Mobile technology continues to evolve to include a myriad of devices; apps are no longer home on just the ever-present stalwart of the smartphone, and instead extend to the tablet, automobile, and now wristwatches and other wearables. While many of the wearable tech gadgets that have entered the marketplace seem to focus on current apps and their ability to adapt to this particular device, wearables present a unique opportunity for app developers everywhere. As more and more devices will undoubtedly circulate within this sphere, it’s critical to examine how this may affect the app marketplace as a whole.

Wearables will certainly offer additional opportunities; however, these opportunities will quickly evolve depending on the technology that each device may embody. Wearables are going to lean on a dependency on sensors, usher in a transformative camera experience, and be incredibly speech heavy. 

Dependency on Sensors

While Samsung’s introduction of its Galaxy Gear Watch and the long-rumored Apple iWatch all rapidly accelerating the wearable app ecosystem, it is easy to forget that many wearables have existed for a long time. Fitness apps like Nike’s Fuelband, or the Jawbone UP, just to name a few, offer app functionality be acting as a pedometer and monitoring activity level for the wearer throughout the day, integrating with a fitness app on a different device. These apps are incredibly dependent on sensors. Despite the popularity of these fitness apps, Wired suggests that the sensors built into the app devices themselves are clunky, and may soon be replaced by more ubiquitous nanosensors that can be woven right into clothing and other items rather than lean on a whole device. While this seems highly optimistic at the time of writing, one thing is certain: Wearables offer the user a broader, more encompassing ability to monitor things like heart rate, distance, and even mood, allowing fitness apps to better track their effectiveness for a user. TechCrunch has gone so far as to suggest that all fitness apps should have a mood sensor. As wearables become more pervasive in the app ecosystem, sensors may become increasingly more important, taking in temperature, heart-rate, wind and air resistance, and velocity in order to better represent the conditions around the wearer.

Wear

Transformative Camera Experience

Wearables and the idea of a wearable electronic device seems to center on the wrist, but Google Glass has also ushered in a new era of wearables and the appropriate applications that exist alongside it. Wearables, including Google Glass, will usher in a new way to rely on the camera not yet seen in other devices. With the almost Star Trek-like functionality of speaking into one’s wrist for a video conference, to the ability to capture things on film as you see them similar to a vision straight out of Bradbury’s science-fiction, these wearables will lean heavily on the camera, and make camera integration central to the work of the app developer.

Very Important Voice Over

Similar to the way in which cameras will become more central to apps for wearables, voice technology will become increasingly more centric for the wearable app user. Since each of these devices leans further and further away from the traditional computer experience, wearable devices will rely heavily on voice integration in order to be successful. The artificial intelligence component of applications like Siri or Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, will spill over into the wearable app sector as app developers will rely more and more on the intelligence and understanding of native language.

By taking into account microphones, sensors, and cameras, app developers can better serve the wearable ecosystem. For more information on wearable devices, mobile applications, or any app development questions you may have, contact us today. 

 

We have covered mobile app marketing and monetization pretty extensively in our past few blogs, going over everything from the rise in freemium monetization in mobile applications, to the way in which social networks, specifically Facebook, Twitter, and even the search engine mogul Yahoo!, are being changed to accommodate advertisements specifically designed for the mobile app environment. This has fundamentally transformed the way in which mobile apps are advertised and marketed. While these platforms are relatively new changes for mobile app marketing, the results have already started to pour in to staggering effect.

MarketingLand.com recently reported that click-through rate (CTR) on mobile app advertisements has dramtically increased, as users are getting more familiar with these bespoke advertising platforms for mobile app marketing. Not only that, but the cost for user acquisition as well as the total number of downloads and cost per loyal user all showed favorable increases over the course of the past year. We wanted to unpack some of these statistics and illustrate what these things say about our growing industry.

App Advertising Interfaces Have Become More Seamless and Streamlined

As people do more browsing on their phone, using social networks like Facebook and Twitter has become a fundamental part of using a smartphone. Dovetailing with the way in which the mobile user leans on social networks like Facebook and Twitter for a good user experience, mobile advertisers have only recently harnessed the power of direct-to-download advertising for mobile applications, with ads to direct downloads running proprietary to the mobile device. This minimizes the friction in the user experience and actually provides a good interaction between the user’s social network and their mobile browsing experience.

A recent study indicated that nearly 80% of Facebook users in the US did so on their mobile device, with an even more recent study claiming that 48% of global Facebook usage now occurs on a mobile device rather than a desktop. Twitter is capturing more and more of the mobile market among the older generation, and tends to be a great source for sharing links, news, blogs, and tips, as much as interacting with others. It makes sense that these two sources would command a heavy direct-to-download mobile advertising stream; users are turning to social networks with greater frequency on their mobile device, and direct-to-download mobile application ads help illustrate how to get the most out of their mobile rather than feeling disruptive or out of place.

Cost Per Install Shows Equity Between iOS and Android

One user metric that the surveys reported on is the cost per install directly attributed to advertising. Fiskucollects user data about mobile apps to provide more insight into the mobile app marketing arena; the data regarding Android and iOS shows a telling trend:

Fiksu CPI

While the cost per install for iOS shows a gradual increase, the price of acquisition for Android apps shows a sense of stabilization over the past few months, as the two platforms are nearly converging in the cost of user acquisition, which seems to suggest a growing sense of equality between the two platforms for mobile app users. This probably suggests a growing sense of functionality and acceptance of Android Apps as opposed to the iOS applications which previously dominated this particular space.

