The ultimate “Why Love eBooks?” list

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 30-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ebooks changed the way we read. Whole libraries now fit in pockets and dusting off old tomes has never been easier. Our own Soc.io eReader comes preloaded with more than 38 000 eBook classics. We put in that extra effort to have them in our solution out of the box and there is only one reason for this. We all love to read.

But why did almost everyone make this big switch from print to electronic version? There’s a lot of reasons, but we’ve curated this list just for you

1. Quicker to obtain.

Although most developers-related content is available online, there are specific pieces of info only available in books. Nowadays we want that info now, not wait for a book to be delivered. Through a simple eBook download you get what you need when you need it.

2. eBook updates

In this modern time every day we may expect a revolutionary breakthrough and books on almost any subject become outdated very quickly. With eBooks you’re always up to date and if somehow you’re not, it’s really easy to get the latest updates.

3. More than a book.

eBooks are sold with bonus info that doesn’t usually come with a traditional book purchase. Sometimes you may even pay more for an eBook, but you always get more too.

4. Portable

Carrying hundreds of books with you isn’t an option. Now, you can have hundreds of thousands on your laptop, tablet or eBook reader.

5. References can be hot-linked.

Adding links to web sites and other references is easy in an ebook. This enables readers to go other places and find out more and with today’s wireless networks this is really useful

6. Custom brand

You can have your brand on other people’s books or have their brands on yours.There are many viral eBooks and reports that the creators will often allow you to give away or sell, with your name or company’s name shown on the cover or linked at the end.

7. Global search and find features

Using the find feature you can easily look for a specific part (head, paragraph, or even word) in the book and save a lot of time.

8. Tech moves fast

Technology evolves rapidly and reading along side with it. Interactive books, and eBook games have already spread across Android markets and they expose but a fraction of what is possible to achieve with eBooks.

There are those who will forever stay loyal to hardcover print and we support them too, but being able to remind yourself of the best parts of your library just by looking in your pocket or mini handbag is an experience that every bookworm would surely cherish.

 

Read more:

http://successnet.org/cms/sales-and-marketing/top-ten-reasons-why-ebooks-are-better-than-printed-books#sthash.k3eTal0D.dpuf

Find your best read here:

http://mall.soc.io/books

If you are thinking about creating & selling your own Ebook watch this video:

http://www.affilorama.com/videos/869739

A ticket to the Edutainment Train

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 25-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ten years ago, there was a great debate (between educators & game makers) on the validity of “edutainment for kids”. Lots of accusations rose against technology which allegedly compromised the habits of the mind (study analysis, reflection, contemplation and deliberation)  The debate raged on, but the sheer growth and ubiquity of technology is unstoppable—as are parents who recognize that mobile learning is an almost mandatory part of kids’ educational experience. Today, it is already proven that comprehension is greater when edutainment apps are involved. Making the learning process fun actually works both for students and developers!

There are already more than 150,000 edutainment apps available, yet the industry is in its infancy still. The edutainment category is only at $1.5 billion and it’s forecasted to be at $2.3 billion by 2017.

Common Sense Media: Almost twice as many children have used mobile media compared to just two years ago – with the average amount of time tripled. 72% of children age eight and under have used a mobile device for entertainment up from 38% in 2011.  Wow. In fact, even today, 38% of children under two-years-old have used a mobile device for media.

Both big companies and indie developers can be successful if they spend enough time learning about children and their playing habits.

Concentrating on specific age groups really makes a difference.

3-6 year old – bite-sized interaction times from three to five minutes. Users finish a video or a game level, feel good and want to move on. This is the way to prolong engagement.

6-8 year old – here it grows to 10 minutes. More difficult levels create more of a challenge and inspire players from this age group.

We hope our developers were inspired by this article and now understand what a great new big window of development opportunity this growing slice of the industry offers. Especially with parents now finally feeling less guilt about the ‘parent-to-kid handoff’ of their smartphone or tablet.

 

The train has amazing developers climbing on board.

Become one of them!

 

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1620/2014/7/1/Why-Developers-Should-Hop-on-Board-the-Edutainment-Train-Before-it-Leaves-the-station/

Soc.io Review: Highway Madness

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 24-09-2014 | Comments 0

Endless games have been a huge success since Temple Run set the standard in 2012. Since then we’ve seen cute heroes run, scary zombies run, knights, mages….all of them running endlessly towards one goal – a higher score!

Runners have that addictive recipe inside and Highway Madness is no different in this regard. Featuring cartoony 3D graphics, nice animation touches (trunk opening and closing) and great music which follows the mood, this is an awesome game for your Android device.

