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What makes a mobile app go viral?

How to boost your mobile app download potential through viral marketing

How to boost your mobile app download potential through viral marketing

Everyone dreams of a little magic – instead of having to pay to promote your new newly developed mobile app, the word simply spreads. People tell their friends. Downloads spike, then keep climbing. Within a week, 100s of thousands, maybe even millions of people have downloaded your mobile app. Your Apple account balance soars – in a few weeks, you will be a millionaire.

What can you do to make this happen? There are two techniques I know of which help drive app promotion, because I have seen them work.

1. Facebook Mobile App Links

The first technique is Facebook App Links. Imagine if a user clicks a message in their Facebook news feed, and Facebook, I mean the Facebook App itself, recommends that a user install YOUR mobile app to view the Facebook message. This is an incredibly powerful technique for driving uptake. People trust that their Facebook mobile app is is on their side. If a trusted source like Facebook says “install another mobile app now”, a lot of users just do what they are told – and install the app.

An example of an app linked (or in this case a deep linked) Facebook App is RubyApp. RubyApp has an iPhone App component and a embedded Facebook web app component. You can use RubyApp to send a Facebook message. If someone clicks a RubyApp Facebook message in their Facebook news feed, Facebook prompts the user to install the iPhone App component.

2. A compelling promotional video

The second technique I have seen work is a compelling mobile app promotional video. One of the most compelling promotional videos I have been involved with is the Invisible Alert mobile app promotion video.

Watch the following:

If you watch the video, you will understand – the video simply demands that if you are a responsible parent, you will ensure your kids have a copy of the Invisible Alert iPhone App, to help keep them safe when you can’t be there.

How to create a viral video

Its one thing to create a compelling mobile app promotion video – how do you make sure people watch it? Creating blockbuster videos is not my field of expertise – I’m a mobile app developer. But the following is one of the best descriptions I have read of how to create a viral video – written by someone who describes exactly what they did to make their video go viral.

DANCING YOUTUBE SENSATION KAREN CHENG’S 10 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR VIDEO GO VIRAL

Day One: 80K views

First, I posted to Facebook/Twitter, and submitted it to social news sites like Reddit and Hacker News. I personally asked many of my friends to share it. I tweeted it at well-known dancers. I emailed bloggers who had covered other viral dance videos.
Of all the things I tried, Reddit paid off. It got to the top of the GetMotivated subreddit. I did this by following the advice in this article.

Day Two: 800K views

Bloggers who had seen it on Reddit the day before started publishing articles about it. First Kottke. Then blogs like Mashable, Jezebel, and Huffington Post.

Blogs drove a ton of traffic. Each blog is a giant marketing engine with millions of readers and Twitter followers. It’s in their interest to get the article as many views as possible, because each view is an ad they can serve up. Understand how the money flows. It’s all about clicks and advertising dollars.

Day Three: 1.8 million views

It made the YouTube front page. I’m not sure how it got there, but I suspect the blogs were sending it so much traffic that YouTube’s algorithms picked up on it.

Try many things. You only need one of them to pay off in order for your video to go viral. For me, that thing was Reddit. Your thing might be different. Your goal is to get major blogs to write you up, because their marketing power is ridiculous.

Read More…

I hope this helps. If you need a detailed marketing plan, I recommend you talk to a marketing / SEO expert – I can recommend a few names. But I can help with what I know – if you have any questions about the technical aspects of mobile app promotion, the technical intricacies of Facebook app links, or other social media possibilities, please Contact Me.

New Mobile App Developed to detect Epileptic Seizures

Japanese researchers have developed a new mobile app which gives epileptics a few seconds early warning, if they are about to suffer an epileptic seizure.

According to the Brisbane Courier Mail:

JAPANESE researchers have developed a system for smartphones to alert epileptics at least 30 seconds before a seizure.

IT’S hoped the app would help patients take precautions in the nick of time and avoid injuries.

A team from Kyoto University which developed the system is collaborating with Kumamoto University and Tokyo Medical and Dental University to get the device commercially produced by 2020, the Nikkei financial publication reported on Thursday.

The innovation uses a small sensor placed close to the collar bone or heart to detect changes in heartbeat.

Just before an epileptic attack, changes in nerve cell activity affect the autonomic nerves that control the heart.

