Israel-based Scringo, a platform that offers mobile app developers features for their apps, announced today the official launch of its cross-platform software development kit (SDK) after closed beta testing for the last several months. Supporting both Android and iOS, the startup had over 1,000 developers sign up, helping them make 250 apps more feature-rich while saving developers from coding those features themselves.
In an interview with BetaKit, co-founder Ran Avrahamy spoke about how the startup’s offering can help developers tackle what he called the “3Rs,” namely reach, retention, and revenue. “There’s hundreds of APIs, SDKs, cross-platform tools and stuff like that available for mobile app developers because its such a growing ecosystem…what we want to achieve here is a one-stop shop, a place for solutions to these problems,” said Avrahamy in an interview. “What we’re trying to do is help app developers make more out of their apps.”
The cross-platform SDK enables mobile app developers to build a customizable swiped-in sidebar into their apps. By accessing Scringo’s ‘Developer Zone’ they can then load features onto the sidebar to address the challenges outlined above. With a drag-and-drop interface, developers can upgrade their apps without necessarily compromising on any of their existing app UI, while being able to add features like an activity feed to create an in-app social network where users are able to message each other and share content that appeals to them. To tackle app discovery, the startup lets developers turn on a contextual and content-related algorithm that suggests relevant apps to their users to create a cross-promotional network among developers.
Other features include allowing users to log in via Facebook or Twitter so they can find other friends who are using the app, and can suggest the app to their friends and followers. Beyond user-to-user messaging capabilities, users can also communicate with developers to provide their feedback, make feature suggestions, and submit reviews. Scringo’s hope is that budget-conscious mobile developers can give their apps the same look and feel that users expect from the likes of Facebook using its platform.
Though its current monetization strategy is revenue sharing based on the contextual in-app deals that developers can choose to integrate, Avrahamy said the startup is already in talks with third-party developers and other partners to continue building out Scringo’s Developer Zone, essentially turning it into a marketplace for APIs, SDKs, and the like, which developers can discover from a single access point.
The startup’s approach is part of a growing trend of companies in the ‘Backend-as-a-Serivce’ (BaaS) space with others like Singly, which BetaKit covered when it opened its API to help developers build better connected apps, as well as Kinvey, Heroku, and Cloudmine, trying to help developers build better apps. However, with its focus on app discovery and user feedback being just as important as building in more in-app social features, the startup also competes with Hubbl, which recently launched its customizable widgets for bloggers, and AppGratis which recently added $13.5 million in funding for its daily deal app, not to mention mobile analytics platforms likes Apptentive and Kickfolio.
Its appeal for developers may just be that it gives them a turnkey solution to add a revenue stream and boost user engagement, while having a dashboard to manage feedback and access analytics, something they would currently have to build themselves or add from several different places. Whether developers will be on board with its one-size-fits-all approach, and whether they’ll want a sidebar cluttering up their app’s user experience, will be showcased now that the platform is in public beta.