Google revamps the Android Market

Android Market

Android Market

It looks MiKandi isn’t the only one to overhaul their app store.  Over the next two weeks, Google Android will be rolling out a major update to to Android Market.  Just like MiKandi users, folks with devices running Android 1.6 will see the changes.  If your device runs Android 1.5 and you want MiKandi and the new Android Market, there may be a manual update or root available to you.  (Cliq users, see this manual update from Motorola.)

According to to this blog post from Google Android, the focus of the redesign was to improve merchandising and discoverability, something that plagues larger app markets.  The Market’s answer to this problem is a carousel of promoted apps on the home and category screens, more categories, and related apps.

In addition to the carousel, the Market will include two new popular categories- Widgets and Live Wallpaper.  The Market will also be “adding more categories for popular applications and games in the weeks ahead.”

Opening an app page, you’ll see a new tab called “Related”.  From here you can view related apps , making it easier to find apps of similar interest.  We expect the developers may have mixed feelings about this.  ;)

As mentioned above, we haven’t had a chance to see the new market first hand, but from the looks of it, it seems that Google Android has come to many of the same conclusions that we came to when we redesigned the MiKandi App Store three weeks back.  Namely faster performance, intuitive navigation, and better search capabilities.  We also sought to reduce the number of screen changes and deliver relevant apps as quickly as possible.  Browsing the MiKandi App Store, you’ll notice that we have only three major screens- MiAccount, App Store, and MiTheater.  Directly from App Store users can browse by changing their filters (Featured, Top Paid, Top Free, Latest, Highest Rated) and categories (All, Entertainment, Games, Social, Erotica, Mobile Sites, News) without changing screens or scrolling.

We haven’t received the update to any of our devices yet, but we’re excited to see what’s in store for the Android Market these up coming weeks.

Free high quality icon sets

I love $FREE.99!  Below are some spectacular high quality icon sets that you can use for your projects.

* Please note that not all of these sets are free for professional use.  Always check the license before using any free graphics, fonts, sounds, etc.

From SmashingMagazine.com

Social Media Handycons
Handycons is a free hand-drawn set of 12 social-media icons. All icons are available in four sizes: 16, 24, 32 and 48 pixels.

Antique Icons
A set of antique icons in PNG, ICNS and ICO formats, ranging from 16 × 16 to 256 × 256 pixels.

Green and Blue Icon Set
Five icons, each in 128 × 128 pixels and PNG format. Included are icons to represent gallery, downloads, emoticons, calendar and folder.

GP Icons
A set of 23 PNG icons of different software products. Has a great grunge style.

GP-iCons in 50 Free High-Quality Icon Sets

Smashing Retro Icon Set
A set of 10 beautiful, high-quality “vintage” icons. The set contains 10 original icons: search, sign-up, calendar, news, RSS, comments, email, ads, home and address.

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Devs: What makes a great entrepreneur?

Do you ask yourself this question?  You should.  If you have an app on MiKandi, or any market for that matter, you’re a entrepreneur.  But are you a great one?

Investor Brad Feld of Foundry Group shares his insight on his blog, in which he says the following:

I get asked similar questions, including the inevitable “what makes a great entrepreneur?”  When I’m on a VC panel, I’m always amused by the answers from my co-panelists as they are usually the same set of “VC cliches” which makes it even more fun when I blurt out my answer.

A complete and total obsession with the product.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  You supplied your Product to meet a demand and serve a need.  You had the foresight and ability to create another stream of distribution and revenue for yourself.  Do you have the right attitude to make your business stand out?

We get it.  We’re in the same boat as you.  MiKandi is a small group of entrepreneurs, the first of our kind in the mobile app industry.  And while being first-to-market has definitely given us amazing exposure, we wouldn’t have been able to sustain the momentum without “a complete and total obsession with the product.”  Want to know what we see when we close our eyes?  This.  Day in, day out, we continue to build upon our product, take in feedback from our developer community, personally answer emails, fix bugs (thank you for your patience!), and launch, launch, launch.

Continues Feld,

Not interested, not aware of, not familiar with, but obsessed.  Every discussion trends back toward the product.  All of the conversations about customer are really about how the customer uses the product and the value the product brings the customer.  The majority of the early teams are focused entirely on the product, including the non-engineering people.  Product, product, product.

What is your product and what makes it great?  As your MiKandi Team works on the launch of our brand new User Web Portal, we ask you to log into the Dev Portal, and spend some time to obsess over your app.  Make sure your descriptions are succinct and interesting, upload beautiful app icons and clear screenshots.

If you’re in the process of developing an app, think about how your product adds value to the consumer.  A quick poll of our readers reveal that they are looking for Games, Entertainment, and Comic apps.  Need ideas?  Holla atcha team!  We’re constantly kicking around app ideas, and would love to share them with you!  Email us at developer@mikandi.com, or check out our blog post entitled Give the People What They Want for tips on.. giving the people what they want.

GameCrush – Where Casual Gaming and Adult Dating Collide

GameCrush.com is a new social gaming site that allows gamers to pay a small fee to have hot girls play games with you.   Talk about two birds with one stone.  The combination is so obviously perfect for each other. Who cares about Lara Croft, I’m playing with someone hotter!  Gamers are called “Players” and the girls are called “Playdates”. Currently the site is integrated with XBox Live and some online casual games, such as Checkers and Tic-Tac-Toe.

What’s fun about this idea is that the game being played effectively becomes the icebreaker between two strangers on a date.  If only more adult dating and chatting sites hired gaming developers to think of interesting ways to incorporate gaming concepts into their adult services.   Playing erotic casual games with real models is much more interesting than the common “blah blah blah” instant messaging tools.  For example, have you ever been to a city that doesn’t allow food or alcohol to be served in a strip club? We have and it is super lame (yes Seattle, we’re talking about you).  You end up having filler conversations with your friends, when you really don’t feel like chatting.  Sure you’re there to sit and watch the entertainment, but having something else to do, such as having a cocktail or enjoying  a steak, transforms these adults clubs into fun hangout spots.  Just look at Vegas.  For that same reason, adding some type of social gaming element to an adult site would transform these services and give users more engaging ways to interact with the models, instead of just the uninspiring age/sex/location requests.  In a game, your interaction is not only required, but has a direct effect on what’s going to happen in the game.  It can give you the sense that you’re “touching” the person on the other side of the camera.  That type of exchange can be incredibly satisfying and feeds right into society’s craving for more reality… more “real” interaction.

Now take the mobile platform into consideration and imagine all the possibilities.   The phone is the ultimate social tool! It’s private and personal and with you all the time. The perfect platform to combine social gaming and private adult content.  The first obvious app that comes to mind would be a strip poker app where users pay to play with models. Or how about an adult sexting service that allows users to flirt anonymously through avatars and play games with each other to earn points to see private photos and video of other members? It’s casual, addictive, and sexy. Another great combination. Sign me up.

New Wrangler Site Makes for a Cool Adult App

Check out the latest Wrangler website that allows you to control the movements of the character with your mouse button.  Now imagine this feature in an adult app, but using touch, accelerometer or voice recognition to manipulate the scene.  If only it was this easy to get people nekked.