In an unexpected move, the judging panel of the 2010 MOBI Awards have selected an app focused PR & Marketing agency, Appency, as one of three finalists for best mobile agency of the year, giving credibility to the expanding world of apps and their role in the mobile ecosystem.

When people think of “Mobile Agency”, they typically imagine a text message sending, WAP page creating shop plugging away on behalf of brands with a little extra money to spend in their interactive media budget.  With the expanding world of mobile applications however, a new type of agency has begun to take shape, the mobile app agency – specializing in mobile app promotion and how to get them noticed in an ever crowded marketplace. Leading the way is Appency, a PR & Marketing agency focused on helping developers bring apps to market. The agency scored a big win this week as mobile experts at Digiday selected them as a finalist in the 2010 MOBI Awards for Best Mobile Agency.

“We are honored to be selected as a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Aaron Watkins, Co-Founder of Appency. “It gives credibility to the growing app ecosystem and its place in the overall mobile mix. Developers and brands can no longer just send an app to market and expect it to be an overnight success – app promotion requires the same careful planning and execution as marketing a candy bar, a lawn mower or a new car.”

A young agency, Appency was founded in October of 2009 by mobile industry executives Aaron Watkins and Liz Jones who bring a combined total of more than 20 years of mobile industry experience from both the agency and brand side of the equation.

“In 2009 the app world was exploding”, said Jones, “and developers were finding it more and more difficult to succeed. In iTunes alone, the number of apps reached 100,000 and continued to grow at an extremely rapid pace. Now there are now almost 300,000 apps to compete with, and with ever changing rules and regulations for how apps can be sold, developers need someone not just with PR and marketing skills, but with an in-depth knowledge of the nuances of this environment.”

Appency’s success rate has been astounding; with more than 75% of their clients being featured by Apple or reaching the top ranks of their categories after Appency began working with them. Their clients span across every category from games to news, business, entertainment, big brands and more.

App developer Toytek takes Mike Wilks New York Times best selling puzzle book ‘The Ultimate Alphabet’ and transforms its magical paintings into a diabolically difficult interactive hidden objects game with a twist, for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and offers up four autographed copies of the original book to the brave word hounds who can complete letters A through D.

In 1986 famed artist, illustrator and author Mike Wilks released into bookstores everywhere “The Ultimate Alphabet”, a collection of twenty six stunningly intricate paintings, one for every letter of the alphabet. In each painting were hidden anywhere from 30 (for the letter X) to more than twelve hundred (for the letter S) objects each whose name started with the corresponding letter. Unlike a traditional hidden objects game, the list of objects and corresponding words is completely unknown.  Twenty four years later, independent game developer Toytek has brought the classic back to life as an interactive hidden objects game for the iPhone and iPad.

The initial four letters release for the Apple devices include over 1500 objects, with an estimated 15 hours of game play for those with the vocabulary of an English professor or have Wikipedia on speed dial.  Each object often has multiple words associated with it – you may find that the CAT you so easily picked out on the letter C puzzle also happens to be a CARNAVORE  and would be considered a CREATURE. What’s more – it’s wearing a COLLAR and a CHAIN and is thus a CAPTIVE. Think you have it? There’s one more word to figure out!

Not a NY Times level wordsmith? Have a child that wants to grow their vocabulary? To assist players, highlighting an image will allow you to request clues ranging from cryptic crossword style hints by renowned setters Philip Marlow and Brian Dungate to straight definitions, word jumbles and finally a jigsaw puzzle of letters to place together.

Using clues will bring down your achievement level however, and those looking to win the Mike Wilks autographed copy of the hardbound ‘The Ultimate Alphabet’ need to be the first to complete one of the letters A through D with a perfect gold trophy, a daunting task even for the MENSA crowd. Although the original ‘The Ultimate Alphabet Workbook’ which detailed out the 7,777 hidden words was written using the British English spellings, the app has been adapted to accept both British and American English spellings.

Take a dive into this beautiful and immersive world with a free trial that includes unlimited play of the letter A, with additional levels available as in-app purchases. Currently letters A-D are available, however as puzzlers continue to test their mental muscle on various letters of the alphabet, additional letters will be available as free unlock-able levels.

About Toytek

Toytek is a small games development studio based in heart of Guildford, UK. It was founded in 2008 by Georgina Mackenzie. Since 2009 Toytek has been focused on bringing high quality, innovative educational games to new platforms and have mainly been developing games for the iPhone,iPod Touch and iPad, but the plan for the future  includes developing for the web and other mobile/handheld devices.

