App Marketing Conversations

App Marketing Conversations: Apple Pay

Apple Pay & What It Means For E-Commerce

In our latest installment of App Marketing Conversations, Apptentive CEO Robi Ganguly (@rganguly) is joined by Ian Sefferman (@iseff)) of MobileDevHQ by Tune and Ryan Morel (@ryanmorel) of GameHouse to discuss their experiences with Apple Pay and its implications on mobile and e-commerce.

The discussion covers the good and the bad of Apple Pay – from its simplicity and ease of use to its current very limited coverage by retailers and credit cards.

With over one million card activations during its first 72 hours, Apple Pay has the potential to streamline mobile commerce on a massive scale while providing retailers with a much greater share of revenue than what they would otherwise receive with the App Store’s 30 percent cut on all digital transactions. Still, Apple Pay and other digital wallets raise some concerns around security, particularly after the recent hacking of Apple Pay competitor CurrentC.

Check out the latest App Marketing Conversations video to hear Robi, Ian, and Ryan weigh in on Apple Pay, and let us know what you’d add to the conversation in the comments below.


Robi: Hello, and welcome to another “App Marketing Conversations”. As always, I’m joined by Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune and Ryan Morel, GameHouse and I’m Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. So we’ve talked about user acquisition, we’ve talked about iPads and the tablets market, in the previous two segments. Make sure you check those out. But we’re going to talk about Apple Pay and what it means for e-commerce this time around. So a few months ago, we talked about Apple Pay initially. Now that you’ve used it, what do you think?

Ian: So I used it this week, at Whole Foods and the experience was really great! The experience of setting up Apple Pay was nice, it was not super-painful. The experience of using it was literally like, take out your phone, hold your thumb down, done. I don’t mean to over-simplify it. I don’t really know what else to say. That was how long it took. How much can I say, it was so simple. It was great.

Robi: That’s amazing. Have you used it yet?

Ryan: I’ve tried.

Robi: Okay, what happened with you?

Ryan: I haven’t been at a place that takes it.

Robi: Okay.

Ryan: Which I think says something in and of itself in the opportunity for e-commerce, right?

Robi: Yeah.

Ryan: You’re going about it every day. Interaction every day. But apparently I don’t buy enough stuff every day to get a place that takes it.

Ian: How many of your cards were accepted?

Ryan: All of them except for one, despite the fact that it was from the same bank.

Ian: Really?

Ryan: Yeah.

Ian: So for me, I basically have an Am-Ex and a debit card and just the Am-Ex was accepted.

Ryan: Really?

Ian: Yeah. I was a little bit disappointed about that, because I’d love to use that, so.

Robi: That’s interesting. Yeah, so I mean, it’s very early in terms of coverage from a store’s perspective and coverage from the cards that they accept. It seems like a lot of money is going to flow through this relatively quickly. Didn’t they already say the number of credit cards they got on file was far in excess of several other competing e-commerce through app services?

Ian: Yeah, yeah. And they didn’t get packed.

Robi: Yet! It’s true, that’s a really good point. So Whole Foods is taking it, who else is taking it? What’s going on here from the companies supporting this perspective?

Ian: So that’s actually a very good question. I think Target accepts.

Ryan: Target, Panera…

Ian: Yeah.

Ryan: CVS, either CVS or Walgreens.

Ian: Or, yeah, one of them and then the other one has their own…

Ryan: It is part of MCX message.

Ian: Right.

Robi: So let’s talk about this MCX thing, right? There are a bunch of fibers out there with a competing initiative. and they pulled their support from Apple Pay. So Walmart’s leading the initiative, is that correct?

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Okay, and then, who else was involved? I think CVS, some others?

Ryan: CVS, some grocery store, big grocery store chains, Best Buy and GAP is involved in it, although I doubt GAP is doing this, because I think one of the GAP people was involved with Apple.

Robi: Okay.

Ryan: It’s all retail.

Ian: And what’s their complaint about Apple Pay?

Ryan: I don’t think they have a complaint, I think it’s that they want consumers to use their solution. Well actually, sorry, I believe their complaint is that they don’t get any customer data. So when you use your credit card, you get customer data, and when you use Apple Pay, you don’t, because Apple handles transaction, and the card never leaves the “secure enclave” or whatever of the device. So that’s their complaint.

Ian: Gotchya.

Ryan: I believe.

Robi: Interesting. Well it seemed like for the people I follow that have Apple devices that were talking about this stuff on Twitter and other social sites, that was reason enough to not do business with them.

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: There are people actively choosing to not go there. Like, “Well, I’m going to go to the places that actually make it easy for me.” They feel like it’s anti-consumer.

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Has this mattered to you at all?

Ryan: No, not to me personally. I think it’s going to be really interesting to watch and see what people do. I mean, how many hacks do we need to see? Right? Like, Home Depot, Target, I’m sure there’s been another one, and now this MCX thing ws already hacked, although people might … How many do we need to see before we stop trusting retailers in general with our data? How much money needs to be lost? So I think it’s going to be interesting to see whether these retailers can avoid the wave of consumer sentiment towards things that they can’t control. Like Apple Pay.

Ian: Right, right.

Robi: Yeah, I mean, it seems to me like, you can either fight this or you can say, “I’m going to go and try to make as many things as easy as possible for my customers.

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: “Why struggle so much to take their money?”

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: “And in the process ruin my brand and my reputation?”

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: What do you think, walking around town, doing business on a regular basis, what parts of your life would be a whole lot easier if they had Apple Pay?

Ian: So for me it’s actually the small transactions, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Ian: I think the transactions under 5-10 dollars that are stupid little things, those are the ones that can be most improved by being sped up and not having to worry about carrying change and stuff like that. Going to the drugstore, I think that’s a big win. Actually, I’d love it for even things like – bad example because I don’t much do it – but things like vending machines or newspapers, kiosks or stuff like that.

Ryan: Right.

Robi: Yeah, I mean it’s a little bit different, but I use the Starbucks app which has my credit card information loaded.

Ian: Yeah.

Robi: So all I do is just scan it when I go to the coffee shop, and yeah. Seven dollars, five dollars, three dollars, paid in two seconds, super-easy, right? Yeah. What about you?

Ryan: So I think, maybe this would be a good segue into what you probably want to talk about, I actually think that e-commerce is where I would like to see it more, especially mobile e-commerce?

Robi: Yeah.

Ryan: Because… we talked a little bit about this before. There’s still a glut of people who don’t have mobile apps and purchasing things on mobiles on sites that are not called Amazon still sucks. I don’t want to put in all my info I don’t want to enter in all my credit card number, because I don’t know it! It’s not on me, right? So I agree with everything he said but I think like, I tend to buy more things on e-commerce, so that’s what I want.

Robi: Yeah, I think you’re a 100% right on that part. There are a bunch of different e-commerce companies, there are a bunch of companies that are traditional commerce companies, like Sears, right? That have become e-commerce companies and now mobile commerce companies, they have apps, but going through that registration process…

Ryan: It’s worse.

Robi: Sometimes it’s native, sometimes it’s web authorized, all that stuff. If I was on an iPhone, I’d just tap the item and then hit the little touch pad or touch ID and be away – Wow! That would be amazing!

Ian: Yeah, I mean I remember, I’ve been an Uber user for a long time but I installed Lift but I never actually used Lift because I had to put my credit card. It was like, I don’t want to go through this process but if that works, just use my thumb and I’m done? That’s a heck of a lot better experience.

Robi: Right.

Ian: The question I have then is does this start to break down some of Apple’s 30 percent ownership on digital transactions? Like if they’re only charging fractions that they’re charging on Apple Pay, can they continue to do that or will people start to get more upset than they ever have been about the 30 percent cut of app transactions?

Robi: I suspect that they don’t care long-term. I think that if they have the overall commerce market to go after, I don’t think Apple cares too much about that, and if people start getting frustrated, I’m sure that they’ll give them opportunities to use Apple Pay throughout their business. I wouldn’t be too surprised in the next year or so if Apple Pay ended up owning some of the subscription stuff that’s going through iTunes.

Ryan: We’re already seeing some breakdown of the walls of Apple with the recent thing about Disney getting Apple and Google to agree that if you buy a Disney movie, you can watch it on either device. I think we’re already starting to see some of that and it’s clear that Apple knows where its bread is buttered, and despite the fact that its media sales is a big business, it pales in comparison to its hardware. And that’s probably always going to be true.

Ian: So what’s interesting to me about that is that it’s always going to be a competitive threat to Amazon, as their business quickly moves digital, losing out on a huge percentage of revenue.

Ryan: My long, kind of moonshot theory is that Apple Pay is a big threat to Amazon because it enables so many little vendors combined with drop shipping and things like Ship and ease of purchasing things, which will create some competition for Amazon. Especially in the case where Amazon hasn’t been as focused on their ecommerce mode as they should be, with little things like the Fire, etc. at only 6 percent of retail.

Robi: Oh yeah, absolutely. And I think the interesting thing is fulfillment by Amazon has been a really smart move to create some momentum, but their mode is not the big brands, not the big ecommerce companies. In fact, most of those companies have parted ways in their relationships – so those are all opportunities for apple. Alright, so we’ve covered a lot of ground here. I think Apple Pay is very interesting, very easy to use, tremendous opportunities for ecommerce companies as well as others just to simplify the purchasing process. And we’ll see how the customer data stuff plays out, but I think security is a huge concern for consumers.

Robi: So be sure to share this, like it, and check out the other segments. Thanks.

Apptentive logo

New iTunes Connect Breaks App Submissions

Update:  We have confirmed that Apple has addressed this issue and app submissions via the new iTunes Connect are now working properly.


All eyes and ears were on Apple today as they announced the much-anticipated iPhone 6 with larger displays as well as the Apple Watch. Apple also released a new iTunes Connect, which for developers is starting to attract an outsized share of the attention, but for the wrong reasons.

