What You Need To Know About Mozilla’s Firefox Developer Edition Browser

Stephen

firefox_fennec

Mozilla Firefox is turning ten years old and to mark the occasion the company has designed a special present for the people who essentially run the Internet on a daily basis: developers. Originally released in 2004, Mozilla Firefox quickly rose to prominence as a reliable, secure and lightweight alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Though its user base was initially small in comparison to Internet Explorer (thanks largely to the fact that Microsoft bundles its browser with every copy of the Windows operating system), its support has grown astronomically in only a decade. Mozilla has recently released the Firefox Developer Edition, which has a wide variety of different benefits that can’t be ignored.

For Developers, By Developers

Mozilla is touting the Developer Edition as the world’s first web browser that was designed specifically with other developers in mind. It’s graphical user interface has been created from the ground up to support the types of activities and the workflow processes that these individuals go through on a daily basis. It’s a browser that allows developers to build sites and apps, test their work, scale to specific requirements and complete other types of activities all from the same application. Though these components were possible before the release of the Firefox Developer Edition, it usually required a great deal of multitasking and moving back and forth from separate programs.

Debugging

One of the major benefits of the Firefox Developer Edition has to do with the wide range of different options it provides to developers with regards to debugging. Many of these features are possible thanks to a single built-in extension called Valance. Valance allows developers to both inspect and debug an app or site across any type of browser or device that a user may be viewing it on. When a user views an app on the iOS operating system (which is found on all Apple devices), for example, it should naturally respond differently than if the user were viewing the same app on Android. Valance natively has support for these types of systems and more, allowing developers to complete all work from a single point of access.

Another major benefit of Valance is that it includes compatibility for all of the major operating systems in use by users today. Support is extended for Chrome for Android, for example, as well as the mobile version of the Apple Safari browser that is currently installed on every iOS device in existence.

Coding

Another major benefit of the Firefox Developer Edition is the great deal of different options that it provides users with regards to coding. The Developer Edition is capable of allowing everything from simple Javascript to Responsive Web Design and more thanks to a built-in Style Editor. Also commonly referred to as RWD, Responsive Web Design is the concept that the needs of users will change based on the device they are using an app on, which means that the app itself needs to automatically adapt to provide for the best possible experience.

If a user is browsing a site on a desktop computer, for example, they are both using a mouse for navigation and using a large format browser on a large screen monitor. The layout of the page should automatically change when the same content is viewed on a touch screen device like an iPhone or iPad. The built-in Style Editor allows developers to automatically account for these types of changes. Additionally, they can experience the way their content will look and feel in different environments automatically to make sure that they’re always putting their best foot forward.

Stephen L

What Is The Difference Between Bluetooth Low Energy And Wi-Fi Direct?

Stephen

When people think about file sharing, they often thing of piracy and intellectual property theft. As a concept, however, it’s much more than that. File sharing can be as simple as sharing a document, a video clip or any other type of digital media between two different devices in the same home. For many years, the “easiest” way to do that was sharing the file on your home network. However, the obvious drawback to that method is that not only is it time consuming to set up, but it also makes that file available to any other device on the same network – which is a very serious privacy concern if you’re in public.

As we draw closer to the age of “The Internet of Things,” two different methods for close quarters personal file sharing have emerged: Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi Direct. Both are similar in concept but are fundamentally different in a number of important ways.

Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth Low Energy is the natural evolution of basic Bluetooth technology. In essence, a short range, wireless connection between two different points is created using the basic Bluetooth protocol. This connection can be between a desktop computer and a laptop computer, a laptop computer and a mobile phone, a mobile phone and a tablet or any other combination of devices that you may require. Once the two devices are connected with one another, any file can be shared wirelessly over that connection at any time.

Wi-Fi Direct

Wi-Fi Direct is a relatively new entry in the world of close quarters file sharing, but it is already making significant progress. It operates conceptually in much the same way that a standard wireless router does, but with a few very important differences. For starters, you don’t need a Wi-Fi router to act as an “access point” for two devices to connect with one another. In that regard, it actually operates in much the same way that Bluetooth does by creating a network connection that only goes between two points. The major difference is that it uses a separate type of wireless technology.

Perhaps the most important difference between Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth Low Energy is exactly how they were designed to work. By its very nature, Bluetooth has a very limited range that both devices can use to connect with one another. Using earlier versions of the Bluetooth protocol, the two devices needed to be very close to one another (usually no more than a few feet) for the connection to be recognized at all. The 4.0 version of the Bluetooth protocol extended this range up to around 200 feet, though that is still impractical in certain situations.

