Call for Mango Apps, Android Rising to the Top

Microsoft recently had a message for its Windows Phone 7 app developers: submit your Mango apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace now. The announcement comes despite the lack of an official release date for Mango, which is the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system that is likely to debut very soon.

Matt Bencke, GM at Microsoft, urged developers to get moving with their Mango app submissions in a recent post on the Windows Phone blog.  He said: “The time to get your Mango apps into Marketplace is now.  Existing customers will begin getting their OS update this fall. At a minimum it’s worth updating your existing app now so that when customers experience Mango they benefit from ‘fast app switching’ multitasking, which requires little more than a recompile of the app. If you want to stand out from the crowd, get your apps updated to take advantage of other Mango features like Live Tiles and App Connect.”  Bencke also noted that AT&T revealed its lineup of phones that will come with Mango pre-installed.

Joe Belfiore, director of Windows Phone program management at Microsoft, helped to spread the word on Twitter, saying, “Hey devs- we’d love you to get your apps updated to V7.1 and in marketplace *quite soon*! Just rebuild to enable MT.”  Microsoft’s senior director of Windows Phone 7 development, Brandon Watson, also used Twitter to encourage Mango app developers.  “I keep getting asked about when to submit your Mango apps…*cough* now *cough*,” he said.  Both linked to Bencke’s blog post in their tweets. 

Microsoft formally announced Mango in June and hinted at all the upgrades it would offer Windows Phone 7 users.  Over 500 new features are slated for the upcoming release, making it by far the most substantial Windows Phone 7 update since the mobile platform was first introduced last year.  Microsoft first began accepting Mango apps to its Windows Phone Marketplace last month to coincide with the debut of the final release candidate for the Windows Phone Software Development Kit 7.1.  With the new SDK, developers have a springboard for creating and publishing apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Microsoft has not commented on an official release date for Mango 7.5 as of yet, but the fact that app developers are being urged to submit their apps now points to a launch of the latest version of the Windows Phone 7 mobile OS in the near future. 

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Android Poised to Become Smartphone King in Terms of App Downloads

The battle between Android and Apple for does not appear to be tapering off, as both continue to innovate and market in the quest for the smartphone kingdom’s throne.  According to recent numbers and projections released by research firm Ovum, Android will likely surpass Apple in app downloads this year.  If such an event does occur, it would be the first time that Google’s mobile platform has done so, and would help to give it a leg up versus its nemesis in the smartphone race.

Ovum projects 8.1 billion Android app downloads in 2011, compared with just 6 billion for Apple’s iOS platform.  The projections are extremely impressive, especially when you consider that Android and Apple had 1.4 billion and 2.7 billion app downloads in 2010, respectively.  Ovum expects a 144 percent overall growth in the number of app downloads in 2011, and the future looks even brighter.  Nick Dillon, an analyst with Ovum, stated: “Consumers’ seemingly insatiable demand for mobile applications is set to continue this year, with downloads from app stores increasing around the world.  The outlook for the longer term is also positive, with consumers set to continue to use apps to add new features to their phones and to access their favorite services on the go.”

Android’s surge in growth can be credited to its increasing popularity amongst consumers as well as manufacturers.  Several big name companies find the free mobile OS to be appealing, and carriers have also chipped in to successfully market Android products.  Throw in added support from external app stores such as Amazon and GetJar, and you have yourself a platform which is bound to boom. 

While Apple had the hot hand with the early launch of its App Store, Android’s diversity seems to be a major obstacle standing in its way.  Still, Apple’s future is positive, especially where paid apps are concerned.  Ovum expects the iPhone to reach $2.86 billion in paid app revenue in 2016, which is nearly twice the expected $1.5 billion projection for Android.  In terms of sheer app downloads in 2016, however, Android is expected to reach the 21.8 billion downloads mark, with Apple way behind at 11.6 billon.

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