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The Kamino walking tour app launches a new, updated version of their mobile app and website, promising an enhanced travel experience for users

San Diego, CA – January 13, 2015 – Kamino Labs, the travel and urban exploration planning company, focused on changing the way people interact with cities through the use of mobile technology, rolls out a new version of their app and website with new and updated features, just in time for the new year.Kamino

Created by explorers, the Kamino walking tour app is the ultimate way for locals and tourists to embark on an urban adventure. With Kamino explorers can unlock an authentic city experience, fully equipped with user-generated information like detailed area descriptions, photos, GPS enabled maps, and recommendations from travel experts and locals. Currently, there are walking tours in over 90 cities around the world, providing fun things to do in each one.

The Kamino mobile app has been reinvented for 2015, making exploring cities around the world, easier than ever. With an all new look and feel, Kamino is also adding some new features to make exploring fun and convenient. Kamino now offers customized walking tours with suggestions from Kamino, so users can create their very own, unique tour—coming soon, Uber Integration, allowing users to call an Uber car directly from the Kamino app.

Kamino has also redesigned their website to help travelers find the best experience from planning to doing. The website has been augmented to provide tools for inspiration, planning and booking, like walking tour searches and featured blog posts, and will even offer travel booking to help streamline travel plans.

The new Kamino Experts Program showcases the most experienced travel experts, putting them front and center, while the city pages aggregate all the walking tours, posts and information so users can plan the best travel experience ever.

Kamino has also launched B2B services, including the Kamino API for travel brands that want to enhance existing websites and mobile apps.

One of the coolest additions to Kamino for the New Year is the White Label App Program for travel brands, allowing those brands and even travel experts to create their very own travel app powered by the Kamino platform. This program will allow users and guests to follow curated, walkable itineraries that ensure a positive experience and drive brand loyalty.

To kick off the launch of the new and improved Kamino app and platform, Kamino will be running a promotional contest for travel bloggers and writers to have a chance at winning their very own White Label app, in addition to other prizes for them and their readers, like an iPhone 6 and Amazon gift cards.

Travel bloggers and writers are invited to participate in this contest starting today, January 13, through January 23, 2015, based on creating best original travel recommendations in the form of walking tours within Kamino. Contestants are asked to sign into Kamino and create unique content in the form of walking tours. Once all participants have completed their walking tours and written content, they are asked to post an announcement/article along with a widget to their website or blog. From January 24-February 6, participants are to encourage readers, followers, friends and family to go onto the Kamino website or app to save/favorite the walking tour they created. The contestant with the most amount of saved “favorited walking tours” will win first prize. Second and third place prizes will also be given. Please note: voters must sign into Kamino in order to save/favorite walking tours.

Participants in the contest will be considered for the Kamino Expert Program, provided they meet Kamino guidelines and standards, usually by invitation only. The Kamino Expert Program allows writers to use the Kamino platform to showcase their travel brand, by increasing engagement and visibility as a travel industry leader with content marketing designed to complement existing communication platforms. In addition, it will allow writers to cross promote their travel brand to increase awareness and visibility within the industry, build customer engagement, create customized walking tours and drive awareness of their website, travel content and social media with customized profile, accessible contact information, and RSS feed from personal blog/website.

For more information on the contest and to see the full rules and regulations, go to: http://www.gokamino.com/contest012015.php

This year, Kamino promises and delivers a unique travel experience for its users, allowing them to explore international cities or their own backyards.

For more information on Kamino go to: https://www.gokamino.com/

Or download the app at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kamino/id697881464

About Kamino
In 2012, Kamino Labs was founded in San Diego, Calif. as a travel planning and urban exploration company, developed to change the way people interact with cities through the use of mobile technology. Created by an eclectic group of travel enthusiasts, with an unyielding passion for exploring and discovering cities, Kamino provides tools and services to experience the urban landscape in an authentic way. Through the use of the latest technologies, Kamino’s interactive travel platform reinvents the walking tour into actionable content marketing to enrich the travel experience, promote tourism and drive customer care. For more information about Kamino Labs please visit www.GoKamino.com, or join them on Facebook and Twitter at @KaminoLabs.

