The Must-Read Developer & Appreneur Curated List

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 26-08-2014 | Comments 0

There is a lot to be said about the field of content curation, but in short it is a process which consists of: aggregating info, going through all of it, finding out what is the most relevant, present it in a short, readable and easy to understand way and share it with the rest of the world.Today we’ll share with you a big curated list of useful links (found on reddit.com) that we believe will be really valuable to every developer and appreneur.

http://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/13t659/the_exhaustive_list_of_app_monetization_methods/

Although this is an older list, these curated lists never really expire because they usually lead readers to good sources of information such as websites that constantly do research and post news related to the curated subject. Once you have a good list of info, check it regularly and you’ll stay up to date in whatever you’re interested in. These lists are used in all news apps(feedly, business insider, appy geek…) and almost all of them allow you to make your own lists with your own favorite websites that you trust the most.

 

Evernote is a great place to hold links, write notes, tasks and much more, Pocket is a simpler version that keeps links ready to be read later, Pearltrees is a fun way to visually present your curation process and there are a lot more tools to choose from.

Just start with one tool and one subject. Alltop is a website which automatically feeds info from a lot of sources. Enter the topic you’re interested in and start finding more about it.

Use QR codes like a pro

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 22-08-2014 | Comments 0

QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is an optically machine-readable label that is attached to an item and that records information related to that item. The information encoded by a QR code may be made up of four standardized types (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary, kanji) or, through supported extensions, virtually any type of data.

QR codes have changed the way we think about bar-codes and even since their appearance in 1994 (only used in tracking vehicles during manufacturing) till present day they don’t cease to surprise us with new possibilities using the same simple method. We have all seen them on marketing campaigns, on websites and newspapers, apps, inside Kinder Surprise eggs and not so long ago we have seen them appear on Rovio’s toys. When the toy’s QR code is scanned by the tablet’s camera, something beneficial for the customer appears inside the app. Although the method is no different from a simple scan, teleporting a real toy into a video game is a unique way of using this method. Once an idea is presented right, more games are sure to follow its lead. For example “Disney Universe” added game content through toys of famous Disney heroes. The mobile app for the famous game “Borderlands 2” introduced a similar system a while ago. Through their application a customer can scan any QR code they can find (Coca-Cola, Nutella, Cheerios etc.) and get a random in-game item. A simple family used QR codes to make sure their daughter wouldn’t lose her backpack (and if she did they would easily find it), and then later on, that same family made a business working with schools which ensured a QR code on every school backpack. But this is just one of the many creative ways to use these codes.

 

Quick Response Codes will be a part of our lives for many years to come, thus every developer should always try to figure out a new creative method to implement them to his/hers new apps.

 

Read more on:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/12/borderlands2-qr-code-mobile-app/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqyaIyUukQg

The “Links Article”

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 20-08-2014 | Comments 0

Usually when on blogs readers expect some text spiced up with some pictures, segmented in paragraphs that are easy and quick to read. Today we’re offering another type of article that we’ll call the “Link Article”. Almost all of our articles lead somewhere, but this one will lead to a lot of places all connected to Android app development. So, click that middle button and let browser tabs populate the upper part of your screen because there is a lot of reading infront of you!

 

Dig in!

 

http://stackexchange.com/ – We put this in first because if all esle fails, your specific questions will be answered here, so this link is a must!

http://www.javacodegeeks.com/2011/06/android-game-development-tutorials.htmlhttp://www.kilobolt.com/tutorials.html – very good stuff for beginners.

FREQUENTLY USED

http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.htmlhttp://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html http://developer.android.com/training/basics/activity-lifecycle/starting.html

MAIN GAME DEV TUTORIALS

http://www.javacodegeeks.com/2011/06/android-game-development-tutorials.htmlhttp://www.kilo

bolt.com/tutorials.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_pattern

http://www.koonsolo.com/news/dewitters-gameloop/http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/ehchua/programming/java/J8b_Game_2DGraphics.html

