App-Promo CEO Gary Yentin was interviewed by the Huffington Post @Advertisingweek 2014 on the topic of the business of mobile applications. The interview covers the mission statement of App-Promo, helping developers in the business of the mobile applications and six (6) years later @Apppromo is still going strong!
Apple announced a significant overhaul to the iTunes App Store on iOS this morning at WWDC in response to the challenges developers have faced as the store became increasingly crowded over the years. Today, there are 1.2 million iOS applications, meaning that the traditional means of finding “what’s hot” like the App Store’s Top Charts or Editor’s Picks, for example, are no longer enough. To address this problem, Apple is giving App Store search a serious makeover, with new features like “trending applications,” continuous scrolling, App Bundles, video previews and more.
“I do read your emails,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook with a chuckle, when detailing the App Store update.
In the iOS 8 App Store, which comes as a part of the forthcoming new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, users will have a new “Explore” tab that lets them delve deeper into the App Store’s offerings, including by category and subcategory.
Also new is a continuous scroll, which is more of a performance improvement related to moving through the App Store search results, which was not always the fastest way to navigate through a set of applications.
App Bundles, Video Previews, And More
Developers will also be able to create “App Bundles,” which help them better market and sell groupings of their applications to App Store shoppers. This would be helpful to those developers who specialize in certain types of applications, like a suite of apps for photo editing, for example.
Consumers will now have the option to buy these apps in bundles, which could potentially increase developers’ App Store sales.
A prominent children’s app developer, Toca Boca, was shown as an example of the App Store bundle with a grouping of apps called “Toca Toy Box,” which allows users to download a whole set of apps from the developer at a discount, when compared with buying the applications one-by-one.
Meanwhile, a feature for video previews of apps – something that, we should point out, arrived on Android first – allows consumers to view the app in action before they make the decision to purchase. These short App Store videos are perfect for tweeting or sharing on Vine, and help to give a better idea about how an app looks and feels versus a screenshot, which can be misleading.
When played, the videos fill the screen, giving users an experience that’s as close as possible to what it’s like to use the actual application, without having to download it.
For developers who take the time to craft high-quality apps with elegant transitions and animations, videos will also help them better showcase those efforts. And for gamers, video previews will let them get a taste the gameplay before committing to a download.
And top apps that Apple likes will now get an Editor’s Choice logo to help with app recommendations.
A handy feature for multi-iOS device families is the new “family sharing” option, which will allow users to buy apps one time then share with others. This feature extends to other media as well, including photos, videos, calendars and reminders. Users will need to have the same payment card details on file for this to work, however, so no – you can’t “family share” with a just a bunch of friends.
The Family Share feature also lets parents approve children’s app purchases, which is a great addition that saves the grown-ups from constantly having to type in their App Store password. The feature will alert the parent via an approval notification, which is handy.
The “Trending Searches” section in the App Store is very interesting, and possibly one of the more important features of the new release, as it gives developers another way to get their apps found.
You can think of this section as something like Twitter’s trends, as it will give a look at what’s currently hot on the App Store, without the reliance on App Store chart rankings, which have been repeatedly gamed by unsavory developers who know how to hack the algorithm. Apple didn’t clarify how ‘trending searches’ works, or how real-time it is, but it does appear that this, along with the other “Explore” features will replace the “Apps Near Me” section which debuted in iOS 7, and nearly really gained mainstream adoption as a way to find new apps, due to its limited use cases.
Related to the App Store changes, developers are also getting a new software development kit, with 4,000 new APIs to hook into. As a part of this change, developers can now build their own widgets for the Notification Center, but not the homescreen.
@Apppromo follows the App Annie Market Index and found the results for Q1 2014 very significant in terms of revenue in both the US and China markets. Please review and enjoy the following excerpts from the latest Market Index.
The information contained in this report was compiled using App Annie Intelligence, the industry-leading market data solution for identifying opportunities in the app store economy. It provides the most accurate market estimates for global app downloads and revenues – to learn more, take the tour or request a demo today.
Key Trends Across Stores, Countries and Categories
Google Play worldwide downloads now exceed iOS App Store downloads by around 45%, driven by growth in emerging markets. Russia and Brazil have been on the rise for some time now, but Mexico and Turkey also had a strong influence on Google Play downloads in Q1 2014.