Links

The Ultimate Alphabet iPhone App

The Ultimate Alphabet iPad App

Toytek Ltd

Media Assets

Demo Video on YouTube

Press Contacts

Aaron Watkins

Appency for Toytek Ltd.

Email: aaron@appency.com

Phone: 916-692-5117

Georgina Mackenxie

George@toytek.co.uk

+44 (0) 7970986982

www.toytek.co.uk

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So you’ve published an iPhone app, and an iPad app, and are looking to expand your market. Or maybe you arnt such a big fan of Apple and simply want a different platform to publish on. The natural choice for many has become the Android operating system. What is it? What is the market like? Can I make money as an app developer on Android? What are the rules for Android apps?

There are a number of great articles and research that have been published online about this, but it does not seem to all be in one place, so the team at Appency decided to gather as much relevant Android information as possible and put it all down in one place. Mind you – most of this is copy/paste directly from other articles, and we have made sure to provide links back to the original information. Enjoy!

What is Android?

Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as cellular phones, tablet computers and netbooks. Android was developed by Google and based upon the Linux kernel and GNU software. It was initially developed by Android Inc. (a firm later purchased by Google) and lately broadened to the Open Handset Alliance. Android apps are sold on the handset via the Android Marketplace, as well as online in a number of third party app stores.

List of Android Devices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Android_devices

Device Market Size:

According to NPD Group, unit sales for Android OS smartphones ranked second among all smartphone OS handsets sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010. BlackBerry OS holds 36%, with Android at second with 28%, and iOS is ranked third with 21%. A Nielsen report for the second quarter of 2010 placed Android’s share of new U.S. sales in second place with 27% of the market, behind BlackBerry OS (33%) and ahead of iOS (23%).
In terms of existing share however, RIM holds the lead with 35% of smartphones while Apple is a close and growing second at 28%. Android trails far behind at only 9% of the share, a distant fourth place.

App Market Size:

According to Engadget, Android Market has approximately 70,000 live applications which makes it the second largest app store. Distimo however reports however that almost 57% of those apps are free, compared to Apples 25%. The average price of paid android apps is similar to Apple at $3.27 to Apples $3.62. There are approximately 3,005 new apps per month in the Android Marketplace to Apples 14,000.

The number of developers for the android platform is less than a fourth of that developing for the iOS platform, with a very small component developing across platform.

Selling Apps:

Developers of priced applications receive 70% of the application price, with the remaining 30% distributed between carriers (if authorized to receive a fee for applications purchased through their network) and payment processors.

Revenue earned from the Android Market is paid to developers via Google Checkout merchant accounts. T-Mobile, the first carrier with an Android device, recently began Android Market update with Google to allow apps to be billed to the account and show up as a charge on the bill.

Only nine countries are allowed to distribute Android paid apps currently because of Google checkout restrictions, points out Hoogsteder. Consumers from only 13 countries can get access to paid content.

Countries with access to Paid Applications:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States   

The full country list that is updated by Google is here.

Larva Labs’ Matt Hall notes that even high-profile, highly rated Android titles generate “much lower” revenue than iPhone equivalents. Despite having one sustained top-selling $5 game (Retro Defense), a consistent fifth place seller (Battle for Mars) and being highlighted by Google, the company’s daily average revenue was just $62.39 for all its apps combined.

In relation, an iPhone app with a fifth place position in the App Store is predicted to earn about $3,500 per day, or more than what the same Android title would generate in 56 days. Android apps’ sales figures are only likely to be worse for apps that rank lower, Hall adds.

Submission Process:

There is very little approval process in the Android market, however Google has been known to pull apps (namely the tethering apps for T-Mobile phones). You simply go to the android market page at market.android.com/publish and submit your information. The account registration fee is $25.

Once you’ve set a price for an application, you may choose to change it at any time, however if you have previously published an application for free, you cannot change it to have a price. You’ll need to re-upload a new APK and add a price.

Allowable price ranges:

  • USD: $0.99 – $200
  • GBP: 0.50 GBP – 100 GBP

The Android Marketplace  defaults to showing free apps first and forces users to enable viewing paid apps themselves.

Once you’ve registered, it’s easy to upload your application to Android Market. From the home screen, select “Upload Applications.” You’ll be asked to fill in the following information for your app.

