What We’ve Been Thinking
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
This weeks app review is a little different from the others. Why? Because it’s not exactly a recommendation to go download. It’s more a suck it and see, then tell me what you think.
A few weeks ago we discussed in The App Times about an app called Aviate. Aviate was acquired by Yahoo last month for an undisclosed fee and is being touted as a revolution in the way you use your phone.
Aviate is a launcher for Android. Basically it re-skins your Android OS and displays your apps in a different format. But it doesn’t stop there. Aviate uses your location and app use to reorder your screen to make you more productive. That’s right, it’s another productivity app 😀 Told y’all last week that I love productivity apps when I reviewed Any.do Task List.
It sounded awesome and I couldn’t wait to use it. But Aviate is still in beta so you must wait to get an activation code. I’m not a patient man so I took it to twitter to see if anyone could hook me up with an activation code.
Cheers Twitter and thanks to Ricardo Gouveia!
I was super excited about Aviate when I heard about it. Any of you that follow me on Twitter or linkedIn would’ve seen my posts. The aspect I was most interested in was the changing homepage apps based on usage. It’s not that I don’t think the location stuff is cool it’s just I’m a little paranoid about the data aspect of it. As well as that, GPS being on all the time would run down my battery and I need battery more than being told there’s a Gregs bakery in my location.
So after about 1 month of using Aviate I’ve stopped using it. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly I had to factory rest my phone and decided that Aviate wasn’t worth installing again, I didn’t actively uninstall it. As you can see in the photo above, the screen is busy. Mines never looked like that. The one function I wanted to use i.e. change the homepage based on the app usage didn’t really deliver.
The app did understand that the first app I use in the morning is Gmail but I also use Any.do. It didn’t learn that. I also use twitter and chrome first thing in the morning.
Another thing I noticed. I think it may have messed with my power management features. I usually get about 24 hours on a battery. While using Aviate I was getting 9 hours which was causing havoc with my work as I need my phone to call clients.
I’d like to hear of others experience with Aviate. I’ve got a feeling that my experience isn’t typical and that others who leave their GPS on get a better experience.
If you guy’s let me know your experience I might try it again. I love the concept and hope I can get it to work for me.
Well. Well. Well. It was been an active old week past. Let see some of the more interesting things in the app world.
Amazon has been cold calling top developers from Google Play to try poach them over to the Amazon Appstore. Whoa. Well that’s what I thought. Then I remember that this is Amazon and it’s run by Jeff Bezos then the ‘whoa’ shrunk away.
Amazon are winners. They will do what ever they need to survive and to beat the competition. You can see this in how they operate their business. pretty much every penny of profit is reinvested into infrastructure so that they can be the best and beat everyone else.
Having the best appstore depends on the quality of the apps so cold calling top developers really shouldn’t come at a surprise.
…from Chrome. Google has released a tool that allows Chrome app developers to release their apps into Google Play.
Looks like Google Play is going to get busier! Like Amazon’s move this is aimed at increasing the number of quality app developers for the Google Play app store, the more high quality the content, the happier the user and the happier the Googles.
That’s a bit harsh. It’s not really a trick, more of another attempt to get developers to mosey on over to Amazons Appstore.
If you’ve got an HTML5 site you can now submit it to the Amazon Appstore. This may not get you instant sales but it should get you more users. Then it’s up to you to use your marketing savy to turn your new users into ‘£10’ers’.
Sometimes you don’t know something exists until it’s gone! Apparently Intel are closing the app store, probably because nobody used it, to focus on the innovations of the future…PC. Yes. You just heard my jaw drop. I think we will leave here. If you are interested in reading more about Intel’s App Store Google ‘App Up’.
Samsung is out for our kids. I don’t mean that in a creepy way. They’ve created a tablet specifically for schools. The tablet integrates into the Google Play for Education system which makes setup for teachers easier…apparently.
This comes some months after Samsung did it’s deal with Fingerprint, a kids app network. Samsung are doing a huge push into education. Get’em while they are young!
Amazon has been crowned king of the app news this week. Tune in next week for some more of the useful news. Oh. And if anyone figures out what ‘easier for teachers means’ chip in below.
I’m a crack pot when it comes to productivity. I like to know where I’m spending my time and how I can do more with my time. Also, if I don’t have some sort of list I tend to forget the odd thing here and there. Sue me, I’m human.
Because of my passion for productivity you’ll probably see a fair amount of productivity apps pop up in ‘This week’s App‘.