The iOS App Store remains comfortably ahead in worldwide revenue, generating about 85% more revenue than Google Play. This gap narrowed over the last quarter though, as Google Play revenue increased markedly in the United States and United Kingdom.
China was the key market for iOS App Store growth, showing exceptional gains in both downloads and revenue. iOS App Store revenue in China grew around 70% quarter-over-quarter.
Games remained the key category driving growth in both app stores. However, there was also growth in categories outside of Games. Tools saw gains in Google Play revenue, dominated by anti-virus and security apps. On iOS, Finance grew in revenue during tax season in the United States.
Messaging apps remained a huge growth area, contributing to the gains for the Communication category on Google Play and Social Networking on iOS.
Google Play Builds a Substantial Lead in App Downloads
iOS App Store vs. Google Play App Downloads & Revenue
Growth in Google Play downloads was driven by explosive growth in emerging markets, with Mexico and Turkey showing themselves as markets to watch. According to IDC, smartphone adoption has grown rapidly in Mexico, increasing around 75% in 2013 and expected to grow by approximately 40% in 2014. Over 65% of these devices used the Android OS, and this proportion is expected to increase in 2014. In Turkey, significant investment in IT and prominent technology projects as part of Vision 2023 and the FATIH education project are contributing to rapid device growth. According to IDC, IT spending is expected to increase around 9% in Turkey this year, driven primarily by the adoption of smartphones and tablets.
iOS App Store revenue growth was driven largely by China and the United States. However, impressive growth extended to smaller markets such as Vietnam and South Africa. Games remained the key category for revenue growth, but Finance apps also gained markedly, with worldwide category revenue growing around 45% quarter-over-quarter. This was boosted by the performance of TurboTax 2013 during tax season in the United States.
Games also topped growth in Google Play revenue, but other categories also saw notable revenue growth. In particular, Communication saw huge gains, and News & Magazines made a significant contribution. While emerging markets drove Google Play download growth, it was established markets such as the United States and United Kingdom that contributed the most to narrowing the revenue gap with the iOS App Store.
@Apppromo would like to share with you a recent email we received from @Apple, enclosed below:
Dear iTunes account owner,
Apple is committed to providing parents and kids with a great experience on the App Store. We
review all app content before allowing it on our store, provide a wide range of age-appropriate
content, and include parental controls in iOS to make it easy for parents to restrict or disable
access to content.
We’ve heard from some customers that it was too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases.
As a result, we’ve improved controls for parents so they can better manage their children’s
purchases, or restrict them entirely. Additionally, we are offering refunds in certain cases.
Our records show that you made some in-app purchases, and if any of these were unauthorized purchases by a minor, you might be eligible for a refund from Apple.
Please follow the steps below to submit a refund request:
Find your in-app purchase records. Check your email for iTunes receipts or use a computer tosign in to your iTunes account and view your Purchase History.
Use this link to submit your refund request to Apple.
Provide the requested information and enter “Refund for In-App Purchases made by a minor”
in the Details section.
Apple will review your request and contact you via email about your refund status. All refundrequests must be submitted no later than April 15, 2015.
If you have any questions or need further assistance with your refund request, please contact Apple.
To learn more about parental controls in iOS, please see this article.
Millennial internet users in Canada are well armed with smartphones—77% have one—and becoming a robust set of tablet users as well (33% penetration), according to research from App Promo and Tapped Mobile conducted by BrandSpark.
For more information on the survey, please check out www.mobilepersonas.com or tweet us @Mobilepersonas
@Appromo was proud to participate with @Tappedmobile and @Brandspark to create the 2014 edition of @MobilePersonas, mobile behaviour of the new Canadian Family. For those who were not able to attend @DX3Canada please find enclosed a summary of the presentation that was delivered March 6, 2014. Fresh research from Canada for all to #enjoy!
@Apppromo is very excited to be featured on the Samsung Developers site on the first of a series of blog posts on the topics of #AppMarketing.
The first article is on the The Importance of #ASO, Please visit http://samsungdevus.com/articles/importance-aso to read the entire article and tweet us @Appromo for additional marketing tips and secrets of App Discovery and Monetization.
@Apppromo would like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season. It has been a great year with lots of amazing and successful clients, a great team to work with and most of all, thank you to all our supporters and followers. Looking for a knock-out 2014! Enjoy!