Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

That danged old evolutionary process: it crops up all over the place

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Like in the Apple Apps store, as reported at New Scientist by Paul Marks:

Modelling Apple’s App Store marketplace as an ecosystem reveals what makes it thrive and which apps are likely to sell

IT IS easy to get rich as a developer on Apple’s App Store – just build an app that mimics a bestseller. So why doesn’t everyone get in on the act? Because the ploy ends up killing interest in the store entirely, according to researchers who built a simulation of the store to see what makes it tick.

Apple’s thriving marketplace of well over 500,000 apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is a self-regulating ecosystem that doesn’t tolerate copycats, say Soo Ling Lim and Peter Bentley at University College London, who modelled activity on the App Store.

Since Apple releases very little data associated with App Store interactions, Lim and Bentley built the next best thing – an “artificial life” simulation of the store. Named AppEco, it uses bits of software that obey unique behavioural rules to mimic apps, developers and consumers.

The simulation mimics four types of developer the team labelled innovators, optimisers, milkers and copycats. The copycats found it easy to make money – they simply built knock-offs of top-selling apps and confused users ended up buying the facsimiles.

But any developer who does this risks legal action and being banned from the App Store. That’s one reason Lim and Bentley chose to build a simulation of the store, rather than run a real-life experiment that would involve them releasing their own apps. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2012 at 7:12 pm

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