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kylejwx

Crowd Funding Windows Phone App Development

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kylejwx

I am interested in the possibility of using crowd funding to help get developers to build apps for windows phone.

 

Specifically, I am interested in the PocketCast app by Shifty Jelly. I know that many of us are not happy with the podcast support on Windows Phone. PocketCasts is an amazing podcast app for iPhone and Android. While there are several reasons why I switched to an Android phone, this one app would cause me to switch back to Windows Phone.

 

I mentioned the idea of crowd funding to @shiftyjelly on Twitter and they said that that was something that they would consider.

 

I want to use this post to get some community reaction.

 

Would you be willing to to put money towards crowd funding an app?

Would you fund pocket casts?

Do you have any experience using kickstarter, indiegogo, or other crowd funding sites and would like to contribute ideas or suggestions?

 

On Twitter, Shifty Jelly said it would cost about $50,000 to build the app, but I am not sure if that is USD or AUD. They wouldn't need to raise all of that to get started, but it would good to get a large portion of it.

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CommonTek

Pocketcast is one of the things keeping me on android. It would be great to see on WP but I am generally not a crowd funding participant but we all know there are a lot of WP users out there who love podcasts and would kill for pocket cast. I actually think MS should just pay them the fifty k to help their platform but that would never happen since they have such a good integrated podcast option (heavy sarcasm).

Edited by TabletJunkie

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schoondoggy

It is an interesting idea. I wonder if there is a way get Microsoft to make a matching donation?

My only concern would be the precedent it sets, I would hate to have developers hold us ransom.

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kylejwx

I would be willing to contribute $20 for an app that I really cared about. Podcasting is so important to me, that I would spend more for a good podcast app if I could afford it.

 

I think a reasonable goal would be $25,000 and a standard contribution would be $20. If my math is correct that's 1250 contributers. Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but I feel that finding a few thousand people who care about podcasting on Windows Phone shouldn't be that hard.

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CommonTek

I agree with both of you. I think a couple thousand WP users isn't asking much and I also Think MS should invest as well. They don't even need to make it public. They can reach out to Shift Jelly and tel them they will contribute 25k. I mean, there were all those reports that MS was allegedly offering big bucks to bribe big time devs to support WP (at least 100k I think). I know this isn't a big time app like FB or Flioboard but still. If MS would put up 25k privately to Shift Jelly then it would probably be enough for them to develop the app and then they would make up the difference rapidly in the $3 per purchase.

 

Let us know if this goes anywhere, it would be interesting to follow.

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

What is wrong with the native app. I use it and haven't had any issues. I only use it for two podcasts at the moment.

 

Sent from my Lumia 928 using Tapatalk

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ChrisPauly

I know this topic is really asking if crowd funding development would work on the Windows Phone ecosystem and I would say yes it could.  But, you'd have to pick an application that is really missing from the windows phone appstore.

 

I am a Windows Phone user... but I still use my iPhone 3G for podcasts.  And I'm not sure the WP eco-system needs another podcasting app.  Have you looked at all the available ones out there?  Here's a detailed review of 15 of them:   http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/features/item/18410_Podcatchers_podcast_managers-c.php

 

Last week's Windows Dev. Podcast (which I listened to on my iPhone) interviewed the guys who wrote one of the popular podcast apps.  They talk about the number of WP podcast apps already available that are extremely feature rich.  They have much more than I need for a podcast app... except they all are missing the feature I require in my podcast app... 1.5x or 2x playback speed.  I subscribe to way more podcasts than I have time to listen to... and so without fast playback, I get too far behind.  And the reason every podcast app. developer has told me as to why this isn't in a Windows Phone app. yet is because it isn't available in the APIs.  The hope is that WP8.1 will bring that feature (as we also hoped would happen in all prior updates).

 

But anyways... 6 months ago, you could've created a bounty for Instagram or Vine apps and it probably woulda hit that $25k mark.  $20 may be a little steep to expect people to pay... a range of pledge levels works better.  Look at the Windows 8 app. store.  VLC developers launched a kickstarter to support their VLC development for Windows 8.  They hit their mark, but have not delivered yet do to API issues also... :(

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rustyshelf

Hey all, Russell from Shifty Jelly. Someone on Twitter linked me here so I thought I'd join in. Our biggest concern with crowd funding is: how do you give all the people that funded you a free copy of the app? This seems like the biggest hurdle, after getting the money of course.

 

To answer some other questions:

- Android doesn't support variable speed playback either, which is why I spent a long time writing our own implementation, using a combination of open source libraries and our own code. It's written natively in C, so it should work on Windows Phone too (in theory). I seriously doubt Microsoft, like Google will bother to support this themselves.

