Monetizing with the User in Mind

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by

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What is one of the main keys to successful monetization? Its simple; monetize with the user in mind! After all, the user is the person who you want to click on or interact with your ads in order to earn you some revenue. Ignoring the user experience in order to have as many advertisements as possible will only end up annoying users and will not pay off for you in the long run.

 

At App Alliance’s Make Money with Apps Workshop in San Francisco, StartApp spoke about the importance of user experience with monetizing your app with in-app advertising. Here are some of the key takeaways:

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How To Decrease User Acquisition Costs With App Store Optimization

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by

About the Author: Evaldo Rossi is an App Store Optimization (ASO) Expert and a Mobile Game Dev. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, or check out his blog WordData, to learn more about ASO!

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Anyone working with paid user acquisition campaigns already knows that the cost per user is rising. If you’re new to the app marketing world, the Fiksu Cost Per Install (CPI) Index will help you understand what’s happening. This chart provides a good indication of the CPI trend.

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You want to drive CPI down. But what can you possibly do? A great solution is increasing the number of organic installs you get through better exposure on  search rankings. How do you do that? Through App Store Optimization (ASO).

 

When you run an ad campaign and your app gets more installs, it will climb positions in the search results of keywords and keyphrases found in your app’s metadata. Therefore, you will get more exposure. With more exposure, comes more installs.

 

So, to actually understand how many users your money is really buying, we need to use eCPI, or effective Cost Per Install.

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It’s Time to Get Serious about COPPA

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by

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Since early 2014, there have been whispers across the mobile app industry that the Federal Trade Commission, an American agency that regulates trade and enforces consumer protections, would begin cracking down on app studios and developers who were in violation of the US COPPA laws. This week, a number of websites and apps have received fines from the agency and the FTC is serious about cracking down.

 

Here’s what developers need to know:

 

What is COPPA?

 

COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, is a law created in 1998 at the start of the internet revolution. COPPA is intended to give parents control over the information that is collected from their children when their children are on the internet or using apps. Intended for children under 13, the COPPA law requires websites and apps who intend to collect, use, or disclose personal information about their users to do the following:

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Apple’s Newest Releases—What Developers Should Know:

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by

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In case you missed it, Apple held a huge event last week where it introduced its newest line of mobile products. While these events are usually targeted more towards consumers, there are some important things for iOS developers as well. Here’s what devs should know about Apple’s four new products:

 

iPhone 6

 

Though not much of a change from the most recent iPhones, the iPhone 6 does boast a slightly larger screen for devs to work with (4.7 inches). The display is Retina HD, with 1334×750 pixels. The biggest change for app developers is the 64-bit A8 chip for faster CPU performance and dramatically increased graphics performance. Also, new chips and sensors improve motion and activity tracking for health and fitness apps.

 

iPhone 6 Plus

 

In the biggest departure from Apple’s past smartphones, the iPhone 6 Plus comes in at 5.5-inches to compete with the larger Android counterparts like the Samsung Galaxy. This will give iOS developers even more screen sizes that they have to develop for and test on, but Apple has thrown in some great perks as well. Like the regular iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus features a Retina HD display but has 185% more pixels than the previous iPhones for more stunning graphics. It also features a 64-bit A8 processor to allow for better performing mobile games and apps, along with the motion coprocessors seen in the iPhone 6.

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Combined with the features and APIs announced for iOS 8, developers (particularly gaming developers) should find that there apps look and perform much better on the larger screens of the new iPhones. Health and fitness app developers with also have access to more sensors in the new iPhones as well as with the HealthKit API announced with iOS 8. Keyboard app developers will also be able to fit in more characters and take advantage of a more robust landscape-mode.

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Apple’s Top 10 Reasons for Rejecting Apps

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by

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Any iOS developer will tell you that the Apple App Store review process is full of mystery. Luckily, Apple has finally given developers some clues into why their app was not approved. In a post on developers.apple.com, Apple outlined and explained the top 10 reasons why they reject apps from the App Store. Below are all 10, ranked from the most obvious to the strangely vague:

 

1. Crashes & Bugs

 

This one makes is easy. An App Store full of buggy apps would reflect badly on the App Store and upset users. Make sure to test thoroughly before submitting your app for review.

 

2. Broken Links

 

Another easy one. Any links in your app, including support links, ‘contact-us’ links, and privacy policies, must be up-to-date, completely functional, and direct the user where they are supposed to go.

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Introducing the StartApp ShowCase

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by

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Want to see what our ads will look like on a real smartphone before integrating our SDK?

 

Take a look at our StartApp ShowCase app! Now available for free download on the Google Play Store, the StartApp ShowCase app allows you to look at each of our available ad units. We pride ourselves on the innovative ad units, but it is hard to capture the interactive and eye-catching animations using only screenshots.

 

By downloading the ShowCase app, you can see all of our ad types in action simply by clicking on the ad type of your choice in the menu! You can then see how each our ad units perform and move in an actual smartphone environment.

