The App Store’s 7-Day Cliff

Posted on August 29th, 2014 by
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Every time a new app is uploaded to and approved by the App Store, it appears in the ‘New Releases’ chart of its respective category. This placement is a great way for developers to gain some initial downloads, but developers are also receiving another boost from Apple that they may not expect.

 

For the first 7 days after an app launch, iOS apps are given a “keyword boost”. This keyword boost is another great way for devs to gain those crucial, initial downloads and is one of the few ways that Apple aids in app discovery.

 

But, after this boost, downloads and keyword rankings will decrease dramatically (the “7-Day Cliff”). The trick is to use this 7-day boost to your advantage before your keyword strength is reduced.

 

Not sold on the 7-Day Cliff? Check out these charts from SensorTower with data from an app launched on August 8 and an app launched on July 17:

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Latest Version of iOS SDK Now Available!

Posted on August 5th, 2014 by
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Attention iOS devs!

 

The latest version of our iOS SDK, version 2.2, is now available for download on the developer portal!

 

What’s New:

 

The Splash Ad:

 

The Splash ad is designed to appear when a user launches an application. The Splash ad unit allows developers to set up a splash screen which is then followed by one of our Overlay ads. The splash screen is completely customizable, allowing you to choose the color and text or you can even use your own custom loading screen!

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Apple Introduces iOS 8 at WWDC 2014

Posted on June 17th, 2014 by


After the revolutionary release of iOS 7 last year, Apple seems to have listened to developer and user feedback to make iOS 8 even better. Announced this week at WWDC, iOS 8 is packed with new features that not only make users happy, but also make life much easier for iOS developers. Let’s take a look at some of the key features (there are lot, so please forgive us for the length of this post!):

 

App Store Search Gets Serious:

 

Apple seems to be aware of the criticism surrounding app discoverability on the App Store. As a result, they have added an “Explore” tab to help users find an app they’re looking for. Apple also added a “trending searches” feature, quick search with scrolling lists, and related searches. While we doubt that the search capabilities are equal to that of Google, it is definitely an improvement over the old App Store search capabilities.

 

Apple also introduced app bundles and app previews. App bundles allow users to download a “bundle”, or a collection, of multiple apps. This feature is especially useful to developers with multiple apps. Now, devs can bundle all of their apps together, allowing users to download your entire library of apps with just one click.

 

App previews are short videos that accompany the description of an app. They are meant to quickly describe the app’s features and give a quick demonstration of the UI and UX. While this new feature is primarily for the user’s benefit, developers should really consider spending some time on creating these videos. Any opportunity to show off your app should be taken advantage of!

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User Retention on iOS vs. Android

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by
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App analytics company Localytics released new data this week showing that only 4 in 5 mobile apps are opened only once. Most developers would see this number and start to worry. If only 1 in 5 apps are opened twice or more, how does an independent app developer stand a chance??

 

The truth isn’t as serious as it may seem.

 

In fact, the number of apps being opened more than once is steadily increasing each year. Last year, the number of apps opened just once was 22%. Four years ago, this number was 26%. Today, that number is down to 20%. If we break it down in terms of app categories, sports apps and gaming apps have the highest chance of being abandoned after one use. Social networking and weather apps have the highest chance of retaining users past the initial use.

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Apple Looking For Control of the App Discovery Process?

Posted on June 10th, 2014 by


Last week, a few iOS developers and app studios began receiving notices from Apple that their apps were banned or rejected. Apple has made no specific comment on the rejections, and no official changes have been made to Apple’s Developer Guidelines. But, a quick look at the apps that have been banned sheds some light on what is happening behind the scene:

 

What iOS Developers Should Know:

 

As more developers received rejection notices throughout the week, it became clear that Apple was cracking down on social sharing and incentivized video ads.

 

Many apps, gaming apps in particular, offer users in-app currency or in-app gifts in return for watching a video ad. The only developers who received notices from Apple seem to be developers who use video ads for other apps. Developers using video advertisements for non-app brands have not seen or heard anything from Apple.

 

What is most troubling is that Apple is cracking down on social sharing. Many apps that allow users to share achievements or “high scores” to various social networks, including Facebook, are being sent notices by Apple.

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How Will Swift Affect The iOS Developer Community?

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by
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If you haven’t heard, Apple unveiled a brand new programming language exclusively for Apple developers this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Called Swift, this new programming is meant to streamline the development of iOS and Mac OS apps. While any Apple-backed programming language is an exciting prospect, Swift definitely has the potential to shake up the Apple app ecosystem in ways that are both good and bad for the developer community.

 

The Good:

 

Swift is meant to be a high-level coding language that combines the power of Objective-C with the relative flexibility of scripting languages like Python and Node.js. For developers, Swift offers automatic memory management, a “playground” feature for easy debugging, and simplified syntax which is both easier to learn and less susceptible to errors.