The system detects these through the sensor and wirelessly transmits the signals to the smartphone, which uses a special application to analyse them.
To determine if the heartbeats are abnormal, the system first creates a baseline profile by taking measurements under normal conditions.
When the heartbeat deviates, the system alerts the user through a sound or a vibration.

Read more…

I know people who have epilepsy, and have witnessed several epileptic seizures. When the seizure strikes people have very little warning – they generally fall uncontrollably to the ground, which creates a very real risk of head injury or other serious injury as their body strikes the pavement or other hard surfaces.

A mobile app which gives people in this unfortunate predicament a few moments warning, so they can lay down, or pull over if they are driving, would be of immeasurable benefit to epilepsy sufferers.

Android Apps and iPhone Apps which provide medical functionality are generally very popular on App Store, if they offer real value to users. For example, some heart rate monitor apps, which use the mobile phone’s microphone to pick up someone’s heart beat, have received millions of downloads. However, before tackling a medical app you should ensure you have someone with appropriate medical expertise on your team – a medical app which provided inexpert information could be worse than useless, it might endanger people’s lives.

If you are a qualified medical practitioner, and have an idea for a new medical app, please contact me.

Microsoft: Red Hot Mobile App Developers

Microsoft - Down but not out in the Mobile App Development Space

Microsoft – Down but not out in the Mobile App Development Space

Even if Microsoft never secures meaningful market share for its windows mobile phone, it looks like they have a plan “B” for making their mark in the mobile world – developing Microsoft branded iPhone Apps and Android Apps.

According to BGR:

This past fall, Microsoft also [in addition to Microsoft Office Mobile for Android and iPhone] released three hugely promising Android apps: Torque, an Android Wear app that takes away the added step of having to say, “OK Google…” before you give your watch a voice command or ask it a question; Next Lock Screen, which adds more useful information and application shortcuts to your lock screen; and the Journeys & Notes app that lets you take location-based notes of places you’re visiting that can be shared with other people who visit that specific location in the future.

Microsoft really started to embrace mobile app development when it released mobile versions of its popular Office productivity suite and it hasn’t looked back since. And it’s not just that Microsoft is making good apps of its own but that it’s wisely decided to offer more integration with established apps that are already popular, such as its decision to integrate cloud storage service Dropbox with its own Office software instead of forcing users to only use the company’s own OneDrive.

The question of course – does Microsoft intend to abandon their frustrating effort to become a dominant mobile handset operating system, and focus instead on developing popular mobile apps? Is this a strategy to convince people that Microsoft know what they are doing in the mobile space – in the hope that people will consider Windows Mobile next time they upgrade their phone? Or perhaps Microsoft themselves haven’t decided what they want – maybe they’re just covering all their bets, pending further developments?

What is clear is that Microsoft have not given up on the mobile app space – and given their track record of dominating markets, they may yet surprise the market.

If you would like to discuss strategies for mobile app deployment – which platform you should target first, whether you should release multi-platform or one platform at a time, please Contact Me.

Mulesoft: New Anypoint Mobile App Development Release

Mulesoft Anypoint helps mobile apps  to communicate

Mulesoft Anypoint helps mobile apps to communicate

Mulesoft has released a new version of their Anypoint software. Anypoint facilitates mobile app development by helping developers create apps which connect and interact with other popular systems, such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, SAP, Siebel and many other popular enterprise platforms and services.

As the Press Release indicates, the importance of connectivity is often underrated during mobile app design and development.

Today, consumers demand seamless interactions with the companies they do business with, regardless of the channel, device or location. Mobile and data-driven initiatives represent a potential opportunity to create new sources of competitive advantage; however, IT professionals and businesses are challenged to integrate fragmented legacy, cloud and mobile endpoints to create that advantage, even as the volume and potential value driven by those connections continue to grow exponentially. Anypoint Platform provides a unified platform for connectivity that ensures security and adherence to best practice, while enabling rapid creation of new applications, including mobile, to meet new business demands.

According to Gartner, “Integration is an often-underestimated aspect of mobile application development projects. A notable portion of an overall mobile app project cost — as much as 70% in some cases — can be attributed to integrating the mobile app with established enterprise applications, services and data sources, whether on-premises or in the cloud.”

