Posts tagged with "developers"

Common App Rejections

As noted by AppFigures on Twitter, Apple has posted a new webpage detailing common app rejections during the review process for the App Store.

Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We’ve highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.

At the bottom of the page, Apple lists the top reasons for app rejections in a seven-day period ending August 28, 2014.

Unsurprisingly, apps that exhibited bugs/crashes and that did not comply with the developer agreement were rejected, but the list also contains mentions of “less than very good” interfaces, apps with “screenshots not relevant to the App Store”, and apps with “icons similar to other apps”. All these are common traits of many apps that have been approved, not rejected.

Check out Apple's new webpage here.

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Choosing CloudKit

Greg Pierce, the developer of Drafts, Phraseology, and Terminology, has written a post with his reasons for choosing CloudKit instead of other sync providers in iOS 8:

I’m glad choosing CloudKit removes the need for me to manage servers or engage another third party service to do so, but that is not why I chose it. I’m not afraid of servers.

Why am I willing to make these trade-offs for CloudKit, despite it’s limitations? Because, ultimately, developer perspectives aside, I felt it was the right choice for my customers.

If CloudKit will work as advertised, I, as a user, can only appreciate the fact that I won't have to create additional online accounts or worry about the privacy policy of an app I just want to try for a couple of days. I have big hopes for more apps using iCloud on iOS 8.

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1Password App Extension for iOS 8

AgileBits explains what the 1Password extension for iOS 8 will be capable of:

  1. Access their 1Password Logins to automatically fill your login page.
  2. Use the Strong Password Generator to create unique passwords during registration, and save the new Login within 1Password.
  3. Quickly fill 1Password Logins directly into web views.

If you're a developer working on an iOS 8 app that includes user registrations and logins, I strongly recommend considering the upcoming 1Password extension. The integration with the OS and the main 1Password app is incredible, especially if you're used to the limitations of iOS and the things you're not supposed to have on an iPhone or iPad.

The fact that the extension will also offer a password generator is a solid incentive to implement it – you'll give 1Password users a way to easily retrieve and create secure passwords within the context of your app. This is one of the most exciting changes coming with iOS 8 (and there will be many).

For a technical read, check out this post from AgileBits' blog.

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Integrating Women Into the Apple Community

Brianna Wu, writing for Macworld last week:

But it’s very hard for me to reconcile this consumer-facing Apple with the development company that put no women on stage this year for either the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote or the more-technical State of the Union. It’s difficult to connect this Apple I know and trust with the endless sea of white, male faces I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens during this year’s WWDC Bash. Women buy Apple products. We develop on Apple hardware. But we’re still not yet well-represented in Apple’s developer community.

We, as a community, need to keep talking about this and then act on it, because the future needs to be better. Also from Brianna's article:

Getting women into entrepreneurial positions is also critical. My own company, Giant Spacekat, has quickly risen as a powerful voice for women in game development. Not only am I in a position of industry credibility, I’m able to speak to my experiences, to hire women and advocate for other women. There need to be more Giant Spacekats in the industry.

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“Buy All The Things”

Stuart Hall:

Much has been written about being an indie developer on the App Store recently, with not much of it positive.

I think this experiment has shown us a few really important things.

Since last year, I've continued to follow Stuart's experiment with great interest. While not indicative of the indie app market as a whole, his experience can be useful to understand the impact of In-App Purchases, pricing experimentation, and cutting down on non-development or design costs, such as customer support, through the built-in AppbotX service (our coverage). Stuart's app has reached almost 2 million downloads and $60,000 in revenue.

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App Store Freshness

David Smith has a great analysis of the “freshness” of apps on the App Store – data about when apps were last updated, for both Top Charts and the entire App Store.

For a very long time I’ve talked about my concerns about the size and health of the iOS App Store catalog. The App Store currently sits around 1,200,000 apps. For years the depth and diversity of the App Store has been one of the platforms strongest differentiators. However, as it grows the challenge becomes ensuring that it doesn’t begin to strain under its own size.

What has always annoyed me in my discussions about how to improve the App Store was that I didn’t have actual data on the composition of the App Store. Since it wasn’t (to my knowledge) available I started working out ways to get at it myself.

