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Getting Started with Your First iPhone

Do not wait to do this when your iPhone app is ready to be submitted to the App Store, since it can often take weeks to receive acceptance into the iPhone Developer Program, which would delay your progress unnecessarily. After being accepted, pay the applicable fee to complete your registration. After your payment has been processed, now when logged into the iPhone Dev Center, you'll see an iPhone Developer Program column on the right side of the browser screen. Click the iTunes Connect button listed there. On the main page of iTunes Connect, be sure to visit the Contracts, Tax, & Banking Information section to view the contracts you currently have in effect. By default, you should have the Free Applications contract already activated, which allows you to submit free iPhone apps to the App Store. But if you want to submit paid apps to the App Store, then you'll need to request a Paid Applications contract. Apple needs your bank and tax information so that it can pay you when you've...

Already in the App Store Its Never Too Late to Boost Sales

Even if you're an iPhone developer veteran with one or more apps currently available in the App Store, you can still do a lot to increase exposure and sales for those apps. You've already invested valuable development time and money to get to this point, so it'd be a shame to give up now Take the time to work through all the chapters in the order they're presented. You may be surprised by the tips you pick up along the way that can help even older apps that have been stagnating for months in the App Store.

Pricing Your iPhonei Pad

A key aspect of marketing your iPhone iPad app is to carefully set your price. Setting your price is not a trivial matter. This part walks you through pricing considerations and helps you understand the buyer's mentality and decision-making process. You learn how to create promotions and cross-sell your app where possible, another important aspect of pricing. The following chapters are included in this part Chapter 10, Pricing Your App Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of developing an iPhone iPad app is pricing. In this chapter, you learn how and where to begin to price your app for maximum success. Chapter 13, Breaking into the App Store Top 100 You can do a number of things in an effort to get your app into the Top 100. Learn the best tips to reach maximum success in the App Store. in-app purchase capability to expand your sales. In-app purchases are the trend of the future for iPhone iPad applications. Chapter 16, App Promotions and Cross-Selling Promotions aren't just for...

What Makes a Winning iPhone iPad

Everyone is searching for ideas to build the next winning iPhone or iPad app. While there is no single formula for building a successful-selling iPhone or iPad app, there are a number of things that can and must be done to achieve success. Without covering the basics, your app is likely to languish on the App Store with minimal sales. There have been some very good apps posted to the App Store that have not sold as well as they should have, and this is usually because not much marketing has been applied to the project. Unless you stage a large event to launch your app and get it started with strong momentum or your app gets picked up by Apple on the home page of the App Store, you may find yourself in this situation.

Going Beyond the App Stores Customer Reviews

Although the App Store's customer reviews are very helpful in the course of doing competitive research, it's important to keep in mind that Apple's current implementation of it is somewhat flawed. When deleting an app from your iPhone, Apple asks whether you'd like to rate the app first. Obviously, if you're deleting an app, either you didn't like it or you no longer have any use for it, so this automatically invites negative ratings. Whereas to leave a positive rating for an app you love (and plan on using indefinitely), you have to go out of your way to find the app in the App Store to post your review. So, with this in mind, don't assume that the App Store's customer reviews are always a fair representation of an app's quality and value. Like the iPhone app directories I mentioned earlier, this is not an exhaustive list, but there should be enough third-party app review sites here to get you started. A lot of podcasts and YouTube video app reviews are available online that are...

Building a Unique Identity for Your iPhone

It's important to have an app icon that's unique yet still reflective of your app's core function and UI design. This may sound obvious, but it's always surprising to me how many developers design an app icon in their own isolated vacuum without regard to the icons their competition are already using. Because of this, many similar apps unintentionally have similar icons. When doing a search in the App Store for a particular kind of app, the results are a page full of app icons that often all look very much the same, which in turn makes the entire group look rather generic on the surface. If you're building a writing app and all the similar apps utilize notebook-themed icons, try coming up with a clever visual that's different yet still communicates writing. If most of your competitors are using blue icons, think about using a contrasting color for your app icon (such as red or orange). You're attempting to package your iPhone app as a brand, but in order for this to succeed, the brand...

What Are the Key Features of Your iPhonei Pad

Features are descriptions of your iPhone iPad app (for example, four levels, realtime, easy user interface, works offline and online, and so on). When you review your app against the competition you'll want to look at all of the quantifiable features that the other apps offer as compared to your own. You can use Table 3.1 at the end of this chapter to build a comparative list. Utility applications on the App Store, such as financial calculators and other scientific apps tend to lean towards feature descriptions in their product descriptions. Feature descriptions on the App Store work best when they are in a bulleted list so that the buyer can quickly scan the list for what they are looking for. Keep the list short and relevant. Long lists get ignored, but a short list of features (five to ten) items will get read more readily. An example of an app with a feature list is shown in Figure 3.9.

What Are the Benefits of Your iPhonei Pad

Benefits are the advantages you receive from using your app (for example, hours of fun, feel better today, live healthier, experience less stress, lose weight faster, cleaner, brighter smiles, and so on). A benefit is a powerful way to help you sell your product. Many marketers and iPhone iPad app sellers overlook this very powerful concept when describing their app on the App Store. When you link a benefit with a feature, you are helping the buyer see the whole story about your app. When we buy a car, for example, we go into a dealer showroom and start to look around. A particular car attracts our attention. It could be its color or its sleek or sporty look. On the window is a sticker which lists a bunch of features. The salesperson will answer your questions about all the features, but what they really want is for you to experience its benefits. They want you to feel good about the car which is why they always ask if you want to take it out for a test drive. They know that if they...

App Store Text Lighten It Up

In this mobile economy, people are reading less when it comes to their communications. Attention spans are short and, with the crush of information thrown at us each day, there is limited time to listen to each seller's message and review buying options. Hence, the reason for the 15-second commercial and the massive popularity of Twitter. When buyers read the text for your app on the App Store, they are interested in downloading it. PROMOTIONAL SALE-The Free Game on the app store ut less than a ween Getthe full e-perience - now on promotional sale for a lnni'ed time. Figure 5.9 iPhone app example with good balance of text. less is more works best. Here are 10 suggestions for your App Store text to help you captivate your reader's attention 7. Include a note to have the buyer look at your other apps, too, if you have them up on the App Store. There is an exception to the short text rule, and that's in the book category. Sometimes it helps to include a compelling paragraph from the...

Your iPhone App Is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool

Your app icon and screenshots are often the first visual elements users see in the App Store when evaluating your app. A bad first impression can cost you sales and invite negative reviews, so fine-tuning your app's design is a critical component to success. In this chapter, I'll reveal some useful tips for prototyping, creating eye-catching app icons, designing intuitive user interfaces, and turning your app into a social marketing powerhouse.

Google AdSense for Mobile Applications

Predicted to be a major player in the mobile space, Google's widely successful AdSense program definitely has a massive inventory of existing advertisers to offer. Its mobile AdSense platform was currently in beta at the time of this writing, but for those of you interested, you can sign up for it online. With Google AdSense ads already showing up in AdWhirl and Mobclix's network exchanges, as well as directly integrated within a few select, high-profile iPhone apps, Google AdSense for Mobile Applications may be out of beta and officially launched by the time you read this book. And with Google's November 2009 announcement to acquire AdMob, you can expect Google's presence in the mobile advertising world to continue growing at an exponential rate.

Building a Business with AdSupported iPhone Apps

Can iPhone developers make a living solely based on revenue earned from in-app advertising Optime Software thinks so. It's a shining example of an iPhone app publisher that has found success in the App Store by offering beloved classic games as free, ad-supported apps. And this business model appears to be paying off for Optime Software because its free apps were downloaded more than 2 million times just in 2008. By constantly refining the user interfaces and utilizing smart cross-promotion tactics within its apps and across free advertising exchanges, many of its free apps continue to remain in the Top 100 charts even to this day. While most iPhone app developers rely on revenue earned from paid app sales, Optime Software is a company built from the ground up on mobile ad revenue. Obviously, one major key to Optime Software's success is the fact that apps like Dots Free, Checkers Free, Chess Free, Tic Tac Toe Free, Four in a Row Free, and Crack the Code Free provide familiar game...

