Developers looking for a white-hot opportunity to get their apps noticed (which pretty much takes care of every developer, right?) would do well to take a hard look at the Intel AppUp® Center, a relatively new app store offering that is quietly emerging as one of the biggest opportunities for developers on the market today – especially developers who are looking to take advantage of the emerging Ultrabook™ market. In this article, we’re going to look at ten reasons why developers should be thinking about creating from-scratch Ultrabook apps for the AppUp center, or porting already existing apps so that they are optimized for the Ultrabook platform.
1) Less crowded space.
If you take a quick look at the AppUp center, you’ll notice that, well, its pretty easy to find what's there, not all categories are over crowded (at least compared to other popular app stores). This is actually a massive opportunity for savvy app developers to elbow out the competition, and be the big fish in a small pond. Imagine the possibilities of a really well developed, world-class Ultrabook app getting in one of the featured categories (anything from Books to Weather), and having that instant recognition from people who are already looking for you.
2) It’s optimized for Ultrabooks.
The AppUp Center’s apps are meant to be optimized for Ultrabooks. Early sales figures for the Ultrabook are promising, and with next generation features like voice recognition, gesture recognition, and other perceptual computing goodies, these sales figures are predicted to go even higher. People are going to want to find fun stuff for their new Ultrabooks to play with, and developers can get a head start on that action.
3) New technology for the Ultrabook, new tech for apps.
Haswell, voice recognition, perceptual computing, touch sensors, oh my! There are so many interesting innovations coming out very soon with next generations of Ultrabooks, and these technologies are creating a lot of buzz in the consumer and developer communities. Capitalizing on this new tech seems like a no-brainer for smart developers, especially since consumers are going to want to try out all this new fun stuff on apps that actually have incorporated it.
4) The process is easy.
Everything you ever needed to know about developing an application for AppUp can be found in one centralized hub: Intel AppUp Developers. Here, you’ll find easily accessible information about the AppUp SDK, the encapsulator, how to sell your app, and much, much more.
5) One-stop shopping for Windows apps.
One of the most attractive things about AppUp is that it’s meant to be a “hub” for Windows apps, especially apps optimized for the Ultrabook. People with their brand new Ultrabooks in hand are going to be seeking out great new apps, and the AppUp Center is poised to be the ultimate marketplace for this.
6) Trusted brand, trusted process.
Every app in the AppUp Center goes through a rigorous testing and validation process, which makes consumer adaptation of these apps that much easier. Instead of playing Russian roulette with apps that might or might not send your machine back to the Stone Age, apps from AppUp can be trusted to do what they say they are going to do. This trust is crucial for all consumers, but especially for those people who might be new to the “let’s find an app” process and are more slow to leap in. If your app is available in the AppUp Center, its part of a trusted entity that has shown itself to be worthy of that trust – that’s no small feat, and could push an undecided consumer across the line from window-shopping to downloading.
7) Good place to piggyback.
If you’ve ever searched for an app, you’ve probably seen that there are a lot of peripheral apps that capitalize on an existing app’s popularity and give the user another way to use an already existing feature. For example, the ultra-popular Angry Birds game: a cursory search in a popular app marketplace brings up apps like Angry Birds Eagle (an in-app purchase that can help you pass levels more easily), Beaver’s Revenge (somewhat explanatory), and other apps that use the “similar to (fill in the blank)” chestnut to up their exposure and therefore their in-store rankings. The AppUp Center is a prime place in which to do this, and not just for popular games and entertainment: reference, maps, shopping, photos, productivity, you name it, it’s there, and so are the possibilities. Furthermore, even if a recognized app isn’t in AppUp, consumers are familiar enough with the “big name” apps that they’ll recognize and follow their favorites wherever they might be mentioned.
8) Excellent opportunity for app store optimization.
App store optimization is the practice of making your app and any related app copy (app description, app teaser page, dedicated app website) the best it can be for both search engines and search engine users (read more about app store optimization here and here). There’s almost a “perfect storm” scenario available in the AppUp Center for Ultrabook developers right now related to ASO: very little competition, Ultrabook sales increasing with next-generation tech rollouts, and app store optimization is a very new field (read: not a lot of people are doing it yet). Again with the big fish in a small pond scenario: ASO gives smart app developers the ability to outshine their competition, and in the realm of apps developed especially for Ultrabooks, it could potentially be like shooting fish in a barrel.
9) Multi-device app installs.
One of the most appealing features of the AppUp Center is that consumers can install apps on more than one device – up to five netbook devices, to be exact. This gives consumers an obvious advantage since they can follow their favorite apps across any device they choose to use, but developers can also capitalize on this to create brand loyalty, especially when building an inter-related “family” of apps.
At the end of the day, we all need to get paid, right? The AppUp Center is in very early days still, and the opportunities are rampant for some serious app monetization. The potential to monetize apps streaming out of this hub is huge, especially since the developer ecosystem enjoys such a broad range of support: ever-widening OS options, broadening developer environments, and of course, the steadily increasing sales of Ultrabooks with a dedicated consumer fan base.
Bottom line: it’s a good time to be an Ultrabook developer
We’re just getting started in the field of Ultrabook development. In addition to the resources already shared in this article, be sure to check out the pioneering work that was accomplished in the Ultimate Coder Challenge, a six-week contest including six coder teams and four tech industry judges. This Challenge produced not only six game-changing new Ultrabook apps, but also quite a bit of cutting-edge Ultrabook app development documentation and help. Get inspired, get motivated, and those apps to the AppUp Center – the opportunity is ripe for any developers who are savvy enough to grab it.