Honestly. I stumbled upon the Any.do To-do List app through it’s sister app, by Any.do, Cal. Cal, if you hadn’t guessed, is a calendar app which is suppose to integrate with other calendar apps and make you more productive. So far not so good, but that’s another post.
Because Any.do are clever cookies they’ve did their cross app marketing correctly and pushed me Any.do To-do List while setting up Cal. In the end I’ve gravitated towards and starting using Any.do To-do List more often than Cal.
This app is pretty bossy. It keeps telling me to setup my day and asking me if I’ve completed my tasks yet, and if not when will I do them. Honestly, it’s like your mum chasing you to do chores. I think it’s amazing!
One thing I like is that when the app pushes you to respond to a task it gives you reasonable snooze options. It recommends mins, hours then times of day and finally next day. This is a much more realistic option set than just giving you a few option, e.g. minutes, then nothing after that. Some tasks may need to be moved to the evening or the next day. That’s real life.
Some screen shots
Usually I like to use my own screenshots but because I’m using the Any.do To-do List for work, I can’t. It’s got business sensitive tasks in it.
As you can see it’s very iOS’y. Which is fine. The interface is very useful and intuitive you really shouldn’t have a problem getting started. Also it’s traffic light system (are you all beging to see a theme of how I like to categories things Red, Amber, Green – see clueful post :D) allows you to quickly pick what to do with the task.
I will admit I don’t find it the simplest app to use. The reason I’m saying this is because I think it has much more functionality than I’m using it for but I’ve not figured out how to use it, yet. I’ll need to dedicate a bit of time to learning the functionality so that I can quickly and comprehensively setup my key tasks for the days and weeks. Right now I’m sporadically setting it up mid-morning. Despite being requested to set it up early morning…this is what I mean by bossy. Bossy is good! Once I learn the functionality I’ll be doing it early morning to avoid being told what to do.
But Yes, Download It
If you are into productivity and like to make sure that your on top of things, but don’t have time to remember to keep on top of things, this app is definitely for you.
Got An App I should check out? Tweet me @nickduddy.
For months all I’ve been reading in the news about App Marketing is how Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is rocketing and there’s no end in sight. For those who aren’t into marketing performance metrics, CPA or as we should call it CPU (Cost Per User) is the amount of money that you to spend to acquire a single user.
The data comes from various sources. One in particular, which I will not name because I’m not a finger-pointer, regularly puts out press releases on how they are observing the CPA/CPU’s rapid increase. It’s like a template press release.
If you don’t know about CPA, this information might help when thinking/discussing them.
Apps CPA is worked out by two figures: Spend / Number Of Downloads = CPA
The figure yielded is what it has cost you to acquire the download. The ‘spend’ figure can be calculated a few ways. If you’re using an agency it’s usually what it cost in total for the activity that the agency is working on. This a fair way to calculate it as usually an agency is hired to do a specific job or manage a specific channel with little input into overall strategy. An accountant should use a few figures when calculating this.
CPA will increase if conversion rate decreases. If your spend stays static and conversion rate goes down, then CPA goes up. If your spend increases and the additional traffic is less targeted/ interested conversion rate will go down and CPA goes up. Simple.
I have a straightforward theory why I believe CPA is rising. Primarily, I believe that when these companies are talking about increased CPA’s they are talking about the CPA of display advertising or the CPA of a specific channel. If CPA is going up it’s probably because of an increase in ad prices caused by an increase in demand. Which in turn was caused by every person flocking to one channel to look for growth. Make sense?
We know that the ‘Boom Money’ is not in the app stores any more. There are more apps flooding Google Play, Kindle App Store and Apple’s App Store every day (probably Window’s App Store too, ha!). It’s a tough game out there. The relentless flow of apps will be having an impact in the cost per acquisition of a user. I won’t deny that. But it’s hard to gauge what that impact actually is. Realistically the 300 apps entering the app stores daily are from indie developers of which very few are producing apps that are any good.
It’s a difficult thing to quantify.
To decrease your app CPA you need to decide firstly how much is too much to spend on acquiring a customer: get your KPI’s nailed from the start. How to decide this could be an entire post on its own. A quick way to do this is to understand your margins then devote XX% to acquiring customers.
After deciding how much you are willing to spend to acquire a customer you must then begin monitoring your CPA for each channel. If a channel is already over the target CPA you may want to consider cutting it from your activity, unless you have other channels lower that are picking up the slack.
