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Want to organize a Civic Apps Competition in your community, or want to figure out how to integrate Google+ with your website? Two short books from O’Reilly will get you started .

Organize a Civic Apps Competition is a practical guide and provides best practices for each phase of the process. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to make Chicago more transparent, author Kate Eyler-Werve led the launch team for the 2011 Apps for Metro Chicago. Based largely on the authors’ firsthand experience planning and managing Apps for Metro Chicago. You’ll learn everything from setting goals and creating a budget to running the competition and measuring the outcome.

Civic App Competitions provide software programmers with platforms for building effective apps, and using open government data as a way to foster community involvement and make government more transparent. This handbook helps you address questions about the process and shows you what’s required for making your competition successful.

Want to integrate Google+ with an existing website, or build your own social application on the platform? Developing with Google+ takes you on a tour of the Google+ APIs, with lots of concrete examples and hands-on projects.

You’ll learn how to take advantage of Google+ social plug-ins, communicate programmatically with Google+ over REST APIs, and author real-time Hangout Apps. Author Jennifer Murphy works in Developer Relations on social products at Google. Previously she has worked in a wide variety of software engineering roles from robotics at NASA to the architect of a social media startup.

Portland’s CitySync Challenge recognizes and rewards the best ideas and apps from the community. PDX CitySync is a digital hub concept; an open platform for web-based apps built on open source technology in support of the Portland Plan’s effort to better connect the community through important information and services targeted to both residents and local business.

Global smartphones sales will cross the billion-unit mark in 2014, helped by strong demand from China and the launch of cheaper low-end handsets, according to a Credit Suisse estimate. UK research firm Ovum, today, forecast global smartphone shipments of 1.7 billion in 2017, up from 450 million last year, implying an average annual growth of more than 20 percent.

Android claims over 500 million device activations while Apple has sold in excess of 400 million iOS devices, mostly iPhones. There are more than 600,000 apps for Android with over 20 billion app downloads from Google Play. The App Store claims over 700,000 apps with downloads totalling over 30 billion. During the company’s 2012 WWDC, Apple stated they had over 400 million accounts with registered credit cards able to buy apps, books, music and movies.

Gartner estimated that globally, 472 million smartphones were sold in 2011, accounting for 31% of all mobile devices sold for the year. That’s a 58% rise over 2010.

The majority of mobile subscribers in the United Stated now own a smartphones. ComScore says Android phones captured more than 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in February, 2012.

Other mobile platforms continued to lose market share. BlackBerry maker RIM dropped two points to 15.2 percent over the three-month period seen by ComScore. Microsoft lost a point to sink to 4.4 percent. And Nokia’s Symbian trailed a 1.5 percent share.

One Billion Smartphone users are expected by 2016, worldwide, according to Forrester Research.

Apple, Google and Microsoft are expected to control around 90 per cent of the market by 2016.

Also by 2016, consumer spending in the mobile app market will reach $56 billion while businesses spending on mobile projects will double in growth. Roughly 200 million are expected to bring their own smartphones to work, but tablets will get the same treatment with roughly 70 per cent of those used for work would be owned by the employees themselves.

China will overtake the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market this year, according to research firm IDC, which expects demand to grow for lower-priced smartphones based on Google Inc’s Android software.

IDC forecast that China’s share of the smartphone market will increase to 26.5 percent this year from 18.3 percent last year, while the U.S. share of the global market is expected to decline to 17.8 percent from 21.3 percent as smartphones become more popular, worldwide.

Related Dailywireless stories include; Apps for The City, Free Mobile Development for Cities & Governments, Patent Troll Goes After Free Bus Tracking Apps, Augmented History, Public Safety 2.0, Everyone Can Create Mobile Apps!, Mobile Portland Demos, Developer Contests, Geo Tours, Japan Tsunami, Nozzl: Local News Streaming Live, Tracking Tour de France, Trillion Node Network?, Neighborhood News: Big Time in Seattle, Rental Bikes: Free with Location-based Apps?.

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