Launch of Evernote Platform Awards 2014 Opens Opportunities for Productivity Developers

Mark Boyd
May. 05 2014, 10:00AM EDT

Evernote today launched the Evernote Platform Awards for 2014. It is the fourth year of the international competition aimed at encouraging developers to create new apps (and share existing products) that incorporate the Evernote API. Business and productivity apps are estimated to grow by 27% each year for the next few years, with Evernote already holding a high market share in the sector. Chris Traganos, Director of Developer Relations at Evernote told ProgrammableWeb what judges will be looking for, and how developers who create new app products using the Evernote API can position themselves to leverage Evernote’s extensive user base.

“We are excited to launch the Evernote Platform Awards, our annual event where we highlight third party apps that provide great experiences on top of our platform,” Chris Traganos, Director of Developer Relations at Evernote, told ProgrammableWeb ahead of today’s launch announcement. “For the summer season, our community of users and developers nominate their favorite apps that connect to the Evernote API. During August, we will have everyone vote for their top finalist apps that represent the best the Evernote platform has to offer.”

Evernote — a note-taking and productivity app — has focused on providing a full-featured API that has helped the app provider position itself successfully as a platform, with a range of third-party apps now created that extend the user base and allow the company to take its core mission (recording and managing notes and content) to more target audience segments across a wider range of markets.

In the 2014 awards season, Traganos expects wearable devices, apps with strong business use cases, content sharing, and collaborative tools to feature prominently:

“When we launched the API, we always planned for it to be cross platform, forward/backwards compatible, and open to new use cases we had not imagined. As the platform and the Evernote App Center has evolved, we have benefited from note content within Evernote looking great across a wide spectrum of devices. Clipped articles render great on an HD screen all the way down to a Pocket smart watch. Since notes support flexible formats and content, we are taking full advantage of the current trend of multiple devices per user.

“This year we’ve seen a highly engaged set of hardware developers leverage the Evernote API as the spectrum of wearable devices has been shown to handle our content with ease. In addition to wearables, we’ve seen strong use cases for collaboration, real time content sharing, and new tools for our Evernote Business product.

We have a strong incentive and interest to support companies who chose to integrate their apps with Evernote. From attaching notes in Salesforce, to pulling drafts into a content management system from Evernote, we are going to keep highlighting, showcasing, and supporting these apps. Ultimately with the Evernote Platform Awards, we will promote the top new & existing apps that save, share, and connect to our platform.”

Nominations are assessed on four criteria:

  • Design: user interface and experience
  • Development: solid integration with the Evernote API
  • Utility: compelling use cases
  • Originality: being an innovative concept added to the Evernote platform.

“This year our judges will be looking for new and existing applications that help our users be more productive and remember everything! Great design, smart development, and a useful app will go a long way in helping our community do more with Evernote,” says Traganos.

The expected growth of the business and productivity apps market

API developers may take the Evernote awards competition as an opportunity to enter a potentially lucrative market, with limited competition facing new market entrants.

A Business and Productivity Apps study last month by Andreas Pappas of VisionMobile expects the business and productivity app market to grow by 27% annually each year til 2016. Pappas notes: “The business and productivity market has fewer developers competing for the revenue pie.. and at the same time, more developers that generate very high revenues.”

The Business and Productivity Apps Report shows that developers targeting their apps at the business market tend to collect more revenue than developers targeting the consumer market: SOURCE: VisionMobile Business and Productivity Apps Report

Leveraging Evernote’s platform for commercial success

While the main revenue sources for business and productivity apps are contracted projects to develop specific apps for business clients, VisionMobile expects that app store sales will create steady growth for app developers “in the mid term”.

So developers who leverage the Evernote API may be at a significant advantage. App Analytics website AppAnnie shows that Evernote has been in the top 10 highest ranked productivity apps in the iTunes App Store in 155 countries. And given the strength of the Evernote platform, many users then look at third-party Evernote apps to extend their workflow around note-taking and content collection. Everclip — made by Ignition Soft Limited — has been able to leverage a successful revenue model based off the Evernote API. According to App Annie, their $2.99 iPhone app has ranked in the top 10 for productivity apps in 73 countries, with 450 downloads in the US and 514 in Australia on last Saturday alone. SOURCE: App Annie website “We will be using all our channels to show interested users these great apps and how to enhance their Evernote workflow with this year’s collections of products,” indicates Traganos, pointing to a key benefit of entering the awards competition. “In addition, we actively track our campaigns from social, blog posts, and our app center product pages. We believe the leading benefit we can offer our solid platform apps is the opportunity to be introduced and promoted, and to eventually acquire highly engaged Evernote users looking to be more productive with both our products.”

What to focus on

For developers wanting to create a new product that leverages the Evernote API, Pappas of VisionMobile suggests several key opportunities in his market analysis:

  • Vertical apps - for example, bringing Evernote features to industry-specific apps for healthcare, real estate, finance or automative
  • Productivity/BYOD - somehow addressing businesses with a mobile bring-your-own-device policy
  • Mobile SaaS - apps that allow mobile use of CRM, and business intelligence services, for example
  • Mobile device management - apps that can segregate work and personal data or that can automatically delete work content at the end of each session from an individual’s device.

Traganos points to two sets of award categories to help developers decide what to focus on. The first category covers awards under the title “Popular use cases for Evernote”. Key use case themes include:

  • News
  • Productivity
  • Food
  • Education
  • Business
  • Lifestyle.

In addition, the Evernote Platform Awards will acknowledge the top dev teams with the following prizes:

  • Best Design
  • Best Multi-Platform App
  • Best New Startup
  • Best Yinxiang Biji App
  • Best Integration of 2014.

"This is our 4th year running these awards and we look forward to showing off the best of the Evernote platform once again," said Traganos. Apps can be nominated on the Evernote Platform Awards website.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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