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Developer’s Toolbox

Developing an app from scratch isn’t easy. You’ve got a great idea, but now you have to actually build it. There are a lot of companies out there that have developed tools to fill the holes in your code to save you time and money. Why spend weeks coding when someone has done the legwork for you? Developer’s Toolbox shows you APIs and SDKs that make your life easier.

1. Location-Based Service Platform by Geoloqi
This just launched today and sounds intriguing. Geoloqi’s new service is a platform for next-generation location based services.  Its a language agnostic SDK and proprietary API. The company is offering a complete stack of geolocation tools like geo-fencing, messaging, security and analytics. They claim that it will help developers unlock the full potential of real-time location-based services and put geolocation into any device or application. It also enables persistent background location tracking, smooth transitions between location sources such and a feature your users will truly love: intelligent battery management. All in all, it sounds like a very exciting offering. Check it out if you plan on adding location related features.

Price: Pricing structure not available yet.
More info: Geoloqi

4. Policy Maker by PrivacyChoice.
Privacy is a hot button issue these days. Recent flaps by Google, Path, and other tech companies have everyone wondering what your app is doing with their information. And now that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has convinced Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Google and others to have clear, understandable privacy policies for their software and the software they distribute, you need to be on top of your privacy policy. But, if you don’t know the first thing about writing one, PrivacyChoice has you covered. Give them some simple information about your app and what it does, and they’ll craft one for you. Your users will thank you.

Cost: Free!
More info: PrivacyChoice

3. 2D Barcode Scanner SDK by DTK Software
DTK offers an accurate and powerful developer library which recognizes 1-D and 2-D barcodes. Using this SDK you can integrate barcode recognition into your app. Although tech pundits are predicting the death of QR codes, there are still some handy uses for them and developers are still innovating with them to find new possibilities, from payment methods to information sharing.

Price: Variable, depending on your team’s size
More info: DTK


Filed under Developer News, Toolbox

Developer’s Toolbox – 8/24/11

Developing an app from scratch isn’t easy. You’ve got a great idea, but now you have to actually build it. There are a lot of companies out there that have developed tools to fill the holes in your code to save you time and money. Why spend weeks coding when someone has done the legwork for you? Developer’s Toolbox shows you APIs and SDKs that make your life easier.

1. AuthenTec’s Fingerprint Scanner SDK

Currently, only one phone, the Moto Atrix 4g, comes with a fingerprint scanner in the phone. But what if I told you that Google has said that fingerprint scanning technology will be a big part of the Google Wallet system? Then would you be interested? Google, along with a lot of pundits, see that passwords are hard to remember and easier to crack. I:n a world where everyone has hundreds of profiles all over the net, it’s time to look at biometrics.  It makes sense to be on the cutting edge of this type of technology, so familiarize yourself with this SDK today. This one can be kind of complicated, so there are three resources listed below.

Cost: Free!
More info:
Motorola Developer Network, AuthenTec’s Developer Portal, XDA

2. iSpeech

iSpeech has  free voice recognition and text-to-speech SDK for mobile developers building apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. The allure of their SDK was apparent when they announced that over 3,000 developers signed up before the product even launched. iSpeech is looking to be a cost-effective alternative to Dragon Speech, and as such their pricing models is a freemium one. It’s free to all mobile devs, and is available to web developers who want to use the same technology at $.005 per word. iSpeech is already at work in popular apps like Car & Driver’s Txt U L8r, TeleNav’s Evie, and the company’s own DriveSafe.ly app. The SDKs and API can provide 40 voices for text to speech and support for 25 different languages. As a bonus, you can get like celebrity voices if you’re willing to pay.

Cost: Text to speech, Speech Recognition SDKs are free, web API is pay-as-you-go.
More info: iSpeech.org

3. Qualcomm Augmented Reality SDK

Augmented reality has thus far been a novelty, but a fun novelty none the less. In an effort to find more usefulness in the medium, Qualcomm has released an an augmented reality SDK. It will allow you to harness the display of a mobile device and use it as a “magic lens”  to connect a virtual world with a real one. Suggestions for implementation are really only limited by your imagination. Acording to their site, applications for the SDK include,  “immersive reality gaming on a table, floor or wall, innovative new media and marketing experience, or creative and informative “how-to” or instructional applications.”

