According to AppFigures, a company specializing in metrics and tracking the ranking of iPhone applications, the iTunes App Store is officially frozen – that is, there has been no change in rankings for any applications in the last 24 hours.
The problem may be older then that however. Over the last week, many of our clients and various posts on message boards have pointed to strange app ranking issues including sudden unexplained jumps or drops in ratings, applications appearing out of nowhere, and other anomalies. Release dates seem to be one of the more effected aspects, with the release date option appearing and disappearing from the developer console.
Personally…. with it happening just after Halloween, we believe that iTunes has been possessed by the ghosts off rejected applications and the issues will continue until a full exorcism of Apple has occurred. That aside, we expect Apples engineers are frantically plugging away on the back end, trying to resolve the problem.
Please comment on any additional issues you notice, and we will continue to monitor and report if we hear of a change.
***RUMOR MILL UPDATE***
According to the founder of Cramzy, who claims to have inside information, one of the problems is because a major change is being made to the system. The gist of the change is this – updating your app will no longer place you at the top of the “Recently Released Apps” queue. If this is true, we believe this is an extremely poor decision by Apple. The marketing uplift given to an app by performing an update can be significant, and this feature as it currently is keeps developers involved in their apps, refreshing them with new content and bug fixes. Removing this will lead to more apps going stale, cluttering up the app store and making it harder for anyone to sell anything.
One of our clients, Memorize Words, Spanish Edition , had their app update approved today. Its app description only lists it as “Last Updated Nov 6th”, however it does not appear on the recently released apps section in its category. All apps in the recently released are listed as version 1.0′s. No official word from Apple, but all evidance points to this as a new major change in the app store.
We've had a lot of people lately coming to us and asking how to get their iPhone app reviewed by the various iPhone blog sites around the net. While there is no guaranteed method, ( 148apps told us they get over 400 requests to review per week – there is simply no way they can get to all of them) we sat down with SlapApp.com's Co-Founder Ryan Johnson this weekend and he gave us a few pointers.
1. Read and understand the blogs preferred method of communication. Each blog has a different process, some bloggers have an email address to send submissions to, while others use a web form on their site. Just because you were able to track down the email address of every writer that contributes to their site, doesn't mean they would all welcome an out-of-the-blue email that goes outside their normal submission process and clogs up their professional email boxes.
2. Don't force them to do time wasting research. Simply submitting and saying "hey, can you review app X" is a sure fire way to not get reviewed. At the very least you need to provide:
3. Spice it up with some media. You will hardly ever see an app reviewed without an image, video, etc. to catch the readers eye. Pulling those images and making those videos for those that do it themselves is a time consuming process. Make it easy for them! Include your screen shots, videos, promo art, icons, etc with your submission. Do NOT however send them as attached files unless specifically requested. Host your images on photobucket or one of the various other image hosting sites (Photoshop has an interesting new one) and send the link to the image. This goes for videos as well.
4. This one may be obvious – but if its a paid app, provide a promotional code. On the same note – if you are a blogger yourself and are reading this – when a developer provides you with a promotional code, if you do not think you are going to review the app, be so kind as to send the code back to the developer unused.
5. Stick to the theme of the site. Some sites like Touch Arcade have very specific focuses (Touch Arcade is specifically for games). It is a waste of your time as well as the bloggers time to et submissions that do not fit with the site in question.
6. Additional information that may help getting your app reviewed:
7. Getting close to launching a brand new app that has never been seen before? Offer a blogger an exclusive "first look" at the application. Bloggers are like other news reporters in that they like to be the first to a story. Dangling the "exclusive" carrot can catch a writers eye like nothing else can.
Congratulations! You got your app reviewed! What to do now? A couple basic things:
1. Mention the review in your app description. It's good for you (assuming it was a positive review), and its good for the review site.
2. Share the review link as much as possible. If your apps direct a lot of traffic to a blogger, the blogger may remember this in the future and be more inclined to blog about your next release.
3. Thank the reviewer. Common courtesy goes a long way these days. A good review can take 30 minutes to an hour of the writers time, if not more. Time spent on your application. Show them you appreciate it.
Not every app will get reviewed by every site. Often times the blog wont even contact you to let you know, they simply wont do anything with it. Don't get disheartened, but ask yourself why. Is your app a purple cow? That is – is your app remarkable in any way, shape or form, or is it one of a dozen apps just like it that are already littering up the app store. As I mentioned before – blog reviews are a type of news… so make apps that are newsworthy.
A special thanks to Ryan and the rest of the SlapApp.com team for providing this interview. For help getting your app reviewed by bloggers, mentioned in the press, or just talked about in general… drop us an email, we would be glad to help!
I’ve been a slave to the medical industry for over 5 years now. I’ve worked for the top gastroenterologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, and a variety of surgeons. I’ve even dated one. And what have I learned? They REQUIRE efficiency and what is more efficient than having all of your needs at your fingertips.
The doctor’s bag, once a briefcase full of gadgets for on the go, has transformed into one device that fits into the palm of your hand and can be carried in your pocket. The iWorld has allowed for Medicine to go Mobile.
So what are docs loading onto their iPhones? Let’s start with the essentials:
So what does the mobile medicine market mean for physicians? Easier access to the information they need right on hand. It allows for more quick, efficient decision making and ultimately better care for you.
Medical apps will definitely allow for more effective medical care because lets face it, most docs have ditched their pagers and subscribed to the iWorld… but even with faster tools for medical care, I doubt you will be waiting any less time in the waiting room for your physician. If anything, they’ll use the extra time to catch up on SportsCenter or NPR while they finish their lunch.