Wi-Fi Direct, thanks to the fact that it uses the standard Wi-Fi protocol, can broadcast a strong signal between two points at a range of up to 600 feet.

Another major difference between the two types of wireless services has to do with speed. Even the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol is only capable of data transfer speeds of around 25 megabytes per second. While this will likely be more than enough for casual users, it still means that large files will take several hours to complete. Wi-Fi Direct, on the other hand, is capable at transferring data at speeds of up to 250 megabytes per second.

For many people, this will represent a data transfer rate that is several times faster than the commercial Internet connection in their home is capable of providing for them. Any device that is capable of receiving Wi-Fi signals is capable of using Wi-Fi Direct.

Stephen L

Best Tools For Load Testing Your Application

Ashley

Device Demographics

Managing a web or mobile application can be complicated, especially with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of users waiting in anticipation for its official launch. Knowing some of the best load testing tools that are available for cloud infrastructure setups is a way for you to ensure you are ready to go live whether you are selling products and services or simply sharing content to millions of users worldwide. Testing the load of an application or mobile product on multiple network services is a way for you to guarantee your uptime while ensuring you are able to deliver the products and content you need to your own users and potential customers.

Finding the Right Testing Tools

Finding the right testing tools for your network and when working in the cloud is essential prior to launching a new system or application for alpha or beta users to begin trying. Knowing the type of load you are capable of handling is a way to launch any app live without the worry of lag or shutting down entirely.

Consider Your Network and Audience

Before looking for the right usability and testing tools, be sure to consider the network and audience you are appealing to with your brand and the mobile tool or script you are sharing. Having a thorough understanding of the demographic you want to appeal to is a way to eliminate testing services and cloud networks that are not ideal for the type of content, products, or services you want to share.

Consider Your Budget

Before you begin comparing different mobile applications and tools to keep content, data, and information safe, consider the budget you have available for the testing software and services you require. Many application testers today are available free to charge and test before choosing a system you want to use permanently when loading content and sharing products with others.

Some of the Most Popular Testing Tools for Mobile Applications and Development

Before you begin sharing products or showcasing any of the content your business has to offer, consider comparing some of the most popular testing tools for mobile app development on the market today. Taking the time to compare some of the most well-known mobile app tools is a way for you to ensure you are getting everything you need out of your mobile platform without having to do all of the testing on different networks yourself.

AgileLoad

AgileLoad is one of the most popular options available for load testing with new mobile apps as it is free of charge and provides insight into the various types of issues you may experience when running your own app. The app itself is free to use, provides full support, free scripting, and it is highly customizable–perfect for companies interested in branding the backend tools and systems in place.

Load Impact

Load Impact is another free tool available for mobile app developers and testers alike. Along with the tool itself being free of charge, it also offers a pay as you go system for those who enjoy the application and want to continue utilizing it for their own business over time. The tools allow individuals to test load large scenarios while working with multiple businesses and groups of potential customers and consumers. Real time testing is one of the biggest advantages of using Load Impact for any business model.

Keynote KITE

Keynote KITE is another free software tool to use to help with monitoring and balancing the load users have over a network and infrastructure you have set up and developed. The system is free to use, easy to work with, and even allows users to share data between one another, making it simple to communicate and stay up to task with all mobile app sharing tools and developments.

Ashley Q

The Difference Between Apple Health, Microsoft Health and Google Fit

Edgar

tourists

It’s the information age, and more people are learning how to live healthier lives. Those seeking to improve their diet, lose weight, or just get into the habit of exercising can find help from three leaders in the information technology space: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Each company has launched its own version of a health suite that lets users gather data about their lifestyle and find ways to improve. For app developers, these new projects present exciting opportunities to break into the health and fitness market. Read on to learn about the features and differences between these health apps.

Apple Health

Apple’s new Health app lets you view and manage your personal health and fitness information. You can input data about yourself, such as age, weight, measurements, and underlying medical conditions. All your data is encryped when your phone is locked and can be backed up to your iCloud account.

Apple Health also lets you:

  • View graphical displays of your weight, calories burned, and other information.
  • Access multiple categories such as sleep, nutrition, vital signs, and heart rate.
  • Create an emergency card with information for doctors and parademics.
  • Determine which third-party apps are allowed to access your health information.