The new iTunes Connect appears to have an issue which is preventing submission of apps that include an embedded .bundle. Unfortunately this is impacting Apptentive customers as well as customers of numerous other frameworks such as Google Plus and Google Maps for iOS.

Customers attempting to submit apps to the new iTunes Connect site are receiving an error message similar to:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 7.22.56 PM copy
ERROR ITMS-9000:  Missing or invalid signature. The bundle '$bundleIdentifier' at bundle path 'Payload/' is not signed using an Apple submission certificate.

If you submit via Xcode, the error message is sent to your developer account via email, rather than shown immediately as above in Application Loader.

On the face of it, the error seems similar to those that have been reported on OS X for Mavericks, which have been covered by Craig Hockenberry on his blog. Unfortunately, going through the steps that Craig suggests do not appear to address this issue.

Both building and submitting with Xcode 5.1.1 and Xcode 6 GM are currently broken in the way outlined above.

We have filed a Radar (bug) report with Apple on this, and based on the significant number of people that are encountering this issue we expect that there will be acknowledgment and resolution from Apple quickly on this issue.

We will keep you updated on this issue via this blog post as well as our Twitter account. This is a great time to follow us if you don’t already, as well as our status & operations Twitter account at @apptentive_ops.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or contact us.

Mobile Customers

The Evolution of the Mobile App Landscape

A person’s smartphone is, in some ways, an extension of his or her personality. Through mobile apps, a smartphone is the way someone communicates with friends, shops, plays, works, learns, remembers and more. Most people have their smartphones with them wherever they go.

The average person adds 2.5 new apps every month. According to Inside Facebook, download rates have increased dramatically since 2008, when there were only “about 10 apps downloaded for every iPhone/iPod touch. Two years later the rate was more than five times higher.”

App customers aren’t the only ones who have changed drastically in the past few years. Mobile apps themselves have undergone enormous changes, and will continue do to so in the coming months and years.

Mobile smartphone apps
More smartphones. More apps.

Although BlackBerry took home the win for the first smartphone – on sale in 2002, Apple’s iPhone brought us the ancestors of the apps we all know and love today. In 2007, Apple released the first ever iPhone with default apps including Maps, Photos, Messages and Weather.

However, by the middle of the next year, Apple launched their app store with hundreds of apps available for download. Google followed suit in October with the “Android Market” (later renamed Google Play). That same month, HTC released the first Android smartphone, the HTC Dream.

By January of 2011, more than 10 billion apps had been downloaded by smartphone and tablet users and come December, developers had created 1 million unique apps. These apps ranged from popular smartphone games like Angry Birds to the organizational app Evernote.

Brands are creating their own branded apps and selling them on Apple and Google’s app stores. Often these apps were value-added perks for existing customers to take of extra, convenient features. For instance, Verizon FiOS offers its fiber-optic TV customers apps to remotely control their DVR settings and stream content.

In the United States, people spend 49% of mobile app usage playing games. Social networking comes in second with 30%. News and entertainment make up less than 20% of mobile app usage throughout the day. The amount of time spent on mobile continues to increase as apps evolve and allow us to do more with our mobile devices.

Your apps and you.

Some of the most basic apps we use every day have all but replaced more traditional tools people utilized the days of smartphones.

Think about it. When you want to check the weather, do you turn to the local news? Or do you reach for your smartphone and open a weather app? Apps don’t just take care of your daily weather knowledge needs. There are other apps that have taken the place of tasks that, in the past, required more tools, travel and time to complete.

For example, in the past, banking required a trip to the bank complete with deposit slips, check book and even your best Sunday clothes, in some cases. Gas, time and, frankly, paper were wasted during the decades before mobile banking was developed.

Now, with banking apps, customers can access their accounts, deposit checks, make payments and perform other transactions without leaving the house. Or changing out of their pajamas.

Apps themselves continue to undergo dramatic change and development.

Mobile app UI design

Source: DeviantArt

If you jumped on the app bandwagon right at the beginning, you may have noticed the subtle development of app design throughout the last few years. Many apps utilized a simple list or icon system to display features.

Now, apps are able to incorporate high-quality photos and mobility throughout the app. Instead of just scrolling from top to bottom or clicking on one-destination icons, the Facebook app incorporates a more interactive user experience with a “swipe-over menu to the side for accessing your profile, News Feed, events, etc. instead of that home screen grid.”

These are just a few examples of the touch-friendly design techniques app developers have incorporated in their apps to optimize the mobile experience. New and updated apps are increasingly moving toward touch controls like gestures and swipes.

The growth is expected to continue.

TechCrunch explains that experts predict that, by 2016, 44 billion apps will have been downloaded and “app-to-person messaging should overtake text messaging.”

According to, mobile apps are “expected to be a $38 billion market by 2015.” These apps will be personalized, optimized for local use and will offer social interaction to customer. App developers are coming up with new application ideas every day to provide more services and usability to customers all over the world.

Established brands and brand-new startups are bdoth vying for the smartphone space, which is essentially a blank canvas for the next big thing in the app world.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Phillips is a freelance writer with a focus on marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in Philadelphia, PA. Elizabeth welcomes your feedback via email.

Apptentive Guide to Mobile Product Management

App Marketing

App Marketing Conversations: the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s

Apple released two new iPhones – how does this impact marketers?

In this installment of App Marketing Conversations we talked about the new Apple iPhones and discussed if they impact mobile marketers’ budgets and plans. In particular, we discussed which new audiences might become more common on iOS and how the new hardware features of the 5s might reduce friction in purchasing. Watch the video to find out more about:

  • Which audiences will probably be unlocked by the 5c
  • How to modify your marketing approach to take advantage of the new audiences

Be sure to check out the Gamehouse segment of App Marketing Conversations which talks about the mobile sensor on the iPhone 5s and to learn from MobileDevHQ about what’s new in the iOS 7 app rankings.

The Transcript:
Robi: Good morning. Welcome to App Marketing Conversations. As always, I am
joined by Ian Sefferman of Mobile Dev HQ, Ryan Morel of Gamehouse and I’m
Robi Ganguly  from Apptentive. Today we’re going to talk about the new
iPhones, starting with iPhone 5c, 5s. It came out last week and we’ll talk
about the opportunity that it presents to marketers, based upon what we
think that’s being. So let’s kick this off. What do you think about the new
iPhone 5c?Ian: I think the iPhone 5c is a device that I have no interest in personally
but that a lot of people will have interest in. We were talking beforehand.
It wasn’t a game-changer in any way. Right? It wasn’t like the rivers of
Amazon coming out of the phone that’s completely free for anybody or people
with a prime subscription or whatever. It was $100 cheaper than the 5s, but
that’s enough to open it up to a new customer segment.

Robi: Got it. What do you think?

Ryan: The same. It’s just the 5 rapped in a new shiny case. It’s really
interesting from the perspective that most people don’t know that. We know
that but 99% of the population is like, “Oh, cool. A colored phone, it’s
awesome. I’ve always wanted an iPhone and now there’s colored ones.” I
think their choice not to move really far down market is an interesting
one, and my guess is that some of it is a defensive move for their
ecosystem. Like, they don’t want all the people who aren’t going to buy
apps and are going to download content and pay money. It hurts their
ecosystem. I think it was a calculated move.

Robi: Got it. What about the opportunity from a marketer’s perspective? A lot
more people are buying these things. Obviously, we can make a volume
improvement. Is the selling market really exciting for marketers in the
next six to 12 months? Do you have to start thinking, “Oh my gosh. I really
have to think about the iPhone 5c consumer”?

Ian: Yeah, I think you do. I think it opens up a different range of consumers
as well. I think that the tweens become an interesting segment, especially
for the gaming side of the World. I think it opens up the World to tweens
and I think it also potentially opens up the World to a different segment
of 60+ year old women as well. As a marketer, you now have a much larger
base to go to.

Robi: Sort of playing on that, what’s the most exciting new demographic you
might see as a consumer?

Ryan: I think it’s the tween. If they have the iPhone, they have some
amount of disposable income. Their parents are giving them money from their
parents’ account, or whatever it is. We know it’s true that, that
demographic is addicted to their phone and addicted to content. If you have
content or have passion for developing content for that age group, this
could dramatically change the prospects of your business.

Ian: So, let’s move a little bit iPhone 5s. What’s your favorite thing about
the iPhone 5s?

Ryan: I haven’t played with it yet, so I don’t know. I’m sure all of it is
pretty cool. I’ve finger-printed the A7 chip, the M7 sensor. It’s all
really interesting. The most interesting thing is the…This is really the
foundation for the next three years or so for Apple and how they approach
the market and services they provide because that’s clearly what they’re
pushing for.

Ian: What do you mean by that? I don’t know much about the hardware specs on
it but, for me it was kind of a lackluster launch.

Ryan: The M7 chip, with the ability to track movement, speed, location, ID
cam, which starts to give you some interesting indoor mapping options as
well as Geo-cash hunting sort of stuff. The 64bit processor enables almost
about five years of console-quality gaming. Is Apple putting Apple up to a
new TV product that all of the sudden replace consuls and just put in
things like infinity play? I think that’s really interesting. Finger-print
with potential to unlock payments. Again, with the low-power blue tooth eye
beacon stuff. That could be really interesting for the long term. I think
their choice to make all of their office competitors pretty was also an
interesting one. It’s defensive and it keeps Google and Microsoft from co-
opting services on their devices. I think that’s smart.

Robi: Yes. Not as familiar with the hardware specs but thinking about the
services around the 5s, did anything come to mind that you’re like, “This
is really interesting. It opens up the opportunity to…”

Ian: I thought in general it was a lack-luster launch. It’s actually not the
most interesting now. The office suite or whatever it is, iWord, or
whatever, was the most impressive thing for me. I think that was totally a
defensive move but it was also a, “Look, we are actually betting on the
iPad tablet, not just the iPhone, becoming a place for media, content
creation, rather than just consumption and that will continue to shift the
World towards the mobile ecosystem and Apple’s ecosystem.

