Developing Perspective

Show 0.8


00:00:00   Hello, and welcome to Developing Perspective.

00:00:03   Developing Perspective is a near-daily podcast discussing what's new and interesting in iOS,

00:00:09   Apple, and related technologies.

00:00:11   I'm your host, David Smith.

00:00:12   I'm an independent iOS developer based in Herndon, Virginia.

00:00:16   This is show 0.8, and today is Friday, July 22nd.

00:00:22   The format of Developing Perspective is pretty straightforward.

00:00:25   I'll cover a handful of links and articles that I found interesting in roughly the last

00:00:29   24 hours, and then I'll have a more general discussion towards the end.

00:00:34   The show will never be more than 15 minutes and never include third-party advertising.

00:00:38   So let's get started.

00:00:40   All right, first, a little update on the Vodsis patent dispute.

00:00:46   Vodsis has now demonstrated that they are perfectly happy to go after anybody.

00:00:53   they filed suit against a whole laundry list of additional people, including such famous

00:01:01   as Rovio of Angry Birds fame, Atari, EA, Square Enix, Take-Two Interactive.

00:01:10   So basically they're saying, "Anybody's fair game.

00:01:14   We'll go after the big guys, we'll go after the little guys, we'll go after everybody."

00:01:18   So, not really great news except for it's probably good that people with bigger pockets

00:01:24   than independent iOS developers are now in the fray.

00:01:28   So that definitely seems like overall a good thing, though there's not really that much

00:01:33   good news when someone sues a developer.

00:01:36   All right, next, there's an article over on the Daring Firewall talking about the iPad's

00:01:43   dominance in the tablet market.

00:01:46   And specifically it's kind of just walking through how soundly the iPad is beating every

00:01:52   single one of its competitors.

00:01:55   From top to bottom, left to right, basically at this point they've sold roughly 28.7 million

00:02:03   iPads.

00:02:04   A generous estimate, for example, of Android tablets is 1.3 million.

00:02:11   So it's about 21 times the sales.

00:02:15   So if you're a tablet developer thinking about running an Android app, it may not be worth

00:02:21   your time.

00:02:22   Next, and slightly related, an interesting thing that Google announced over on the Android

00:02:28   developers blog is as part of a way to address some of the device fragmentation issues, they're

00:02:36   now allowing developers, or will be soon allowing developers to submit multiple app packages

00:02:43   in Android terminology.

00:02:45   are called APKs for a particular product, and then you can use that to differentiate

00:02:51   between different platforms, different types of platforms, etc.

00:02:56   Such sounds like it's good in theory for a way to address it.

00:03:01   However, as a developer, that just sounds like a huge pain.

00:03:07   Next is over on the TextMate wiki on the Macromate site, they posted an article about some of

00:03:20   the compatibility issues and challenges using TextMate on Lion, which is just good to take

00:03:26   a look through.

00:03:27   And they say at some point they'll fix them, but definitely challenging in the way that

00:03:34   I feel about that right now.

00:03:36   I've been using BB Edit all of yesterday, but this morning I broke down and installed

00:03:41   TextMake again.

00:03:43   There's something about it that's just so ingrained into my workflow now that it's hard

00:03:48   to change to something else.

00:03:51   And so I really hope that eventually they will update that and adjust it.

00:03:56   And lastly, there's a great couple of links over from iFixit, where basically they finish

00:04:03   their teardown of the two latest pieces of Apple hardware.

00:04:07   This includes the MacBook Air 13", as it was just released, as well as the new Mac Mini.

00:04:15   If you're a geek at all, you'll probably enjoy watching this.

00:04:20   I just love looking through.

00:04:21   You see just some of the engineering and the polish that went into both the creation of

00:04:26   the device and sort of from its inside out, which is really impressive given that most

00:04:31   Most users will never see it, so it's just always sort of shows such an attention to

00:04:36   detail in the creation of this hardware.

00:04:39   So I definitely recommend looking at that.

00:04:41   As always, it's got a lot of depth and is very, very thorough.

00:04:47   And especially I was intrigued by some of the things they talked about.

00:04:52   On the Mac Mini it looks like that is a follow-up to yesterday when I said that may be the best

00:04:58   developer machine out there right now, that story continues because it seems as though

00:05:04   it's incredibly easy to upgrade, change, and tweak and work with, which is something that

00:05:09   you would definitely want in your machine if you're going to use it for a while.

