We understand that developing an app is a huge undertaking. The blood, sweat and tears that go into this project shouldn’t be limited to the app itself. Being smart about how you present your app will play a key role in how it does in the app store of choice. This includes giving your app a good “face”; or app icon. Before you call up your friend’s sister’s nephew because he has Photoshop installed on his computer, here are some tips to consider when designing a good app icon.
Take the app icon design seriously
With millions of apps in the App Store and Google Play Store, standing out is of utmost importance ‒ especially if there are similar apps in your category. Think of it this way – on a crowded bookshelf, the cover of a book that catches the eye and follows good design principles will be looked at first. Consumers judge books by their covers, even though their mothers told them not to. A strong brand throughout is key; don’t make app icon design the last priority during the development process.
Research, research, research!
Unique app ideas are worth a million bucks. Sadly, someone has probably already come up with yours.Find out who your competitors are and what their icons look like. Are they colorful, do they have a unique look or a fun avatar? You may assume a Scrabble tile is a great icon idea for your new word game; maybe you should do a quick search first. Don’t copy your competitors or Apple might assume your original app is a ripped off copy of Words With Friends – or your competitor might slap you with a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Keep it Simple, Silly
Some of the best icons in the store have a simple, unique look and stand out during a quick scan of search results. Pretend your icon is a billboard on the side of a highway with a 70 MPH speed limit.If there is too much going on in the app icon, the app will most likely be skipped because someone shopping on the App Store won’t have time to process everything. An icon is also not the place to throw in every Photoshop trick and filter you know. (See note later.)
Everyone has a favorite color, but that doesn’t mean it should be in your app icon. How do you finda color scheme that will be attractive to your target audience? Kissmetrics has a great infographic on colors and purchasing power, detailing the psychology behind selecting certain primary and secondary colors for branding. There are also numerous websites and books that go into great detail about color theory and psychology. Once you’ve selected a base color for your branding, check out Colors on the Web, a free tool that allows users to generate eye-pleasing RGB schemes based off of one color.
Avoid the “deadly sins”
There a number of unspoken rules to keep in mind when designing a good app icon. Things like vertical stacked type, fancy – and illegible – scripted fonts, bad color choices, Googled (read: copyrighted) clip art, using Comic Sans in general, and unnecessary drop shadows should be avoided at all costs. Items unique to the app realm, such as shine filters, should also be evaluated with scrutiny. Just because another app uses it in their icon doesn’t mean it will work for yours. Many filters and “tricks” can make your app seem unprofessional and untidy.
Bonus tip – don’t forget about screen shots
You’ve spent all sorts of effort, time and money on an exquisite app icon design. Why upload boring screen shots? The screen shots give you another opportunity to showcase your app and brand. Design Boost did a great post on creating screen shots that sell. Adding callout text, graphics or other enhancements to your screen shots can further entice a shopper into buying your app.
Marseille, France – The 9th International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) opens for entries today! Developers and studios across the world are invited to submit their games for these prestigious awards. Since 2004, the IMGA has become the most prestigious international competition for mobile games. For the past 8 years, the competition awarded the most talented game developers for the most innovative mobile games, whether they are made for iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Bada, HTML5 or feature phones; whether they are made by a top 10 developer or a start-up studio; whether the developers came from Spain or Singapore, Malaysia or Mexico, Brazil or Belgium.
This year marks a big step for the 9th IMGA as a few significant changes are made to enhance the quality of the entries:
* No categories will be defined for the entries; participants will instead specify their own category
* The Judges’ Honorable Mention will replace the Operator’s Choice Award
* 6 additional prizes will be determined by the jury
* The denomination of these prizes will be announced at the same time as the nominations on January 24, 2013
* Platinum-level sponsor Pro Sieben Sat 1 will award one million Euro in media exposure to the winners
Since 2004, the IMGA Awards Ceremony has been held at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, the exact location of the 9th IMGA has not been confirmed yet.
The IMGA Summit
Traditionally, the Awards are held in conjunction with the one day IMGA Summit consisting of a keynote, panels of leading experts in mobile games and pitching sessions. The Summit and Awards are traditionally attended by leaders in the mobile gaming industry as well as top international developers and studios.
The 9th IMGA Timeline
* October 4, 2012 – Call for entries
* January 14, 2013 – Entries closed
* January 25, 2013 – Nominees announced
* February 28, 2013 – Awards Ceremony, winners announced (TBC)
As of today, developers can submit their game online at www.imgawards.com and compete in an international arena with top studios and individual developers from all over the world. Games must have been published after January 1, 2012, or currently be in development.
Since 2004, the IMGA has become the most prestigious international competition for mobile games. Copyright (C) 2012 International Mobile Gaming Awards. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
BeiZ Launches Children’s App That’ll Keep Kids Sharp Over Summer
Lola’s Math Train now available on the App Store and Google Play
May 29, 2012 - It’s time for summer vacation, which means road trips, plane rides and afternoons spent at home, luckily for parents BeiZ, Ltd. has released their newest app Lola’s Math Train just in time. Available on the iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire and Android devices, the game creates a fun environment for kids between the ages of 3-8 years old to strengthen their math skills while playing an interactive game.
Lola’s Math Train invites children to join Lola as she makes her way through a fun filled environment of bright colors, interactive characters and creative problem solving to get all of her friends to a party. With three advancing levels to choose from and multiple languages, Lola is sure to an excellent companion to keep kids focused and prepared for the upcoming school year.
Within the game kids are encouraged to solve puzzles, complete addition and subtraction problems, identify incorrect sequencing, replicate patterns and so much more. As the child makes their way through the game they are introduced to new characters and exciting destinations on their journey to reach the party at the end of the game.
“We’re excited to introduce the 5th Lola Panda game into the series of apps! Our previous apps have provided parents and kids alike with a great game that is not only fun but also educational and know that Lola’s Math Train will be an excellent addition for any family,” adds Mika Heikinheimo, CEO of BeiZ.
Lola’s Math Train is available for $1.99 on the App Store, Google Play and Kindle Store.
BeiZ Ltd is a game studio that concentrates on providing enjoyable educational solutions and non-violent games for children and adults. BeiZ also assists its partners in publishing their games and mobile content.
For Press Inquiries, please contact,
Appency for BeiZ, Ltd.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Publishing options in the Android Marketplace
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)
Your applications get published on GetJar.com and our mobile site m.getjar.com but also across all our premium channels including:
Other Android App Distribution Channels:
App Listing Sites: