The lines between digital, mobile, technology and apps are blurring in today’s world. We at Robosoft are keen followers of developments in this arena. Here’s a quick summary of what’s buzzing:
Facebook Messenger’s launches Instant Games platform
Image Source: Facebook
Earlier this month, Facebook launched Instant Games on Messenger. The games will be available to all of Messenger’s 1.2 billion users. In addition to instant games, Facebook is also making available the additional features previewed to developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference which include rich gameplay features and game bots.
Zynga’s ‘Words With Friends’ is one of the first games to take advantage of the new rich gameplay feature and it is now available as a feature-rich, turn-based game in Messenger. Blackstorm’s EverWing will be among the first ones of messenger games to use Game bots.
Depending on a user’s device and location there are up to 50 games titles available on Messenger right now, with more being introduced almost every week.
With instant games on messenger, Facebook is bypassing the app stores, allowing everyone to play no-download HTML5 “Instant Games” on Messenger itself. With Instant Games Facebook is trying to make Messenger more engaging for users, as it can act as a conversation starter or an engaging activity while the user is waiting for a friend to reply back his/her messages.
Messenger is one of the top ranking apps on App Store and drives high engagement value and that explains why Facebook is working towards making messenger an ‘all in one’ app. Recently Facebook introduced advanced features on Messenger like; sending & sharing of songs or finding new restaurants on group chats through chat extensions; Messenger’s virtual assistant to help users make payments, find information; allowing businesses to create ‘Messenger code’ for interacting with customers by scanning QR codes. Facebook also added a ‘group payment’ feature to messenger, where users can make payment to all members in a group or to individual members.
The launch of instant games on Messenger is another step forward by Facebook in making Messenger the one stop app for everything.
Right now the Instant Games on Messenger are not monetised through in-app purchases or in-app ads. However, branded games like LEGO Batman Movie’s Bat Climb, it can serve as branding opportunity for marketers.
Google is set to make the messaging with Allo more exciting as it introduced a feature into the app which allows users to turn their selfies into emojis and also customise them further.
Image source: Google’s blog
Powered by advanced machine learning and neural networking algorithms, this feature will be able to generate 563 quadrillion different facial combinations.
The messaging market is already dominated by the likes of Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat etc. Google’s Allo is a late entrant in this market and will have to introduce significantly interesting features to get people to use Allo. Given the fact that users of messaging apps have been shown to share emojis and stickers, especially of brands they like, this new feature is Google’s attempt to cash on the popularity of selfies and emojis amongst the user.
iOS developers can now deploy, run and test their apps directly from Windows
Microsoft will now allow developers to deploy, run, test and debug iOS apps directly from a Windows PC with Visual Studio. With the new Xamarin Live Player available in App Store and Google play, developers can pair their devices with Visual Studio and deploy, run, test and debug iOS apps on their devices.
Until now, Microsoft’s Xamarin allowed developers to develop iOS applications in C#, however they still required a Mac to build and test the apps. This is an effort from Microsoft to position Windows 10 as a preferred operating system for developing cross-platform apps.
According to TechCrunch, Microsoft has Apple’s support on this functionality and the Live Player application complies with all of Apple’s usual rules.