Want to reskin an app and make sure it is popular with the public? George Osborn, Head of Editorial Content at MagicSolver.com, has trawled through the thousands of apps featured in Free App Magic to find three popular types of apps to give you a bit of inspiration.
Reskinning an app can be a recipe for App Store success. Finding a popular game or utility, giving it a lick of paint and a fresh new style can be a fantastic way to have a hit on your hands – just ask the makers of Candy Crush Saga after all!
But the problem most of you will have is choosing that all important type of app to achieve popular success. But what types of apps are actually really popular with users across the world and how can you go about evolving them into a hit of your own?
Fortunately, we think that we might be able to help. Having run Free App Magic for over two years as well as dozens of calendar apps, we have featured literally thousands of different apps and seen how often they’ve been downloaded by our users.
So here are three categories of apps that our users have told us they love for you to go and think about when you’re planning your next reskin.
Photo Filter Apps
With the rise of Instagram, you’d think that the market for photo filter apps would be limited. But when we looked at our data, this category of app remains a consistent high performer across our suite of App Discovery apps and they continue to attract great numbers of downloads.
There are two ways you can achieve success using filters. The first is by going toe to toe with Instagram and offering editing options to your users. From adding those now legendary vintage filters to snaps through to offering real photo editing tools like red-eye reduction, photo filtering apps that give the user a broader suite of editing tools than Instagram are still finding their ways into the hearts of users.
Second, and perhaps more unique, novelty filtering apps remain ever popular. Whether they deploy manipulation in the manner of a fatbooth app or allow you to layer on hilarious moustaches onto mugshots, these humourous apps tend to find their way to the top. One such app called Christmas Booth which we featured in Advent last year managed to accrue a million downloads in a couple of days, something that suggests these fun bringing photo apps are always a hit with users.
Photo Editor, Instawrite, Mustache Bash
Everyone has, at some time, opened a newspaper and flicked to the fun and games section at some point. Classic puzzles like crosswords, word searches and Su-Doku are regular fare in publications across the world and their ubiquity makes them perfectly placed for App Store success.
There are numerous advantages to reskinning a game like this. First, as mentioned above, they are seriously popular. By the time most people across the world have started reading newspapers, they have learned what to do with a puzzle like this. And those who do love these puzzles tend to get hooked, expecting daily content. That makes them the perfect type of users for a developer to build a business on: long term, valuable and bound to advocate your app.
But beyond that, the nature of the content makes it perfect for reskinning. In the case of most of these puzzles, content can be quickly generated with the help of random Sudoku generators or you can get themes for word searches/crosswords with the help of outsourced content workers relatively cheaply.
Lastly, they are perfect games for inserting a number of handy monetisation tools into. The long nature of puzzles mean that interstitials can be easily inserted at the end without causing annoyance and you can easily create extra content for the game. If you’re looking for an easy way to launch your first game as a service, then newspaper games could be well up your street!
Ideas for titles:
Sudoku Game Puzzle, Tic Tac Toe, Wordfall Word Game
Temple Run in 2011 opened up the mobile audience to a type of game that has proven to be endlessly adaptable and popular: the infinite runner.
The genre, which gets players to survive as long as possible in an ever evolving environment, has proven surprisingly durable as a result of its adaptability. While running through the world dodging things might seem simple, the genre has evolved remarkably well as a result of some serious creativity.
Despicable Me 2: Minion Rush by Gameloft became their first major free to play hit after it successfully piggybacked the popular film to monetisation success. Disney’s soon to be released Marvel: Run, Jump, Smash adapts the premise to a 2D side scrolling adventure to give it some extra weight. And Sega managed to bring Sonic to life on mobile in Sonic Dash, using an infinite runner to deliver a much richer and more fulfilling than Sonic games on on home consoles.
Ultimately, the big strengths with infinite runners is that they are endlessly adaptable and the monetisation strategies are recognised by users and developers alike. Provided you can give your game a smart lick of paint to deliver real character to it, infinite runners are an excellent way to get a fun game that’ll perform well into your portfolio.
Ninja Kiwi Pro, Hobbit Jetpack Runner, Avalanche Mountain 2
So those are my three top genres of apps for reskinning success. If you want to get started on the road to App Store domination, check out chupamobile.com and discover hundreds of different apps that are ready and waiting for you to turn into app magic.