Brightcove App Cloud, The Rise Of Hybrid Apps

Brightcove, a top service provider for cloud content services, has released a comprehensive set uf apps with the Brightcove App Cloud, a content app platform for building and operating engaging native apps for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets.  The App Cloud combines an open HTML5 Web development model with intelligent cloud services to accelerate app development, continuously optimize performance, measure effectiveness, and enable dynamic updates to installed apps.  Over 1,200 individuals participated in the beta testing of the said service.  At present there are apps available for download in the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Android Market for customers including the U.S. Department of State, and Lifetime Networks.

“The App Cloud beta program has been very well received over the past few months, and we have been impressed by the quality, breadth and creativity of the apps developed by our beta users” said Ashley Streb, Vice President of Technology at Brightcove. “Now, any organization can take advantage of App Cloud to easily build, deliver, and manage dynamic, custom content apps across multiple devices for a superior end user experience.”

Platform for Developers and Non-technical Producers

To build App Cloud experiences, developers use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and the App Cloud software development kit (SDK) to create templates that reflect their brand and desired functionality.

The SDK comes with pre-built views and JavaScript APIs for accessing native functions like the camera, alerts and accelerometer, among other things.  The Open Development Model hastens development time with code libraries for HTML5, CSS and JavaScript as well.  There’s templates to leverage, and cross-platform cloud deployment, one of the key functions of Brightcove’s potential in this space.

There’s a growing market around such cross-platform app deployment services, and those with the most integration for additional value adds, like ease of publishing, in-app monetization methods and analytics, will be the emerging leader.  Competition is growing amongst companies like Appcelerator, and even Microsoft recognizes the need for cross-platform capabilities provisioned to the developer market.

Intelligent Cloud Services

App Cloud supports the entire app lifecycle by offering intelligent cloud services that optimize the end user experience with live production apps and improve the efficiency of app maintenance long after initial development is complete.

Brightcove has looked to integrate as many cloud services as possible into a single platform, appearing as a one-stop shop for app deployment needs.  There’s dynamic updates for easier app maintenance, content optimization for varying bandwidth and image transcoding.  On the analytics side, Brightcove is offering real-time capabilities, tracking app installs, end user sessions, usage time and account level across various time slots.  Advertising is included in the mix, with built-in support for AdMob.

Similar to Appcelerator, Brightcove is leveraging the growing number of APIs for connecting to standard third party service integration, making it easier for developers to incorporate maps, cloud storage, and social network sharing features within a given app.

A post by Brightcove CMO Jeff Whatcott discussed the company’s hybrid app approach, saying “The crazy thing about this new hybrid app approach is that the app economy wasn’t supposed to be this way. Apple’s original vision for apps drew a bright line between web apps and native apps, apparently under the belief that native code was going to yield the best end user experiences and monetization opportunities.”

“The hybrid app approach is absolutely part of the solution. It applies the formidable efficiency and agility of web development to the app problem, and is yielding promising results. But there is more to apps than just a pretty face derived from HTML5.”

“It is high time that we start treating apps as valuable digital properties that deserve careful planning and investment.Successful apps are not not destinations, they are journeys through a life cycle that touches many different roles in an organization, not just developers. Even disposable campaign-specific apps need to be actively managed if they are to be effective during their short lives.”