You endlessly drive (sorry, no running this time) your car, running (so there is running after all) from the police. You are constantly avoiding roadblocks, other cars, trucks, road signs and pretty much everything else that appears on the endless road. While other games use mostly swipes, Highway Madness uses the tilting controls offering precise and smooth movement. Another useful control is the tap-hold which enables the car to go into boost mode! While boosting you can crush into anything without losing. If you are not in boost mode however and you crash, it’s GAME OVER. But this is something you see often in an endless game. It is actually the thing that motivates players to get better and better.

Losing only gives you more and more points enabling you to buy upgrades. There are three upgrade types:

  • Magnet – pulls coins towards you

  • Boost – your boost last longer

  • Shield – protects you for a limited time

 

Besides these, there are also two more types of playable cars you can unlock. But how you unlock them is quite interesting. We are all used to getting something special in mobile games by unlocking it with real money or the collectible in-app currency – in this case coins.

However in this game there are no in-app purchases where we expected them. There is a banner ad on top of the screen and interstitials appear from time to time (after a completed game session), but in the store everything can be bought with coins and by watching videos. Yes, we’ve seen this option in many popular titles, but never has it been so clear.

Watch 5 videos and you unlock a new vehicle. We liked this! And we believe that many users who enjoy the game will actually watch the videos in order to get a new car :) especially racing fans.

Players can also share their score on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and compete for the highest place in the leaderboard!

Start your engine vigilante!

 

Download now:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016308865

 

Why localize your app?

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 23-09-2014 | Comments 1

Localization became popular in the 90-ties when translating software and web sites became more relevant and started presenting problems beyond language translation.

Localization is not only language support. It’s much more. Cultures vary in so many different ways that even basic colors can be misinterpreted, images of specific themes are highly forbidden, sounds and video files need to be modified and even a character’s storyline should be altered to fit in some countries. It also means the translation and adaptation of marketing materials, including the metadata in the App Store or Google Play. That’s all part of “localization.”

If you’re wondering whether to localize your app or not you should consider about the 95% of the world’s population that doesn’t speak English as a first language. If your original app idea was to create something unique and useful and share it with the world you didn’t really thought to do it only in english right?  No? We thought so too.

The US app market is the biggest revenue-generating market growing 81% each year. Impressive right? Well, not really if you compare it to Japan’s app market which is two thirds the size of the US market and is still growing 280% annually. How about the South Korean market which is less than a third the size and growth at a rate of 759%??? And don’t forget countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China which are expected to rise significantly in this field too.

Great success stories for localized apps are “Zombie Ragdoll” (which launched in August 2013 in 20 languages and today has 80% of its downloads by users in non-English languages) and G4A Indian Rummy (which saw a 300% increase in user engagement with the localized versions).

 

So if you’re still wondering why to localize your app we highly recommend reading our article “Going Glocal” and start wondering how could you miss an opportunity like this?

Related Articles:

http://blog.soc.io/news/asia-your-app-should-be-there/

http://blog.soc.io/news/going-glocal/

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1601/2014/6/26/Why-You-Should-Localize-Your-App-(And-What-Exactly-Localization-Is-Anyway)/

http://www.ptiglobal.com/

Your Data – a new revenue stream

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 18-09-2014 | Comments 0

Behind eCommerce’s social and omni channel evolution lie APIs.

Big companies who have been in the mobile app & web business since the start have gained invaluable experience over the past 8 years. They have engaged millions of people with quality apps, games and services, they have monetized through all app and web-related business models and have learned how users think and feel, how often they use services, what kinds of app users are there and how to get the most out of everyone. This data can be used in numerous ways, but the way to create an extra revenue stream is actually making this data available through application programming interfaces(APIs) which enables third-party app developers to leverage a company’s aggregated data or selected services (facebook).

However, all big organizations don’t act the same. Some of them use APIs for their own purposes. But if you’re not one of those companies then you should know that your data can be used in more than 20 ways:

 

  • Pay per use: A company makes its transactional data available to third party apps that (for example) compare prices or analyze customer behavior.

  • Subscription: Fees accrue during a subscription period rather than per use

  • Resource-usage & Revenue-sharing: This model generates sales of a company’s own products from which the app developer too gets a cut.