Apple Health includes a developer toolkit, HealthKit, that allows other app designers to integrate their fitness apps with the data stored in your Apple Health dashboard. You can also easily share information with your doctor, helping streamline checkups. It helps create a more expansive network of information that keeps you focused on your goals.

Microsoft Health

Like Apple Health, Microsoft’s Health app offers cloud support and the ability to keep track of your health and fitness data. However, Microsoft’s new project uses data gathered from external devices such as smart watches, Microsoft Band, and integrated apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness. When you use these devices while running or working out at the gym, data such as calories burned and heart rate are sent to Microsoft Health via the cloud. While it sounds promising, the project is still in its early stages. Microsoft claims that in time their Health app will be able to pull and analyze information from an array of sources to help you live healthier.

Google Fit

Google Fit isn’t a health app by itself, but a platform to help developers build their own apps and sports equipment companies manufacture smarter gear. It this regard, it’s similar to Apple’s HealthKit.

  • View data transmitted through sensors from integrated apps and equipment.
  • Integrate sensors and apps with Google Fit.
  • Manage current and historical data stored in Google Fit.

Google Fit has support from over a dozen multinational companies including Adidas, Asus, Intel, LG, Nike, and Strava.

Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all aiming to create a full-featured health suite that connects to other apps and health monitoring devices. Apple Health stands as the most complete app, while Microsoft’s variation is in its infant stages. Google Fit boasts the most integration of the three, and can help developers reach a huge market. Where app quality is concerned, all three projects are by no means complete, and we’ll likely see improvements in functionality and compatibility in the future.

 

Edgar L

What Factors Affect Application Performance

Stephen

Mobile Game AppsOne of the main factors where an application will live and die isn’t necessarily in the graphical user interface or even with regards to available features. It has to do with the performance of the app in terms of the user experience. Users are much more likely to forgive an app that performs a single function exceedingly well than they are an app that tries to “do it all” and fails miserably due to lag, sluggish performance and other factors.

If you’re looking for a way to streamline your application and make sure that your software launches performing as well as it possibly can, there are a few key areas that you’ll want to turn your attention to.

1. Network Strength and Speed

More and more applications are shipping with features dependent on the use of the cloud to deliver information to users in the most efficient way possible. The cloud has a huge number of different benefits, chief among them the fact that you can easily access information from any device with an Internet connection. The major drawback of the cloud, however, is that slow network speeds will severely degrade application performance. For the best results, make sure that your cloud enabled app is optimized to work on slower Internet connections.

2. Design

One of the major ways in which an application’s performance will suffer is if the software in general isn’t designed as well as it can be. Poorly optimized native code like HTML that is far too complex for its own good, for example, will immediately cause problems at the application layer. Likewise, if you haven’t designed the infrastructure of the application with the best possible user experience in mind, you can’t expect the app to launch performing as well as your users will expect.

Coding an application is definitely something of an art form and to create the best possible software it should always be treated as such. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid making things as simple, as streamlined and as optimized as possible just for the sake of that art, however. Application performance will always suffer as a result.

3. Testing (Or a Lack Thereof)

Testing is always a huge part of the application development lifecycle. The issue that many developers face, however, is a failure to test early and often during that process. Many people wait until the product its nearing its completion to begin testing in earnest, at which point it may be far too late. Small problems have already likely ballooned into big ones and a single issue can affect many different areas of the app all at once, making its point of origin difficult to pin down.

Testing early may require you to do so without a full feature set in place, for example, and may definitely add additional development time to an otherwise tight schedule. However, it’s always important to keep in mind the simple idea that it’s easier to prevent a problem from happening in the first place than it is to fix it once it has already occurred.

4. The Mobile Environment

One of the chief areas of concern to application developers everywhere in the modern landscape should always be the mobile environment. The number of users engaging with software on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, representing a huge segment of the population that can’t be ignored. Application performance suffers, however, when developers try to take a desktop app and cram it into that mobile environment with minimal changes. Mobile apps (or mobile versions of desktop apps) need to be designed with that architecture in mind for the best possible results.

Stephen L

What You Need To Know About Two Factor Authentication

Edgar

enterprise-mobile-apps-security

It’s a procedure that dates back to the dawn of civilization. Secret organizations use it to weed out imposters. Kids use it when playing spy-themed games at the playground. And grocery stores use it before letting you bring home the milk and eggs. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is as effective as it is simple. Here’s what mobile app developers need to know about it.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication?

