Personal Cloud Desktop Apps on iPad, iPhone & Android

Posted by at 20 February , 2015

Steve Jobs famously put Adobe and Flash on notice in 2007 when he said Apple would never support Adobe Flash Player on any of its iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad. This was the shot heard across the tech world as Adobe Flash Player has long been the standard for multimedia content on the web.

Heck, when I was in school it was all that was taught in media design classes. Adobe Flash this, Adobe Flash that. I guess Steve Jobs had the last laugh as Adobe killed its mobile Flash product development in 2011.

“Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.” – Steve Jobs

Fast forward to the present, 2015. The web is marching on towards an open alternative, as Mozilla drops support for Flash in its latest release of the nightly builds of Firefox. Is Adobe Flash really on it’s last legs?

Maybe, but not anytime soon.

On a typical day here at Xform Computing, we receive anywhere from 100-250 support tickets from our users of AlwaysOnPC, Virtual Browser for Chrome, Virtual Browser for Firefox and Private Anonymous Browser with Adobe Flash and Java support.

Usually these tickets range from “Good job, I like your app! 5 Stars!” to “I need help! My app doesn’t work. I want to download Flash Player on my iPad.” On occasion we get asked questions that don’t fall into any pre-defined support category. The average user doesn’t care about the war going on against Adobe Flash on the web and mobile.

These are the questions many mobile device users on iOS and Android are trying to understand. Why doesn’t their current device support Adobe Flash Player or Java? Will support ever exist?

“Why doesn’t my iPad or iPhone offer support for Adobe Flash Player or support for Java right out of the box?” – Virtual Browser for Chrome User

This is the question that was posed to us by a user the other day “How come my iPad doesn’t come with Adobe Flash Player already installed? I paid good money for this device.”

With iPads being as ubiquitous as cars on the road, many folks use their iOS devices for more leisurely activities that would be considered passive usage such as gaming, surfing the web or checking the occasional email.

Little has been made of the large number of use cases in which iPads and iPhones are being used as full productivity devices for enterprise work. As this article for appstechnews.com mentions that a Citrix Mobile report shows the continued dominance of iOS in Enterprise. Support for Java and Flash is still heavily needed and our apps fill that void through a virtual service. By allowing your iOS device either iPhone or iPad to connect to our servers we are allowing users to access Flash and Java supported sites such as Pogo.com, BNSF, Runescape and Pearson Learning among others.

This isn’t to say that in 5 years the roadmap to a newer web standard won’t exist but for the foreseeable future Flash is still King. That means that while the usage of mobile devices that support Apple and Android keeps going up and up, the demand for Flash is going to be high.

Our apps VirtualBrowser for Firefox and VirtualBrowser for Chrome offer the best solution for users still seeking to use Flash and Java programs on an iPad or iPhone. By allowing a virtual connection on your iOS device you get a “desktop” class browsing experience with the ability to customize your browser with Add-ons, apps and extensions. Also by allowing users to connect with Firefox Sync or Sign in with a Google Account, you can enjoy the seamless integration of your saved bookmarks and history. All with the ability to still use Flash.

While the web may be writing off Adobe Flash we’re not setting it off into the sunset just yet. Adobe Flash is not dead, not by a long shot.

If you want to find out more about our apps click on the links to the right. Drop us a line via social media, we can be found on Facebook here, here and here.

For those twitter users, you can tweet at us at @AlwaysOnApps

Or if you prefer good old fashioned email communications, send us an email at support@xformcomputing.com

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Posted in: AlwaysOnPC , AlwaysOnPC for iOS , Support, tips & tricks , Uncategorized , Users , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 13 February , 2015

Weekend Reading

 

 

Apple Doubles The Size Of iOS Apps

Times, they are a-changin’. Storage is getting cheaper, bandwidth is less tightly restricted and, as such, the apps we use are getting bigger.

For the first time since the launch of the App Store, Apple has increased the maximum size allowed for apps and games distributed through its App Store…read more

 

 

Watching People Code Could Be The Next Big Thing

Twitch made streaming video games into a hugely popular phenomenon, so what could be the next big live-streaming thing? Perhaps it’s watching other people code…read more

 

 

How to Research Good Blog Topics

Conducting research is an essential part of writing quality blog content. To be a credible industry expert, you need facts, stats, figures, and examples at your disposal — all external validation that shows you know your stuff…read more

Have a great weekend!

