Ultrabook™ Developer Resources: Notes from the AppUp® Webinar

This week, the Intel Ultrabook™ team put on a webinar about the opportunities for developers within Intel’s AppUp® developer program. Basically, if you’re a developer looking for new opportunities to create, distribute, and monetize your apps, then AppUp can be your new best friend. Let’s run through a quick summary of what the webinar had to offer.

AppUp – What Is It?

The AppUp digital storefront includes categories ranging from Books to Weather, and offers both free and paid apps. A few interesting statistics:

  • Every 56 seconds a new user joins AppUp
  • Every 16 seconds an application is downloaded via AppUp
  • Over 2.6 billion possible PCs reachable from this point
  • A large target market can be reached by using touch and sensor capabilities available in Windows 8 (upcoming), but even if those aren’t implemented, previous versions of Windows are supported
  • Many opportunities exist to differentiate products by utilizing Intel hardware features, such as memory optimizers, speed, accelerometer, GPS, and other traditionally mobile-type sensors

Basically, AppUp is an online marketplace for already existing and brand new PC software, apps, content, and entertainment. Purchases are supported in more than 45 different countries via 25 unique partners and in several languages. It’s a streamlined distribution mechanism for digital content.

Connections

One of the biggest takeaways in the webinar referenced the basic problem of connecting developers with consumers. AppUp aims to drive consumer purchasing by solving three of the biggest perceived obstacles to purchase:

  • How do I find what I want? Consumers can easily discover new apps because they are all aggregated and curated in one convenient hub accessible all over the world
  • I don’t want to download anything harmful. Since every app submission is scanned for malware prior to publishing, consumers can trust that they are downloading something safe
  • I can’t find anything I like! Content is arranged in categories that users actually care about, such as Games, Entertainment, and Education.



Investment

There are estimated to be roughly 2.6 billion PCs in the world today, and the Ultrabook is poised to be at the forefront of that wave via direct consumer marketing, social networking, product placement, and partner marketing. The Ultrabook is part of the largest Intel marketing campaign since Intel Centrino®.

In addition to a robust marketing operation, the AppUp store is partnered with many different digital storefronts who offer direct rebranded access to the AppUp platform. The list of partners for global distribution of apps includes Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Dixons, and Fujitsu. Obviously, this is a very large opportunity for developers.

Resources

There is an abundance of resources for Ultrabook developers, including the Intel Ultrabook Community , the Intel Media SDK , the Intel AppUp encapsulator , the HTML5 Playground , forums, technical videos , and more.

A quick shout-out for the HTML5 Playground. This is truly an innovative tool that will help developers be even more productive. The basic idea behind it is that you can write your code, whether that be HTML5, CSS, or JavaScript, and then play with the online code editor, rendered in real-time. You can tweak what you’re working on and share it with anyone you want to via a permanent URL to your code snippet, and then they can edit your code (as needed) and mail it right back to you.

Developing Apps for AppUp

The AppUp developer center aims to make the publishing process as streamlined and transparent as possible. Developers will progress through four basic steps: join the AppUp program, start your app submission, go through validation, and publish. Enrollment is free, and with that you get instant access to the SDK, a multitude of community developer tools, content, forums, and much more. This is where you’ll submit apps to sell on the Intel AppUp storefront.

The AppUp Dashboard

After a quick (free!) registration, you have access to the AppUp dashboard, a simple control center where you can submit apps, view revenue reports, and receive feedback on any submissions you might have made. You’ll also be able to see crash reports here so you can pinpoint problems if they come up.

One neat thing about the dashboard is that you can invite and be invited to any number of different groups and organizations. This is great for collaborative endeavors, especially when it comes to beta testing. Before submitting an app for validation, you can actually do end user testing from within the AppUp center, simulating the user experience and fixing bugs as they happen before the app is released into the wild.

Intel AppUp SDK

The SDK is not required when developing for the AppUp storefront, but it certainly is useful and supports a much more optimal experience. Included in the SDK is crash reporting, in-app upgrades, in-app purchase capabilities, and digital rights management.

The Submission Process

There are two main tracks in the AppUp submission process: binary validation and meta validation. Both stages must be completed before the app can be published. For much more detail on the AppUp submission process, please read “How to Submit an Application”.

Engagement

There are several ways to get involved with what’s going on in the AppUp and Ultrabook communities. The obvious first step is to enroll in the AppUp developer program . You can also connect with AppUp on Twitter at @IntelAppUp, or join the active community on Facebook. Bob Duffy is the Ultrabook Community Manager and can be found on Twitter as @bobduffy.

Moving Forward

Overall, this was a very informative webinar that touched on all the benefits of working with AppUp to create, distribute, and monetize apps worldwide. The process of submission is quite straightforward and there are multiple checkpoints and safeguards in place to ensure that everything is as streamlined as possible on both the developer and end user side. If you’re a developer, are you enrolled in AppUp? Do you plan to? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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