On December 3rd, Appsfire organized the third Appstories event, where successful app developers can present their experience. Thanks to Ouriel Ohayon and the Appsfire team for this great event! Here are my notes of some of the presentations.
Edouard Andrieu, Le Monde
Le Monde is one of the major daily news paper in France. They have a successful web site and mobile applications.
- Mobile page views are now as high as web page views. 54% comes from iOS devices, but Android is growing fast.
- Mobile ads bring 15% of the revenues of digital ads (so much lower than web ads relative to page views…)
- People want to scan news fast, but are ready to spend time reading when they find something they are interested in.
Jeff Clavier, SoftTech and Jean-David Chamboredon, ISAI
Major VCs in France.
- In e-commerce, transactions are more numerous and at a higher value on iPad than iPhone.
- Companies like Instagram are difficult to launch in Europe as the exit is to be acquired and there is no big enough players here.
- Gaming is a difficult domain as it is hit driven, so they are not likely to invest.
Jean-Marie Hullot, Fotopedia
- China is the biggest audience (22%), Japan in second (14%). US is behind (as people have little holidays and don’t travel much!).
- They do cross promotion between their own apps with good success.
- It is difficult to acquire users but even more so to retain them (25-30% lost after one day). They are moving from travel guide to travel magazine with fresh content to give more reason to use the app often. They also use push notification more more engagement. They optimized the notifications to make them as effective as possible by monitoring usage (what is the best time in the day, etc.).
Laurent Gatignol, iPhon.fr
Well known french blog for iPhone and iPad news.
How to attract attention from blogs and get reviews:
- This is not typical PR so do not use typical PR forms (company profiles, etc…). Be careful if you hire PR firms, check that they know the specificities of this domain!
- All contacts by email. All messages are read though not necessarily answered.
- Tips for the contact email:
- Keep it short!
- 1 line introduction stating if it is a new app or an update. New apps are much more likely to be reviewed.
- 3 lines for the ‘what’
- 3 lines for the ‘why’
- A link to the app store page if the app is released. Better than a link to your own web site, as the bloggers are used to the app store page format and can get the needed information quickly.
- Including pictures is useful.
- It’s good to have a video. Preferably hosted on YouTube, as it will appear embedded in the email for gmail users, so it can be watched immediately.
- Including promo codes in the 1st email is a waste.
- Avoid sending the email close to Apple keynotes as there is no space for app reviews at that time.
- More emails are received at the end of the week, so better send at the beginning.
- Avoid embargoes.
- A press kit (as a zip file containing photos and such) can be useful but only if all the needed information is in the body of the email. Actually the iTunes store page is basically all the press kit that is needed.
- A review may not create a huge spike in download, but news users are really engaged as they know what they download (that was a common theme of many of the presenters: engaged users are more important than raw number of downloads).
A good summary of how phone and data networks are different and how money flows between the operators involved in end to end communications in this article at Ars Technica. It is very useful to know how these things work with the current discussions that are taking place on Internet regulation.
On the same day, we learn that The Daily will publish its last edition this month, and that the read later service Pocket has sealed a new content partnership. Old media publishers really have a hard time these days. And how stories will be published in that ‘post PC’ world is really not settled yet…
A very interesting view from Paul Carr on the startups out to disrupt markets, like Uber and AirBnB. In their desire of going against established players, are they good for us?
Laws don’t exist merely to frustrate the business ambitions of coastal hipsters: They also exist to protect the more vulnerable members of society.
And anyway, they do it for a reason:
A Disruptive company might very well succeed in exposing government crooks lining their pockets exploiting outdated laws, but that’s only so the Disruptor can line his own pockets through the absence of those same laws.
As many others, when I upgraded my iPhone to iOS 6 I noticed that the points of interest in the new map application were all over the place. I initially thought that they were just at random locations, but actually it’s not (always) the case. I realized that many are located as if the streets were much wider than they really are, to the point they sometime overlap with the next parallel street. So the points of interest are pushed away from the streets into the buildings, and sometimes they are closer to the next street – which is very confusing.
Not clear? Here is an example. This is in Paris, but I have seen the same thing in many places (though it certainly does not explain all the problems!) In the figure, the businesses on ‘Rue d’Enghien’ are located as if the street was extended to the pink lines and those on ‘Rue de l’Echiquier’ as if that second street was extended to the orange lines. The businesses on the map are moved as shown by the arrows, and thus the places on those two streets are mixed up.
It’s crazy that such a blatant error made it to the released product, but it should be quite easy to solve – maybe just tweaking a parameter in the geocoding algorithm and those locations will be back to the right place!
Now I wonder if there is such a pattern that explains why so many businesses are in the wrong category
In addition to the previous methods to sync contacts with iOS devices, Google added a new protocol:
Starting today, we’re adding CardDAV – an open protocol for contacts – to that list. CardDAV enables 3rd party clients, like the iOS contacts app, to sync your Google contacts.
After testing it it, it seems this method is better than using Exchange. It is now possible to add relationships between contacts for use with Siri (“Call my wife”) which was not possible with contacts sync’ed with Exchange. Setup instructions are there.
A very thorough analysis of the new Apple connector and why Micro USB would not have been enough.
All 8 pins are used for signals, and all or most can be switched to be used for power.
This connector should be here to stay for a long time, maybe more than its predecessor.