2FA is just what its name implies – a form of identity confirmation that requires two pieces of information. The first factor is something the person has such as a credit card number, a mobile phone, or a username and password. The second factor is something the person knows, which might be a PIN number, zip code, birth date, or the name of a person or pet. In the app realm, if you are logging into a familiar account (like Google, Facebook or Twitter) from a device that the site does not recognize, it will ask for answers to security questions or send an SMS with a unique PIN to your phone number.

Who Uses Two-Factor Authentication?

Everyone and their grandma. Well, maybe not, but most people run into some form of 2FA almost every day. For example, most banks require customers to provide additional information such as answers to a set of security questions to access their online accounts. Other places that use 2FA include:

  • Most retail stores
    Financial institutions
    Gas stations
    A growing number of websites and apps, especially social sites

Why Use Two-Factor Authentication?

While a username and password might seem secure enough, they can be easily exploited by hackers, spyware, and keylogging programs. This is especially true for mobile users who provide personal information to third-party apps every day over unsecured public networks. The last thing app developers want is for their customers’ sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands.

In the realm of app security, it’s easy to tell where a phone is being used and what network it’s on, but impossible to determine whose thumbs are tapping away at the screen. Lost phones are about as rare as pigeons in New York City. 2FA ensures that if a thief has a user’s phone, he must also know personal information about the user before doing damage. While much of this burden of protection depends on what customers store in their phones, app developers must do their part to reduce this risk.

How Effective Is Two-Factor Authentication?

It’s by no means foolproof, but 2FA adds a layer of security that makes it much harder for thieves to go about their business. It adds a simple step to the login process, and if done right, costs very little for app developers to implement. However, like cereal, 2FA comes in many varieties.

2FA traditionally comes in the form of physical authentication tokens. These gadgets produce single-use passwords after the user logs in with valid credentials. Sounds cool, but these keyfobs can cost well over $100 and many companies get headaches with distributing, tracking, and replacing them. Customers aren’t too thrilled with them, either.

Jim Fenton, CSO of password management firm OneID, stated that while 2FA makes hackers’ jobs more difficult, savvy hackers can also use it to their advantage.

Should App Developers Use Two-Factor Authentication?

A better question is “how should app developers use 2FA?” Nobody wants to buy a clunky device that can easily break or be stolen. And most developers don’t have a vault of cash to spend on app security.

Requiring PIN numbers or answers to security questions are better options. Still better is fingerprint verification recently introduced into the mobile sphere. The technology is young, but it has potential. Generally, the more advanced a technology, the more it costs to adopt. But it’s certainly much harder for a hacker to steal a thumb than a PIN.

Edgar L

6 Helpful App Design Trends

Edgar

Mobile apps

Fast and functional. Those words are hard-coded into the DNA of app designers who scramble to meet and exceed user expectations. Should I tailor my website for mobile users only? Does this color scheme work? Do I have too many tabs?

Through toil, testing and borderline trichotillomania, many superb apps have been forged. What do they have in common? Here are 3 trends scoring big points with users.

Material Design

First unveiled by Google in late June 2014, this new design lanaguage focuses on a user-friendly interface. It relies heavily on grids, smooth animations, padding, and shadows and highlights. The shadows and edges help users identify where they can touch. While still in its early stages, material design is prevalent in a variety of Google offerings including Google Drive and Google Docs, and in the Android 5.0 OS. Google designers liken the new material standard to paper and ink.

Responsive Design

Many businesses are turning to responsive design as a cheaper alternative to native apps. Responsive design makes a website automatically adjust to fit the dimensions of the viewing screen. This helps designers deliver a consistent, streamlined experience to mobile and PC users. It’s also a winning proposition on the marketing front: companies can reap the benefits of their previous SEO and promotional efforts in the new mobile environment.

However, just because the content fits, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable to read. In fact, what might be a easy-to-navigate website on a computer may become a garbled mess when moved to mobile. Older devices may also have trouble loading responsive websites. It’s not a panacea, but responsive design may be a viable strategy for some situations.

Flat Design

People purchase apps to make their lives easier, not complicate it. As such, successful app designers strive to provide a clean, flat user interface. Make sure what needs to stand out stands out. Colors should be easy on the eyes, buttons and tabs easy to select, and fonts smooth and readable. Look over your app’s features and determine whether each one provides value or creates clutter. Every tap should create a swift response. Keep it simple and streamlined. It’s better to have a few useful features that work and load quickly than dozens that slow the app down. Get user feedback on the features they want added, improved, or removed.