Breaking into the App Store Top 100

Perhaps the most popular question ever asked about marketing an iPhone iPad app is How do I get my app in the top 100 for my category Developers know that if they can get their app into the top 100, they are certain to see massive numbers of downloads and huge sales volume. This accurate assumption was described as hitting the grand slam in Chapter 1, Your iPhone and iPad App Marketing Strategy Grand Slam or Base Hits Being in the top 100 in app sales is the Holy Grail for iPhone iPad app developers.

Optimize Your Web and App Store Copy

Carefully choose the name of your app and think about keywords that you might be able to use in your app's name that will be common to users searching the App Store. Descriptive words such as Easy, Fun, Fast, and Exciting are all common terms used in searches. If your app has these types of words, your app is more likely to show up in the search results at the top of the list. Apple keeps upping the quality of the App Store search engine. When the store was initially launched, the search capabilities were fairly primitive. But with each release of the iTunes client, the search capability seems to improve. They are becoming sophisticated in properly identifying the right apps for the search terms entered. app. It is widely believed that the more keywords you use in your App Store copy, the higher you'll appear in the search rankings. Don't overdo it, but a generous use of keywords can't hurt.

Developing iPhone Apps for Clients

This book can benefit not only the people who want to sell their own apps in the App Store but also consultants who develop iPhone apps for third-party companies. You're being hired for your expertise, so anything you can do to help your clients succeed in the App Store will serve to strengthen your worth to them. The success of your clients directly affects the success of your relationship with them. Add this book's business solutions to your existing toolbox so that you can prove to be an indispensable superhero for all your clients' iPhone app needs.

Your iPhone App Deserves a Well Designed Web Site

You'll need a web site and online support up and running for your app before it becomes available in the App Store, so why not take advantage of its promotional power while drumming up excitement during the prerelease phase Since your application is not in the App Store yet, your site should be the primary URL where all interested parties are directed. And even after your app is released, a custom-designed web site (when done right) can be a much more effective sales tool than the limited content found in App Store product pages. Having a strong web presence should be mandatory for every iPhone developer, regardless of the fact that the App Store is a closed system. The App Store includes direct external links to a developer's web site and support site from an app's product page, so consumers interested in your application will most likely visit your web site

App Store Identity Badge

The most common element you'll see on most iPhone app-related web sites is the official App Store identity badge that shows a little iPhone icon with the words Available on the App Store. To obtain this graphic, you'll need to log into the iPhone Dev Center at http developer.apple.com iphone and then navigate your way to the iPhone Developer Program Portal. Within the Portal site, click Distribution in the left menu, and then select the App Store tab (see Figure 8-6). You'll see the identity badge displayed under the Available on the iPhone App Store logo license program heading. Click the To become an authorized licensee link for complete instructions. In a nutshell, you'll need to download and sign the iPhone App Store Artwork License Agreement form and mail it back to Apple. Although the identity badge and iPhone graphics download link is already provided there, before using any of those images, be sure to download and read the App Store Identity Guidelines for Developers PDF. This...

Keys to the Kingdom The App Store Submission Process

After months of extensive planning, development, and testing, you're finally ready to submit your iPhone application to the App Store Congratulations on all your hard work Your beta testers love your app, but will Apple's app review team give it a thumbs-up With the App Store, Apple controls the deployment and distribution gateway, requiring every new app version and update to be reviewed and approved before being released. For desktop software developers, this is a foreign concept that takes quite a bit of time to get used to. The Internet is full of stories from frustrated iPhone developers about long review times and inconsistent rejections, making the app submission process the most dreaded step in the road to the App Store. But don't be discouraged. Although many developers see this as an annoying bottleneck that makes it difficult to provide quick bug fixes and impossible to plan exact release dates, it is nonetheless the rules of the game. Apple's App Store is the hottest...

Showcase Your App on the App Store

Prospective customers often browse within the top apps categories listed in the App Store categories, such as What's Hot and New and Noteworthy, using their computer or directly from their iPhone. Your app's ranking is determined by the number of downloads the more downloads, the more likely you are to get into the Top 100 categories. It does take several thousand downloads per day to take a spot in the Top 100 category. As we've mentioned before, select a clever and unique app name so that buyers will remember the name and pass it along to others. Having a unique app name for games is crucial to your success, while having an easy-to-remember name for nongame apps will help you when people search for apps via Google or Yahoo . You should routinely check the App Store to determine what others are doing in terms of their positioning and messaging. For more information, see Chapter 5, Building Your App's Total Message.

Preparing Your Application Binary for the App Store

After learning the configuration process for ad hoc distribution (detailed in Chapter 7), you'll be happy to know that compiling your iPhone app for distribution in the App Store is almost the same process. The only difference is the provisioning profile you assign to your application in Xcode. Finished beta-testing and tweaking your app Ready to compile the master version for the App Store Here's a rundown of the steps to prepare the application binary that you'll upload to iTunes Connect.

Step 2 Generate and Install an App Store Distribution Provisioning Profile

Once logged in, click the iPhone Developer Program Portal link in the top-right corner of the page, and then within the main Program Portal page, navigate to the Provisioning section. Select the Distribution tab, and click the New Profile button. In the form that's presented, be sure to choose App Store as the distribution method. Select the appropriate App ID for your application, and verify that the distribution certificate is assigned correctly. Enter a profile name that reflects the nature of this provisioning profile. In Chapter 7, the example screenshots showed a project named BetaTestApp being configured for beta testing, and the ad hoc distribution provisioning profile had been named BetaTestApp Dist Profile. Now that you've finished beta testing and need to generate an App Store Distribution Provisioning Profile, let's differentiate this new profile name by calling it BetaTestApp Store Profile (see Figure 9-7). Figure 9-7. Since you're done ad hoc beta testing the BetaTestApp...

Step 3 Configure Your Xcode Project for App Store Distribution

Now with the proper provisioning profile in place, the next step is to open your project in Xcode and configure it for App Store distribution. In the main Xcode project window, select the project name at the top of the Groups & Files pane, and then click the Info button in the toolbar. Within the Configurations tab of the Info window, verify that you still have a Distribution configuration listed (which you should have already created during Chapter 7's ad hoc distribution stage). If you don't have one, then duplicate the existing Release configuration, naming the copy Distribution. Now close that Info window. Now select the Target app within the Groups & Files pane, and click the toolbar's Info button again. In the new Target Info window that appears, navigate to the Build tab, and double-check the Configuration drop-down menu is set to Distribution. Scroll down to the Any iPhone OS Device field below the Code Signing Identity row, and assign it to your new App Store...

Step 4 Compile Your iPhone Application

Now you're ready to compile your Xcode project App Store distribution does not require your project to include an entitlements file like ad hoc distribution, so save your project and then click Build (from either the toolbar or Build menu). If you've configured everything correctly, then your app should compile successfully. To verify that your App Store distribution provisioning profile was properly embedded in the binary and that the app was securely signed by your iPhone distribution certificate, access the Build Results window in Xcode's Build menu and search for the presence of embedded.mobileprovision and CodeSign in the build log. Apple has rejected dozens of apps for tapping into private iPhone APIs that are not officially sanctioned for public use. Although one or two exceptions have been approved, such as the live video streaming Ustream app, Apple has otherwise been quite strict about this rule. The app review team is rumored to be using a static analyzer tool to ferret out...

Try Try Again Dealing with App Store Rejections

If your submitted iPhone app is rejected by Apple, do not despair. Although painfully frustrating, it is not the end of the world. The nice thing about software is that it can always be modified and resubmitted In the rejection letter that Apple sends, the reviewers usually explain why it was rejected, and if you're lucky, they sometimes even provide suggestions on how to remedy the issue. For simple things such as inappropriate icons or the incorrect usage of a UI element, making the necessary adjustments should be a no-brainer. It doesn't matter if you agree with the reason or not, the important thing is that you make the requested fixes and resubmit your application. Fortunately, there's no limit to how many times you can resubmit an app, so get back on that horse and keep trying. You've come this far, so don't let a tiny dispute prevent you from making money in the App Store. For major rejection issues that are not so easily remedied, it's important to remain calm and deal with...