Robi: I think the really interesting thing about the 5s, if you look at it
sort of macro, is that even if Apple is looking to broaden its market or go
down market or at least achieve lower price points and bring in a different
class costumer, they’re also leading the way on IM. The touch that allows
you to log in to your device by finger-print scanning…that’s crazy! We
have finger-print scanners on our phones now. That’s way out on front to
me. Even though it’s not the first one, this is going to be mass market.
We’re going to be comfortable finger-print scanning thanks to Apple.
They’re pushing that out and it says to me as a marketer the continued
investment in their ecosystem is going to read high on rewards, with a
broader base of consumers to spend more money. Apple’s really good at
getting people to spend money. I’ll tell you, I bet the 5s is going to lead
to 50% increases for purchases for some apps.

Ryan: Even just like, playing with my phone yesterday and knowing there’s
this ID touch screen thing that I could be using makes putting in a
password really annoying because my password is kind of long and
complicated. So I’m always like, “God! I could be done by now! I have to
have this new phone!” It’s the age-old thing. If you can remove friction
from any point in the process, you will make more money.

Robi: I think that motion-sensing stuff is really interesting. In our next
segment, Ryan is going to lead a conversation about that and the
opportunities there. Be sure to check that out, as well as Ian’s segment,
like us on YouTube and share with your friends.


Quit Hating on iOS 7 & Be Constructive

(Update, you can discuss this post on HackerNews here)

Last Saturday, a tweet from Cory Bohon grabbed my attention and, apparently, a lot of other people felt like me – take a look at its faves and retweets:

A screenshot of Cory Bohon's tweet about iOS 7 complaints on Twitter and how to give feedback more constructively

As a company that is totally focused on mobile customer feedback and communication, we wholeheartedly agree about this. Yes, iOS 7 has some inconsistencies, some rough edges and some bugs, but it’s not constructive to just HATE on an entirely new OS in public on Twitter.

Especially when it’s so easy to do something constructive!

Do you want to actually effect change? Here’s what you can do:

If you’re a consumer with bugs, feedback or suggestions about iOS 7, go here:

If you’re a developer with bugs to report, you can use Apple’s bug reporter here (requires an Apple ID):

We believe in the power of customer feedback – real people read these bug reports and suggestions and want to make amazing products. You can be part of the solution to the problems you’re experiencing and help every customer of Apple in the process.

“Haters gonna hate” – but is that who you are?

In working with thousands of companies making apps, the phrase “haters gonna hate” comes up a lot. For any product or service that achieves a modicum of success, there will be a group of people who choose to vent, complain and badmouth you. But our belief is that this group is very small and it’s dwarfed by the people who actually care about your product enough to feel strongly. For those customers, making it super easy to listen and responding to them is crucial to ensuring that they feel heard.

We suspect that most of you out in Twitter-land complaining are closer to “Apple Lovers” than “Apple Haters.” If you’re frustrated because you love the company, their products, and their employees then you owe it to yourself to take advantage of constructive channels for sharing your opinion.

Take the extra 30 seconds and give them constructive criticism in a channel that they’re listening to and have set up explicitly to make better products. They’re listening and working as hard as they can on developing an amazing experience. They do care what you think. After all, this is a company that was founded by someone famous for answering emails himself and currently run by someone who cares enough to show up at stores on launch day.

App Marketing

App Marketing Conversations: Mobile Marketing for Retailers

Mobile commerce is coming. We hear it from more retailers every week: their customers are moving to mobile devices and with it, their attention has shifted. As retailers try to figure out how to market to mobile customers, we had some advice about the customer acquisition strategies they should employ, things like:

  • Utilizing iTunes Smart Banners
  • Being wary of being too aggressive to all mobile customers
  • Applying their existing media spend to mobile acquisition messages

Watch this quick 8 minute video to find out more about how as a retailer you can boost your app downloads and accelerate your mobile business through intelligent marketing. Tried any of these tactics out or have others to suggest? Please share in the comments.

Be sure to check out the Gamehouse segment from this week’s App Marketing Conversations, covering the overall app market and how developers can take advantage and watch the MobileDevHQ segment on app store competitive intelligence.

The Transcript

Robi Ganguly: Good morning. Welcome to another App Marketing Conversations. I’m here with Ryan Morel of GameHouse and Ian Sefferman of Mobile DevHQ, and I’m Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about nontraditional channels and marketing efforts in the app store and the app ecosystem more broadly. I think starting off with why to talk about this stuff. We all know the [inaudible 00:00:25] installs continues to increase in price. There’s more competition every day, and certain categories in particular are really expensive. We know that games are hyper competitive. Tons of competitors there paying for installs, getting featured, et cetera. So, as you’re approaching your marketing budget and you spend, what can you think about here? In particular, I want to talk a little bit about the retail space. We see more retailers coming online and trying to think about approaching this. It’s expensive, it’s crowded to look at installs. What are other channels that you would look at if you were a retailer, Ryan?

Ryan Morel: Your existing customer communication channels would be the first ones. You have an e-mail list, a website, people come into your store
and buy chocolates. Fantastic.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: Do that. Especially for retail or anybody that has an existing
communication channel or an existing customer relationship outside of an
app, use that to drive people to your app experience.

Robi Ganguly: So would you be a proponent of buying television advertising
around app marketing?

Ian Sefferman: I would, actually.

Robi Ganguly: Have you ever seen any…

Ian Sefferman: Yeah, we were talking about this online. On certain
occasions I may watch Keeping up with the Kardashians. On certain occasions
I may watch Keeping up with the Kardashians marathons. And somebody who
does this really successfully, or at least appears successfully with it, is
Candy Crush. Obviously, that’s a game. The game’s category is not in
retail, but they are purchasing as specifically around their app. It’s all
focused on the app itself and how that’s working. They’re running it so
frequently that I don’t think that they’re not making money.

Robi Ganguly: Right, yeah.

Ian Sefferman: So, yeah, I think TV and off-device in general is a really
smart avenue to go.

Robi Ganguly: I definitely see more and more traditional brands talking
about their app in some of their commercials, Maybe not everything. But a
few of them seem to have campaigns around this, like retail banking. Bank
of America, Wells Fargo, these folks, and Chase. Chase is blasting the
airwaves recently. They talk about their app and your ability to take
pictures of receipts and stuff like that. I think these guys are realizing
that their existing span can actually utilize and broaden their depth of
communication and connection to their customers by getting them in their
mobile app. Let’s talk a little bit about WebTap. So, this is something
that you see a good bit.

Ian Sefferman: Right.

Robi Ganguly: You talked about with people I know that you’ve been a
proponent. If you have a website, people are coming to it and they’re on a
mobile device telling them, hey we have an app. Communicating that there’s
another way for them to interact with you. So, talk a little bit about the
doubts there. What do you think is good that’s practiced, and what are the

Ian Sefferman: Yeah, well the biggest downside is if you do it in a
spamming way. If you do it in a spamming way people are just going to hate
it. They’re going to not sell your app and they’re probably not going to
come back to your site either, right.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: In fact, there’s a whole Tumblr on sites that do this.

Robi Ganguly: Oh yeah…

Ryan Morel: I’ve seen this.

Ian Sefferman: I think it’s .
Something like that, right.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: All it is is screen shots of people who are doing
interstitials, but interstitials in a bad way. Which is you go to
somebody’s web site and you see an interstitial to install the app because
you’re on a device. Literally you can’t see any of the content of the page.
So, I think there’s a couple of things that make it better. One is if
you’re going to do an interstitial, which I personally don’t mind as long
as it’s really simple for me to get to the content that I want when I want
it. So, I want that content right now. I came in through search, I came in
through social, whatever it is. Tell me you have an app. You gave me that
interstitial. There’s a good chance I’ll install it. But, if you’re going
to do that at least let me also see the content that I want to see. Smart
Banners from Apple are really interesting.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: That’s a non-intrusive way of doing it.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Don’t be spamming me. Do it in a way that still enhances the
customer experience.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: What would be your recommendations for how to expand in terms
of thinking about putting it on different sites? How do you hit a point
where you’re like, OK we have enough mobile traffic we need to start
thinking about this?

Ryan Morel: If you have a site and have any traffic you should be thinking
about it.

Robi Ganguly: OK.

Ryan Morel: Because, I’ve yet to see a business that doesn’t have an
increase in share for traffic coming from mobile devices whether they have
a hundred visits a day or ten thousand, and the mobile number going like

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: So you’ve got to be thinking about it. I would look at it as a
follow like all things. If you have the first time visitor, because I had
the same thing happen, you get to some random article that’s like install
my app. And I’ve never even been to your website before. What makes you
think I want that? You can be intelligent about, hey this is a first time
visitor let’s separate the content. At the end we might say, vote for us.
Then they come back again, they read some more content, and then you might
show them the interstitial – hey did you know in the app you get this
additional content.

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: Consumers are really smart these days. This isn’t 1998 where
people just add whatever, and cookies fly in. People get it. We need to be
respective of their time and their attention.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: Like Ian said, don’t be spamming.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah. I think one of the things that, in particular at retail
sites, is a real problem and that people need to probably evaluate more
deeply is if somebody comes to your retail site on their mobile device and
you’ve got a mobile optimized site, they’re coming there generally speaking
with a task in mind. And the first thing you do is say, hey switch your
task from doing what you came here to do to downloading the app, installing
it, then having to log in or something. You’ve probably created much more
friction for that consumer to complete their task. That is probably a good
cost loss for you.

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Or revenue loss, I should say. Because that person doesn’t
necessarily complete the task that they came there for. They get
frustrated. So, you want to think about if people are coming to your site
where it might be appropriate. Or if you think the second or third time
they come back and that’s when you try to…

Ryan Morel: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: …talk about what the benefits are and why that would
actually save them a bunch of time. You might have gotten to a point where
you earned that.

