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23Jul

When it comes to social media there is no website, statistically, which comes close to the number of members. In early 2014 the amount of users on Facebook was reported at 1.28 billion people with an account. Being that so many individuals use this website, it should come as no big surprise that marketing and app development has played a major role in the websites success. Vector Hands touching a Smart phone with Social Marketing icon

More diversification from a single app

Facebook has continuously evolved in its interactivity. However, apps have proven to be a bit cumbersome for users. With the launch of App Links, Facebook is hoping to eliminate the frustration of its app which links to other general app information. Instead the App Links are focused on sending users from the Facebook app to a specific location within their app. For example, if an user clicks on a real estate ad on his Facebook app and has the real estate app installed on his device, he will be redirected to the app directly. Developers will quickly see the advantage of having the system set up to be more target oriented. A single app can be programmed so that a user can access web data, load the app (if it is installed), buy the app (if it is not installed), or direct the user to the full app. Furthermore, if the app is developed to point to specific sections within that app, as is the purpose for app links on mobile devices, then someone can share just the liked information on his or her Facebook page. In effect, you can develop one app but have it function as several different applications without needing to have multiple apps with the same functionality.

Should you partner with App Links

One of the questions that a developer needs to address is whether or not to partner with Applinks.  Where it is quite true that there are advantages to the program, the developer may find that it is a bit frustrating working with the stipulations that Facebook has put on app incorporation using App Links.

What does this mean for the App Industry?

As Facebook is a dominant force in the internet world, one may see that other social media platforms start to use App Link integration as the standard. One can already note that Twitter has taken up the call with similar integration. It would not be at all surprising if the top social media platforms take up the call. Facebook has claimed that there have been over 1 billion apps have been linked up to what they are referring to as the “new standard”. If these numbers are correct than it is reasonable to conclude that a developer would be wise to learn the ins and outs of App linking and quickly.

The downside

The only major drawback that developers will face with the app link is that Facebook requires that you work with one of their developers. Of course this is a marketing tool for the site though they may claim that it is to ensure that the apps are developed and integrated within the mobile site without complications. This really should not discourage any seasoned developer. As the numbers continue to rise, it can be predicted that Facebook will lift or at least modify their requirement to those who are proven app developing professionals.

App Link Requirements

App link is based off of the Apple system. This being stated the best integration will be with apps that are written for the iOS 8 platform. As the App Link is a new development by Facebook, and as iOS 8 is the newest platform, it would only make sense that a develop cater to the newest trend. Those which are not particularly iOS based in their development may find that at minimum the creation of an Apple iOS redirect link would be required.  One is encouraged to research the specific requirements off App Link within Facebook as the site’s policies and procedures are constantly evolving.

Overall analysis

While it is evident that not all the technical bugs and stipulations have been worked out of this new development, the integration seems to be taking off at an accelerated pace. Being as the company can experiment with different aspects that work and those that fail, do not be surprised if one day there is a feature which is available and the next day there is something which is no longer the standard. As a developer, focus on creating an App link app that caters to the specific needs of the Facebook user while at the same time maintaining the individuality of an iOS 8 app. Remember the app is still a third party app. You are not developing for Facebook, per say, but developing a methodology for incorporation of your app within the social giant to where users will actually want to look at and (if applicable) purchase your development.

23Jul

If yesterday we talked about the new test platform for iOS apps, today we take care of the Android side. In a recent news release, Google announced that it has acquired Appurify. The mobile platform is oriented to developers so that they can test their applications. It has been reported that the mobile platform has raised over 6 million dollars since its launch in 2012. Over the last two years the platform has shown growth of a substantial nature which would explain the desire for the internet giant’s pursuit of the company.

There are five major areas which Appurify focuses. These are iOS and Android testing on devices, bug and data feedback, integration, jump start automations, and manual simulations. For developers this is a great tool. The fact that this App has both the iOS and the Android integration adds to the potential for the developer to work in whichever platform appeals to him or her and to be rather comfortable in ensuring that the mobile platform functions to the highest standards. One should also wonder if Google is trying to encourage developers within the iOS 8 platform to cater to their clientele. Surely, the acquiring of this startup is a major bridge to merge the gaps between Android and Apple based apps.

appurify

Appurify offers three major services:

  • AMP Auto – This offers automatic simulators and testing on developments to ensure that your app is running properly from the early stages and throughout development
  • AMP Mobile – This service is great for capturing video, crashes, traffic logs, etc on you local device
  • AMP Web – The best way to know if something will work is to test it across several platfroms. Amp Web ensures that your app will work by doing such.