See the remaining API business models deconstructed here:

http://www.getelastic.com/20-api-business-models-deconstructed/

The role of APIs as an additional revenue stream will expand, however it is essential for companies to make a clear distinction between their data and their responsibilities as stewards of the customer’s private data.
Read more:

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/monetizing_mobile_apps

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

5 app monetization mistakes that developers make

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 16-09-2014 | Comments 0

The mobile industry is advancing with the speed of light setting profit records for device manufacturers, OS suppliers and for a time – app developers. We say “for a time” because earning from apps becomes more of a struggle lately. Although there is a lot to read about “app monetization” around the web (and on this blog too), developers make some mistakes even before they publish their apps. Here are some of them:

 

  • Not even thinking about monetization- Instead of focusing on at least one business model, developers strive to get noticed and tend to draw attention to their apps. This is a good start, but popularity will drop if a developer doesn’t work and improve the app continuously. Making a high quality product is important, but thinking on how to sell it is equally important.

 

  • Not in sync with current demand- blinded by success stories, companies wake up to learn that their app is targeting a category which cooled off long ago. Although it’s always hard to predict where the profits will be tomorrow, keeping fresh portfolios and following the activity on all app stores could help in future app targeting.

 

  • Untapped markets not targeted at all- New niches are opening up constantly and vigilant developers might be able to forge an opportunity out of any target demographic. Localization should not be underestimated.

 

  • Advertising mistakes turn out to be costly- Many small developers count on ads to break even, even when they don’t understand how the advertising industry works. There are many types of ads and they all need to be differentiated.

 

  1. External ads (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads etc.): here developers need to allocate a sufficient budget and follow results ensuring that more money is earned than the costs to run the ads. Only successful ads should continue to exist.

  2. Internal ads: In app advertisement space can be sold to the highest bidder. This area requires a lot of planning. Poorly integrated ads can spoil user experience and high levels of ad intrusion leads to app uninstalls.

 

  • Being platform-sensitive is a must – Every mobile platform is a separate universe and should be treated uniquely. Different hardware and software specifications offer various opportunities and it is equally dangerous to focus on one OS than on all. Being aware of major OS updates and being ready to quickly optimize and update should be essential for every developer.

 

If you did not end up finding yourself making one of these mistakes, you are on the right path. But even if you did, there’s always time to remedy this and you can start now.

Read more:

http://www.avocarrot.com/blog/5-reasons-developers-handle-app-monetization-properly/

Soc.io Review: Bounce Classic Deluxe Free

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 12-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ever had a game from your childhood that really left a big impression on you? Surely many come to mind and along come Nintendo, Amiga or 486 PC memories too. But how about on mobile? I remember how popular “Snake” was back in primary school. If you were a mobile gamer then you surely stumbled upon “Bounce” at some point found on a Nokia phone. It was a game where you bounced with an orange ball through loops avoiding obstacles. It had solid controls and a good physics engine for those days.

 

Judging by the many YouTube videos, there are still fans of this game and it was fans who actually did a remake (nothing official, just a fan project) for Android called “Bounce Classic Deluxe free”.

If you are one of those who missed that orange bowling ball you’re lucky because you still control it in Bounce Classic! Yes it’s still bounces(with a simple tap) but how you move has changed. Tilting the phone left or right now moves the ball in those directions which is somewhat awkward, also the ball bounce rate changes at times (don’t know if this is deliberate) enabling you to pick up and loose speed fast and make climbing stairs a nightmare. Overall the physics are not that bad if they were purposefully made to act goofy adding to the wacky feel of the game.

As you start, you quickly realize that gathering all “X” shaped forms in a level opens a portal to the next(you just need to touch the portal first). You have three lives which sometimes is far from enough. Especially when you start facing spikes. Spikes are static traps that are placed above and below you at certain parts of levels. Touch them and you are spawned back to the start, if a level is too long the game is forgiving enough to spawn you somewhere in the middle, but even if you collect all Xs, the portal might appear at level start (completely in the opposite direction) which will make you go back through all the traps once again even though you’ve finished your goal. Losing at this point can be really frustrating.

 

But losing is something really common in classic challenging games. So if you are a casual gamer Bounce Classic might offer more frustration than fun at times, but if you are the persistent type, you will find a highly rewarding feeling at the end of every single level.

 

So start bouncing now:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016285466

Rival Knights: “Buy to win” of “Skill to win” ?

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 11-09-2014 | Comments 0

Another great game stands tall among “Androids” proving that good graphics, sound effects, medieval music and fun gameplay can create a wonderful experience for players when perfectly combined!

Today we’ll dwell into Rival Knights by Gameloft talking about the in-app currencies, how they affect users and what Rival Knights did different.

Usually mobile and facebook games have two in-game currencies. One which you could earn just by playing (usually gold) and the other that requires real money to acquire(often diamonds). Diamonds make you play faster and unlock new parts in the game. They also enable players to buy specific in-game items. This might seem like a good thing, but creating unbalanced game boosters or game items (+500 sword) may transform the game into what is known as “Buy to Win”.