Ian Sefferman: And I think you can, on top of that, you can provide
innovative features on the mobile device that is hard to provide on mobile

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: And that you can use to entice users saying, hey do you want
to have a 360-degree view of this product. It’s hard for us to do this in
the mobile web, but if you install our app you can start to play with the
product in a new way, whatever it is.

Ryan Morel: Yeah, and I think to your point, really this is about
separating. There are two different types. There is a transactional
relationship, and there’s a relationship relationship.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ian Sefferman: Right.

Ryan Morel: And people who download apps want to have a relationship

Robi Ganguly: Yeah.

Ryan Morel: You can go to a mobile website to buy something on a
transaction. Let them do the transaction, and then do what you just said,
Hey, did you know if you do this you can do X, Y, and Z.”

Ian Sefferman: Yeah.

Robi Ganguly: Yeah, that’s right. So, I think we’ve covered the fact that
there are other ways that you can market your app. You might have existing
channels, TV. If you’re spending on TV, if you’re spending on print, if
you’re spending on radio those are places to start telling people,
generating more interest in your app. You should certainly be utilizing
that. But, if you have a website that has meaningful traffic, thinking
about non-spamming ways to direct that traffic to your app and tell them
about the benefits is really pretty valuable.

So, make sure to like this on Youtube, share it, and check out the other
videos that we will be shooting to tell you about app marketing. Thanks.

App Marketing

App Marketing Conversations: Celebrating 5 years of the App Store

5 years. Hard to believe it’s been that long since the app store was released (this week’s the 5 year anniversary). In 5 short years we’ve seen:

  • 50 Billion downloads from the iTunes app store
  • Over $10 Billion in payouts to app developers
  • Over a million apps created

And that’s just the beginning of the ridiculous stats we could talk about. This week we took a long look at the past 5 years, talked about some of the most impressive/amazing stats and then talked about what we think the next 5 years have to offer. Have thoughts on this? Please share in the comments.

The Transcript: 

Robi: Hello, and welcome. It’s been a little while. Welcome back to App
Marketing Conversations. I’m here with Ryan Morel from GameHouse and Ian
Sefferman of MobileDevHQ. I’m Robi Ganguly from Apptentive. A lot has
happened in the past month or so since we did the last one, but what’s
coming up tomorrow is actually the fifth anniversary of the App Store. I
thought we’d spend a little bit of time talking about what that means, what
we’ve seen over the past five years, and what we can expect in the next
five.So let’s see. What’s the most impressive stat? Is it the number of
downloads? Apple announced a little while ago the 50 billionth
download happened. Android, they haven’t really officially
announced it, but it was projected it happened a couple weeks
ago as well. So we’ve seen a hundred billion app downloads.Or is it the number of devices out there or something else? What do
you think, Ian?

Ian: To me, the most impressive stat is the number of stats that are
impressive. There’s the number of downloads. There’s the number
of handsets. If you start to look at like amount of revenue in
the app ecosystem, you’ve got tens of billions in advertising.
You’ve got tens of billions have been paid out by Apple.
Probably five, ten billion paid out by Google. Like every
statistic that you look at is impressive.

Robi: Yeah.

Ian: That whole picture is just incredible to think about, that that
happened in five years.

Robi: What about you?

Ryan: Yeah. So I think actually the most impressive is the velocity of App
Store revenue, which seems to be going straight up despite the
fact that handset sales are growing relatively linearly, and
that they’re not out of triple-digit growth. I was looking at
some of the math, and I think less than a year ago it was $5
billion paid out, and now it’s $10 billion paid out. That’s
pretty amazing. People are just spending more, and maybe that’s
a testament to how good and how smart app developers and
marketers have become about how to monetize their content. But
that’s what’s most amazing to me, and how much bigger can it

Ian: That’s cool, and I think that that leads into one of the other
amazing statistics, which is time spent on mobile devices. It’s
just incredible the amount of time people are spending,
consumers in apps. It’s insane.

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Yeah. It’s now second only to television. From five years ago, when
apps on your smartphone were little Java applets that broke most
of the time and looked horrible, to today we now have almost as
much time spent with apps as we do watching television, which
has been around for 60 plus years and is in everybody’s home
around the world. Wow, that’s pretty incredible.

Ian: That’s pretty cool.

Ryan: I wonder how long until that shifts entirely? Partially just because
of the amount of content, but also because television starts to
become apps. You’ve got HBO GO now, you’ve got the Pac-12
Network app, and those are all of a sudden available on Apple
TV. Pretty soon, we’re not that far away from it all flipping.
People are consuming a lot of content. I was looking at some
YouTube stats today, not today, a couple days ago, and something
like 97% of our YouTube viewers come from mobile and the mobile
app. A mobile YouTube client, that’s amazing.

Ian: Ninety what?

Ryan: 97%.

Robi: Wow.

Ian: That’s incredible.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean, who knows? YouTube and Google stats are always a little
bit fishy, so it’s hard to know exactly how right that is.
Regardless, if it’s one magnitude off, that’s fine. It’s still a
really big number.

Robi: Right.

Ian: Yeah, for sure.

Robi: And then you think about five years ago, none of the businesses we’re
involved with could have existed. Now, we’re not just the
exception. There are so many. We have competitors. There are
other people out there doing some of the things that we’re
doing. But then you have the flurries, the contagents of the
world, and you have the business for Facebook advertising on
mobile that has just apparently exploded in the past year. You
have Twitter saying their mobile ad rates were way better on
mobile than anybody expected and seem to be outperforming
Facebook. So it’s like, “Holy crap, where did all this stuff
come from?”

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: What do you think, as an app developer, in terms of dealing with the
mess that people are facing? One thing that’s coming up a lot is
five years in the App Store, blah, blah, blah, lot’s of
activity, but it’s still hard to get to the top. App Store has
really, it’s a tough discovery problem, and you can’t get
awareness. Does that mean that you should shy away from the App
Store, or have we learned something about marketing? Do we know
what we’re doing enough now to say that, the next five years,
it’s going to accelerate for businesses getting out there and
building awareness?

Ian: Yeah. I always do the analogy to the Web. In my mind, we’re operating
in the app ecosystem at a faster pace than what we operated on
the Web, probably because we learned a lot from the Web. But
from sort of ’95 to 2000 was a gold rush. It was everybody has
to be the one place, the top of the top. That was a really
interesting time. We went through a little bit of a downfall,
and that was the crash, and then we started to actually really
understand what it took to build a business. People were
slogging for really interesting amounts of money.

I think that if you equate that to the app ecosystem, the first
five years were around, “Be the top of the charts. Be that sole
person owning it.” Now, what we’re seeing is like, “Oh, the
indie developer is having a tough time. There’s going to be a
little bit of a drawback.” And then what we’re going to see is
that people are going to then start to invest in how do you
actually build a real business around this. I think now is a
great time to be starting to invest in that, and let’s use what
we’ve learned from the Web as a way to catapult us to get
through that downfall faster.

Robi: What about you, Ryan, what do you think?

Ryan: I don’t actually remember what the original question was.

Robi: It was a long one. That was my fault. We were talking about app
marketing and the state of the world today. A lot of people are
out there complaining, being like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, five years
in, we’re at peak capacity for apps. There are just too many.
Nobody can find anything. Marketing is a challenge, and this is
going nowhere.”

Ryan: I think the interesting thing is, and I’ve heard this talked about a
couple different times, so I’ll just say what I heard about
this. No one cares about app discovery being an issue except for
developers. The reason that’s true is because Apple doesn’t
care. Apple doesn’t care because consumers are perfectly happy
with the experience as it is. Consumers obviously have no issue
finding the content that they want, or the download . . .

Robi: Fifty billion downloads is a lot.

Ian: Fifty billion.

Ryan: Or the download numbers wouldn’t be happening. It should be becoming
clear, not only just from what Apple says, but also in practice
that the only thing Apple cares about is customer experience.
That’s it. If you believe it, but it seems to be true.

Robi: Well, their view of it, at least, right?

Ryan: Yeah, their view of it, so providing the consumers with the best
possible experience. If I was developing my own content and
marketing it, I’d be pushing that angle as hard as I could, not
only with consumers and continuously providing them with content
they like and then ways for them to share it, but also pushing
Apple on, “Hey, this is showing off your hardware. It’s
exclusive to your platform,” maybe, all the things that Apple
cares about to help you with your marketing.

The one thing that we have learned is that despite the fact that
iPhones aren’t the least expensive and they’re not the most
ubiquitous in carrier stores, they still sell the best on an
individual device basis. Maybe you can simplify it to that
experience matters most. So if you take that and put that in and
think about your content that way, it may be obvious. I don’t
know if that’s a good answer or not.

Robi: No. Well, I mean I think the thing that’s interesting about it is
that there is a lot of like solidarity around this majority
viewpoint that the discovery of a program is too hard. But I
think you’re right. That solidarity is from the people who are
having a hard time being found, not consumers. Consumers aren’t
taking the blogs. I never see anybody on my Facebook feed say,
“Man, I couldn’t find an app for shit today.”

Ryan: Right above the one Facebook app install post and right below the . .
. there is no issue with this.

Robi: Yeah. No, you’re right. I think the other thing about it that I bring
up a lot, I was at this conference talking to retailers and e-
commerce providers who were moving to mobile, and a point I made
to the audience that seemed to really resonate is, “Look if you
have an existing presence, you already have assets. Maybe you’re
a magazine. You have a magazine you print, and then you have a
website. You already have fans on Twitter and Facebook and other
people. You already have some following in different places.
Take that and move them down to your mobile app.” That’s a huge
place where the discovery problem doesn’t impact.

Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn has a website with existing traffic
that they’ve already figured out how to spend against. And now
what are they doing? They’re saying, “Oh, looks like you’re on a
mobile device. You should check out our app.” They don’t have a
distribution problem. So that seems to me like the majority case
for online businesses today who are embracing mobile. Then it
comes back to your point about the Web, except it piggybacks off
of what we’ve already learned.

