Tag Archives: common

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Guest Post: 5 common problems every app developer faces

by Stefano Sassu, a vp with Ask Partner Network

App development has grown exponentially in the past few years, with new apps hitting the market every day. Such saturation means that developers are facing new and harder challenges throughout the development process. Here are my five common problems that app developers face and how to remedy them.

Poor adoption and download rates

A great app is nothing unless people are using it. Because of this, one of the most pressing challenges for developers is promoting their apps.

The following initiatives are best practices that all developers, from the highly-funded to independent, can utilize to push for high adoption rates: –

  • Have a web page promoting your app that is optimised for both desktop and mobile use
  • Utilise social media channels as free promotional tools
  • Boost your search rankings in the app store by creating a name and corresponding description that includes search terms
  • Include screenshots of key features of your app in the app store
  • Engage with multiple app stores to increase distribution and exposure

Lack of ad click-through rates & conversions

Another challenge for app developers is the ability to select the advertising format that is best suited to their app and engages their audiences.

A best practice is to test different ad formats, as well as ad networks, to see what performs the best.

Apps that are heavy in content, such as a news app, may benefit from using native, in-stream advertising where the ads blend in with the page content, while a game might be best suited for interstitials.

The other half consists of targeting the ads to your audience’s demographics and preferences. Work with your ad provider to ensure the ads they serve are best suited to your users.

User Experience Comes First

If developers must follow one rule, it should be – user experience comes first.

App developers should first perform research to determine who they want to target, what the audience expects and what their preferences are.

User testing is an important step because developers often think differently than consumers.

For example, the developer may want the navigation buttons on the left side of the screen, but after user testing, results may show that users prefer the navigation at the bottom of the screen.

By knowing their users, what they expect, and making sure the user experience comes first, developers are more likely to create a compelling app that will be used again and again.

Surviving unexpected growth

While creating ‘The next Angry Birds’ is every developer’s dream, there are challenges with growing too quickly.

Some challenges of going viral include weak company leadership, insufficient app infrastructure, an inability to support high volumes of users, and limitations with customer support.

Developers that are successful during expansion have shown that the following actions are essential:-

  • Have a clear understanding of your revenue model and how you plan to become profitable
  • Employ re-engagement tools to maintain users
  • Know the most effective channels for building an audience, and keep acquisition cost per user below revenue per user

Be honest on privacy policies

Privacy matters are a top concern for consumers, and app developers must be clear on how their apps are tracking information.

As part of this, developers must take the time to read and understand how any third parties they work with are collecting and using information, and what that means for the consumer.

As a best practice, all privacy policies and end-user license agreements should be presented and accepted before the app is installed on the device.

The increased saturation of the app marketplace means that successful developers need to be more marketing savvy, cater to user preferences and continuously innovate.

Though developers face several challenges along the app development journey, those who overcome these five challenges will have a clear advantage against competition and will be positioned for further growth and profitability in the future.

Author biog

Stefano Sassu, is vp for product development & marketing with Ask Partner Network. Stefano is a well respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the USA and Europe for over fifteen years. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the effort for all mobile initiatives, setting overall strategy, and maximising mobile search and advertising opportunities for the group. Prior to Ask Partner Network, Stefano held a Vice President Position at FOX Mobile Group, where he provided result-oriented product management for multiple entertainment brands while developing profit-driven mobile services and applications for FMG’s customers. Before joining FMG, Stefano started his career in the mobile space as Head of Product Development at Dada (acquired by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese provider of mobile voice, data and multimedia services). He was responsible for the management of on-deck and off-deck partnerships with international mobile carriers, aggregators, OEMs, as well as media partners, overseeing all lines of operation and financial performance for the B2B division of the company.


GoMo News

Is the Gear Fit the cure for the common smart watch?

Forty-four videos and untold news stories later, MWC 2014 is finally on the cusp of winding down – but there’s still more to “unpack” from Monday’s Samsung event. After yesterday’s editorials on the ups and downs of the company’s recent moves with its flagship smartphone, today’s agenda starts with something much smaller: the Gear Fit, and how it might save Samsung from smart watch mediocrity.

First some background: I was standing outside the entrance to Samsung’s Galaxy Studio in New York City on Monday, waiting to be let in for the Unpacked press event, when a familiar person sighted me on his way into the building. He was a representative from Samsung’s marketing firm, and he said “there’s something in there you’re really gonna like.”