Contact:
Jennifer Krosche
Appency for Kamino
516-353-6552
jennifer@appency.com


Land tricks, collect power-ups and avoid a wipe out in this addictive, turbo charged surf adventure.

Surfy for iPhone and iPad

Melbourne, Australia – Gamers, surfers, and retro arcade junkies alike are invited to ride the virtual waves of Surfy, an all-new endless-runner from the Australian app development studio DreamWalk Interactive. Surfy is DreamWalk Interactive’s latest independent mobile game following the very successful launch of their top-rated music app Jam for iPhone.

With simple two-finger controls Surfy is a fast paced and strongly addictive ride reminiscent of 8bit classics such as California Games. The ride begins when players are dropped into a wave by helicopter. Players must then stay ahead of the break while navigating exotic locations, performing tricks and collecting power-ups to compete for a spot on the leaderboard.

From surviving violent tropical thunderstorms to performing radical aerial stunts into outer space, surfers rack up points and coins when achievements are unlocked and tricks are landed. Coins are redeemable in the ‘Surf Shop’ for upgraded boards and power-ups for invincibility, gravity-defying jumps, power boosts and more. Click here to view the trailer for Surfy.

“We wanted to put a modern twist on a classic genre,” says Sam Russell, head of development at DreamWalk. “We hope gamers find Surfy as addictive and fun as the games that inspired us to make it.”

Features of Surfy include:

  • Simple controls: Only two fingers needed for success!
  • Crazy tricks: Bounce off whales, get thrown by tornados, perform mega-spins, defy gravity to reach Mars, ride the tube and heaps more!
  • Earn coins: Find treasure chests and challenge friends to earn coins, then hit the ‘Surf Shop’ to redeem them for power-ups and radical new boards.
  • Multiplayer mode: Surfing is even more fun with friends! Challenge a pal to a surf-off.
  • Global Leaderboard: Move up the rankings as you compete with the best in the World.

Surfy is available now on the iTunes App Store for free.

About DreamWalk Interactive:
DreamWalk is a boutique app studio based in Melbourne, Australia. It was founded by brothers, Joe and Sam Russell in 2008 with the development the world’s first commercial GPS treasure-hunting app, also called DreamWalk. DreamWalk’s most recent game, Jam for iPhone, reached #1 on the App Store music app charts in 26 countries, was featured in dozens of publications and showcased at SXSW 2013.http://www.dreamwalk.com.au/


Learn what it takes to make it as an artist and win real world prizes in the process in this industry simulation game for iPhone and iPad.TourStar for iPhone

August 12, 2014, Sacramento, CA – Today, music fans everywhere can step into the shoes of their favorite artist and get an inside look at what it really takes to make it as a professional performer. TourStar, conceptualized by entertainment executive Brandon Pankey of Music Players Group and brought to life with the help of Eddie Meehan of GroundCtrl, is the first iOS sim game of its kind to bring tour life and the perks and challenges that come with it to the mobile screen.

Like any new artist just starting out, first-time players of TourStar are faced with a number of decisions like; What should their look be? Should they sign with a label or stay independent? Should they go on tour right away or record an album? Who should they trust for advice?; and much more.

As the game progresses players learn that just like in real life, every decision they make has an impact on their career in some way.

As players make their way through levels of the game, touring the country, recording albums and building their in-game fame, they become eligible to win real world prize packages including concert tickets and VIP meet-and-greets with their favorite artists!

“TourStar is life in the music industry,” states Brandon Pankey. “The game is a fun way to peek into the life of a performer as they try to make it to superstardom. And the fact that gamers get to actually win real prizes like tickets and passes to their favorite artists’ shows is pretty cool too.”

Additional Features of TourStar include:
– Design a personalized 3D avatar to match players’ music style and fashion preferences.
– Virtually tour the country, gaining experience and building a fanbase.
– Record albums and release them to boost fame.
– Improve musicianship with mini-games that keep players’ instruments in tune and shows in high-gear.
– Build a virtual band, and get advice from managers, agents and record labels.

TourStar is available now for free on the iTunes App Store. Connect with TourStar on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on prize packages, gaming advice, news, and more.