Offering Free-to-Try Versions

Free samples have been a powerful marketing tool since long before the internet. How many times have you sampled a product at a grocery store and decided to buy it? No doubt you got behind the wheel of that car at the dealership before you drove it home. Successful app designers often offer a free “lite” version of their app to give customers a taste before dipping into their wallet. For example, a free-to-try productivity app might let users organize a few notes and assign categories, with unrestricted features available in the full version.

Optional Social Network Integration

Few things can raise users’ blood pressure like a dialog box prompting them to log in to their Facebook or Twitter account to use an app. It’s nice to offer users the option to share a video they edited or a high score. It’s even nicer to let users enable or disable social media sharing prompts altogether. But savvy designers know to avoid making social media integration a necessity. It’s annoying, suspicious, and alienates many users.

Awareness Apps

Your business doesn’t have to revolve around apps to use them successfully. Many companies and nonprofit associations have created apps to raise awareness for breast cancer awareness, environmental responsibility, and other causes. They often come in the form of a simple game with a hidden message, but can be something as simple as a calendar, timer, or wallpaper changer. It’s budget-friendly advertising as it’s best, and can create more buzz than you might think.

Edgar L

What Makes Kim Kardashian’s ‘Hollywood’ App So Popular

Dani

kim_k_hollywood_app

Last year, Glu Mobile, the company responsible for games like Deer Hunter and Diner Dash, took a wild leap of faith in re-branding their already popular app Stardom Hollywood. For this task, they employed the help of A-list celebrity Kim Kardashian. Glu approached Ms. Kardashian personally to help them develop Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a free to download role-playing app that lets users move up the social ranks in Hollywood. 

Why should we care about keeping up with Kardashian’s latest display of brand power? Well, to begin with, the app raked in $1.6 million in revenue within five days of its release, according to the New York Times, and that amount is expected to balloon to $200 million by the end of 2014. What’s driving the app’s success?

Keeping Users Engaged

Kardashian’s app, which is powered by in-game purchases, does an exceptional job of keeping its users interested and eager for more. The premise is fairly simple: a casual role-playing game that lets you move your avatar from the Hollywood E-list all the way up to the A-list by dressing to the nines, going to photo shoots and other events, earning money, and maybe dating a famous person or two. Kim herself serves as the user’s mentor, offering advice along the way.

Despite its simplistic design, mobile users are taken with the game. For a time, it held the distinguished status as the only app on the iTunes market with a 5-star rating from over 40,000 users, according to Bloomberg, which certainly speaks to the overall app quality. People may have been drawn in by the Kardashian name, but they stayed because the design actually works.

A Personal Touch

Incorporating Kardashian’s likeness, even her real voice, was a wise move by developers, but the personal Kardashian flair goes far beyond that.

“In addition to her in-game audio commentary, she provided a significant amount of creative feedback. She hand-selected the majority of the outfits, accessories, hairstyles, and other in-game items – and her deep involvement continues as we roll out updates and new content – from the aesthetics to new locations and features,” Glu’s chief executive Niccolo de Masi told Forbes.

Ultimately, the authenticity afforded by Kardashian’s involvement lends itself to the app’s quality. Users obsessed with Kim’s outfits or hairstyles have direct access, albeit digital, to experience them as Kardashian herself intended.

Endless Possibilities

Essentially, the game ends up being a simulation of Kardashian’s own life, which could mean a great deal in terms of longevity. De Masi described the game as a narrative that can be extended infinitely to parallel Kardashian’s life.

Currently, users familiar with the Kardashian brand are met with references—some subtle, others not so much—to many of her experiences in the lime light, from catty Twitter wars to good-natured quips at her own storied past and reputation: “ Dating another celebrity will make you more famous,” virtual Kardashian tells users.

Keeping Up With Kim

The app’s seemingly up-to-the-minute reflection of Kardashian’s antics is a big draw, according to Ali Hussainy, a fan of the game. From the Yeezus tour t-shirt to the massive rock on Kardashian’s finger, users will instantly recognize that the app thrives on the present:

“It doesn’t look like the Kim from two years ago, or even a year ago,” Hussainy told Forbes.  “It is pretty much up to date with the Kim you constantly see. You think to yourself, wasn’t Kim just wearing that dress, like, a month ago?”

