Altabel Group's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘App Store

The current topical issue in mobile gaming industry is the freemium business model. If you’re not familiar with the term “freemium”, it essentially means the app is given away for free, but with some content available to buy within the game.
In terms of Android and iOS users, the ‘freemium’ model seems to be the reigning king of mobile gaming. Users are starting to prefer free games that offer in-app upgrades and purchases to unlock new content.
The obvious benefit of this business model is the ability to attract more users with zero cost-of-entry, while generating potentially limitless revenue via consumable items. Both of these factors have made freemium a sustainable and popular approach, especially in the gaming market, where in-app purchases account for 72% of App Store revenue.

However, freemium games are controversial because they entice players to spend money. Many games, for example, create absurdly long wait times unless the user forks over some credits. Others ensure that useful game tools are impossible to get without laying down some cash. Publishers of freemium games have even called on psychologists to help spark a greater desire for users to spend.

Findings released recently by Flurry – a mobile analytics agency – showed that mobile gamers spent approximately $14 per transaction in freemium games on iOS and Android platforms.

Perhaps of more interest is the amount of money that gamers were prepared to spend. Compared to the alternative model where a user typically pays a couple of dollars upfront for the game, once a user has been engaged via the Freemium model they were prepared to spend over $100 per transaction. In fact, contrary to some expectations, whilst 71% of transactions were $10 or under, the 13% of transactions over $20 accounted for 51% of total revenue generated. The suggestion is that the Freemium model merely allows users to decide whether they want to spend or not, and that once they’re engaged and prepared to spend, the revenue generated can be vastly more than the comparable fixed cost sale of the game upfront.

All in-app purchases can be divided into consumables [expendable items such as ammo, power-ups, etc], durables [lasting features such as a new vehicle, armour, etc] and personalisation [profile/character enhancements]. The results show that over two thirds of purchases are consumable items.

As a business model, freemium games are here to stay. What’s most important to understand is the psychology behind these games. In freemium games, consumers are experiencing compelling, immersive entertainment. They feel gratified when they progress, accomplish goals, create a unique world, and in some cases, show off to their friends. In exchange for this gratification, they are willing to spend real money, and lots of it.

Are YOU going to earn some money using freemium model?

Kind regards,
Anna Kozik – Business Development Manager (LI page)
Anna.Kozik@altabel.com
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

What are the most common mistakes that are being made by mobile application developers?

Well, many of them to be honest hardly care what they produce and focus on how financially rewarding the night after it’s being released is, but what they don’t know is that it’s not about how much of a hit it was the night it was released, it’s how much people tend to use it, and the more something is used, the more it is needed, these guys need to make their made apps into needs, not wants, since wants end, needs don’t. One of the main mistakes they make is giving up too early. If you look at the apps that made it big, they’ve often been growing for a year or more, or they’re only the most recent of several apps that have been made by the developer. ‘Overnight success’ can take a long time. The most common mistake is to neglect marketing. A developer cannot merely build and ship a product. He/she also must have a plan to market the apps. Most apps stores are filled, and to succeed you must get noticed. The biggest mistake developers make is focusing on downloads versus usage. Some of them chase trends too much and then app stores end up clogged with similar apps.

The key to designing and building good software is to have a comprehensive understanding of how and where it fits into today’s world. I know it’s a lot to ask developers to also be aware of the business and world requirements. But everybody involved in the chain needs to be able to put themselves into the shoes of the end customers (whatever the target market has been identified to be). Do this objectively and then decide what part of that end users life this app will actually impact (good and bad). Every mobile app needs a story. There is a villain and a hero. The hero must win in the end. Otherwise, who cares?

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

It’s so sad to hear that Steve Jobs has passed away, everyone has been sending out links and status about him. It is such a pity that we have to use the past tense when we are going to talk again about this brilliant mind. And no matter whether we are his fans or not, we definitely feel sorry that the mankind has lost such a valuable person. However, he did left some impressive works that can easily guide our steps towards some truly incredible technological developments.

