Amazon, Twitter and Facebook have provided the keys to monetising apps, including the gradual offer of premium services, the link to users and the availability of the apps in as many app stores as possible.

“We are currently experiencing a worldwide digital revolution in which the rules are unwritten and everything has yet to be built”, said the president of Barcelona Digital, Antoni Massanell, at the opening of the fifth BDigital Apps (now the Eurecat Mobile Forum), organised by the Eurecat technology centre of Catalonia.


Antoni Massanell has also said that by the year 2020, there will be 50 billion connected machines due to mobility and has remarked that this new society will be built over three pillars: mobility, Big Data and security. The first will be the paradigm for the transformation of the digital society, the way for machines to connect to machines and to people. This interaction will generate massive amounts of data, which must be managed through Big Data techniques to turn “physical things into intelligent things”, whether in homes, cars or cities. The third pillar in the construction of the digital society is security, which is essential for customers and users.

Meanwhile, Felip Puig also used figures (100 billion app downloads per year around the world) to show the dimensions of the process and asserted that the mobile is the vector of transformation for our society. Puig has stressed the growing leading position of Catalonia in the app and ICT sector, referring to initiatives like Mobile World Capital, Barcelona City Council’s efforts to build a technology district in the city, the availability of a network of infrastructure for knowledge (like the Synchrotron, Supercomputer or Institute of Photonic Sciences) and Barcelona’s leadership in devising a strategy for intelligent regions. Felip Puig assured that the government would continue to help to create the conditions for private initiatives and entrepreneurs to develop new business opportunities and companies in the sector.

Keys to an app’s success, led by Facebook, Amazon and Twitter

Sara Martínez, the head of e-commerce at Facebook Iberia, said that 16 million people in Spain and 1.2 billion around the world use Facebook through mobile platforms. She added that creativity is an essential value in building corporate apps and stressed that video was a complement often linked to driving “the call to action”.

Ricardo Cabornero, the head of content acquisition for Spain and Italy at Amazon, discussed the three main ways to monetise apps based on the 50 most-downloaded apps: payment for the use of premium services, working on user engagement and disseminating apps in all the app stores possible.

Cabornero stressed his commitment to helping developers to get the most out of the new app store in Spanish, Amazon Store. He said that this would involve sharing the best practices with them with regard to launching apps and opening new markets. In this way, Amazon Store is aimed at a potential public of 50 million Spanish-speaking customers and has 300,000 applications in its catalogue. Cabornero referred to various initiatives to publicise the store and the apps in it, such as the fact that every day an app normally requiring payment is offered for free.

BDigital Apps also hosted two special sessions where Romain Huet, a developer advocate for Twitter, presented the platform Fabric and the mobile development tools Crashlytics and MoPub to help developers and companies to create top-quality mobile apps, gain recognition and grow. The presentation was exclusive for Spain.

Winners of the fourth edition of the FinAppsParty

An application to use Línea Abierta (CaixaBank’s online banking service) through voice commands and a smartwatch was the winner of the 2014 edition of the FinApps Party, the app development marathon organised by CaixaBank with the collaboration of the US company Global Payments and Barcelona Digital Technology Centre.

The creators of the application, Toni Cañas and Jordi Montornés, were awarded the first prize, consisting of €4,000 and the chance for CaixaBank to study adding it to its range of financial applications.

The second prize, worth €2,000, went to a team consisting of Ricard Delgado, Quim Gual and Josep Oncins for a smartwatch application that monitors the physical activity and health of senior citizens.

Given the high quality of the proposals submitted, the organisation decided to award two third prizes, worth €1,000 apiece. The first was given to a team formed by Marc Fernández, Alexey Klochay, Eloi Manuel and Xavi Sánchez for their augmented reality application to locate and interact with ATMs via smart glasses, while the second was awarded to Gustavo Giudici and Alejandro Vidal for their smartwatch application that lets people make payments to each other simply by shaking hands.

In its fourth edition, the FinAppsParty was attended by 120 developers. It was exclusively devoted to creating new financial services for wearable devices (glasses, watches, bracelets, etc.).

The Eurecat Mobile Forum (formerly BDigital Apps) is organised by the Eurecat technology centre of Catalonia. It was supported in its fourth edition by CaixaBank, the Government of Catalonia’s idigital plan, Lavinia, Tecnocom, Arsys, Amazon and Telefónica.


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