Ian: Yeah, exactly.

Ryan: Well, the other interesting point that I was thinking about, there’s
a funnel approach here. One of the things that I think companies
and marketers are doing incorrectly is assuming everyone is at
the same point in the funnel regardless of where they are in the
life cycle with you. So in the Holiday Inn example, if I’ve
never stayed at the Holiday Inn and I go to the Holiday Inn
website on a mobile phone, I don’t want to see a big pop-up for
your app. I don’t want any of that. But if I’ve stayed with you
multiple times and I’m a Holiday Inn card member, now is
probably a pretty good time because I clearly engage with you,
and I’m farther down the funnel. So I think you will need to be
a little bit smarter about that. Instead of trying to push
everyone to this singular experience, think about it like a
funnel. Where do people actually fit and whether we want them to
do that way?

Robi: But I think that the beautiful thing that is implied in is that we
are already, as consumers, embracing mobile so much that there
is the notion of a funnel. We’re not all at the beginning. Five
years ago, being in the an App Store, people were like, “Why
would I download an app? I don’t understand why. Why are you
pushing me to download this thing?” Now, a bunch of us are like,
“I use this service all the time, and it’s more convenient on my
mobile device because I’m traveling. I just like to have that
discreet experience.” We’re already at that point where we
expect it as consumers for many things.

Okay. So next five years, what do we expect? We’re at 50 billion
downloads already. What’s your most outlandish expectation for
the next five years?

Ryan: I don’t even know what to say. I almost don’t have expectations,
because I think it’s all going to change really quickly. I’m not
a huge believer in the wearable tech movement at the moment, at
least shifting a majority of what people do on their phones away
from their phones, like some percentage of it. I would say it’s
pretty clear that Apple and probably Google are going to move
really strongly and quickly into home entertainment more than
they already have, console gaming, home automation, and
expanding their ecosystem so that they lock people in more than
they already are, especially with Apple. But I have no idea how
big. How much bigger can it get? Everyone has one of these at
this point. At least, and I don’t mean to sound crass with this,
at least the people that matter. Some guy in Pakistan not owning
an iPhone doesn’t really make up most app numbers. It’ just the
reality. And I’m not picking on Pakistan, it’s just . . .

Ian: Yeah. I’m not a big wearable tech guy either, although I will say
that the increase in number of devices and types of devices is
something that I think we’ll see in the next five years. There
will be a massive shift to all sorts of devices that we haven’t
thought of yet all sort of piggybacking on the app ecosystem in
general. I would actually disagree that there’s saturation in
the smartphone market already, but whether or not there’s
saturation in the smartphone market, I think that we haven’t yet
even seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of saturation and in
terms of overall app devices.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that the most interesting thing will be how they all
interact with each other now. Right now, it happens to be kind
of a relatively mediocre client services and file sharing stuff,
and that’s kind of okay. But how is your iPhone or your Nexus 4
going to interact with your iPad and Nexus 7 and your iWatch or
whatever, Pebble? What unique and different things does each app
do on those different screens, that will drive the next
iteration of acceleration, the next growth path. What do you

Robi: Well, I think that the magnitude of where we are already in five
years, that there are about a billion people or so using smart
devices that are downloading apps in some form or fashion is so
phenomenal that it’s hard for us to understand the scale at
which we will be operating five years from now. What I mean by
that is people talk a lot about the Internet of things. The
Internet of things, for me, fundamentally is this idea that
there are going to be tens of billions of sensors out there
reporting on the human experience and interacting with the world
around us, and bringing us back data. I think that a billion
smartphones is like a scratch on the surface of what we’ll see
over the next five years. It will be like probably 3 to 5
billion smartphones connected to 50 billion sensors everywhere.

Ryan: Connected to the NSA.

Robi: Well, that’s clearly always been the case. I just think that we
should have known that was coming. That magnitude of all the
data that’s going to just live in our pockets, we already have
so much data living in our pockets. But now, we’re like your
home temperature, not just for like one room, but all the rooms
is connected to that thing. Then your smart device for working
out in one way, like you have smart devices on your weights at
the gym, and then you have your smart devices in your shoes when
you go running, and your smart devices with your kids as you’re
playing with them.

All that stuff is connected back to this thing and what your
experience looks like, because this is clearly the screen that
we end up looking at all the time. That, to me, it’s very hard
to predict, but I just know five years from now, we’ll look back
and be like, “Man, there’s so much information that I didn’t
have five years ago.” That’s what I expect to be amazing.

Ryan: Yeah.

Robi: Any last words?

Ian: Lots of opportunity.

Robi: Lots of opportunities. Yeah, we’re still just beginning. Be sure to
share this, like it on Facebook, subscribe to our channel, and
then check out the next installment with Ian talking about some
of the trends we’ve see in hardware and the markets overall.

App Marketing

App Developer Conversations: Android News & Apple Critiques

In this App Developer Conversations we dug into some recent Android news and some critiques coming out of Apple.

We focused on a couple key areas:

  • What’s the impact of Andy Rubin leaving the Android team at Google?
  • The table market is becoming so large companies can focus on just making apps for tablets

Be sure to visit MobileDevHQ to see the how to be successful with apps in China

Take a look for yourself and see if you learn something new. Be sure to let us know in the comments if there are other areas we can address!

The Transcript:

Robi: Hello. Welcome to App Developer Conversations. We’ve got Ryan Morel
back. You look a little tan. I hope you had fun in Hawaii. Ian is also
back from Hawaii.

Ian: Doesn’t look tan, because I stay in the shade.

Robi: Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ. I’m Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. Now
that the gang is back together, we’re going to talk about some new and
some old news, I guess. Let’s start off with something that’s old but
it’s always funny when it happens; Phil Schiller told us that Android
sucks, which is like, “Okay. Phil Schiller’s talking.” Then Android’s
chief, Andy Rubin is leaving. How about you talk to us a little bit
about the Android news around and Rubin leaving the [inaudible: 00:44]
and going into something else for Google.

Ian: I think it’s a potential huge shake-up. It could be really good, it
could be really bad. Andy Rubin has done a fantastic job of having a
vision of an open source operating system, finding a company who could
help get distribution for that operation system in Google, and making
it sort of . . . it’s not the standard, because I think iOS is the
standard to everybody here, but it is certainly comparable to the
standard; has huge numbers. That being said, if they do want to become
the standard, they’re going to have to figure out a 10x play and maybe
that involves shaking things up every once in awhile. This could work
out for them really well for them.

Robi: Do you have any thoughts on it?

Ryan: Yeah. I think it’s been an amazing run for Android; we all know that.
I think questions start to get raised when you have a market size that
is 5x the size of another, yet ¼ the size of the revenue. That starts
to become a little bit . . . that’s way out of balance. Then other
questions start to come up when you have OEMs with leverage. Amazon,
right across the street here, has essentially their own version of
Android, which Google has no control over. We can bet Samsung is
continuing to just push on their own version of Android, if not, going
to move slowly; Tizen, or whatever the hell they call their thing. Now
all of a sudden, you take those two players out of what you would
consider the core Google Android audience, and you’ve got problems.
You’ve got [inaudible: 02:28] devices.

Robi: I think that is probably Phil Schiller’s point. Phil Schiller is
like, “This fragmentation is real and it’s really messing with
consumers experiences, and look at the data. Sure, they have more
devices than us, a lot more now, but our people use their devices way
more often that are consuming more data.” When you think about it from
the developer’s perspective, we’re always talking about which
platforms developers prefer, what approach. It seems like you’ve got
to be developing for both if you’re going to be in this long-term.
This issue, are you seeing in your business what Phil Schiller is
saying, in terms of there being more money, people are using it more

Ian: Yeah. The short answer to that is, yes. There’s obvious caveats to
that, and we talk about Amazon as a caveat to that. In the standard
Android world, absolutely, iOS rules the day.

Robi: How does this play out? Do we just get to hear for the next 10 years,
“Android sucks”? Then everybody’s buying Android devices. Is this the

Ryan: I think at some point, people need to recognize that it’s okay to
have different audience segments. This has always been Apple’s play.
Apple’s like, “I don’t want these people who want free devices. We
don’t want them.” It’s arguable for game developers; you don’t want
them either, because they’re not paying you any money. Then there’s a
certain segment of the Android population, like you and other people
buying the Galaxy Nexus 3 and Nexus 4. Sorry.

Ian: Galaxy S3.

Ryan: Yeah, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, etc., those are the high-end scope.
When you look at the handset breakdown between them, it’s still iOS.
If I’m a developer, I’m thinking about how do I maximize my game for
these handsets that appeal to this higher-end audience and then not
care so much about this lower end audience, maybe?

Robi: Then there is another side to this I think, which is Schiller and
Apple are up there saying fragmentation’s bad, it’s really hard for a
consumer to have a consistent experience, and their developers’ lives
are easier, but we continue to see more and more devices coming out of
them supporting different things. iPad 2 is different from the iPad 3,
which is different from the iPad Mini, which is different from the
iPhone 5, which is different from the iPhone 4S. There’s no shortage
of things that are confusing about the iOS ecosystem at this point.
Are you seeing any of that stuff coming out, playing out? Are you
hearing from developers, that that is becoming more challenging?

Ian: We really talk after the development cycle, but I haven’t actually
heard that. People still bang on that drum, and I think of Android is
fragmented but iOS is not. I think part of that is because Apple says,
“Android is fragmented and we are not.” People just listen to them. It
is fragmented.

Robi: I’m definitely seeing people developing just and iPad app or just an
iPhone app now. More and more being like, “I’m just choosing this one
thing. I’m just going after this. It’s too complicated to think about
the experiences across both.”

Ian: It’s probably right to do that. Depending on what your app is, there
are different use cases between having an app on your phone and having
an app on a tablet.