Some of the most important works that Steve Jobs will always be remembered for according to LI members are:

For Apple Computer and for Pixar;

Toy Story… My Macs, Iphones and Ipods…;

His disciplined focus on his goals and His imagination;

For i-Everything
– Improving communication speed
– Increasing personal accessibility
– Innovation
– Incredible insight;

For having the backbone to proceed when everyone thought he was nuts. For knowing better than anybody what not to do. What features to exclude, which buttons to eliminate, which explanations not to give;

Do not depend on the other people, building from bottom to the top and learning from the failure;

Everyone will remember Jobs for different reasons
– A kid – Nemo, Buzz Light year, Lightning McQueen etc.
– A teen – iPod
– A young guy – iPad and iPhone
– A developer – iTunes and app store
– A marketing managers – Marketing and branding
– A finance manager – for his financing decisions
– A guy who just failed – NeXT Step and Pixar
– A guy who is at top – Lisa
– An entrepreneur – Apple II
– A student – Stanford 2005
– Everyone – Apple…

Thank you Steve Jobs. You Will Always Be Remembered!

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Today Internet abounds with infinite number of collections which tell about applications for iPhone. In general they tell about the same – the popular, free and even useless widgets. Considering the app industry is less than a decade old, it’s become one of the fastest growing markets in the country. We’ve all heard the stories of developers coming up with an ingenious idea for an app, then going on to rake in mounds of cash after it becomes popular in the Apple App Store.

How many times has a friend showed you his or her favorite new iPhone app, and you lamented: Why didn’t I think of that? With total application downloads from Apple’s iTunes app store topping three billion, and monthly sales of upwards of $200 million, the marketplace for apps is booming. If you’re a designer or programmer, how can you afford not to be creating apps? Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Greg Trefry, a veteran game designer, says “There are so many apps out there, it’s an extremely crowded market so that the barrier to entry is so low and the barrier to success is so high. But you’re not necessarily aiming to have the biggest game out there, so there’s still room to make a business out of it if you’re trying to capture a certain audience.”

Therefore, here are several tips for those who choose to start their own business and succeed.

Getting Approved
In a market where everyone wants in on the action, as an app creator, you have two big hurdles. The first is creating an app worthy of a favorable review upon submission to the Apple iTunes App Store. The second is promoting your app so that it breaks through the pack and sells well. Though there’s a lot of negative hype concerning the first hurdle, developers generally say that getting their app approved isn’t the struggle it’s made out to be. Apple’s standards for apps do restrict some racy and pornographic content, and the company excludes apps that, in its view, do not enhance the iPhone experience or that duplicate existing iPhone features. When it comes to fresh, inventive content, however, most apps are readily approved.

Promoting Your App
After an app has been approved and is listed for sale in the iTunes App Store, your next goal is to get customers to download it. To some extent, this process becomes a chicken-and-egg scenario. Vaulting into a top-selling category is the best way to encourage sales – but you first must have sales to rank highly within a category. Fortunately, the process of gaining exposure isn’t completely out of your hands. Apple features new apps daily. What does it take to win over Apple’s support? Good design is important.

Looking good is a matter of solid design. Enlist a designer to help create the interface a user will experience, as well as the logos and screen shots that will appear on the Apple iTunes App Store. This collateral is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so maximizing its impact is crucial.

Besides design, being polished includes being technically solid. If you are developing the app yourself, you may want to consider bringing on a programmer who is well-versed in Objective-C to help you; though apps can be built using other programming languages, this version of C++ is the standard. You should also be sure to give your app the full battery of beta-testing it needs before you make your submission. An inexpensive way to test it is to distribute it among friends and solicit feedback. Just remember: Without smooth functionality, your app will be dead in the water.

Leveraging Your Existing Business
If you already have a business, creating an app – or multiple apps – to enhance your clients’ experience can be a tremendous opportunity. Often, a small business is already filling a niche – and can also do so when their client is on the move. Take the case of Yelp, the online review site. Its iPhone app not only provides its standard customer-reviews, but can also tap into GPS to allow a user to find nearby businesses.

So, thinking along the lines of “what do we already do, and how can it be used on the go?” is a great place to start. Look for an area that will be a natural extension, or a macro view of what you do.

Think Big or Think Tiny
Some of the most successful apps are the most complex: Location-aware, social-networking-capable apps such as Whrrl, FourSquare or Glympse. And some of the most successful apps are very simple, one-off jokes. It may be that the best app for you is limited in scope.

Simple apps, the kind people whip out at parties to emulate chugging a beer (iBeer) or wielding a light saber (Lightsaber Unleashed), require far less up-front time designing and programming. And if you haven’t invested a lot of time into developing a simple app, you can afford to make it inexpensive. In a best-case scenario, with minimal marketing such apps can go socially viral. Then again, if it doesn’t sell, no biggie: just try again.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, complex, multi-faceted apps that are born most often out of an existing business or business model, and can require a team of designers working for weeks or months. This model is best for existing websites and businesses that can add value through creating an app. With these, you’re going for polish, perfection, and possibly a higher price-point. What’s more, complex apps need to be sticky to be effective. That’s where marketing comes in.

