All posts by Gummicube

social features of mobile apps

Social Features of a Popular Mobile App

As human beings we are social, we build connections, require appreciation and communicate. In times of globalization, it is easier to be cosmopolitan and expand our boundaries both physically and mentally. Add in the expansion of smartphones, and we get a social app as a communication channel.

There are a million reasons for creating a mobile application with social features, but not all of those factors make such an app popular. You can check if your idea has a chance to become famous right now by consulting the list below before developing your mobile application.

  1. Social networks integration

Accept the fact that your app is not isolated from the rest of the world. Keep it connected with user-favored social media. Use common social networks logins for registration, add sharing buttons and develop cross-posting functionality.

  1. User’s profile

Make sure users feel unique and special with your app. Give them an opportunity to show their individuality and talents. Leave as much space for profile customization as you can, but keep an eye on simplicity. Do not overload a profile with information. Ask only for data that is essential to boost the user’s experience.

  1. Application type and platforms

Cover popular mobile platforms and choose an application type that provides the best balance of technical possibilities, features and engagement. Your decision will depend on your mobile app’s goals and requirements. Nonetheless, current general recommendations are for two versions of native applications, designed for iOS and Android platforms.

  1. Design and usability

To be popular, your app should be pleasant to use, coherent and inviting to the eye. Scroll through marketplaces and identify trends. Keep navigation simple and intuitive. The fewer clicks users do to reach the desired goal, the better your UI is. People admire cool pictures and animations. Design elements that your users can play with, scroll, swipe, touch and so on.

  1. Interaction & Communication

Real life imitation. The more your app resembles the way people speak in real life, the more popular it can be. Statuses and emojis can help to show emotions. Messages and posts make statements and share news. Likes and comments express thoughts and feelings.

Friendship. Create the algorithm for making friends. Allow users to search for new connections. Give them recommendations, or not, and proclaim this as a benefit of your app.

Location relevant features. In a busy rush of everyday life, a feature that can save time and efforts would be valuable. Offer your users some activities that are based on their location.

Different content. Involve all receptors. Let your users share different types of content, see photos, watch videos, play songs, read and text. 

Notifications & feeds. Make your app useful. Keep your customers updated and connected, show them what is new and remind them of events.

  1. Performance, security and offline mode

Your app should work faultlessly and smoothly. An application dealing with sensitive data should be safe to use. Test the application’s performance before release. Provide the ability to report bugs and errors. Listen to suggestions and improve your app based upon them. With social applications, it is crucial to pay particular attention to its performance in an offline mode. Your app should not be helpless without an Internet connection. Keep it performing the usual way and make synchronization seamless.

  1. Promotion

Your mobile application will compete with others in the marketplaces. Do market research, define unique propositions and do not neglect app store optimization. Describe what a great app you have everywhere you can. Help your users to find it.


Whether you are startup aiming to beat social monsters or a company requiring an app to provide a better client experience, the rules will be the same. Give people want they want, make it look attractive and perform like it is expected.

This article is written and submitted by our friends at Rozdoum.

5 Deadly App Localization Mistakes You’re Making and How to Avoid Them

App developers and marketers are striving to penetrate the foreign markets and countries with the highest number of potential customers for their products. There is a rush to reach out to as many customers as possible globally and this has made the competition even fiercer.

If you’re pitching your app to foreign customers, you need to attune the app to the needs and behavior of the local audience. Along with the language, other aspects such as the app’s name, keywords, color, symbols, currency and time-zone will be simultaneously localized. This is where the role of app localization comes into play.

Another reason being that more than 50% of the people across the world prefer to download or buy apps from websites in their own language. Moreover, only 15% of people worldwide use English as their first or second language, making app localization all the more necessary.

While expanding your app for the international audience, avoid these 5 common yet serious app localization mistakes.

#1. You haven’t thought about localization while developing the app

When developing your app, it must be flexible enough to adjust and adapt to different languages, cultures and regions if global penetration is the end goal. This makes it easier to roll out the app in multiple versions. Ideally, your app should be flexible to be customized for multiple local markets as well.

For instance, different languages take up different kerning space. While developing the app, take into consideration the physical space a particular language would take up. Your app should be flexible enough to accommodate multi-language internationalization.

Taking the example of “How are you” in English, which is made up of three words. The same in Chinese is “你好吗” and in Spanish is “Como Estas.”

To leave room for the app to be translated into multiple languages, separate the text from the code and let the developers’ use Unicode strings.

#2. Failing to translate the app’s name

Regardless of how interesting or unique the name sounds in English, if it displays a negative sentiment in another country, your app will receive backlash.