Developer Considerations

Developers should consider that Google has been making several technological advances in the past month. It would appear that this application is an attempt to diversify their company even more while at the same time maintaining their dominant presence in the internet and app world. By acquiring the Appurify platform Google has greatly opened the market for new apps.

The main advantage of the Appurify acquisition is that a developer can have feedback on their app from the mobile platform prior to launching their app. For example, by checking for bugs and critical errors through the Appurify Robot app crawler, the developer can simulate thousands of users sessions without the users.  This minimizes the cost of having to go back and forth from the drawing board to the app. Furthermore, the developer will note that the framework of his or her app can be tested to ensure that such will withstand usability.

Developers would be wise to explore the Appurify mobile platform. Because of the functions offered, both the seasoned professional and those which are new to developing can be benefited. From the simulators and emulators to the AMP Auto which runs automated test on an application, there is something for every developer within the Appurify platform.

22Jul

Regardless of whether or not one is a Luis Suarez’ fan, one has to admit that the development of the World Cup Bite App is quite humorous. The app was quickly developed after the player Luis Suarez’ bit Italian player Giorgio Chiellini. Apparently, this is not the first attempt by the player to bite Chiellini. Because this incident focused around the World Cup, however, the popularity of this app has been substantial.

There were several companies which quickly took pursuit of the news story in an attempt to hone in on an app within the small window of relativity (that being the timeframe of the World Cup as well as the popularity of the actual news story). It was Playsoft which beat everyone in the development of its Suarez Soccer Bite app.

Even though there is no official affiliation with the World Cup, one cannot help but to see the physical resemblances made within it. The main character looks remarkably like Luis Suarez’ and one of the main victims does look like Giorgio Chiellini. This resemblance has played a little role in deferring fans of Chiellini from downloading the app. Where there are mixed views as to the news story, there is little argument to the app. The 4.0 rating attest to this.

Currently, the development is for the Android platform. The company has stated that they are in the process of developing an IOS 8 version of the application. Yet, as of this date the application has still to be approved by the Apple store.


What does the app contain?

The app is pretty straight forward. The user is a soccer player that chases other soccer players. The user’s goal is to bite the player while at the same time avoiding the referee and getting a red card. Such, one sees the connection with the news event. It may be a little bit on the aggressive end, but the app has still proven to provide ample entertainment.

What does this mean for Developers?

Developers should look at the app as an opportunity seized. Note that there may be issues which arrive later should the association behind the World Cup or the management of Luis Suarez decides to try to get a “cut” from this app. If one is developing a similar application, one is encouraged to make something that is current while at the same time maintaining a certain level of anonymity to the player which you are mimicking in your app.

We actually have recently published an app template that will be extremely helpful if you intend to launch your own Bite app! Soccer Bite is our tribute to the World Cup! Full of features, easy to set up and reskin and packed with three main ad networks for boosting monetization. Do not miss it!

22Jul

In just a few short years, the market for mobile apps has been exploding. With billions of downloads and millions of apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows and just about every other mobile device under the blue sky, there are also lots of opportunities for a developer or an appreneur such as yourself.

This is not just a passing fad. Developing an app for your business, to promote and monetize can be just the tool you need to drive traffic and increase revenue. It can be game changing. So, you might be thinking how much does it cost to develop an app. You’ve seriously been thinking about making an app for a while. Your friend has all the app templates you need to make your own version of Flappy Bird. You have a pretty good handle on how to make an app. What are you waiting for? Well, many times a developer or an appreneur such as yourself might be hesitating because of the cost.

businessman cutting money

Apps, Apps and More Apps…

I’m sure you all know about the big apps: Candy Crush, Instagram, Angry Birds, Flappy Bird. The potential seems endless in the multibillion dollar app development industry. Say, you’re an appreneur wanting to get in the app game, how do you go about making an app? Below are some things to consider if you want to chase your dream and build an app.

