Rate And Review Pop Ups: Not As Devilish As You Think

As the Dungeon Keeper free to play clusterbomb of fuck continues to explode around us, a new controversy has arisen over the use of a rate and review pop up by EA. Asking players whether they’d rate the game 1 star or 5 stars, anyone who chooses the latter is sent to the app store of the OS they are using while the former are given a pop up that asks to email feedback or dismiss the box completely. As a result, players who have a bad experience are kept away from putting their review on the store.

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By the Book: How Swiftkey Perfected Their App Launch

For many a year, the joys of truly brilliant predictive text remained in the hands of Android users alone. Swiftkey, in my book the best third party keyboard in the business, had carved out an impressive paid audience in the Google Play wilderness by building an excellent product that evolved to include multiple languages, that helped users customise the input method to choose their style and that one upped rivals by taking their best features and adapting them.

But until January 2014, they lacked an iOS presence to call their own. As a result of Apple’s negative stance on third party applications playing around with their inbuilt features, Swiftkey had to labour outside of Apple’s walled garden.

That’s all changed with the launch of Swiftkey Note however. Utilising their magical typing tech within a notepad app, the company has managed to generate acres of coverage and the kind of visibility for their app that most developers launching for the first time could only dream of – including a place in the overall top 50 rankings in the US, UK, Germany and Italy on iPhone and iPad without spending a dime of UA money. While I have a long standing admiration for Swiftkey due to the employees I’ve met there and the long hours of usage I’ve gotten from their keyboards, there are some really clear lessons about launching an app successfully that it’d be remiss of me not to talk about it.

So I’ve decided to look in depth at the launch of their app and determine what exactly they did to make things go so swimmingly. A lot of it might seem like common sense but getting these simple things right could easily help you propel your own app into the launch stratosphere.

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The Critic’s Choice: How Professional Reviews Could Help App Discovery

Critics like Kermode have a trust that App Stores could only dream of

Critics and reviewers are really bloody important in the commercial landscape. Sure they might not lend a direct boost to sales, a point the film critic Mark Kermode has amply demonstrated in his book based musings on film criticism. But the opinion of someone who spends their life immersed in the culture that they study, who agonise for their art form and write passionately can carry the trust of thousands and help people to discover greatness in the world around them.

Why, you may be thinking, am I writing about critics on a mobile marketing blog? The reason is that I’ve been mulling over a piece from Pocket Gamer Biz about App Store Discovery and the role that gatekeepers play in the distribution of content and it has got me thinking (dangerous I know). While I have definitely been pretty critical of the likes of Apple and Google about the role they’ve played in discovery before, there were a number of decent arguments that the stores actually are doing a good job in displaying and curating content in a way that is effective for highlighting quality apps that shine on their hardware.

But at the same time, I’ve been thinking for a while that the stores have an integrity problem as a result of the way that apps are presented and rated in the store. In the case of the former, the control that Apple and Google have over their ecosystems isn’t simply used to demonstrate quality; it is being used as a competitive weapon in the continuing OS wars that undermine impartiality.

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Because They’re Worth It: Here’s Why You Should Pay For Games Like Device 6

What does £2.49 buy you in the real world? The answer is not much. It can scrape you a hot drink at Caffe Nero; it allows you to emerge from M&S with a ham sandwich and a bottle of water or, if you’re lucky, it’ll nab you a DVD from Fopp and it’ll still be of uncertain quality. Ultimately, you’re not going to get much from that much pocket change but yet most people will still go out and spend it on those things – rarely will it feel expensive.

But when it comes to mobile games on iOS and Android, people baulk at the thought of paying a couple of quid for a fully featured new release. It’s something that I find utterly baffling, particularly after I finished Simogo’s latest release Device 6.

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