Everyone knows that Apple can be a little stringent when it comes to approving applications and content for the App Store. So it’s no surprise that Portland startup Torch has had to make a couple of attempts to get some content approved. But the reason they’re getting rejected? That’s what’s interesting.
Ever wondered what it’s like to submit an iPhone application to the Apple App Store? Now, Beaverton-based FastFigures provides some much needed insight into the whole process with the lessons they learned after one month in the iPhone App Store.
The post provides a fascinating look into the planning of the launch, including struggling with issues like pricing:
The price sensitivity data showed a starting price of $9.99 maximized revenue but I was concerned that these customers were too familiar with our products and wouldn’t represent the broader world of iPhone users. After agonizing over this for over a week, I decided to adjust the pricing based on some additional factors and settled on $5.99. This decision is proving to be both a good one and a bad one, and I struggle with selling our applications so inexpensively to this day.
And this is where not understanding the process hurt us. First, I didn’t realize that there was some additional paperwork that needed to be completed. That was completed on the 23rd. Then, once everything is signed off, it takes 24 hours to show up in the AppStore. Finally on the 24th, I’m looking for the application in What’s New and can’t find it!
And valuable lessons learned:
Two things happened around March 19th that changed our fortunes. For one, we hit that magical 20 review level I’ve talked about before. Second, one of the products in the Finance category most similar to ours went free. There has been a lot of discussion on the web about free applications versus paid applications and that the two customers aren’t the same. And this competitive application proved that.
Plus, some insightful suggestions:
Can you make money in the AppStore? Yes. But the competition is fierce and it’s very hard to differentiate your product from others. My suggestion: Spend plenty of time up-front figuring out how to get above the noise with factors you can control.
Long story short, if you’ve even remotely entertained the idea of building an iPhone app, this post is a must read.
Thanks to the folks at FastFigures for opening up and providing this valuable insight into the process.
Last Monday at 5 PM Pacific time, Avatron released Air Sharing, a temporarily free iPhone app that lets you treat your iPhone as a wireless hard drive. Not earth shattering news, I grant you.
But fast forward to today. And as of this writing—a few minutes shy of one week—they’re approaching nearly three-quarters of a million downloads.
That’s right more than 700,000 little versions of the Avatron apps are walking around on iPhones.
“It’s just amazing,” said Dave Howell, CEO of Avatron. “It’s way beyond what we thought would happen.”
And the reviews are looking quite positive, too. Even donpdonp might be happy with this little app, considering:
Best app in the app store. It’s incredibly useful and works with my Ubuntu desktop!… This is seriously the best app around. Worked out [of] the box, almost zero config.
Using Bonjour and the standard WebDAV interface, Air Sharing allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to mount the devices as a wireless drive on any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer; drag and drop files between the device and computers, and view documents in many common formats.
Basically, it’s like working with any other drive. Wirelessly.
But there are also some other interesting features that could extend the use of the Air Sharing app. What are those features? Well, Dave will be my guest on the next Silicon Florist podcast, so tune in to find out.
Interested in trying Air Sharing? Well, it’s free to try for one more week. After that the price will go up to $6.99.
(Hat tip Raven Zachary)
Everyone is still all gaga over the newest release of the Apple iPhone 3G. We can’t seem to stop talking about it.
And tonight at Mobile Portland, long-time Apple proponent and founding organizer of iPhoneDevCamp, Raven Zachary, will be discussing the “iPhone App Store Opportunity,” providing his insights into this new vehicle for interacting with the Apple platform and its users:
In his talk, Raven will provide a basic overview of the process of developing and distributing software for the iPhone and iPod touch, and share some key findings and metrics gathered in the two weeks since the launch of the App Store. What does the App Store mean for third party mobile developers?
Portland-based Platial, the mapping site that helps folks tell the backstories about locations that deepen the meaning of “where you are,” just got a lot more mobile, now that Platial Nearby is part of the Apple iPhone App Store.
I got the chance to see a demo version of Nearby at Platial’s iPhone App launch party a few weeks back. And it’s a pretty slick little application. Nearby takes advantage of the location-aware features of the newest iPhone, allowing users to dig into Platial content that is pertinent to both where they are—and where they might like to be.
Like most mapping applications, users can find the typical “publicly available” information about locations. But with Nearby, they also gain the advantage of tapping into Platial user data—the stories about the spot you’re standing. That means litterally thousands of notes, images, tags, and reviews for some areas. Stories of personal experience. And insight. Stories that you don’t usually get, unless you have an actual person or two to guide you.
Long story short, Nearby is a virtual tour guide, providing the backstory for the world around you. And with the iPhone app, you’re getting that story as you walk through that location.
“This reinforces our mission to create the Peoples Atlas,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO of Platial. “For two years we’ve been collecting information about all kinds of places that are meaningful to people; user-generated content that goes beyond commercial listings and into architecture, activism, street art, playgrounds, local history–things you can’t find anywhere else. We still have a long way to go, but we’re closer now with Platial for iPhone.”
Nearby is currently available for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. No registration is required, so users can begin using the app right away.
Well, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 version of the firmware.
Have you tried the Platial Nearby app? I’d love to hear about your experience.
Platial is a free online mapping resource where people around the world every day share and discover all kinds of places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video, and stories in one simple interface.