Choose a name which is easy to pronounce, remember and recognize. Optimize the description for the app store by incorporating the right keywords to gain visibility in a foreign app market.

When Nokia launched the Lumia in Spanish markets, the product name meant “prostitute” in Spanish. The product launch was a failure, as a result of which the brand received negative publicity.

On the flip side, many brands have changed their names to a different local name with the same meaning, while entering a new market.

To name a few examples, Coca-Cola, Burger King, KFC, Lays, Budweiser and many others have changed their brand names while entering a new market.









One reason to consider using a professional human translator instead of a machine translator is the human understands the context of the text and the name being translated.

While a machine gives a literal translation, the professional translator thinks about:

  • The thought which first comes to mind when you hear and see the name
  • Does the name have an underlying negative connotation?
  • Does the name resemble a similar local word?

The professional translator does the necessary research to come up with a name appropriate to the local market. 

#3. Missing out the cultural aspect

A majority of localization projects fail because they do not take into consideration the cultural aspect while presenting the app to the local audience.

Culture influences the communication and thereby any population in the following three ways:

  1. Firstly, the cognitive concerns have a great influence on the cultural framework of a country. For example, in the USA, independence and individuality underlie its cultural foundation. In the South East Asian countries, family plays a vital role in the person’s upbringing. People believe in depending on their families and being there for each other.
  1. Secondly, the idea of what should be considered an appropriate behavior varies from one culture to another. For example, in some geographies such as Africa and South East Asia, the blunt expression of all thoughts and ideas is not considered appropriate. Meanwhile, in the western countries, there is nothing wrong with being bold to express thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
  1. Finally, it is difficult to undermine the influence that emotions have on the culture of a country. While gestures or crude language can be used to convey ideas or explain thoughts in some cultures, it can be considered highly offensive to others. For example, the use of peace signs in the USA is considered fine. However, in the UK the use of a backward peace sign will be outright offensive.

In-depth research on the local culture and practices of the country you are planning to localize your app for will allow you to create a unique identity without disregarding the local sentiments.

#4. Using the same logo for different languages

From the average 3,000-20,000 brand messages and advertisements we are exposed to every day, we notice and remember a mere 12!  What are the chances that your app will be among those 12? This makes it ever so vital for your logo to create an impact on your audience.

Your app logo has to be compelling and easy to remember. The same icons will not have the very same appeal in all markets, and that’s because different regions have different understandings of symbols and colors.

For example, when Coca-Cola entered the Chinese market, their brand name did not mean anything in the local language. So, they chose a close-sounding equivalent of ‘Coca-Cola,’ i.e., ‘Kekou Kele,’ meaning “let your mouth rejoice” in the local language.








Create a local identity using icons, names and images that maintain your brand’s distinctive features and are culturally appropriate.

#5. A frustrating user experience

Remember, your potential app users won’t flock to download instantly. You will have to design your app in a way that it caters to user expectations and solves their needs.

While Japan, Australia, USA, UK and China have the largest number of iPhone users, the Android penetration is the greatest in India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil. Instagram launched their Android app in the US one and half years after releasing their iOS app. At that time they had nearly 30 million iOS users. Had it been in a country with a greater number of Android users, their strategy would’ve been different.

If you look at Apple’s US and UK website, you’ll see that they’ve adjusted the date and time to be localized. Doing so causes no disruptions for users as they see the website in a format that is familiar to them.


If you look at Apple’s India and US website, they have adjusted the names on the homepage to be localized. Doing so causes no disruptions for users as they see the website in a format that is familiar to them.










Source – Apple’s India website














Source – Apple’s US website

Your app should provide an optimal user experience for the users of the region you are targeting.

For example, if your app provides purchase options, make sure that they can be done in local currency. The price of the products should be converted to that region’s local currency for the convenience of the users.

Conclusion Keeping yourself updated on the latest trends in the international markets will help you effectively implement your app localization strategy.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let me know if you know about any other mistakes.

Alpi MantryAbout the author – Alpi Mantry is the VP of growth and relationship at Translate By Humans. With her 10-years of experience at Oracle, Deloitte and Infosys, she now helps Translate By Humans cater to global brands such as Vogue, Nike, HSBC Europe, Amazon and many more.

The Viral Loop: Get Your Users Doing the Heavy Lifting

From lead generation to customer generation, getting new users and clients on board isn’t cheap. When it comes to app user generation, this is no different. Depending on your product and marketing style, creating, distributing and maintaining an app can be costly.

