All posts by Gummicube

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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.


App location: important inside and out

imac-606765_960_720As an article earlier on this blog so aptly points out, subtly tailoring your app’s listing screenshots for different geographical markets is hugely important.

Tweaks as small as re-centring any maps in screenshots or changing text and images to reflect local moods and customs work to create a subconscious feeling of trust of your app from people browsing the store – something that will hopefully convert to more downloads.

Taking location into account is vital from an app design perspective too, and the means through which it can be achieved grow increasingly sophisticated. We’ll explore a couple of them in this article.

Language – knowing your left from your right

The need to translate apps into different languages when they are launched in foreign countries is a no-brainer, but some of the considerations that accompany this may not be immediately obvious. Apple often refer to this process as Internationalisation to emphasise the need to do more than just translated the text in an app.

For example, does the language of the new country read from left to right (as with English) or right to left (as with Arabic)? In the past it was tricky to work with right to left languages, but modern phone operating systems are more forgiving. Android 4.2 has inbuilt layout mirroring capabilities, for example:

settings Image source

Language – learn to tell the time

Another consideration for foreign app translations is the format of the date and time. In the UK we’re used to the format 19/07/2016; the Danish would be more familiar with 2016-07-19. In France they’d write the time 15h38 instead of 15:38 that we’re familiar with.

In short, getting this right is another step toward making foreign users comfortable with your app. Again these functionalities are inbuilt, so resist the urge to hard-code the time in your preferred format.

Jargon – best saved for another time!

Google’s app localisation checklist includes a number of suggestions that are quite jargon heavy. This is the sort of stuff that a professional app design agency (like the one I run!) take into account when designing apps but, to casual readers, they can be off-putting!

Some examples of such tasks:

  • Move all UI strings into strings.xml
  • Follow Android guidelines for UI strings
  • Provide sufficient context for UI strings
  • Mark message parts that should not be translated

We’ll spare you the details of what each of these points mean, but it suffices to say that they refine the localised version of your apps through actions like ensuring pieces of text can remain untranslated where necessary (think of discount codes, peoples’ names, app-specific terms, and so on).

Testing – local eyes see things yours might miss

Once you’ve made the required changes to your app, the most important step is to run these past local eyes to make sure that translations are correct, everything makes sense, the formatting remains properly aligned during use, and various other factors.

This can be done to varying levels of proficiency, but we recommend investing money and effort into this step to make sure nothing slips through the net. An app with location specific issues can quickly alienate users in that locale!

Google’s checklist then goes onto explain the importance of localisation of app listings – which takes us neatly back to the start!

This primer on app localisation was written by The Distance – an app development agency in Yorkshire.


Why Your App Needs To Focus On Reviews And Referrals For Better ASO

focus_socialThe app market competition is increasing by the day. Be it any industry – lifestyle, gaming, eCommerce or any other, apps are having a tough time establishing their name in the mobile sphere. Acquiring users as well as retaining them is today one of the biggest challenges for app developers and marketers. But the first and foremost thing that apps need to do for sustainable growth, is to nail their app store optimization.

In this post, we’ll be talking about how referrals and reviews play an important role in ASO today.

The importance of App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is similar to how you want your website to be ranked on the search engines with effective SEO measures. Amongst the many apps in the market, ASO helps your app become searchable for the keywords and the category you want it to be known for.

As Ryan Kelley explains in his answer on Quora, apps can’t just launch and expect themselves to become discoverable. Certain efforts, apart from marketing campaigns, need to be made to become visible in the eyes of the target market.

Untitled  source

The role of app reviews in ASO

We all know how important the customer’s perspective is in the development, optimization and growth of an app. This is where a first hand feedback from them comes handy. In app stores, this feedback comes in the form of app rating and reviews.

These ratings and reviews provide the developer with valuable information about the target market, and what they expect from the app. This helps create an effective roadmap or strategy for the app post launch. Be it fixing existing bugs, enhance popular features or introducing a new one on popular demand.

But apart from that, as Gummicube points out, Apple and Google both use app store reviews as well as ratings in their search ranking algorithms. The greater number of reviews and the better the ratings, the higher your app ranks in its search category.

For instance, apps that continue to remain trending or at the top of search results, make getting reviews or ratings from users a part of their app flow. Some even go beyond this to incorporate reviews from popular names in their app store description.

Kim Kardashian West’s Forbes featured app is a perfect example of the same. It includes reviews from popular names like E! Online, Marie Claire and more in its app description itself.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.51 AM

Rating and reviews are important aspects of app store optimization as:

  1. They act as metadata for search and help categorise your app better in the store. According to a post on TechCrunch, app stores are now focusing on search relevancy. In simpler words, user feedback now influences the discovery of an app.
  2. They serve as a social proof to potential users. When a user sees an app that has better reviews and ratings from another app that offers the same features, he is more likely to choose that one.