HOW TO MAKE AN ADDICTIVE GAME

http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/7143/what-elements-make-a-simple-game-addictivehttp://blog.infrared5.com/2010/08/7-key-ingredients-for-designing-addictive-games/http://foru

m.unity3d.com/threads/10824-What-game-elements-make-for-addicting-gameplay

http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/Articles/AddictiveGames.html

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted_p2.html http://kotaku.com/5384643/i-kept-playing–the-costs-of-my-gaming-addiction

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2008/02/peggle-creator/

http://vator.tv/news/2010-03-15-how-to-manufacture-game-addiction

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/17/150817058/what-makes-games-like-angry-birds-so-addictive

http://www.mauronewmedia.com/blog/why-angry-birds-is-so-successful-a-cognitive-teardown-of-the-user-experience/

http://www.quora.com/Is-anyone-talking-about-addiction-engineering-with-regards-to-Internet-sites http://paulgraham.com/addiction.htmlhttp://www.g4tv.com/videos/44277/dice-2010-design-outside-the-box-presentation/

http://meidell.dk/2010/11/what-i-learned-from-farmville-so-you-dont-have-to-play-it/

We think that it’s more than clear why we call it a “Links Article”. But these curated links don’t end here. Once you’ve gone through all of them please continue reading the official list from self.android.dev here. There’s a lot more to be found there!

We hope that with our “Links Article” we made app development a bit easier for beginners.

Moms & Kids – your app in-between

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 19-08-2014 | Comments 0

Developing an app meant to educate children or to raise their creativity is a noble cause.

Developers who truly commit themselves to this idea usually go deep into a child’s mind, consulting with child psychologists on how to make an experience which is both fun and educational for the little ones. Parents play a big role here too and if you’re trying to sell an app meant for kids you should never try to actually sell it to the children.

Yes, kids love toys, games and cartoons, but if your target group is too young reaching them could be achieved only through one important person- MOM.

 

Moms nowadays are not some old school traditional ladies amazed by the things this new age has brought to the world. They are part of this time, using PC’s, tablets and smartphones as much as we do (sometimes even more). They also use social media, have their own youtube channels and blog a lot about their everyday lives. These blogs form one of the biggest communities in the world known as “The Mommy Bloggers”. Every mom that passionately shares good and bad moments from her life, posts life-hacks about parenting, marriage, managing a household, fashion, nutrition(this list goes on and on…) and lots of other topics IS a certified mommy blogger.

These types of blogs have A LOT of regular readers (moms with kids & families) all interested in a special kid app that YOU may be developing right now.

 

How to reach moms?

Before reaching any mommy blog remember: Always present your app in a clear, quick and non-jargon-y language. Make HD screenshots and have a 30 second video of your app in action. If it’s a paid app highlight the price and point out that you specifically don’t have ads (or have kid appropriate ads) and can turn off in-app purchases.

Once you have this in mind start reaching out to your mommy leads. How? Usually through their official contact page on their blog. No luck there? Try social media. You’re talking to busy moms so be short and to the point.

 

If you’re not sure how to find leads try your target on these blog hubs:

http://www.babble.com

http://www.cafemom.com

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/pages/index.php

http://www.blogher.org

 

Best of luck

Read more: http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1574/2014/6/19/Why-You-Should-Get-Your-App-Endorsed-By-a-Mommy-Blogger/

Soc.io Review: Drawing Cartoons

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 18-08-2014 | Comments 0

Drawing apps are common nowadays. Usually made for children these apps need to combine a simplistic UI with a wide range of drawing options without making everything seem too complex. Too many tools and the kid may feel overwhelmed, too few and the kid can become bored. Striking the perfect balance is something that only a couple of drawing apps can do and Drawing Cartoons is one of them.

 

Drawing Cartoons is an app in which you learn how to draw using drawing phases that guide you one step at a time.

 

Not having too many screens( splash screen, options menu, main menu…) may give an app a poor feel, yet it is essential for kids. When you tap on the drawing cartoons icon, you’re immediately brought to a screen on which you can instantly choose what you want to draw and how many steps are needed to finish that particular drawing. A 10-step drawing is often something simple (like a sunflower), but there are more difficult ones like a 25 step turtle with a lot of shell details.