 

- I tried all the podcasting apps on Windows Phone 2 months ago, and they were all universally terrible. Perhaps I'm biased but I'm a huge podcast fan, and I couldn't use any of them. This might have changed since then, who knows.

 

- I'm not here to get any money from you guys, to be honest all I was hoping to point out on Twitter is that there are obvious reasons we and many other developers don't build for Windows Phone -> because there's no reasonable expectation that we'll ever see a return on all the hard work we'd have to put it. It's possible, but with iOS and Android as dominant as they are it makes far more sense for us to invest our time there. It's nothing personal against the platform, I personally like Windows Phone. I'd be more scared of actually getting our funding goal than anything else, since I'm busy enough as it is ;)

 

- As for reaching out to Microsoft, we have. They are very cagey and won't give us any sort of download numbers for their store, or even give us an expectation of what to expect. We can't even get any Windows licenses out of them for development. As far as I know it was Nokia handing out the cash personally in the early days, not MS.

Edited by rustyshelf
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kylejwx

First of all, a huge thanks for being willing to come out and discuss this.

 

 

Hey all, Russell from Shifty Jelly. Someone on Twitter linked me here so I thought I'd join in. Our biggest concern with crowd funding is: how do you give all the people that funded you a free copy of the app? This seems like the biggest hurdle, after getting the money of course.

 

-->> I asked @wpdev on Twitter about this, but didn't get a response.  I will do some more research.   All of the "app stores" have codes that you can give away that equal a certain about of credit, for example a gift card, but that would give someone X number of dollars to spend on any app, not specifically pocket casts.  I know that on Xbox they have free codes for specific items, for example a map pack, or a certain piece of armor.  Maybe it could work like that.

 

 

 

To answer some other questions:

- Android doesn't support variable speed playback either, which is why I spent a long time writing our own implementation, using a combination of open source libraries and our own code. It's written natively in C, so it should work on Windows Phone too (in theory). I seriously doubt Microsoft, like Google will bother to support this themselves.

 

-->> This is one of my favorite features and it is missing in all Windows Phone podcasting apps that I know of.  I had assumed it was built in to Android.  Thanks for your work to implement it.

 

 

- I tried all the podcasting apps on Windows Phone 2 months ago, and they were all universally terrible. Perhaps I'm biased but I'm a huge podcast fan, and I couldn't use any of them. This might have changed since then, who knows.

 

-->>agreed.  I know some people are just fine with the built in xbox music, and I am happy that it works for them, but there aren't enough features for me, and it is too slow at updating the rss feed.  Pocketcasts on android is like lighting with the rss posts.

 

 

- I'm not here to get any money from you guys, to be honest all I was hoping to point out on Twitter is that there are obvious reasons we and many other developers don't build for Windows Phone -> because there's no reasonable expectation that we'll ever see a return on all the hard work we'd have to put it. It's possible, but with iOS and Android as dominant as they are it makes far more sense for us to invest our time there. It's nothing personal against the platform, I personally like Windows Phone. I'd be more scared of actually getting our funding goal than anything else, since I'm busy enough as it is ;)

 

 

- As for reaching out to Microsoft, we have. They are very cagey and won't give us any sort of download numbers for their store, or even give us an expectation of what to expect. We can't even get any Windows licenses out of them for development. As far as I know it was Nokia handing out the cash personally in the early days, not MS.

 

 

-->> That is pretty much the response I got when trying to sell Windows Phones in my retail job.

 

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CommonTek

Hey Russell! It is so awesome to have you posting in the forum. On a fanboy level, your app is my favorite for podcasting... Use it on my HTC One and IPAD Mini.

 

Regarding the dev landscape related to WP, Your perspective is greatly appreciated. It has often been a topic of discussion on the weekly SurfaceGeeks podcast.

 

I actually agree with you about WP as a platform. I am liable to be blasted here, but my feelings about WP are that until it offers some experience that is far greater than the two power platforms, there is not enough value to convince users to move to WP. People are too satisfied and invested in Android and IOS to make a switch without some major innovation or some uniquely dynamic implementation of various features found elsewhere. It's not that the product is bad, it just seeks to offer a solution or alternative to a question not requiring an answer. These reasons are why I won't switch to WP anytime soon.

 

On a related note, would you be willing to join as a guest on the SurfaceGeeks podcast one of the upcoming weeks? It would be great to further discuss a devs view of the mobile landscape and to further discuss your industries view of WP. If so we will hound the cohosts to DM you to negotiate terms.

Edited by TabletJunkie

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