Ryan: Yep. We’ve talked about this before; they’re all big enough now. When
the iPad first released, an iPad-only app was a guaranteed failure.
Now, there are 120 million of them or something ridiculous. That’s a
huge market of people who are spending a lot of money. Perfect, Super
Cell, a good example, there’s an article about that making . . .
they’re calling the iPad the perfect gaming device or something, and
they’re focused almost solely on that.

Robi: Wow.

Ryan: Anyways.

Robi: Anything else?

Ryan: It’s good to be back.

Robi: Welcome back.

Ryan: I missed you guys.

Robi: We missed you, too. We talked about you quite a bit in the last ones
we showed, actually.

Mark: Fucking asshole, glad he’s gone.

Ian: I think there was fucking asshole, but it was because you were in

Robi: Sipping Mai Tais.

Ian: Not editing the video.

Robi: Be sure to tune in for the next 2 installments of App Developer
Conversations. You can like this on YouTube. Share it with your
friends and subscribe.

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App Developer Conversations: How app developers can take advantage of the new iOS smart banners

In this week’s App Developer Conversations we discussed Apple’s new smart banners for iOS, which work in Safari.

We had a couple key observations:

  • The fact that they only work in Safari is puzzling and somewhat frustrating
  • The ability to pass information along to the app from the smart banner has a lot of potential for end consumer customization.

App Developer Conversations is a weekly video series with Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ and Ryan Morel of PlacePlay covering current topics of interest for app developers. If you have suggestions for future conversations, please let us know!

The Transcript:
Robi: Hello. Welcome to the next installment of App Developer
Conversations. I am here with Ian Sefferman, of MobileDevHQ, and Ryan
Morel, of PlacePlay. Today we are going to talk a little bit about
smart app banners. As most people are aware, with the release of iOS
6, you can now put tags in your content on the web that will launch a
smart app banner on Mobile Safari.For most viewers of your website on
an iOS device, you have the opportunity to show them something smarter,
it shows them that app, and it makes it easier to download. Along with
that, comes the announcement that you can put a tag called App Argument
into that smart app banner. That is pretty interesting, from the tracking
perspective, because you can pass data through.

Ian, why don’t you kick it off. Talk to us about the ways in which
passing the data along can be really interesting to app developers.

Ian: I think, in my world, the most interesting way to use that App
Argument is as a refer; if you were to go from the web perspective.
Attribution is obviously broken in the app ecosystem. There are people
like HasOffers Mobile Tracking who have done some really interesting
stuff there, but fundamentally it’s still broken. Having this gives
you at least some amount of the ability to track where a user comes
from. You could use this to say, ‘app attribute refer = Google keyword
XYZ,’ and then actually see where they come through straight from
Google, or you can see website, Facebook, or whatever, and start
tracking it down that way. Obviously, it is only going to give you
those who came through your website, but it is better than nothing.
Attribution is probably the biggest thing I think of.

Robi: Digging in a little bit, does it mean that if you did this well as an
app developer, you could essentially establish a landing page on your
site for campaigns you ran, like a Google Adwords campaign or Facebook
ads that are all going to the same landing page, and then you can pass
along refers?

Ian: Yes, that is the way that I understand it. You are going to have to,
if I was a developer, I would basically do that on a sampling of my
campaigns, where it is . . . You are going to have a drop off because
there is increased friction now.

Your ad campaigns and anything like that, are going to be less
effective overall. I think that if you were to do that to, say, 5% or
10% of your ad campaigns, that would be a very interesting way for you
to get metrics on which campaigns are performing the best. Then, once
you know the answers to those questions, you can then drop out that
intermediate section and focus only on the ones that worked well, and
go back to it in a month and try again or something like that.

Robi: What about you? What do you see from your business, from the
advertising business? Could this be helpful? Would you want to
implement this for advertisers and for any of the publishers that you
are dealing with?

Ryan: I have been thinking about it, and I think the answer is I am not
sure. We know already what apps serve what ad, whether or not they
click, and whether or not they install it. I am not quite sure I
understand what the value would necessarily be. I think we can always
pull some additional data to codify the existing data that we already
get. Maybe we pull a past device [inaudible 03:42], or time into those
downloads. We already get all that stuff, so I am not entirely sure.
Ultimately, I think that the benefit is to developers here, because
then they can start to be smarter overtime about where they are
showing their own ads. It is great that I know this information. I
think developers just have sometimes natural mistrust about networks.

Robi: Right.

Ryan: ‘Are these guys really being honest with me?’ Eventually, they will
roll this out across apps, too; that makes perfect sense. Then
developers can start to do their own testing and tracking, and I think
that is a really good thing.

Robi: I think that sometimes Apple just starts a tree of possibility, and
this might be the start of them coming out with some attribution. I
can definitely see them starting to do more now that they have got
Chomp inside. That team is probably more focused on how to make the
App Store better. I can see them starting to roll into more of a
metrics and here is the tail and how it hits your various assets and
how they convert, which would be great for everybody.

Ian: One thing that is interesting about this, I think, is that they
implement it as meta tags, which basically, it restricts it to only
people who have the latest Safari that supports it, rather than a
JavaScript snippet that could have gone on any browser. I use Chrome
on my iOS browser. My guess is, maybe it knows how to do it because it
is using the same renderer, but I am not sure.

Ryan: I think, potentially the interesting thing here for the long term is,
I believe that Apple wants to really provide a single solution for
developers, because it is clear that their ecosystem is what is going
to drive hardware sales down the line. By providing developers not
only the hardware platform and the users, but also all the tools they
need to promote and close the loop on their marketing budget. It is a
pretty locked-in platform right there that both developers and users
will keep coming back to. Maybe it is a starting point, I do not know,
it seems like it.

Robi: One last piece on this topic. There is another interesting piece that
could happen. If you are passing along this argument and you, as the
developer, know in your code that different arguments mean people are
coming from different places or searching for different things. You
can tailor that first experience in the app, and say, ‘Welcome. Thank
you for . . . It looked like you were looking for recipes for this
cocktail, so here it is, on our app.’ You can actually get pretty
sophisticated. I do not know how many people would do that near-term,
but it would be great, I think, if developers started to make sure
that flow of discovery and desire is then satisfied in the first
experience with an app. As we all know, most apps are not used more
than two or three times, so that first experience being really
relevantm can be huge.

Ryan: Can you do that?

Robi: Yes.

Ryan: Really?

Robi: Yes.

Ryan: That is awesome. I did not know that.

Ian: I actually think that that would fundamentally, probably help your
business, as well, in terms of it sounds like it would make engagement
a lot stronger, which is something that you are deep in.

Robi: Yes, absolutely. Anything that makes this easier, better, and gives
you more context about your app seems, to me, like a great thing.

Ian: Yes.

Robi: Make sure to join us for the next installment in App Developer
Conversations with Ian.

The Mobile Marketer's Guide to App Store Ratings and Reviews


App Developer Conversations: How to create and extend app franchises

In this week’s App Developer Conversations we discussed Rovio’s recently released game: Bad Piggies and explored how app developers can create and extend franchises.

We had a couple key observations:

  • Rovio’s ability to promote its other games with a tremendously large installed base is significant.
  • In general, app developers are really just starting to wrap their heads around building a relationship with their customers, but it’s clear that those who are doing it well can really grow their business.

Watch to find out more and be sure to see the other two segments from this week:

  • PlacePlay talked in more detail about iOS6 – one week in
  • MobileDevHQ talked about hard core games and if they’re appropriate for mobile

App Developer Conversations is a weekly video series with Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ and Ryan Morel of PlacePlay covering current topics of interest for app developers. If you have suggestions for future conversations, please let us know!

The Transcript
Robi: Hello. Welcome to Part 2 of App Developers Conversations this week. I
am here with Ryan Morel, of PlacePlay, and Ian Sefferaman,

Angry Birds is Rovio’s big hit, but now Rovio is coming out with Bad
Piggies, and they are trying to see if they can extend this franchise
into something else. I think it makes sense to talk about how a
publisher can really build a franchise, and how you can take an
audience from one app, or one series of apps, to other apps. Let us
kick it off with you, Ryan. You played the game, what do you think?

Ryan: I think it is fun, at least the 2 or 3 levels that I played. It is
interesting enough that I will play maybe a couple more and either
stop or keep going. I think that the nice thing that it has, and was
really smart on Rovio’s part, was making the pigs the central theme,
the central character of the game. I think we saw that despite Rovio’s
massive marketing muscle, which is massive. Amazing Alex, probably for
Rovio’s standards, is a massive flop, so using a character from the
Angry Bird’s franchise may a ton of sense for them.

You played a level or 2.

Ian: Yes. It is a good game right. It is fun, relatively simple, it will
be a good time waster for when you are sitting on a bus, or at the
airport, or something like that. I totally agree, using, leveraging
the franchise of Angry Birds is super-smart. I am always amazed at
walking into, I am ashamed to admit it that I have walked into a
Walmart in the last few months, Walking into a Walmart and seeing
Angry Birds toys and things like that. This just totally leverages
that. It is straight out of . . . Rovio has done a good job at
pretending they are a movie studio that does not make movies. They
say, ‘We are going to act as if we are Paramount, and Paramount knows
exactly that, whoever makes it, that Pirates of the Caribbean is a
monster franchise, or Pixar knows that Toy Story is a monster
franchise, if we need to extend that franchise, we extend that
franchise, it makes us like killing in the short term. That is a long
term play because you can do it over and over again. From that
perspective, it makes a ton of sense. It is something that I do not
think a lot of . . . EA has done it with Madden, things like that,
that is just a continual franchise, but not a lot of the casual games
have been able to do that, and I think it is really interesting to see
somebody do that.

Robi: How did you find out about it? Did you read press, or were you told
about it in one of their apps?

Ryan: I read about it.

Robi: OK.