If you know nothing about app development, however, you may want to think long and hard before partaking in such a ambitious endeavor.

Assuming your brother isn’t a recent winner of the App Development Award Society, you might want to go the agency route and find one that either has won awards or have good write ups and testimonials.

If your app needs a lot of coding, you wouldn’t want to go with an agency that has developed simpler apps.

Here are some costs that we’ve assembled from our user base. The costs range differently for the different types of apps. For this post, we will focus on iOS.

Basic Tablet App

$1,000 – $4,000

This is your baby. All content and a clear direction will be provided by you. You should have examples of apps that are similar to what you want to do. The high cost usually comes once you add GPS capabilities and other bells and whistles. You can probably get it done for $1500 max if you know basic Photoshop.

Native Data Driven App

$8,000 – $50,000

Keep costs down by providing everything from content to images, from writing to sound. The higher cost is going to be realized when it comes to creating the logic within the app itself, and working on the architecture for all the game play and usability. Higher costs will come when your app’s framework is so important due to data driven apps, in the case of making an app for games for example.

Games

$10,000 – $250,000

These types of apps, while money making machines, can also be the hardest to estimate. A game like Angry Birds has been said to cost anywhere from 125,000 to 180,000 dollars. Games, as cool as they are, need some serious app source code and detailed app templates. Games are very tricky and you better do your homework before you get into this type of development.

If you do decide to build an app, be smart about it. Do your research. And take a look around. See what others are doing. There are ways to build an app that are much cheaper. Time to think outside of the app box and build an app you can call your very own.

22Jul

Helping one game character to run and jump over objects is one thing. But, have you got what it takes to control 5 characters at the same time? No One Dies Today is a real test of your finer motor skills and hand to eye coordination – it’s also a severe test of your patience, endurable and possibly the durability of your phone which is highly possibly to be launched in frustration! No One Dies Today has top rankings in the UK, US, Russia and Australia, it arrived to #2 on the U.S. App Store Overall chart;  it seems people are loving the idea! There’s different game modes, crazy challenges, simple controls and Game Center support which are all major advantages to the game.

Instead of playing the game alone, you can be in competition with other players and see who reaches the furthest and survives the longest. Your scores will be ranked and shown on a leader board, which contains the best players in the world – adding a whole new dimension to the game.

Make Your Own at Chupa Mobile!

Statistics show on the App Annie Rank History that downloads are actually in rapid decline. Is this your chance to create your very own No One Dies Today?

Choose from the following templates and create a game that’s not just an alternative version of No One Dies Today, but becomes its superior…

No One Dies Today with Multiplayer

This has to be the easiest game to reskin ever. The reskin options are vast, you could take the iOS template and turn it into a game to specifically target one age group, to be seasonal or to be simply unique and watch the downloads begin.

Features and Requirements:

  • Really easy to reskin
  • Very popular game
  • Chartboost integrated
  • Revmob integrated
  • Game Center integrated
  • Fun to play
  • Multiplayer via nextpeer ready

Hoppy Birds for iOS

Create unlimited hours of frustration and fun by taking the Hoppy Birds iOS template, and finely tuning it to be your own with the many re-skins available. Based on the concept of the incredibly popular Flappy Birds, this is guaranteed to produce a hit game. There’s plenty of room for creativity and endless options to ensure customer satisfaction.

Features and Requirements

  • Applovin, Admob and Chartboost Ad SDK’s integrated
  • Game Center
  • Chartboost more games button
  • Remove ads iAd
  • Rate button
  • Facebook and Twitter share
  • Universal App
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Developed in Cocos2d
  • Well documented
  • Free updates and support

Hoppy Birds template is also available for Android.

No One Dies Today with Admob

Outstanding Features:

  • Universal Game (Design for iPad)
  • 4 Awesome Game Modes
  • You need quick – witted
  • Test your brain hand!
  • Full languages Support!
  • Simple Control
  • Easy & Fun

Whether you’re a fan of Hoppy Birds, or can see how it needs improving, why not create your own version with Chupamobile!

22Jul

WWDC 2014 brought a very good news to iOS developers: the integration of the popular beta testing platform TestFlight into its app life cycle.