Increasing Awareness for Your iPhone

Your iPhone app has been approved and is available for sale in the App Store, so now what First, I'd like to congratulate you on this milestone achievement If you've worked your way through the entire book and finally have an application listed in the App Store, that in itself is quite an accomplishment. Only fellow developers truly know how much hard work and dedication goes into launching a new software product. After months of meticulously planning and programming your app, you deserve to celebrate. Although you'd probably love nothing more than to take a much needed vacation at this point, unfortunately, you can't rest yet. It's time to rev up the publicity engine to increase consumer awareness of your app's availability. Even if you implemented the various business strategies from previous chapters and your prerelease marketing efforts resulted in an initial sales surge, there's still vital work to be done. It's your job to ensure that your iPhone application does not get buried...

IPhonei Pad Apps for Corporate Marketing

Developers of other products outside the iPhone iPad world are now looking at mobile platforms as a way to reach millions of tech savvy users with their product messages. Companies are using iPhone iPad apps to reignite their brand or to extend functionality from an existing cloud-based app to the mobile platform. Companies that are looking to extend their brand will either provide a free or paid app, although most of them are free. The idea with a free app is to promote awareness of the brand across millions of iPhone iPad users. The other option for corporations is to use an app as an extension to their existing web products. Banks, for example, create a home banking app that is complementary to their web-based banking access. The iPhone iPad app may not have all the functionality of the web-based access but will provide the most common features, such as the ability to check your account balances or transfer funds. In these examples, companies are offering the app as an additional...

Is an iPhonei Pad App Right for Your Company

We would argue that most companies are a good fit for creating an iPhone iPad app to either promote their brand or extend existing services to their customers. However, this advice comes with a few caveats. It's more a question of if the company has the resources and wherewithal to keep the app relevant and significant in the eyes of the customer. For example, a company selling paint might devise a color palette that shows pictures of rooms and walls with any paint color that you select. The paint samples could include an entire inventory of the company's paints and color recommendations. Sherwin William Paint Co. has a similar app (ColorSnap) on the App Store that allows you to snap a photo of something and compare the color to their inventory of paint colors. Not to be outdone, Benjamin Moore has the same type of app available on the App Store for free as well.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications can drive a lot of awareness and even revenue for your company. In some cases, they will even be the central focus of your integrated mobile marketing campaign. Your mobile application and market place listing should always reflect the look and feel of the other collateral that is driving downloads, such as TV commercials and billboards. As mentioned in Chapter 8, Mobile Applications, it is important to optimize your download pages in the App Store to rank in the App Store search engine and promote your application with bloggers. Include viral incentives within your applications, perhaps by offering points or credits to users who recommend the application to a friend, and by allowing them to send text messages to friends inviting them to download the application. Also use traditional online social networks to promote your applications and other mobile offerings by creating fan clubs and social applications to encourage downloads, or posting mobile calls to action...

IPhone Apps Are Different

Although iPhone applications share common origins with desktop software, certain differences influence the types of intellectual property that is worth pursuing. Our applications typically have a rapid time to market, and the barriers to entry are extremely low. iPhone applications are typically less expensive than their desktop counterparts, with most apps in the iTunes App Store priced at less than 5. On mobile devices, simple programs are often more valuable to users than more feature-rich applications. Where the best desktop application is typically determined based on the extent of its features and capabilities, the best iPhone apps do one thing very well, intentionally keeping features limited. The simplicity and ease of development fostered by Apple's tools mean that apps can move from concept to publication extremely quickly. Development of iPhone apps is typically measured in weeks and months, as opposed to years, and many successful apps have been created in as short as a...

About the Technical Reviewer

Mark Johnson has been building and selling iPhone apps full-time since the App Store opened he splits his time between running an iPhone consulting practice in San Francisco and publishing his own apps. He has nine diverse apps in the App Store including free, paid, ad supported, and an affiliate sales app. Mark has 15 years of experience developing software but is now a rabid student of marketing and believes that it doesn't matter how cool or useful your idea for an app is if you don't know how to market it, then it's a bad idea.

Why a Business Book for iPhone Developers

With more than 100,000 applications in the App Store and developer interest continuing to grow at a stunning rate, industry analysts predict that number will likely double before the end of 2010. Think about that for a moment. When browsing through the App Store, how many new apps do you stumble upon weekly or even monthly 25 50 According to Apple, approximately 8,500 new apps and updates are submitted each week to its app review team In such a crowded marketplace, it's becoming increasingly difficult for new apps to get noticed. Without the necessary exposure, your app may simply get lost in the endless stream of new software that floods the App Store on a daily basis. Gone are the days when you could quickly cobble together a simple app, throw it into the App Store, and then sit back waiting for the large royalty checks to roll in. The media hype machine is so good at celebrating the underdog stories of a few indie developers who found instant wealth in the App Store that newcomers...

Planning Your Own Success Story

This all sounds very time-consuming, and free time is something you simply don't have to give. As a full-time developer myself, I understand this all too well. Whether I'm feeling the pressure from self-imposed work deadlines or racing to finish a project for a client, time often feels like the enemy. With what little free time I do manage to salvage, I just want to spend it programming the next killer iPhone app. I don't want to be bothered with marketing concerns, at least not until my app is finished. But that would be too late. Without a solid game plan in place, you'll find that one solitary publicity push when your app is released may not be enough to generate substantial sales. Once upon a time, sending out a press release, landing a few magazine reviews, and listing your product updates on the popular online software directories may have worked fine to promote traditional desktop applications, but many of those old shareware techniques don't apply...

Your Marketing Message

Everything from naming your app to the text you place on the App Store (and many other components) contributes to your marketing message. What sets your iPhone iPad app apart from all your competitors How can you convey that unique message to your buyers Let's face it There are lots of competitors with similar apps. In this part, you review steps to help you create a unique message that will distinguish your app from the competition. You'll do this by examining positioning, target audience, competition, and other market conditions. The following chapters are included in this part Chapter 1, Your iPhone and iPad App Marketing Strategy Grand Slam or Base Hits Learn how messaging works and understand how iPhone messaging is similar and, in some cases, very different from marketing for other products. Chapter 2, What Makes a Winning iPhone iPad App What are the key selling points of your app Can you identify key strengths and competitive advantages to highlight your app Learn how to...

Discovering Untapped Markets

Thousands of iPhone apps have very few users. AdMob, a popular mobile advertising network, reported that of the 2,309 iPhone apps that actively displayed embedded AdMob ads in May 2009, a whopping 54 percent of them (1,246) had fewer than 1,000 users each. Granted, that's a small cross section of apps compared to the sheer size of the App Store, but it's still a shocking wake-up call nonetheless, especially when you consider that most of the apps in AdMob's network are free. Even if an app is free, it does not guarantee that people will use it. And if you expect people to pay for it, it's that much more important that your app provides a desperately desired service, feature, or experience something users will feel compelled to download. Just because iPhone apps are inexpensive compared to traditional desktop software prices, they are no longer considered impulse buys like in the early days of the App Store. In the past year, users have packed their iPhones and iPod touches with so...

Weve Seen This Movie Before

The App Store is much like your local supermarket. In the 1980s, the average supermarket carried about 7,500 items. Today, that same supermarket carries upward of 50,000 items Every vendor is fighting for shelf space so more people will buy their products. Manufacturers want their products positioned at eye level or placed on their own display at the end of an aisle. They are willing to pay extra for this privilege. The supermarket makes its money through high volume turnover of its products. Those items that don't sell well are pushed to the bottom of the shelves or moved to another part of the store. The App Store has exploded from its introduction of fewer than 1,000 apps to well over 185,000 apps at the time of this writing. Just like the supermarket vendors, every app developer is vying for that eye-level virtual shelf space, hoping to get top billing so buyers will take a look. They are either hoping to make it into the top 100 sales for their category or get a mention in the...