  • Language: This is to denote the language of your application. Default language is US English. More languages will become available as Android-powered devices become available in those languages.
  • Title: The name of your application as you would like it to appear in Android Market. You may add one per language.
  • Description: The description of your application as you would like to appear in Android Market.
    • This description can only be 325 characters long!
  • Application Type: Android Market is divided into 2 major applications types: “Applications” and “Games.” Please choose one.
  • Category: You must select a category for your application. Available categories include:

Applications

  • Comics
  • Communication
  • Entertainment
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Multimedia
  • News & Weather
  • Productivity
  • Reference
  • Shopping
  • Social
  • Sports
  • Themes
  • Tools
  • Travel
  • Demo
  • Software libraries

Games

  • Arcade & Action
  • Brain & Puzzle
  • Cards & Casino
  • Casual

Publishing options in the Android Marketplace

  • Copy protection: Copy protection helps prevent applications from being copied from a device. Increases the amount of memory on the phone required to install the application. (You may also implement your own copy protection scheme.)
  • Locations: These are the locations in which you may distribute your applications.
    • Not all locations listed currently have users with Android-powered devices.
    • You may select locations one-by-one or choose the “All current and future locations” option. This option means that, as we add more distribution locations, these locations will be enabled for your app. Before you check this option, please brush up on Export Compliance.
    • Note: At this time, you may only sell applications to users in these locations.

Contact information

  • You must pick one support channel for your app – Website, Email, or Phone
  • This information is viewable to users from Android Market
  • You may choose to offer multiple channels for support

Other Distribution Methods:

Andspot: Currently in a private beta, Andspot is an alternative Android marketplace that will offer developers 80% of the download profit from their apps instead of Google’s 70%. To sign up for the beta, you can go to http://andspot.com/index.cfm

SlideMe: (From their site) Have an application that Google prevents you from stocking in the Android Market, leaving you and your app stranded? Are there users desperate to buy your application but they don’t have access to Google Checkout or the Android Market? Do you want to show off your app but feel limited by not having screenshots or video in the Android Market?

If so, then you’ve found the right place at SlideME, the Original Market for Android (We launched our portal and mobile client in April 2008). What we do for the developer is simple. We provide a way to market, deliver and download content to users that you wouldn’t have access to in your traditional channels.

From the moment you stock an application, we provide you a web page where you can add a description, screenshots and videos showing off your application. You can have a discussion with your users or they can review your application right on your page.

Your application also shows up in SAM, our mobile client for discovery and download of Android applications. You can include up to three screenshots and a YouTube video within the mobile catalog, giving potential users a good idea of what your app does. No more trying to cram that into a 325 character description with ascii art.

SlideMe does not take a revenue share from the applications and is negotiating deals to pre-load their app store onto handsets around the world. Currently they hav ea relationship with Vodaphone Egypt to do this. The SlideMe app store will also be on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 phones sold in the middle east.

SlideMe also provides their “SlideSlock” program to help prevent free distribution of your app files.

AndAppStore: Another royalty free distribution service created by UK company Funky Android Ltd.  The site still looks extremely beta and should be watched for growth. http://andappstore.com/AndroidApplications/

Handango: Once your application to register as a Software Partner is approved and you submit software for sale, Handango retains 40% of the revenues (excluding taxes) for products sold through the main Handango Web site at www.handango.com. For products sold through our Value-Added channels, we retain 40% of the revenues (excluding taxes), and their commission can increase only if they perform.

GetJar: GetJar is your one-stop shop for publishing all your mobile content to reach a global, mass-market audience. With more than a billion downloads coming from 200+ countries. (More then 2MM downloads a day)

GetJar provides:

  • Easy sign up and zero cost to upload your content and get started.
  • Fast Time to Market with a two (2) business day approval process.
  • Global reach to more than 25 million consumers.
  • Promotion and hosting to boost your user growth

Your applications get published on GetJar.com and our mobile site m.getjar.com but also across all our premium channels including:

  • Mobile operators like Vodafone, Virgin, Optimus, Sprint, Reliance and others.
  • Handset providers like Sony Ericsson and Blackberry.
  • 3rd Party channels like Opera Mini and Others.

External Links

Other Android App Distribution Channels:

App Listing Sites:



Codename: RocketGirl

Home Planet: Kul

Favorite Color: Pink

Likes: Traveling the galaxy, Firing cannons, Pigtails and RocketBoy

Dislikes: Gordo, Robots and Boredom

RocketBoy’s first recruit is RocketGirl, a happy little girl he rescues on the planet Kul. Like RocketBoy, she was a happy-go-lucky child who filled her days with fun and play. When Gordo arrived on her planet, she was determined to thwart his mean and evil efforts, but before she could mount an offensive against the monkey, she was captured and caged. Now that she is free, she is ready to take on Gordo and his robots.

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