In the middle ground stand a host of simple-concept games with great graphical interfaces. If you look at the App Store’s top 10 sellers for paid apps at any given time, most of them are games (as example Poker App). Games that either educate or temporarily amuse, especially ones that anyone from age 4 to an adult can understand and appreciate, are almost always in demand.

Flaunt What You’ve Got
Once your shiny new app is available in the App Store marketplace, visibility is vital to profitability. Getting into the App Store’s top 100 – much less top 10 – list is of course the best way to see sales soar. If that’s just not happening for you, start small. Build an audience from the ground-up.

Trefry says “It’s not necessarily the day that comes out that it needs to have blockbuster sales. Think about what audience you’re going after, and how that person interacts with their device.”

So that wish you good luck and patience to achieve your goal! :)

Thank you for your attention and as always you are welcome with your comments!

Best regards,
Elvira Golyak
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

The phone main features are an improved camera, faster processor and other improvements. The easiest way to order your iPhone 4S is online. You can upgrade through Apple, AT&T, and Verizon. You can also order straight from your iPhone using the Apple Store app.

But Should You Upgrade to the iPhone 4S? LI members have different opinions on this point.

«Not to me. In my opinion, iPhone 4 is a huge step back in terms of design compared to iPhone 3. iPhone 3 has a nicely rounded shape, and the plastic its case is made of is pleasantly warm to the touch. iPhone 4 with its aluminum band and flat bottom basically feels like a cold brick.
This said, I will be the first to admit that this is strictly a matter of taste.»
Nick Chuvakhin

«This depends entirely on your personal opinion. People like me who has been following the iPhone 4S iPhone 5 news since beginning of this year have been waiting just till recently. All the tensions and rumors have created public hype. Most people don’t read in on the articles, they only focus on the title of the article. For example, you’d see tech blogs like Engadget or Gizmodo publish “iPhone 4/s has similar design”; this upsets most of the public. But in reality, Apple made multiple hardware changes and implemented new features that are worth to upgrade for. Anyways, I’m a little off topic, but the point is… if you value the new hardware and “Siri” (an amazing voice recognition program) then this upgrade is definitely worth it.
Also, I’ve never spend a time after purchasing my very first iPhone, I upgrade my iPhone every time Apple release a new one. To do so, I sell my old iPhone 2 weeks prior to the release date; I literally sold it for more than enough money for me to get the new iPhone.
Anyway, I’d say yes:) »
Han Lien

«It depends on what you have now. If you have the 4 now, I’d say hold off unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket and if that’s the case, please send me some.
If you have the 3 or the 3GS and you enjoy using the iPhone, then I’d suggest upgrading to the 4S. For what it’s worth there are a lot of really awesome Android phones on the market right now. You really have to pick what is best for you (and this is coming from a hardcore iPhone guy).»
Matt Torbin

«The camera on the iPhone 4S is all new, with an 8-megapixel sensor that offers 60 percent more pixels. More pixels mean higher quality. iPhone 4S includes a new custom lens with a larger f/2.4 aperture and an advanced hybrid infrared filter that works to produce sharper, brighter and more accurate images. With the iPhone 4S, Apple said, the camera app launches much faster and the shot-to-shot capability is twice as fast.
Meanwhile, new features in the camera and photos apps give users instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and users can also use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up the shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject. The new Photos app lets users crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize photos into albums.
“The faster processor is going to give way to a lot of new applications that just won’t run well on the older devices. The new imaging and the new voice assistance all make it kind of worthwhile,” Gartenberg said. “What’s nice is that Apple is keeping the old models in the line all the way back to the 3GS. It means that we are going to see new customers coming in at these new price points. So I’d say it’s a pretty successful day for Apple.”»
Samar Patel

What do you think? Will you upgrade your iPhone?

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

HTML5 Is An Oncoming Train, But Native App Development Is An Oncoming Rocket Ship”. We can say without doubt that HTML5 will definitely play a big role in the future of mobile gaming, and could potentially be one of its major growth drivers. However I do not think that it will completely replace native apps, at least for the foreseeable future.

It`s very old debate and probably truth is somewhere in between.