Enhancing the Mobile Experience

Expanding on the writing-related app idea that I previously mentioned, don't just emulate the feature sets of similar desktop software programs and or web sites. Not only is that disrespectful to those developers (not to mention the potential legal infringement issues involved), but you're not bringing anything new to the table. Why would writers opt to buy your query tracking iPhone app instead of a competing desktop program A perfect example of a product that enhances the mobile experience is Bump, a free iPhone app that makes swapping contact information as easy as bumping hands with another Bump user (see Figure 2-1). Exchanging contact information is not a new concept in smartphones. For years, numerous mobile apps have tried to streamline this process in handheld devices, but they typically involve too many button clicks with complicated methods of beaming vCard-formatted data. Some of them are even limited to sending vCards via email, which adds even more steps. The developers...

Benefits Drawbacks of the Big Win and Steady Win Strategies

The App Store is not a perfect democratic society and never will be. No matter how many changes Apple makes to the App Store, there will always be unhappy participants. So, you can whine about what's wrong or you can figure out how to work the system to your best advantage. Table 1.2 illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of the Big Win strategy. The App Store is not for the faint of heart. Table 1.3 shows the advantages and disadvantages of the Steady Win strategy. Again, it's more likely you'll end up in this category than the Big Win. If you haven't started developing your iPhone iPad app, you are at an important decision-making point. Making a strategy decision now will help you make important marketing decisions as you get closer to launch. Having clear (and realistic) expectations of where your app will be positioned on the App Store gives your app purpose and will help your avoid the No Win bucket.

Alternative App Directories for Competitive Research

You'll perform most of your searches within your regional App Store in iTunes, but don't forget about competitive apps that may be available only in other countries. This is especially important if you plan on eventually making your app available in several country-specific App Stores outside your own. Here are several web-based, third-party app directories that are worth exploring. This is by no means an exhaustive list but merely a select group of sites to get you started. New iPhone app directories are springing up all the time, so beyond this list, you may want to search the Web for other

Build Something Unique

What line of work are you in Is there anything in your line of work that could benefit from the use of an iPhone iPad app (Sales tools, materials and construction calculators, financial and insurance aids, and so on.) We're all trying to build a better mousetrap. With each passing day, it becomes more difficult to build a completely new and unique app. As I have mentioned before, whenever you come up with an idea for an iPhone iPad app, the first thing you should do is a search on the App Store for that type of app. The chances are pretty good that you will find some or many apps that are close to what you have thought about building. For example, let's take a topic like knitting. You think you've got a great idea to develop an iPhone iPad app that helps you learn how to knit. So, let's check the App Store for knitting apps. An example of our search is shown in Figure 2.1. It's a little more difficult to do this type of analysis for game apps because there are so many similar apps...

Finding Inspiration in Your Competitors Customer Reviews

Now, I'm not going to direct any criticism toward any specific apps here. Nor am I going to reveal which apps received negative customer reviews. The goal of this book is to help developers make more money with their iPhone apps, so I don't want to unintentionally make it any harder for them by pointing out their weaknesses. You can easily see for yourself which apps are receiving poor ratings in the App Store. So, for the purpose for this example, I'll give you a general look at customer reviews as a gauge of what some of these apps are doing right and wrong without naming any names. Let's dive in.

Learning from the Mistakes of Others

To work around those GPS-related complaints, most of the developers have stated in very clear language in their App Store descriptions that for best results they highly recommend using an iPhone 3G or 3GS, which offers much improved GPS location accuracy. But it would appear that many users are not taking the time to read the disclaimers in the App Store descriptions so then are upset when the app does not perform well on their iPod touch devices (which lack true GPS). These developers also warn that if you're located deep within an underground multifloor parking structure, the thick concrete obstructions above you may prevent the app from pinpointing your exact location. The GPS built into a user's car loses its signal underground, but somehow the iPhone app's GPS is expected to still work flawlessly It's not always about logic but about anticipating user expectations. The apps that have fewer GPS-related complaints have successfully attacked the problem from within. Instead of...

Defining Your Differentiator

Having multiple differentiators defined, along with a loose road map of new features you plan on adding to future versions, will help keep your app relevant and competitive. For example, earlier versions of the iPhone OS did not support a landscape keyboard in Mail, Notes, and Messages. To satisfy the demand for easier two-thumb typing, a slew of wide keyboard apps flooded the App Store, offering the ability to type emails and notes in landscape mode. Many of those apps were one-trick ponies with the landscape keyboard being their only key selling point. When iPhone OS 3.0 added landscape keyboard support to Mail, Notes, and other built-in Apple apps, it instantly invalidated the usefulness of many of those one-function apps. The ones that survived were the apps that still had something unique to offer, such as syncing notes with Google Docs, organizing notes into groups, posting notes to Twitter, and so on.

Registering Web Site Domain Names

Now that you've decided upon an app name, you'll want to snatch up a domain name for it before someone else does. Having a dedicated web site for your iPhone app is critical to its success. It's a central place for promoting your app and providing customer support. Don't worry about the design and structure of it yet. I'll discuss methods for shaping it into a thriving promotional tool and support center in Chapter 8. If you're having trouble finding an available domain name that matches your app name, then try adding the word app to the end of it, or game if it's a game. For the popular iPhone app Simplenote, the domain Simplenote.com was already taken, so the developers registered SimplenoteApp.com. If you currently maintain your own blog or web site, you don't have to create a standalone site for your iPhone app. You can add a directory to your existing site for your iPhone app-related web pages and then redirect your iPhone app URL to that new directory in your site. Why have an...

Developing an iPhone Specific Game Plan

As a developer of iPhone applications, a traditional intellectual property strategy may not fit your business. The speed with which apps can be developed and published makes some forms of IP less useful in the iPhone app context. You may have limited financial resources to pursue protection. The strategies described in this chapter are based on some assumptions that are tied to the nature of the App Store. These won't apply to everyone, but they should serve as a backdrop for your analysis. Cost. The vast majority of apps fail commercially. As of the publication of this book, there are more than 100,000 applications in the App Store. When you combine the list of top 100 paid applications overall, together with the top 100 paid applications in each of the 40 categories (including the subcategories in Games), there are fewer than 4,000 apps represented in those top app lists at any one time. I estimate that 96 percent of iPhone applications published today haven't made more than 5,000....

Whats Unique about Your

Figure 3.10 App Store product reviews tend to lean toward how the buyer feels about an app in terms of its benefits. Figure 3.10 App Store product reviews tend to lean toward how the buyer feels about an app in terms of its benefits. 1. Which words or phrases best describe what your iPhone iPad app offers your customers As an example, we are going to be selling an educational app on the App Store. We are in the design stages of our app and want to make sure that we are producing an app that is unique in the market. We need to determine the app's unique qualities so that our message is strong and clear to our buyer. We have created the following responses to each of these questions. The application in our example is an education assistant geared to high school students to help them prepare for their SAT.

Identifying Your Target Audience

As you learned in the previous chapter, identifying your app's unique message is one of the keys to successful marketing. Now it's time to take a look at your target market, so you can carefully focus your message to the right audience. Some app developers think that it doesn't really matter if they identify their target market as long as their apps are on the App Store, it will take care of itself. They think the right people will find their app regardless of what they do, especially if they get selected for a Staff pick or the New and Noteworthy category. You will definitely see a spike in sales while your app remains in one of those categories. But when your app is no longer getting top billing, your sales will drop off, and you'll be back to figuring out how to market your app. Therefore, identifying your target market does matter. As shown in Figure 4.1, there are two ways to focus on driving awareness to your iPhone iPad app. The first way is on the App Store itself, by...