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Posted in: Announcements , External content , Support, tips & tricks , Uncategorized , Users , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 13 February , 2015

Every so often we get that gut wrenching review when a user decides to unload all over us in the App Store. Needless to say it is a painful experience for any small app developer.

There are lot of ups and downs in the day to day support of apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The difficulty lies in how the reviewer states their positive or negative experience. These comments can not only be detrimental to our review ratings, but many times it does not give us the proper context into why the user had a bad experience with the app in the first place.

Here is an example of a bad review left in the App Store that does not help us in determining what exactly the user was experiencing. Could the user have been in a slow WiFi location? Were they on at peak hours? Was a certain website not loading properly? Did they read the app description or access the help guide? It is hard to tell from this users review:

bad_review_screen_grab

How do you make sense of this type of information? In the Google Play Store we can respond to comments and make sure that users are being clear about the issue they are experiencing. Sometimes you do have to do some detective work to figure out what exactly is going on?

looking for clues in the app store

Then you have users that write reviews that are clear and concise. They write a review stating the exact experience they had with our apps and how it helped them:

One thing that jumps out is that 3 out of 3 customers found this review helpful. Potential customers are always looking at existing users ratings and reviews as the first indicator if they will download the app? They are already here they just want to see how others found the product useful.

Or you have the user who took the time to state simply how our app helped him out in his day to day use.

Needless to say, there is a way to write an effective review that is either positive or negative. This can actually help App Developer fix an issue that they may not even be aware of. Take a look at this score card that Airbnb uses to rate a customer reviews it creates a good methodology into how a user should rate an experience.

airbnb_scorecard

Seems like a reasonable way to score an app in the App Store, right? This is how the anatomy of a good or bad review can work in the users favor. There are several factors that play into this way of objectively reviewing an app on iOS or Android. Both are different platforms with their fair of good and bad applications and users should learn how to praise good efforts and apply constructive critiques of negative experiences. Telling us “Hey, your Apps sucks!” is not constructive as we may not know what it actually “sucking” in our App.

As App Developers we should also consider what users want in a mobile application? It is after all a two way street two way street. Ask yourself a few questions? Does it fill a need? Does it provide a solution to an existing problem? Does it work as advertised? Will it become a day-to-day app or an app that you use for enterprise purposes? There are so many questions that go into the utility an app provides like our Virtual Browser apps that can run Flash and Java; that we should be able to answer those questions.

Also consider this; What do people really want in good apps? This image below gives us a good indicator of the consideration that goes into downloading an app onto a mobile device.

What people are looking for in good apps

The biggest factor is if the user sees that the apps does exactly what they need it for. How does the user get there? By going into app reviews and ratings to see if it is worth the time and money to use any application. This why it is important to have positive and clear reviews by users.

Users in the App Store are looking at solving an existing problem on their given device. This is the best form of window shopping available. We need to provide the best reviews possible to encourage an app download. This is why a good or bad review can make or break your app. We need to guide users into giving us constructive critiques that will improve their overall experience.

In the end this is a two way street between App Developers and users.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at support@xformcomputing.com

 

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Posted in: Android , Reviews , Support, tips & tricks , Uncategorized , Users , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 11 February , 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 10, 2015

Xform Computing, Inc.

support@xformcomputing.com

The virtualBrowser for Firefox iPad and iPhone Apps from Xform Computing Inc. now offer support for the latest Adobe Flash Player utilizing the Linux OS Platform

Mozilla Firefox for Linux now can run the latest version of Adobe Flash Player thanks to the freshplayerplugin open source project. Utilizing this plugin, Xform delivers the latest Flash Player for Firefox on iPhone and iPad.

Santa Barbara, CA — Xform Computing Inc., the leader in open-source based cloud-streaming apps for mobile devices, is excited to announce the latest update for all Virtual Browser for Firefox users. This recent update to the Virtual Browser for Firefox app on iPhone and iPad will allow users to continue to access the latest version of Adobe Flash Player that Mozilla decided to to no longer support after Adobe Flash player version 11.2.

From the Adobe Blog:

“For Flash Player releases after 11.2, the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the “Pepper” API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe. Adobe will continue to provide security updates to non-Pepper distributions of Flash Player 11.2 on Linux for five years from its release.”