 

This is how the step-drawing works:

You see the final version of the image and once you begin with the first step it disappears. You only see some starting lines on which you draw. Once you’re done, you go to the next step which challenges you with more difficult shapes. After a couple of steps, you see the image forming before your eyes. Six buttons accompany your inspiration. Your trustworthy brush tool, your color-picker, your brush size tool, a quick undo button, an eraser and a save option which neatly saves all your work. Although this seems like tracing, many geometry related lines appear that capture the form of what later on will be a car for example. These lines are also thought at drawing classes which really help students understand three-dimensional space. When users of this app understand that these basic shapes later on form more complex ones, they could use this method when drawing on paper (which is exactly the point of every educational app). A banner ad is visible at all times but being located at the top it does not interfere with the drawing space.

 

Besides turtles and flowers there are more animals, vehicles, famous characters and other objects to be drawn. Once you’ve gone through all of them you can try drawing on an empty sheet of paper and see what you have learned. So no matter if you’re a kid that wants to work on improving his newly found talent or an older person who wants to give into an old hobby, this app will set everyone on the right way. The artistic way.

 

Download this great app now: http://mall.soc.io/apps/Drawing+Cartoons

 

Want to try drawing some more?

Try this free software for Windows: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

Extra ways to monetize your app

Posted by writer | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 15-08-2014 | Comments 0

Even beginners in app development know the most popular ways of app monetization. Those certain enough that they’ve created a unique app go with the “paid” business model, free to play apps turn to advertising, in-app purchases or in some cases both. However there are many other ways of monetizing and like always we’re here to share them with our dear developers.

Mobile partnerships – Producing paid and branded content or have you app sponsored by a major brand advertiser is an extra monetization channel. However these sponsorships could happen only if your app is of high quality and has a lot of traffic.

Co-branded games or apps – If your app is successful, brands will trust you to re-skin your app in order to promote a popular brand. Angry Birds did this with Star Wars & Temple Run with “Oz the Great and Powerful”.

Sponsored content – “Limited-time only” characters or virtual currencies that represent popular brands are a great additional source of revenue that plays off the brand’s recognition without expending too much of your resources. A good example for this is the famous Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt who was a special in-app purchase character in Temple Run 2.

Incentivized installs – Offering game currency or virtual goods in exchange for an install is a monetization model that ad networks like Tapjoy and its customers have profited from.

App localization – Selling your app on a global market may give you an illusion that your app has reached every possible region in the world. This is not true. Reaching emerging regions can be worth more than you think, but to exploit this international traffic you’ll need to localize your app which means region-specific content and language support. Also bare in mind publishing your app on alternative Android app stores in the countries you’re trying to reach.

Donations – Many developers regard donations as a lost cause when it comes to app income. Yet crowdsourcing & crowdfunding is currently “in” so if you have an app that benefits society why not have this as an option?

Cross-promotion network – This strategy doesn’t actively bring mobile ad revenue , but it does bring free users that you could monetize through in-app purchases.

App walls – With multiple apps advertised in an app wall, CTRs and eCPMs tend to be higher with panel and list ad formats (both app walls) than other types of display ad formats like interstitials and banners. However the number of impressions that app walls generate pale in comparison, so revenue may not necessarily catch up to interstitial earnings.

These are some extra ways to monetize your app. Want even more?

Just follow this link: http://appflood.com/blog/40-ios-and-android-mobile-monetization-strategies-for-app-developers

Asia? Your app should be there!

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 12-08-2014 | Comments 0

 

Everyone wants to get their app on the giant Asian market

 

Japan, China, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and YOUR app on every app store out there…sounds like an app dream come true? Yes, we all wanna go there and this is why:

Internet-enabled devices flourish in Asia more than in any region in the world. In a recent survey (Milward Brown AdReaction: “ the daily distribution of Screen-Minutes across countries” published in KPCB report) that analyzed the time consumers spend engaging with content across different platforms (including TV, PC, smartphone and tablet) five of most mobile-centric countries were in Asia, with Indonesia, the Philippines and China topping the chart in terms of screen usage. And with the Android platform’s strong foothold in this market it is now widely recognized that Asia represents a gold mine for app developers, but only for those who have the necessary tools to take advantage.