Building Your Apps Total Message

Some people think marketing your iPhone iPad app consists of doing a little advertising and a press release. Actually, marketing your app, especially if you want to see steady and consistent sales on the App Store, requires that you do a number of things very well. I call this group of activities creating your app's total message, and it includes every aspect of your marketing effort, from how you name your app and the icons and graphics you display, to your product website and App Store wording. Table 5.1 lists the components of the Total app message. Check each category and give yourself a grade that reflects your progress in each area. Descriptive App Store written content The more complete your total message, the more likely someone will like what she sees on your product website and the App Store and then buy your app. When people visit the App Store, they are either simply browsing or they are searching for a specific type of app. Most people visiting the App Store are first...

Choose an Effective App Name

An effective iPhone iPad app name can help increase your sales because the buyer does not have to invest as much effort to understand what your app does. The more You can use several words in your app name to be creative and also describe what the app does. For example, if you have written a calorie counting app, you could call it something like Melt Away Pounds (Calorie Counter). From the name you immediately understand what the app does. Figure 5.4 shows an example of an app that combines a clever name with a description of what the app does. Notice that the icon along with the title gives you an immediate impression of the app's purpose. I know instantly that the app is educational and directed to a young audience. This type of naming works very well on the App Store for educational and utility-focused apps.

The Purpose of a EULA

Your end user license agreement is the document that governs your relationship with your users. Among other things, it grants your users the right to use your application and sets out any limitations you want to impose on how it can be used. Like any license agreement, your EULA can grant narrow or broad rights depending on your goals. Most app developers will want to grant users only a very narrow license that limits the users to just using your application, but not modifying or redistributing it. This model is to some extent baked in to the App Store, since Apple embeds technological restrictions on users' ability to share apps with others.

Make Your Apps Icon Jump

Another great use of the icon is to post a promotion using part of the app. Let's say you've decided to have a 50 -off sale for a holiday weekend. You can modify the bottom of your icon or top-right left corner announcing your sale. Figure 5.13 gives you an example of using the icon to convey your message. This is a wise thing to do, and app sellers know that a buyer is skimming the App Store. If they see 50 off or a 24-hour sale, they will hopefully be inclined to click the icon to find out more.

Build a Simple Clean Product Website

Your product website should be similar in look and feel to your App Store product page. A carryover between the two sites will help build buyer confidence in your app and that you are serious about your business. A sloppy website with broken links does not inspire confidence when a buyer is seeking more information about your apps. This does not mean that you have to spend a fortune on your site, but it must look clean and simple. This means that your home page should have graphics and showcase your app just like the App Store. For more information on the specifics of your website see Chapter 6, Electronic Word of Mouth. For now, let's focus on the website message. iPhone iPad apps can only be purchased from the iTunes App Store. So, the job of your app product website is not only to instruct and inform potential buyers but to persuade them to click over to the App Store and buy your app.

Developing Great Web Copy

There are lots of different rules and recommendations about how to write good web copy, but the bottom line is that you want to write copy in such a way that it pulls in your visitors. You want to create a statement at the top of your site that clearly identifies what your apps do. Don't make the visitor to your site hunt around trying to figure it out. People will click away in seconds if they don't find a clear explanation of your app. When you write your content for your website, your goal is to get visitors to learn about your app and want to click the Buy Now button that takes them over to the App Store. The best advice is to make your writing interesting. Look at some other sites that sell apps similar to yours and get some ideas. There's nothing wrong with seeing how others are building their websites, especially if they are on the top seller's lists on the App Store. It almost goes without saying, but I'll mention it anyway You must make sure your content is spell-checked and...

Getting Your Foot in the Door First Impressions Are Everything

After performing several App Store searches during your pursuit to collect competitive research information in Chapter 2, you undoubtedly noticed that there are a lot of low-quality apps clogging the pipeline shoddy apps quickly churned out by developers concerned only with exploiting short-term trends. One of the biggest problems that plagues new iPhone developers is app discovery. In a sea of more than 100,000 apps, it's hard for users to successfully wade through the crud to find the true gems. But no matter how much publicity you do to drive traffic and awareness to your app, discovery is only part of the equation. When people finally do seek out or stumble upon your app's product page in the App Store, you've managed to capture their interest, but only for a moment. You have In general, most people are both lazy and extremely busy, placing an immense value on their time (and a short fuse on their patience). If your app does not captivate them within the first few seconds of...

Make Your Content Usable

According to web design experts, most web viewers scan web pages rather than read them word for word. If you adhere to certain web content principles, you're more likely to have success in keeping your visitors and convincing them to click over to the App Store Use bulleted lists just like on the App Store (such as this one, but not too long).

Strive for Immediate Positive Reviews

You may be wondering if reviews really matter for a 0.99 app, or a 2.99 app for that matter. If you are a game developer and trying to hit the Big Win (see Chapter 1,Your iPhone and iPad App Marketing Strategy Grand Slam or Base Hits ), then reviews aren't going to matter too much. Most impulse buys are done straight from the iPhone iPad, and buyers aren't going to the App Store to read what people are saying. However, if your app is in the Steady Wins category (again, see Chapter 1), But, can you trust the customer reviews that are posted for each app Well, yes and no. Apple changed the App Store not too long ago, requiring any reviews to be written by actual buyers of the app. In the early days of the App Store, any 10 year old could post a review without buying the app and the results could be very damaging to your sales. The App Store has definitely made the review process more democratic. However, many app developers would like the ability to respond to the review postings...

IPhone Meta Tag for Launching Your Site as a Standalone Application

Another meta tag enables users to launch your website as a standalone application, without using the Mobile Safari Browser. This essentially mimics the look of an app, so it is most valuable if you have application-like content on your website but you don't want to bother with selling or submitting the app. If you use this strategy, it is especially important to somehow encourage users to add your site or app to their home screens and then use it like an application. These types of applications may run a bit slower than traditional applications from the App Store because the resources are being downloaded in real time over the Internet instead of being preloaded on the phone. Still, they can be quite impressive.

Dont Forget About a Logo

Creating an app icon for inclusion in your Xcode project seems like a no-brainer at this early stage in the game, but why design a logo now when the app hasn't even been developed yet Obviously, you'll want to have your logo ready to use on your app's official web site, as well as available for any prerelease publicity efforts you do, but the biggest reason to do it now is for trademark registration (as explained by Michael Schneider in Chapter 3). The trademark application and approval process can take several months, so if you plan on registering a trademark for your app logo, then it's best to start this ball rolling as soon as possible. If all goes well, you'll ideally have the trademark officially registered before your app is available in the App Store.

Electronic Word of Mouth

One of the biggest challenges for any developer is figuring out the best marketing strategy, tools and techniques to successfully sell their iPhone iPad apps on the App Store. Your app, for example, may already be posted on the App Store and you are experiencing moderate sales success. Now you're looking for what else you can do from a marketing standpoint to influence even more downloads. Or you may be getting ready to launch your app and you want to learn what you can do to get people excited about your app and start sales off strong. As mentioned many times in this book, getting your app approved for sale on the App Store is only the first step (and probably the easiest) in the selling process. It takes a special mix of marketing activities to get your app noticed and to produce consistent sales success. Each marketing activity discussed in this chapter, when well executed, will contribute to more downloads of your app. Simply rewording your app's top description on the App Store,...

Positive External Reviews

Your strategy for obtaining reviews for your app should be to contact as many iPhone iPad app review sites as possible that are likely to review your app. Do not submit a nongame app to a game review site because it will simply get ignored. Seek out sites that give you the best chance for a review for your type of app. Utilize any and every contact you may have at these review sites to get your app noticed and reviewed.

Coordinated Marketing Effort

The first step is to make sure that all your marketing content uses your newly created unique message, as discussed in Chapter 1,Your iPhone and iPad App Marketing Strategy Grand Slam or Base Hits By marketing content we mean every written word and every graphic you use to convey the value of your app. This includes content for your product website, videos on YouTube, product descriptions, blog entries, and so on. App Store app page All your content and graphics displayed on the App Store will help direct the reader to your app's key values and encourage them to make a buying decision of your app. The first few sentences on your App Store page that describe your app are crucial. Make sure you get right to the heart of what your app does and the value it provides in the first two sentences. If someone is interested in knowing more they will click on the More link to open up the description for more details.