Ryan: They do, Rovio pushes their stuff hard. If you go into any of their
iPad or iPhone games and you press pause, you will see ads for their
other ones. Clearly, a lot of people are finding out about it through
that advertising. I think it will be, I think it is an interesting
little test to see how many people will convert from Angry Birds to
Bad Piggies versus Angry Birds to Amazing Alex, whether or not that
becomes a barometer for their ability to produce non-Angry Birds
content. Angry Birds has shown no signs of slowing down. It has been
3 years, but you would assume that eventually it will. Do you not
think so?

Robi: Probably. It is not always top of the charts though, which it was for
a good period of time. I think what is interesting is their using a
bunch of their inventory instead of for advertising external stuff,
advertising their internal stuff. We, at Yahoo!, call that house
advertising and it makes a ton of sense, especially you are as big as
they are.

I think what is weird, to me, is that Rovio has not really done a lot
else to really build up their franchise. They have the ability to
subscribe to a newsletter and some of the apps. I do not know if you
have ever clicked on that. It takes you out to a webpage, which is
just really dumb. You are leaving the app and it does not really look
good on your phone, so I would be surprised if that was very
meaningful to them. Do you not think they could be more sophisticated?

Ian: Yes, absolutely. They are sophisticated in some of the stunts that
they do. I remember the Space Needle, that was super-smart, covering
the Space Needle with a sling shot and putting a big bird on there was
really interesting. I think they way that they branded that stuff,
doing that type of marketing is smart. I think they have not done a
good job of the traditional digital marketing, building a community
around this franchise.

Robi: Right.

Ryan: Right. Do you think that, I would guess that the reason is that they
just have not needed to. By the time they need to, it will be too

Robi: That is the thing. If I was them, you got the dollars in your wallet
and the ability to invest; I would be investing as much, if not more,
than I was in new games and new opportunities, and making sure that my
ability to take people from one game to the next, to the next, was
really smart and intelligent. I was taking that audience and I was
moving them around my assets, and making sure that they knew about
what else I was doing. I think that is one of the places we see most
developers being really behind the marketing ball, where we think in
app messaging and the ability to really take your audience and talk to
them about the right things, you drive significant results. It is
instructive of where we are in the market, that a company a successful
as Rovio, is still pretty early and somewhat primitive in thinking
about this.

Ryan: I think it could be just a result of the natural extension of the
console-days. With mobile, it is really the first opportunity and the
first platform that companies have that cannot ‘own’ the customer,
despite the fact that Apple technically owns it.

Robi: Right.

Ryan: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have always been the gateways.
Although, Apple is now, there are still meaningful opportunities to
connect outside of the app experience with the App Store, Facebook,
their website, and all the different things you are talking about, but
just no one is doing it. EA is trying to build Origin. I cannot
remember the last time I heard anyone talk about it besides me. Could
they do a better job? The answer is obviously, yes, because eventually
someone’s going to. [inaudible: 06:43]

Robi: Anything else on this topic?

Ryan: I would just ask if you think, if either of you think Rovio has a
shot at doing something really successful, outside the Angry Birds

Robi: I think that they probably could, if they were to take my advice.

Ian: Hire Rovi, and we can win.

Robi: Exactly. Seriously, I think if the fact of
the matter is that if they start to invest in turning their apps into
channels, to build a real meaningful audience, and it is not just
about the ads that they are using, but it is actually saying, ‘We are
going to turn this into a marketing funnel. We are going to get deeper
engagement from people.’ Then you can move folks, but otherwise, you
have to have a lose association that looks close enough to the Angry
Birds franchise and it is using the same characters, then of course,
somebody will click then go download your app. What do you think?

Ian: I think you are right on. It is interesting to me that, I think, EA
is a household name. Rovio is not, Angry Birds is. From that
perspective, it becomes hard. Angry Birds is the company, so branching
out of Angry Birds is a little bit more difficult, where as EA is the
company and EA has Madden, Tiger Wood’s Golf, and things like that. I
think they got to fix that problem first.

Ryan: The assumption that you can take a hardcore experience and put it out
into mobile and see the same levels of success, is naive and
borderline retarded. At least what I have seen in most the hardcore
games . . .

Robi: Stay Tuned for Part 3 of this week’s App Developer Conversations.
Thank you guys.

App Developer Conversations: Is developer interest in Android waning?

In this week’s App Developer Conversations we discussed recent reports that developer interest in developing for Android continues to diminish.

We had a couple key observations:

  • Fragmentation is real and it’s definitely giving people pause.
  • In our businesses we’re actually still seeing positive trends in Android interest.

Watch to find out more about Android developer interest:

App Developer Conversations is a weekly video series with Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ and Ryan Morel of PlacePlay covering current topics of interest for app developers. If you have suggestions for future conversations, please let us know!
The Transcript:

Robi: Hello. Welcome to the next installment of App Developer
Conversations. I am here with Ryan Morrell, of Place Play, and Ian
Sefferman, of Mobile Dev HQ. We are going to dig in a little bit on a
topic that a lot of people like to talk about.

Appcelerator came out with some data around, and that is Android’s
adoption among developers, is it waning? Appcelerator says over the
past four quarters it has been dropping and they are seeing more and
more healthy interest in iOS development, but that it is waning in the
Android space. The question is, should we take these numbers
seriously, and what should we be thinking about as app developers?
Ryan, why don’t you kick it off.

Ryan: It is a grain of salt, to some extent. I do not know that
Appcelerator would have any specific agenda for promoting data that
looks like this, but we have not seen any data to support that the
developers are losing interest in Android. We actually have more
Android developer than we do iOS, so I do not know if that is entirely
true. I certainly do hear people saying, ‘We are going to do Android
when we can,’ and that, lots of times, leads to, ‘My stuff is going so
well. Do we want to update the content so frequently that, that means
Android slips?’ We have had lots of conversations with developers who
say, “Yes, it is about 80% of the revenue. There is 1X to 2X the work,
in terms of development.’ I think that probably the biggest challenge
that developers have is now that once you create your app, now what?
There is Google Play, Android, and carrier stores, that’s a lot of
work. What do you guys think?

Ian: We are in the same thing, in that we have not firsthand noticed that.
We have always seen our customer base be 80/20, iOS to Android.
Anecdotally, I have seen an increase in people caring about Kindle,
and that might be a Seattle-bias or whatnot, but that is another
interesting data point. I think that if I were to look at, whether or
not that study is true, if I were to look at, if I were to assume it
is true and think about why it might be the case, one, Apple has done
a fantastic job of updating their OS so frequently that developers
just need to keep on the train and have a little bit less time and
resources to do other things. Two, traditionally, I have always
thought of Apple and iOS as [inaudible: 02:44], as the high-end of the
smartphone, but when you actually look at what they have done, I am
constantly surprised that they now have free phones. It is really not
super-expensive to get into iOS anymore. When you start to think about
how they have captured the low-end of the market, or they are
capturing the low-end of the market, at least in the United States,
that that is super-compelling to a developer who says, ‘I actually
want to focus on the lower-end because I am working a weird game or
some product that targets those consumers, rather than the high-end. I
would have traditionally said “Go to Android first,” but now you can
actually go to iOS first, even in that type of situation.

Robi: I think one of the things that Appcelerator stated when they came out
with their study was that people are fearful for the fragmentation,
that problem continues to be something that makes people hesitate or
might be limiting the interest. The fact of the matter is that Google
needs to be more aggressive about phasing things out and making sure
that the updates are going out. There is an argument to be made that
they have lost so much control that they cannot actually do that.
Apple is continuously doing things that upset the developer community,
but the thing that pleases the developer community is how quickly they
are pushing Legacy OS versions off, from a support perspective, and
they are not even supporting NX codes, so you cannot really build for
it, and so I think that makes a lot of lives easier.

Ryan: Every time Apple updates their OS, they also provide developers with
new features that they can take advantage of, as well as the consumer
community. When developers have new features they can play with, they
want to go do that. They are consistently updating apps to take
advantage of that, consumers are updating software to take advantage
of that, so it creates this nice rising tide. With Google, and now we
even see this with Windows Phones 7, software gets updated and only
some percentage of people do it. If you are a developer you say, ‘I
got to . . . not only did I develop this for multiple versions of OS,
now I got to go do individual updates based on . . .no.’ They think
that is too much work.

Robi: That too much work question hits organizations large and small. We
are saying it is not just the independent developers here facing this
problem, it is the large companies with mobile presences are already
behind the 8 ball, they do not have enough resources to do what they
are doing. Things are moving way too fast, so that decision is really
a painful one for everybody in the ecosystem, it seems like, to us.

Ian: Yes, I agree.

Ryan: How much of that do you think is reality versus the momentum of
perceived reality? I technically do not know. We are not developing
apps and doing stuff for Android, but my perception is that, and the
noise we hear is that it is hard. Is that really true, or is that just
the momentum of the perception, is it just perceived that way so
people say, ‘No, I do not think so’?

Robi: It does seem be challenging. We make an SDK for Android, more and
more people are using it, but what we have found is that there are
some issues with documentation. Recently we ran into an issue where
the documentation and the Java doc that you could download was not the
same as the doc online, and it was recently downloaded, so they did
not actually specify something that they did online, and that caused
an issue for us. That stuff is a little bit amateur hour, I think.
When we think about how we design the UI on iOS, we say, ‘Here is what
we want it to look like.’ We draw it out, design it, and make sure it
works. ‘OK. Good,’ you put it out there and do some testing.

With Android, you say, ‘This is what we want it to look like. Now what
can we actually accomplish? It looks like on this portion of devices,
that is going to be a crappy experience, so let us go back,’ And you
are constantly fighting that game of lowest common denominator. It is
just not a good place to be.

Ryan: Ian, you had mentioned the low-end market and Apple kind of capturing
that. That has historically been owned by Google, to some extent,
despite Samsung’s progress of the high-end. Do you think that over
time people . . . are developers caring less because that low-end does
not spend?

