by Puneet Goel
The resurgence of the standalone application provides exciting new opportunities for developers who want to unlock their entrepreneurial potential. This article discusses the opportunities and describes how Adobe InMarket is going to help developers reach millions of users and make money.
For the last 10 years, the primary mechanism for accessing content and applications has been through the browser. But with computing shifting to devices such as phones and tablets we have seen a resurgence of the standalone application. On devices, we are seeing that consumers prefer to use standalone applications because they are optimized for the device and make it easy to navigate through content. Most of these devices also have app stores to facilitate the discovery of applications and keep malicious applications out. This is an exciting opportunity for developers. Entrepreneurial developers now have a real opportunity to use their technical skills to create applications that become hits.
The opportunity comes with its set of challenges. The number of application stores is growing — and it is hard to keep up with them. You need to pay to join the individual developer programs for each of these stores, making it expensive to reach multiple stores. Each store implements licensing and payments differently, often requiring that developers create a unique binary for each store. Once an application has been published, managing the application and tracking its success on multiple stores is time-consuming. Adobe has recognized this challenge and has launched Adobe InMarket to provide an easy solution.
Adobe InMarket is a distribution service that lets developers bring their apps to market and reach consumers and generate revenue. InMarket provides a centralized portal where you can publish and manage your apps in multiple app stores across a range of devices. Once the application is published, users discover and pay for the application directly within the store where they find it. Developers receive 70 percent of the sales revenue. Adobe and its partners take care of credit card processing, hosting, and marketing.
Adobe is working with a number of store partners to provide the widest distribution possible across notebooks, netbooks, tablets, mobile phones, and televisions. Intel AppUp is the first partner store supported by Adobe InMarket. AppUp is Intel's application store infrastructure that retailers and OEMs are using to build their own stores on netbooks and notebooks. Several retailers including Best Buy, Croma Electronics Megastore in India, and UK-based retailer Dixons have started to preinstall AppUp powered stores and have made them available through their websites. Asus announced its own version of the AppUp center, called the Asus App Store, which will be available on every Asus netbook in November. This preinstalled AppUp store (and more on the way) coupled with consumer advertising campaigns, powered by Intel, will greatly expand the visibility of apps and usage by consumers.
InMarket will be growing rapidly and will add several stores over the coming months. Since many of these stores and devices are new, this presents a "green field" opportunity for your applications to become the default standards for these devices.
The InMarket portal is the central point for you to publish applications through InMarket. Follow these steps to publish your application:
Get a code-signing certificate from a certificate authority, such as ChosenSecurity, GlobalSign, Thawte, or VeriSign.
Note: For a limited time, Adobe offers a coupon for a free certificate. You can request the coupon through the portal.
Build and test your application, using the InMarket SDK available at the portal.
You need to integrate the licensing SWC from the InMarket SDK. This licensing API works across stores, reducing the number of binaries that you have to create. Through the portal you can also get a unique application key and ensure that your application has a unique name. Once all of this is done, you can upload the application and test it.
After you have published your application, Adobe and the store partners will validate your application within 10 business days. Once your application appears in the stores, you can track the success of your application through the reports available on the portal. You can also change the application description, modify pricing, or update the application at any time.
For a limited time, enrollment in InMarket is free. We are also giving coupons for code-signing certificates for a limited time, so that you can get the certificates for free. Early next year, we plan to introduce a paid developer program. If you enroll now, you will be grandfathered in and will not be required to pay up to one year from the date of your initial registration.
I hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to reach consumers and make money. Register at the InMarket portal, submit your applications, and publish them to reach a large number of consumers.