Previously, testing your app was a not trivial task. If you had a testing team you had to know each tester’s device UDID in order to configure a provisioning profile to build the binary, send this binary to your tester and he/she needed to connect his/her device to transfer the binary into it.

testflight

On the other hand we had TestFlight available as an independent testing tool where you could register a team to carry out the beta testing of the different versions of the app you were developing.

However, it was not an easy task as you also had to request your testers to provide their devices’ UDID, configure the provisioning profile to include these identifiers so the application could be installed on the corresponding devices and then send them an invitation to install the new version.

Thanks to beta testing we can get feedback from several testers that can help us developing a successful app, as they’re a representation of the common final users. That’s why it’s important to have a fluid relationship between developers and testers so the development-testing process doesn’t result in a loss of time and effort for both sides.

With the incorporation of TestFlight into the apps life-cycle the steps needed have become less and easier. You don’t need to know your testers device’s UDID anymore nor customizing provisioning profiles, even you don’t have to connect the different devices. You just need your testers email addresses to send an invitation for them to install your app.

Before distributing the build to the test team you can define which features of your app should be tested on this version so they can focus on what you need.

Beta testers will just need to download the TestFlight app where they can manage the different versions they have been invited to test and they also can send their feedback through this same channel.

The number of beta testers has grown (with this new relationship between Apple and TestFlight) up to 1,000 testing accounts for each app and also each of these accounts can test your app in several devices. In addition you can designate up to 25 internal testers who usually will be people from the development team with an iTunes Connect account.

A negative point I found is that this developer-tester relationship in not straightforward as when TestFlight was an independent tool because now we will need to upload our binary to Apple before sharing it with the testing team. On the other hand we can look this feature as an advantage, as it will assure us that the binary our testers will receive will meet a minimum of quality requirements.

Another negative point is that TestFlight will be available only for iOS8 but it will be available in the 155 countries where the App Store is available.

In my opinion this is a very successful step, it looks like Apple is thinking on their developers one more time, and I’m very grateful to have an easier way to distribute the releases to our testers.

18Jul

Remember when the Vietnamese cult game Flappy Bird was launched? The frenzy it caused and the absolute outrage when it was discontinued? People who had previously downloaded the game to their device were making a killing – selling their phones simply because it had the addictive game on it. It was a craze that couldn’t have gone unnoticed by anyone. It wasn’t going to be long before the next craze kicked off, and many believe it’s already here with the old school style arcade game: Timberman. Gamers, who are looking for a new way to kill time, show off their skills and beat friends scores need to check out Timberman - the newest indie game that’s taking the App Store by storm.

According to App Annie data, Timberman has made it’s way into the top 5 apps in over 20 countries and is the number 1 downloaded game in 8 of those. The game is incredibly addictive and extremely easy to get into – basically your job is to cut down trees by tapping each side whilst avoiding various descending branches. After a couple of rounds your character will frustratingly perish, due to it being difficult to determine just how close the branches are to you. Once you get into the rhythm of the game the ability to get a good run will be much easier, however improving your score becomes harder.

Timberman has been available for download since May, however the 10th of June saw its peak in downloads (see App Annie rankings history). The game was featured as an Editors Choice by Apple which led to a staggering 1 million of its 2.5 million downloads being done in just 3 days!

Why not create your very own Timberman with Chupamobile!

Timberman iOS Template

Timberman source code

If you love iOS games, then Timberman’s for you. Its charm is it’s ease of play and its addiction is the need to continually improve your score to showcase to your friends (synchronize with Facebook or Twitter for immediate showcasing). You need to chop the wood and avoid the branches, simple right?

Features:

  •      Revmob Ads
  •      Chartboost Ads
  •      Remove Ads In App Purchase
  •      Unlock characters IAP
  •      Facebook
  •      Twitter
  •      Game Center.
  •      Unlock Characters

App Reskinning:

  •      Very easy reskin, with just three character animations.
  •      Three characters
  •      Three backgrounds
  •      Three different trees
  •      You can add as many as you want

Timberman Game

Timberman iOS source code

This app template allows you to add as many of your own features that you like! Maybe you want to add more heroes, or different kind of trees or squirrels to kill: D it is all up to you.