Cost: Free!
More info: Qualcomm Dev Zone

4. Google TV

Word from the official Google TV blog came yesterday. They have a preview of what the upcoming upgrade will do for your apps, and more importantly, how to optimize them for use on home theaters. This has some really interesting possibilities, and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with for this system.

Cost: Free!
More info: Google TV Blog



Filed under How To, Toolbox, Uncategorized

Developer’s Toolbox – 6/30/11

Developing an app from scratch isn’t easy. You’ve got a great idea, but now you have to actually build it. There are a lot of companies out there that have developed APIs to fill the holes in your code to save you time and money. Why spend weeks coding when someone has done the legwork for you? Developer’s Toolbox shows you APIs and SDKs that make your life easier.

1. BOKU 1-Tap
BOKU is one of the larger companies around in the carrier billing space. If you look at the terms, you may think us crazy for recommending the service. Why? Typically, between BOKU and the carriers, you’re going to lose up to 50% of your revenue. Yes, fifty percent. While that might be a hard number to swallow, they also point out that their conversion rate is quite high, sometimes as high as 80%. So the question becomes, do you make a little bit of money, and keep lump sum, or do you make a bunch of money but keep less of it. Neither are very attractive as a developer, but if we segue into developer economics, this blog post will never get finished. Currently, you can download the SDK, but you’ll have to fill out a form and wait for BOKU to contact you to implement it.

Cost: Revenue share
More info: BOKU for Android

2. AddThis
Currently available for iOS, and taking applications for the Android Beta, AddThis’s APIs make it easy for you to integrate sharing features into your app. They claim to be able to help drive growth and engagement with their service, and extensive analytics. You can either use their service for sharing and tracking, or you can use your own sharing buttons, but still use their service to track analytics. Another feature they offer is the   AddThis Sharing Endpoints,  a set of simple URL endpoints you can use to start sharing to any site that supports the AddThis platform.

Cost: Free!
More info: AddThis

3. Scandit
Scandi’s push is also analytics, but focus on real world customer interaction. Scandit’s Scanalytics allows you to look at real time consumer scan data to optimize your apps, maximize retention, identify other revenue opportunities and compete with similar apps more effectively. Useful information like conversion rate between scanning a code and actually performing the follow up action, or what codes your users are actually scanning are all at your fingertips. This SDK relies on a barcode scanner being part of your app’s experience, but it might give you an incentive to dream up a new idea that could involve barcode scanning.

Cost: $50 for the development tools, free thereafter if you integrate with the ScanAd framework, more if you want to keep your app ad free.
More info: Scandit SDK

Filed under Toolbox

Developer’s Toolbox: Video Chat, Haptics, Push and Monetization

Developing an app from scratch isn’t easy. You’ve got a great idea, but now you have to actually build it. There are a lot of companies out there that have developed APIs to fill the holes in your code to save you time and money. Why spend weeks coding when someone has done the legwork for you? Developer’s Toolbox shows you APIs and SDKs that make your life easier.

1. TokBox OpenTok API
TokBox recently shuttered its consumer facing video chat service in lieu of focusing all of their efforts on their API. Developers have been asking TokBox about mobile since November, when they first released their OpenTok API for websites. Released just this week, developers can now build video chat directly into their AIR apps for both Android and iOs devices. The possibilities of this are endless. Examples I’ve seen so far include a genius app that integrates video chat into online poker and eBuddy Video chat.

Price: Free
More information: TokBox

2. Immersion’s MOTIV Haptic API and Development Platform

Haptic feedback is key for apps today. Haptics are used in everything from games to musical instrument apps to OS itself. Immersion’s MOTIV Development Platform automates haptic integration into the Android OS. Not only will the platform save you the trouble of programing actuators, they also have a library of haptic effects ready to go, saving you even more time.

Price: Free of charge for non-commercial purposes and commercial purposes up to a $50,000 threshold.
More Info: Immersion

3. Urban Airship Push API and Monetization API
Urban airship provides an API for push notifications, rich push notifications, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. All of these will help you improve your relationship with your customers and streamline your monetization process. They have a freemium model whereby you get to use their API for free if you do less than 1 million push messages for free. Rich push messages, which add media/graphics and advanced reporting are available for an additional charge. Their monetization components are on a paid-per-download scale.
Price: Free up to 1 million push messages per month, $0.0010 for each additional message. Rich push messages at $0.0025. In-app purchases and subscriptions range from $0.05 per download to $0.10 per download, depending on the size of the download.

More Info: UrbanAirship.com

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Filed under Toolbox