The Xform engineering team was able to deploy a solution for Adobe Flash Player on Linux that was compatible with the latest version of Firefox thanks to the freshplayerplugin open source project. Users will be able to run the latest version of Flash and Java, as well as Mozilla Firefox Add-ons and extensions on both iPad and iPhone with support for Firefox sync.

Popular games such as Runescape, Pogo.com, United Unimatic, BNSF Railways will continue to have support on our popular Virtual Browser for Firefox Platform for iOS.

“One of the best browser comes to the ipad in a very powerful experience. Runs really well, and the virtual solution is amazing. Really well implemented. A must have for user that take the web serious.” – iOS Review January 2015

 “This is really powerful browser for your device. You can do what you’re usually do on your desktop browser. You can run Java applications, use different kinds of extensions and plugins. I like the interface and simple navigations.” – iOS Review January 2015

Virtual Firefox browser a top 10 app in paid Business apps is the only app to run the real Mozilla Firefox browser with “desktop class” features like Java, Flash, Firefox Add-Ons, Extension and much more.

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe, with more to be announced in 2014. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform’s apps include Virtual Browser for Firefox, VirtualBrowser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more at http://www.xformcomputing.com

Contact:

Kroum Antov, Chief Executive Officer

Xform Computing, Inc.

kroum@xfromcomputing.com

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Posted by at 30 January , 2015

We’ve updated to version 2.0.8 of our Virtual Browser for Chrome with Flash Player, Java and Browser extensions. This update fixes various issues with iOS 8 and provides more stability.

Apple is now starting to notify developers to start to update all apps with 64-bit support. This article on AppleInsider.com goes into more depth on why this will be an important move for developers in the App Store.

This update will address those issues and a minor issue affecting users iCloud accounts. Again always make sure that your iCloud account is active and with the correct login credentials. If you switch iCloud accounts our app may not be able to recognize your Premium purchase.

The newest update for Virtual Browser for Chrome with Flash Player, Java and Browser Extensions is out now!

 

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Posted by at 15 October , 2014

There has been some confusion as to why our Virtual Browser apps are not letting users access their Premium accounts. The support ticket usually starts off something like this…“HELP! I just purchased Premium and Virtual Browser won’t let me access it! I paid $1.99/mo. for nothing!!!!”

The case is usually pretty simple to solve. It just so happens that our Virtual Browser apps are tied to a specific iCloud account you used to purchase the app. If you do not use the same account then Virtual Browser will not remember that you purchased premium.

Always double check to make sure that your iCloud account is on and that you are allowing iCloud to save Documents and Data.

Here are some quick steps to follow through on:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Scroll down to iCloud
  3. Make sure are signed into iCloud. If not then sign in.
  4. Tap on the area that says Documents and Data. Make sure that this is set to on.

You’re all set. Now your Premium purchase should be validated and you’ll be on your way to enjoying our Premium features!

Happy Web Surfing,

Support Team

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Posted by at 14 August , 2014

App Updates for all Virtual Browser Products: Virtual Browser for Chrome, Virtual Browser for Firefox and Private Anonymous Browser for iPad and iPhone.

 

Santa Barbara, CA — Xform Computing Inc., a leader in open-source based cloud-streaming apps for mobile devices, is excited to announce an update to our existing lineup of iOS apps. This app update (Versions 2.0.7, 2.0.5 and 1.0.3) fixes a bug issue that was prompting many users to “Recover” their premium accounts even if they had already upgraded. If a user choose the yes option to recover they could get stuck in a loop or they would be prompted to “Recover” again if they closed the application out.

This newest update fixes that bug issue for all Virtual Browser products and will allow users to continue to seamlessly use the Premium features with an updated in-app purchase model.

All our Virtual Browser products run Flash, Java as well as the ability to use Firefox Add-Ons (Virtual Browser for Firefox only) Chrome web apps and Extensions with both our Virtual Chrome and Private Anonymous Browser apps. Private Anonymous Browser runs in a private incognito tab that securely protects your privacy and data. All mobile sessions are SSH encrypted end to end.

Virtual Browser for Firefox ranks #3 (Appfigures.com data August 14, 2014) in paid Business apps and is the only app to run the real Mozilla Firefox browser with “desktop class” features like Java, Flash, Firefox Add-Ons, Extension and much more.

Virtual Browser for Chrome ranks #20 in the Utilities category on the AppStore with it also in the top 25 for Top Grossing apps in that category (Appfigures.com data on August 14, 2014).