Features:

  •      Universal game for iPhone and iPad
  •      Very popular game
  •      Chartboost integrated
  •      Game Center integrated
  •      Made in Cocos2d
  •      Easy to reskin

This Timberman game template is also available for Android.

Timberman for Android

Timberman for Android

We have as well another Timberman app template for Android.

App features:

  • Admob
  • Chartboost
  • Share feature(Facebook, twitter, email, text message)
  • Full video documentation(Step by step walk through)
  • Google play game services(Global leaderboards)
  • Unlockable characters

So if you want fame and perhaps fortune, why not try making a name for yourself with your own version of Timberman –  you may even gain a cult following!

16Jul

During the WWDC 2014 Apple introduced the iOS extensions, which will allow developers to share some of their app functionalities with other applications.

One of the most amazing extensions is PhotoKit, also known as Photo Framework, which will provide new libraries for working with images and videos stored in the device.

This brand new PhotoKit in fact consists on two different frameworks:

  • Photos Framework: It will allow us to retrieve and edit photo and video items, to handle changes made from external apps and it also provides the tools to build a complete app like the Photos app available in iOS by default.
  • Photos UI: It’s the responsible of providing the availability of creating editing extensions, in other words, to edit photos with our custom app directly from the iOS Camera roll.

iOS 8 Photokit

Photos Framework

This framework is not only the successor of the ALAssets library; it takes its potential one step further by providing tools to access, add, edit and remove the so called Model Objects (images, videos, albums and moments).

These Model instances have a key characteristic, which is that they’re read-only so, for example, we can edit an image and it wont modify the original content but it will create a new one.

The different Model Objects are:

  • Assets: It references images and videos and it’s represented by the PHAsset class. It gives the ability to handle the type of media content (photo or video), the date of creation, the location and if it’s a favorite asset or not.
  • Asset Collections: They’re also called moments and they make reference to ordered collections of assets such us albums and smart albums. These objects are represented by PHAssetCollection and its properties are title, type and the start and end date.
  • Collection Lists: It’s an ordered collection of collections and it usually represents a folder or a moment year. The class that manages them, PHCollectionList, stores the type, title and start and end date of the list.

Photos Framework also introduces Transient Collections, which references a group of assets resultant of a search or a user selection that can be used to interchange with common collections.

One more thing to take into account when using this framework is that we will need to make use of class methods such as the below ones to work with assets:

[PHAsset fetchAssetsWithMediaType:options:];
[PHAssetCollection fetchMomentsWithOptions:];
[PHAssetCollection transientAssetCollectionWithAssets:title:];

Photos UI

It’s a very interesting framework that allows us creating photo editing extensions on our apps that will be available from the built-in Photos app.

It means that when editing an image in the Camera roll, we can choose which app do we want to use for this purpose and the result of this edition will be available for other apps and devices through iCloud and won’t modify the original as it’s read-only.

To achieve it we will need to create an app extension target that will provide a view controller, which in turn will adopt the PHContentEditingController protocol. This is pretty simple as the new version of Xcode provides a template to create photo editing extensions and we just need to focus on the protocol methods implementation:

[startContentEditingWithInput:]
[finishContentEditingWithCompletionHandler:]
[canHandleAdjustmentData:]
[cancelContentEditing]

11Jul

Vine has introduced a new era of quick, sharable videos that can be both shot and edited via a mobile device. Instagram – which currently has 200 million monthly active users – were quick to follow suit, but most recently there has been a new development – iOS app, Cinamatic, launched by Hipstamatic.

Cina_iPad1

The foundations aren’t what you would call ‘revolutionary’ but this works well for those who want something that’s easy to use, and very customizable. You can capture one shot or multiple shots in quick succession, which you can then stitch together for a smooth looking video. There is a catalogue of analog-inspired filters that can give a retro feel to the finished masterpiece. The capture process is the same as Vine and Instagram – you tap and hold to enable recording and to edit you simply release your finger. Currently the videos captured through Cinamatic can vary in length from 3 seconds to 15 and the app is compatible with Instagram, Vine and Facebook. The app doesn’t have its own feed or social network and is just for sharing through others, which makes it pretty handy for those with a good social media following on established platforms already!