Effective social media campaigns can help reduce the financial blow. But by far the best method is to create a viral loop –  turning your app into its own user generator. Let’s dig a little deeper into what viral loops are, the different strategies you can use, and which companies are doing it best.

What is a viral loop?

Essentially, a viral loop is a type of marketing campaign designed to promote your app. As the name suggests, a viral loop is created to “infect” a user and cause them to share it with others. There are usually steps in place for the user to invite a new set of users, a process that is repeated in exactly the same way each time.

For mobile apps, viral loops offer a cheap and easy way to establish your name and drive growth – as customers can do most of the heavy lifting for you. However, there are different types of viral loops, so it’s important to consider which one is right for your mobile app.

What types of viral loops work well with mobile apps?

Every viral loop should revolve around an incentive for the user to pass it on. This is viral loop marketing 101. Different strategies work well across a variety of platforms, but some work better with mobile apps. Here are four strategies you can use:

  1. The user gets something in return

Put simply, this is the “give and get more” type of strategy. When your customer shares your app with a new user, they get some kind of upgrade or benefit to their own experience of the app.

  1. Create a social community

Tap into everyone’s love of sharing their news, progress or achievements on social media. If you’ve created a mobile game, this might mean allowing users to share high scores via Facebook. You can then reward users with upgrades or other benefits when they publish content. This strategy encourages users to be active, as well as get others involved.

  1. Offer a monetary incentive

Whether it’s a saving, discount or some bonus credit, offering a monetary incentive is another way to motivate users to share your app and sign new people up.

  1. Be a do-gooder

With access to more information, the world is rapidly becoming more socially, ethically and environmentally conscious. There are plenty of problems in the world, which means there are plenty of ways you can help out.

Donating a portion of your profits with each share or invite is a simple way to entice users to take action. Creating a viral loop that rewards people will not only enhance your reputation but will also help you make a difference.

From Uber to Candy Crush: great examples of viral loops

Uber and Candy Crush are two of the most successful apps on the market. Part of this comes down to their viral loop marketing efforts. To get you inspired, let’s take a closer look.

How Uber is driving growth

Uber, the largest ride-sharing service in the world, has taken advantage of the monetary incentive strategy. But instead of the existing user only experiencing the benefits, the new user does too.

Uber has a dual-side referral code system. Essentially, the existing user receives an attractive amount of credit when the new user signs up using the existing user’s code, and the new user also gets the same amount of credit. It’s simple, generous, and has significantly boosted the company’s customer base.

How Candy Crush is crushing it

Candy Crush is one of the most popular viral apps out there. It has millions of users who continue to tell their friends about it, and has been sitting near the top of the app store for years. How do they do it?

The game uses a combination of the first and second strategies mentioned above. Candy Crush allows you to share your progress with others. By doing this, users also get something in return – such as help from friends, new content, or more lives. This currency of sharing and receiving, combined with persuasive and emotional in-app copywriting, taps into fundamental human desires. Sometimes this is all you need to create a successful viral app.

Over to you

Done right, viral loops are an ingenious way to build your app’s user base, turning each one into an individual marketing machine. But this doesn’t happen overnight, or simply because your app is incredible.

Strategy is key. Take into consideration the above points, as well as inspiration from successful apps such as Uber and Candy Crush, and you’ll have a better chance of creating viral loops that are truly infectious.

Picture1Akash is a technical strategist in business growth and development. Having worked with more than 500 businesses over 3 years Akash is well versed across a range of industries specialising in strategic mobile app and website development at EB Pearls.

Google’s Poly API: Access 3D Objects for VR/AR Apps

Since Pokemon Go was launched, VR/AR technology remained a hype in the market. Not just for games, developers are employing VR/AR technology for enhancing the app user experience also.

According to Digi Capital Augmented/Virtual Reality Report 2017, VR/AR market will hit $150 billion revenue by 2020, with AR having a share of about $120 billion and VR of $25 billion. Moreover, Mobile VR/AR will be the fundamental driver of this market revenue. This has skyrocketed the demand for AR/VR-based mobile apps, which has eventually increased the demand for 3D models and scene required for providing the realistic AR/VR environments. To cope up with this, Google has been continuously offering a wide number of 3D object creation tools.

Just a month ago, Google launched a platform for browsing, downloading and uploading 3D object, called Poly. And now, has come up with Poly API, which enables the developers to easily integrate 3D assets into their games and apps. Even after being awfully new in the app industry, world’s renowned mobile app developers are using the API for browsing and downloading 3D objects on demand for their VR/AR app projects.


Interested to know about Poly? Let’s explore together.