There are two obstacles to a widespread adoption of HTML5 as a mass platform for gaming: one is the ecosystem, and the other is the technology itself

The fact is that, right now, only pretty simple HTML5 applications can run well on any browser and platform that supports the standard. However, to run a more complex application such as a game for example a browser should support additional HTML5 libraries and extensions. Right now most tech-intensive games can only run on a recent version of Chrome and on a sufficiently powerful PC

Even more essential, however, is the presence of a fully functioning ecosystem which can be the main force to drive mass adoption of HTML5.

Speaking about the ecosystem I mean that customers will have to be able to discover, play and purchase games in such a way as App Store has it. So for this a few elements are necessary: a store easily accessible and pre-installed on every handset, a 1-click billing solution that will be able to support a wide range of payment methods.

The real question is Apple, who has the strongest native app ecosystem and who is interested in controlling the user experience and therefore keeping its platform closed to a certain extent. We should admit that Apple has a strong advantage, as their ecosystem is so strong and the user experience so universally appreciated and HTML5 should be very persuasive and easy to use to win customers and to overtake and surpass Apple in this sphere.

Finally, it should not be forgotten that creating a game for platforms that have different input interface and screen size isn’t pain-free, as a new control method must be devised and implemented, and new art assets need to be created. The mirage of “build once, play on every device on Earth” can probably remain just that, a mirage.

Currently HTML5 is not yet the best thing in the world, but all this will change rapidly over short time: native apps will be still the dominant ecosystem for games at least in the next two years but HTML5 will start gaining adoption pretty soon, and probably become a viable market around the same timeframe. HTML5 is the way browsers are heading, and they’ll all just get better and better.

And what are your ideas? Will HTML5 eliminate fragmentation and allow developers to create one game for multiple platforms and operating systems and thus be the driving force in mobile gaming?

BR,
Anna Kozik
Altabel Group – professional software development

Ideally you have created an app that is so incredible that everyone will want to tell all their friends about it. Even if this is true, there are cases where the merits of your app alone may not initiate the momentum you desire. To draw more attention to your app, it is good to have additional content that you can use to persuade potential users to take a look at what you have to offer.
Exposing your app in places outside of the App Store is essential in maximizing your potential user base.

Here are methods that any app developer who wants to draw more users to their apps can use.

Create code
Either dedicate some time to a related project or spin off a snippet or segment of your project into something you can publish through open source or other code outlets. When you post your code, oftentimes you will be allowed to post a support URL. Most code sharing sites, like other social sites, have profiles where you can also post links to your site. If your code is useful or interesting, you will have a shot at attracting links.

Create content
Tutorials, articles, white papers, video clips, and other types of content are ways to draw attention to your app. Extra content can be used in places to get targeted traffic. If your content is good enough, other places may use or link to your content and create more awareness.

Create feeds
Combine input from your content and other content sources into one consolidated feed of information that can be syndicated. Even an aggregation of feeds can still represent good content if the feeds are chosen well. A good news feed source will get picked up by automated systems and draw the attention of individual publishers.

Create a group
There is more to the social Internet than Facebook and Twitter. There is a world of forums and other social arenas where you can post information, opinions, and links. You can then interlink these sites to create your own network of interrelated profiles that ultimately lead back to your content and app.

Create a persona
For inbound links and link-bait, forums are great because you can communicate directly with people who may have an interest in your content or app. Often forum users with their own sites are great contacts for word-of-mouth plugs. You can also use related content to indirectly promote your app in these places.

Create a community
Social network sites and places for users to congregate are easier than ever to build. The challenge is attracting users and moderating content. If you can build your own community around content that is related to your app, it is easy to get those community members to find interest in your app.

Create a news source
Newsletters have not gone away, they have just matured. You can still create a quality mailing list and promote your apps and content while also sharing information with existing and potential users. If you are creating or collecting regular news or information as part of your strategy, you can republish your content into a newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to get additional use from your content and deliver it to a receptive audience. If your newsletter is good enough, people will share it and spread the word.

Create a buzz
You should include your URL in all of your emails, signatures, photos, videos, articles, and anywhere else you are permitted. Different places have limitations or restrictions on what you can link, but make sure you use all of them when they are available. If you go somewhere online, you should make it easy for people to know about your content and app.

The success of your app is dependent on how many users you acquire. The App Store is a great source of initial traffic, but it is unwise to rely solely on it to carry your sales. Depending on your niche, getting targeted traffic can be very competitive, so you will need every advantage you can get. If you include these essentials in your marketing efforts, you will boost the number of eyeballs that see your app.

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – professional software development


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