 

Without a doubt, Swift was intended by Apple to speed up the app development process. By moving away from the hard-to-learn, bug-prone, and time-consuming confines of Objective-C, developers can develop high-performing, functional apps faster and easier. Moving away from the clunkiness of Objective-C will also help consumers see a big difference in terms of app speed and graphics rendering. Swift will also open Apple’s app market up to a flood of more cheaply developed apps which will be beneficial to consumers and developers.

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Adding In-App Purchasing to Your iOS App

Posted on June 3rd, 2014 by
 iap7

About the Author: Tejas Jasani is a founder and CEO of an iPhone development company named The APP Guruz. His major focus is on how to improve mobile user’s smartphone experience through development of mobile games and apps.

 

In-app purchases are an alternative method for earning revenue from your apps, and they are particularly effective when monetizing mobile games, as users are prompted to buy additional items, features, or game levels. For iOS apps, in-app purchasing is implemented using the StoreKit Framework, introduced with iOS 3.0 and Mac OS 10.7. (Please note that in-app purchasing works for Mac apps too).

 

StoreKit communicates with the AppStore on behalf of your application, prompting the user for payment and securely authorizing any subsequent transaction. In turn, your application receives information from StoreKit alerting you to when a user makes a purchase and StoreKit then delivers that purchased item to the user. Without StoreKit, you would not be able to showcase products in an in-app store.

 

Implementation:

 

The StoreKit implementation can be divided into three main sections:

 

1) Set up of products done in iTunes Connect and Xcode

 

2) Purchase process itself on the device.

 

3) Verify the purchase and transaction.

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Apple Makes Changes to Top Charts

Posted on May 30th, 2014 by


With the 2014 Worldwide Developer’s Conference only one week away, Apple just announced sweeping changes to the “Top Charts” section of the App Store.

 

Up until this week, the “Top Charts” contained 200 ranked apps on the iPhone and 1500 ranked apps on the iPad. Now, Apple has reduced that number across the board to 150 ranked apps. (Note: number of apps in Top Charts will remain the same on desktop version of iTunes)

 

Why Apple decided to make this change is much less certain. It could be that Apple is announcing even more changes to the App Store next week at WWDC. Another reason could be the slow load time that users saw with the 200 and 1500 app lists. Others are also suggesting that Apple cut the charts down because users rarely scroll past 150.

 

Regardless of the reason, it is also unclear how this change will affect developers. Large developers with the money to drive installs will most likely not be affected at all. But, mid-tier and indie developers who usually get a download boost from the charts could see a decrease in the amount of traffic to their app. Apple has never really been considered a leader in terms of app discovery, so this is just one of a series of blows that Apple has dealt to the indie developer community.

 

However, there could be a silver lining for indie developers in all of this. For the past few months, Apple has been slowly rolling out updates and improvements to App Store search. Most recently, Apple began including “related search” items after users enter a keyword or keywords. This is as good a reason as any for indie iOS developers to double down on app store optimization (ASO) efforts.

 

Apple has also been toying with having “promoted” search …

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How to Optimize Your App’s Layout on iOS 7

Posted on May 20th, 2014 by


While there is not necessarily a right way and a wrong way to design your app’s layout, there are some tricks you can use to make sure that the user experience is as optimal as possible.

 

Ample Space for Controls

 

We all know that smartphone screens are small, and iPhones are consistently on the lower end of the screen-size spectrum.

 

To optimize your app’s layout for iOS 7, try to make sure that your main, controllable elements are at least 44×44 points. This way, users will have no trouble performing basic tasks with one finger or one hand while they are on the go.

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Rumor Roundup: iOS 8

Posted on May 13th, 2014 by


In a few short weeks, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will open its doors. In previous years, Apple has always used WWDC to announce the latest versions of their mobile and desktop operating systems (iOS and Mac OS, respectively). This year is anticipated to be no different, and the internet is already swirling with rumors about what will be included in iOS 8.

 

Last year’s release of iOS 7 was the biggest change to the mobile operating system since its launch in 2008. However, a lot of the rumored features of iOS 7 never made it into the final product. Also, this past year, Apple has been acquiring companies like crazy across a range of industries.

 

So, what can we expect from the latest iOS version? Here is the rumor round up:

 

Minor Updates:

 

It is rumored that Apple will provide a few minor tweaks and updates to some if its popular tools and services. For one, Siri could be updated to work and interact with a number of third-party apps instead of just the business apps currently approved by Apple (i.e OpenTable).

 

Two, it is rumored that Apple will be simplifying and streamlining the Notification Center by reducing the number of tabs from three to two. Also, it has long been rumored that Apple is working on an API that would allow iOS apps to better communicate with each other. This feature was rumored for iOS 7 but never made it on to the final build. WWDC 2014 could be the right time for its unveiling.

 

Last but not least, Apple is also rumored to be rolling out some more updates to CarPlay, making it easier for users to connect their phones to their car through WiFi. In addition, iOS 8 will likely improve upon the speed and responsiveness of iOS …

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