Poly is an online warehouse of 3D objects and scenes created using Blocks, Tilt Brush, or any other such 3D program. The platform allows developers to access the objects for free and remix them under the ‘CC By’ license, i.e., until the credit is given to the creator.

The assets are available under a wide range of category and can be filtered as per the requirement. In other words, one can employ Poly API to:

  • Sort assets on the basis of the following filters:
    • Keyword
    • Category (Technology, People, Creature, etc.)
    • Asset type (Tilt Brush, Blocks, etc.)
    • Complexity (Low, Medium, High)
  • Get user’s own models
  • Get objects user liked
  • Get a particular asset by ID
  • Download assets as per the asset type (GLTF1, GLTF2, OBJ)
  • Download material files and textures from 3D models and scenes.
  • Fetch asset metadata (author, title, creation time, description, license, etc.)
  • Get access to thumbnails for assets.

The 3D model and scene can be employed for developing Android, Web and iOS augmented reality apps, as well as linked with Unity and Unreal game engine. The developers can consolidate the available 3D assets into their project either at edit-time or at runtime. Edit-time refers to manually downloading models from Poly, collecting them at a particular location, and importing in app’s project later. This is the right option in case you wish to quickly add fixed assets. Whereas, Runtime means downloading 3D objects when the application is running. This lets the developers explore the Poly library and integrate the 3D assets at the same time.

Curious to know how to use Poly API with iOS, Android or Web app?

For Android App

For integrating Poly API with Android mobile apps, Google team has provided the Android sample code, consisting of a fundamental sample with no external dependencies, and another sample showing how to integrate Poly API with ARCore.

The sample basically describes how to make asynchronous HTTP connections to the Poly API, downloading of 3D asset files, conversion of OBJ and MTL files to OpenGL- compatible IBOs and VBOs, dynamically integrate the objects downloaded from Poly with ARCore, and so on.

For iOS App

For iOS app developers, Google team has two samples (one with SceneKit and one with ARKit) to show how to build a ‘top-grossing’ iOS application and import assets from Poly. The samples describe all the logic required to open an HTTP connection, generate an API request, parse the results, create 3D models from the data and put them on the scene.

For Web App

Google team has offered a complete WebGL sample using Three.js, in which they have shown how to acquire and display a specific model or execute searches. Besides this, there is also a sample demonstrating how to get and present Tilt Brush sketches.


Besides this, Google has also offered Poly Toolkit for Unreal as well as Poly ToolKit for Unity game engine, using which they can easily wrap the APIs, download and import models from Poly platform, and much more. In a nutshell, Poly API is a great help from Google to all those game and mobile app developers who wish to deliver high-quality AR/VR experience to the users and thus, increase engagement and drive high revenue.

How Google’s New Android Go OS Will Change The App Market

Will Google’s Android Go Change The App Marketplace?

At Google I/O 2017, Google’s developer conference, there were a number of important announcements made, but perhaps the most interesting was the reveal of their new operating system, Android Go.

Android Go is essentially going to be a lightweight version of Android O, which is currently in its Beta phase, and this OS will focus on low-end devices that are utilised in limited internet connectivity environments. Google has long been trying to crack the developing world markets, and they hope that with Android Go, they’ll finally get their chance.

Second Time Around

It’s interesting to note that this is not Google’s first foray into the entry-level market, as in 2014 they announced Android One. With Android One they laid down regulations for OEM’s to manufacture smartphones specifically compatible with emerging markets, but this seemed to fall somewhat short of the mark and never really got off the ground.

Fast forward 3 years and Google are trying again, and for developers who worked with Android One, it’s clear that Android Go is essentially a rebrand. However, this time around Android Go is set to feature its own Google Play Store and available optimised apps will be able to run on mobile devices that have as little as 512GB of RAM.


New Opportunities for Developers

In true Google style, they are hoping that the release of Android Go will attract new interest from developers and that this new OS will have a significant, positive effect on the app marketplace. A whole new Play Store has been developed especially for Android Go apps, giving developers a broader scope with which to work, and the opportunity to reach new and emerging markets with their products.

The focus will be on simpler apps that require less memory; so many new or less experienced developers are sure to try their hand at creating apps that run on low-end devices. This means that even more apps will be added to the marketplace, but it does not necessarily mean that quantity will equal quality. Developers, like those at Synergo, may also see the Android Go app store as a starting point and use this platform to release apps that they will then go on to develop further, making them more suitable for higher end devices.


Growing the Mobile Audience

The demands of developing countries differ greatly to developed regions, so the apps that will do well will be ones that target the correct demographic. This opens the door for developers to try something different and to grow their focus and adjust their core views.

