One More Thing Conference 2012
Some notes on the One More Thing iOS conference in Melbourne last week.
The great thing about attending conferences like OMT12 is hearing first hand from the speakers (it is better than reading a blog post or listening to a podcast), meet other developers, ask questions and share experiences – even if tech conferences are often a little socially awkward until the beer starts flowing.
@decryption put together a great list of independent developers who each had an interesting story about their success on the app store. I didn’t take many notes during the conference, but thought I’d put down a few thoughts that I took away from it. I can’t remember exactly which speaker said what, so this is more of an interpretation of what resonated with me. I’ve tried to attribute the notes to speakers (using their twitter handles) where possible – but I am paraphrasing.
Focus on iOS apps
- Or… spend your time developing your next iOS app.
- Android sales are approximately 10% (or less) of iOS sales. @lesmond
- If your app is successful then consider porting to Android. @mattrix outsourced the Android port of Trainyard, which released about a week before the conference. When asked what his figures were like he admitted he hadn’t bothered checking yet.
- Making a quality app is the best marketing you can do for your app @mystrou
- Update frequently unless you have good ratings and don’t need to push bug fixes (then update less frequently) – @tapatalk @mystrou @lesmond
- Even though everyone is doing it, regular updates or holiday/themed updates create anticipation. @limasky
- Updates let you communicate directly with your users. Don’t waste the opportunity by just writing ‘bug fixes’ in the update description.
- Don’t update – make another game. Updates only add sales when games have a lot of installed users already (ie. 100,000+). @rocketcatgames
- Email everyone, not just the biggest sites. Think about why people should care about your app @limasky
- Review sites love niche games. Join forums and talk about your game. @rocketcatgames
- Don’t release your app at Christmas. Too much competition from the bigger publishers.
- Publishers can help accelerate your success, but you have to make it happen first. Is it worth it? @mattrix
- Don’t pay for advertising #everyone
- The best time to get publicity is in the first few days after you release your app.
- The best publicity you can get is being featured by Apple. Look at the apps that Apple features and work out why. @avatron
- Use the ‘rate us’ pop up system, but set only to show to high usage users (ie. set a counter). If app crashes reset the counter or don’t ask user to rate! Turn off remotely if possible. @tapatalk
- Use crowdin.net for translations @tapatalk
The top ranking lists
- It’s getting harder to break into the top ranking lists. As more apps cement their position in the lists there are less spaces available for new releases to break through. @mattrix @rocketcatgames
- The free category on the other hand is more flexible and easier to break into (even if only for a short time) and can be a good way to create some buzz about your app before going paid.
- @limasky discussed the successful ‘in-game’ promotion between Doodle Jump and Pocket God.
- @rocketcatgames referred to promoting your new (and old) releases from within your other apps, especially when you’re producing niche games.
- Discoverability – your app name, keywords, icon, description and screenshots are the most important thing. @avatron
- The brand you build around your apps is one of your most important assets.
Paid and Free
- Always an interesting discussion. $2.99 seemed to be a common price for a lot of the speakers’ paid apps. Trainyard also has a free version (with completely different content), Super Quickhook and other Rocketcat Games are niche titles, and Tapatalk is a utility app.
- There is a point at which making your app 0.99 makes sense. For example, successful apps like Doodle Jump.
- One ranked quality app is much better than having lots of low ranking apps. Find the right price point to sell your app – pricing it less does not mean it will sell more. @mystrou
Details and features
- Details are important – spend time getting graphics and UI right. Obsess over them if you have to. @raphaelschaad
- Don’t get hung up on settings. Remove them if possible, as @debaclesoftware did with Pano. Your app should solve a problem, not create one for the user.
- Consider adding in easter eggs – get people talking about your app @mattrix
- Apps are ‘digital snacks’. They should make you want to play ‘one more time’. @limasky
- Test the ‘clickability’ of different versions of your app icon with Facebook ads. @mystrou
- There seemed to be a general consensus that out of all the apps on the app store only a few thousand are quality apps. Make a quality app that solves a problem and you can still find a market for it.
- Work towards your goal every day. Remind yourself what that is. Stick it on the wall if you have to. It might help you get through the boring stuff you inevitably have to do. @mattrix
All in all a great conference and am looking forward to next year. My only regret was forgetting to track down @lesmond and tell him my story about unsuccessfully pitching a Plane Finder AR idea to Qantas (before his app came out).
If you missed out on the conference, @decryption will be making videos available. You can also follow some of the discussion during the conference on Twitter with the #omt12 hashtag. http://onemorething.com.au