 

You can view everything from our interstitial and full-screen ads to our animated and 3D app walls to our Splash screen and Overlay ads.

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Click here to download from Google Play!

 

Questions? Email us at support@startapp.com

 

Not a StartApp developer? Register today!

How To Avoid Making a ‘Zombie’ App

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by

About the Author: Kayla Matthews is a business productivity blogger with a passion for startups and independent creations. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or check out her blog Productivity Theory, to get updates on her latest posts!

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Every few weeks, we’ll hear a new story about how great it is that there are over one million apps in the Apple App store. After all, such a statistic is certainly encouraging for programmers.

 

To mark the store’s sixth birthday, the Cupertino, CA-based company recently released new statistics to taut its success: Over those six years, more than 75 billion apps have been downloaded. And programmers, both independent and working under proprietary companies, have netted $15 billion from those apps.

 

But believe it or not, the news coming out of the App Store isn’t all peaches. In fact, recently released data indicates that as much as 80 percent of the 1.2 million apps available in the store are “zombie apps,” those which just sit collecting proverbial dust in the store. Believe it or not, again, there are 60,000 apps added to the store every month, meaning that it’s harder than ever for programmers to ensure that their apps will indeed stand out.

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Latest iOS SDK Supports iOS 8!

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by

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Attention iOS Developers!

 

Our latest iOS SDK, version 2.3, now supports the upcoming iOS 8!

 

iOS 8 was announced and released as a developer preview early this summer after Apple’s WWDC, but the public version will be released alongside the new line of iPhones, the iPhone 6, this September.

 

What Does iOS 8 Include for Developers?

 

In addition to improved App Store search, iOS 8 also includes over 4,000 brand new APIs that will aid applications in communicating with each other. Support for widgets and third-party keyboards is also included in iOS 8, along with some new APIs for photos, health apps, home automation apps, the cloud, and Apple’s TouchID.

 

Along with the APIs, Apple has made improvements to its programming environment by including a suite of frameworks for developers of all experience levels. In addition to the frameworks (SceneKit, SpriteKit, and Metal), Apple introduced a new programming language called Swift, also supported by our SDK.

 

iOS 8 is currently in developer preview, but it will be made available for universal public download to users on iPhone 4S and above on September 17.

 

For more in-depth information about what iOS 8 has to offer, read our iOS 8 blog post from after WWDC

 

Already a StartApp developer? Download the latest SDK version from the developer portal

 

Not yet a StartApp developer? Register today!

 

Questions? Email our support staff at: support@startapp.com

The Best Designed Android Apps of Summer 2014

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by

Every now and then, Google makes a list of the apps on Google Play that reflect the type of design that Google recommends to developers. After the announcement of Android L and Material Design, Google’s list for Summer 2014 includes beautifully designed apps that include elements of Material Design.

 

Here is what Google said regarding their ‘Beautiful Design Summer 2014’ list:

 

“Attention to detail makes an app truly beautiful: transitions are fast and clear, and layout and typography are crisp and meaningful. In this collection, we highlight a few beautiful apps with masterfully crafted design details.”

 

Below is a look at all 12 apps that made Google’s list:

 

Gogobot Travel (Travel & Local, Free)

 

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Top 7 Challenges in Mobile Application Testing

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by

About the Author: Tejas Jasani is a founder & CEO of The App Guruz, a well-respected global mobile app development company. He likes to do research on mobile apps and to improve mobile user’s smartphone experience

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The word ‘app’ was originally coined by techies as shorthand for ‘applications’, but since mobile devices came into their own, this tiny word is in everyone’s mouth and even found its place in Oxford dictionary. Yes, we are almost on the verge of being ruled by ‘apps’ on our devices. From shopping, education, travel, chat, games, fun, entertainment, there are apps for almost anything and everything.

 

With this overwhelming volume of mobile apps, maintaining a high technical standard and offering the best user experience is the key to success for the app developers. Naturally, mobile application testing has become more important than ever. The changing spectrum of mobile devices and the continually evolving operating systems make testing more and more challenging. Here I introduce the biggest challenges in testing mobile apps.

 

1. Variety of Device

 

The expanding horizon of mobile devices, with their ever increasing and increasingly varied features, is the most formidable challenge of all. Each different device comes with a different set of metrics, including the following:

 

- Different screen sizes and dimensions.

 

- Varying pixel density and image resolution.

 

- Varying input methods, for instance touch screen, Querty keypad, etc.

 

- Varying feature set and user interfaces.

 

Obviously, a developer cannot test his app on this entire plethora of devices, but, in most cases, will restrict his tests to the most common and popular devices. Mixing in different OS and OS versions adds more dimensions to this maze of complexity. Using emulated devices is a semi-solution to address this problem, but then the app will not be tested in a real device environment so the possibilities of technical glitches will always be there.

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