For many, Internet access will be limited too, so the challenge arises in creating an app that does not require a stable Internet connection to run smoothly. Game apps will always be popular but in the case of Android Go, the focus may shift more to apps that offer a service or can fulfil a function, rather than entertain. The more people who are able to buy smartphones and access the web the greater the potential reach of developers, and Android Go is set to expand the global reach and grow the audience.

Developer Guidelines

Google is extremely determined to penetrate the emerging markets with cheap phones and apps that offer a good user experience. They have said that they will release tools for developers and instructions for writing apps that will be optimised to run smoothly on Android Go. Additionally, Google has pledged to release a Go version for every major Android version that follows.

It’s safe to say that if Android Go takes off, the app market will change. It will grow and expand and offer greater scope for developers to create products that appeal to users from all walks of life.

5 Ingredients of an Outstanding Chatbot

Most businesses want to stay competitive and on top of trends. While it has been said that chatbots have both perceived benefits and risks, this competitive advantage outweighs any perceived risks for most companies. Chatbots are all about productivity and now more than ever they are ready to be one of the major trends of 2017. They can easily answer all users simultaneously, irrespective of their location and time of the day. They also make it easy to perform several tasks with no need to skip from one app or web page to another.

Certain studies show that most consumers choose a chat with a brand as the most preferable way of connection.

Even though most of us do not pay attention to the structure of an app or a chatbot, we subconsciously evaluate it, developing definite opinions and attitudes. Having a wide range of various resources available for building a chatbot today (with or without coding), it is quite important to know certain primary issues in order to develop a successful and efficient chatbot.

1.Developing a chatbot without a specific purpose is useless.

The success of your chatbot leans on your awareness of your target audience and relevant content. Focus on and deliberate your chatbot’s aims.

Besides being an information service that reflects the content and functions of an application or a website, chatbots can become an additional useful service; focusing not only on a product itself but on providing consumers with supplementary services.

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.44.56 PM

  1. The first message a user sees in a chatbot is a welcome message.

It should be quite simple and contain information about who user is “speaking” with and a short description. Additionally, you can provide users with a kind of guideline including a couple of hints in the form of buttons or quick replies to let them know the options of their next steps. Link to the “Help” card with information about what your chatbot can do is a great way out.

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.45.26 PM

  1. Due to the rapid increase in the number of chatbots, it is essential to make your own bot quite memorable, recognizable and special, with a personal style.

Flow is one of the most important parts of the chatbot, as it is exactly that body that keeps users interested and plugged in.

While thinking over the flow, consider the appropriateness of the content. This depends on your target audience and brand.

Don’t forget about making the flow user- friendly. Do not include a lot of text; remember that using a chatbot is about chatting, not reading. Make use of emojis and a couple of jokes when appropriate. Light humor always works.

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 5.45.51 PM

  1. Try to avoid frequent breaking of your chatbot.

Despite being easy to understand because of its conversational UI, always provide users with navigation. In order to decrease the number of times that your chatbot is breaking, drive users throughout the flow with the help of buttons and quick replies. This helps to avoid dead ends and those cases when users just leave because they have no idea of what to do next (or if they’re just being lazy). Try to interchange or alternate buttons, quick replies and typed user input, so that the user doesn’t become bored. This will contribute to developing not only a useful but also an interactive chatbot, so that users will want to use it again and again.

Default messages should not be mechanic. In case something goes wrong, receiving the same robotic message will only annoy users. Live agent integration could be an alternative way out when AI is not able to handle the issue or a user needs a more personal approach.


  1. Be open to feedback and suggestions.

Users like to be heard: give them a medium to share their opinions. This can be via email or by submitting a query right through the chatbot (with no need to go to the website or mailing system).

Meanwhile you only win: getting to know your users, their expectations concerning your chatbot and showing your openness to changes and consumer opinion.

Chatbots are a developing field of AI. Moreover, the development is going at a high speed, so consequently more and more new features are appearing. That’s why it is important to follow the trends in order not to lag behind.

Super-Users – Your Top 1%

Why do some people drink coffee daily and others almost never? Why do some drink only one while others drink four cups or more daily? Why do some just want a regular coffee and others want raspberry-cheesecake mocha frappuccinos? We all like different things to different degrees, and for different reasons. That’s obvious enough, but not all businesses are structured to benefit from the difference between average customers and hardcore fans – super users.

Marketing aims to optimize our customer base, spending, and retention. Should we look for more customers? Should we look at optimizing our revenue per customer? Perhaps both? Perhaps, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and vice versa. Or should we say, what’s good for the whale is also good for the iPod? That might be going too far. 

