How to Develop Apps for a World of Large Phones

Posted on October 7th, 2014 by


Although Android developers have been developing for larger screens for a few years, the release of the new iPhone 6 Plus is bringing Apple and iOS developers into the “phablet” market. Now that the “phablet” is officially mainstream, all app developers should start thinking about developing apps optimized for these new, larger screens.

 

But, why?

 

A new Localytics report indicates that large-screen devices have a noticeable effect on in-app user engagement, an important metric for user retention and monetization. By studying Android phones with a screen size of 5-inches or higher, it was determined that the time spent in-app is 34% longer on large screens than on small screens. In the case of music and gaming apps, the time in-app is nearly twice as long as music and gaming apps on smaller screens.

 

Now that you know the reason why you should develop for larger screens, here’s what you should keep in mind when you are optimizing your app:

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How To Decrease User Acquisition Costs With App Store Optimization

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by
 ecpi2

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!

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.

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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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.

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 …

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Apple’s Top 10 Reasons for Rejecting Apps

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by


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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Latest iOS SDK Supports iOS 8!

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by


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

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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
 platform-chart

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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