Building on the success of Pokki, a lightweight app store and Start Menu replacement originally built for Windows, SweetLabs today announced its new “App Install Platform,” a service with an aim to help hardware manufacturers (OEMs) increase their per-device revenue.
App recommendation is a massive market. Facebook and Twitter make gobs of revenue from ads pushing high grossing apps that plow their revenues back into garnering more users. SweetLabs’ App Install Platform (AIP) wants to cut device manufactures into the game.
Broadly, SweetLabs first brought lightweight mobile apps to the Windows desktop with Pokki, and then leveraged Windows 8’s lack of a Start Menu to its advantage, by fusing its app store into a replacement menu. The company then molded that consumer-facing product into something that it sold to OEMs, helping four of the top six device manufacturers pick up a small slice of app revenue. Now, with AIP, it’s taken that OEM-facing tool, increased its feature-depth, planning to hand it over to the OEMs to run for themselves.
SweetLabs will charge for AIP on a SaaS basis, unsurprisingly. AIP matters to the average consumer as it could lessen their per-device app load. If SweetLabs can help OEMs better tailor app recommendations, it could cut down some of the bloat that new devices currently experience. (Keep in mind that the current Android OEM market is quite like the PC market in the 1990s. TechCrunch riffed on this in 2013, dubbing Android “the new Windows.”)
AIP is a set of tools that lets OEMs change what apps pre-load on their devices remotely, so that the first-boot process can be tailored to device type, location and so forth. This means that the apps that are either pre-installed, or recommended during the first-boot process can be switched out based on install rates, lifetime revenue, and so forth.
Aside from the first boot cycle, AIP lets OEMs recommend apps through different “touch points” during the normal life of a device. This increases the ability of OEMs to suck more revenue from a device than merely at sale, and at first boot. (Here, imagine an Android home-screen page that has a number of hot-swappable app recommendations from the OEM that could be changed out based on season, performance, or other factors.)
Finally, SweetLabs ties together the product mix with analytics, so that OEMs can analyze the performance of their app recommendation mix, so that they can quickly — it’s a drag-and-drop interface, but doesn’t support touch on the PC, yet — change out what apps are being served at different “touch points” on their devices around the world.
AIP should ship on devices by the end of the year, according to the company.