Reaching Interested Buyers

There are many possible avenues to obtain buyers for your iPhone iPad app. Utilizing the different sources outlined here will assist you in creating a large and targeted approach to leverage when rolling out your new iPhone iPad app. Here are a couple of other time tested realities as you deploy your demand generation plan People buy benefits, not features. But in the case of an iPhone iPad app, features matter. The longer you can keep someone reading your website or App Store description, the better your chances of success.

Sim Daltonism for Mac OS X

This timesaving desktop application by Michel Fortin is a simple floating palette that allows you to test your iPhone app's interface in real time. Run your Xcode project in the iPhone Simulator while running the Sim Daltonism floating palette along one side. Select a color-deficiency type from the palette's menu, and then move your mouse pointer over the iPhone Simulator to see how your app's UI looks through color-deficient eyes in the palette window. If you find Sim Daltonism useful, then you're encouraged to support its continued development by making an online donation at Michel's web site.

Tips for the Artistically Challenged

The do-it-yourself route is not for everyone, especially when designing something as important as custom artwork for your iPhone app icon, logo, and user interface. It's important to remember that Photoshop, Illustrator, and other graphics programs are merely tools. Those tools are only as useful as your ability to wield them. To put the tools to good use, you must have the creativity and patience to translate the ideas from

Authoring Effective Mobile

Users first see the content, or creative, for a mobile advertisement, which entices them to click through to visit your mobile website and download your mobile application or sign up for your mobile alerts. The creative can be text or display advertising, video, or animation. Regardless of the medium, the creative's only goal is to get people to click on the advertisement.

Money for Nothing When It Pays to Be Free

In the previous chapter, you explored the value of designing an eye-catching app icon and elegant user interface so as to help make your app more visually attractive in the App Store. But once you have people's attention, will your screenshots be enough to convince them to purchase your app Don't think that just because your app is priced at only 99 cents that everyone will automatically buy it. If you haven't noticed lately, most of the apps in the Top 25 are 99 cents, so why should consumers pick your app over the thousands of other 99-cent apps Unfortunately, the current App Store ecosystem has a very skewed outlook on pricing, with everyone racing to the bottom with lowered prices to gain traction in the Top 100. So, what's a developer to do Don't forget the big lesson from the previous chapter your iPhone app is your most powerful marketing tool. Let's take that concept to the next level by giving consumers something for free. Free Yes, you read that correctly. Don't worry. The...

The Benefits of Free to Promote Paid Versions

As an iPhone developer, you're undoubtedly no stranger to the concept of free lite apps. Like me, your iPhone home screen is probably littered with several pages of lite apps downloaded from the App Store. And after evaluating them, you've probably even bought the paid versions of at least a few of them. Without the ability to try the lite version first, would you have purchased the full paid version Maybe not. So, it's easy to see the enormous value that free lite versions can have in boosting paid app sales. Try before you buy. It sounds like a no-brainer for the App Store, right Unfortunately, Apple does not currently allow iPhone app developers to offer free trial demos with crippled features that can be unlocked by purchasing the app. This limitation forced developers to work around the issue by producing two separate versions of their app one is a free lite version, and the other is a paid version that offers additional features not found in the lite version. For the first year...

Your Facebook Marketing Objectives

Using Facebook, you want to accomplish several things. First, you want to be found by people who are interested in buying your iPhone iPad app. Second, you want to connect with these potential customers and establish a relationship with them. You can use Facebook to create a business page for your app within a few minutes. You can start to build your page by going to www.facebook.com pages create.php and filling in the details, as shown in Figure 7.2. Figure 7.2 Facebook's main screen to create a business page for your iPhone iPad app. Figure 7.2 Facebook's main screen to create a business page for your iPhone iPad app. Once you have given your fan page a name, you can fill in a description of your app and add videos and photos of your app. Of course, one of the links you want to add to your site is a link to the app on the App Store. This is critical You can get the URL to your app on the App Store by going directly to your app, highlighting your icon, and right-clicking with your...

Choosing a Path Lite Version vs InApp Purchase

But for now, let's focus on the current topic at hand using a free lite version to promote your paid application. As you already know from browsing the App Store, free lite versions are acceptable by Apple's app review team, but there are very strict rules that you should follow when developing your Lite app.

Perfecting Your InApp Sales Pitch

If people can't find the buy button, they can't purchase your app. Don't rely on them remembering to manually visit the App Store on their own. Odds are, they might forget, and then you've just lost those potential customers. When it comes to selling anything, especially software, make the act of buying your product as easy and painless as humanly possible. And unlike most online ecommerce systems that overly complicate the process with too many steps, Apple has designed the iTunes App Store to be the simplest, most convenient way to buy software, so you really have no excuse. If someone loves your free lite version and is interested in upgrading to the paid version, that next step should only be a finger tap away. Words like buy and purchase communicate one thing to iPhone users tapping that button will take them to the App Store. Yes, your refined sales pitch is already there in the App Store complete with a detailed description and screenshots making this very convenient from a...

Migrating Data from the Lite Version to the Paid Version

If a user purchases your app, they should not be penalized by losing the data they had in the free lite version. If that happens, then prepare to receive a slew of negative customer reviews in the App Store. For most games, there's nothing to lose since high-score leaderboards are usually stored on a remote server. But what if it's a productivity app that saves files or database records

Transferring Data via URL

Some developers have found success transferring data across a unique URL command. For example, if an iPhone app makes an open URL request for an HTTP web site address, Mobile Safari automatically launches and processes the request since it is the default app registered to handle HTTP. In a nutshell, your iPhone app just sent data to Mobile Safari. You can put this same concept to work for your own apps by setting up your own unique URL protocol handler. For this to work, it needs to be a prefix that is not already being used by any other application. Since you have no idea what unique protocols other iPhone apps might be using for this same purpose, you should come up with your own prefix that is obscure enough to prevent conflicts with those other apps.

Securing Market Share Give It Away Now UpSell Later

Is the success of your iPhone app dependent on being adopted by as many people as possible, such as a social networking app that requires multiple participants in order for it to be useful If so, then you may want to consider giving away the app for free. The only way to get millions of people to adopt your service on such a grand, global scale is to make it freely available to everyone. Think Facebook and Twitter. So, how do you make any money if most people only use the free basic version This is yet another example of how volume will ultimately dictate your success. If you've created an innovative user experience and you've done your job right as a marketer, then your free app has penetrated the mainstream as a must-have app and is currently used by millions. For example purposes, let's say the free basic version is frequently used by 10 million people. Even if only 8 percent of that user base decides to upgrade to the 1.99 premium version, after subtracting Apple's 30 percent App...

Timing Your Marketing Activities

Some marketing activities should be timed for maximum impact. Other marketing activities are equally effective at any time as long as they are part of a consistent marketing plan. For example, a press release announcing the launch of your app or relaunch of your updated app should be timed as close as possible to when your app is posted for sale on the app store. We'll tell you how you can line up your posting date with your press release date later in this chapter. As we discussed in Chapter 1,Your iPhone and iPad App Marketing Strategy Grand Slam or Base Hits successful marketing is delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience. If you have effectively segmented your market and you have a clear message to deliver, then you want to look at the timing of your marketing campaigns and activities. Each app will vary as to how important the timing of your marketing needs to be. For example, if you are selling a holiday app, then it obviously will have a certain...

Monetizing Free with InApp Advertising

Everyone knows that in-app mobile advertising is the next great frontier with marketers racing to target that growing audience. At one time or another, we've all downloaded a few of the many free iPhone apps that display in-app advertising, and some of us have even tapped the ads. Based on current trends, research experts Gartner anticipate mobile ad spending to surpass 13 billion by 2013. But the big question is, can iPhone app developers make any money from it The answer depends on what kind of app you're building.