The numbers about the size of the App Store in relation to updates and the release of iOS 7 last year are surprising to me, as I was expecting a much worse scenario. The charts in David's post clearly show a developer interest in updating for iOS 7 – make sure to check out the charts.

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A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year

Unread for iPhone has earned a total of $32K in App Store sales. Unread for iPad has earned $10K. After subtracting 40 percent in self-employment taxes and $350/month for health care premiums (times 12 months), the actual take-home pay from the combined sales of both apps is: $21,000, or $1,750/month.

Considering the enormous amount of effort I have put into these apps over the past year, that’s a depressing figure. I try not to think about the salary I could earn if I worked for another company, with my skills and qualifications. It’s also a solid piece of evidence that shows that paid-up-front app sales are not a sustainable way to make money on the App Store.

The story of Unread is not one of failure, we were big fans of the app and it has made money. But for the creator of Unread, Jared Sinclair, it has not been a success either. The income that Unread has generated just isn't sustainable on a long-term basis. The story about Unread's first year is fascinating thanks to Sinclair's transparency and I'd highly recommend you read it, particularly if you are developer considering to go 'indie' on the App Store.

Sinclair's story clearly hit a nerve because since his post earlier today, there have been a number of others who have written about the situation with their own perspectives. For example, Benjamin Mayo makes some perhaps obvious points that I think deserve reinforcement:

Betting on apps of incredibly large scale means you bear proportionately more risk, with the possibility of no return whatsoever. If you want to maximise your profitability, make small apps that do a few things well. The amount of effort you put into an app has very little to do with how much of the market will buy it. This means that making big apps exposes you to substantially more risk, which is not fairly counterbalanced by significantly higher earnings potential.

At this point, you may be despairing at the reality of the situation and Cezar Carvalho Pereira offers some commentary on that, in a sense giving a reality check on what it means to go indie on the App Store:

So, while I believe the mythical indie is far from dead, I think the path to going indie is a lot less glamorous than what most have come to expect. A beautiful idea followed by a great execution doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.

If you want even more, Stephen Hackett, Tyler Hall, Ben Brooks, and Brent Simmons have all also posted stories on a similar theme today.

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AppbotX Launches in an Effort to Help Developers Better Communicate with Users

Launched earlier today, AppbotX is a new open source support and communications solution for developers of iOS apps and soon for apps on other platforms including Android, Windows Phone and Unity. AppbotX is designed as a library that can be built into any app, allowing developers to easily provide inline notifications, smart feedback forms, FAQs, version updates and review prompts. It is the natural evolution of the Appbot service which launched in 2012 and enables developers to keep track of user reviews of their apps.

We’ve delivered over 15 million reviews for more than 34,000 apps with Appbot. We understand the pain points app developers have, complaints and bad reviews lead to fewer sales and poor rankings for apps. Now we're launching AppbotX to solve communication problems mobile developers have with customers.

AppbotX looks to be a huge time saver for developers who want to implement better support mechanisms within their apps but don't want to spend the time and expense of developing it themselves. I should caveat that statement by noting I'm not a developer, but even as a user the functions that AppbotX enables seem great. In particular I really like the idea of inline notifications that would allow a developer to send notifications to their users if there is a critical bug, server downtime or other important news. Because it runs on AppbotX's servers, those notifications will still get to the user even if the developer's servers are down.

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“App: The Human Story” Documentary Wants to Capture the Story of Apps and App Creators

Launched by Story & Pixel on Kickstarter today, “App: The Human Story” is a documentary based on a theme that's extremely dear to me and, I believe, to MacStories' readers: the story of apps and their cultural impact over the past seven years.

By highlighting what “it means to be human in a world of technology”, the documentary doesn't simply want to focus on the evolution of the App Store and iOS devices – rather, Story & Pixel (who are Jake Schumacher and Jedidiah Hurt, with Adam Lisagor as executive producer) aim to document the human effort, the stories, and the voice of people who craft software. And not just any computer software, but the cultural and economic phenomenon of the decade – the app.

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