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App Ecosystem Weekly for 1/18/13: App Development Tips & Discovery Tools

App Ecosystem WeeklyIt’s January 18th, 2013, and welcome to this week’s issue of The App Ecosystem Weekly. This week, we’re going to review advice and services that can help you create better applications and market them more effectively. If you’re new to Kinvey’s App Ecosystem Weekly, you can follow us on Twitter here or subscribe via RSS here. We publish weekly roundups of interesting and thought provoking stories around the app ecosystem, app development, and the rest of the mobile world.

4 Tips To Help Your App Launch Succeed
adeven’s CTO, Paul Müller, posted a great article on developertech with advice on how to make sure that you’ve done everything possible to push success before an app launch. His tips range from what types of apps to avoid making (There’s few downloads and little money to be made in utility apps, but they’re easier to make than a good game.) to how to monitor performance and statistics for your app.

There have been a lot of blog posts like this written over the last few years, but they continue to appear as even their basic advice is often ignored, like setting up a system in advance to watch the use of your app and which features are being used the most. Without any app analytics, you won’t be able to tell what’s working or failing in your app, or if your users are failing to discover a critical feature. Before you launch your app, investigate in-app analytics providers and how they can work in your app. Many of them even have a free offering, such as Google Analytics, to help you get started.

Finding A Workable App Business Model
The Verge also has an article by Ellis Hamburger about the business models that allow apps to thrive for a long time.  He begins with pointing out the apps that have a model where they hope for an acquisition by a bigger company once they’re successful, which effectively punishes their users because these apps are often shut down shortly after acquisition.

The article isn’t long and if you’re developing an app and wondering how to price your labor, there are some important lessons and stories in there to help you see success. The biggest lesson to remember as you walk away, is that while you might make your app free for everyone to help boost adoption, the lack of financial upside for you might force you to make difficult decisions down the road. Consider your options, whether free, paid, freemium or ad-supported, and which will deliver the revenue you need to keep your servers humming and wallet happy with your labor.

AppGratis Closes Huge $13.5M Series A. Have you used them?
iOS app discovery engine AppGratis raised a massive round of VC funding yesterday to help grow their concept of app promotion via short-term discount. Essentially, the way the app works is that a certain developer offers their app free for one day only, and then AppGratis drives an enormous press and marketing drive that day to their entire network of users. AppGratis claims to be adding 100,000 new users to their database of people who want to try new apps for free every day, which is pretty remarkable when you consider that the tool is still iOS-only. Not all of those users try every app, but enough will that AppGratis assures its developers that they are likely to end up on the top  charts and with a lot more attention than they’d have received otherwise, and that popularity can help propel them to more paid sales and attention in the following days.

We’re really interested here at Kinvey in hearing about developer’s experiences with different services and marketing techniques. If you’ve used AppGratis before as a developer or a user, please let us know what you thought – we’d love to learn more about your experiences and how it worked for you.


That’s it for this week’s App Ecosystem Update, covering mobile technologies, app development, and trends in the space. Please follow us on Twitter, subscribe via RSS, and stay tuned for future updates from the Kinvey team!

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