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The Magic Formula For Getting Your App Featured By Apple

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It’s the dream of pretty much everyone who has worked on an app to get an app featured by Apple.  By now I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of ridiculous profits that can be earned within a few days.

Now the problem is, how does Apple choose which apps are featured?  I’ve seen absolute junk get featured in the Canadian app store while some brilliant apps seem to get glanced over.  So unfortunately,  no matter what luck definitely seems to be the biggest factor in the formula for getting your apps featured in the magic formula.

All that being said I read an interesting article from one developer who was able to get their app featured by Apple, a game known as Alienz which was able to reach the top 100 strategy and arcade game categories of the app store earning them nearly $2k in a week.

Here’s a quick summary of the formula they came up with:

  1. Presentation – Definitely looks are the most important factor that you can actually control.
  2. Uniqueness – The author emphasizes this, and it seems to be a factor, but I have seen a lot of rehashed stuff get featured so I’m not too sure about this one.
  3. Time of release – Interesting stuff here.. definitely seems like on some days Apple has slimmer pickings on some days as opposed to others.  Their suggestion is not to get your app listed right after the weekend if you want to get featured.
  4. Make The App Paid – According to the author Apple typically only features free apps by big publishers.
  5. Get Mentioned By The Big Sites – Apple seems to favor apps featured on big sites by Engadget (I would say though that these are usually only quality apps anyways 🙂

Interesting stuff, and you can read the full article here.

I would say that it is 90% luck, 9% presentation, and 1% the other stuff, but definitely some things to consider.

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2 Great New Open Source iOS Apps: iStrobe and Ecological Footprint

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I’ve extended the open source iPhone apps list with two great new apps.  

The quest for quality iPhone and iPad programming examples continues and both of these apps are app store apps that the creators generously decided to open source.  While there are a lot of great examples on the list with the continuous release of new features more are always welcome.

The first app is very interesting because I know that the topic of controlling the iPhone 4’s flash is searched for quite frequently on this site.  This app features a strobe lite, see video:

You can find the homepage here: iStrobe.

The other app is Ecological Footprint, which shows how to share data using Facebook connect and e-mail, utilizing Core Data and more.  See video:

You can find the homepage here: Ecological Footprint.

Check here for more information on the other 37 open source iphone app store apps.

Please share this by using the buttons below to tweet or bookmark!


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iTV – Another Platform For iOS Apps?

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For some time now there has been speculation that the Apple TV platform would be upgraded and be capable of handling apps.  This has been the next logical step for AppleTV and it comes as no surprise that it appears things have come to fruition.  Apparently it will be known as iTV.

Television would provide yet another great outlet, and drive iOS app sales even further.  It’s no secret that consoles, and console game revenue dwarf that of the iPhone and iPad app stores.  It will be very interesting to see the pricing dynamic once  iTV starts hitting the shelves..

An exclusive report is available at Engadget.  It seems that one of the more interesting aspects (unconfirmed) is that iTV will only provide 720p playback.  This makes no sense whatsoever and it will be interesting to see how truthful that is.

You can read Engadget’s previous report on iTV here which suggested a $99 price point.

[Source: Engadget]


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Open Source iOS Apps – Real iOS Source Code Examples

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open source iphone apps

Welcome to the sixth iteration of the open source iPhone and iPad apps list for those seeking app source code.  For those that have seen similar listings on other sites using the exact wordings, and links below welcome to the source for the original list.  Also included are some open source iPad apps, and universal open source iOS apps.

It can be tough to learn how to develop, especially when it comes to finding complete examples.  That’s why I put this list together.  Each of these open source iPhone apps is not just open source, but has been in the app store, and all but one are in there right now.  So if you’re looking for an example of some real apps here they are.

Last Update: 4/28/2016

Before going on to the apps, please share these open source iOS apps with your Twitter followers by clicking here.
If you are just interested in games you can check out the open source iOS game list.