Business users regularly shift data between different software packages and mobile apps, and different platforms – iPhone App platform, Android App Platform, whatever is convenient. For example, if you are working on a presentation you might want to import graphs from your spreadsheet package, or create a summary using your accounting package, and include the results in your presentation. Conversely, if you are searching for a document, you might want the contents of your presentations and other documents to be available to your search utility.

If you want your business mobile app to attract interest from industry, one of the first questions you have to answer is – how do I get the data out of your app into package X? How do I import data into your app? Anything you can do to integrate your new business app with packages which are familiar to your target audience increases the acceptability of your new business mobile app – increases the chance that your target audience will see your app as an essential component of their software infrastructure.

Even games apps can benefit from interaction. In a lot of ways games are behind the curve when it comes to interaction – there’s growing recognition of the value of interacting with social media, such as Facebook, but the interaction has to date been in many ways quite shallow. Up until now games developers have been fiercely independent, and have attempted to build loyalty to their proprietary offering by keeping it proprietary and separate from other game universes.

But just imagine you could create a favourite character in say World of Warcraft, and import that character into the Lord of the Rings universe, or into say Second Life? How cool would that convergence be?

If you would like to learn more about the options for connecting your business iPhone App or business Android App to other systems, please Contact Me

Master of Mobile Applications Development

Master of App Development - An Exciting Career Option

Master of Mobile App Development – An Exciting Career Option

Interested in learning how to develop iPhone Apps and develop Android Apps?

Charles Sturt University has announced they are now offering a Master of Mobile Applications Development course, for people who are interested in a University level course teaching them everything they need to develop their own mobile apps.

According to the Press Release;

To meet surging demand for mobile applications developers Charles Sturt University has worked with industry to create the Master of Applications Development, a course devoted to the design and maintenance of mobile apps for the Apple IOS, Google Android and Microsoft platforms.

Since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 employment in the app development industry has increased rapidly: 9.4 percent of all IT jobs in Australia now relate to the development, maintenance or support of mobile platforms and this figure is expected to grow. A recent report by the Department of Employment predicted up to 50,000 new job openings for software and apps programmers over the next five years.

Students taking Charles Sturt’s Master of Applications Development course will learn how to use sophisticated development frameworks such as Xamarin, PhoneGap and Unity to build cross-platform mobile apps that fill a need in the market. They will also have the opportunity to create a mobile app that they can commercialise.

The new university course will offer the following subjects:

Core subjects

  • TC506 Topics in IT Ethics
  • ITC518 Principles of Programming using C#*
  • ITC539 Mobile Application Development PG
  • ITC571 Emerging Technologies and Innovation**
  • ITE508 Developing Web Applications
  • ITE528 Cross Platform App Development
  • ITE529 Cross Platform Game Development
  • MGI521 Professional Communications

Restricted Electives (Choose 4)

  • ITC504 Interface Useability
  • ITC508 Object Modelling
  • ITC561 Cloud Computing
  • ITE510 SharePoint Application Development
  • ITE517 Developing Applications for Windows Phone and Mobile Devices
  • ITE518 Agile Project Management
  • ITE523 Virtualization
  • MKT501 Marketing Management

What does this mean for the Mobile App Industry?

To me this is an exciting development. Most mobile app developers are self taught – they just picked up a book on iPhone App Development or Android App Development and started working through it. The fact there is sufficient demand that a major Australian university has decided to offer a specific course shows that the Mobile App Revolution has not even begun to fulfil its full potential. The opportunities are growing – and as with every business growth story, the advantage goes to people who move first, who stay ahead of the herd.

The other interesting feature of the course appears to be a heavy emphasis on Microsoft C# programming language. Although Microsoft has struggled to make inroads into the mobile market, which is currently dominated by Apple iPhone and Google Android, Microsoft are still very much in the game. Microsoft Corporation has a cash mountain, 10s of billions of dollars, available for investment. My guess is they are using some of that cash to encourage the deployment of Microsoft centric mobile app development courses, in the hope of stimulating interest in the Microsoft mobile platform.

If you would like to know more about mobile app development, or perhaps you are attending a mobile app course, and would like some mobile app course tuition, Contact me now.

Police Concerns – Google Mobile App for Drivers

Police ahead! - Waze Mobile App Display

Police ahead! – Waze App Display

US Sheriffs are campaigning for Google to switch off a feature of their Android app for drivers, which displays the location of police officers on their driving map.