About TourStar:
Conceptualized by entertainment executive Brandon Pankey of Music Players Group and brought to life with the help of Eddie Meehan of GroundCtrl, a Sacramento, California-based artist engagement company and AtomicChimp, a leading mobile development shop in Redmond, Wash. Additional music for the game was produced by Roc Nation producer Jahlil Beats and Dilemma. For more information, visit www.tourstarapp.com.


When I started Appency four years ago, we were truly breaking ground as the first full service marketing agency dedicated to app developers. As the market exploded, it is no surprise that many more agencies and marketing services have sprung up to help app developers compete in this highly competitive marketplace. Many of our competitors like Appular are great agencies in their own right, and while we are competitors we all know there is plenty of work to go around and many of us even refer business to each other when our plates are full.

The explosion of the market however has had a dark side. Unscrupulous “marketers” (and I use the word loosely) have seized on developers desperate to be competitive or that do not know better (being a good developer is a very different skill set than being a good marketer) and have not only put black hat tactics into the market place (remember Gtekna?) but are often simply deceptive to their potential clients.

Today a member of my account team was emailed by a site called “iGiveaway.us”. We are often approached by other app marketing tools to use their services for our clients. I try to review each potential partner as a way to see if it could be beneficial to help our developers succeed. I went to their site and red flags immediately started showing up. The first was the “package” approach. Purchase package A, B, C, D, and we will do X, Y and Z. I’m sure you have seen these yourself. There are a million types of apps out there in the app store – and each succeeds with different tactics. An in the box approach to app marketing will NEVER work. Still, while inefficient, there is nothing unethical about generic marketing.

That’s where things start to get sketchy. The site starts talking about their Twitter reach like this:

“Every tweet to our network of more than 600,000 followers earns you at least 3,000 retweets; our tweets convert into retweets at a rate of 3-5%. That’s because we’ve got one of the most active networks of retweeters anywhere on Twitter, so your tweet goes viral right away. We can also reach out to our press and media contacts, with branded press releases, and conduct other reputation management efforts. Each retweet reaches an average of 1,000 more people. That’s 6,000,000 more eyes (everyone has two, of course.) on your product. A total of 3,000,000 individuals will see your product sponsorship tweet.”

Wow… that sound impressive right? 3 MILLION individuals will see your product sponsorship tweet! Time to sit back and watch those Apple checks role in.

So while I’m sure they have more than one Twitter account than their @iGiveaway Twitter account which is how they come up with 600,000 followers, its the only one they show off so I went and took a look at their Twitter account. About 125,000 followers on that one – not a bad showing at all for a Twitter account. I wouldn’t mind tweeting to 125k people about my app.

The thing is… there are these great little tools that can check how real your followers are. I happen to like http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ – it allows you to run a check on an account to see how many people on an account are inactive, or simply fake. A quick check of @iGiveaway gives some revealing results:

Percent of Fake Accounts: 75%
Percent of Inactive Accounts: 19%
Percent of Real Accounts: 6%

6%… yup. Out of 125,000 people, it looks like around 7,500 of them might be real.

Now – we all end up with fake followers if we have any sort of auto follow back on, but 75%? @Appency shows up at 2%, while my personal twitter @AppGuyAaron shows up at 3%. Yet people like this claim that you will be seen by millions of new potential users, and charge you good money for it. Frankly, it disgusts me.

They say be careful what you wish for. Well… be careful what you pay for.

Let me know in the comments: Are there any other black hat app services you have seen in the market that deserve public shaming? Let us know!


Quizboard – Now Available in the App Store!

Words with Friends meets Trivial Pursuit in this great new trivia game now on iPhone and iPod Touch

Malmö, Sweden, June 12, 2012 – Think you’re smarter than your friends and family? Dying to prove your expertise? Then prove it with Quizboard, the social trivia game from Planeto.

Quizboard lets players take turns answering sets of five questions. Players then navigate the game board with those questions trying to gain more points to bump up their scores: the person with the highest score when reaching the goal tile is the winner. Question categories include sports, arts & literature, science, geography, entertainment, and history, and for each question players get right, they gain an extra hundred points.

The game lets players invite their friends through Facebook or try their knowledge against a random player. Push notifications help keep users informed of their ongoing games as well.