Taking a Hard Look at the Numbers

Just because your app is free does not guarantee an avalanche of downloads. There are simply too many apps in the App Store vying for people's attention. According to AdMob, the largest iPhone ad network, only 5 percent of the free apps in their network have more than 100,000 users, while a staggering 54 percent have fewer than 1,000 users. If your app falls into that later category, you'd net only a few dollars a day definitely not enough to sustain a full-time salary for yourself. Mobile app analytics leader Pinch Media has reported that the average free app usage declines rapidly in the first few weeks after download, with less than 5 percent of users returning to the app after 30 days. For in-app advertising to be a lucrative revenue source, your app needs to serve up as many advertisements as possible, which requires continued usage by a large number of users. If your app is supported entirely by in-app advertising, it's crucial that you have marketing and development strategies...

Hitting the Grand Slam

Identify an app that has never been done before. This is easier than it sounds. With tens of thousands of apps on the App Store, the chance of you coming up with an app that has never been done is difficult, but not impossible. Sometimes you have to look for an app idea to solve a problem. 2. For example, we are starting to see apps that help you address the sheer volume of apps available on the app store. These Recommendation Apps as I like to call them will make headway here in 2010. 3. Sign an exclusive sponsorship deal. If you have a well written app that is seeing steady sales, you can search for corporations that are looking for an app that fits their marketing model. Most corporations either build an app or look to partner with a popular app that will give them a marketing presence on the app store. If your app is extremely well written and has broad appeal, you may be a candidate for such a partnership. Start by evaluating your app to see if it would be a fit for any company...

Timing the Launch of Your

When you submit your app for review by Apple, you can specify a day that you would like your app to go live on the App Store. Reviews (at the time of this writing) generally took one to two weeks to receive approvals. If you select a release date for three weeks from the date of your submittal, Apple will honor that date and post your app on the day you have selected. If you select a release date before they actually complete the review of your app, they will release your app to the App Store as soon as it's approved. Therefore, if you want to time the release of your app with a press release announcement, you should select a date beyond two weeks to make sure that you have some control over the posting of your app. An example of setting the date for your app's submittal is shown in Figure 8.3. The Apple Developers Guide has the following verbiage about setting the date for your app Availability Date the date when your application will be available for purchase on the App Store. If...

Mobclix Mobile Ad Exchange

Since app developers will go wherever they can get the highest price for their ad space, while advertisers will choose the ad networks with the most inventory and widest reach across the most mobile apps, Moblix definitely offers a very attractive package. Especially of interest to iPhone developers, Mobclix app analytics are integrated into its mobile ad exchange SDK, providing a very powerful all-in-one solution.

Strength in Numbers Building Synergy with InApp Cross Promotion

Another major factor that has contributed to the success of Optime Software's apps is its heavy use of in-app cross-promotion. Upon launching one of its free apps, there is a splash screen that briefly appears. While the user is waiting for the app to load, the splash screen not only promotes the premium version of the free app they're using but also promotes all of Optime's other free apps (see Figure 5-9). Each app listed is a live link. Tapping the app names will take you to its respective page in the App Store so that you can learn more about the app and download it.

Writing Your Press Release

The beauty of an electronic press release is that you can include web links, video and graphics in very compelling ways to capture your reader's attention. The online press release can come to life in ways that a printed press release cannot. Depending on the type of app you have written, you will want to consider different options for your announcement. If you are launching a new game app, a video is a great way to get your reader to take a look at how your game is played. At a minimum you'll always want to include your product web page and a link to the App Store so people reading your news release will click over immediately to your app on the App Store and buy it right away. An example of using a video clip (along with web links) in an iPhone app press release is shown in Figure 9.3. Figure 9.3 This iPhone app press release has an embedded video clip, hosted on YouTube, showcasing the app. Figure 9.3 This iPhone app press release has an embedded video clip, hosted on YouTube,...

The Anatomy of a Press Release

All press releases have some common components the headline, the body, company information, and contact information. For an iPhone and iPad app press release, you will want to have a headline, body, company website, and a link to your app. An example of an iPhone app press release is shown in Figure 9.4 and includes all of the previously mentioned components. prHaccom Camp Verde, A - JAJUIF i nterprises. LLC today announced thai an upgrade to its hesl-seiling indoor housepiant consultant application. Housepiant 411 (TM)vl.i.fof the IPhone and IPod Touch, is now available Tor download on Apple s App store, in us newest version of this best-selling aw, Housepiant -411 hat added 20 now houseplanls to its database bringing the total to 70. Search torrns have also been expanded to indude ttie degree of difficulty of plant care, making the tool more versatile for any experience level. An entirely new section on plant propagation has been added and is appropriately linked to indMrtual plant...

Rolling Your Own Solution

David Smith, owner and principal engineer of Traveling Classics, has found cross-promotion to be a very effective revenue-generating strategy for his audiobook apps. Traveling Classics offers dozens of paid applications in the App Store, each one containing a classic audiobook with an easy-to-use, custom-player interface. To promote the paid versions, a free Audiobooks app is also available. In July 2009, he began experimenting with in-app advertising in Audiobooks, limiting the advertisers to only iPhone developers. Since he wanted to control the ad links in order to earn the maximum commissions through the iTunes Affiliate Program, he opted not to use existing cross-promotion ad platforms like AdMob's Download Exchange. Instead, he set up his own ad server and began offering boutique advertising directly to iPhone app After one month, he found the advertising experiment to be much more beneficial in cross-promoting apps (including his own paid apps) than it was in selling actual ad...

Developing the Body Copy

The body of the press release can be 300-800 words in length or typically three to five paragraphs. It is, however, better to create a shorter press release than a longer one, especially in the iPhone iPad app world where brevity is expected. You want to adequately convey your message but not make it so lengthy that the reader gives up on it. After you have provided quotes and supporting information for your press release, you'll want to give your reader a call to action. What is it that you want your reader to do If you want them to learn more about your app, then be sure to give them your product website address and ask them to visit. You should always include the download link to take the reader directly to the App Store to purchase your app.

Mobile Game Applications

Until third-party applications became widely available, all the mobile games were preloaded on the phone within the operating system. Now, roughly one-third of the downloadable mobile applications available are games, and more are being developed every day. Although it is not universally true, most mobile games are downloaded as applications rather than preloaded on the phone or run live from the Web. Mobile games provide marketers a unique opportunity for branded game development, product placement, and game sponsorship.

Loyalty Pays Existing Users Make the Best Customers

Up-selling new products and upgrades is the lifeblood of the software industry. And developers are already translating this model to mobile platforms on a smaller scale. Microtransactions are the key to the mobile economy. The App Store takes that model to the next level by combining microtransactions with an extremely powerful software platform. But the App Store has its own unique buying culture one that introduces a new set of challenges that developers must overcome to sustain a long-term business.

Attaching Multimedia to Your Press Release

Don't forget the keywords in graphics, too. Be sure to think of appropriate keywords or phrases that you can use to describe your graphic. Always give your graphics a name that includes a keyword such as Main screen for the new Mega iPhone iPad App. If your online PR service allows you to write a longer description of the image, be sure to use this space (with keywords) to describe it.

Supporting the Long Tail Monetizing Continued Development

The App Store is no stranger to the Long Tail, a concept described by acclaimed author Chris Anderson, where new products experience an initial sales spike and then, after they've plateaued or reached saturation, their sales gradually drop off. This eventual downward slide of sales, or the long tail (as it looks on a graph), is where app developers start to scramble to figure out ways to either increase sales or find alternative methods to monetize app development. Because of how the App Store was initially set up, once a user purchased an app, any updates were required to be free. Unlike traditional desktop software, there was no way to charge existing iPhone app customers for an upgraded version. This was a great value for users, especially if the app only cost 99 cents, but financially difficult for developers, who were expected to frequently update their apps without a way to monetize those development efforts. In the case of Bolt Creative's wildly popular Pocket God game, a big...

