Samsung Galaxy S – Films and Games and More, Oh My!

Samsung has unleashed all it has to challenge the iPhone with the Samsung Galaxy S, and after a hopeful update of Android to the 2.2 operating system, it is easily one of the smartest of smart phones. The new version of Android will give the phone a great bump in class with smother internet browsing and enhanced navigation. It will also provide the Galaxy S a better done pinch and zoom function, allowing even those with the worst of eyesight to read every word on the handset’s massive four inch screen.

The updated Google maps with location navigation will help in refreshing directions from exact locations, due to the internal GPS, and the new version of Flash will help those improved colours to look even more vivid. Not only will the internet and apps look good, but work shot on the HD camera will feel a little more HD when the playback feature is used. Speaking of films, Samsung is rolling out a movies and games package for new users of the Galaxy S that is sure to impress.

Samsung is giving away a bundle worth over £50 and offers at least six games and three movies through their Gameloft and Samsung Movies apps, which give access to thousands of hit movie and game titles. The offer is to run through March 31stand will need to be redeemed by the 30thof April by registering the phone with the original receipt for your pay monthly phone.

Beyond the new media package, there are still the same great features to the Samsung Galaxy S that has made it one of the pinnacle smart phones. The five megapixel camera provides incredible pictures from a mobile phone, coping greatly with poor lighting situations even without a built in flash. The music player provides great sound and new music just a finger tap away with 3G connectivity to download all of the classics. And the battery handles all of the multi-media-ing very well with a using time of up to 6.3 hours and a standby time of 24 hours.

Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.

Safe Online Games For Kids

Online gaming for kids, and tweens have long been thought of as a “danger zone” with many loop holes and vulnerabilities where your child’s information could become fresh for the taking, but a lot has changed in the virtual world of kids games and it’s time you take notice to the great opportunities that exist online today.

With the addition of the United States Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act “COPPA”, and the Privo Privacy Assurance Program, children’s online gaming has taken major leaps and bounds towards children safety online. Kids online games are safer than every before and offer unique tools to help educate, interact, and grown in both the virtual and real life worlds we live in.

Two popular games today offer great education experiences as well as being rated amongst the safest online games for kids today. Those games are Dizzywood and Elf Island. Both are relatively new to the online gaming world, but as of recently, are experiencing an increasing number of users and popularity.

Dizzywood is an online adventure where you can play free games, meet new friends, enjoy unique missions, and discover new and exciting locations within Dizzywood. You have the ability to gather coins, which you can use to purchase new clothing, upgrade features or simple collect and share. Dizzywood is for children ages 8-12 and allows your child to express their creativity by creating their own adventures, cooperating with other players, and having fun while they learn.

Elf Island is fast becoming a leader in the “Gaming For Good” category where children can weave real world, nonprofit projects into their virtual Elf Island World. They do so, by entertaining game play, social interaction and story telling which empowers children to bring the Gaming For Good, to the real world. For example, planting trees in Elf Island, causes real living trees to be planted on earth. Building a home in Elf Island, causes real homes to be built in the real world. Kids become inspired by the results and want to continue doing Good Quest. These Good Quests are updated every few weeks and introduce new and exciting challenges that will continue to help our real life environment.

For more information on Dizzywood, and to learn secrets, codes, and detailed walkthroughs of the virtual world, visit Dizzywood Land.

To discover more about Elf Island and stay up-to-date on new adventures, vist Elf Island World.