Our Industry Continues to Grow

The one thing that shows no sign of slowing down seems almost self-evident: mobile applications continue to grow in number, competition, and functionality. We are seeing a massive amount of mobile applications get downloaded each and every year, and it seems as if this number shows no sign of slowing down. Mobile app downloads in the Apple Store hit 7.1 million daily downloads in March, a record high for this sphere.

App StoreAs mobile apps continue to grow in acceptance and popularity across all platforms, the places in which apps are advertised need to become more seamless. It seems like the convergent trend in a more mobile-centric UX for social networks provides a fantastic opportunity to better market apps, and a telling arena to generate new users.

For more information on how to better market your app, be sure to contact us today. 

As mobile apps have become increasingly sophisticated and applicable to academic life, mobile apps have become absolutely essential for academics of all subjects. Made easy to access, edit, and transport, app developers have made tools that when leveraged, are some of the most powerful tools scholars can use.  Scholars who choose to capitalize on some of these many powerful apps easily edge out other scholars who fail to utilize the tools available at their disposal.

Although any number of mobile apps can find applications in the academic world, the apps with the greatest utility for intellectuals can fall into a number of the following categories.  

Presentation and Web Conferencing Apps

Undeniably, a presentation does not require the latest cutting-edge technology in order to be effective. Nevertheless, there are many mobile apps available from smartphone app developers that can make presentations and conferencing faster and better. Apps like KeyNote and Nearpod give teachers and students alike the ability to craft powerful presentations on the go, with support on their phone, tablet, and laptops. Web conferencing also gets an upgrade, with apps like GoToMeeting and Fuze Meeting making audio and video conferencing free and easy to use for all parties involved.

Note Taking Apps

Most often utilized by students, note taking apps have completely done away with the standard pen and paper. Notes like AudioNote allows students to take sound recordings in conjunction with their written, notes, making it easy for students to find where in the verbal lecture their notes originated from. Other note taking apps like WritePad allow students to convert their handwritten notes into searchable and editable text which become more powerful studying resources in the future.

Course Management Systems

Popular for teachers, course management systems are often complements to existing systems used by major educational institutions. Mobile apps like Blackboard Mobile Learn and Canvas allow professors the ability to easily access the essentials of their campus course shells without having to check in with their computers.

Cloud Storage Apps

In the academic world, they say you haven’t truly backed up a file until you have three different copies in three different places. New mobile apps have made this process easier than ever, with cloud storage services like Box, Copy, and Dropbox. These services are available for use on computers, tablets, and mobile phones while also being able to hold upwards of 5 GB for free. Not only are these cloud apps essential for making sure that you have all your essential documents safe, they are also ideal for sharing and collaborating with peers and instructors.  

As the mobile app market becomes more inundated with app competitors looking to make a name for themselves, it is critical for both mobile application developers and businesses to put some considerable stock into how they prepare to better market their mobile app. With a market that continues to increase exponentially every quarter, how can developers and businesses pushing new apps acquire new users?

Mobile Marketing

Fisku, a bespoke mobile app marketing firm, offers a Loyalty User Acquisition Cost Index that monitors the cost for new applications to acquire the attention and ultimately the loyalty of new users who will open and use an app at least three times. 2013 saw user acquisition costs raise to the highest that they have ever been, As the app marketplace continues to get flooded with copycats or apps that sacrifice a good UX for a cheaper end product, users are far less likely to arbitrarily acquire apps that have not been appropriately marketed, vetted by peers, and optimized for the app store. Today, we explore three avenues to appropriately market an app in today’s increasingly competitive market sphere.

Turning Twitter Into a Lead Generator & Social Engagement

Last week, Twitter began rolling out redesigned member profile pages; while this in itself may not seem like big news for app developers, the applications of this are actually quite far-reaching, and can have a tremendous impact on mobile strategy. What users now see in their feed other than targeted and promoted posts include ads specifically targeted at mobile developers. These ads offer spotlight Tweets offering users the opportunity to download and install the app all without ever leaving Twitter. This is technically a page out of Facebook’s book, but leveraging the mobile strength of Twitter as well as the platform of nearly 1 billion users to reach.

Mobile Marketing 2

This is even more staggering when you can take into consideration some facts about how smartphone users behave with and without their phone. A new study, published on Buffer’s blog, indicates that one in four mobile users rarely spend a waking hour without their phone in sight, and that social media has become the number one use for the mobile web. This means that potential advertising signals in social channels like Twitter and Facebook have massive implications for even the smallest budgets.

Optimize Your App for the App Store

Whether you are planning on an iOS app that will be sold through Apple’s App Store or an Android App to hit the shelves of Google Play, ensure that your app is well optimized for the app store.

First of all, many businesses forget to create clear calls to action to download their mobile application. Include a link in the footer of the site or on your contact page encouraging users to download the app; additionally, use links that go directly to the App Store to minimize friction and increase the likelihood of a user going from click to conversion. Make sure your description is robust, categories are appropriately identified, and be sure to include a logo that looks professional, and screenshots that show off the apps best features on all formats.

Encourage Engagement & Create a Platform for Customer Feedback

Engagement on a mobile app can be staggeringly difficult. Many users only open an app once, and then fail to open the application again if it does not immediately fit their need. There are a few things that application developers can do in order to encourage better user engagement. First of all, users might leave an app on their phone and neglect to open it again. Push notifications can help; either push notifications or app update notifications can help encourage users to give the app a second try. These let users know that the app has been updated, is regularly maintained, and that features are regularly optimized for the best user experience possible. Additionally, encouraging reviews with screens after a certain number of launches allows users to publically vouch for the app, and helps give the app a peer-established credibility that can help encourage further downloads and a better ROI.

For more information on how to best market your new app, contact us today.