“Just one?” I asked.

“Well, one thing in particular,” he replied before disappearing, leaving me to ponder the possibilities as I waited for the doors to open.

After the announcement concluded and most of our video was in the can, I found my contact in the crowd and asked him if he’d meant the Gear Fit, which of course he had. And it turns out he was right on the money.

Many people took my tweet as a thinly-veiled cheap shot at the Galaxy S 5, but it wasn’t at all. The Gear Fit really was the most exciting thing I saw at Unpacked 5 – and that excitement went well beyond my personal infatuation with a new, shiny piece of tech. Like the Galaxy S 5 itself, the Gear Fit was evidence that Samsung’s priorities were changing – this time for the better.

That change wasn’t immediately evident from the other wearables on display. Samsung seemed to introduce as many negatives as positives in the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the supposed successors to the under-appreciated Galaxy Gear. While the switchable bands and slimmed dimensions of the new watches are nice, the new screw-less casings are surprisingly devoid of personality, and the addition of a clunky home button hasn’t brought much added utility. The heart-rate monitor is a neat trick, but like its counterpart on the S 5, it will only be appreciated by the health-conscious. Overall, these watches seem to be mild iterations on a device that wasn’t well-received in the first place, which makes us wonder why Samsung was in such a hurry to announce them.

Contrast that with the Gear Fit. The room at the Galaxy Studio visibly perked up when Samsung’s JK Shin held his Fit aloft for the world to see for the first time, and the excitement only grew when he ran down the specs:

  • 27g mass
  • IP67 dust and water resistant
  • curved 1.84″ S-AMOLED screen
  • detachable band
  • accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor
  • typical battery life of 3-4 days

Holding the Fit in my own hand only amplified my excitement. The curved display is beautiful, its tiny size masking whatever compromises were involved in its manufacture. The curve is not just ornamental; it’s also functional, letting the device fit the wrist much more snugly than a flat-faced watch. The device is impossibly light. The software seems more responsive than on the new Gears, and it fits surprisingly well to the stretched aspect ratio of the display. For a company not often celebrated for its beautiful devices, the Gear Fit is just that: beautiful.

Yes, on some level this is a fitness band – and if you look at it that way it’s far less exciting. Nike has done one. Huawei is doing one. Fitbit basically invented the category (and no doubt served as a jumping-off point for the folks who conjured up the Gear Fit’s horribly awkward name). Viewed through that lens, the Samsung contender might appear like something of a me-too product – fancy heart rate sensor or no.

The key to understanding the excitement behind the Gear Fit lies in seeing it as a smart watch – one with a very different form factor, yes, but a watch all the same. After all, the Fit still displays the time, still runs apps, and still delivers notifications via a Bluetooth 4.0 link to a compatible Galaxy-branded smartphone. On paper, its battery life is comparable, as is its imperviousness to the elements. Going from the Gear 2 to the Gear Fit, about the only things you’re sacrificing are the voice calling capability and the camera – hardly insurmountable losses for all but the most diehard of smart watch wearers.

galaxy fit pileup

The Gear Fit isn’t without its shortcomings. I have real concerns about its display orientation (wearing its screen on the inside wrist would seem to be key); I worry about how well its 210mAh battery will fare in the real world; and I continue to chafe at Samsung’s sensible but frustrating policy to limit the Fit’s compatibility to Galaxy devices. As I keep saying with regard to Samsung’s new hardware, we won’t know how good it really is or isn’t until we’ve put it through the full review process.

But the Gear Fit is an important confirmation that Samsung is capable of -and willing to- step outside its comfort zone when it comes to new categories. Even as the company devotes resources to iterating on an unpopular design with the Gear 2 series, it shows it’s willing to keep experimenting with this little gem. And judging from the early reactions, that experiment is paying off: taking a quick look around, it’s tough to find initial impressions of the Gear Fit that aren’t glowing.

For Samsung, the key lies not just in seizing upon this opportunity to demonstrate that it’s capable of the “surprise and delight” it so often attempts, but also to position the Gear Fit as more than a fitness device. It’s products like this which must become the core of Samsung’s smart watch strategy. Only then can the company fully leave behind the echoes of its embarrassing opening-salvo misfire just six months ago.


Pocketnow