The Open Source iPhone Apps List

Here is the open source iphone app list in alphabetical order:

1. 2048 – A SpriteKit based version of the game 2048.. (iTunes link) (source code)

2. AlienBlue – A feature rich Reddit client for iPhone and iPad. (iTunes link) (source code)

3. AntiMapLog – An app for recording your own data (location, time, etc.) over a period of time. (iTunes link) (source code)

4. AnyPic – An app for recording your own data (location, time, etc.) over a period of time. (iTunes link) (source code)

5. AppSlate – An app that allows you to create other apps that run within the AppSlate. (iTunes link) (source code)

6. audioGraph – An audio processing graph demonstration app. (iTunes link) (source code)

7. Authenticator – A two factor authenticator based on the source code of  Google’s iPhone authenticator. (iTunes link) (source code)

8. Bancha – An app for managing websites powered by the Bancha CMS. (iTunes link) (source code)

9. Barcode Scanner – An example app that is part of the Zxing barcode reader project. (iTunes link) (source code)

10. Battle For WesnothFantasy themed turn based tactical RPG game available on several platforms and now the iPhone/iPad.  (iTunes link) (source code)

11. Bubbsy – Cocos2D based game using Box2D fixes and Tiled level creation.  Unique license see source code page. (iTunes link) (source code)

12. Camlingual – App that can read and translate signs using sophisticated OCR.  (iTunes link) (source code)

13. Canabalt – Popular run and jump type game. (iTunes link) (source code)

14. Chat Secure – An instant messaging application supporting the Xmpp (Google Talk, Jabber) /Oskar (Aim) protocols. (iTunes link) (source code)

15. Cheddar – A to do list app featuring syncing between multiple devices. (iTunes link) (source code)

16. Climbers – 2D finger dragging climbing game created with Cocos2D. (iTunes link) (source code)

17. CodeHub – An iPhone and iPad Github client created using C# with Xamarin. (iTunes link) (source code)

18. ColloquyConversion of the most popular Mac IRC client to the iPhone. (iTunes link) (source code)

19. ColorCipher – An iPhone adaptation of the classic game of mastermind. (iTunes link) (source code)

20. ComicFlowBeautiful comic book reader for iPad. (iTunes link) (source code)

21. ConcurrencyA currency conversion calculator with a nice clean interface. (iTunes link) (source code)

22. Countitout A generic counting app. (iTunes link) (source code)

23. Desktop Web Analytics – An app for displaying Piwik web analytics data built with AS3/Air. (iTunes link) (source code)

24. Diceshaker Dice rolling simulator designed for role-playing game enthusiasts. (iTunes link) (source code)

25. Dollar Bets App for recording personal bets placed with your friends. (iTunes link) (source code)

26. Doom Classic Classic 3D first person shooter. (iTunes link) (source code)

27Doppio – Library for finding the nearest Starbucks. (iTunes link) (source code)

28. Dozuki – Interactive repair manual app from the guys at iFixit. (iTunes link) (source code)

29. Dragon Shout – A titanium based social journal app for the Elder Scrolls series of games. (iTunes link) (source code)

30. Ecological Footprint – Calculate, display, and record your ecological footprint. (iTunes link) (source code)

31. Edgy – App for demonstrating the basics of OpenCV and the iPhone. (iTunes link) (source code)

32. Edhita – iPad text editor with file transfer support and browser previewing. (iTunes link) (source code)

33. Fresh Food Finder – App for finding locally grown food built with Phonegap/Cordova. (iTunes link) (source code)

34. FreshbooksOpen Source iPhone app that enables usage of Freshbooks web invoicing software from your iPhone. (iTunes link) (source code)

35. Frotz – Open Source interactive fiction app with support for the Z-machine format. (iTunes link) (source code)

36. Gas Guide – Guides for helping medical students study built from the Gas guide source. (iTunes link) (source code)

37. GorillasClassic Worms/iShoot turn based shooter type game converted to iPhone from basic. Utilizes Cocos2D. (iTunes link) (source code).

38. Greek Interlinear Bible – An app for helping study ofthe original new Testament Greek bible . (iTunes link) (source code).

39. Hacker news Client – An app for helping study ofthe original new Testament Greek bible . (iTunes link) (source code).

40. Heredox – Tile based game featuring multiplayer created with Cocos2D. (iTunes link) (source code).

41. HoxChess – A Xiangqi (chinese chess) game. (iTunes link) (source code)

42. iLabyrinth – Puzzle game written in Cocos2D requiring you to navigate through increasingly difficult labyrinths. (iTunes link) (source code)

43. Inkpad – A full featured vector based drawing app. (iTunes link) (source code)

44. iStrobe – Turns the iPhone 4 flash into a highly configurable strobe light. (iTunes link) (source code)

45. iWVU – Official iPhone application of West Virginia University. (iTunes link) (source code)