If other channels are creeping towards your maximum CPA then you need to begin to understand why and what has changed. Is it your conversion rate? Could it be that the medium is becoming too expensive because demand has increased? Could it be that your channel manager isn’t doing a great job at managing the account or activity. Answer these questions, fast!
If it’s the channel itself which has become too expensive, you need to understand whether it’s a short term or seasonal shift or if the market has matured and the price is increasing because of demand. PPC in 2006 was super cheap compared to now. The channel matured, became busy, aggressive, competitive and in many cases too expensive to justify.
Most companies roll out one or two channels, mainly because they lack the resource or skills to manage others. If a primary channel is increasing in CPA don’t be complacent and accept this as the future norm. Look at other places for growth and exposure. Email, social, ASO 🙂 whatever you’re not doing, try it and see if you can reduce your CPA. As I mentioned before, if you can get a lower CPA somewhere else you can then bring down your total average, which means you can continue working with the more expensive channels.
The windbag is empty…
Well that’s my mental dump on CPA. In brief: Identify the problem and get on top of it quickly. Try new channels. And be ruthless enough to drop an increasingly ineffective channel.
As I’m writing this post I see that MobileDevHQ has released an API. Twitter has exploded with tweets. I guess I’ll need to respond sometime this week. Exciting times ahead!
Boom! We are back. A little later than usual, and I’m sorry for that. Last week’s news was a mixed bag but mostly with an Apple focus.
That’s right it was Apple Macintosh’s birthday last week. And like they revolutionised the the PC world they’ve revolutionised the way we purchase music and software on our phones…and possibly payments in the future, but that’s a story for further down the page.
If you want to see a bunch of artists and designers talking nonsense check out Apple’s 30th video.
Would you allow Apple to manage your payments for items not from an Apple store? The bosses at Apple are rumoured to have been in talks with industry executives (whoever that is) to discuss growing their payment services for everyday purchases through your mobile device.
This could be absolutely huge for Apple and for the everyday consumer. It could increase competition in the payments sector but once again limiting it to the big tech giants. I’m eager to get more information on this latest development and when I do I’ll share it with y’all.
I recently read an article stating that combined with the US, Japan and South Korea make up 75% of global Google Play revenue. What this means is if you’ve got a game or app in the Google Play store and it’s only in English you are missing out in a huge chunk of revenue from the Japanese and South Korean markets.
You need to be thinking Asia for your next marketing tactic.
Well it’s been short and sweet. Tune in next week for more of interesting stuff from the app world.
Welcome back to The App Store Times. Thankfully this week there is a little more variation in the news around apps. Some of the news makes you think really?? Others makes you ‘Ha!’. I’ll let you decide and hopefully my commentary won’t guide you too much.
This is not so much an app update. It’s worth note though. Android GooglePlay Services recently released and update to 4.1 that’s main point was battery conservation. However in addition the update to Google Play Services lets developers institute turn-based multi-players. So if your an app games developer on Android that’s pretty good news…possible business model; charge per user?
If you’ve got a good game that could work!
Frankly. I didn’t see this one coming. A game designed to teach kids about plastic surgery and how to perform it…on Barbie. I’d like to think this that was to promote budding surgeons but can’t see this being the case. It’s no Operation board game!
Understandably the game has struck a nerve with the parenting community and the mass media. Check some of the reactions on twitter.
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) January 18, 2014
This is the most outrageous thing we have seen offered to kids in a very long time: http://t.co/3mILqJTtzd
— Cool Mom Tech (@coolmomtech) January 16, 2014
Looks like Apple pulled the app from the app store after the barrage of complaints. Will be interesting to see if rears it’s head in another category.
This is pretty big! Apple had to pay back $32.5 million dollars to parents after their cart didn’t ask for a password for every purchase. It was working on a one-click basket method, link when you buy books on your Kindle. 32.5 Million isn’t a lot of money at Apple but it’s the embarrassment of the error. Also it brings into question how ethical are the conversion rate optimisation tactics of the past. Not having to sign in was clearly removing a barrier to sales and thus increasing sales. Changing this could have long term implications on their bottom line.
In saying that Apple are a smart bunch. I’m sure they’ll figure a way around it. I know what I’d do…
Yup! For a basic account you get a lot more free and most importantly we get our grubby hands on their API! I’m not going to doubly explain what they’re giving away and their new features. Check out their blog post on the big news.
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