The one thing to remember here, though, is that the ratings and reviews should not look forced. Make it like a task that is required to be completed to use a feature of the app, or make it a point to suggest dropping a review only after the user has moved along his lifecycle.

The role of referrals in app growth and ASO

Continuing on the point above, offering a great user experience should be the primary goal of app developers and marketers. The happier a user is with the app and what it offers, the more likely he is to recommend the same in his circles.

According to Nielsen, almost 84% of people completely trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products. Word-of-mouth boosts the app marketing effectiveness by almost 54%!

Knowing that millennials are more likely to respond on recommendations than outreach, app marketers need to make referral campaigns a part of their marketing and growth strategies.

The more your app is able to leverage from word-of-mouth marketing, the stronger is your user acquisition. The greater the number of users, the better the app store optimization. Think about it, which app are you more likely to download – one with millions of users or the other that barely has a few hundreds?

Apart from that, you’re more likely to get more ratings and reviews as well, that will boost your search optimization. The only things you need to ensure is that it is easy for users to invite their friends to the app and you continue to optimize as well as deliver a great user experience.

Having an in-app referral campaign helps you:

  • Boost the app’s brand awareness in the target market.
  • Greater the app’s awareness, the more is the user acquisition at lower costs and the more optimized are the marketing budgets.
  • Helps create personalized campaigns and experiences for users, increasing the retention rate of your app.
  • All in all, it improves your app store rankings while growing you in the mobile market!

But it doesn’t have to be difficult for the app developers to tap into the potential of referral marketing. Companies like GetSocial offer tools like Smart Invites, that enable a user to invite his friends to the app using popular chat apps and social media – all without having to switch multiple apps for the same.

For instance, games like Ruzzle Adventure have integrated the tool into the app to make it easy for players to invite their circle without having to leave the game. A few clicks and they are ready to have their own social circle on the app!


Over to you

A great in-app experience isn’t just important to keep the users engaged and hooked to your app. With the app stores making relevancy of prime importance for discoverability, it is also important to make what your users are saying about your app an integral part of its app store optimization.

VanhishikhaDisclaimer: This is a guest blog post by Vanhishikha Bhargava, Content Marketer at Vanhishikha has 4+ years experience as a digital and content marketer, and her focus is to create educational content that informs about the importance of user acquisition, retention and monetization.


Quick and Easy Steps to Becoming a Successful App Maker Today


Mobile app development is booming these days. According to Statista, this February, the number of available apps in the Google Play Store was 2 million, while in the Apple App Store it surpassed 1.5 million apps. The demand is continuously growing, creating significant app backlogs. Fortunately, codeless mobile app development platforms solve this problem by allowing anyone – even with little or no programming background – to become a successful app maker provided that he/she follows these 4 steps.

Work out an Idea and Plan

Over 25% of apps are used once and then never opened again. That is why you as a mobile app developer should start by talking to potential users, conducting surveys, and thinking through in detail the functionality of your app and the features it will support. Making sure the UI is user friendly and intuitive is also of paramount importance.

Build Your App on a Codeless Platform

Since codeless platforms like Snappii’s have brought self-service mobile app creation to a vast audience, this step is significantly easier and faster than originally thought. With a “What You See Is What You Get” editor and ready-made templates, you can add necessary tabs, drag and drop elements and buttons, modify the design, and instantly see all the changes on your mobile device. As a result, mobile forms with multiple features and fields can be created and added into the app in just a matter of minutes.

Test Your Work

Quality Assurance (QA) or simply testing plays a vital role in the app creation process. QA should be involved at all stages, from concept creation to product release. While building mobile apps on the Snappii platform, app builders have an opportunity to immediately see the app in action on their mobile devices with our special Preview App, thereby timely identifying potential problems and fully debugging the application.

Optimize Your App in the App Stores

Getting a ready-made product and submitting it to the app stores marks the beginning of a new stage – App Store Optimization (ASO). Now your task is to ensure that your app gets easily found and downloaded by thousands of users, thus boosting search rankings and leading to new downloads and reviews. You can optimize your app yourself or entrust it to professionals, such as Gummicube. Gummicube is a real expert in all ASO solutions and your tour guide on the path to the success your app deserves.

Gartner, a leading technology research and advisory company, coined the phenomenon called a “citizen developer” to describe any user building apps without programming skills. The main benefits of this approach are high development speed, agility, and lower costs. In a word, today anyone can join this solution and make thousands of dollars.

alex bakmandisclaimer: Alex Bakman is a successful tech entrepreneur and innovator. Since 1994 Alex has founded and grown 3 companies to $10+ million in sales. Now he is CEO and Founder of Snappii, a mobile business app development company, which was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Rochester New Hampshire. Snappii has created a platform for developing sophisticated, feature rich mobile business apps without writing any code. Moreover, Snappii offers a wide selection of ready-made industry specific apps that can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google Play stores.