The app’s popularity is certainly fueled by having a high-profile name attached, but Glu did a fine job of finding the perfect balance of pop culture appeal and exceptional app quality. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’s success depends heavily on high quality content and execution to keep its users engaged and coming back for more.

Dani N

5 Open Source Testing Tools For App Developers

Stephen

Medical technology

Open source can be a developer’s best friend. When it comes to app testing, open source solutions can give developers a cheap and effective means of performing basic quality assurance.

Why open source testing tools? Apart from the fact that you always want to make sure that your hard work is moving towards the right direction, you also want to make sure that you’re releasing the best possible product. In the world of mobile apps where countless new pieces of software are being released on a daily basis, you can’t just have an “OK” or even a “good enough” launch and hope to survive in the marketplace. You need a great one to get people’s attention in the quickest way possible.

Open source testing tools are just one way in which you and your team can accomplish that goal. Here are five open source testing tools in particular that are more than worth your time.

1. Monkey Talk

Monkey Talk bills itself as “the worlds greatest mobile app testing tool.” When you take a look at the feature set being offered, it’s easy to see why. Monkey Talk works for both the iOS and the Android platforms and can test a variety of different platforms including native apps, mobile apps, hybrid apps and more. You can perform data-driven tests, smoke tests and nearly anything else to make sure that your software has the launch that you need.

2. Appium

Appium is a tool used to perform automation tests for native, web and hybrid mobile applications. Like Monkey Talk, it also works for both the iOS and Android platforms. The tool is an incredibly valuable one for both SDKs (meaning apps that were written specifically for Android or iOS) and applications that are tested via some type of mobile web browser (like the mobile Safari web browser that comes natively installed on all iPhone devices).

3. Frank

Frank is an open source mobile application testing utility designed specifically for the iOS operating system. The great thing about Frank is that it allows you to write specific structure text tests based on exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. In addition, you can also create detailed acceptance tests based on a list of pre-defined requirements that will then be used to test your iOS app so that you can have actionable information about what works, what doesn’t and what still needs to be done.

4. Robotium

Robotium is a testing automation utility designed specifically for mobile apps that run on the Android platform. Not only does Robotium give users the ability to conduct regular unit tests based on a pre-existing library, but developers can also write essentially any test that they’d like for quality control purposes based on Java. The GUI is sleek and clean and the application itself is incredibly easy to use.

5. Sikuli

One of the most important aspects of your mobile app will always be the graphical user interface. You can lay in all of the features in the world and create a truly “one size fits all” piece of software, but if it’s cumbersome or otherwise difficult to use it won’t be able to get any type of traction.

Sikulu aims to fix all of that. It’s a completely open source tool used to automate the process of testing the graphical user interface of your apps. You can create scripts that, when used in conjunction with the built-in screenshot feature, allow you to easily control every last aspect of the GUI. Screenshots can be added into your test with just the click of a single button, allowing you to completely automate the testing process and accomplish a significant amount in a very small period of time.

Stephen L

Windows Phone Success Depends On App Quality

WP8It might not have the marketshare of Android or the cult following of iOS, but the Windows Phone OS is slowly gaining traction – by quickly adding new apps.

In fact, according to Microsoft, their Windows Phone Store now features more than 300,000 apps and games as of late last week. Two months ago, that number stood at 255,000 apps. A month later, 270,000. The interesting aspect of this milestone, as Softpedia also notes, is not so much the number of apps, but the rate in which they were added:

This milestone is much more important given the fact that it was achieved during summer, when usually developers should be away on holiday. It’s also important to note that Windows Phone Store gained more than 30,000 apps in just three weeks, which means that by the end of the year, there’s a high chance it will reach 4-500,000 apps.

For mobile app developers, there may be no time like the present to establish a presence in Windows Phone Store. Though a distant third in terms of OS marketshare (at 3.4% compared to Android’s 52.1% and iOS’ 41.3%), it’s obvious that the ecosystem still has room to grow.

But while the quantity of apps makes headlines, it’s the quality of apps that will ultimately determine the operating system’s success and longevity. If the data is accurate, it appears as though this point has not been lost on Windows Phone developers.

Back in July of 2013 – shortly after Applause began crawling the Windows Phone Store – we conducted a brief study on the highest rated apps within each app store. What we found was that, among the top three, Windows Phone apps generally received much higher ratings compared to its iOS and Android counterparts. Here’s an abridged version of the results at the time:

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