According to The Guardian:

Waze, which Google purchased for $966m in 2013, is a combination of GPS navigation and social networking. Fifty million users in 200 countries turn to the free service for real-time traffic guidance and warnings about nearby congestion, car accidents, speed traps or traffic cameras, construction zones, potholes, stalled vehicles or unsafe weather conditions.

To Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in southern California, Waze is also a stalking app for law enforcement.

There are no known connections between any attack on police and Waze, but law enforcers such as Kopelev are concerned it’s only a matter of time. They are seeking support among other law enforcement trade groups to pressure Google to disable the police-reporting function. The emerging policy debate places Google again at the center of an ongoing global debate about public safety, consumer rights and privacy.

Waze users mark police presence on maps without much distinction other than “visible” or “hidden”. Users see a police icon, but it’s not immediately clear whether police are there for a speed trap, a sobriety check or a lunch break. The police generally are operating in public spaces.

The Waze mobile app controversy highlights the radical impact mobile apps are having on our lives. Avoiding speed cameras is obviously a very attractive feature for drivers – if nothing else, it helps highlight dangerous stretches of road where they should pay particular care, assuming that speed cameras have been installed with a view to improving public safety. But as the recent deliberate murder of police officers demonstrates, an app which potentially assists deranged individuals to perpetrate crimes is obviously a serious concern.

I don’t know what the right tradeoff is between liberty and safety, though I tend towards the liberty side of the debate. Regardless of police concerns, the threat they have highlighted is hypothetical. There is no evidence anyone has actually used Waze to facilitate a violent crime.

One thing is clear – the original creators of the Waze Android App made 966 million dollars. At the time the app was purchased by Google, nobody had any concerns about possible malicious use of Waze Mobile App features.

In my opinion, the lesson is, if you are evaluating what features to include in your app, do what due diligence you can, with the information available – but nobody can predict every possibility.

Hervey Bay Business Mobile App Development Meetup

Announcing the new Hervey Bay Business Mobile App Development Meetup.

Desirable Apps are hoping to get everyone in the Hervey Bay / Maryborough / Fraser Coast area who are interested in mobile apps together in one place, in the Lakes Room in Hervey Bay RSL, to talk shop, bounce ideas off each other, and stimulate creativity and business inspiration.

Meet us on the 26th November between 10am and midday in the Lakes Room of the Hervey Bay RSL, 11 Torquay Road, Hervey Bay, 4655.

For more details, click http://www.meetup.com/Hervey-Bay-Business-Mobile-App-Development-Meetup/events/216050782/

Everyone is welcome – people with a mobile app idea, people who are interested in mobile apps, businesses or individuals considering creating their own apps, iPhone App developers, Android App developers, Mobile Web developers. Bring your favourite phone. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Why do your clients need your mobile app idea?

Dilbert - Corporate Strategy

Dilbert – Corporate Strategy

Today’s Dilbert cartoon is a hilarious take on marketing, which contains more than a grain of truth. Dilbert, in this episode, when asked what should be done to sell more products, replies “we should find out what they need, and give it to them”.

This solution seems so simple, so self evident, yet its amazing how rarely people follow this fundamental prescription for success.

Dilbert is not specifically about iPhone Apps or Android Apps, but its well worth reading – it satirises many common business mistakes.

Anyway, enough preaching – enjoy the cartoon 🙂

http://dilbert.com/strips/2014-09-07/

Beware War Kitty!

A security researcher with rather too much time on his hands, has turned his grandmother’s siamese cat into a devastating cyberspy. He did this, by creating a cat collar with a WIFI sensor, which detects weak home wireless internet systems, and reports back to home base.

The original cat collar was just a HTC mobile phone attached to a normal collar, but this proved too much of a burden to the cat, which ditched its payload, then ran off and hid.

So the researcher went all out, creating a super miniature version of his cyber sniffer.

For full details of this hilarious, yet oddly disturbing story, Click Here

Android App Blabs ALL your Secrets

The listening ear

The listening ear

The Register reports on a bizarre new Android App hack, which literally makes your phone blab all its secrets.

The malware app sidesteps the normal attack vectors by doing one simple thing – calling the bad guy’s voice phone number – then the malware coerces the phone into actually “speaking” all your secrets down the phone line, using a bug in Google text to voice.

So next time your phone starts talking by itself, listen to what it is saying – because all that unexpected chatter might be something more sinister than a funny little software defect.