Ian: That is a really good question. You probably actually have more data
on that, in terms of advertising than we do. I think that, just as in
the real world, there is a lot of money to be made in the high-end,
there are also a lot of businesses to be built in the low-end of the
things, especially the Walmarts of the world do not carry luxury
goods, but Walmart makes a lot of money. I have a feeling that it is
both, and it is just dependant on who you are going to target. Did you
seen any of that on the [inaudible: 07:40] side?

Ryan: Yes, everything. Yes, of course. More people want advertising on the
Android because they cannot make money elsewhere. We all know that, A,
advertising revenue on Android is not as good as it is on iOS,
partially because of this low-end, high-end perception of people. How
long does that last? Our own advertising pays pretty well and
developers like it, but it is not Dragonvale, you are not bringing in
$15 million a month from the app store, so it is hard to know if that
can support an entire economy of app developers.

Robi: That was very good conversation of the wax and waning interest in the
Android ecosystem. Join us for the next installment of App Developer

The problem is somebody needs to actually be pushing the HTML5
platform forward. It seemed like Google is doing that, and maybe,
arguably, they still are but they have pulled back. They seem confused
about this. If it is not Google, then who else would it be?

The Mobile Marketer's Guide to App Store Ratings and Reviews

App Developer Conversations: What iPhone 5 means for Apple and app developers

In this week’s App Developer Conversations with Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ and Ryan Morel of PlacePlay we discussed the new iPhone 5 and discussed some of the stats that Apple shared along with talking briefly about what to do with the increased screen size.

We had a couple key observations:

  • The fact that 90% of apps are downloaded every month is shocking and super positive for the app developer ecosystem. When people talk about a long tail in the app store they’re right – the opportunity exists all the way down the tail.
  • A taller screen adds a new row, giving every app developer another 4 spots where they can win a home screen slot.

Watch to find out more and be sure to see the other two segments from this week:

The Transcript:
Robi: Hello. Welcome to another episode of App Developer Conversations. I
am here with Ian Sefferman, of MobileDevHq, and Ryan Morel, of
PlacePlay. I am Robi Ganguly, of Apptentive.

Yesterday, Apple finally announced the iPhone 5 after lots of waiting,
blogosphere speculation, etc., and they showed us some cool things.
Most importantly, they told us a bunch of stats that were really
impressive. Number one was that 90% of apps are downloaded at least
once every month, which I thought was amazing. Number two, that 400
million iOS devices had been sold as of June 2012.

I think that the thing to talk about first is just Apple has created a
behemoth; it is a real juggernaut from an app distribution
perspective. I think 90%, again, is just shocking. They are selling a
ton of devices that seem to be in the world for a long period of time.
Let us jump off on that.

Ryan, what was your reaction to those announcements?

Ryan: Shock. I think the most shocking one is that 90% of apps get
downloaded every month, because there seems to be . . . The App Store
is certainly feast or famine, but with famine, you are still eating a
little bit, so maybe that is not that bad. There are probably
developers watching who are saying, ‘Great. That app got downloaded
one time. Yes, one time really sucks, but that is a chance, and it is
better than zero. If you are focused on building a really fantastic
app, one download might . . . you may not become the next Angry Birds,
but you have got to start somewhere.

Robi: What if that one download is [??], and he loves you, and then all of
a sudden . . .

Ryan: Yes, exactly.

Ian: I think it is interesting. Obviously, I do not know the stats for the
web, but I would be willing to bet that most pages on the web get
viewed less than. 90% of pages on the web are viewed less than one
time per month.

Robi: Yes.

Ryan: Yes.

Ian: When you compare the web to the app ecosystem, the app ecosystem is
actually not looking so bad. There is obviously a real future there.

Robi: I think that another thing that came out of this, just realizing how
many iOS devices are out there, that is really interesting is the
notion that if you get an iPhone 4, then you see the iPhone 5 and you
decide to upgrade it, generally speaking, we are seeing people take
the iPhone 4 and sell it on Craigslist, eBay or something like that.
What do you think that means, as an app developer? How should you be
thinking about those activities?

Ryan: First of all, as a consumer, it is amazing. I just looked, and my
wife’s iPhone 4, which we will replace, someone will pay $200 for

Robi: That is incredible.

Ryan: That is amazing. This did not happen before. Now there is this second
market being created, which ultimately creates new opportunities for
developers. We assume that, let us pretend that there are 100 million
really active, engaged people in the app economy, and everyone else
would be secondary users who still want contact, they just could not,
for whatever reason, get the newest iPhone. Every person that gets
brought on board to the iPhone ecosystem is an opportunity for
developers to acquire new customers, because these people buying these
secondary devices are new, most likely. New people, go get your app in
front of them.

Ian: It is interesting to see how the iPhone 4 is now free with a new
contract. That is really interesting to see how that affects it. I
would love to see how that . . . That is obviously a US thing, I would
assume, and maybe part of Europe, but I would like to see how they are
going to handle that in Africa, South America, and other emerging
places, to see if they can break into the lower-end. Then to see, as
they break into that lower-end, how does that affect the app economy?
Does that fundamentally mean that the percentage of buys go down
because those people do not have the money to buy apps? Or does it
mean that those people will stick to the free apps and advertising
becomes even more important. That is another interesting . . .

Robi: I think one of the things that would be a guess is the fact that they
are retaining their value after such a long period of time, that you
can still sell it for $200. It is not just about the hardware, because
the hardware is actually quite a way behind at this point, if you look
at the specs and stuff. It is that software aspect, the draw of the
software ecosystem must be part, if not all, of the reason that they
are retaining such an extraordinary amount of value.

Ryan: I think everyone who complains about the iPhone not living up to the
expectations are totally unrealistic. I think, to your point, I do not
know that the hardware matters at this point. Great. It has a 4G LTE
chipset, which is fantastic, LG is awesome unless you use AT&T in

The reality is that the ecosystem around all of your content living on
one platform that works across multiple devices is what keeps people.
This is not 2005 or 2006, when a new Sony Ericsson or new Nokia would
come out and you would say, ‘I was going to go get that,’ because it
is the awesome, new hardware. At this point, it is all about the
merging of the hardware and software experience, I think.

Ian: That feels like we have gotten to the point with laptops, almost,
where . . . When I buy a laptop today, I do not really look at the
specs so much. I say, ‘I know need at least 4Gigs of RAM. Outside of
that, speed is going to be probably OK. I am not doing crazy graphic
stuff. All right. Here we go. That is it.’ It sounds like we are
getting there with mobile devices, already, where people say, ‘I do
not really care what the chipset is in there, it is probably going to
be OK. I am much more biased towards what does the ecosystem look

Robi: Talking about speeds and feeds is their own way to go. One last point
on the new announcement, and then we can segway into some other stuff,
but it is a bigger screen, it is taller. I think what is interesting
about that, from an app developer’s perspective, is that you are
always struggling for loyalty, engagement, and making sure that your
top-of-mind with a consumer. Now there is an extra row, which means
that you just have that much more of a chance to show up on the home
screen. Do you think that enough app developers are thinking hard
about it showing up on the home screen, and does this change how they
are thinking, at all?

Ryan: I think it is probably, and Ian can probably talk a lot about this,
and [inaudible: 06:42]. We know from just web search that first page
results get 85% or 90% of the clicks. What is on your home screen of
your phone is similar to that first page, that is what you use most.
There being an extra a row, yes, of course that is important. I would
say that . . . I know that Ian talks a little more this, but having a
really nice icon is really important. Even if it is just pretty to
look at, and it goes on the home screen, that is good enough.

Ian: It will be really interesting to see, just from a boot perspective,
there is an app, and now you get four app icons, by default, to go on
the home screen.

Robi: Right, yes.

Ian: Which is not even necessarily a user action, it is just going to
happen, and that will affect things. You guys spend a lot of time in
retention and things like that. Do you have any understand of what the
home screen matters or how developers can use it best?

Robi: It certainly matters because you are more likely to just get them to
open you up and look at it. It is not clear, from a statistics
perspective, how many people are showing up on what home screen,
because there is not a lot of data that is shared around that. I think
that point that you just brought up is that app developers, if you are
looking at your stats over the next two months and you are starting to
see a boost in activity, it means you are just beyond the fold and the
fold has now changed. You were just on the top of the second screen,
and you are showing up, now, on the front screen. I think a lot of
people should be paying attention to that increased engagement, trying
to go connect with those people, and maintain that. Any time you can
actually communicate to your customers in whatever way you have,
whether it is email, app, inboxes, or things like that, maybe you
should actually be asking to show up on the home screen, or perhaps
even trying to understand if you are on the home screen. I guess, I
think that people could probably do more work around figuring out what
would drive them to be top-of-mind for a consumer, and maybe being
more explicit about it.

Ryan: Maybe there is something interesting like an in-game promotion: ‘Send
us pictures of us on your home screen.’

Robi: Yes, exactly.

Ryan: Something really stupid that people get excited about: ‘We will give
you 10 coins,’ or whatever is. That stuff gets picked up when other
people do it. I had not even thought about that until you brought it
up, and it is a really interesting opportunity to have for awareness.

Robi: I guess you could poo-poo the taller screen all you want, but there
is a whole set of app developers who are about to be very big fans of
the taller screen.

Ian: Yes.

Ryan: Just from my own personal perspective, I was really worried that they
were going to make a wider screen. Even though I have relatively big
man hands, when I use bigger screens, I cannot get my thumb across the
side, and that is really annoying. Then I was said, ‘Four inches
taller, do I really care about that? I think I do.’ It is nice.

Robi: Awesome. That was the first installment. In the next installment we
are going to be discussing some more about the changes to the App
Store, and what is coming down the pipe with iO6.

Ian: From my perspective, it feels like a little bit of natural evolution,
which is that once the app ecosystem reaches so many apps that
categories really does not fit the bill anymore. You have . . .