Startup Golgi Aims to Kill the Dreaded Spinning Wheel of Loading and Updates

Eric Carter, Founder & Corporate Counsel, Dartsand
May. 21 2014, 11:59AM EDT

Today, Golgi opened its doors with a mission to kill the spinning wheel icon that displays while poor-performing apps struggle to load and update. Golgi’s data transfer platform allows apps to receive information 20 times faster. On the eve of Golgi’s launch, ProgrammableWeb caught up with CTO Brian Kelly to better understand the platform.
 

Kelly described Golgi as a service that mobile developers and connected device manufacturers can use to speed up app loading and update times by 10 to 20 times. To achieve such speed, Kelly broke the platform down into two main parts:
 

First is a code-generation tool, which developers can use to create custom data transfer code for their apps. Unlike most available solutions, we give developers the freedom and flexibility to input and define what data they want to transfer. This might mean that a developer can specify that location data should be attached to an image or any specific part of an app.

The second part of the platform focuses on data transfer, Kelly explained:
 

When a sender pushes information, it automatically notifies Golgi’s platform. Once the data is on our platform, our server will ping the endpoint receiver (whether it’s a device or server) to make a connection and send the data. If the endpoint receiver is connected to a weak signal (think 2G, 3G, etc.), Golgi’s server continues to ping the device and send the information in pieces as quickly as possible. Because of this, it doesn’t matter how bad the connection is because the data isn’t dumped all at once like most apps do with a basic refresh. This also saves the end user’s battery life if it’s a device, because instead of the user trying to constantly refresh (in the case of bad service), which would drain the battery, the information will be ready as soon as the app opens.

In developing the platform, the Golgi team had a specific problem in mind: painstakingly slow loading and updating times for mobile developers. Kelly expanded:
 

Over the past 10 years, while handling data transfer and apps development for the telecom industry, our team found that transferring data reliably, efficiently and in a timely fashion is a problem that occupies a significant portion of developers’ limited time. Additionally, getting the data delivered to the device as soon as it is available is a challenge that many developers never end up addressing properly. Today, many apps like LinkedIn and Flipboard can take forever to update with fresh content. That delay is often symbolized by the dreaded “spinning wheel” icon. So Golgi is designed to take care of that tricky data transfer process for developers and allow them to give their users the quickest, most-up-to-date experiences without having to spend weeks or months writing and fine-turning data transfer code on their own.

Golgi is specifically targeting app developers and connected device manufacturers. The platform is readily available and those interested should visit Golgi’s website to learn more. The platform is priced in a tiered model, with the entry tier free of charge. Although Golgi publicly launched today, beta partners have already reported great experiences with the platform. Golgi plans to release results from beta testers in the near future.

App developers/connected device manufacturers is an admittedly broad range of potential customers. Although Golgi aims to reach this entire spectrum of potential clients, Kelly provided some more nuanced potential use cases:
 

A very visible application would be any app that has a startup screen which is shown while the app loads the latest updates over the Internet. When those apps take a long time to load, users often see a “spinning wheel” logo. Which is why we say Golgi “kills the spinning wheel” — it allows apps to load much faster than before. “Data snacking” apps (news, social media, weather, stocks, etc.) are other examples of apps that would really benefit from Golgi. When a user opens a news app, they don’t want to see stories from the day before still sitting there. They don’t want to wait 10 to 20 seconds for their messages and updates to load when they open a social media app. They want those apps to be ready immediately. Golgi lets developers provide that speed and promptness with very little work on their part.

Golgi will measure success with three simple metrics: developer adoption, developer reach and the amount of time developers can save their users. Recent reports indicate that almost 80% of consumers will discontinue use of an app after just two poor performances. In an overcrowded marketplace of apps that market to an increasingly impatient consumer base, Golgi may be the platform that saves developers from death by poor load and update times.

Eric Carter Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+

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