Friday, November 4, 2011 - 04:50

ForecaWeather for Android devices has been launched and is now available through Android Market. Sfonge and Foreca collaborated on creating the weather application. Sfonge helped Foreca to scout and engage an Android developer for Foreca’s weather application.



 

Marko Moilanen, Vice President of Business Development at Foreca stated on the Sfonge collaboration: “We like to work on our mobile development projects with skilled talents. For us the benefits are clear – costs are under control as well as quality of the work is good.”

Sfonge collaboration with Foreca resulted Sfonge on finding and matchmaking the developer to Foreca for the entire project scope. Developer for the ForecaWeather application development project was found from the pool of developers at Sfonge community.

Marko Moilanen commented: “For our purposes finding a skillful developer, who understands our needs and requirements are hard to find, but our collaboration with Sfonge enabled us to find exactly what we were looking for. In mobile development cases like this, it is of crucial importance to have reference of the skill set of the developer, rather than going by trial-and-error.”

Jani Naukkarinen, Community Director, Sfonge commented: “We are pleased to work with Foreca on their mobile development project. Finding talented developers from our community proves that there are clear benefits for both parties by utilizing Sfonge’s competence in match-making.”

About Foreca

At Foreca, we know the weather. With our weather services we help our clients to focus better their business operations, to avoid risks and to create more revenue. 

Foreca is not only about the weather. We love to apply new technologies to present weather information to public or to our customers. Foreca is known as a front-runner in mobile and internet weather services. And we are always eager to develop new business around weather. 

Foreca's clients come from more than 40 countries from mobile and Internet to energy and shipping industries. 

www.foreca.com

About Sfonge

Sfonge Ltd is a global community for smartphone professionals. Our business focuses on the enablement of software development – for mobile smart devices, applications and services – through our global community and reach. Sfonge offers consultancy, training and knowledge sharing for individuals and companies to have more cost-efficient ways on collaborating and finding the best talent.

www.sfonge.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 04:54

Just as there has been a spurt in the growth of smartphones across the region, it has been accompanied by a plethora of new apps to suit every screen size, style, and specification. But despite the availability – and usage – of handy apps across personal, social and commercial spaces, it is still too early to call the Middle East a truly ‘appy’ landscape.

It is important to check whether mobile apps truly reach beyond eager developers and enthusiastic tech-geeks, and reach out to the consumers who use them. Every time a brand introduces a new model, it is worth considering if it is being chosen or considered for its app-readiness. What does it signal when customers residing in the region are familiar with an app but don’t know how to access it? Or worse still, don’t even know that it exists.

Apparently, mobile app usage in the Middle East is catching on fast even if the pace is much slower than in many parts of the world. Earlier this year, Effective Measure and Spot On PR conducted a survey of close to 13,000 internet users in the region, and discovered that almost 50 percent of respondents had used their mobiles to access the internet.

Of these mobile users, a staggering 85 percent had downloaded mobile applications for their devices, and 27 percent claimed to download more than one mobile app every week, according to the survey titled ‘Mobile data usage and habits of MENA internet users’.

Women were found to more active on social networking sites while using their mobiles (40 percent in comparison to 33 percent of men) and were interested in photo and video sharing and information on hobbies. They were also more likely to use online gaming. Men, on the other hand, were far more interested in news and weather information.

Although paid-for mobile apps in the region is still restricted, 20 percent of mobile internet users said they had paid for a mobile application download – a revealing fact that leaves many doors open for growth.

 Historically, the Middle East’s mobile phone market has been approximately 80 percent Nokia Symbian. As it now shifts to smartphone users - many of who are still getting accustomed to apps and downloading apps - there are unlimited opportunities for developers, manufactures and marketers alike, for providing information and education in equal measure.

Take the case of Samsung’s bada, whose self proclaimed goal is not to compete with other smartphone platforms but instead, to convert conventional customers into smartphone users by providing efficient yet cost-effective choices. And the facts substantiate it: In 2010, over 280 million global customers bought Samsung mobile phones, and Samsung Apps expanded services to 110 countries, specifically for bada.

