iOS indie developers writing every day about their stuff.

Real-World App Testing: Using Trip Boss Travel Manager on Vacation

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Testing some productivity apps in a real-world situation is not always feasible. For example, we make a travel app, Trip Boss travel manager, for business and personal travel. Unless we plan a trip each time we test the app, testing will only be simulated travel. Day to day usage can be replicated, but actually using the app for travel can provide a new perspective on the app. True in-depth reviews are also rare, unless reviewers use the app to travel. Unfortunately, getting someone to review your app, let alone someone who just so happens to be traveling, is difficult to […]

Smartphone Paradigm Shifts – Recognizing When Technology Advances During the Present

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

When looking back, it’s easy to see how technology has changed throughout the years. Recognizing trends during the present isn’t as easy. How things changed in our (my) parents generation is obvious. They went from radio to black and white TV to color TV. We moved onto video and now we have so many options to view media. I often tell my kids we used to have to watch TV live, get up to turn on the channel (with a knob), adjust the rabbit ears for better reception. We could miss our favorite show, or be forced to watch some […]

From Engineering to Tech Entrepreneurship, One Mom’s Roadmap to Success

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Recently my husband and I did a presentation at our daughter’s 5th grade class on entrepreneurship, running a business, and making iOS apps. Our oldest daughter is writing an iPhone game with her dad, so was thrilled to be validated in front of her peers. It was very rewarding to us because we could introduce a seed of thought to the kids in the class—options! My mom’s advice to me when I was a new mom was to expose my kids to as many things as I could—to show them they have choices in the world. We are thrilled to […]

On Going Universal

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

The new iPad (aka 3rd generation) adds a new complexity to universal apps this week—high resolution images and graphics—which could quickly fill up that 16/32/64 GB storage space. In addition, other things happened this week—the 20 MB download limit over non-wifi (3G/4G/4LTE) increased to 50 MB. Updates are no longer showing up in New Releases. Considerations for going Universal may now shift. This post will discuss some of things to consider when deciding on a universal app vs a device-specific app. App Size Bookmark/Search this post with: read more

Using Common Sense to Deliver Good Customer Service

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Customer service can make or break your apps. Most people contact customer service for help, to complain, or to vent frustrations. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a rare email that raves about your app. Polite, prompt, and helpful responses can prevent frustrated customers from venting on the reviews, which can affect your overall rating, or even sales, if the reviewer brings up a perceived flaw of your app (merited or not!). Managing your customers satisfaction doesn’t have to be hard. This post will cover some tips on a common sense approach to customer contact and how to provide exceptional customer […]

Wrapping It All Up with a Marketing Checklist—Applying the 4P’s of Marketing to Apps

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Launch an app, tell everyone about it, hope for an Apple feature, and spread the word. The three key promotional aspects of marketing your app are Launch Blitz, Apple Features, and Word of Mouth. A developer has the most control with the first, very little control with the second, and indirect control of the third. All three feed each other, and using the 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Place (Distribution), Price, and Promotion will help in working these three aspects, which I’ve covered extensively in my seven part series, Applying the 4 P’s of Marketing to Apps. This final post […]

Launch Blitz, Timing It Right – Applying the 4P’s of Marketing to Apps, Promotion, part 4b

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

App complete, check. App tested, check. App submitted to Apple, check. Pre-launch promotion prep work done, check. Now what? It’s all about the timing. Based on our experience in the AppStore, there are three things that contribute most to sales numbers: 1) Getting noticed by Apple (and being featured) 2) Word of mouth and 3) Launch Blitz. I discussed the strategy for getting noticed by Apple in previous 4 P’s posts: make a great product, include new iOS tech, follow the HIG, have a polished icon and screens. Word of mouth is just the snowball effect—the more people own (and […]

Resist Launching Prior to Completion of Pre-launch Promotion Plans—Applying the 4 P’s of Marketing to Apps, part 4a

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Developing mobile apps is a business. Many mobile devs are one- or two-person shops, so in addition to the coding hat, other hats must also be worn, to be successful. Great apps won’t sell themselves, especially in the sea of apps that have come to fruition in the most recent three+ years. When we learn to develop, we read books, we self-teach, we take classes, we attend conferences. Marketing is another side of the business that must be learned, in the same manner. As a dev, you usually have a game plan and timing plan for the development process. A […]

The Story of Serving Sizer, Lessons Learned in Successfully Evolving an App Over Time

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

My brother is always calling me with app ideas. One day, way back in late 2003, he suggested writing a calculator that took recipe ingredient amounts and adjusted them by changing the serving size. My husband, our developer, is an avid cook, so the idea intrigued him. He wasn’t satisfied with just a multiplier, so he started creating a complicated algorithm for the Palm PDA that would also factor down the result into the simplest amount of steps. So, if you size up a recipe calling for 1-1/2 teaspoon from 4 servings to 14 servings, the little app would tell […]

Market Pricing – Perception is Reality! Applying the 4 P’s of Marketing to Apps, part 3

Justine Pratt
creativealgorithms.com/blog

Your gut reaction is “Hey, I put in a lot of time and effort into this app, there’s no way it’s only worth 99c.” Yet in many cases, if it’s not 99c, especially a game, it’s dead-on-arrival at the AppStore. You can rant and you can rave, but market pricing rules in the mobile universe. On the plus side, the “wealth” is spread amongst many developers as consumers consume more apps than they would have if they had spent $35 or more on one game or app. The trick is to get more of them to consume your app! But […]