The Pareto Principle and Super Users

Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle? You might know it as the 80/20 Rule. It is important to note that the Pareto Principle works best when involving economies of scale for all of the reasons associated with statistical samples.

For our purposes, it asserts that 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. But it doesn’t stop there. The Pareto Principle applies to sub-groups, as well:

  • 80% of 80% or 64% of sales derive from 20% of 20% or 4% of customers.
  • 80% of 64% or 51% of sales derive from 20% of 4% or .8% of customers.

The following is a simple, theoretical example of how a Pareto distribution might look for a business with a market reach of 100,000 customers:

pareto distribution Pareto Distribution showing top 1% of super-users responsible for 51% of revenue

But, the Pareto Distribution does not work well for premium sales and subscription models for individual products. Both impose a hard cap on potential revenue from super-users. A high-end premium app priced at $20 would see super-user revenue capped at $20,000. This remains true even when a premium title requires a subscription, like many Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games did for years.

Super Users want Super Options

Starbucks does a lot of Mobile things right for a brick-n-mortar business, as Chris Chidgey explored last year in Lessons Learned From Successful Mobile Marketing Campaigns. Starbucks gamified their customer loyalty program by adding levels and incentives for frequent customers. Their Mobile Order and Pay was bringing in over 8 million monthly transactions as of April of 2016.

But, if Starbucks only sold 87,000 variations of coffee, its $21 billion of 2015 revenue would be cut practically in half, to only $11 billion. Nearly half of its revenue is derived from a small percentage (less than 1%) of its products like pastries, sandwiches, premium coffee by the pound, coffee makers and mugs. They’ve taken the idea of a $3-4 cup of coffee to offering nearly $300 yearly subscriptions for new premium coffee blends delivered to members monthly.

For startups, Path of Exile, an MMO, raised over $2.5 million through crowdfunding. While the majority of backers (60%) contributed around $10, they had over 180 people contributing $1,000 or more. One option, the Founder’s Pack was offered for $12,500. This placed the contributor’s name in the game credits, let them contribute toward in-game content, receive unique custom content, a t-shirt, and assorted knickknacks.

 F2P Software as a Store

When was the last time you paid a cover charge to get into a store? Probably never. When talking about mobile apps and software, the lines get very blurry in trying to define whether they are products, services, or even storefronts. If you have a storefront, real or virtual, you want people to come in and look around.

Mobile apps helped push the envelope on monetization models. With nearly 92% of mobile apps distributed for free, mobile developers needed to get creative – and other businesses have followed suit. As we look at the most innovative “free to play” products today, we see a low-risk, open-ended business model with many monetization options:

  • Some special premium content is still available for purchase.
  • Incentives are offered for different subscription tiers.
  • Stores offer a wide range of products and services.
  • Incentives are offered for making any purchase or subscription.

While removing the barrier to entry, the most innovative “F2P” developers also try to remove the hard cap on customer spending. In short, they try to make it like walking into a store. You can look around as much as you like, even get some free cheese and crackers or other samples and taste tests. But, they do have products on the shelves and they do have a real price.

Super Users Want Super Options

Everyone does. It’s a natural response that if you find something you like to try to find more of it. This is a design, marketing, and business development issue. If people love what you have to offer, believe it or not – you do have more to offer than what you have. In some cases, it may involve some extra coding. In other cases, it may involve finding reseller agreements on closely associated product/service verticals.

In games, there are people who will happily pay for $50 for a +6 Tome of Supreme Ability, virtual tanks, virtual storage space, special mounts, and wide-ranging cosmetic effects. Some people have more money than time; others more time than money. For a premium, new players can now jump into games and group with their friends already at the “end game” versus having to grind up from level 1. Others are willing to pay to change their character’s name.

These things are not for everyone, but they are available for those who want them, often times a very small minority of your overall customers. The Pareto Principle is an odd thing, but it works and can be extraordinarily useful in prioritizing your efforts.

Points of fact:

  • Less than 1% of the world’s population owns over half of the world’s wealth.
  • Over half of mobile game revenue globally is earned by the top 1% of mobile game developers.
  • Half of their revenue is derived from 1% of their players

What Happens After an App is Developed?

Developing an app is not an inexpensive, easy, or short process. After you spend months of development and anywhere from $10k-$250K, you would assume that the process is over.

However, just because the app is in the app store, does not mean that the work is over! This is actually the time where additional funding could be needed.

The two areas of focus that can require a substantial amount of effort and money is the marketing and maintenance of the app.

