GSMA Lauds Winner of Smarter Apps Challenge
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GSMA Lauds Winner of Smarter Apps Challenge

The GSMA Expo in Shanghai announced Flowit as the winner of the “Smarter App Challenge” developer competition at the Mobile Asia Expo. Flowit’s photo magazine application provides rich functionality — including sharing user generated images, but also makes optimum use of network resources. More importantly, the application brings minimal impact on battery life.

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GSMA Mobile Expo Asia announces Flowit as the winner of the Smarter App Challenge. (Image: GSMA)

The competition challenged all developers to submit their commercially available mobile apps for any platform. The app should meet the growing market need for greater efficiency as defined in the GSMA Smarter Apps for Smarter Phones guidelines launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. Grand prize winner Flowit takes home US$10,000, While runners up Metrowizard and New Dance Tracks get $2,000. All three will slug it out in the final round of judging at the Shanghai Mobile Asia Expo.

Flowit is a product of Mr. Jun-Ho Choi (aFactory, South Korea). The photo magazine application allows members to post, share and view pictures of their favourite local restaurants.

Metrowizard by Mr. Kyung Hum Kang (Merlin, South Korea) is a navigation app that utilises Location-Based Services (LBS) for the Seoul subway system.

New Dance Tracks by Mr. Marco Valent (Dedicado, the Netherlands) is a music aggregator app that retrieves data remotely from APIs of three online music stores.

Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer of GSMA pointed out why Flowit won the challenge and revealed how developers are essentially improving mobile technolgy.

There were some incredibly original and inspired apps submitted for the Smarter App Challenges and Flowit truly represents the most creative and innovative developer minds. The GSMA is working with developers to ensure that their applications are more user and network-friendly. This developers’ competition will drive the development of efficient mobile applications that have improved connectivity, data and power consumption and security. In turn this leads to an improved user experience that helps to create and maintain app popularity.

Flowit reduces data traffic by using compressed XML and image caching. It generates thumbnails on the client and uses lazy image loading and adaptive image resolution — depending on the connected network (mobile or Wi-Fi). It reduces over 70% of XML data traffic by compressing the data and removing the transmission of thumbnail data by creating it with the original image on the client. All the images are cached and lazily loaded while the image resolution is determined by the connected network.

The judges for the Smarter App Challenge were Alex Sinclair (Chief Technology Officer, GSMA), Dr. Terry Ahn (Executive Vice President, KT) and Olli Andersson (Head of Smart Lab, Nokia Siemens Networks).

With consumer demand for innovative smartphone applications growing by leaps and bounds, the heavy use of mobile applications greatly increases signalling load at the network level, compared with a relatively low amount of data traffic. One reason for the increased signalling load is the proliferation of “network-unfriendly” apps that are not optimised for some mobile networks. Mobile networks have their own specific requirements and constraints, and applications written for fixed networks may not necessarily perform well in the mobile world.

The GSMA released a set of recommendations for application developers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year. The guidelines show how to improve application connectivity, power consumption, network reliability and security. By following the guidelines, developers can create fit-for-purpose apps. Mobile operators will see a reduced strain on their networks and users will experience more responsive and reliable apps plus improved battery life.

Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators — as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. This includes handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.