samsung. It is totally apparent that Samsung is 100% behind Android developers and the platform a whole. Martin’s job is the developer evengelist for Samsung. I have never seen an exec so accessible as this guy was. From the keynote platform he told devs to come and speak with him in the expo center, he wanted to know their challenges and issues with getting their apps on Samsung Android devices. Now, usually you hear this and the exec has an assitant fielding all of those inquiries, not so with Martin. He was right there, in the conversation pit, talking with dev’s one on one, which was incredibly refreshing and increased my confidence as a whole with Samsung and Android. He is heading to Toronto next to attend tech week, if you are dev, make sure to stop and see him, you will not be sorry.

Ray with Bruce Jones from Get Jar

A personal highlight for me was the fact that I got the privilege to moderate a panel talking about the barrier for monetizing apps for Android developers. I had a great panel with me there, and was especially impressed by Bruce Jones from Get Jar. Get Jar is the largest 3rd party app market out there, and has had some tremendous success with conversions with apps on the Android platform. I found it refreshing again to hear an exec from a large company who really gets the Android platform, and to hear his passion for developers. Bruce is the developer evangelist at Get Jar, I would highly recommend you contact him via email, or live in person if you have a chance. While we were on the panel, he gave an open invitation for developers to give him their info, and to collaborate on how Get Jar could help them sell their apps.

There is a tremendous amount more that I could write about here in this article, the reality is that there is simply too much to try to pack in here. We are going to cover this in more articles, on our AGTN radio show this week and beyond. That being said, I can honestly say that APPNATION is a conference that you want to be at next year if you are not here right now. This is a great place for the Android community to come together and collaborate, and help to educate these big company execs who don’t get the platform.

Check out my Day 2 recap when it goes live here later on this week!