The marketing component is critical; users are not going to just start downloading your app, they need to hear about it, and be aware that it exists. If your app is beautifully designed, and functions perfectly, it does not matter if it has zero users.

Additionally, continual maintenance of the app is an important aspect in order to make sure the user experience and features offered are the best possible.

Marketing the App

The jump from launching an app to achieving success is not a small one to make. When you look at the proportion of the total number of apps in the App Store in comparison to the ones that are actually downloaded and frequently used, it is relatively small.

How can you market an app in an incredibly dense space? Here at Codal (UX design and mobile app development agency), we recommend that business owners spend at least double of what they spent on their application development for marketing spend.

Referral Programs

Many of the most successful apps around, such as Uber, AirBnb, PayPal and Dropbox have grown to their present size because of their extensive referral programs. A mutually beneficial referral program, where both users benefit from the sign up, is when the referral program is largely successful.

The cost of customer acquisition is at its peak when the app has recently launched and is still new to the market. The initial investment of providing each user an incentive to sign up will result in a large ROI if the app is well developed, especially if the customers maintain loyalty.

In general, referral programs are one of the strongest ways to acquire more users without doing much work. Start a stellar referral program, and let your users do the marketing work!

Provide valuable and shareable content

As a new app and a potentially new business, it is important to share rich content either about the app directly, or related to what your newly launched app offers.

This not only shows potential users that your app is legitimate, but that it is satisfying a need or desire of the user, as well as emphasizing the competitive advantage of the app.

This content can then be shared on a wide range of different channels such as social media platforms, personal blogs, or guest blogs. The more you expose your users  to the content, the more influence the content will have in user acquisition.

Allowing users to find your app in the Apple’s App Store + Google Play

According to Statista, as of June 2016 there were 2.2 million apps in the Google Play store, and 2 million in the Apple App store.

With around 2 million users in the app store, you cannot expect users to just come across your app and download it. Every app has huge competition, which is why companies like Gummicube are here to help you optimize your application in the app store.

Maintenance of the App

Being dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of an app is the difference between an average app and an amazing app. For example, Snapchat started off as a simple platform for sending pictures from user to user.

With time and significant maintenance, new features such as chat, filters, and stories were added to improve the overall user experience.

Since maintaining an app can cost 1.5 times the cost of the initial development it is important to make sure that new features and changes being made are considered valuable to the user.

Below are some of our recommendations for keeping the app up-to-date.

Add features of real value

Although it may be tempting to add new and innovative features to your app, it is critical that each feature provides value and not just visual effect. More importantly, you want to add features that drive the most engagement.

This may require a trial and error approach in the maintenance process, but a focus on getting the app right will make a significant impact. A great way to validate your new feature idea is to conduct user interviews and surveys to explore what your users actually want.

This way, you are not shooting in the dark. Any experienced user experience agency can help conduct these surveys or even focus groups to make sure your ideas are in line with your user’s needs.

Keep add ons and changes consistent with your brand

When you are adding features or additions to the app, they need to be consistent with the brand. Aesthetically, with every new release, the app needs to continue to evoke the brand’s identity.

It is also important to keep your updates consistent. You don’t want to be updating your app every month for a year, but then completely stop with new features and updates for another year. Slow and steady is the way to go.


The development process of an app is just the beginning of your new mobile app’s journey. It is important while the development is still underway that you consider the next steps and start planning your marketing campaigns.

No users means an unsuccessful app, so this phase is really mission-critical.

Both the marketing and the maintenance of the app are extremely powerful  components that can determine the success of an app.

The Real Cost of Developing a Mobile App

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app? Our sales team receives this question frequently in reference to creating apps like Facebook, Uber, Tinder and others. The truth is that depending on your app’s features and scope, your application cost can vary wildly. Many customers have yet to sit down and specify every piece of functionality that they wish to include in their app.

When it comes to apps, marketing rules still apply. When creating an app, you must think of it as a product. What is your offer? How will you be pricing your app? Your price policy should be both attractive to your users, and cover your expenses in developing the app.

A mobile app is not only a development story. It is all about reasons, resources, value and strategy. Usually, the price to develop an app splits into development costs and support costs – things like maintenance, promotion, sales and support. The average cost to develop an app, then, is only approximately 30-50% of your total cost. The other 50-70% goes into post-development support.

When you are ready to start developing your app, you have to be very specific about which features to include and how they will be developed. For example, saying “I want an app like Facebook,” there are a variety of sub-features which may or may not need to be included. Within the context of Facebook’s overall operations, the mobile app is only one part.