Martin Walfisz, Quizboard’s creator and founder of Planeto, is no newcomer to the world of games. Before starting Planeto, Martin also founded Massive Entertainment where he led the company to develop AAA titles such as Ground Control and World in Conflict. In 2008 Massive Entertainment was acquired by global publisher Ubisoft Entertainment.

“After having developed hardcore PC and console games for over twelve years, I felt that it was time to join the revolution of mobile and social gaming. At Planeto our objective is to create games that everyone in the world can enjoy,” said Martin Walfisz. “The launch of Quizboard is a pivotal part of achieving that goal.”

The game will be free to download for iPhone and iPod Touch. By upgrading to a premium account players get an ad free game and access to all premium game boards.

ABOUT PLANETO
Planeto creates fun trivia games and knowledge platforms for a worldwide audience. The company was founded in 2009 by Martin Walfisz and Magnus Robertsson, with the goal of becoming the world’s leading developer of online trivia and knowledge-focused entertainment experiences.

To check out the iPhone version, click here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/Quizboard/id501620249
To see screenshots from the game click here: http://quizboard.com
To see the game’s trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuFmtg2aEwM

For more information about Quizboard, please contact: Brian Collins, public relations, brian(at)appency(dot)com

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Sacramento, CA    Nov 30, 2011 – New York, New York

It’s been a busy last few months for CB Labs, who published their first game The Adventures of Timmy: Run, Kitty, Run with developer studio Rain Interactive. From launching at the Adobe MAX Keynote back in October, to being featured in the Apple “New and Noteworthy” section, it was still a huge surprise when the game showed up in the finals of the Mashable Awards for the Best Mobile Game category.

“We’re going up against the likes of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope,” Creative Director Adam Kahn said. “That’s huge in and of itself, especially for a game that’s only been out for about a month and a half.”

The game itself tells the tale of a young school boy named Timmy who wears a cat suit to school one day. While all the other kids on the playground make fun of Timmy, one girl named Kitty tries to befriend him. Unfortunately, Mitch, the schools bully, has already taken a liking to Kitty and kidnaps her. Timmy must find a way to stop Mitch and his minions and get Kitty back safe and sound.

About Rain Interactive:
Rain is an internationally recognized and awarded digital creative software agency dedicated to providing clients with solutions that allow their customers to connect with them wherever they are through the web, desktop, or mobile. Clients include HP, Google, Ancestry, Sony Music, Universal Music, Hess, Corona, Adobe and Skullcandy.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 2/3/4G iPod touch and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.1 or later
* 96.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
The Adventures of Timmy: Run, Kitty, Run 1.2 is $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.

The Adventures of Timmy: Run, Kitty, Run 1.2
Purchase and Download
YouTube Video
Screenshots

In 2010, Crossborders created a subsidiary CB Labs for the sole purpose to create creative intellectual property in the digital products category. Leveraging smart phone and tablet distribution outlets CB Labs has launched its first iPhone/iPad game The Adventures of Timmy: Run Kitty Run. Copyright (C) 2011 CB Labs. 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.

###

Brian Collins
Account Executive
916-765-5949
United States


Okay, I don't usually simply re-post something that someone else created… but this video, created by apple fan gave me a good chuckle and I thought our readers would appreciate it. (In case you haven't seen the original commercial that this is a spoof of – click here).

 

Is the Droid an iPhone killer? I doubt it. Will it help the Android platform gain traction on Apples iPhone? Absolutely. The gloves are off – and as consumers we will only end up getting the best out of it as OEMs fight to create better platforms. Bring it on!


How long have you been sitting in front of the computer developing the next killer iPhone app? 50 hours? 100 hours? More? How much money have you put into becoming a registered developer, paying artists, hardware, software, and training? The day has finally come to submit your hopes and dreams to the whims of the Apple approval team and hope that you don't get that fateful rejection email in your in-box. But… did you forget something?marketing

In order for your app to succeed, you need a strategic approach to marketing it. With almost 100,000 active apps in iTunes, the likelihood of your app being "discovered" and succeeding on its own gets harder every day.

I don't know how many times I've heard a developer say, "That's okay though… I'll get to the marketing thing once the app gets approved and goes live". By waiting until an app goes live, the developer looses a number of significant marketing opportunities right off the bat.