00:05:14   The MacBook Air, there was only a few little interesting things to look at.

00:05:20   Mostly the one that caught my eye is that the SSD hard drive is not soldered to the

00:05:26   logic board in their teardown, which means that in theory someone could be able to make

00:05:32   a third-party replacement for that, which could be nice, which could be a way to save

00:05:37   some money.

00:05:38   Though something like that in a MacBook Air definitely would make me worried, because

00:05:43   it's such a small, light, and highly-tuned piece of hardware that replacing a significant

00:05:50   portion of it like that would definitely worry me a little bit.

00:05:54   All right, that's the links for today.

00:05:57   Today's general discussion, I'm going to talk about advertising for applications.

00:06:04   And this is something that I have a fair bit of experience with from a lot of my different

00:06:09   apps.

00:06:10   I've been doing app development now for well over two years.

00:06:14   And I've tried just about every different way you can try and promote your application.

00:06:19   I've tried the sort of click for install versions,

00:06:23   the iAd for developers, advertising

00:06:28   on podcasts and related things, using AdMob and all those.

00:06:33   And mostly I want to discuss this in case it's something

00:06:36   that you're thinking of doing for one of your applications.

00:06:40   And if you are, I'm especially interested in trying to warn

00:06:45   you that that's a bad decision.

00:06:48   Generally speaking, at this point, you can't, in a cost effective manner, drive downloads

00:06:57   of your applications from advertising.

00:07:00   You can do it in, you can create drive downloads, but it's very rare that you'll make your money

00:07:06   back from them.

00:07:07   I think they're probably the only people for whom this works is for services or larger

00:07:15   infrastructure where they're trying to make more money than just the initial purchase

00:07:21   from the application.

00:07:23   So an example of something like that would be a freemium game that has lots of in-app

00:07:28   purchases or things.

00:07:30   There you may be able to make it back, or another example would be a service where there's

00:07:36   a free app but you need to pay a subscription, or there's a larger value to having lots and

00:07:43   lots of users than just the initial purchase price.

00:07:48   But if you're a developer and you're thinking about it, your experience, for example, if

00:07:52   you go over to somewhere like AdMob and run a campaign, will be along these lines.

00:07:57   You'll go, you'll say you give them $100, set up some nice ads, hit run.

00:08:04   In a few hours, typically, sometimes even in just a few minutes, your $100 disappears,

00:08:10   And they say, "Oh, 200 people clicked on your link and looked at it in the App Store.

00:08:15   Next day you'll open up your sales and you'll see absolutely zero change."

00:08:19   It seems as though the people who are clicking on those are not, by and large, people who

00:08:25   are actually going to buy an app or even necessarily get a free app.

00:08:30   So definitely that's been my experience when I've tried that.

00:08:34   I tried iAd for developers, which is Apple's own platform for promoting applications.

00:08:42   I did a whole blog post about that, but it is... even that still didn't convert in a

00:08:49   way that was cost effective or productive.

00:08:53   I did an advertising campaign over on the 5x5 network.

00:08:57   It drove a lot of downloads, but even still, it was unable to really pay for itself.

00:09:06   In that case, I didn't really mind as much because I really support what they do, and

00:09:10   in many ways it was more of a contribution than necessarily buying ad space.

00:09:16   But all the same, it's definitely, as a business, that's not necessarily a sustainable, viable

00:09:22   thing, at least for sort of smaller applications.

00:09:25   if you're selling a $50 piece of software, maybe you could make your money on that because

00:09:30   you wouldn't need to convert nearly as many people. But I think the data for less than

00:09:36   like a 5x5 campaign is you'd need 1% of people to buy your app and you don't see anywhere

00:09:42   near that if your app was $2. So generally speaking, that's just something you probably

00:09:48   want to stay away from. At this point, it's not something I really consider very much

00:09:52   other than the occasional trials and experiments here and there, just to make sure nothing's

00:09:58   changed if a new venue opens up. But at this point, that's just not really effective. So,

00:10:06   just something I thought I'd share from my experience. Hopefully you can save a little

00:10:10   money by avoiding that. But otherwise, that's it for today. I hope you have a good weekend

00:10:16   and a good Friday, and I will see you on Monday. Bye.

00:10:19   [