Why is this so?

Well culture really. What we as developers should understand first (If aiming towards Asia) is the intimate relationship Asian consumers have with their smart devices. Japan is the leading market in mobile app consumption, overtaking the US in October last year. Gaming is the most lucrative mobile app segment: Android games are downloaded six times more than the global average. Not developing games? Don’t worry! Asians use their smart devices for everything: communication, entertainment, access to information, learning and mobile payments. With so many different uses it comes natural for the analyst firm IDC to forecast one billion shipped devices per year by 2017 in the Asia-Pacific region.

As a developer you can start by learning as much as possible about this alien culture, then understand that localization is a must! With these steps done go with the most obvious publishing solution. But remember, besides the biggest known android app store there are tons of alternative ones which in China play big roles to local consumers.

With all of the cultural differences and specific app store guidelines which differ from region to region and from country to country you can have a really hard time, but luckily there are companies like http://www.smartions.net/ which deal exactly with these issues making your life a lot easier.

These are just some of the reasons why your app needs to aim towards Asia.

Read more: http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1569/2014/6/18/Asia-is-a-Gold-Mine-for-Android-App-Developers-and-Here%2527s-Why/

Jumping over the “mistake gap”

Posted by writer | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 08-08-2014 | Comments 0

Being an app developer quickly became one of the coolest and most lucrative jobs nowadays. In the past the debate was simple “Free vs Paid” or whether to set your price somewhere between $0.99 or $1.99. However many things regarding monetization have changed these few years and making mistakes when developing an app is really easy.

 

Today we’ll warn you about seven mistakes that could lead you into a “mistake gap”* while being in the process of app development.

 

1. Choosing the paid model – 5000 downloads for $0.99 each equals $5000 worth of revenue. Easy right? Wrong. Today’s app stores offer almost everything for free changing the psychology of consumers completely. Unless you have something unique to offer, app users will not pay a cent for your app. So give some thought before choosing this business model.

 

2. Not thinking ahead –  App development and app marketing need to be regarded as one when making a strategy. No matter how good your app is, a marketing plan is a must. It will get users to download your app and make them recommend it to their friends. It’s one thing to be a good coder and completely another to be a great sales-person.

 

3. Not customizing for different platforms – When doing app marketing you simply can’t take the same approach everywhere. Just as coding an app for iOS is a different programming language than developing an app for the Android platform, selling apps on the App Store is completely different from selling on Android app stores. The Terms & Conditions are different and the ways of monetization differ in popularity. The users on iOS are also very different than Android users. All these facts need to be taken in consideration when going for multiple platforms.

 

4. Letting advertising interfere with gameplay – Put an add space in your app and start making money just because someone is looking at the screen…seems great right? But there’s a challenge here when it comes to user experience. Read our article about advertising and you’ll realise that If running too often or are poorly placed ads can interrupt and ruin engagement. If your ads are causing your app to be shut down then you should reconsider where or how often do you have them present in your app.

 

5. Not setting consumer expectations- Every app on any app store has its own space where a brief description, a video or some screenshots are present. This is an ideal way to set expectations. But be really careful not to exaggerate with features that your app does not have. Remember: Always “underpromise and overdeliver.”

 

6. Not being honest about the app’s value- We often guide our readers back to the roots with the “knowing your app” article which we still regard as REALLY important for any developer. Many app developers have over inflated opinions about their app’s value and have unrealistic expectations for how much money their app is going to make. Be honest with yourself and get to know your app before giving it price tag. Answer all of the questions we have in Knowing your App and being realistic about the app’s value will come natural.

 

7. Not taking advantage of analytics- There were times where companies had to go blind about their marketing efforts because they just couldn’t have all the data required to make some assumptions or to see real results. As an app developer you now have means to track user behaviour like never before. How many people downloaded your app, how many visited your site, read your description but didn’t download your app, how many people run your app on a daily basis, how many deleted it instantly after the first run?? Questions that are easy to answer nowadays. See what works and fix what doesn’t, you’ll immediately notice the difference.

Are you making any of the mistakes on this list? Good news: it’s never too late to start fixing and climb out of that mistake gap!