To start, one of the most important components of your marketing, Search Engine Optimization, can ONLY be performed before your app has been submitted, or when uploading a new binary. Too many developers we have worked with didn't realize this, threw a couple of keywords into the keywords field and figured they would come back to it later… they simply wanted to see their app in the store. We even read a story of one developer that simply didn't use keywords because they were worried the wrong keywords would get them a rejection and their application was Halloween themed meaning a delay would render their app useless. Unfortunately.. having no keywords will render your application practically useless as well.

There is also a period of a few days at most where your natural browsing will be higher. The default browsing of iTunes is by "Release Date" – giving you first page visibility when a consumer wanders into your category. Depending on the category, you might be on the first page of this listing for close to a week! This is a great time to take advantage of the boosted sales and use a blitz marketing campaign to drive yourself into the higher rankings – shooting to either get in the top 100 listing, or get noticed by Apple and featured.

Social media is another tactic that requires some pre-planning. Most social media tactics rely on "followers" of your content. If you have not started building a following before you launch.. you are already missing out!

Finally your PR buzz is much more effective if its about a "new" product. Reporters are less likely to cover a story about something that has been sitting available for a while unless there is something new and unique about it. "Company X releases a new app that is the first to do Y" is much more of a story than "App Z is still in the App Store and still not doing that well even though its a good concept.."

Already launched? Its not optimal… but its not too late either. Drop us an email and we will be glad to take a look at how your app is being marketed.


 

In our last article, we talk about Schiau studios and their use of publicity stunts to gain promotion for their app and generate sales. There’s an old adage in PR that says "any press is good press".

Or is it?

Take Pepsi for example. Pepsi’s energy drink Amp takes an approach to marketing that is reminiscent  of Axe Deodorant in its hayday. Targeted primarily to men, er, "guys", their marketing message is full of extreme sports, hot girls, and rock music. The target demographic that this appeals to is a younger male audience, mid teens to early 20’s still living in a hormone driven haze where "hooking up" with the opposite sex ranks high on their daily priority list.

Is that a guy wtih a wig?

Um… is that one on the right a  guy with a wig on?

Enter the iPhone.

As the newest and if I might say, sexiest way to get your brand message out these days, it’s no surprise that Pepsi and Amp decided to jump on the bandwagon and launch an app of their own.  Grab the creative agency, brainstorm around the table for a few hours while hyped up on their own product, and the "Amp Up Before You Score" app is born.

The Premise: an app to help you hook up, complete with pickup lines and a how-to guide.

The Execution: Not only did Pepsi create an app that asks you to sterotype women into one of 24 categories including but not limited to "Cougar", "Princess" and, um… "Married" (lets hear it for Pepsi family values… I’d like to also mention that PepsiCo’s mission statement includes the following line: "in everything we do, we strive for honesty, fairness and integrity.").  The app then gives you a handy way to keep track of all the women you have ‘scored’ with and finally, my favorite… a way to brag about it to your buddies. In fact – the social mavens that they are – you can brag about it via Twitter, Facebook or Email! Now the whole world can know how misogynist you really are.

While I disagree with the execution – I understand that they are trying to speak to a very specific target that will frankly get the albiet misguided humor in this. The problem comes when we look at the target they are trying to reach, and the demographics of the typical iPhone user. They started out right – 75% of iPhone users are male, however according to Neilson, only 13% of users fall into Amp’s prime target age of 18-24. You can boost the percentage to 18% if you drop the age as low as 13. Add to that a society that is highly charged with conservative religous values, and you have a PR disaster on your hands. 

Calls have been coming in from all sides that Pepsi should pull what is being called "offensive", "sexist" and

Amp’s twitter site on October 12th posted this appology: "Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback. #pepsifail"

Love it or hate it....

 

The creation of this hashtag on Twiter has created a forum for tweeters to sound off about the app – both in the positive and the negative…. and it seems like consumers either love it or hate it.

So lets hear it readers – #pepsifail or #pepsiwin? IS all press good press or do brands have a social responseibility to live up to? Do you think this was created purposefully to stir up controversy?

I would have to say it was on purpose. Why? Because the app is still live in the app store. Who apologizes in earnest and then keeps doing what they were apologizing for?