46. Last.fmSoftware that enables usage of the Last.fm platform for personal radio stations. (iTunes link) (source code)

47. Little Go – An iOS version of the game of Go featuring a tough AI opponent. (iTunes link) (source code)

48. Mapbox Earth – A fun app for exploring Mapbox maps in 3D.(iTunes link) (source code)

49. Master Password – An app for generating and storing passwords. (iTunes link) (source code)

50. Mobilesynth – A monophonic synthesizer designed for live performance. (iTunes link) (source code)

51. MoleculesAllows you to view 3D models of molecules and manipulate them through touch. (iTunes link) (source code)

52. MoverAllows you to transfer stuff from one iPhone to another by “flicking” it to the other device. (iTunes link) (source code)

53. Mugician – iPad music synthesis app being used by various musicians in real life gigs. (iTunes link) (source code)

54. Natsulion A basic twitter client converted from mac. (iTunes link) (source code)

55. Next Airport – A navigation and weather utility app built with Red Foundry. (iTunes link) (source code)

56. News:yc – A hacker news client. (iTunes link) (source code)

57. OwnCloudBackpack journal client. (iTunes link) (source code)

58. PacklogBackpack journal client. (iTunes link) (source code)

59. PlainNote – Simple Open Source Notepad. (iTunes link) (source code)

60. Pteradactyl Attack – An HTML5/Javascript based 2D action game. (iTunes link) (source code)

61. Pw Safe – Password manager that works across multiple platforms. (iTunes link) (source code)

62. Quickbright – Simple app for setting the brightness for your iPhone quickly and easily. (iTunes link) (source code)

63. Revolved – An iPad 3D modeling app allowing you to draw curves and turn them into 3d models. (iTunes link) (source code)

64. RPI Shuttle Tracker – App for tracking bus positions around the RPI campus. (iTunes link) (source code)

65. Sage Math – Interface to the sage computer algebra system. (itunes link) (source code)

66. Seven Bridges – An iPhone and iPad puzzle game where bridges are crossed within a specified number of turns.  (iTunes link) (source code)

67. Sign Plus – App for turning iPad into a digital sign. (itunes link) (source code)

68. SpaceBubbleSpace game featuring core graphics, and accelerometer usage. (itunes link) (source code)

69. SparkleShare – Client for the DropBox like SparkleShare file storage service. (itunes link) (source code)

70. Stockfish ChessA chess game featuring extremely effective AI . (itunes link) (source code)

71. Sudoku Resolv  – Sudoku solving app using computer vision. (itunes link) (source code)

72. Sugar on Pancake  – An iOS client for SugarCRM. (itunes link) (source code)

73. Task CoachPersonal to-do list and task manager. (itunes link) (source code)

74. The White House – Official app for the White House. (itunes link) (source code)

75. Travel Advice UK – App featuring worldwide travel advice provided by the UK Governemnt. (itunes link) (source code)

76. Tweedie – A twitter iPad client created using HTML5 and Phonegap (Cordova). (itunes link) (source code)

77. TweejumpPlatform jumping game inspired by Icy Tower. Utilizes Cocos2D. (itunes link) (source code)

78. TweeteeEnhanced version of the Natsulion Twitter Client. (itunes link) (source code)

79. TweeteroBasic twitter client with image uploading. (itunes link) (source code)

80. Vim – The classic highly configurable UNIX text editor ported to iOS. (itunes link) (source code)

81. ViralFireUnique game where you are a dodging blood cell. (source code)

82. Warfare Incorporated – A popular graphical real time strategy game. (itunes link) (source code)

83. Warped AR – An augmented reality app created using Appcelerator Titanium. (itunes link) (source code)

84. WikihowA reader app for the popular how to wiki site. (itunes link) (source code)

85. Wikipedia – Official Wikipedia app for iOS devices. (itunes link) (source code)

86. Wizard War – Fighting game created using Cocos2D and ReactiveCocoa. (itunes link) (source code)

87. Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum – If you haven’t heard of Wolfenstein post below so we can say a prayer for you. (itunes link) (source code)

88. WordPressClient for managing WordPress blogs. Also has an iPad version. (itunes link) (source code)

89. XpilotSimple massively multiplayer arcade shooter from the early days of the internet. (itunes link) (source code)

90. YoCelsiusPocket database containing a summary of your legal rights. (itunes link) (source code)

91. YourRightsPocket database containing a summary of your legal rights. (itunes link) (source code)

92. ZBarA barcode reader open source iphone app. (itunes link) (source code)

These are apps that are no longer in the app store for which source code is available:

93. 2012 Olympics – App displaying timetable for 2012 Olympic events.   (source code)

94. Aeropack – A steampunk themed retro-platform game created using GameSalad. (source code)

95. Alphabet Blocks – An educational toy featuring letter blocks created with using Cocos2D.. (source code)

96. Clearis – Cocos2D based puzzle game.  (source code)

97. Cryptose – A cryptogram puzzle game made with the Marmalade (formerly Airplay) SDK.  (source code)

98. Fosdem– Calendar app for the Fosdem open source conference. (source code)

99. NowPlaying – Allows you to check local theater listings, and check rotten tomato ratings.  (source code)

100. PocketFlix – Find movies, and manage your Netflix information. (source code)

101. Prey – Anti-theft tracker featuring on-demand and push notification activation. (source code)

102. reMail – E-mail client featuring ultra-fast search. Removed from app store, but source made available. (source code)

103. RobotFindsKitten – Port of a very silly “classic” ASCII game. (source code)

104. Sci-15 HPCalc – Calculator app based on classic scientific HP-Calculator. (source code)

105. Scratch – A viewer allowing you to run applications made with MIT’s scratch project. (source code)

106. Skeleton Key – Puzzle game created using Cocos2D. (source code) (source code iPad)

107. Star3Map – Augmented reality star and planet charting application. (source code)

108. Teh Internets – A silly side scrolling game that makes fun of many internet memes created using Cocos2D.  (source code)

109. Tilt Monster – iPhone game written with the Corona SDK that reached top 25 in the app store. (source code)

110. Tux Rider – iPhone port of the extremely popular, and beautiful 3D Tux Racer game. (source code)

Check them out if you are working on something similar or think they might have a feature you could use there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel.  Always make sure you understand the licenses as many of these open source iPhone apps are GPL and require that you open source your app.

Please Share And Comment

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Know Any Other Open Source iPhone Apps?

If you’ve found or have released an app that you would like added to the open source iphone apps list then please mention it in the comments.


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7 Massive Marketing Mistakes GUARANTEED To Even Kill Killer Apps

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Editors Note: I received this submission, and I was reluctant to look at it since there seems to be a flood of marketers trying to cash in as app marketing experts.   I decided to accept this one as it is somewhat different, and didn’t simply provide a simplistic list of tips such as take good screenshots, start a blog, or sell internationally.  Please comment on whether you’d like to see more content on app marketing in the future. – John

In my time working with software developers I’ve been able to pick up on some common mistakes that ultimately lead to lower sales or even bankruptcy.  Accept them as the ultimate truth or accept failure.  The choice is yours.

1.    Not accepting that it is all about money. Money is the measure for app success. It doesn’t matter if your app gets rave reviews, a million free downloads, or iPhone and iPad users love it.  What matters is that it makes money.  Even if you’re just branding or building a portfolio.  If it doesn’t make money in the end then what was the point?

2.    Thinking app store sales are the only way to succeed. There are many possible business models. Look around, you’ll see many businesses making money from iPhone apps that aren’t even selling them.

3.    Misunderstanding the importance of marketing. Marketing is at least as important as development. If you don’t believe that then you haven’t been watching the app store very closely.

4.    Not building anticipation for your app. You want to hit Apple’s top download lists, and the easiest time to do that is when your app is first released.  Copy the techniques of those having multiple successes in the app store.

5.    Not doing any of the marketing legwork. Many developers seem willing to spend thousands of hours on an app, yet none on marketing. You know you have to leverage social media, find good keywords, send your app to reviewers, take good screenshots, create a video, do some market testing, defining your market, finding your purple cow… but are you doing it?

6.    Not being willing to spend any money. The $99 that you pay Apple to join their development program is not going to cut it as a marketing budget. If you’ve got an app making money try reinvesting some of it in one of the many ways such as ads in other apps, search ads, ads on app review websites.

7.    Not tracking advertising results. Advertising an app is all about selling. I have seen developers burn their marketing budget on ineffective ads that they have no clue whether they are working or not.

How many of these mistakes are you making? Agree or disagree on the importance of marketing?  Discuss.

Ed has been marketing software for nearly 15 years, and has recently turned to iPhone and iPad app marketing.  For now you can follow Ed Wang on twitter.  In the future he will be providing more information on iPhone app marketing.


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