Even if you’re making one of these mistakes, knowing where you went wrong will keep you closer to success than ever. Good luck with your app!

 

*Mistake Gap- The situation where all choices seem like mistakes. Sometimes a single small mistake leads to a mistake gap.

 

Read more:

http://partners.gamehouse.com/7-mistakes-app-developers-make-monetizing-apps-part-1/

http://partners.gamehouse.com/7-mistakes-app-developers-make-monetizing-apps-part-2/

Quick Tips for Aspiring game apps

Posted by writer | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 07-08-2014 | Comments 0

Our articles usually cover app monetization techniques or business model reviews, but we also provide quick tips and tricks for newcomers to our blog. If you’re new to app development read through these short bullets. They’ll point you and your first app in the right direction.

  • Know your players. We have a whole article about knowing your app, but knowing your players is equally important. Millions of apps can be downloaded for free and your app needs a compelling hook that will engage your target audience. Identify your users and design your app with their needs in mind.

  • Keep it fresh. Gamers get bored really fast if the game doesn’t offer something new. Regular updates, stream of novelties and incentives are a must. Repeating the same squence over and over gets your app outplayed by the competition.

  • Get social. Read our article Content Opens Doors to get more into what content means and how important it is. Every game is more fun when it has its own community. Online competitions, player interaction and in game sharing is essential for raising app popularity.

  • Offer in-app purchases. Although there are exceptions, today’s users are less likely to pay for app downloads, opting instead for free games. But once they’re engaged, they can be persuaded to make purchases while playing. Mobile ads provide another potential revenue stream—especially when you’ve accurately pinpointed your audience with a tool like Adobe mobile targeting. Be sure to use an ad format that complements your app’s design.

 

  • Cater to the platform. One monetization strategy does not fit all. Each mobile operating system has its own unique user behaviors and technological limitations. Start by identifying your target platform and then customize your monetization strategy accordingly.

 

We hope this article was useful and we wish you all the luck with your first app development. If you already have an app, submit it to our mall, follow our review guidelines and we’ll be happy to publish it on Soc.io Mall

Soc.io Review: Sushi the Fish

Posted by writer | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 05-08-2014 | Comments 0


At Soc.io Mall we encounter games of all genres and themes daily. Over the years we have seen knights, cowboys, zombies, cloud cities, candy dunes, space stations and more…But never have we encountered a fish as silly as Sushi(What a name!) and the illogical world it lives in. This orange fish wearing sunglasses and a jetpack belt(that works under water) has a pretty fishy life in a fish tank until you tap the “START” button.

This is where the fun begins!

You endlessly move to the right. Tapping the screen boosts your fish upward and shooting fireballs is automatic (yes, you shoot fireballs underwater). If you don’t tap at all you will drop to the sandy surface and see a funny animation of the fish actually walking. There are tons of enemies like fireflies, octopuses, crabs, anglerfish all possessing unique abilities that will cloud your field of vision or create beams of electricity that you need to avoid. Bump into any enemy and you lose. As you make progress you earn coins (found by defeating enemies or opening yellow chests) and gain levels that lead to upgrades like multiple fireballs, protective bubble, higher shooting rate, coin magnet range, extra rockets that provide supporting fire and better acceleration of your jetpack. Also you collect letters which form words that afterwards reward you. Besides this there are daily challenges that also preserve that whole wacky feel of the game(walk 41m on the floor) and many achievements for the hard core players. Regarding social media there are twitter and facebook share buttons that bring the fish bowl a bit closer to friends.

There is a story element in this game’s description where allegedly this orange fish escaped from an aquarium of a mad scientist laboratory and is now running in wild waters. The game does tell you that “you have been captured” when you lose, but this whole story (which isn’t even necessary in a game as over the top like this one) could have been told a bit better with a simple comic book style intro.

“Sushi the Fish” uses interstitial ads between play sessions and banner ads while on the pause menu. These ad positions ensure fun and non-interruptive game times for players.

Overall Sushi the Fish is a fun little game you can play on the go. If you like this out of the ordinary art style and illogical world theme you will surely enjoy your swim.

Download this android app now: http://mall.soc.io/apps/1015929677