The Challenge of Changing User Perception

Since the App Store infrastructure has bred a shopping culture where iPhone users expect to receive a lifetime of free updates for the apps they've purchased, shifting their mind-set to accept in-app microtransactions may take a little time. With In-App Purchase being a relatively new SDK feature for developers, the concept of paying for new content within an app that users have already purchased or downloaded for free is still a new business model that consumers have yet to widely embrace. initial backlash from some customers who resent the new a la carte pricing structure, but I'm guessing it's the same vocal minority of users who complain about having to pay more than 99 cents for a full-featured game that would cost 50 times as much on Xbox or Playstation. In time, this pushback will subside, especially if the add-on items represent exciting features that users are eager to buy. Right now, only a few dozen apps are utilizing In-App Purchase, so the scales have not yet tipped. But...

Press Release Signature

RasterBlaster is the creator of innovative educational games for the high school market. With its launch of RasterBlaster HS Math, the company now has five iPhone iPad apps to help high school students improve their grades and test scores. Founded in 2009, RasterBlaster has achieved outstanding success with two of its apps making it onto the App Store's New and Noteworthy category. RasterBlaster can be reach at www. rasterblaster.com. If you should be contacted about your press release, this is a good thing. Most iPhone iPad app press releases don't attract a lot of questions, but if yours does, that's a good thing If your press release is timely and relevant to world events then you are much more likely to receive requests for more information from the media. Answer the questions of those that make a query, and they will help you spread the word about your app. Be ready to send your interested media screen shots, photos, and even promo codes of your app.

Mobile Utility Applications

Mobile applications are by no means limited to games. You can create many types of applications to help promote your brand. In many cases, providing a valuable service can do more to engender trust and brand affiliation for your brand than providing entertainment. Here are some examples of highly valuable and regularly downloaded utility applications

The Power of Simplicity

The best part about In-App Purchase is that beyond the handful of guidelines, it does not impose any kind of predefined business model. The Store Kit framework that powers In-App Purchase is nothing more than a secure payment collection gateway. It does not include a prefabricated storefront like the App Store, which gives you the ultimate creative flexibility to integrate In-App Purchase in any manner that best suits your app's current user interface. This is especially helpful if your app offers only one In-App Purchase item. Displaying an entire store window to list only a single item is not an effective use of screen space. With only one or two In-App Purchase items, you can easily implement those buy buttons seamlessly into your existing user interface. This may sound like it leaves a lot for you to program yourself, but truthfully, In-App Purchase is really quite simple, requiring a lot less code than you might think. I'll walk through the steps of adding In-App Purchase to an...

Creating an Effective App Icon and Logo

As I mentioned earlier, when consumers browse the App Store listings, your app icon is the first visual cue your app has to offer. Your app's icon and name will be the first key factors that determine whether a user is interested enough to click through to your app's product page. Since the icon represents your app's brand identity, its design must be memorable and eye-catching enough to stand apart from your competition. At the end of Chapter 2, I recommended reviewing your competition's app icons and starting to think about ideas for your own app icon. If you're building a note-taking app and most of the similar apps currently use a notebook-related app icon, then you won't want to emulate that same look, or else your app may be perceived as an unoriginal also-ran app that's simply hopping on the same bandwagon. But your app is going to be different, better. So, let your app icon reflect that with contrasting colors and an original visual theme that set your app apart from similar...

Presentation Is the Key to Success

When crafting descriptions for both the App Store and within your app, you need to be very clear about what people will get with each purchase. Ambiguous descriptions often result in frustrated users, who then post negative customer reviews complaining that the purchased app was not what they had expected. Add multiple In-App Purchase items into the mix, and suddenly the situation gets quite a bit more complex. Communication is vital in preventing confusion. Customers like knowing up front how much an item costs before tapping the buy button, so you should always include pricing within your in-app storefront whenever possible. You can dynamically list the prices of available In-App Purchase items within your app, which is especially helpful when localizing your app across several regions (and I'll show you how to do this later in this chapter), but this is not possible within your App Store description. In fact, since the App Store localizes prices for different country currencies,...

Competing Against Free Apps

There are really only two ways to be found on the App Store and on your own product website. As discussed in greater detail in other parts of this book, use care in selecting keywords to describe your app. You cannot easily change the keywords except when you launch a new build so make sure you are maximizing them. Make sure your app's icon is catchy and colorful. Icons without a lot of sizzle will be scanned over and ignored during a search on the App Store. This should go without saying but your app must provide greater functionality, better graphics, and more features than a free app. Many free products are often stripped-down versions and offer minimal functionality. Make sure that your iPhone iPad app is more robust and feature rich, but without compromising the ease of use or functionality. Include features and functions that are not available in the freeware competitors, and then use these features to promote your product.

Make Your App More Intuitive

Your iPhone iPad app design and program operation should be intuitive, and should not require advanced instruction for the primary functions. Your buyer should be able to operate the basic features of the program immediately after installing it and without needing to refer to any documentation to figure out how to get started. Consider developing a video on your website to guide the user through the primary features, as well as the more complex ones. The one thing that is so often lacking with free applications is any documentation or tutorials. Instructions (beyond the app's in-product instructions) seldom exist at all. Create documentation and tutorials to assist your users in how to use your iPhone and iPad app. You can post this documentation on your product website designed to help market this app. This documentation does not need to be lengthy at all. Just having it provides a value add. No, we don't mean offering 24x7 coverage or an 800 number But do offer a way for your...

Develop a Reputation for Customer Service

Do not discount the value some customers place on customer service even with a simple app purchase. Invest some energy into providing superior customer service for any technical issues brought to your attention. It's unfortunate that the App Store does not allow a developer to respond to reviews posted about their app. Perhaps in time they will offer this capability. If you see a negative comment on the App Store or someone sends you an email, be sure to respond immediately so they know that you're acknowledging and addressing the problem. People that take the time to write to you will also take the time to write a positive or negative review.

Some Pricing Misconceptions

So, you have just completed your app and you are trying to figure out the best price to charge. Often, developers think that in order to compete on the App Store they must price their app very low, like 0.99. Your thinking may have been influenced by one of the following You see a lot of downward pricing pressure on the App Store from what you've read and think you had better not price your app too high. Caution is recommended against adopting any of these mindsets and dropping your price right away. Any one of these thoughts may quickly result in low revenues, no immediate paychecks from Apple and discourage you from creating more apps for the App Store in the future. Let's review each of the previous thoughts in a little more detail. You see downward pricing pressure and think you should follow suit. Yes, it was true that overall average prices were falling on the App Store. But more recently, prices seem to have stabilized and some categories have actually seen slightly higher...

Managing Your InApp Purchase Items

After clicking that Approve button, you'll be prompted to choose one of two options Submit Now or Submit with Binary. If your existing iPhone app is already supporting In-App Purchase and you're merely adding yet another In-App Purchase item to an existing list of offerings, then selecting Submit Now will send it directly to the review queue. If your In-App Purchase item requires an updated version of your iPhone application, then you'll want to select Submit with Binary to ensure that both products are reviewed together and go live in the App Store at the same time.

Promote the Application on Your Website

Again, use compelling text and screen shots that will help readers understand the value that your application will provide and help those pages rank well in search engines such as Google and Yahoo . This is your chance to really use the search engines to create awareness for you application. If you can get the listing in the App Store and a listing on your website to both rank in Google search results, you will be doing a lot to drive traffic to your application, while also decreasing the traffic to competing applications. All the traditional search engine optimization strategies will help the promotional page on your site rank in search engines, so include the name of the application and top keywords in the title tag on the page and throughout the text description on the page.

Offer a Free Version of Your

We will touch upon building a free app briefly in this section but please refer to Chapter 14 for more in-depth information on developing a free app. You can use a free app as a way to build a strong following for your paid app. As an independent iPhone iPad app developer you can offer a free application in order to compete with the big players on the App Store. Offering a free app helps your customer gain confidence in your product and allows them to use it without risk. Various studies from analytics companies such as Pinch Media and Flurry.com indicate that a free app strategy is a must going forward. You can see their blog at http www. pinchmedia.com blog, which includes strong research evidence that this strategy works. In one blog post, they stated the following In this blog, Flurry sums up this recommendation by saying that everyone, regardless of their success on the App Store, should have a free app. The decision rests with you of course and is dependent on how much time you...

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