 Powerful enough for a staggering range of applications, bada as a mobile platform fully utilises hardware for powerful features and superior experiences even in mid-range or economical models. While features such as multiple UI controls, Flash support and sensors’ support help developers plan more interactive applications, it also fosters service-centricity with multipoint-touch, 3D graphics, in-app-purchasing, social networking service (SNS) integration and help applications.

As one of its preferred platforms, Samsung not only plans to roll out new bada-based models, but also, to support developers in making and marketing apps for bada devices.

As bada opens up a brand new smartphone universe in the region, the launch of the bada developer challenge augurs goodwill and great potential across the board. Working with Sfonge, they plan to reward the most talented application developers in the region, and through a process of elimination, award the best among them.

 The organisers are confident of receiving as many entries in each of the challenge’s two categories – Business and Consumer - and that the winning entries will be fresh and unique. They also expect that a large number of entries will be in direct response to some of the region’s specific needs, which will benefit consumers just as well as the participating developers.

 While professional and amateur developers can rejoice in this opportunity to showcase their talents, it also means that smartphone users in the Middle East can look forward to an ‘appier’ digital landscape.

Details of the bada challenge for the Middle East are available at http://bada.sfonge.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 07:03

Samsung and Sfonge have launched a challenge for mobile application developers residing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), based on the bada platform. The challenge is expected to foster growth opportunities for developers in the region, and create market-specific applications for consumers and enterprises alike.

Announcing the launch, Yasin Hamed, co-founder of Sfonge said the company was delighted to partner with Samsung in this unique and innovative challenge.  “The tremendous growth of Samsung’s bada devices presents an excellent opportunity for developers to get involved in, and to contribute meaningfully to the thriving bada ecosystem. By inviting them to compete, we are encouraging them to think innovatively.”

Outlining details of the challange, Mr. Sunghak Jang, V.P at Samsung said the contest will not only encourage and engage regional talent, but also address specific needs, and result in new trends. “We are very aware that there are many competent application developers in this part of the world, and this is a platform for us to discover and honour them. We are confident of receiving a significant number of entries in each of the challenge’s two categories and we are certain that the winning entries will be fresh and unique. It is also our expectation that a large number of entries will be in direct response to some of the region’s specific needs, which will benefit consumers just as well as the participating developers.”

In anticipating of overwhelming response, the challenge will be marked by two phases. The most promising 25 entries in the bada challenge’s Consumer and Business application categories will be rewarded in the first round, and grand prizes will be awarded to the best among these, after a second evaluation.

Mr. Jang emphasised that entry to the challenge is simple and easy, and open to all application developers in the MENA region.

“For the first round, every entry must contain a functional and installation-ready application that can be installed in bada powered Samsung devices.” He cited examples of entries in the Consumer category including music, multimedia, games, travelling, social networks or well-being. On the other hand, applications in the Business category must be targeted at companies and their employees – in improving productivity, reducing manual work, decreasing or eliminating  errors, accessing corporate networks by utilising mobile devices.

All participants in the challenge will be provided free online training by Sfonge, while Samsung and Sfonge will jointly run testing and certification of all applications.  

Besides grand prizes, the final winners of the challenge will be invited to distribute their applications at Samsung application stores across the region, through an attractive revenue sharing model and supported by joint marketing. 

The bada challenge will be actively promoted in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Syria and the UAE, through Samsung’s network, and a publicity plan developed by Sfonge involving personal contacts, university visits and email and web based marketing.

Samsung bada is a mobile operating system developed by Samsung Electronics for use on mobile devices and covers the entire range from ordinary mobile phones to high-end smartphones. bada, which means ocean’s shore in Korean, embodies open possibilities as it accommodates a wide range of applications created by developers while providing unprecedented enjoyment to users.