 

Creating a “buy to win” game always raises tension among players and a lot of complaints start piling up on forums as soon as someone exploits the in-game paid currency and buys the top position on leader-boards. Players who do this, spend a lot of money which is great for developers, but overall this ruins the whole experience for others. Popular games like ( Clash of Clans, Farmville 2, Hay Day, Temple Run…) usually give out free diamonds (if you like/follow them on social media or finish specific in-game tasks) which could make a game easier, but with the amount given (usually only 1 or 2 from tasks and a one time 10 from a social media follow) you can’t really do anything if you’re one of those non-spending player types.

 

The latest game from Gameloft “Rival Knights” (featuring knights in shining armor jousting) does something different in this “Pay to Win” field. It has limited number of play times that you could finish really quick, it has two currencies, it has slow upgrades (in late game) it has basically everything a pay to win machine has.

 

What makes it different though is that It gives a lot more diamonds to players.  From in-game quests to multiplayer modes, diamonds come fast for good players. You could spend them on better equipment or invest in tournaments in which you can earn big amounts of gold, special items and up to 40 diamonds if you win!

 

This doesn’t make Rival Knights by Gameloft a “Skill to Win” game, but it is a worthy mention for developers out there that try to create new monetization systems which are both revenue-friendly for them and fun for players at the same time. Giving away more paid-currency won’t make the game easier (on the long run) and won’t make players spend less. On the contrary, players who usually don’t pay just might reconsider their tactics with a forgiving business model trick such as this one.

 

Find out more:

http://www.gameloft.com/

Read another or our business model trick revealing articles:

http://blog.soc.io/news/spot-on-in-app-purchases/

Why go with an alternative app store

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 09-09-2014 | Comments 0

Alternative Android app stores have identities of their own and constantly do things to set themselves apart of all others. Many offer unique bonuses or perks that you can’t find on Google Play. Such as?

  1. Exposure -Your app will be seen by users after you publish it (which is not the case with Google Play if you don’t invest in marketing or really have a unique app that will swim up in the ocean of android apps) and you can back this up with cheap neverending promotion deals.

  2. Special Events -Fresh apps, discounts or “free app” days when premium apps are given for free (read our article “Your place on the shelf” to learn about categories and why it’s important to compete in them) and where newly uploaded apps shine.

  3. Curated App Lists -Specifically hand-picked app lists by certain criteria (quality, music, art, replayability, usefulness etc.) If your app find its way to one of these lists downloads will surely follow.

  4. Localization – Yes, there are stores who recommend your app to a specific country if it has been adapted culturally and has a language support.

  5. Monetization Limitations -Alternative app stores don’t follow Google Play’s rules about push notifications restriction or on-app advertising tactics. This gives developers a big advantage when it comes to monetization.

 

While Google Play is certainly the place where you’d love to see your app featured and get downloaded like crazy, for developers who want to maximize the exposure of their new and unknown apps (as well as make as much money as possible from them), these app stores are godsent.

Risks?

In the past many app sources weren’t verified and people were afraid to enable the “Download from Unknown Sources” option under their “Settings>Security” menu. Nowadays however awesome mobile security software is available for free (like AVG) and users worry less about malware. Alternative app stores have also been active for a long time and they get better and better with every passing year offering unique android experience for users and better monetization options for developers.

So don’t hesitate, upload your app now on our alternative app store Soc.io Mall.

Read more:

http://blog.soc.io/news/google-play-try-another-way/

http://www.airpush.com/understanding-3rd-party-android-app-stores/

Related article:

http://blog.soc.io/news/google-play-try-another-way/

Measure what needs to be measured!

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 04-09-2014 | Comments 0

Not using analytics and not measuring the right engagement metrics is the biggest mistake an app developer can make. No matter which business model drives your revenue you must remember that everything is dependent on personalization and engagement.

The metrics are available but it can be tricky to find out which one of them is the most important to track the engagement.

 
We wanted to share with you the publication from Localytics “Eight Critical Metrics for Measuring App User Engagement”. An in-depth guide that covers engagement metrics, session length analysis, in app time and screenflow.
 
Get the free guide here: http://info.localytics.com/8-critical-app-engagement-metrics-adm
 

When done reading you should know about:

  • Which are the eight engagement metrics you should be measuring

  • How to create user baselines

  • The most up to date industry statistics around user behaviour and how they impact app performance

  • The five steps of running targeted marketing campaigns in five easy steps.

 

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1611/2014/6/30/How-to-Get-People-To-Use-Your-App,-and-Keep-em!/

http://www.localytics.com/resources/ebooks/