App Store


July 2014: We Noticed Indie Died

It seems July 2014 may go down as the month when we realized being an indie (iOS) developer is no longer feasible. It’s not that something suddenly happened, rather, we collectively realized the same thing: there’s no way to make a living doing this.  Rather than making a living off of developing one or two apps, we need to find another source of income and do this on the side. It’s the only way.

Here are some recent posts by notable developers in the community. They hit on a few different woes, and points. Some implore we approach this whole thing from another direction.

 

A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year

More on iOS Indies

Shopster 2013

iOS Indie Game Numbers

App Rot

Organization

The iOS Indie That Could

Trials and Updates are Still Dead

On Pricing More

App Store Realities

Why I Left Indie Development

Where are the Indie iOS Developers You Ask?

The Mobile Software Disaster

Another Non-Indie Developer App Story

The New Indie

 

I fall right in line with many of the experiences expressed in the aforementioned links. In the early days of Pivotal Action, we were starry-eyed at the possibility of creating something great that people liked, with the “reasonable” hopes of being successful. We started off with Completion, and later went on to work on a new project, Pixd, that never shipped (though it was close-ish). By the time we more or less gave up on Pixd, I think we had realized the return on our time investment was unlikely to pay off. Even as the dust was still settling with Completion, we knew we couldn’t quit the consulting side of the business – it was paying the bills.

[UPDATE] I’ve added additional links showing more experiences and perspective on the indie situation




Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing

From David Smith

Logic Pro X is a Major with a capital M update to their professional audio editing suite. It appears to represent a significant investment in both time and resources. So how is it being sold, especially to people who already paid $200 for the previous version Logic Pro 9? It is a separate app download with a full cost purchase. No upgrades, no introductory pricing, just straight forward sale.

I’d say that this is the best indication of Apple’s intentions and expectations for the App Stores going forward.

via Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing – David Smith.

I know people are offended by the pricing, but the reasonable side of me wonders how they can be so offended. Perhaps the “race to the bottom” on the mobile side has poisoned us into believing software should be very cheap (or free).




Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing

From David Smith

Logic Pro X is a Major with a capital M update to their professional audio editing suite. It appears to represent a significant investment in both time and resources. So how is it being sold, especially to people who already paid $200 for the previous version Logic Pro 9? It is a separate app download with a full cost purchase. No upgrades, no introductory pricing, just straight forward sale.

I’d say that this is the best indication of Apple’s intentions and expectations for the App Stores going forward.

via Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing – David Smith.

I know people are offended by the pricing, but the reasonable side of me wonders how they can be so offended. Perhaps the “race to the bottom” on the mobile side has poisoned us into believing software should be very cheap (or free).




Easy App Promotion With Smart App Banners

You may have heard about Smart App Banners, introduced with iOS 6. They are a nifty way you can direct people from your website directly to download your app.

These banners appear when somebody visits a web page with special code using Safari their iOS 6 iPhone or iPad. A small banner appears at the top of the page, listing basic app information, along with a link to view it in the App Store.

If you have a web site and an app in the app store, you have no reason NOT to use this.

This is one of those things that helps grease the path to conversions – anything you can do to make it easier for somebody to buy your app.

It’s very easy.




How to Improve Your App Store Search Visibility

Chances are you think the App Store rankings are a bit of a mystery.

You’re not alone. Very few developers and publishers have any idea, much less take the time, to understand.

That’s crazy!

Why would you spend so much time and money building an app without thinking about how people will find it?

You need to be strategic. Thankfully, there are some small steps you can take right now that will give your app a better chance in search results.




The App Reviews Formula

What if I told you there was an easy formula for pitching your app to bloggers and reviewers?

And if that formula would give you a running start far beyond most apps?

Why it Matters

You want your app to sell – to get downloads. You might have the best idea, but if people don’t hear about it, the app will flop and soon be forgotten. One of the most effective ways to reach your target audiences is through blog reviews. It is your chance to get wide exposure to a lot of people at once.

Think about it.

You possibly have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of potential customers reading blogs every single day.

Bloggers have direct influence over the buying habits of their readers. They’ve done the hard work of building their audience. They know what readers want.

All you need to do is write an effective pitch that catches their interest and interests them into review your app.

With this formula, it’s not that hard.