Statistics have shown that there is a huge demand for mobile apps that offer incredible results through simple tools. With Chupamobile you could create your own Cinamatic and become a leading competitor to the likes of Vine and Instagram, by using one of the templates shown below:

  • Social Network App – Instagram/Vine Style – Act now and purchase this template to receive free updates and $200 off standard price. With an unlimited amount of features this could truly allow you to rival the Hipstamatic Cinematic. Features Include: Camera Filters, Delete Posts, Draw on Pictures (like SnapChat), Add Vine Style Videos, Hashtags, Profile Pictures, Share Pictures, Follow Friends, Gain Followers and Search Users, to name but a few.

  • Snapify – Instagram Clone – This is a platform that is completely ready for App Store submission. If you know all about Instagram then you know about Snapify, it’s basically the same thing but not as popular – yet. It’s a platform that allows social image sharing and is compatible with Facebook to permit for sharing, commenting on and liking pictures.

  • Slow Motion Instagram Camera – This is a simple application, which has taken full advantage of Apple’s latest technologies and incorporates some of the best premium properties available to date. The platform allows you to record videos in slow motion, which can then be saved to your camera roll and edited or shared via Instagram. You can also add other social media sharing options and networks. Although this app doesn’t have the following that Instagram does, it’s well on its way with more than 1,000 users since its recent release.

  • GifaGram – Allows you to create animated gifs from pre-recorded videos or live and then to send them either through a text message of social networking post to Twitter or Facebook. The app includes a full website template which means you can create an entire library of animated gifs.

So what are you waiting for? Choose your template and use your knowledge to create something that might just send you viral!

10Jul

One of the big announcements made at WWDC 2014 earlier this month was the launching of Apple iCloud Drive. This was Apple’s latest entry into the ever-growing world of cloud services. iCloud Drive is very similar to Dropbox’s file system that stores your docs in the cloud.

Whatever app you choose to use with iCloud Drive is assigned its own folder and can be accessed via Finder. Syncing of the files can be done across operating systems such as iOS, Windows and OSX. It doesn’t matter if you don’t enable your apps with iCloud, you can still use iCloud Drive to drop folders and files and sync them with all your devices.

Using iCloud Drive on a Mac, of course is much simpler. To make the experience more fluid on mobile devices, iCloud adds a finder-type browser you can use for locating files, and has added it to iOS for the first time. However, Apple still has yet to release an official iCloud Drive app. Regardless of which app you’re using, the user has a single place to store their files. To find files, just open an iCloud Drive-enabled app.

Here are a few tweets as an intro to getting back to the Dropbox comparison:

It was Steve Jobs that once promised to kill Dropbox using iCloud. It is only now, a few years past the Jobs era, that Apple has launched their Dropbox challenger. Cloud syncing has really only become a trend over the past few years, and cloud syncing apps weren’t all the rage as they’ve come to be. Apple device users will really dig iCloud Drive for it’s file-syncing ability across their devices.

The prices have definitely come to be more in line with competitors. Monthly subscriptions to the Apple iCloud Drive service will be $0.99 per month for 20GB and $3.99 per month for 200GB. 5GB comes free with an account and prices are still being thought out for storage levels up to 1 TB. Apple is a bit of a latecomer to the cloud services arena, and will probably not try and convince users of Google Drive and Dropbox to switch over, while it establishes credibility in the space.

iCloud Drive works using the Windows platform. However, we should all stay tuned to see if Apple opens up APIs, so that Windows Phone and Android uses can adopt the cloud syncing platform.

Narrowing Options

For the most of the year, there hasn’t been much chatter about iCloud. Back in October, Apple terminated the ability to conduct local syncing when using iTunes giving users the options to choose an outside cloud services provider like Google for syncing mail, calendars and contacts or to use iCloud Drive.

Back in September, the extent of Apple’s storage and syncing offerings for the cloud were redesigned for iOS 7. Before that, in August, Apple launched iWork to work with iCloud, which was a platform that facilitated online collaboration between users in real time. Primarily, Apple has been listening to their developers and addressing their concerns regarding reliability and syncing, and has been tweaking and upgrading iCloud Drive in the background.

The second half of 2014 will definitely give us all the power to see for real where Apple iCloud Drive is heading as far as technology and how it stacks up to its competition.