Another day, another cool concept of a phone. This time it is a 5.5 inch “phablet“, a phone-tablet hybrid, dedicated specifically to OneNote MX. The phone would be obviously manufactured by Nokia, carry Windows 8, and compete with Samsung Galaxy Note family. BTW, Samsung sold over 10 millions of those, which is a number Nokia can only envy of. The source of this and other nice phone concepts is here.
While zombies are the popular hero of many mobile games, the concept that they actually overran the AppStore is a new one. According to a recent study, more than 2/3 of all the apps in the AppStore get virtually no downloads and obviously don’t make any money for developers. The tech press went on to call these apps by the name of “walking dead”, guaranteeing catchy captions.
With over 100,000 downloads of MobileNoter and several tens of thousand customers, we certainly don’t complain.
We just released new version of MobileNoter for Android, both phones and tablets. The main feature in this release is an ability to create new blank OneNote sections. The users have asked for this for a long time and finally it’s available. More details about these releases are on our product blog.
The next update (coming soon, like real soon) will contain incremental synchronization with SkyDrive and SharePoint. MobileNoter will download and upload only changes made to the notes, as opposed to sending and receiving entire data file. The incremental synchronization is the only feature of OneNote that MobileNoter doesn’t have, and finally it’s arriving to MobileNoter too.
All this nice stuff is coming to iOS version this summer too!
MobileNoter for iPhone was just updated recently. Among other things it received a new improved editing capabilities and in-app purchases of the subscription. Other niceties include Undo/Redo features, Copy/Paste, magnifying glass, and resizable outlines. We got more updates for both iOS and Android coming out in June!
Not only free mobile apps are killing your battery with their ads, they also a significant security threat. A new research reveals out that the third-party ad libraries used in the free apps are likely to expose the phone to security threats: “Our study has so far uncovered a number of serious privacy and security risks from existing in-app ad libraries on the popular Android platform... Such threats range from collecting unnecessarily intrusive user information to allowing third-party code of unknown provenance to execute within the hosting app. Since Android’s permissions model cannot distinguish between actions performed by an ad library and those performed by its hosting app, the current Android system provides little indication of the existence of these threats within any given app, which necessitates a change in the way existing ad libraries can be integrated into host apps.“
In other words, a typical ad-powered Android app is a Trojan horse waiting to be exploited.
All right, it is an overstatement. The correct title should be: a new study claims that free ad-supported apps use about 75% of their total energy consumption to power the advertisement displayed in the app. Most energy is being spent during multiple connections to the server to download fresh ads.
Indeed, the cost of this electricity waste does not offset a dollar or two the consumer would have to pay for an ad-free version of the app. However, it is not hard costs, it is an inconvenience of killing the battery while one is killing time.
Needless to say, MobileNoter for both Android and iOS doesn’t carry any ads and no, it’s not free.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft released a light ad-supported version of its Office suite for PCs some time ago and may decide to roll out the same thing for mobile platforms.
2011 was a monster year for MobileNoter. We didn’t get to our goal of 100,000 customers by the end of 2011, but still we are several tens of thousands users in. If you decide to compare these numbers to other services, like Evernote or Catch, remember that these are paying customers we are talking about, not people who download free stuff with the intention of never paying. The 100,000 customers milestone is postponed to the year of 2012 now.
Microsoft released Onenote for iPhone in January and then Onenote for iPad in December 2011. What’s good about these releases: first, they determined the price and trial terms. It will definitely influence our decisions in the future. Second, their release allowed us to differentiate our product from theirs pretty easily. Microsoft provides basic access to their Skydrive stored notes, which is totally free for everyone except power users. MobileNoter gives you full access to the notes stored on Skydrive, Dropbox, your computer, while preserving all graphics, drawings, and provides complete Onenote for Windows experience on the mobile devices. The release of Onenote for iOS from Microsoft has some positive and negative impact on us. Overall, it is a somewhat neutral event.
Android was our top platform in 2011. The sales of MobileNoter for Android went from zero to more than that of for iOS during the year. Two factors helped: exceptionally great releases of MobileNoter for Android and skyrocketing growth of the platform itself. Even MobileNoter sales in Amazon Appstore showed significant growth despite a slow start. The Kindle Fire is to thank for this.
We expect to have some great releases of MobileNoter of iOS in 2012, so this platform is not to be ignored. The dominance of iOS over Android is however evaporating and soon it will be gone forever, as more as more developers find their income from Android growing over that of from iOS.
Our plans for BlackBerry lost some priority as the year of 2011 clearly demonstrated that the platform is struggling to survive. If the enterprise mobile users move to Android/Windows 8 and leave RIM products, then those Blackberries may never see a native MobileNoter and thus receive access to their Onenote notes.
Finally, 2011 was the year when MobileNoter as a startup reached several important financial milestones. If you ever ran a startup, you know what I’m talking about. We never doubted that the day would come, but it’s nice to actually experience it.
According to various sources, including The Daily, Microsoft Office is coming to iPad in 2012. It seems as Microsoft finally admitted the importance of iPad platform. On the other hand, releasing MS Office for iPad is a bad strategic move for Windows 8 based tablets and therefore for Windows 8 that will also appear in 2012. If the Windows 8 tablets were the only to offer the super popular office suite, it would have been a serious advantage for them, especially in the enterprise field. Even more surprising is that Microsoft will start paying the “Apple tax” – the 30% Apple takes from all sales in their Appstore…
It is taken for granted that the iPad Office suite will have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is interesting to see if it includes Outlook and Onenote as well. The latter is somewhat important for us, because we are going to release huge updates to our MobileNoter for iOS pretty soon.
It’s been 2 years since the first commercial version of MobileNoter was released. Even though it’s still far from perfection, the recent release for Android Honeycomb received a lot of love from the Onenote admirers. Anyway, we haven’t reached our goal of 100,000 customers yet, so nothing to brag about. This goal is postponed to the next MobileNoter birthday party.
I used to say that Catch (a note-taking application) repeats everything after Evernote, but turns out that’s not true anymore. First, I noticed that Catch under Android is much better than Catch for iPhone. Despite a recent update of Catch for iOS, it is still pretty basic. Nothing has changed much since I reviewed it in March 2011. It’s a totally different story for Android. Not only Catch for Android is better looking and has a bit more features. It comes in several flavors too!
In addition to the main Catch Notes application, the guys released I Journal and AK Notepad. These are simply downgraded and differently skinned clones of Catch. While this approach is nothing new, it is mostly used in the game space. For example, most of the Alawar’s games are re-skinned time management and 3-in-a-row games. It is quite innovative to see this in the productivity application genre. I’m quite interested in seeing more Catch offsprings and whether or not this strategy leads to more paying customers in the future.