MobileKnox for Android - Status (MobileKnox / Safe)
Today, I am happy to announce that the 100th user of MobileKnox decided to buy the "MobileKnox Premium Key" in the Android Market:

As you probably know the "MobileKnox Premium Key" permanently enables synchronization and used nearby. Additionally, advertisements are disabled.

I want to use this event to give you an update of MobileKnox and where we are going with it:
  • Currently, we see more than 6000 downloads and more than 2000 active installations of MobileKnox.
  • "MobileKnox Premium Key" is sold more than 100 times (100 times alone in the Android Market).
  • On a usual day we see more than 30 synchronizations by MobileKnox and DesktopKnox using our ServerSync servers.
  • MobileKnox is available in eleven Android application stores.
Currently we are working on more features to come:
  • Export
  • Manage entries
  • Data vault features such as upload, download, and encryption of files.
Do you miss a feature? Please let me know! Your feedback is highly appreciated!

Posted by Thomas King at 18:55 2011-01-23 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (1)

Which are the Relevant Application Stores for Android? (Android)
The number of application stores for Android is steadily growing. For instance, a few days ago Amazon opened its application store for developers. Another example is appoke. Appoke just went into a public beta offering a social application store. These application stores are available in addition to the already existing ones. already lists about 20 application stores for Android and the new ones are not counted yet.

For an application publisher (e.g., developer or marketing agency) the question arises which are the relevant application stores for Android that should be supported. With support I mean upload of the application, upload of updates of the application, manage the payment procedure, collect and analyze download and active installation numbers, and react to user reviews and feedback. The time needed to provide such support is linear with number of application stores. As time is money application publishers want to focus on the relevant application stores that offer the most benefit.

I asked myself which are the relevant application stores. Given the list of application stores from and the application stores I added by myself (e.g., appoke and andspot) I tried to upload MobileKnox to each of these application stores. Unfortunately, I was not able to upload MobileKnox to all of these application stores as some of them require weird information. For instance, the M1 Appstore requires a copy of my passport and a copy of my company registration valid in Singapore. As I do not want to send around copies of my passport to strangers I skipped this application store. In the end eleven application stores remained:
The dominate metric for success of an application is the number of downloads. Only if a user downloads the app there is a chance that she will use the application in the future. Compared to the number of active installations - which in fact is the better metric to measure the success of an application - the number of downloads is always publicly displayed in application stores. Hence, I will stick with this measure to compute the list of relevant application stores. For the last two weeks I counted the number of downloads for MobileKnox for each the above mentioned application stores. The list is structured by the number of downloads:

More than 100 downloads:
  • Android Market
  • AndroidPit
  • Handster
  • AndAppStore
  • SlideME
Less than 100 downloads but more than 10 downloads:
  • GetJar
Less than 10 downloads but more than 1 download:
  • AppsLib
  • Camangi
  • Appoke
  • AndSpot
  • Amazon AppStore

From the list you see that only five out of the eleven application stores are of relevance. As expected the Android Market shows the highest download numbers. Following is the AndroidPit application store and with a gap the application stores from Handster, AndAppStore, and SlideME. The last mentioned three application stores show nearly the same download numbers. Interesting to see is that GetJar, AppsLib and Camangi show only between 100 and 1 downloads. The group with no downloads consists mainly of application stores that are not open to users or which just opened.

So, in the future I will focus on Android Market, AndroidPit, Handster, AndAppStore, and SlideME application stores. However, as the newly available application stores might gain power I will do such a relevance check every few month.

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 15:17 2011-01-23 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Really Cool Christmas Presents (General)
The best Christmas presents you can get are the ones that are well conceived and hand-crafted. This year I was happy to receive two of these great and very cool presents: A bedside locker and a coffee table.

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of having many furniture in my apartment. Hence I did not buy a bedside locker. This repeatedly resulted in a chaotic stack of books and magazines beside my bed. To resolve this matter my girlfriend conceived a bedside locker that is not an extra furniture but an add-on to my bed:

Isn’t it cool? With this bedside locker I can organize my books and magazines without having an additional furniture. Well done! Thanks for the present!

Coffee tables are quite expensive especially if they are fancy and in vogue. So, my girlfriend and I found such a coffee table but as you can expect it was too expensive for us. However, we just liked this kind of coffee table so much that we decided we have to get one without paying a fortune. The solution was easy: just do it yourself. As we already know what we wanted I started looking for a few old oak beams. Lucky as I am I found a few very old ones that I bought for a few bucks. I handed over these oak beams to my girlfriend’s father who did some magic to transform these old oak beams into a shiny looking coffee table. So, this was really a great Christmas present. Thank you very much!

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 17:32 2011-01-09 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

How to Manage Paid Applications in the Various Application Stores (Android)
As many paid apps MobileKnox contains two pieces of apps: Firstly, the freely available app which provides all features (e.g., create and securely save entries) including the premium ones (e.g, synchronization) which are only available for free during a seven days trial period. This app is called “MobileKnox” in the application stores. Secondly, an app that can only be downloaded from the application stores if you pay 1.99€ plus taxes. This app is called “MobileKnox Premium Key” and activates the premium features of MobileKnox forever. The “MobileKnox” app is available in many different application stores:
Unfortunately, the “MobileKnox Premium Key” app cannot be downloaded from most of these application stores. The reason is that only a few of these application stores offer a licencing service that allows “MobileKnox Premium Key” to verify if a particular user already paid for the app. Without such a service it is easy for crackers to download the “MobileKnox Premium Key” and crack the app so that it can be made available to everybody for free. This would negatively affect my revenue streams which means I do not have the resources to spend more time on improving MobileKnox. So far, the following application stores offer a licencing service:
  • AndAppStore
  • Android Market
  • AndroidPit
  • SlideME
  • Camangi

AndSpot and Appoke are working on licensing services but it is unclear when it will be available. The AndroidPit licensing service is build on top of the Android Market. However, the licensing services from the other application stores are different to the Android Market licensing service meaning that application developers have to spend a lot of time to integrate the different services.

Given the different licensing services from the various application stores I already started developing a library that contains all these services. The goal of this endeavor is to provide a single and easy-to-use library that communicates with all the different licensing services.
The rule which licensing service should be selected for querying about a license is derived from the application store client that is installed on the smart-phone. It can be assumed that an app is not licensed from a particular application store if the according application store client is not installed.

Do you want to participate in this development? If so just drop me a mail and I will provide you a SVN account to the source code repository.

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 14:16 2011-01-09 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)