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe, with more to be announced in 2014. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform Computing’s apps include Virtual Browser for Firefox, Virtual Browser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more at http://www.xformcomputing.com

Contact:

Kroum Antov

Chief Executive Officer

Xform Computing, Inc.

kroum@xfromcomputing.com

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Posted in: Announcements , Private Anonymous Browser , Service Alert , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 8 August , 2014

Here’s a quick video on how to optimize VirtualBrowser for Chrome to play Farmville 2 on your iPad. You can get our app on the App Store for both your iPhone or iPad just search for Virtual Chrome or click on the links below.

If you have any questions you can always contact us via email at support@xformcomputing.com or “Like” us on Facebook.

Download for iPad

Download for iPhone

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Posted by at 5 August , 2014

How do we justify paying for services that we expect for free on the Appstore?

So let’s get this out of the way first…Everyone likes FREE stuff! Think about it for a second. We get giddy when we receive anything for free. Think of the free sample you got while strolling around at the mall today. How did it make you feel?

It’s basic human nature to get a happy when we get stuff for free. But the same rules do not apply to Apps and Software.

This all stems from the fact that we’ve been spoiled for the last few years by many App developers who can afford to give away their applications for free. It’s created a marketplace that is highly unstable to create any real working software businesses that don’t rely on Venture Capital to get them up and running. The mentality has been that all developers can give away their Apps for free.

The truth is they cannot afford to do so!

Here is a snapshot of the top apps in the App Store today as of July 31st, 2014:

What sticks out to you? If you look at the middle column in the Free Category you will see it’s either games that offer In-App purchases models or established companies like Skype, Google, Netflix and even Apple that can afford to give away products for free.

Facebook alone is trying to take over your phone screen by separating out their apps from the core social media product . There are two great articles to read. One by Tero Kuittinen on Forbes.com aptly titled “Paid App Market Is Shrinking With Stunning Speed“, the other a use case study on App Annie on Mobile App Advertising and Monetization Trends 2012-2017: The Economics of Free which is very telling about where all app monetization plans will be heading and how consumers will be affected in the coming years.

“Mobile Apps Capture More Eyes… and More Advertising Budget… Mobile device install base worldwide is skyrocketing, with a 49% jump in key countries from 2012 to 2013.” – App Annie

So what does this all mean to you as the consumer?

The Era of Free Apps is coming to an end!

If it’s any indication we will start to see the end of free apps sooner rather than later. It’s just not a sustainable business model. Future app business models will more than likely look like this: 1) Up front pricing with a One Year software license 2) A recurring in-app purchase subscription on a monthly basis or 3) Free apps with Ads built in to make up the revenue.

As developers look for ways to create sustainable sources of revenue many will look towards the in-app purchase model. This article on why Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is raking in $700,000 a day  is a perfect example albeit exaggerated on how developers can generate more revenue by adding in-app features to a product. This points to the larger picture of how many Apps are offering the In-App purchasing option.

Changing the Users Mentality

We’ll end this post by saying a few words of encouragement. App Developers are  people too. These apps help you in your daily life and they have become our go to sources to organize our digital lives and escape for few minutes a day. Support the developers that create Apps that you feel add value to your life and work with them through feedback (We appreciate feedback!).

Think about how much you spend on a cup a coffee a day? $2.50 a day? That comes out to about $70 a month on coffee alone. Sometimes these apps cost you less than 5 cents a day and they add tremendous value to your mobile product.

Support the developers and be part of the new App ecosystem.

 

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Posted by at 1 August , 2014

Sometimes it happens. You work hard on a product update for weeks and then you test and test….and test…and test some more and finally after you feel good about the stability of a release you drop off the binary into the App Store and pray all goes smoothly.

Well…sometimes bugs happen unfortunately. Our newest release for our Virtual Browser lineup sadly has a bug that has been confusing and alarming existing users. No the world isn’t going to end, but we’re well aware of it and have submitted a release to the App Store to fix this issue. We are just waiting on Apple to approve the fix.

This bug is causing many users to think that they have to reactivate their account to access the Premium features of our browser.

This is not the case there is a simple work around that you’ll have to do until the update is released. Just click on “NO” to bypass this message and as you can see your Account Status should say Premium.

We apologize if this has confused any of our current users. Sometimes bugs do happen.

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at support@xformcomputing.com or reach us through Facebook at facebook.com/VirtualChrome.ipad.iphone.Flash.Player or tweet at us @AlwaysOnApps

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