March’s Top Ten — 31 Days of App News, Condensed.

New Android tools, new iOS tools, and billion-dollar apps — oh my!


A lot happened over the long month of March, and we don’t want you to miss out! Here are our top 10 app news stories for the month of March, 2017:

1. Apple releases Swift 3.1 and Xcode 8.3

iOS developers have probably already noticed that Apple released both the latest version of Swift and of their Xcode IDE this month. You can read release notes for Xcode 8.3 here.

2. Apple releases iOS 10.3 with developer review response tools and in-app review requests

When Apple released iOS 10.3, it had developers in mind.

The update added both the ability for end-users to leave app reviews without ever leaving an app — which will likely increase the number of users who rate/review apps — and a way for app developers to respond to user reviews of their products in their app stores.

This functionality should let developers respond to incorrect/dated app reviews, etc. We have a more in-depth piece on these changes that you can check out here.

3. GameMaker Studio begins Mac OS closed beta

YoYo Games announced this month the start of its flagship software’s closed beta for Mac. GameMaker Studio 2 will soon be available to game devs on Mac OS, allowing them to use the tool for the rapid development of 2D games for a wide range of platforms including iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One, Mac OS, Windows, and more.

4. Google announces “Android O” developer preview

Google has now released a developer preview for Android O, the next release of its operating system.

Devs can download the OS image to their test devices now and start getting their apps ready for release, ensuring that they run smoothly when the update goes live on consumer devices.

You can read more about the changes happening in “O” here.

5. JavaScript tops Stack Overflow’s survey of most used programming languages

Once again, JavaScript has (rather unsurprisingly) claimed the top spot on Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey. JavaScript was described as the most-used language, a trend which isn’t likely to slowdown in the immediate future.

6. Randstad Technologies reports 104% year over year growth in demand for mobile developers

Between 2014 and 2016, global tech staffing outfit Randstand says mobile developer demand saw a whopping 104% increase on average.

Specifically those with experience in iOS, Android, HTML5, Angular, Java, and JavaScript development were highly sought after by high-paying enterprise clients looking to go mobile with their company communications (both internally and customer-facing).

7. Android app revenue predicted to surpass that of iOS apps for the first time ever

According to App Annie, “year of the Android” claims just might be true, as the app intelligence firm predicts Android’s revenue will inch past iOS’ $40bn revenue estimate and settle in comfortably at $41bn for 2017.

This is largely thanks to the growing Chinese smartphone market, which supports a number of third-party Android app stores, which will work in tandem with Google Play to achieve total revenue numbers.

8. Robinhood app now valued at over $1bn

A recent round of funding puts stock trading app Robinhood at a valuation of over $1bn, according to an article on the company’s latest round published by Business Insider.

The app, which eschews the typical $7 trading fee of stock brokers, has been extremely popular among young people looking to start investing. So popular, in fact, that over $25bn has been transacted over the company’s first two years.

9. ZeptopLab re-focuses on app publishing

The company behind popular Cut The Rope mobile game have mas the leap to app publishing, offering to help submitted games who make the cut — no pun intended — with their marketing and branding activities.

Game developers looking for publishing help and opportunities are now invited to submit their projects to the company via their website; the company is specifically looking for innovative, late-stage projects in the mobile space.

10. Boston’s ‘Safr’ app announces feature to request female driver

Boston-launched ridesharing app Safr’s mission is to help alleviate some of the concerns from women that have arisen from the ridesharing industry as a whole — namely, those related to getting into a car with a complete stranger.

Safr’s drivers go through extensive screening, including in-person interviews, follow-up, and training, but the company isn’t stopping there: Despite no male drivers signing up with Safr yet, the company is already introducing in-app functionality for requesting a female driver in order to ensure passengers feel safe as the company grows.

It’s an unfortunate feature to have to offer, but — given Uber’s share of horror headlines over the past couple of years — it’s likely one that offers some peace of mind, too.

Bam! You made it to the end. Did we leave out some important app-related news from the past month? Drop us a line below and let us know!


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