iOS or Android, that is the question.

iOS or Android?

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All developers, be them first time newbies or app developing gurus, have come across this crossroad at one point or another.

Come on, iPhone and iPad users are richer

Common wisdom among the mobile app developers and publishers has it that while Android has an ever growing market share, iOS apps are more profitable. iPhone users are richer; they earn more; they spend more on apps and in-app purchases. The advertising rates are higher. 

Does that mean it’s a no brainer then? Go for iOS first of course!

Not so quick. If we take a look at the data released in February 2015 by Opera Mediaworks, we’ll see that Android doubled its share of ad impressions worldwide, far exceeding – in fact, tripling – that of iOS.

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Wait…it costs less to advertise on Android

Although we see that iOS still has a higher revenue share, we must not forget that advertising rates are between 20-50% lower on Android devices. So when all things are taken into account, some Android apps are as profitable (if not more) as iOS apps. The Android revenue share is also clearly on a growing trend.

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In fact, in certain countries like Germany, the monthly app revenue on Google Play has exceeded that on iOS.

But of course, money isn’t everything…

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Needless to say, revenue and profitability shouldn’t be the only considerations when deciding where to launch your app first. Other things must be taken into account. E.g. Development environment, configuration, language: Are you more comfortable with Java or Objective-C?); Publishing: would you like to have your app publish quickly – with the risk of being booted from the Play store later  – or endure a month-long wait for the stamp of approval (or disapproval) from Apple?

What do you think? What other considerations do you have when deciding which platform to start on? Drop a comment to share with us your thoughts!

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A 3-step guide to treating app users like your lover

In the beginning, we believed that if a user downloaded our app, they’ll use it forever. Nowadays, with thousands of new apps popping up every single day, it’s getting more and more difficult to keep users loyal.

A successful app is like a great relationship. Obviously, it has to begin with a good first date, making a good first impression; but more importantly it has to be good consistently – so that your lover is happy each time she/he sees you, and wants to meet again and again, maybe even with their families and friends, and shares with the world on social media.

Here are a few popular strategies to help engage users long after they’ve downloaded your app:

1. Make a good first impression: User Onboarding

A first date, a first kiss…like any first impressions or experiences, the user onboarding can make or break the relationship. The key is to keep it clean and simple. If your app requires a login signup, simplify it by using social logins (Facebook, Twitter…); if you have a tutorial, keep it under 1 minute. Some apps are simple enough that they don’t require an explanation. According to Useronboard – a site dedicated to exploring the best practices of user onboarding – the best onboarding hack is having an interface that doesn’t need explaining.

2. Communicate: Use Notifications

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 12.20.13Constant communication is key to maintaining any relationship. There are two types of notifications, push notifications and in-app notifications. Push notifications are pop-ups sent to users when they are not using the app (and thus more pushy). If used strategically, push notifications are like cute “I miss you!” messages you send to your lover, encouraging the user to re-engage with your app. However, it is important to bear in mind that push notifications require users’ permission, so bombarding them with notifications like an overly needy lover will only cause users to turn off notifications, or even stop using the app all together. In-app notifications are much less intrusive. They might not help bring back inactive users, but it’s a good way to engage and communicate with your users while they’re using your app nonetheless.

3. Share the love: Build a Social Media Community

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A relationship is not official until you tell your friends and family. The same goes for an app and its users. There are two ways to go about integrating social media – 1) allowing users to share updates from the app to their social platforms, and 2) creating social pages where users can follow your updates and interact with fellow users. An added plus – this not only helps retain users, but also helps recruit new ones. After all, worth of mouth remains the best and most effective form of marketing, and no one wants to miss out on the hot app that everybody is using and talking about.

With user acquisition getting increasingly competitive and expensive, it is more important than ever to be able to keep the users you do get. What’s your take on this? Do you have other tips for keeping users happy and loyal? Drop a comment to share with us your experiences!

Where should you market your game in Asia?

Asia accounts for 48 percent of the total global games market. In order to succeed in your mobile games marketing in Asia, it is crucial to know the numbers and figures and understand the key specific characteristics in each of your target countries. Just before you start investing all your time, money and effort in joining the ranks of game studios trying to break into the Chinese market, it may be worth your time to take a look at this Newzoo report:

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Southeast Asia isn’t getting the attention it deserves

Thanks to the rapidly growing economic development and dramatically increasing internet-access rate, Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions for gaming. In just 2014, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand spent $1.1 billion on games, and the growth shows no sign of slowing down; quite the contrary in fact, as Newzoo estimates a continued annual growth rate of 28.8%, doubling spending to $2.2 billion by 2017. Much of the growth is brought about by mobile usage:

“Between 2004 and 2014, Internet access in the Philippines grew more than 800 percent, the fastest rate in the region due primarily to the boom in mobile internet.”

By the same logic, it should come as no surprise that mobile games are catching up with PC and MMO games in terms of spending and revenue generation:

“Vietnam is quickest on this trend, with mobile-phone games seeing a compound average growth rate from 2013 to 2017 of 87.7 percent, becoming the biggest segment in terms of revenues by 2017.”

More cities = more Internet users

One driving force of this rapid growth is the metropolitanization of these Southeast Asian countries. As more people migrate to cities, more people get access to the Internet and many of them start playing games.

According to the report,

“The sheer size of the Southeast Asian population, and its rapid rate of urbanization of 1.4 percent average annual rate of change compared to China’s 0.5 percent, and its young and tech-savvy demographic, are all factors favorable for growth.”

The cherry on top? Unlike in China, there’s free and unrestricted access to Google Play in these Southeast Asian countries. In order to really succeed in these regions, however, it may be worthwhile to spend some time looking into localizing your games to adapt to the very diverse and distinct cultures of these specific countries, and taking language barriers and mobile usage habits into account.

So what’s the takeaway? Next time you think about where to launch your next game, or where the hot Tier 2 market opportunities are for you to expand your games’ reach in Asia, don’t forget to take this data into consideration! ;-)