Win $5000 – Kik Launches In-Phone SDK and Competition

In February this year, Fred Wilson wrote a great piece about the need for mobile app “glue” (my words). Here is the exact phrasing:

“When I was at the music hackday a few weekends ago, I noticed that it was easy to build something interesting by simply snapping together a few web apps and then building some light glue between them. I suspect it will be even easier to do that on mobile and the era of “meta apps” that deliver functionality across multiple apps is upon us. And I think that has the potential to create some new startup opportunities.”

Well, Kik has become one of the first gluemakers. Read their blog post – The Kik SDK: Build Real-Time Sharing into Your App in 10 Minutes.

Kik has provided a device resident SDK so that application developers can build sharing into their apps. It is such a powerful idea – sharing done on the device. Until now, if a mobile app developer wanted to do sharing, that capability had to be basically hosted “in the cloud”. Think about picplz & instagram. They have had to use Facebook, Twitter and other “web” platforms, and connect to them via some cloud servers. Well, with Kik’s SDK, mobile apps can now share “natively” on their mobile platform. No more cloud – huzzah!

‘Everything is better with friends’ By giving your users the ability to share with each other in real time, your app will be that much more fun and compelling (see the Sketchee story below). Sharing can also give a big boost in adoption – when a user who doesn’t have your app receives a Kik content message from it, Kik offers to take them directly to your download page where they can install it. All of a sudden you aren’t asking your users to share your app with their friends, but to share content from your app with their friends – content that requires them to get your app to view and interact with it. It’s the difference between inviting someone to join a social network vs. tagging a photo of them that requires them to join the social network to view it. And best of all, it will only take you 10 minutes to add this kind of functionality to your app.

On top of all that, Kik is giving away $5000 to each of the top three applications built on their SDK. Finish your app by August 8th and you can get in on that.

ParkVu launch iTunes to Blackberry app

i2b - iTunes Library on your BlackBerry Jeff Fedor and Terry Goertz of ParkVu launched i2b service today. The service allows BlackBerry Bold, Curve and Storm users to remotely retrieve their music their iTunes libraries.

i2b makes some assumptions about user behaviour that allows the application to automatically sync users music to their BlackBerry. The i2b service is limited to 1Gb or 100 files. This requires users (and the applications’ designers) to make a decision about which music to sync by default. The i2b application makes some initial assumptions that Favorite Playlists, 25 most played tracks, and most recent iTunes library additions are the files that should be sync’d out of the box. It’s a great starting point for users and can be configured by users after the fact.

The service creates a sync’d intermediate store of up to 1Gb or 100 songs in the cloud allowing users to access the sync’d files on their BlackBerry devices.

Songs on their home computer can be retrieved even when it’s off. Up to 100 tracks (1GB maximum) from the i2b user’s iTunes library will be replicated to the Internet cloud, making them available from their BlackBerry even when their desktop or laptop is turned off. When their computer is on and connected to the Internet, all of their iTunes playlists are available on demand to their BlackBerry. Users can easily set i2b not to receive updates in areas where extra roaming charges would apply. i2b combines a BlackBerry application with a small application for the user’s home computer that works in the background with iTunes to allow users to replicate their playlists on their BlackBerry. i2b maintains any DRM restrictions and preserves the integrity of the user’s iTunes library.

Hopefully the ParkVu team is able to quickly get i2b into the BlackBerry App World to enable broader distribution for their $2.99/month service. It would be fantastic to see them get similar exposure and distribution as Viigo in the BlackBerry App World’s Featured section.