Want another Facebook? Great! Let’s take a look at Facebook’s timeline, with its initial funding round of $500K. Counting 30-50% from this first investment, we may get an approximate price for development of an app – $150K to $250K.

This is the approximate cost to start up a “Facebook-like” app with all of the same features. Can you afford it? And perhaps more importantly, can you afford to nurture the app through marketing, promotion and support? Do you have a long-term plan?

Let’s take a look at the Uber case for another example. This actually refers to the application bundle, including a website, the consumer app, a private driver’s app, and a manager’s app. Uber’s seed round raised $200K. If you apply the 30-50% rule, you get $60K-$100K. This may be the price to develop an app like Uber.

On the marketing side, you may have heard of safety and legal issues relating to Uber and analog services. You may also be aware of an increasing number of Uber competitors saturating the market. Are you able to face that challenge to its full extent? Do you have enough resources for that, while still having some left over to support the app?

One last case is the example of Tinder. Here numbers range from $75K to $125K for mobile application development. Most dating applications of this kind need to face creation of a matching algorithm, quite a puzzling task. From a marketing point of view, the engagement of female users is also a headache. So is your monetization strategy – Will you charge a subscription fee, or have in-app purchases? What offer will keep your users coming back after the first date?

The bottom line is, apps can be expensive. So what should you do? Don’t drop your idea. Instead, start your project, but know what to expect. Start researching early, define your goals and audience, and settle the requirements and functionality required early. You’ll even want to think over your app’s UX.

If you do decide to start development, we suggest beginning with a Minimum Viable Product, which is aimed at answering a number of vital questions: whether you are solving the real problem with your application, and if users are ready to accept your app as a solution.

After you begin, there are several core stages your app will go through during development. Your efforts will be distributed in non-equal shares during the project lifecycle. With our app development experience, we gathered the statistics on activities and created a chart for your reference. See how your efforts might be split between the various stages of development.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 5.13.15 PMTo help you plan your needs ahead of time, we have developed an online tool to provide you with rough estimates of your MVP. With our calculator, you can quote a cost of mobile app development for iOS and Android devices. Start with simple questions based on details and factors important for your product creation, such as platform selection, UX creation, business model, etc. Every answer limits the scope and narrows the target of your app by influencing initial cost of development. Now you will be able to see how much it costs to develop an app within 2 minutes or less.

No service can tell you for sure how much it will cost to develop a custom app. With the experience we have gained, we can say that a custom-developed MVP may take 3,5-4 months of development time and require a budget of $10K-20K per platform unless it is a very basic app.

We see application creation as an interactive process, where you can define the minimal set of features, release an app, test your market fit and how users receive your product. Once you gather first feedback, you can proceed with next iterations focusing on market needs. At the same time, there is always something that stands in between you and successful product — the first step, which you can make now.


3 Videos To Make Your App Development Project 3 Times Easier

If you are an inspired entrepreneur who is about to launch a software project, you should remember that 9 out of 10 startups fail. This is a hard truth, which, however, can be overcome with dedication and knowledge. While you already have dedication, we would like to supply some useful knowledge – 3 videos that will make building and launching your app more efficient and painless.

If your project is going to be your first ever venture into the world of apps, your vision might be not fully developed. What if you are still in search of your Minimum Viable Product that will stand out against your competitors? What if you need to offer your target audience a superior solution, yet remain within your possible deadlines and tight budget?

The first video is here to help you shape the vision of your business, that in turn helps shape the vision of your product, then roughly define the price and delivery deadlines for your project.

The key is to find a software development partner that will help you create a product that will solve the problems of your target audience, bring them desired value, and correspond with your own business goals.

The second video is dedicated to building and launching a new app on the market.

The third video takes you further and helps choose the optimal type of contract, which actually defines the way you are going to work with your software development partner.

The choice depends on the nuances of your business. If it faces rare changes and your product requirements can be fixed easily, you should opt for fixed price. If you value flexibility and have a complex project, the optimal choice is hourly rate/dedicated team. The rest depends on the level of your personal involvement and other vital factors that are revealed here.

From these 3 videos you can learn vital insights, based on real-life experience of successfully launched projects of various complexity.

Eventually, when your app is developed, you’ll want to find your target user base. In search of users who will find your app valuable and relevant, review the [app developer checklist] to begin your app store optimization process.

Keep these things in mind, and good luck in all of your endeavors!

oleg lolaOleg Lola, CEO at MobiDev, is a talented business manager and a skilled mobile developer who has a 10-year experience in the IT sphere. He believes in ideas of his clients and makes everything to make them tangible.